For those who have no idea…
To the OP. I really do feel for your mate and hope that he can find the help he needs. It’s disgraceful how we as a society allow others to live in such arduous and degrading circumstances when others have so much more, and we have leaders that will continue to allows this to happen.
FWIW I spent 5 years of on off employment benefits cycle. Working for £2.50 per hour (before the minimum wage) in temp jobs just to get off benefits with the hope of something permanent / better in the future. I only survived because of my then girlfriend, now wife, and her support both financial and emotional. I remember some of the low points, wearing layers of clothes and stopping in bed to keep warm, only eating Tescos Value beans and bread, 3p a tin and 9p a loaf for weeks on end, so that I could afford to take my clothes to the laundrette to wash them once a month.
I eventually managed to keep a job long enough for it to become permanant and dragged myself out of the cycle. Three years ago I was made redundant after 15 years of continuous employment. I found other work straight away, unfortunately it was minimum wage, halved my salary overnight. Soon afterwards I found out that the tax credits top up brought the low wages up to £10 per week more than if I had claimed JSA. That was for working shifts including nights. Not much dignity in that. I seriously considered giving up work and claiming benefits TBH. Pride, amongst other things stopped me doing that and I did manage to find a job back doung what I’m qualified and experienced doing.
I’ve managed to get back to where I was career wise before redundancy. Took 2.5 years and a bout of depression but things have settled down a bit now.Posted 5 years agorudebwoyMember
bigblackshed– cheers for the support– my mate is pretty overwhelmed by reading this thread– he is going to get in touch with the legion again, but in all honesty, he is not ready for the rigours, both mental and physical of work– this is the hard bit–he really should be on sick/convalescence– but new rules deem him ‘fit’ for work– its pretty degrading, adding to the stress he already has, but , he has good friends, and i,m sure he will conquer this predicament !!
what you say about the benefit/low wage conundrum is so very true sadly– like you i’ve been working continuously for the last ten years, in the building trade, until getting ‘sacked’ 6 months ago– well blow me– my benefits come to the same as my take home pay, but now my kids get hot dinners at school– couldn’t afford them when working !! Its a bollox alright– personally i find lots to do with my leisure time— makes you wonder how people fit in a life around work ! The lack of money can be a drag, but the extra cycling is great !!Posted 5 years agobigblackshedSubscriber
The position I was in after redundancy made me feel utterly worthless. The Job Centre couldn’t help. There were simply no jobs to apply for, no retraining on offer, no support. I went from high £20sk income to £13k when I took the only job available. I had been removed from the realities of how bad the job market was up until then. When I started, on the same induction day the guys I was working with consisted of 3 engineers, a HGV tech, 2 manufacturing production managers, and an accountant. All now working for just above NMW in a job that frankly, and i hate to use this term, was beneath them in terms of skills and position.
This job also required you to work contracted hours. If you were required to work OT then no extra pay. Time off in lieu at the companies descretion. Also you had to opt out of the working time directive. No opt out, no job.
I’m glad I stuck at it and remained employed. It certainly helped to get the job I now have. I was told by the new company that they admired my determination to crawl out of the pit I was in.Posted 5 years agorudebwoyMember
thought that an update is relevant, six months later my mate is in a ‘better’ place mentally- we had to go to a tribunal in manchester a few months ago to plead for a higher rate of military incapacity benefit, they increased his rate for PTSD, but reduced the leg injury one, so the end result was no increase ! at least there was more recognition for the mental issues.. this knocked him back a bit,but as they say, you can’t keep a good man down, and thankfully he was not forced onto the work programme, so he has now got a case worker from a local charity who is assisting with another appeal, its ironic that a mate of his who left the army in the 90’s managed to get a 50% rate, yet suffered very little, he now is a self employed window cleaner with many contracts! This is the nub for my mate and many like him, there is not the ‘cash’ available since demand has risen sharply as a result of increased military activity. The state is happy to use people but not pick up the consequences.
I have just come to my first anniversary of unemployment, now on the ‘work programme’-where if any job is secured a private ‘job’ company will benefit–whether they play any role or not– that is for the next two years ! they get a bonus if you still in work after six months and a wacking big cash drop if you there after a year !! welcome to the privatisation scam of unemployment … n the plus side, with all this lovely weather, have enjoyed cycling about looking for work.. 😉Posted 4 years ago
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