Job Centre Plus – Data Protection Act 1998 Twitter: #questionyourjobcentre

One aspect people feel Job Centre Plus should do is to respect boundaries of protocols in terms of how they communicate with vulnerable clients outside of formal face to face appointments should be agreed and kept to. 

Job Centre Plus need to be mindful of family and personal circumstances in terms of how they behave communicating as the customer would find it most helpful rather than the fact they have volume customers and this suits business requirements. 

In terms of formal letters customers should be able to choose how they are communicated by so if it is by email to use an encrypting website with a password that people can keep all letters in one place instead of post where this can get lost, thrown away or not read. 

Brown Envelopes:

What would the actual cost saving be if customers had to sign up to an encrypting service online to access records rather than sending tens of thousands of letters each week? 

If they persist in sending these out and will not change their policy perhaps changing the colour of the envelope to plain and non-identifiable, this would drastically reduce the amount of anxiety associated with the content in the letter. 

Should you be able to opt into receiving post or logging online to receive correspondence as this would be surely quicker, more secure, you know they have received it by an online marker and cheaper, surely this is a no brainer, if people do not have internet access they can do at local libraries but most people do these days as it is assumed people have some form of internet access. 

The way they communicate and the use of these brown envelopes required a change in thinking of doing things differently. 

Telephone Numbers: 

Many people do not answer withheld numbers due to various reasons, there are obvious reasons why they wont display a number it is because they have to be accountable for their conduct and this can be traced, they should be transparent and display numbers on every call, this can change the way that two way communications can take place however it is totally unacceptable if Job Centre Plus do not use this appropriately and people have to change their number because it is making them feel quite low, conversations between Job Centre Plus and claimant should be positive towards helping people return to work however if Job Centre Plus don’t want to talk to people they should not persistently keep putting the phone down on people as this should be classed as anti-sociable behaviour and inflames emotions. 

Subject Access Request: See my other posting. 

Freedom of Information Act: If you feel you would like information please email your local officer, if they do not comply report them to the Information Commissioners Office. 

All policies and procedures that they have should be made public so people are aware, no secrets. 

Updated 16th June 2016 

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