Saturday, 21 December 2013

They Don't Know What I Did Last Summer - 10 Weeks Missing From My Life

Finally, I had struck success with jobhunting. On Friday 13th, I was offered a job to start on 6 January, subject to compliance checks. And then yesterday the email confirmation that all the compliance checks had been completed and we were ready to roll. I had already stopped jobhunting - after all, if you've got a job in the pipeline, why waste your time applying? Not everyone takes that approach - in one job, a couple of colleagues had already, even when they started, accepted other jobs. In one case it was someone who had taken a graduate job from that September, so was there for a few months waiting to start that. The other guy was only with us a fortnight - it was just a two-week filler role as far as he was concerned, until he could start the better paid job he had also accepted.

I was brought up with the old "jobs for life" approach - my dad had over 45 years with the same firm. That was the era of the generation above. So you stuck jobs out. I have noticed that even when in a temporary job, I didn't start looking until the job had finished. Find a job with another employer and hand in your notice - well, that's just disloyalty.

The other thing that I was brought up to believe is that study hard at school, work hard, and you'll succeed. That, sadly is simplistic. Sometimes life throws you a blind side, something comes out of leftfield at you. And 2013 was that year for me.

Yesterday afternoon, I popped down to the city centre, caught up with a friend, and then got home to another email.

Apparently, I had not passed the compliance checks - there is the issue that I don't have a continuous documentable 3-year record.

Now, I know that already in the USA, some firms have things along the lines of "Unemployed persons need not apply". In my case, I am not expected to produce a 3-year record of continuous employment. What I have to provide is documentary evidence of what I have been doing the past 3 years - so basically times when I have not been employed, I need to provide evidence.

Due to my health, I didn't start jobhunting until I knew what was wrong - and so this wasn't until mid-September. And herein lies the problem. One bit of useful advice I got was that there is often downtime between jobs, and just say that I had done travel. And indeed, I did some - day trips to local places, a few days catching up with family in Yorkshire, visiting family in Devon etc.

But that's travel. It's not travel-travel. With the compliance, if you have a period of being out-of-work and you are travelling, they expect travel-travel. Documentary evidence from your passport and flight tickets and boarding passes, and ferry tickets etc. that you were off in exotic locations doing things. Day trips here and there in the United Kingdom don't count.

One thing that can document what you were doing is a letter from the Department for Work & Pensions, stating when you started claiming benefits. As I have mentioned, I didn't start to claim Jobseekers Allowance as I wasn't looking for work. I suppose, given that I didn't renew my contract due to my health, the Monday after leaving work, I could have made a claim for Employment & Support Allowance and when/if that got turned down, try for JSA. But I didn't think of it.

If I had done this, I would have had a continuous documentary record. But I didn't, and I haven't.

This then is the problem. I have 10 undocumentable weeks. I have no salary from then as I was unemployed. I have nothing from the DWP as I didn't contact them till mid-September. I have no passport stamps or plane tickets as I was in the UK throughout.

Technically, I have not failed the compliance checks, and can still start on 6 January - subject to having passed the compliance checks. The problem is that to pass them I need to provide documentary evidence relating to 10 undocumentable weeks.

No comments:

Post a Comment