Jobseeking or Work Programme over School Holidays
During the holidays unless you have arranged a postal signing (which is an option but it is at your Jobcentre Advisers discretion) you will still need to go into the Jobcentre to sign on and attend appointments if you are on the Work Programme.
Let your Jobcentre and Work Programme know that your children are going to be off school and the length of the holiday. If they expect you to attend during the school holidays what provision are they going to make for your children?
Will they pay the bus fare or pay for you to organise childcare?
You should be aware that some Work Programme Offices do not allow children on the premises. Find out whether this is the case for your Work Programme Provider. If so it is important that the Work Programme think of ways to accomodate your need to care for your children (such as paying for childcare or rearranging your appointments).
As a single parent you are responsible for the care of your children as well as being a job seeker. You are legally responsible for your child's care until they are over 16 and so it is only right that account is taken of your role.
Any instruction that you are given by the Jobcentre or Work Programme needs to take account of your caring responsibilities including when your children are off school.
If you are told to attend meetings or to carry out a mandated activity it is reasonable to ask for allowances to be made for you to care of your child. Otherwise you are being put at an unfair disadvantage to other jobseekers who are not responsible for a child.
Read our important information from Single Parent Action Network (SPAN) and Oxfam for Single Parents moving onto Job Seekers Allowance 2012.pdf