From top: Seetac/JobPath office in Cabra, Dublin; Eamonn Kelly

Last Monday, the Dáil debated the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill.

Arguing against the bill, which ‘provides for the publication of the names of people engaged in social welfare fraud’, Catherine Murphy of the Soc Dems addressed the case of a father of two referred to JobPath last year.

Eamonn Kelly writes:

Earlier this week in the Dáil, Catherine Murphy TD talked about JobPath and how a man was pressured by Seetec staff to attend sessions as part of the JobPath service.

But attendance at JobPath sessions conflicted with the times of genuine casual work the man already had, putting the job he already held in jeopardy.

The job was also being threatened, along with the reputation of the man, by Seetec staff contacting and badgering his employer to sign documents which would ensure that Seetec could claim the work the man already held, as being a ‘success’ for Seetec, for which the DSP would pay a commission once they received the documentation.

When the man, trying to protect the work he already had, refused to attend some of the sessions with Seetec, he was then pressured by Seetec staff in to to signing documents declaring he was present at the sessions he had not attended.

If he refused to sign the documents, Seetec would recommend to the DSP that the man’s already partial welfare payment be cut or stopped.

The man, realizing that he would be participating in a fraud by signing the documents, leaving himself open to prosecution, pointed this out, to which a Seetec staff member is reported to have said, “Don’t worry about it.”

The man was told that he had to sign the documents to ensure his welfare payment. The man signed the documents.

So here we have a clear case, cited in the Dáil, of Seetec staff using the threat of loss of payment for non-compliance with all requests they make, in order to pressure a Jobseeker into participating in a white-collar fraud.

A case that also shows Seetec staff interfering in a job already created, in order to claim it as their own and claim a commission. In doing so, directly threatening a job already in existence, while also revealing a jobseeker as a welfare dependent to an employer who may or may not find this acceptable.

In the case cited by Catherine Murphy the employer in question was sympathetic to the jobseeker. He also had become so fed up with being harassed by Seetec that he too signed forms which could then be used by Seetec to claim commissions from the DSP for a job they did not create, while also implicating the employer in the fraud.

The case was reported directly to the Taoiseach who described the incident as a ‘complaint’, and implied that it was an isolated incident. He then said that he couldn’t speak on individual cases and that it would be better to bring the matter up with the minister for social protection.

He cited the JobPath satisfaction survey, claiming that many people were ‘happy’ with JobPath, implying again that this particular ‘complaint’ was an isolated incident.

So, in the Dáil, a TD reported directly to the Taoiseach about abuse of powers by officials acting on behalf of the DSP, who were pressuring a Jobseeker into signing documents to support fraudulent claims and pressuring an employer to sign documents claiming that Seetec had created the job the employer had created, implicating both the employer and the Jobseeker in a fraud.

There has long been a suspicion that JobPath manufactures stats in order to prove its own worth and effectiveness, and here we have evidence of Seetec staff manufacturing false documentation to massage the stats to prove Seetec’s worth and effectiveness.

It’s fair then to question the actual job-creation results that they report, along with the satisfaction stats cited by the Taoiseach.

Were those figures manufactured too? Were they too acquired by threatening penalties for non-compliance?

Catherine Murphy’ suggests that the manner in which Seetec staff pressured the jobseeker into signing the documents, was routine. That they then pressured the employer to also sign documents to support their fraud, demonstrates an audaciousness that should be of concern.

The entire nature of the case cited by Catherine Murphy TD suggests that this is not just an isolated incident, or a ‘complaint’, but is the way JobPath is run.

The fact that JobPath is described as a service, and billed as such, must mean that it can be judged in terms of the type of service that it is delivering to the consumer.

Asking people under duress if they are ‘happy’ with the ‘service’ is not quite the same as assessing whether or not a service to the public is delivering what it claims to be delivering, or whether or not it is a service that is in any way damaging to the public.

A consumer and a private citizen being press-ganged into participating in a fraud can hardly be described as a very customer-friendly type of service.

In this regard, Catherine Murphy’s revelations have cast grave doubt on the value and credibility of the entire JobPath ‘service’.

Eamonn Kelly is a freelance writer.

Previously: JobPath And The Reality of ‘Employment Activation’

41 thoughts on “JobPath Or Else

      1. anne

        which part did you laugh at? Seetec defrauding the state or the business of harassing people & their employers?

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            It was a vile, mean spirited comment from someone who clearly likes to look down their nose at the less fortunate. Well done for planting your flag.

          2. Cian

            I was amused, this about the 8th article that Eamonn Kelly has written about JobPath. Eamonn is constantly tilting at JobPath.

    1. anne

      Learn to read Harold. The man had a job.. Seetec wanted commission for a job they didn’t assist him im getting in any way shape or form.. i.e. they did sweet f all, bar harass a man..great ‘work’ altogether Harold. You’d probably do it with pleasure I suppose.

        1. ek

          No, actually. You were being insulting. I doubt that’s even your real name. Is it? And why the photo of young Joe? Are you left, or right, anonymous or upfront? Cynical or ironic? Who are you anyway?

        2. God IV

          In fairness, now, it was not hilarious at all. And another thing – WE’LL be the judge of whether your comments are funny or worthy or poo poo, not you.

          1. Pat Kenny's wife

            It wasn’t even funny let alone hilarious and I know Harry is just trying to play along and save face now but in fact it was personalised, vindictive and utterly devoid of tact or class altogether.

        3. Jim Bob Julius

          You were being pathetic you tubby clown.

          Nobody cares, except the brain dead amongst us.

  1. kevin o connor

    I wonder if a “friendly” solicitor would take a case on a no win no fee basis, and sue them for harassment and deception !

  2. anne

    Seetec cheats cheatin us all huh.

    What a fupping joke.
    This is defrauding the state and last I heard weren’t people to be convicted & named & shamed for this type of activity?

    The whole notion of what Seetec do is harassment…and in this case fraud to top it off. Disgraceful carry on.

  3. Pete Tong

    He was working a casual job while also engaging with JobPath and claiming social welfare. He was ALREADY committing fraud.

    1. gorugeen

      Casual job means varying days worked each week. He is perfectly entitled to claim for the days he did not work. Did you even read the whole piece? He had no choice but engage with job path.

    2. EK

      No he wasn’t. You can receive a reduced welfare payment while working part-time. This is to bring your income up to just above the poverty threshold. That’s the way the system was originally designed, so that no one in the state could fall below a certain standard of living. These humane considerations don’t appear to be as important anymore which is probably why you haven’t heard of this arrangment.

  4. Peter Dempsey

    ek
    Two underprivileged lads assaulted a Canadian street performer and as a result he lost an eye.
    Blue collar crime at its finest. If they get a light / suspended sentence will you care?

    1. EK

      A cartel of bankers gambled big and it cost you and your children and maybe your grandchildren your futures. White-collar fraud can be that significant. Not condoing the actions of the under-privelaged lads, but you’re not comparing like with like.

  5. hugh_mungus

    sure there’s nothing to be done anyway, the contracts are all signed, which the government cant cancel or break, just put your heads down and get on with things, we’re the best little country in the world for looking and the ground and soldiering on after all, and really only the workshy are affected, so it should give them a little kick up the arse they need.

    1. EK

      Corrupt systems thrive on that kind of defeatist attitude. It’s interesting too how you went from giving up being able to do anything about the situation, to deciding that it would be a good thing anyway, to give the workshy a kick in the arse. That’s exactly the reasoning that surrounds this entire thing in a cloak of secrecy. This is not partiuclar to you either, I think it’s cultural. There must have been a time when Irish people gave up on being able to do anything about the British Empire, and just decided to kick the dog or go on the piss or whatever. This kind of defeatist thinking seems to run right through the culture. But there is something that can be done about this kind of fraud. You can call it for what it is. Shine a light on it. And if it’s found to be illegal, then any contracts related to the activity most likely would have been breached, making them defunct. The only reason this is continuing is because enough people are accepting it. By the way. What is “workshy”? What does that even mean? From what I’ve seen of life, the people who work hardest get paid less, and the people who get paid most have things arranged such that they barely have to work at all. The concept of “workshy” is an invention by the elite to keep everyone else working while they siphon the profits. This is late-stage capitalism, and one of the most basic strategies is to divide and conquer, so that the worker is told that the unemployed are the reason for the high taxes they’re paying, turning one group against the other. In reality, the worker and the unemployed are the same, they’re just being outplayed by a tactician with an eye on the profits they generate. It’s amazing how often people fall for the same trick, swallowing the concept of “workshy” to describe workers who have in reality been made superflous by the logic of the capitlalist system. I’m not criticising you. It’s just the way you phrased that comment, how it moved so smoothly from realization of the fraud, to helplessness against it, to finding someone to blame in the “workshy”, that I realized that this sequence of thought must be fairly automatic for most people. It needs to be broken, and can be, just by questioning each link in the chain that arrives at the unexamined prejudice. What the hell does “workshy” even mean? That seems like a good question to start with to break the chain.

  6. Jeffrey Rudd

    Hi Eamonn,

    UnitedPeople has been in contact with Catherine Murphy with the current issue of JobPath in the last week that she is currently raising. UnitedPeople is connected to persons involved that the following morning, then further brought about questions been raised with the Public Accounts Committee in the Dail.

    We provided in the last week Catherine with this explosive 100+ page investigation report into JobPath – downloadable from here: http://www.unitedpeople.ie/download/jobpath-a-unitedpeople-report/ – we have been deep investigating JobPthat for over a year now.

    * There has beep people who have been mass bullied to the point of suicide attempts taken place due to pressure.
    * Staff assaulting public.
    * Fraud.
    * Lies
    * Deception and more.
    * We have even been able to prove that everyone’s data has been exported quietly to the UK.

    If you have the time, you might want to watch this also: https://youtu.be/ZxZrVhGvFsA

    All the best.

    Jeff Rudd
    Parthy Leader.
    UnitedPeople.
    http://www.unitedPeople.ie

    1. Biggins

      You’ve been putting forward your opinions on Facebook and boards.ie for quite a while now Jeff. The fact that your political party splits before every election, which involves not expelling anyone who doesn’t agree with you on everything, is interesting but we’ll put that to one side.
      What is interesting is that you’ve been putting forward tomes of ill written verbal diarrhea for years on end at this stage without having had any employment. And when an agency attempts to help you prepare for employment (after a gap that suggests you are at risk of being permanently unemployed)

    2. JeanD_Sacha

      Hello Jeffrey,

      Thanks for your putting of all this research together. No one else in the country is doing work like this. I newly know this Irish expression “fair fupps to you”

  7. Peter_Shaw_Middleton_Cork

    3 reasons why Jobpath won’t work and will be retired. Sooner the better.

    1 Rightly or wrongly , most companies don’t want long term unemployed / coerced employees, they already know what S**tecs ‘business’ is.

    2 Neo liberal imported Troika dogma doesn’t fit Irish economy (exception of tech companies in Dublin who certainly will throw a jobpath CV in the dustbin). There are too many conflicts within the system, it could work where jobs are plentiful, but it doesn’t even work in the UK .

    3 As the brown envelopes continue to stack up the cost for this scheme will just get higher . It will become a huge white elephant. The spending on JP will far exceed any supposed savings they are supposed to be making in taking a long term unemployed person off the dole, and the pressure will gradually mount if any further allegations of fraud are made ( and we can guess whether more allegations of fraud are likely or not!)

    Well done those for exposing this sort of abuse of power.

    The idea of incentives to employers to hire unemployed people is a good one, unfortunately it has been shown not to work in practice, so why introduce it to Ireland, olympic corruption winners? Well the snouts at the trough and the welfare claimants who reside at the dail bar need more supply thats why!

    The Irish can’t even do it themselves they have to get a UK company in to shaft their own citizens.

    They will probably have worked out in 50 years how to do abuse their own citizens legally so they wont need S***EC to do it for them.

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