London - A charedi UK man has been awarded back-pay of over £1,500 from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) after being wrongly denied unemployment benefits for over six months, The Jewish Chronicle reports.
Sabbath-observant Jacob Slinger, 19, of Greater Manchester, had been told he was not entitled to receive the benefits because he was not available to work on Friday afternoons and Saturday. DWP determined this requirement was “not reasonable” since job seekers must be available to work for a minimum of 35 hours. But Mr. Slinger said he was willing to work up to 53 hours a week, excluding shabbos, thereby exceeding the requisite amount of time.
At the hearing, tribunal judge David Hewitt reversed the DWP’s decision saying the agency had erred in their decision, and urged other Jewish job seekers who were denied the £56.80-per-week benefit to come forward.
“Mr. Slinger has demonstrated that, even within the restraints he has set himself, he has reasonable prospects of securing employment and he is both available for and actively seeking work,” Mr. Hewitt said. “If my understanding is correct, their original decision is found to be wrong. If people have been turned down for these reasons, they should make an appeal to this tribunal.”
A DWP spokesperson said, “We will look at this judgment carefully and consider if we need to make any changes to the guidance given to Jobcentre Plus staff.”