If you are deaf or have hearing loss and are looking for work, your local Jobcentre Plus office can support you. Find out what your rights are when you use the service, and how to complain if you feel your local office is not providing appropriate access.
Using the Jobcentre Plus service
If you’re unemployed and are looking for work, Jobcentre Plus can help you to:
- find work
- access local training courses and work experience schemes that can help you to find a long-term job.
Contacting Jobcentre Plus
If you’d like help to find work, you should contact Jobcentre Plus to tell them about your situation. You may also be eligible to claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance. This is financial help while you look for work.
You can contact them:
- 0800 055 668
- 0800 023 4888
Make sure that you state your preferred method of communication for future contact.
Support from your local office
You’ll be invited to an interview with a work coach at your local Jobcentre Plus office. You must go to this interview. If you require an interpreter or communication support, you should request this in advance of your interview.
At the interview, the work coach will help you to set work goals, and talk about how you can reach them. It’s your right to have communication support provided at appointments where face-to-face communication is needed. This could be seeing your work coach or job searches. Find out more about communication support.
After the interview, you’ll be expected to go to your local Jobcentre Plus office every two weeks to ‘sign on’ if you are claiming for Jobseeker’s Allowance. Communication support is not usually provided for signing on.
Additional support when looking for work
If you feel you need additional support to look for work you can also ask to meet the Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) at your local Jobcentre Plus. You can ask them:
- if there are any training courses in your area which might help you to develop your skills
- whether there are any disability-friendly employers.
If a DEA is unavailable, talk to your work coach.
Communication support for job interviews
If you have a job interview, you are entitled to have communication support if you need it. Find out more about communication support and what you may have access to.
You can apply for an Access to Work grant (in England, Scotland and Wales) to fund any communication support. Ask your work coach at Jobcentre Plus for details of how to do this. Read more about Access to Work.
Making a complaint
Under the 2010 Equality Act, employers and service providers have a legal duty to make adjustments so you’re not put at a disadvantage. If a Jobcentre does not make reasonable adjustments to enable you to access their services, then they could be in breach of the Equality Act. Find out more about your rights here.
If you think your Jobcentre Plus office is failing to provide appropriate access to its services, you can make a complaint. You can find out how to make a complaint on the GOV.UK website.
When you contact the Jobcentre Plus to make a complaint, make sure you include the following details:
- your national insurance number
- your full name, address and contact numbers
- what happened, when it happened and how it affected you
- what you want to happen to put things right.
The complaint will need to be addressed to the Jobcentre Plus office you’re attending.
Find out more
You might find it useful to contact the following organisations for more information:
If you are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus and need free confidential and impartial information and support, contact RNID.
We’re open 8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.