Kelly-Jane Stone, responsible for finding staff for the online retailer, Amazon, posted a series of messages at the weekend, including one that said she got “so much pleasure” from getting people’s benefits stopped.
The Twitter account that the messages were posted from has since been closed, but other comments included:
“In my new job, if people from the [job centre] don’t turn up to an appointment with me, I stop their benefits for 13 weeks… suckers.”
The comments prompted angry responses on the social networking site, and as a result, the company said that she was “suspended pending a full investigation”.
It was revealed that another comment to be posted from the account read:
“I had someone who’s been claiming for ten years and his benefits were stopped because he told me he gets more through the Government than working. Even his housing benefits stopped… bliss.”
“Same thing if I offer them a job too and they don’t turn up – benefits stopped forever until a job is found. Gutted.”
Commenting, Linda Sinclair of the Bedroom Tax Action Group, a welfare lobby which highlighted the tweets, said:
“I am quite horrified that anyone working for a recruitment agency (somewhere surely designed to help and encourage people back to work) has the authority to get someone’s Jobseeker’s Allowance and/or Housing Benefit stopped, and then appears to take pleasure in doing so.”
Decisions on sanctions, which are used as a last resource when jobseekers fail to live up to the conditions agreed when they made their claim for benefits, are only taken by the Department for Work and Pensions.
A spokesperson said:
“Only the DWP has the power to remove benefits it administers.”