A fish and chip owner is becoming increasingly frustrated with ‘workshy’ job hunters only applying for roles to qualify for benefits.
Frank Suhadolnik, 69, has been inundated with CVs for ten available jobs at his new fish and chip shop in Darlington, County Durham.
But despite receiving 300 to 400 applications, most of those offered work failed to turn up for their first shift.
Son Robert, 37, told MailOnline that ’11 people didn’t show up for trial shifts in 11 days’ despite many confirming on the day they would attend.
Frank Suhadolnik, 69, (pictured with son Robert, 37) has been unable to recruit enough staff for his new fish and chip restaurant in Darlington. Despite receiving between 300 to 400 CVs he has only filled four out of ten available positions
Robert Suhadolnik, 37, told MailOnline that he’d had eleven people not show up for shifts in eleven days. Many of whom had told him on the day that they would be there
Haughton Chippy (pictured) in Darlington, County Durham has been struggling to fill ten vacant roles at a second branch in town
Frank believes people are failing to show up for their trial shifts because they are only applying for the roles to show they are ‘looking for work to qualify for benefits’.
He told The Times: ‘It has to have something to do with the benefits system.
‘They turn up to our interviews to say they’ve been looking and then leave us stuck.
‘We’re just ordinary people trying to make a living and we just can’t get anybody to work. It’s unbelievable.’
What do claimants have to do to show they are looking for work?
While receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance, a claimant must prove that they are actively searching for work.
To ensure claimants are doing this, they are asked to sign a ‘Claimant Commitment’.
This agreement outlines the steps you need to take to look for a job.
A claimant and their work coach will agree what goes in the Claimant Commitment.
This could include:
- What you need to do to look for work – for example registering with recruitment agencies, writing a CV
- How many hours you need to spend looking for work each week
What you agree to do will depend on things like:
- Your health
- Your responsibilities at home
- How much help you need to get work or increase your income
If you don’t keep to your Claimant Commitment then your payments can be stopped.
Situations in which it might be withdrawn include if you:
- Do not accept or keep to your agreement to look for work
- Do not go to a Jobcentre Plus office when asked
- Turn down a job or training course
- Do not apply for any jobs you’re told about
- Do not take part in any interviews you’re invited to
- Do not go to any training booked for you or take part in employment schemes
- Leave your last job or training without good reason or because of your behaviour
Mr Suhadolnik’s latest fish and chip venture comes after the success of his first takeaway in the town – Haughton Chippy.
The grandfather invested £100,000 in a new branch, hoping to retire early, but has unable to find enough people to fill the available roles.
He and his wife now have to cover the vacant positions themselves just to keep the new branch afloat.
Their son Robert told MailOnline he’d experienced increasing frustration with trying to recruit staff.
He said: ‘We will ring people the day of the shift to confirm they are coming along and they will say that they are.
‘But when it comes to the time they are due to arrive they just don’t show up.
‘I really cannot understand what is going on at all.’
The family’s new fish and chip shop on Faverdale is now having to operate shortened opening hours.
Robert said: ‘We’ve managed to recruit four people so far, but that’s taken three months. Those that we do get are fantastic, but there are so many that don’t commit.
‘Someone who lives miles away and doesn’t have a driving licence even emailed us a CV for a role which requires them to drive.
‘There have been other people in the town talking about struggles with recruitment, including bars and restaurants.
‘I don’t know if it’s box-ticking for Job Seeker’s Allowance, but as a town Darlington has just moved on to Universal Credit and that could be causing problems.
‘From what I have heard, it can punish you for increasing your working hours and so some people might be disinclined to work extra.’
Asked what could be done to stop people failing to show up for their trial shifts, Robert suggested that those policing Job Seeker’s Allowance could check with employers to see if applicants followed through with notices of intention.
He said: ‘They should be checking to see if these people applying for jobs are taking up the opportunities presented to them.’
Haughton Chippy in Darlington is very popular with locals, raking up a 4.3 star rating from 137 reviews on Google. It also has a food hygiene rating of 5 out of 5, meaning it is ‘very good’ at maintaining clean standards at the restaurant
Mr Suhadolnik has been running Haughton Chippy in Darlington for more than ten years, and this is the first time he’s struggled to recruit staff
The chippy (pictured) has been serving the people of Darlington for 35 years and is a family-run business. Recent success means it has been able to open a second branch on Faverdale
The chippy is still advertising for a number of roles, including a kitchen assistant, counter assistant and kitchen team member.
On job website Indeed, the business claims to have been serving the people of Darlington ‘the best fish and chips’ for 35 years.
The advert reads: ‘We are a well established, yet growing business with a friendly working environment and an extremely low staff turnover because we invest in our team.
‘Due to a growth in our business we are looking to expand our team.’
Robert Suhadolnik (pictured outside Haughton Chippy in Darlington) told MailOnline that 11 people failed to show up for trial shifts in 11 days at their new branch on Faverdale. Despite many people confirming on the day that they would attend
But despite this, Mr Suhadolnik and his family have faced an uphill struggle to recruit enough people.
Robert described the search for employees as ‘soul-destroying’ and has struggled to understand why it has been so difficult to recruit.
The eatery is popular with locals, raking up a 4.3 star rating from 137 reviews on Google.
It also has a food hygiene rating of 5 out of 5, meaning it is ‘very good’ at maintaining a clean standards at the restaurant.