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Chris Jones - Administrative Officer

What I do:

Belfast Benefit Centre - AO

I am in the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) section of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and my main job is to deal with those customers who have missed a WCA appointment with ATOS.   This involves dealing with written forms that have been returned to explain why, and making calls to customers who have not done so, as well as some system work including disallowing customers who have missed their appointment and failed to tell us why within the agreed timescale.  The role also includes other tasks such as reopening claims that have previously been closed, making referrals to ATOS and so on.


I got the job as part of a large external recruitment exercise. The barrier to entry was relatively low – 5 GCSEs at A*-C – but it was very competitive so I had to complete two aptitude tests (one at home and one invigilated) and a competency-based interview.  I was delighted to get the job because for one thing I am a strong believer in public service. In this role I am providing a service to the most vulnerable people in our society, and that is both a privilege and a serious responsibility.


The terms and conditions are very good compared with equivalent jobs in the private sector. Flexi-time is a great perk that allows me to build up credit to use as leave (in addition to my annual leave allowance, which is generous too), or to take a long lunch or leave a bit earlier if I want or need to. It’s nice to have that flexibility.   I was also attracted by the clear career path – I would like to climb the ladder eventually and I know the stages and levels involved in doing that. Everything is very transparent.