Transline suspends employee over benefit stop tweets

A recruiter at industrial and driving agency Transline has been suspended pending a full investigation into tweets the employee sent in which she talked about enjoying her apparent ability to “stop” jobseeker’s benefits.

Thu 15 Aug 2013A recruiter at industrial and driving agency Transline has been suspended pending a full investigation into tweets the employee sent in which she talked about enjoying her apparent ability to “stop” jobseeker’s benefits.

Speaking to recruiter.co.uk, Transline confirmed the suspension of Kelly-Jane Stone who had worked in the company’s Hemel Hempstead branch, issuing the same statement made to local online paper hemeltoday, which broke the story on Tuesday afternoon (13 August).

Stone’s offending tweets in a conversation with another twitter user included: “If people from the JC [job centre] don’t turn up to an appointment, I stop their benefits for 13 weeks... suckers” and “I get so much pleasure knowing what I can do if the [sic] mess me round. I’m going to be shot for it one day I bet!”

The company spokesperson tells recruiter.co.uk it cannot comment further on any progress made in that investigation or on Stone’s current status.

Twitter and the comments section on various news sources carrying the story, including the website of the Daily Mirror, have seen a large amount vitriol and insults directed at Stone, including threats of violence to her and her family. Some appear to mistakenly believe that Stone and/or Transline work for the government or deliver benefits.

Others have expressed sympathy both for her views and the way she has been treated by Transline and on such media.

In a bizarre twist, Stone’s Twitter account, @DietQueen, is “now under the control of the Correct Thought brigade”, according to one tweet, with another explaining “the original owner deleted it, and it was considered prudent to appropriate the username and use it for more positive statements”.

A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesperson told the Daily Mirror: “Only the DWP has the power to remove benefits it administers.” She also explained that jobseekers would only have benefits suspended if they did not meet conditions agreed when they make their claim.

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