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.
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
Haughton Chippy (pictured) in Darlington, County Durham has been struggling to fill ten vacant roles at a second branch in town
This he believes is because people 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.’
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.
How do you qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance?
You may get Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) if the following apply:
- You’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 or 17 – contact Jobcentre Plus for advice)
- You’re under the State Pension age
- You’re not in full-time education
- You’re in England, Scotland or Wales
- You’re available for work
- You’re not working or work on average less than 16 hours per week
- Your partner, if you have one, works for less than 24 hours a week on average
- You do not have an illness or disability which stops you from working
You’ll also need to show you’re looking for work to keep getting payments.
He and his wife now have to cover the vacant positions themselves just to keep the new branch afloat.
Their son, Robert, 37 told MailOnline that eleven people had failed to show up for trial shifts in eleven days.
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.’
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
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.’
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.’
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.