15200+ #workfare exploiters that have been named and shamed

[ Named and Shamed: UK 3200+ & Éire 12000+ ] [1]

You can check the names of workfare exploiters, named and shamed by conscripts on the Boycott Workfare website and on it’s map (700+) [2]: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/workfare-exploiters

Including FOI requests:

Mandatory Work Activity (500+)
https://mrfrankzola.wordpress.com/workfare/
(Tories blew £100k of public money hiding list of firms that used jobseekers for unpaid work.  Taxpayers had to fund both sides of the Tory government’s legal battle in a farce “worthy of a movie plot”)

Community Work Placements (1674)
https://mrfrankzola.wordpress.com/workfare-hosts-for-community-work-placement-scheme/

Work Experience (300+ Great Manchester)
https://mrfrankzola.wordpress.com/2018/08/30/300-workfare-exploiters-in-greater-manchester-and-uk-wide-named-and-shamed/

When a similar FOI request was made in Éire they named and shamed nearly 12,000 workfare employers. Download (pdf)

Some recent workfare stats

730,130+ zero wage work experience “starts”

27,800+ unpaid work placements within Jobcentres and the DWP!
https://mrfrankzola.wordpress.com/2018/02/23/there-have-been-27800-unpaid-work-placements-within-jobcentres-and-the-dwp/

Related

Hypocrites: The workfare exploiters who claim to be anti-workfare, exposed

Footnote

[1] The above lists will contain duplicates of employers who exploited workfare conscripts in different schemes.

[2] The map data does not give a total number of employers, when using the ‘Active’ and ‘Withdrawn’ filters 700+ employers are indicated. Though the map shows differing sets of figures, but it is not clear what they relate to.

workfaremap

Boycott Workfare also lists the private companies and charities contracted to organise workfare placements by the Department for Work and Pensions, namely:

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300+ #workfare exploiters in Greater Manchester, Named and Shamed

The DWP has released the names of 300 plus employers that host no-wage-work-for-benefits-only (workfare) placements in Greater Manchester (GM) and those that also exploit benefit claimants in GM and UK wide.

Extract of named and shamed list

| Royal Mail | Co- Op | Hyde Benefit Centre | Shopmobility | YMCA | Victoria Hotel | McDonald’s | B&Q | Adecco / Serco |Premier Inn | Hilton  | Manchester Dog Care Ltd | One MCR Housing Trust | Subway | Mind | GMW NHS |
Full list: View onlinedownload (pdf) [1]

But Work Experience (workfare) is voluntary, so what’s the problem?

With the exception of mandatory Community Benefit [2] work placements in the Work Programme for JSA and ESA claimants, it is true to say the DWP does not mandate unpaid work, like it did for Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) and Community Work Placements (CWP). However, under Universal Credit the “Secretary of State can mandate the claimant to apply for, attend & start a work experience placement as part of a work preparation requirement…” [3] under Section 16 (3)(e) of the Welfare Reform Act (2012).

These powers are used within the Youth Obligation (YO), when under the YO offer and unemployed for 6 months a claimant who ‘volunteers’ [4] to undertake a Work Experience placement as part of a Traineeship or a Sector based work academy, “will” get a sanction if “they fail to start, without good reason”. [5]

The above Youth Obligation example is the same sanction based workfare framework that led to mass widespread direction action and protests across the UK. Protests that led to the likes of Tesco and Waterstones to cease offering work-for-benefits-only work placements.

Whilst the contracts for MWA and CWP ended, after campaigning by Boycott Workfare et al, the DWP has simply expanded ‘voluntary’ workfare with 730,130+ zero wage work experience “starts” [6] and 27,800+ [7] unpaid work placements within Jobcentres and the DWP!

Latentexistence covered this topic in 2012, with ‘Mandatory unpaid work – the evidence‘ and I would recommend watching the Channel 4 interview with the then Employment Minister Chris Grayling, as they highlight how Work Experience is not “entirely voluntary” [8] when sanctions are integral.

Related

Footnotes

[1] ‘Work Experience Opportunities
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/work_experience_opportunities_2#outgoing-801814

[2] Work Programme provider guidance
Chapter 3c: work experience and community benefit work placement
Community Benefit work placement referral
5. You can decide as appropriate to mandate suitable  JSA and ESA participants
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/work-programme-dwp-provider-guidance

[3]  ‘Chapter K5 : Low–level sanctions’ – Advice for Decision Makers
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-for-decision-making-staff-guide

[4] 660+ charitable organisations have signed the ‘Keep Volunteering VoluntaryKeep Volunteering Voluntary‘ agreement not to host any DWP work-for-benefits-only workfare placements.

[5] Participating in a sbwa

K5066 … “Whilst their decision to take part in the work experience
placement is voluntary, if they agree to a placement they will be expected to start. If
they fail to start, without good reason a sanction will apply”

Traineeships

K5069 … “Whilst their decision to take part in the work
experience placement is voluntary, if they agree to a placement they will be expected
to start. If they fail to start for no good reason a sanction will apply”

K5123 … Although participation in work experience is voluntary, the Secretary of State can mandate the claimant to apply for, attend & start a work experience placement as
part of a work preparation requirement. If the claimant fails to
1. attend the initial interview
or
2. start
the work experience, a low-level sanction could apply if the claimant cannot show a
good reason for the failure. However, if the claimant leaves or loses a work
experience placement no sanction can apply unless the claimant is dismissed or
loses the place due to gross misconduct (see K5 124). However, see the guidance
on Youth Obligation claimants at K5 062 et seq”
‘Chapter K5 : Low–level sanctions’ – Advice for Decision Makers

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/720679/admk5.pdf

[6] https://twitter.com/mrfrankzola/status/1028696399377063939

[7] https://mrfrankzola.wordpress.com/2018/02/23/there-have-been-27800-unpaid-work-placements-within-jobcentres-and-the-dwp/

[8]  Charter Against Workfare

A Statement of Principles

For any workplace based scheme for benefit claimants

“First, it must be entirely voluntary.

Secondly, there should be real training so that people go away at the end with skills that are relevant to their future employment prospects.

Thirdly, those concerned must have employee status so that they are protected by health and safety and equal opportunities legislation.

Fourthly, they must be paid the rate for the job—not benefit-plus—and,

finally, projects must have trade union approval.”

Unemployment
Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:11 pm on 14th December 1987.

Labour Joins Chorus of protest over workfareLabour protest over workfare 1988.png
The Glasgow Herald – Jan 8, 1988

More: https://mrfrankzola.wordpress.com/charter/

Join Boycott Workfare‘s campaign against forced-unpaid-labour and sign up to Keep Volunteering Voluntary.

#UniversalCredit #Workfare: 253 benefit sanction referrals to April 2018

Section 16 (3)(e) of the Welfare Reform Act (2012) includes powers to make undertaking Work Experience and a Work Placement a mandatory benefit sanction based requirement for Universal Credit (UC) claimants.

Using the DWP’s stats service, it shows that up to April 2018 there has been 253  referrals for a sanction [1] because of claimants ‘failure to undertake work experience or a work placement’ within “Employment Programmes” only. [2] Worth keeping in mind that 90% of claimants, that will eventually migrate to UC, are still on ‘legacy‘ benefits such as JSA and ESA.

Whilst many make the distinction between what they consider to be ‘voluntary’ and mandatory #workfare, these stats reaffirm that sanctions do apply for Universal Credit forced-labour and therefore can never be ‘voluntary’.

During the time Boycott Workfare and Keep Volunteering Voluntary have been successful in campaigns against mandatory workfare schemes like Community Work Placements (6 month full time placements) and Mandatory Work Activity (4 week full time placements), the DWP institutionalised ‘voluntary’ workfare on a massive unprecedented scale.

Since 2010 the Tory and LibDem coalition admin and now Tory admin came to power there has been 730,130 zero wage work experience “starts”. There is little contemporary evidence any campaign/ers or two private members bills seeking to end “unpaid trial shifts” and “Unpaid Work Experience“ will lead to an outright ban of these zero wage ‘work-for-benefits’ only obscenities any time soon. Maybe even more unlikely if the DWP gets away with it’s plan to no longer produces workfare stats from September 2018. Let alone the fact that there has been 27,800+ unpaid work placements within Jobcentres and the DWP!

If you do consider DWP endless supply of no-wage labour work placements for employers can be ‘voluntary’, consider the fact that they still fail to address principles set out in the 1987 ‘Charter Against Workfare‘.

Related

Footnotes

[1] As these stats does not capture UC workfare sanctions taking place outside of “Employment Programmes” they are likely to be a significant underestimate.

All figures on https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk are for sanction decisions made in relation to Universal Credit live service claimants, and do not include sanction decisions relating to Universal Credit full service claimants.

UC Sanction Decisions from stat-xplore.

Referral Reason: Fail to undertake work experience or work placement

Unsorted Total
August 2015 6 6
September 2015 6 6
October 2015 11 11
November 2015 12 12
December 2015 16 16
January 2016 10 10
February 2016 9 9
March 2016 20 20
April 2016 15 15
May 2016 8 8
June 2016 12 12
July 2016 9 9
August 2016 11 11
September 2016 8 8
October 2016 9 9
November 2016 12 12
December 2016 7 7
January 2017 6 6
February 2017 5 5
March 2017 9 9
April 2017 5 5
May 2017 7 7
June 2017 6 6
July 2017 5 5
August 2017 .. ..
September 2017 5 5
October 2017 14 14
November 2017 5 5
December 2017 7 7
January 2018 6 6
February 2018 .. ..
March 2018 5 5
April 2018 5 5
Total 253 253

Source: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk

[2] Sanctions that apply for not ‘undertaking work experience or a work placement’ can be found in DWP – ‘Chapter K5 : Low–level sanctions‘. It would appear the DWP was unclear on any powers it had to apply sanctions to the UC Youth Obligation scheme workfare conditions.

At six months of the claim (Youth Obligation offer applies)

Participating in a sbwa

K5066 … “Whilst their decision to take part in the work experience
placement is voluntary, if they agree to a placement they will be expected to start. If
they fail to start, without good reason a sanction will apply”

Traineeships

K5069 … “Whilst their decision to take part in the work
experience placement is voluntary, if they agree to a placement they will be expected
to start. If they fail to start for no good reason a sanction will apply”
DWP – ‘Chapter K5 : Low–level sanctions

“Secretary of State can mandate the claimant to apply for, attend & start a work experience placement as part of a work preparation requirement…

K5123 Work experience

If the claimant fails to …

2. start the work experience, a low level sanction could apply if the claimant cannot show a good reason for the failure.

Example 1
Nicky notified of the start date, time and place of a work experience placement in a supermarket.
She fails to turn up to start the placement as she says she didn’t fancy working in a supermarket. She didn’t think it would be for her.
The DM considers Nicky does not have a good reason for not starting the work experience and imposed a low level sanction. The DM considers it would have been reasonable for Nicky to have at least tried the placement before deciding it wasn’t for her”
Source: DWP – ‘Chapter K5 : Low–level sanctions‘ – Undated – Last update 26 April 2018 – Accessed 06/8/18 [emphasis added] – Archive copy of K5 (pdf )

#UniversalCredit fact: Work Experience is mandatory and not “voluntary”. #workfare @TheCanaryUK

Update: ‘#UniversalCredit #Workfare: 253 benefit sanction referrals to April 2018‘ 20/8/18

Section 16 (3)(e) of the Welfare Reform Act (2012) includes powers to make undertaking Work Experience and a Work Placement a mandatory benefit sanction based requirement for Universal Credit claimants. Even so, the myth that ‘work for benefits onlyforced-labour workfare no longer exists still persists, take for example a Canary article that states:

Jobcentres no longer force unemployed people to work unpaid
Source: Canary – ‘The DWP will pay out almost £2m after breaching thousands of people’s human rights‘ – 4 August 2018 (emphasis added)

Being forced to do work unpaid by the DWP takes many forms, a cursory look at the campaigning websites of Boycott Workfare and Keep Volunteering Voluntary substantiates this. But to avoid any doubt, when benefit sanctions apply purely because a claimant does not ‘start and try‘ forced-labour in a supermarket per the DWP sanctions policy quoted below, then the Canary article needs correcting for lacking accuracy. [1]

“Secretary of State can mandate the claimant to apply for, attend & start a work experience placement as part of a work preparation requirement…

K5123 Work experience

If the claimant fails to …

2. start the work experience, a low level sanction could apply if the claimant cannot show a good reason for the failure.

Example 1
Nicky notified of the start date, time and place of a work experience placement in a supermarket.
She fails to turn up to start the placement as she says she didn’t fancy working in a supermarket. She didn’t think it would be for her.
The DM considers Nicky does not have a good reason for not starting the work experience and imposed a low level sanction. The DM considers it would have been reasonable for Nicky to have at least tried the placement before deciding it wasn’t for her”
Source: DWP – ‘Chapter K5 : Low–level sanctions‘ – Undated – Last update 26 April 2018 – Accessed 06/8/18 [emphasis added] – Archive copy of K5 (pdf )

Charter Against Workfare
A Statement of Principles
(For any workplace based scheme for benefit claimants)

“First, it must be entirely voluntary.

Secondly, there should be real training so that people go away at the end with skills that are relevant to their future employment prospects.

Thirdly, those concerned must have employee status so that they are protected by health and safety and equal opportunities legislation.

Fourthly, they must be paid the rate for the job—not benefit-plus—and,

finally, projects must have trade union approval.”

Unemployment – Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:11 pm on 14th December 1987.

Many messages have been sent to Canary, the article author  and its Editor-in-Chief, but so far (11am 9/8/18) the article remains inaccurate and therefore this post can act as a draft complaint to complaints@thecanary.co and or complaints@impress.press[2] – noting that the canary site does not offer any meaningful comment facility for it’s articles – save for a ‘hidden'[3] for-profit privacy invasive facebook option at the foot of the article page under “Facebook Comments“. [4]

Even with these grumbles, Canary’s coverage of the refunds for workfare conscripts is appreciated and it’s practice of linking to all source materials. Would have also preferred the author to have used the term workfare when referring to ” unpaid work”, rather than only using it as a topic ‘tag‘. Use of the term #workare can help put all forms of unpaid labour for benefits only in it’s historical context, such as the past Asda and Tesco Supermarket work experience workfare scandals of 2011/12 that mirror the exact same August 2018 DWP sanctions policy quoted above.

“Work Experience for JSA Claimants

14. Where you are providing support for JSA participants, which is work experience you must mandate participants to this activity. This is to avoid the National Minimum Wage Regulations, which will apply if JSA participants are not mandated.”
Source: ‘Mandatory unpaid work – the evidence‘ – latentexistence.me.uk – 29 February 2012

Video: C4 News confronts Grayling with proof of mandatory work experience

 

Tesco Job Advert Offering ‘JSA Plus Benefits’ Causes Outrage On Twitter

s-TESCO-NIGHT-ROLE-large640

Related

Footnotes

[1] The IMPRESS Standards Code

1.1. Publishers must take all reasonable steps to ensure accuracy.

1.2. Publishers must correct any significant inaccuracy with due
prominence, which should normally be equal prominence, at

the earliest opportunity.

1.3. Publishers must always distinguish clearly between statements

of fact, conjecture and opinion.

1.4.Whilst free to be partisan, publishers must not misrepresent or
distort the facts.
“It is also important to note that a story may mislead through the omission of a crucial fact, or facts, as well as through the inclusion of inaccuracies.”
A further Universal Credit FOI request has been submitted substantiating the benefit sanctions that apply to work experience generically and for ‘traineeships’.
[2] A formal complaint will be made if article is not corrected by Friday 10 August 2018

[3] Hidden in so far as few people will scroll to the bottom of a website page to locate a means to comment on an article,  when facility comes well after the article and other unrelated [5] intrusive adverts and content. Would suggest to Canary that a comment function should be immediately below an article. The Canary site is based upon wordpress, which also has integrated comment facilities that would not need a 3rd party to use and can be configured to respect individuals’ privacy-by-design.

Why Canary use of facebook comment facilities may be because:

“Privacy Policy

At CML we collect different types of information about our users for four main reasons:

  1. To provide personalised services unique to individual users.
  2. To help us to monitor and improve the services we offer
  3. To sell advertising space on the site, the income from which is used to support us in our mission to build a new media and distributed to our writers based on our values.
  4. If we have permission from the user, to market services to them.

There may be other privacy policies that apply to certain services we provide. Please read these when you register or subscribe for these services on these sites.

Logging in using social networking credentials

If you log-in to our comments using a Facebook log-in, you are granting permission to Facebook to share your user details with us. This will include your name, email address, date of birth and location. This may also allow us and Facebook to share your networks, user ID and any other information you choose to share according to your Facebook account settings. If you remove The Canary app from your Facebook settings, we will no longer have access to this information….

Some of our webpages use plug-ins from other organisations (such as the ‘Facebook Like’ function). These other organisations may use information about your visit to our websites on their pages. If you browse these pages while still also logged in to your account with us, information they collect may be connected to your account on their site. For more information on how these organisations use information, please read their privacy policies.”
https://www.thecanary.co/privacy/

 

Screenshot_2018-08-06 The DWP will pay out almost £2m after breaching thousands of people's human rights The Canary annotated

[4] Facebook comment

“You are totally wrong on your view that “Jobcentres no longer force unemployed people to work unpaid”. Please post a correction asap.

Esther McVey the “Secretary of State can mandate the claimant to apply for, attend & start a work experience placement as part of a work preparation requirement”
Advice for Decisions Makers Chapter K5: Low level sanctions
https://docs.google.com/viewer…

The Child Poverty Action Group gives advice of avoiding universal credit “work experience” benefit sanctions.

How can you avoid a work preparation sanction?

“‘Work preparation’ is specified activity which you are required to undertake which makes it more likely that you will obtain paid work, or more or better paid work. It could include going on training courses, drawing up a CV, undertaking work experince and taking part in a work-focussed health assessment.”
http://www.cpag.org.uk/…/ask-cpag-online-avoiding…

Law on mandatory work experience as a ‘Work preparation requirement’ in the Welfare Reform Act 2012http://www.legislation.gov.uk/…/2012/5/section/16/enacted “

canaryfacebookcomment

[5] Related articles?

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DWP’s Find A Job site, cannot be mandated if you have already registered with another jobsite?

New JSA and UC claims: Day 1 conditions

“‘Day 1 Completed’ when the claimant has…created an account and uploaded a CV in another jobsite instead” of “the new [‘Find a job’] service” [1]

FOI reply 30 July 2018 ‘Find a job information, intranet pages and content , telephony scripts, downloads , documents and text of discussions

[ All info on FindAJob.dwp.gov.uk ]

Footnote

[1] “Operational Instructions Changes
Various pieces of JSA and UC Live Service operational instructions are being amended.
In particular, the Day 1 Conditionality instructions will say that creating an account and uploading a CV in ‘Find a job’ will form part of Day 1 Conditionality. However, because of the changes in the new [‘Find a job’] service, it may be more appropriate for claimants to create an account and upload a CV in another jobsite instead. So for example, where the claimant has already created an account and uploaded a CV with another jobsite prior to the Initial Work Search Interview, or where the claimant has not done so, but after discussion between the work coach and claimant at this interview, it is deemed more appropriate to do this instead of creating an account and uploading a CV in ‘Find a job’, then the claimant will have met Day 1 conditionality or may be mandated to complete this activity.  This means the Day 1 Conditionality Pilot marker may be set as ‘Day 1 Completed’ when the claimant has created an account and uploaded a CV in ‘Find a job’, or (if the work coach deems it more appropriate), created an account and uploaded a CV in another jobsite instead.”
FOI reply 30 July 2018 ‘Find a job information, intranet pages and content , telephony scripts, downloads , documents and text of discussions

Work and Health Programme: You do not have to sign WHP documents or give reasons for not signing. #DoNotSign

“There is no specific legislation that requires a Work and Health Programme (WHP)
voluntary participant to give a reason for declining to sign an action plan. We have asked
providers to note any reasons offered for the refusal to sign but the participant is not forced to supply a reason. A WHP mandatory participant is expected to comply with any
mandated activities set out in the action plan but again no legislation compels them to sign or provide reasons for refusing to sign, however, a failure to adhere to the mandated actions set out in the plan may lead to a compliance doubt referral being raised. ”
FOI reply – 31 July 2018: ‘Work and Health Programme: Participants “must” sign action planning evidence or give reason(s) for not doing so?

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