Work and Health Programme, 6 providers named and shamed!

[Related: Draft WHP guidance]

6 providers for the new Work and Health Programme (WHP):

Area Successful provider
Central England Shaw Trust
North East Reed In Partnership
North West Ingeus
Southern Pluss
Home Counties Shaw Trust
Wales Remploy

Local government partners in London and Greater Manchester have been given funding under devolution deals and are selecting their own providers.

In Scotland, funding for employment programmes for unemployed and disabled people was devolved in line with the Scotland Act.

The Work and Health Programme is not available in Northern Ireland.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/touchbase-dwp-news-about-work-working-age-benefits-and-services/october-2017-touchbase-edition-122

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Youth Workfare exploiters in England, Scotland and Wales to be named and shamed… #YOBSS

The DWP has disclosed a full list of Jobcentres* that are organising zero wage forced-labour workfare for young people aged 18 to 21 on it’s Youth Obligation benefit sanctions scheme (YOBSS).

The names of employers, including charities, third sector and public authorities, exploiting the YOBSS forced-labour can be named and shamed by making a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, which could focus on likes of a specific Jobcentre. Workfare conscripts are also free to name and shame their exploiters.

Recent FOI workfare disclosures

*More jobcentres will offer YOBSS when they start the Universal Credit full service. (UCFS)

Workfare definitions

DWP – “workfare activities are sometimes referred to as ‘unpaid work experience’, ‘community service’ or ‘work for benefits’”
Source: DWP Research Report No 533 ‘A comparative review of workfare programmes in the United States, Canada and Australia’ – (2008)

Boycott Workfare – “a UK-wide campaign to end forced unpaid work for people who receive welfare” (website) – “Campaign to abolish forced unpaid labour” (twitter)

Keep Volunteering Voluntary – “Workfare is the name given to government schemes where unemployed and disabled people have to work in return for their benefits.” (website) – “Keep it Voluntary Promoting the Keep Volunteering Voluntary agreement in the voluntary sector. For volunteering, against workfare” (twitter)

Welfare Reform Act (2009)
“Work for your benefit” schemes etc.

Welfare Reform Act (2012) – Universal Credit
Section 16 Work preparation requirement

(3) (e) undertaking work experience or a work placement

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.”

Hansard: Clare Short MP – 14th December 1987

Workfare States

“Contemporary workfare policies rarely involve job creation on any significant scale, along the lines of the old-fashioned public-works programs; they are more concerned with deterring welfare claims and necessitating the acceptance of low-paid, unstable jobs in the context of increasingly “flexible” labour markets. Stripped down to it’s labour-regulatory essence, workfare is not about creating jobs for people that don’t have them; it is about creating workers for jobs that nobody wants. In a Foucauldian sense, it is seeking to make “docile bodies” for the new economy: flexible, self-reliant and self-disciplining”

Source: Jamie Peck in Workfare States (2001)

Download: https://refutedarchive.wordpress.com/2016/07/07/the-future-of-workfare-in-england/

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DWP says Universal Credit Journal not mandatory for your Work Search records or CV. Why?

[Related: You must use a Universal Credit journal to provide your CV or Jobsearch record?]

After numerous queries on Jobcentre Work ‘Coaches’ requiring Universal Credit (UC) claimants to use their online UC account Journal to upload CV and Work Search records onto, the DWP says it is not mandatory.

It is not a mandatory requirement for the claimant to provide the required work search evidence via their journal. The claimant must be able to provide written evidence of their work search.

It is not mandatory for the claimant to upload their CV onto the journal, the claimant must however be able to show a completed and up to date CV. ”
(emphasis added)
Source: ‘Using a netbook or digital screen device to provide evidence’ – DWP FOI reply 4201 – 20 October 2017

However, claimants will need to ensure that they do not get bullied by a Work ‘Coach’ to use their Claimant Commitment (CC) to ‘agree’ putting their CV or Work Search records on the UC Journal . The CC can be used to ‘agree’ to provide the CV and Work Search records using one’s own/non DWP ‘netbook or digital screen’ or shown as printed paper copies.

Showing a printed record of Work Search records

The DWP confirms that the overarching UC claimant obligation is to show “written evidence of their work search”, the CC can be used for this to be the likes of a printed diary of Work Search activity.

Showing a printed CV

The DWP reply also says “the claimant must…be able to show a completed and up to date CV”, which suggests a claimant can just ‘agree’ “show” a printed copy of their “completed and up to date CV” using the CC.

Jobmatch and Journal contradiction

A central contradiction is why DWP requires claimant permission to view Universal Jobmatch account users CV and Work Search records, but no equivalent ‘rules’ exist for the UC Journal? The DWP can’t even be bothered to write Journal guidance.

We do not have guidance on DWP staff and Jobcentre work coach access and claimant use of UC online account or to-do lists
Source: ‘Universal Credit claimant’s Journal, to-do lists and Claimant Commitment.’ – DWP FOI reply 3771  – 2 October 2017

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Fair Start Scotland, employment scheme. “Participation will be entirely voluntary”

and

Fair Start Scotland – Successful  contract bidders.
Reminder: Scotland’s ‘Youth Obligation‘ no wage compulsory work or lose benefits workfare is not voluntary and workfare is integrated into Universal Credit. (Welfare Reform Act 2012, Section 16 (3)(e))

Contract area Local authority Successful Bidder Delivery Partners/Sub Contracted Estimated Value (up to £ million)
1 – Glasgow Glasgow

People Plus Group Ltd (Private)

  • Remploy (Supported Business)
  • Momentum (Third Sector)
  • The Lennox Partnership (Third Sector)
19.1
2 – Lanarkshire

N Lanarkshire

S Lanarkshire

Remploy Limited (Supported
Business)

  • ENABLE Scotland (Third Sector)
  • Routes to Work South (Third Sector)
12.6
3 – Tayside

Angus

Dundee City

Perth and Kinross

Remploy Limited (Supported
Business)

  • Rathbone (Third Sector)
  • The Wise Group (Third Sector)
  7.3
4 – Forth Valley

Falkirk

Stirling

Clackmannanshire

Falkirk Council (Public Sector)

  • Falkirk Council (Public Sector)
  • Clackmannanshire Council (Public Sector)
  • Stirling Council (Public Sector)
  • NHS Forth Valley (Public Sector)
5.0
5 – East

City of Edinburgh

East Lothian

Midlothian

Scottish Borders

West Lothian

Fife

Start Scotland Limited

(Private and Third Sector
Partnership)

  • Momentum (Third Sector)
  • Triage (Private)
  • Working Links (Private)
21.3
6 – Southwest

North Ayrshire

South Ayrshire

East Ayrshire

Dumfries and Galloway

Start Scotland Limited (Private and
Third Sector Partnership)

  • Working Links (Private)
  • Rathbone (Third Sector)
  • The Lennox Partnership (Third Sector)
  • The Wise Group (Third Sector)
  10.1
7 – Northeast

Aberdeen City

Aberdeenshire

Momentum Scotland (Third Sector)

  • Life Skills Centres Limited (Private)
  • ENABLE Scotland (Third Sector)
  • Aberdeen Foyer (Third Sector)
  • Scottish Association for Mental Health (Third Sector)
  • Enterprise Mentoring Ltd (Private)
5.6
8 – Highlands and Islands

Argyll and Bute

Eilean Siar

Highland

Moray

Orkney Islands

Shetland Islands

People Plus Ltd (Private)

  • Argyll and Bute Council (Public Sector)
  • Life Skills Centres Ltd (Private)
  • Lochaber Hope (Third Sector)
  • Momentum Scotland (Third Sector)
  • Third Sector Hebrides (Third Sector)
  • 2020 Clearview Ltd (Private)
6.2
9 – West

E Renfrewshire

Renfrewshire

E Dunbartonshire

W Dunbartonshire

Inverclyde

The Wise Group (Third Sector)

  • Scottish Association for Mental Health (Third Sector)
  • The Lennox Partnership (Third Sector)
  • Working Links (Private)
  • ENABLE Scotland (Third Sector)
  • Royal National Institute for the Blind (Third Sector)
8.8

Source http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=11129&i=101512&c=2028902 and http://www.employabilityinscotland.com/devolved-employment-services/employment-support-2018/

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UC: Sanctions for refusing a 12.6 hour working day, 5 days a week?

Related: ‘Tory peer says Brexit is good because young people will be able [required] to work longer hours[under Universal Credit]’ and ‘Under 25? You must spend 48 hours a week looking for work on Universal Credit?

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You must use a Universal Credit journal to provide your CV or Jobsearch record?

[Update (20/10/17) ‘DWP says Universal Credit Journal not mandatory for your Work Search records or CV. Why?

Below is a details of an FOI request on claimant’s being required to provide their CV or Jobsearch record to a  Work Coach via the claimant’s own Universal Credit account journal. There are a number of FOI requests on this and similar topics, so the comments below explore what options UC claimants can pursue to lessen use of the journal.

[1] WDTK annotation: ‘CV on the UC Journal’ (edited)
[1.1] Section 23 of The Welfare Reform Act 2012, Chapter 2
[1.2] Compliance with a work-related requirement and provision of information and evidence specified and confirming compliance in a manner so specified by the DWP (Secretary of State)
[1.3] Jobmatch and showing a CV at the outset of a UC claim
[2] Jobsearch record via a UC journal
[3] Following these suggestions will prevent sanctions?
[3.1] What about Universal Jobmatch and the UC Journal?

[1] WDTK annotation: ‘CV on the UC Journal’ (edited)

The DWP seems to be suggesting putting a CV on the UC Journal is a way to provide evidence of having a CV, as “a work-related requirement”[see 1.1]. They seem to suggest the claimant can show this ‘evidence’ on likes of a claimants’ own smartphone or other digital device “screen” or as a “printed copy”.

“but alternatively they [claimant] could show their coach on screen or by printed copy”
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4…

So it’s unclear if a Work Coach can refuse a claimants’ wish to show their CV on their own smartphone or other digital device “screen” or as a “printed copy”. Therefore the Work Coach can be requested to use the claimant commitment to record showing of a CV via a claimants own smartphone or other digital device “screen” or as a “printed copy”.

“Coaches should discuss and agree with the claimant
how best evidence should be provided,
as this may differ depending on the claimant.
The claimant commitment will record what is
agreed and is then accepted by the claimant. ”
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4…

The above quote clearly suggests the coach and claimant should “agree” how the CV “should be provided” (allowed to view and not retain) and therefore it is unclear how a coach could force a claimant to use the UC journal rather than claimants own smartphone or other digital device “screen” or as a “printed copy”.

The DWP response says “The coach does not need to retain a copy of the CV”, if sent via a UC journal then the DWP/coach would appear to always retain and view a copy, this again suggests a CV can be provided via a claimants own smartphone or other digital device “screen” or as a “printed copy”.
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4…

[1.1] Section 23 of The Welfare Reform Act 2012, Chapter 2

“(3) The Secretary of State may, for the purpose of verifying the claimant’s compliance with a work-related requirement, require a claimant to—

(a) provide to the Secretary of State information and evidence specified by the Secretary of State in a manner so specified;

(b) confirm compliance in a manner so specified”
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/201…

[1.2] Compliance with a work-related requirement and provision of information and evidence specified and confirming compliance in a manner so specified by the DWP (Secretary of State)

The DWP FOI reply suggests that a UC claimant commitment (CC) is the tool a Work Coach will use with a claimant for both to mutually agree the specified information and evidence required and the specific manner compliance will be confirmed, with regards “a work-related requirement”.

The reply also suggests a Work Coach and claimant can record on a CC that they agree for a CV to be viewed and not retained only as a “printed copy”, when one has been requested as “a work-related requirement”.

[1.3] Jobmatch and showing a CV at the outset of a UC claim

When attending a new UC claim Jobcentre interview a claimant can show a Work Coach their up to date CV, this should also prevent it being included as a CC “work-related requirement”.  Though the CC can include an obligation to keep a CV up to date and tailored for specific jobs, as well as create a Universal Jobmatch account and upload a ‘public‘ CV.

[2] Jobsearch record via a UC journal

The same arguments could be used with regards provision of Jobsearch ‘evidence’. IE Agreeing via claimant commitment to provide a record of jobsearch as a printed copy or claimants’ own screen to show the Work Coach and not enabling the coach to retain the ‘evidence’/record.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/adding_cv_to_uc_journal#outgoing-681679

[3] Following these suggestions will prevent sanctions?

If a claimant can get the Work Coach to mutually agree that they do not need to use the UC Journal to share and enable the DWP to retain a copy of their CV or Jobsearch record then this can mitigate against related sanctions. This is because it would be much more difficult for the DWP to sanction a claimant when they have not retained the evidence.

By the DWP not having a UC journal of this claimant information prevents the DWP from picking over the likes of a Jobsearch record to find spurious reasons to sanction.

[3.1] What about Universal Jobmatch and the UC Journal?

With Universal Jobmatch (UJ) the DWP requires the permission (consent) of the claimant for a Work Coach to gain access to their account. It would appear a Work Coach seeking to get a  claimant to agree to use their UC Journal to provide a record of the Jobsearch activity via UJ seems to be a tactic to defeat DWP’s requirement for UJ permission.

A claimant can argue they keep a Jobsearch record on UJ and seek to get the agreement recorded in their claimant commitment they they will provide (show) a copy of this UJ Jobsearch record on likes of a claimants’ own smartphone or other digital device “screen” or as a “printed copy”, noting:

63. However, the onus is on the claimant to provide evidence that they have
created a profile and public CV by whatever means they choose.
89…the onus is on the claimant to provide evidence of their
jobsearch activity (by whatever means they choose).
Source: DWP FOI reply 25 July 2017

Related: ‘Universal Jobmatch: Why does DWP need your permission (consent) to access your account?

 

 

 

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Countdown to new Youth Workfare in England, Scotland and Wales – #YOBSS

youthworkfare

From October 2017 young people age 18 to 21 in England, Scotland and Wales on the DWP’s Youth Obligation benefit sanctions scheme (YOBSS) for 6 months without finding paid work, will be referred on a mandatory basis to the following zero wage schemes:

  1. Traineeships
    “can last up to 6 months” and “You won’t be paid”
    https://www.gov.uk/find-traineeship
  2. Sector based work academy
  3. Guaranteed work experience (3 month placements)

Failure to attend will result in benefit sanctions.

Related:

Halfords and Prudential criticised over unpaid traineeships
“Under the youth obligation scheme, which was introduced at the end of April, 18 to 21-year-olds who have not taken on any kind of work experience for six months after signing on can lose their benefits if they turn down all three options.[See 1, 2, and 3 above]” Guardian – Tuesday 12 September 2017

Halfords criticised over unpaid traineeships
“…employment rights lobbyists and experts have criticised the use of sanctions that could essentially force young people into unpaid work experience.” Retail Gazette – Tuesday 12 September 2017

Poundland ‘gets jobless to work for free under government scheme

“Participants in DWP work experience programme say budget chain used them to stack shelves all day” Guardian – Wednesday 30 August 2017

 

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

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