Home > Unemployment > Jobseekers tricked into being eligible for Mandatory Work Activity

Jobseekers tricked into being eligible for Mandatory Work Activity

If you are issued an code LFW1 “Looking for work” form – it might be in your best interests to avoid filling it in and refuse into surrendering it for their use and abuse.

Work Programme Network has formulated a potential 8 categories of circumstances that will form someones eligibility (or chance of eligibility) onto the Mandatory Work Activity scheme. Six are as proposed by DWP, one is of claimants deemed not to be meeting the jobseeking conditions (due to this being granted as how Jobcentre Plus advisers will judge eligibility although strangely enough neither of the six proposed conditions are consisting of that) and the final one category is basically “none of the above”: even if its rare, due to the eligibility being discretion based there will be advisers over the 4 years referring someone due to dislike over other criteria.

Just to recap what this “questionnaire” (that isn’t anonymous) is for:

  • Checking you are adhering to your Jobseekers Agreement
  • Checking if you are Actively Seeking Employment
  • Checking if you are Available for Work
  • Checking if you are eligible by your own admission into the Mandatory Work Activity scheme
  • Checking if you have applied for jobs (that were not Jobseeker Directions) for any employer names you specify on such form
  • Checking if you have registered for recruitment agencies and jobsearch websites
  • Tricking the claimant into stating they are not ready for work by means of misleading questions

This can result in:

  • Eligibility to the Mandatory Work Activity scheme, and/or
  • Sanction doubts deemed to be from not meeting the “jobseeking conditions” – up to 6 month benefit sanctions; or
  • Claim closed

This form (although implied) isn’t mandatory, however, if you allow the Jobcentre Plus to trip you up; this form although not signed will be used against you.  If you aren’t looking for work I hope you lose your benefits but its not fair for the rest of us jobseekers to be tricked into benefit sanctions.

In regards to this LFW1 form being posted or randomly handed in… the fact that its not signed means it cannot legally be attributed to you, however when you are at an signing on appointment which you are legally obligated to declare any work or change of circumstances, it will be claimed an implied contract of the disclosure of such content was made.

This is why it asks for jobseekers to submit such at the beginning of the “discussion” this is so your signature when you sign on makes such questionnaire attributed to you. Perhaps they will get you to sign to say you have handed it over.

In some cases you might be asked to complete such questionnaire during such appointment – you must refuse.

It is absolutely useless as an anonymous questionnaire, so arguing for your name to be removed and filling in another without such information, will only result in the adviser sticking those details in at a later date.

My suggestions are:

  • If we all refuse it, it becomes less likely that we will be placed on the Mandatory Work Activity scheme as default due to refusal to complete it (initially there is only a set number of placements)
  • There is no law requiring anyone to complete the questionnaire
  • Avoid being tricked into benefit sanctions
  • Let the adviser know you are looking for work (as you have been asked to prove every 2 weeks)
  • Let the adviser know the types of jobs you looking for etc. are located on the Jobseekers Agreement
About these ads
  1. ken
    April 20, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    well the emphasis appears to be on sanctions and the individual is really a victim of mischief within the government/dwp. from whats been said here,talk of a “humanitarian situation” in liverpool by the clergy.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/apr/11/jobcentres-benefit-sanctions

    this looks to be a follow up of the whistleblower disclosure released earlier,there looks to be no shortage of controversy.

    the mandatory work activity,there is no mention of what this involves in regards to actual work types’.

    • April 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      *** PLEASE READ THIS IF YOU HAVE BENN SANCTIONED: So if you are sanctioned yourself, have experience being sanctioned, or work with those who have had benefits cut off, tell us about it here. If you work in a Jobcentre or have done, we are also very interested to hear your perspective. If you feel more comfortable contacting us directly, please email me at john.domokos@guardian.co.uk

      Thanks to Ken (above) for this.

  2. DMA
    April 21, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    “If you aren’t looking for work I hope you lose your benefits” – er… having to present evidence of actively seeking work is a condition of receiving Jobseekers’ Allowance. Just thought I would let you know that. Regards DMA

    • Andrew Coates
      April 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm

      Seeking work is pretty hard when, say, the Evening Star in Ipswich had, this Friday, around six job ads.

      • April 23, 2011 at 6:00 pm

        Last time I used the jobpoints (last week) at Ipswich Job centre…

        I selected recent local jobs… and I kid you not by the third page they were all abroad… funny enough, I kept going… and about 6 pages later, I started getting UK jobs slightly further away.

        So its was like Ipswich etc. then spread out through Europe, and then back to places like Norwich, London, Derby, Kent etc.

  3. Philip K Dick
    April 21, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I can foresee the time that after say 12 months the unemployed are classed as “criminally insane” – after all what other conclusion is there (for a Totalitarian/ConDemn Government to draw) – and removed from society to a “facility” never to be seen again.

    • mark
      May 12, 2011 at 10:35 am

      All the people making money of the backs of the unemployed, all the corrupt civil servants, karma is a powerfull force you will have to know what it feels like to be exploited yourselfs, only then will look back in shame lesson learned.

      • Galations
        May 12, 2011 at 10:50 am

        “Whatever a person soweth, that shall they also reap”

        Galations 6:7

        Life plays some queer tricks; but one of them isn’t letting us get away with it.

  4. ken
    April 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    i have notice that half page of job adds spread between two pages in the local paper.the dwp site has two pages also before final page on selecting all.
    jobs are being left on there with closing dates six months from the opening date.

  5. The Mole
    April 24, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Maybe Just ‘MAYBE’ Your ESJ4O will have a barcode put on it and ‘MAYBE’ just ‘MAYBE’ this will need to be swiped to use the Jobpoints. Just ‘MAYBE’

  6. Wise Group Protest
    May 1, 2011 at 10:56 am

    There appears to some *outrage* even on sites like this one over the failure of the Wise Group to win any of the Work Programme contracts.

    It is worth pointing out that the Wise Group are complete and utter scum. Strip away the glossy PR propaganda and this evil organisation is just as brutal and callous as the rest of the welfare-to-work-providers.

    It is also worth noting that the Wise Group sub-contracts to A4e and were party to the abuse of Edinburgh claimant Peter in a shocking case of Human Rights abuse exposed by Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty.

    http://www.indymediascotland.org/node/23849

    News of the impending redundancies at the Wise Group are nothing to cry over but rather a cause for celebration.

  7. May 3, 2011 at 12:20 am

    Boycott Workfare Meeting – 7pm, Wed 4th May

    7pm, Wednesday 4th May, Wetherspoons opposite the Town Hall on Mare St, Hackney

    A meeting to build the campaign to put a stop to the government’s plans to make ‘voluntary’ work compulsory. Already people are being forced to “volunteer” in places like Poundland, Primark and Tesco’s. Voluntary groups and charities are being pressured to accept this new form of forced labour instead of genuine volunteers.

    Come along to this meeting to plan how to make sure more people hear about the Boycott Workfare pledge and to discuss strategies for stopping work-for-your-benefits schemes in their tracks.

    To contact us: info@boycottworkfare.org

    • Libby Suffolk
      May 4, 2011 at 11:22 am

      What actions are you planning?

  8. May 3, 2011 at 12:26 am

    Workfare – compulsory work for benefits – is being rolled-out across the country. We call on public sector bodies, voluntary organisations and businesses being offered these placements as well as union branches to join others in signing a pledge to boycott the scheme.

    As workfare, i.e. compulsory work for benefits, is being rolled-out across the country, we call on public sector bodies, non-profits, trade unions and all other organisations being offered these placements to join others in signing a pledge to boycott the scheme.

    A call for organisations to boycott workfare

    We have knowledge of claimants being inadequately trained for the work they do (particularly health and safety training), working exceedingly long shifts, and bullying in the workplace. Claimants are often not given any choice as to where they work or the sort of work they do.

    Workfare placements will not benefit your organisation:

    * Signing the pledge will improve your public image
    * Workfare will create a two tier system in your work places, where people are not treated equal, which is contrary to the council’s equal opportunities policies and the law.
    * Forced volunteers will not have had to the necessary in-house training or other training opportunities
    * Single parents will be forced to leave their children unattended and unprotected when they are forced to work, which is illegal.
    * People will be prevented from seeking proper work with a proper wage and employment rights. They will also be prevented from training or studying for better work.

    * Compulsory unpaid labour will create an atmosphere of resentment as existing public workers are sacked as they are under-cut by the Single Work Programme.

    * No organisation wants to be seen to be using slave labour.

    We want decent work, training and income for everyone. Workfare will not provide any of these. It is being rolled out at a time when education and training schemes, housing benefit and other public services are being cut. Unpaid work inevitably replaces paid jobs and pushes wages down.

    You may be asked to accept workfare placements for anything from a month to six months as part of the new ‘Single Work Programme’. Something similar is already in place under The Flexible New Deal.

    Many claimants wish to contribute to their communities and learn new skills through freely choosing to. However, under workfare arrangements public sector bodies will end up having to police the very people they want to help. Public sector bodies will be expected to monitor the attendance of people on these work programmes, report on their behaviour, and provide other information to the DWP that can result in severe penalties for recipients.

    There have been ’679,820 New Deal Sanctions’ since the year 2000 creating great hardship for the poorest of those amongst us

    We are asking you to refuse to participate in compulsory work placements and to do so publicly. Even if your council or department has no intention of accepting workfare placements it would help us prevent the imposition of workfare elsewhere if you would sign the pledge.

    In addition we are asking you not to enter into contractual relationships with companies, groups or organisations who are using people who are on these compulsory work programmes. You should not grant trading licences or planning permission to organisation or companies who are signed up to the Single Work Programme.

    Signed by:

    Welfare Action Hackney
    Kilburn Unemployed Workers
    London Coalition Against Poverty
    Disabled People Against Cuts
    Notts IWW (Industrial Workers of the World, Nottingham & Notts General Membership Branch)
    Kilburn Boycott Workfare
    Arts Against Cuts
    Precarious Workers Brigade

    * A call for councils to boycott workfare

    * A call for organisations to boycott workfare

    * A call for unions to oppose workfare

    * A Union motion – boycott workfare to bring to your trade union branch.

  9. May 3, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    **** From the 1st July 2011 the remit of the Independent Case Examiner (ICE)will be extended to include dealing with complaints about providers.

    Many regular visitors to this blog will be familiar with the name of Kyron. I followed up on something he posted on another blog, and last week got official confirmation that ICE really will be dealing with complaints about providers. I’ve no experience of ICE, so cannot vouch for how effective they will be. But compared to what we had before – nothing – this has to be a step in the right direction!

    Three cheere for Kyron!!!

    • Anonymous
      May 3, 2011 at 4:43 pm

      Some providers have got like a little postcard that you’re supposed to fill in with your complaint. And that’s the last you here :-)

      • Libby Suffolk
        May 4, 2011 at 11:20 am

        Like Avanta TNG?

        They throw them away. Its best to send them off to HQ: not stick them in the provided box.

    • May 3, 2011 at 10:29 pm

      ICE are f-u-cking sh!t. A waste of time. I like this concept though – although the ICE will be the last step requiring you to exhaust the providers/jobcentre plus complaints procedure.

  10. May 5, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Law graduates and surveyors clamour for £6-an-hour butcher job

    fter spending years getting to grips with the intricacies of our legal system, a career chopping up meat probably wasn’t what they had in mind.

    But in a vivid sign of just how hard it is to get a job in Britain’s near-stagnant economy, it emerged yesterday that law graduates were among 235 people who applied when a butcher advertised for apprentices.

    Despite being promised a salary barely above minimum wage, out-of-work managers and surveyors also sent in applications to learn the trade from Doug Ewens, who has just opened a stall in Blackburn market.

    Mr Ewens, 43, said he could not believe the level of interest from people who would normally expect a well-paid professional job but were prepared to work for just over £6 an hour.

    ‘We’ve been flabbergasted at the applicants,’ he said. ‘Lots of graduates have applied with absolutely no butcher or counter experience but holding law degrees.

    ‘There were people with a lot of qualifications but who’d never worked in a butcher’s before – graduates, lawyers, solicitors, surveyors.

    ‘It’s unbelievable but just shows the state of the country at this moment in time.’

    Mr Ewens placed an advert in the local Jobcentre seeking two apprentices, with some experience preferred. ‘We didn’t realise the kind of response we would get – 235 applied,’ he said.

    Some were even prepared to work for nothing for a month.

    But Mr Ewens said irrelevant qualifications were not going to help applicants jump the queue.

    ‘We don’t want to take on a graduate who will be off as soon as another job comes along that suits their qualifications better,’ he added. Mr Ewens has narrowed the applicants down to a shortlist of people with suitable experience and is preparing to interview them.

    The British economy grew by just 0.5 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

    Unemployment dropped by 17,000 to 2.48million in the three months to February, but analysts said the outlook remained gloomy.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1383580/Law-graduates-managers-clamour-6-hour-butcher-job.html

    • May 6, 2011 at 8:41 am

      Whats new about that? Happens all the time. Despite all the students studying law there are limited numbers of internships etc. so most have to start off doing misc jobs. Pretty much like most graduates full stop.

      A butchers instead of the typical retail or office job? Unusual, not heard of but happens. Just because someone has a law degree and applies for a job doesn’t mean they will take it. You might be surprised at how many graduates will get interview experience by applying for jobs they have no intention of getting. Some wont even bother turning up for the interview. All a confidence thing.

      • Stephanie
        May 6, 2011 at 10:46 am

        Excellent observations, Work Programme. It is not just in job interviews that this sort of thing occurs, it is always a good idea to cut your teeth on the job, fish or whatever that you don’t really want. If you think about it, it would be a really stupid idea for a law graduate to go for the big job at the top law firm as their first interview, better to get some practice in first at the local butchers, iron out those teething troubles. No harm in sending out CVs just to test the waters. Practice does make perfect after all. These kind of jobs make for good practice material, but try telling any of this to that bureaucratic nightmare that is jobcentre plus, they’d stop your benefits for 3 years!

  11. Dave
    May 15, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Nuneaton Peopleserve treat us like dirt.The female staff are nasty and aggressive.We are treated like we are sub human.Also many people have been sanctioned.They try to ‘catch you out.’One guy nipped to the toilet, and was phoned by a member of staff to ask if he had his CV on him,as rules say ‘you must have it with you at all times.’He was given a sanction.They pick on people all the time.They are on a ‘power trip.’Inflating their egos.

  12. Dave
    May 15, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    One claiment at Nuneaton Peopleserve was sanctioned for going to his daughter’s wedding. Because it meant that he was ‘unavailable for work on that day.’

    • Dorreen
      May 16, 2011 at 11:58 am

      Reed in Partnership sanctioned a claimant for going to his father’s funeral. Because it meant that he was ‘unavailable for work on that day.’ How cruel is that? These organisations and the people that work for them are pure evil One day they will mess with the wrong claimant and they will be back to slice the advisor’s effing head off. Oh, I would cry with laughter :-)

  13. Dave
    May 18, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Nuneaton Peopleserve chip away at people’s self esteem, and keep on saying to people, “have’nt you got a job yet.” There is an oldish customer there who has become very withdrawn and depressed. They put people in impossible situations, like job interviews when people should be signing on. Several times customers have been sent to travel somewhere for an interview, only to arrive, and to been told that the interviewer does not know anything about it.There is a lot of bullying going on, and I have seen mature men in tears there.

  14. amielouisewilliams
    May 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    This week will see the start of Mandatory Work Activity contracts in London, the East and Yorkshire & Humberside.

    The Mandatory Work Activity programme will allow Jobcentre Plus advisers to refer jobseekers that need additional support to get back to work onto mandatory work activity. If an adviser believes a jobseeker will benefit from experiencing the habits and routines of working life, they have the power to refer them to a four week placement. Placements might include doing maintenance work for housing residents, renovating and recycling old furniture, working in a local sports club or supporting charitable organisations.

    The scheme, which will be delivered by a range of organisations from the private, voluntary and third sector will be available throughout the country by the beginning of June.

    Every work placement will offer the jobseeker the opportunity to gain fundamental work disciplines and will be of benefit to the local community. Participants will be expected to spend up to 30 hours a week, for four weeks, on their Work Activity placement and will be required to continue to look for work.

    Customers who fail to complete a placement without good cause will lose their Jobseeker’s Allowance for a minimum of 3 months.

  15. Chris
    May 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Who has got the Flexible New Deal contract for Nuneaton?A new provider is starting up in the area.

  16. Obi Wan Kenobi
    June 16, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    I signed on this morning and enquired about the new work for your benefits programme.

    I was told that once reffered to this programme via a private provider, (in this case Business Employment Services Training Ltd (BEST) in Cheapside, Bradford, West Yorkshire) that I would still have to sign on at the Jobcentre every 2 weeks, but I would then be kept with this provider to complete a four week work activity, after that I would still be kept with this provider indefinately until I have found a proper paying job.

    I was telling my friend this, so he phoned the Jobcentre and asked about the same thing and got a totally different answer, they told him that yes you do go to the provider, but only until your four weeks work activity has finished and then it’s back to the Jobcentre. I am now confused as the Jobcentres seem to be giving out two seperate stories.

    I had the misfortune of being at BEST in 2009 on the now defunked New Deal Programme, this provder was a disgrace, there were 25 people in a small classroom sharing only 4 computers, out of date newspapers and telephone directories, I was coming home with flea bites on a daily basis, people who stank because they hadn’t washed in day’s, there were people smoking cannabis right outside of building in full view of the tutors who turn a blind eye to it, and the tutor’s thought they were god’s theatening to stop peoples’s benefit when they knew they couldn’t (this used to work with the younger end, but the older end knew better) as only your Jobcentre advisor could do that.

    And when we complained to the Jobcentre about this, they said put it in a letter, which we did, and never heard anymore about it, the Bradford Jobcentre has hundreds upon hundreds of complaint letters regarding BEST, but they just sweep it all under the carpet, they know, but don’t want to know.

    When I was at BEST they had a really poor record of getting people into sustained employment, I know this because I asked an advisor at the Jobcentre about there record where jobs were concerned, the advisor just laughed and said they were only getting 2.1 per cent of people sent to BEST into employment.With a record like that I don’t think BEST will hold on to there new contract for long.

    The new sanctions whilst with the provider are harsh, 1st is 13 weeks 2nd is 6 months 3rd is 3 years, any of which get all of your benefits stopped (inc. housing and council tax benefit) for the time your sanction is in effect. Just the first one would get people kicked out of their homes onto the streets, because the wouldn’t be able to pay their rent and people would have to turn to crime just to put some food into their stomachs.

    • June 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm

      You do 4 weeks (I got rid of “only” and “just” in my original comment).

      So your Jobcentre Plus office are lying to you to intimidate you.

      However, they could refer you back AGAIN time after time. For some people (such as the likes of me no doubt as they see me as a threat to their crappy organisation) they will be repeatedly placed back on to this scheme to force you into benefit sanctions (or to sign off) – they will quote you as not developing enough “work ethic” and discipline.

    • Andrew Coates
      June 17, 2011 at 3:05 pm

      Obi, sounds worse than our experiences here.

      I suppose you went to the MPs as well.

      The more stink you kick up the better.

      Like publicising through this site and others.

      I doubt if such abuses will stop in the future. Work Programme is going to come unstuck, because I don’t see any measures to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t go on.

      In fact the pressure on cost saving and profits for the providers make it more probable.

      • Obi Wan Kenobi
        June 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm

        I’ve even e-mailed Ian Duncan Smith to get the full explanation of how WfYB works, from the time your Jobcentre advisor tells you – you have been referred to the new WfYB, to what happens while your on it , to when it ends. I’m trying to find an offical flowchart of this, but as yet I haven’t.

        I’ll keep looking and If I find one I will post it up on here.

  17. Obi Wan Kenobi
    June 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Just Found this, it’s the rules and regulations of the new work programme, go to this website, you will need adobe reader for the page to open.

    http://ssac.independent.gov.uk/pdf/mandatory-work-activity.pdf

    • Crystal Balls
      June 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm

      From page 5:
      “Mandatory Work Activity is intended to target the small number of customers who do enough to meet the conditions of their claim while at the same time continually failing to demonstrate the focus and discipline that is a key requirement of finding, securing and retaining employment. We expect the majority of these customers to be referred during the pre-Work Programme stage of their customer journey.”

      I.e. mandatory work activity and the work programme aren’t the same.

    • Milly Tant
      June 20, 2011 at 8:08 am

      The DWP have some 25 PDFs on Provider Guidance.
      If your on a job programme or about to commence the Work Programmeone you really should check these out.

      For example, as regrds placements it clearly states you should not be doing the same work as a paid employee.

      Here’something interesting: If you file a complaint with the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) against a provider and that complaint is upheld – partly or fully – the provider has to pay £5,000. :-)

      http://www.dwp.gov.uk/supplying-dwp/what-we-buy/welfare-to-work-services/provider-guidance/work-programme-provider.shtml

      Milly :-)

      • June 20, 2011 at 8:39 am

        Just to point out… provider guidance and the other advice documents published are not law. This means a jobseeker cannot use them to tweak a providers delivery and also cannot use them as “good cause”

        For example, if you were made to work the same as a paid employee or if the paid employee was doing less work than you be delegating it all to yourself – if you failed/refused to work – when you gave that reason to a Decision Maker , you will get sanctioned … no “good cause”.

        Providers do not even have to bother reading them a DWP are happy with contractual breaches (yes it forms part of their contract). They will also use the corporate body structure to avoid all responsibility… “oh it was an employee not the company” just like A4e did with the fraud!!

      • Crystal Balls
        June 20, 2011 at 9:28 am

        A very useful link Milly Tant. Thanks. :P

      • Milly Tant
        June 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm

        You’re welcome :-)

        Milly :-)

  18. Obi Wan Kenobi
    June 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Thanks Milly, Very Helpful

    • Milly Tant
      June 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      You’re welcome :-)

      Milly :-)

  19. Obi Wan Kenobi
    June 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    As far as I can tell, this is how the new WfYB Programme works:

    Anyone who has been signing on with the Jobcentre for 12 months or more will be referred to to a Provider, you then stay with this Provider for 104 weeks (this includes 2 four week work placements, one the first year and one the second year).

    Once you have completed 104 weeks, you are then sent back to the Jobcentre for another 12 months to sign on as normal, then the whole process repeats.

    They will have a job-on doing this in Bradford as the Provider who has won the WfYB contract only has space in it’s building for 300 people at any one time, (Health & Safety Regs) and only one building.

    There are thousands of people out of work in Bradford, and if you send 300 to this place for two years, where are they going to put the other thousands of people ?

  20. Obi Wan Kenobi
    July 8, 2011 at 8:41 am

    I have now been told by the Jobcentre to expect a letter from a provider called INGEUS with a start date, and they will then refer me to one of their partners, this is their web address if you want to check them out, they are nationwide.
    .
    http://www.ingeus.co.uk
    .
    Anyone who has been given a green signing on card will be referred to them automatically, you don’t sign any forms at the Jobcentre, the advisor just sends your details to them and Ingeus take’s control of your JSA claim from that point forward for the 2 year course you will be on, but you still sign on at the Jobcentre every two weeks.
    .
    Ingeus have their own complaints procedures, but they will just sweep it under the carpet as all the other provider’s used to do on the old New Deal Programme.
    .
    The Jobcentre advisors are telling people that if they have any complaints, they are not to tell the Jobcentre, but take it to your local MP’s and your local or national newspaper’s.

    • Andrew Coates
      July 8, 2011 at 11:06 am

      In Ipswich INGEUS have the contract (as do SEETEC).

      But people are actually sent to their sub-contractor, Papworth Trust.

      They’re in the old TNG Offices in Prince’s Street.

      INGEUS are in Foundation Street in the old MIND Drop-In Centre.

      I was told there is a complaint’s procedure inside Papeworth.

      • July 8, 2011 at 11:34 am

        TNG offices? Remember that YMCA Training used to be in there before they got kicked out… that building attracts some scum lol

  21. Obi Wan Kenobi
    July 10, 2011 at 11:27 am

    INGEUS used to be called WORKING LINKS, they used to be a provider for the old New Deal Programme.

    • July 11, 2011 at 7:53 pm

      Here’s a photo of some of my colleagues protesting inside a Working Links office a few years ago

      Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty protest inside Edinburgh office of Work Directions

      • Andrew Coates
        July 12, 2011 at 10:51 am

        I like the “While our intention is that this campaign be entirely peaceful we cannot rule out activities such as civil disobedience, pickets, demonstrations and widespread publicity which would adversely impact on your company’s situation.”

        It reminds me of the James Bond villain who says,

        “I myself am a man of peace. I abhor violence. But my friend Mr…….”

  22. Obi Wan Kenobi
    July 11, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Anyone who’s being put on a 4 week work programme, whilst being with a provider for 2 years, name and shame the firm your sent to in your local and national newspapers, or stand outside the firm with a placard stating “This firm uses unemployed people and doesn’t pay them” or worse to that effect.
    .
    The firms really won’t want that kind of bad publicity.

  23. Obi Wan Kenobi
    July 11, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    And name and shame the firms on the internet sites such as these kind of forums, newspaper forums and comments sections.

  24. July 11, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    If you can manage to avoid being signed up to the Work Programme within 15 days of being referred by the jobcentre the provider does not get the attachment fee- which is only a few quid a week.

    But at least you have the satisfaction of doing the provider out of some money + putting them to the inconvenience of them having to arrange another appointment.

    I was referred to Working Links (sub-contracted to poverty pimps A4e) by the jobcentre on the 7 June. Had three appointments – attnded 2 – no sanctions. According to A4e, on my last appintment (30 June), I’m to be re-referred to the Work Programme.

  25. Obi Wan Kenobi
    July 13, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Just been for my first appointment at our local INGEUS, it starts off friendly enough, then then ask you to sign two forms, one is called information disclosure for INGEUS to retain and which gives them the right to pass this information to other organisations as the law allows.
    .
    The second is a form of consent which is a combination for:

    1: DWP to pay Ingeus when you get a job.
    2: For DWP to validate that you have got a job
    3: For Ingeus and partners to give your name, address and nat. ins number to your future employer.
    4: So your employer can can confirm to Ingeus some or all of the following information:

    the date you begin working, whether your employment is continuing, if not continuing the date each employment period ended, whether you were employed during a specific period, the number of hours you worked each week, the amount of your earnings each week, your employee number or other unique identifier.

    5: To validate payment claims from Ingeus and delivery partners, DWP may contact your employer using your name and nat.ins to ask for the information listed above. It will use this information to:
    .
    Check if the information given to it by Ingeus and delivery partners is correct and to evaluate the programme.
    DWP will store your information securely for audit purposes.
    .
    It states on both forms that if you do not sign these forms or give consent that your benefits will not be affected, so I didn’t sign them, but I took them with me when I left (just to back myself up if Ingeus tried to stop my benefits for not signing the forms)
    .
    .
    Then the advisor asks you what kind of work you are looking for, so you tell him and then he states that he can send you for any kind of work, even if your doctor has told you not to do certain kinds of work, because of the fact that you are claiming JSA and as such you are fit for any kind of work or you wouldn’t be claiming JSA, we went round in circles with this arguement for about five minuites before he brought his manager over.
    Now the manger told me that I wouldn’t be sent for any job that would worsen my back condition, the advisor went very quiet at this point., so please stick to your guns when you have your first appointment and you will win through.

    Then they do a jobsearch with you.
    .
    If you don’t have a moblie phone they will buy you one, to pester you with and If you have a computer they make you open a new e-mail account with hotmail, if you haven’t got a computer they will do this at their office, which you have to forward to your advisors e-mail address, so they can pester you even more.
    .
    Once all of this is out of the way, the advisor will ask you to join a workshop for letters, cv’s and confidence building, you do not have to do this, as it won’t affect your benefits if you decline.

    I think that’s about it, oh your first appointment will last 1 hour.
    .
    My Opinion, WORST PROGRAMME EVER !!!
    .

    • July 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      Thanks for posting, Obi. So the Ingeus paperwork did clearly state that refusal to consent to info sharing would NOT affect benefits. That is good news!

      Sorry to hear about the rest of your experience of Ingeus – they seem to make the rules up as they go along as far the sort of work you can look for.

      • Obi Wan Kenobi
        July 16, 2011 at 10:31 am

        One form states: ‘If I am in reciept of any benefits, my entitlement to these benefits will not depend on whether I choose to give consent’. — This statement is on the reverse side of the form ‘Employment Programmes – consent to share information’.
        .
        On the Client ID: Information Disclosure form it states: ‘Please be aware that not signing this form will not affect your benefits or your access to this programme’.

      • Queen Jamillia
        July 16, 2011 at 11:38 am

        You mean these statements are hidden away on the reverse side of the forms? – how many customers are going to turn a form over that it placed in front of them to sign? Is the statement displayed prominently in clear bold type or does it appear in very small print hidden in with lots of meaningless gobbledygook. There are lots of tricks that you can do with for forms, for example utility companies usually print any “bad news” after the signature because the know that people will stop reading there and usually on the reverse side, of course “good news” is always prominently displayed. Another trick is used for say refunds, you will have to send of a form to receive a form to apply for a refund, this form will say that all incorrectly filled in forms will be rejected; the form that you receive back won’t say this, but it use all sorts of tricks to make sure that something is missed out or filled in incorrectly, for example using wide spacing between the signature and date, address and postcode. The art of trick forms is a well developed science apparently :-)

  26. Obi Wan Kenobi
    July 17, 2011 at 11:25 am

    The statements are I would say, quite clearly printed, you have to turn one of the forms over, because the place you sign it is on the reverese side anyway, but there is no need to sign them, however I have mine at home with me, just in case they try to pull a fast one.

  27. Obi Wan Kenobi
    July 17, 2011 at 11:36 am

    I was talking to one of my friends the other day, he is due to be signed up to the ‘Work Programme’

    He was talking to one of the Jobcentre advisors and they were telling him that Ingeous are now vastly over subscribed with clients and are having serious trouble coping, with all the new referrals, from Jobcentre Plus.

    In Bradford the Jobcentre has now starting interviewing clients for Ingeous – (sounds like the Ingeous ship is sinking)

  28. V
    July 18, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    The Work Programme (along with the Skills Conditionality, Service Academies, and the New Enterprise Allowance) falls under the Employment, Skills and Enterprise Scheme) Regulations 2011.

    It introduces significant changes to the sanctions regime:

    The penalties remain as at present: 2 weeks loss of benefit for the first failure to participate, 4 weeks loss of benefit for the second failure to participate no more than 12 months after the first, and 26 weeks loss of benefit for a third – and anysubsequent failure to participate within 12 months of a previous failure determination.

    It comprises just one defined ground for the raising of a doubt about whether a customer has complied, i.e. ‘Failure to Participate’

    Customers subject to a benefit sanction will not be eligible for hardship
    payments unless they, or a member of their family are a vulnerable person – for example:
    – A person who is responsible for a child who would experience hardship
    if no payment were made;
    – A person or their partner who is pregnant would experience hardship if
    no payment were made; and
    – The person’s Jobseeker’s Allowance includes a disability premium and
    person for whom that is paid would experience hardship is no payment
    were made.

  29. Obi Wan Kenobi
    July 22, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Today at my second appointment at Ingeus, they bought me a brand new mobile phone and put £10 credit on it, oh and did some job search.
    .
    They really, really push you to join the workshops, but you don’t have to, just keep saying no as it won’t affect your benefits.

    • Virgil
      July 22, 2011 at 5:46 pm

      Beware of providers bearing gifts!

    • intersted
      August 4, 2011 at 7:49 pm

      If a Mobile Phone is given by a Provider, who controls the records it creates, such as calls made and received and the location data created whilst it is used/switched on. How is provision of a mobile phone compatible with Article 8 (privacy and family life) of the ECHR?

      • gissajob
        August 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm

        OK – first thanks for the site and all the info. I am about to be referred to the work programme so am avidly reading all the info I can get. The mobile thing happened to me when on FND with Ingeus – I was sent to the local chamber of commerce for 3 months so that they could find me an unpaid work placement (they failed). This process was laughingly entitled “Progress” by Ingeus” (Have they no sense of irony?). The agreement there (doubtless drafted by Ingeus) mentioned having a mobile – fully charged and on 24/7 – I signed and actually had a relatively unbothered 3 months as the adviser kept changing (3 in all) – they couldn’t understand what I did for a living (software Business Analyst) and apart from trying to get me to go on a basic numercy/literacy course (DUH!) left me pretty much alone. Got a feeling the work programme may be different so I’m swotting up on all the background as I suspect that soon I will be Ingeus bound again. Actually Ingeus is the only growth industry round here expanding at a phenomenal rate and taking over all the office space vacated by failed businesses. What a world!!

    • Mobi
      August 5, 2011 at 2:45 pm

      Obi, mobile phones are tracking devices! The provider will know your every move! Just say no!

      • Andrew Coates
        August 6, 2011 at 2:24 pm

        I don’t want a mobile.

        As a social tool?

        I live in the centre of town where loads of my friends are within a few hundred metres of my house.

        I live by pubs where I can walk in and socialise, just like that.

        For job searching?

        I buy the Evening Star on Fridays.

        I have a land-line. I can also write. I can use a pen, you know!

        I use the Net in the library all the time (not just for looking for work but including job applications).

        I do not want a bleeding mobile.

  30. July 22, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Thanks fof the update, Obi. If you carry on like this you might get laptop.

    Also good hear, not just for me but many others too, is that the jobcentre have not tried to sanction you.

    • Obi Wan Kenobi
      July 23, 2011 at 11:56 am

      Just make sure you take your latest jobsearch records with you to the Ingeus appointments, the Jobcentre don’t ask for them anymore because they know that Ingeus have taken over that task, they just sign you on with no questions asked.

    • Obi Wan Kenobi
      July 23, 2011 at 12:09 pm

      Laptop? – anyone going on this bloody course for two years deserves at least £1million – for the time being served.
      .
      I would really like to become financially independent, and tell Ingeus and the Jokecentre exactly where they can shove it, I’d even be prepaired to draw graphic representations on how this could be accomplished.

  31. July 22, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Work Programme: Your site has bee ‘down’ for hours. I assume it be back up soon?

  32. Obi Wan Kenobi
    July 28, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Had 3rd appointment today at Ingeus, no questions at all and no pressure, just did 2 hours of jobsearch on the computers, next appointment not for 2 weeks, the tempo seems to be slowing down.

  33. Mike
    July 28, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Hi all

    Read the posts with great interest as I am currently on this so called Mandatory Work Programme with Seetec.
    They, in my case, have been patronizing at every turn and appear only interested in me churning out 10 job applications prior to my next appointment with them. When I requested information regarding the possibility of attending training courses as indicated in the documentation supplied to me earlier, was informed that this would not be available to me due to being on JSA. It appears that they are not interested in anyone trying to move forward other than accepting all that they demand without question. I did ask several searching questions as to their real purpose in life but needles to say the simple answer received refered back to what the DWP expected of them.
    I can say that I have not been impressed but extremely dissapointed thus far.

    Regards

    Mike

    • Andrew Coates
      July 29, 2011 at 10:14 am

      There are some seriously nasty people in Seetec.

      I hope for the devil’s sake you are not at the one in Prince’s Street.

  34. Mike
    July 30, 2011 at 7:37 am

    No Andrew but not far away.

    As an elderly person and having experienced much in life I feel that these people have not the slightest clue with reference to man-management skills and in particular on how to deal with folk who in a lot of instances being old enough to be their grandfather. I can’t imagine them acting in a similar fashion with their own kin. Could be wrong though as I am constantly reminded that this is 2011. Perhaps they are microchipped and pre-programmed to function in the way they seem to.
    Still looking for 10 jobs that regardless of suitability, geographicall location and wage level In order to satisy their needs and allow them to demonstrate to their mentors/owners/programmers etc justification for their existence. Wonder if the same people will be in their current posts this time next year?

    Regards

  35. Obi Wan Kenobi
    July 30, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Heres a good tip if you end up being sanctioned whilst on the work programme.
    .
    To keep your rent running, go the council office and tell them you have been sanctioned, then tell them you are claiming NIL INCOME (please use those exact words) and because nil income is regarded as an income, they will have to continue paying your rent and council tax benefit. SIMPLES.

    • August 4, 2011 at 9:57 pm

      Thanks for the tip, Obi. I had to email my council today and said exactly that, “nil income”.

  36. Obi Wan Kenobi
    July 30, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Forgot to tell you,
    .
    At our local Jobcentre in Bradford the other day, I saw a guy who used to work at one of our local providers for Bradford, West Yorkshire, called Business Employment Services Training (BEST).
    .
    He had been layed off by BEST and was now working at the Jobcentre, well I couldn’t even call him an adviser, they had him on the welcome committee (at first contact if you will)
    .
    I recalled him being at BEST back in 2009, so I went over to him and said: “How the mighty have fallen”, another young lady who I have come to know there said to me that he is not even trusted to interview anyone, i.e. signing people on.
    .
    I said, I could tell you a few stories about that as*h*le.

  37. Obi Wan Kenobi
    July 30, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Forgot to tell you,
    .
    At our local Jobcentre in the other day, I saw a guy who used to work at one of our local providers for Bradford, West Yorkshire, called Business Employment Services Training (BEST).
    .
    He had been layed off by BEST and was now working at the Jobcentre, well I couldn’t even call him an adviser, they had him on the welcome committee (at first contact if you will)
    .
    I recalled him being at BEST back in 2009, so I went over to him and said: “How the mighty have fallen”, another young lady who I have come to know there said to me that he is not even trusted to interview anyone, i.e. signing people on.
    .
    I said, I could tell you a few stories about that as*h*le.

    • August 2, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      “Ah, Bisto”. Sorry, mean to say “BEST: Bullshit Every Single Time”.

  38. August 24, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    ***** IMPORTANT ANNOUCEMENT

    Boycott Workfare have been contacted by a Guardian journalist who would like to write about private companies benefiting from claimants being made to work for free. This is a really important opportunity for the campaign as mainstream media have published literally nothing about this until now.

    He would like to speak to people who have had to do mandatory work placements. He said he can preserve anonymity and let people check over their contributions before they are published.

    If you or anyone you know can help, please contact me or shiv.malik@guardian.co.uk directly.

  39. Obi Wan Kenobi
    September 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Nine weeks in at Ingeus, I had to see the medical advisor this week due to my back problems to see what type of work I would be suitable for.

    To give him his due, this guy knew what he was on about. He has asked me if I would like to join a pilates class (they run this in-house at Ingeus). I don’t think I’ll be doing that though.

    My normal advisor has just got around to updating my C.V.after nine weeks of attendance (WHICH IS RIDDICULOUS), other than that I’ve had no help at all, all they say is “just do jobsearch”.

    It seems Ingeous are happy if you keep your appointments and don’t rock the boat.

    They are a disgrace and the work programme should be shut down as soon as possible.

    • September 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm

      Obi: Sounds like you have been ‘parked’. What with the state of the economy I can imagine this will be happening to a lot more clients.

    • Action T4
      September 8, 2011 at 11:25 pm

      “parked” or “selected for termination”?

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_T4

  40. Obi Wan Kenobi
    September 17, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    The useless advisers at Ingeus are now saying that unemployed people have to hit a certain amount of job application targets for each client sent to then by the Jobcentre each week, via the fucked up, second hand, distgusting piece of sh*t: Ian Duncan Smith (Loser)
    .
    Just say, if you think you are getting your fucked up bonus from me, FUCK YOU!!!, because if you can take a couple of checkable job’s to the Jobcentre, you will be ok, and they have to sign you on by LAW. Screw Ingeus and BEST.

  41. Obi Wan Kenobi
    October 6, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Ian Duncan Smith is now saying the unemployed will have to do 5 hours a day checkable jobsearch, or lose their benefits.

    This guy seriously needs kicking out of government, his ideas are those of someone who needs to be stopped, he’s getting away with any idea that comes into his head.

    His rants and raves are that of a disturbed mind with delusions of grandure.

    How do you police 5 hours jobsearch per day per person, when the work programme providers are only seeing people once a week or once a fortnight or once a month, or like my friend – once every 6 weeks.

    Answer – Imposssible.

    • Spartacus
      October 6, 2011 at 7:29 pm

      Simple! Let’s divide the unemployed into 2 categories: the watched and the watchers. The watchers are employed to watch and supervise the 5 hours per day jobsearch activity of the watched and are paid min wage The Tories can thus claim to be tough on the unemployed and errrr…..also tough on the unemployed. Hey I’ve just halved the unemployed at one stroke! Iain Duncan Pileofshite move over!

      • Andrew Coates
        October 7, 2011 at 9:27 am

        My mum used to have this theory ( think she got it from George Bernard Shaw) that in the end they’d solve unemployment by every houshold taking in the next household’s washing.

        Sparty, why not add this to the Work Programme as well?

  42. Obi Wan Kenobi
    October 8, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Ian Duncan Smith has turned the U.K. into a police state, for the unemployed – It’s that simple.

  43. Obi Wan Kenobi
    October 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    I was in Ingeus this morning listening to their monthly pep talk for their advisors.
    .
    Now, they are seeing I would guess on average between 1200 and 1500 people every month, the guy who was speaking said Ingeus advisors had done really well in getting 100 people this month (october) in to jobs, I think that’s disgusting as it equates to less than 9% and they are contracted to get a minimum of 25% (1 in 4 people) in to jobs.
    .
    The guy was congratulating his advisers, I couldn’t believe it, congratulations for getting nowhere near their targets?
    .
    What next Ingeus – Bonuses for time off? You make me sick!

  44. Yanny
    February 8, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    CAN SOMEBODY GET AVANTA OFF MY BACK PLEASE

    First of all, the job centre treat job seekers like in-mates. As far as their staff are concerned, if you are a job seeker, you are in prison, you have committed a crime and should be punished for it. They look down on you, degrade you, humiliate you, punish you for a crime only them know. They threaten you all in the name of sanctions. They give you warnings when its not even applicable. If you are late by 3-5 minutes, you are punished for it. Before you go on benefits, you are well, able and health and in your right mind. After the ill and sickening treatment, you are suicidal, confused, mentally disturbed, anti-social, depressed, stressed and a zombie. You are in prison, where they will be killing softly. Because of how the government and their staff treat you, you start to deteriorate both in health and mind, you loose the worthy of living. They just control your life to the maximum. Everyday becomes a nightmare. They treat you like you are in mental institution.

    I really feel for people who are still on benefits, no-one know what you are going through, outside people think you are living an easy life, they don’t know that you are living under government abuse from job centre and the private companies that they refer you to for further institutional abuse. People on benefits suffer silently. You just become a ghost, you loose your mind and you become the government’s property, you become insane, you cease to belong to yourself, they say jump, you must jump, they say bark, you must bark!. Its very disturbing, I have gone through it. And when you most want the job and get it over and done with job centre, there isn’t one, no-one wants to employ you once you mention you are on benefits. Every channel closes the door behind you. There is no job for you whatsoever, until you remove the job centre history on your CV, which is impossible down right.

    I relocated for a better chance of getting a job. In my new location the job centre referred me to Avanta, but I got a job for myself through referral from a friend of a friend, of a friend!. So I signed off at job centre and decided not to even have anything to do with Avanta. I was happy that I am now free from all the nightmares of being on benefits and all the abuse that comes about with it, but guess what I was wrong, Avanta demands that I go over to see them and even if they didn’t get me the job. They demand that I give them the details of the employer etc and they say I don’t have a choice, its the law that they should follow me up at work and get in-touch with the employer. As I see it, Avanta wants to be paid for a job they didn’t do. I hear the government pay them a certain amount for every placement they make. Why should I give any details of my job to Avanta if they didn’t get this job for me, I had this job lined up before I relocated and mostly it was my reason for relocation. When I relocated I had some jobs lined up and I pursued these jobs like hell. Two came out and i had to make a choice and I got the well paying one, and now Avanta wants all the credit. So they continue their institutional abuse on me. They said I need to go and sign off with them. I told them I there is nothing to sign off, since I never started with them.

    Now instead of being happy on my new job, I am so devastated and am not at peace. I get letters and letters and letters and threats that I am breaking the law if I don’t go and see them. All I want is to be left alone and I don’t want my employer to be contacted now and then, least I start getting labelled at work. Avanta will follow you up at work as if you are a vulnerable person working. HOW DO I GET THEM OFF MY BACK. SOMEBODY HELP! I am 45 years old and the only years i was not working in my life is two years. I didn’t loose my experience and skills which Avanta thinks. I still got all intact. Now I am afraid that because of this harassment and bullying from Avanta, it will disturb my job. WHAT DO THEY WANT, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM?

    • Mr No
      February 8, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      Hello Yanny.

      First of all… Are you settled and reasonably happy in your new job?
      How long have you had the job and how long since you signed off?
      Did you tell the jobcentre or provider any details of your new job?

      You see, all too often on the internet it can be quite hard to get an accurate picture of someones situation. But I’ll give it a go.

      Regardless of the answers to my questions. And most importantly, you are NOT breaking any laws at all. None, not one.
      If they are saying this they are the ones potentially breaking the law. Depends on the wording. But that’s another story!
      But be assured you aren’t doing anything wrong. Whatever they may claim!

      If it was me in your situation and neither the JC or the provider have the details of your employer… I would completely and absolutely not worry at all in the slightest.
      Yes, it’s a pain in the arse getting letters from them, but maybe don’t even open them. Or if you do and you see it’s from them just don’t read on. i would suggest keeping them though, for now at least.
      Though the worst thing that can really happen is they keep sending letters. They’re only letters, from dishonest money grabbing scumbags yes, but they will stop, eventually.

      I wouldn’t even bother complaining. Some here might say you should, but i would say don’t waste the energy on doing so. Not at this stage anyway. You sound like you may not need the stress of going through complaints procedures etc.
      If they DO NOT know where you work then there is nothing they can do, they cannot find out where you are working unless you give, or have given that info.

      Get on with your life and don’t let the letters bother you.

      Honestly mate, I’m not the type to type bullshit, don’t believe in it, it doesn’t help anyone. I’m not a know it all and would never claim to be. But you are doing nothing wrong and have nothing to worry about. The letters may be annoying, just ignore them and just don’t let them annoy you.
      Sometimes easier said than done, I know, but after a while that worry just isn’t worth it. It just makes things worse.

      Forget them, enjoy your wages.

      Take care Yanny.

      • Obi Wan Kenobi
        March 9, 2012 at 5:40 pm

        Yanny, Mr No is correct, don’t worry about Avanta or any other Private Provider telling you that you are breaking the law if you don’t give them details of where you are working, how much wage you are on etc… They will even try to trace your employer to obtain this information, just have a word with your employer advising if Avanta contact them about you, they must not give any info at all.

        Avanta only want this info to claim their disgusting amount of money from the DWP for finding you a job, even though they didn’t.

      • Yanny
        May 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm

        Thanks for your response though I took long to respond. Avanta was quiet for the past three months and i thought the nightmare was over but now they have started. Now what worries me is that they have started again writing in full force and their letters are now hand delivered which means they know where i live physically and someone is taking time out of work or at their break time to visit. I don’t feel safe at all in my home and am afraid i will be forced to move house and change my phone number.

      • Gissajob
        May 23, 2012 at 7:02 am

        Yanny
        This behaviour is unacceptable and borderline illegal.
        Send them a letter demanding that they “cease and desist” theit attempts to contact you. Make sure that the leter is addressed to a named individual at the pimp. In the letter say someting like:
        “Your repeated attempts to contact me are both vexatious and intimidating. Please be aware that any further attempt to contact me will result in me making a formal complaint to the Police against both you as an individual and Avanta.”

        They cannot remove any of your other benefits so that is a hollow threat – but one not likely to be looked upon kindly by the Police.

  45. Simon
    February 12, 2012 at 12:37 am

    Hi I’m new to this debate.

    I’m a college lecturer sadly only working 3 hours a week this year (college politics I’m afraid) I have just negotiated a new contract for the next academic year and onwards.

    Because I work so few hours this year, I don’t earn enough to get my NI contributions paid by the college – so I’ signing on to get these credited. I do not claim or receive Job Seekers Allowance or any other benefit.

    I was told last week that I am expected to undertake Mandatory Work Activity: 30 hours a week, 4 weeks. When I pointed out to the Jobcentre advisor that this would prevent me from doing my paid employment at the college, they backed down, and now want me to do 20 hours a week for 4 weeks

    As I am not unemployed and am not claiming JSA I intend to refuse to do this. I consider that because I am not in receipt of any benefit this is approaching state sponsored slavery.

    Anybody got any helpful comments or advice?

    • February 12, 2012 at 10:02 am

      You DO claim JSA.

      Its like VAT… when its exempt you are paying it at 0%.

      So although you are only signing on to get NIC – you still have an active claim for jobseekers allowance, in the same way a jobseeker who has been sanctioned still have that active claim although receive no money.

      Yes, its pathetic system, I quite agree.

      You have plenty of time to bargain with them…

      You might find the following link as of some use:- http://mandatoryworkactivity.co.uk/how-to-boycott-this-workfare.html

    • Andrew Coates
      February 12, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      Mandatory Work Activity is effectively a sanction.

      Have they grounds to do this – notably, are you actively looking for work and have proof of this?

      • simon
        February 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm

        Hi yes I’m actively looking for a better paid job. I went for an interview to teach at Leeds College of Art a few weeks ago (Didn’t get it) However I have just negotiated a better contract where I am currently (Harrogate College) for 20 hours a week starting at the beginning of the next academic year.

        It does in deed look like a sanction; drunk drivers and people convicted for assault (first offence) quite ofter receive “community orders” of between 80 and 150 hours, doing pretty much what this scheme seems to demand.

        So am I in reality being punished for having a badly paid job and securing a better paid one that hasn’t started yet?

    • Mr No
      February 12, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      As you stated Simon… Refuse it, politely decline, do not agree. If it were me I would treat it like the joke it is.

      Not like they can stop your money, is it?

      Totally ridiculous situation! Good luck.

      Maybe let us know how you get on? Maybe in this same thread? It gets rather hard to navigate at times.

  46. simon
    February 12, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Thanks for the support I’ll keep posting

  47. simon
    February 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I’m pleased to be able to post something positive – at least on a personal level:

    I spent the weekend reading the government white paper and regulations for the “Mandatory Work Activity” and made a set of notes detailing what the schemes intention was (when it was set up) what the criteria are (being consistently late, missing appointments etc) I made sure I included section headings, numbered points etc and exact titles of all the documents.

    None of these, of course apply, to myself.

    Monday morning I started ringing the Jobcentre, of course I couldn’t get to speak to my advisor, but that didn’t stop me. Whoever I ended up speaking to (lots of different people in the course of time – I’ve no idea who they were or what their roles were as they seem to not want to tell you anything beyond their first name). I was told that my advisor would ring me back. After a few hours I called again and again and again and repeated my objections to being put on the scheme, also adding that I do have a job so I get real experience of working, and that shortly my hours will be increased. Oh and by the way I’ve been in paid employment pretty much since I graduated in 1980!

    I kept this up until Tuesday afternoon. I don’t know if I eventually spoke to someone with enough authority / common sense, but it eventually paid off.

    I still haven’t heard from anyone at the Jobcentre but I got a call from BEST, who were tasked with finding me a placement, telling me that my referral had been cancelled.

    My advice; prepare well, know to the letter what the guidelines etc say, then very politely keep calling and asking to speak to supervisors etc and explain to them why you are not going to do it.

    • Mr No
      February 14, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      Excellent news Simon.

      As I always say… Stay calm, be focused, don’t take crap from these people. They will fob you off again and again, but if one is in the right and doesn’t back down and does all this calmly you can often get things sorted, even though it might take a while and be rather tiresome.
      It often simply depends on the personality of the people you are dealing with. So glad your persistence got you the result you required.

      Well done mate.

  48. Obi Wan Kenobi
    March 9, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    If you were on the Work Programme and have found a job, when you sign off, fill in your signing on booklet but just state in it that you have found a job, don’t give any details of the firm your going to be working at and what ever you do DON’T tell your Private Provider.

    You will then get pestering letters from the Private Provider asking details of where you are working and so on… Ignore them totally. They may tell you that you are breaking the law, but your not, this is an illegal lie on their part to secure the DWP payout for finding you a job.

    Also tell your employer the situation and that under no circumstances is he to respond to the Private Provider should they contact him, this is not illegal either.

  49. Eric
    March 29, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I’ve seen moaners like you in Ingeus Obi, not expecting money for doing nothing are you?

  50. John fulleston
    May 15, 2012 at 10:48 am

    We all know who Eric works for

  51. Yanny
    May 22, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Avanta is being a nightmare. I cant get them off my back, even when its been three months since i got myself a job without their help. they still insist and threaten that i have to attend meetings and discussions. I got a job on my own, prepared my own cv and I just left them. Now they want to claim that they helped me get a job. I never even attended any sessions for their assistance as i got the job before i got started with them. now after three months, they still threaten me. They can’t threaten with sanctions because i am no longer on job seekers allowance, but they are now threatening with any other benefits that i am entitled to. They are digging after me. I think this time should be used to help those in need of their assistance. They are even hand delivering letters one after another at my house with no stamps on which means, they physically know where i live. they are now intruding in my property to drop letters. Please help, I don’t know what to do anymore. I stopped answering continuous calls and their letters are piling even though I informed them i got a there and they know it. My thinking was that maybe they want to claim payment from the Government for a service they did not do (of getting me a job) and claim that they put me in employment. I am tired and i will be forced to move house, so they don’t turn up at my door. is this happening to anyone else. please help me or just post this on the internet so that they stop.

    • MCDJ2001
      August 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm

      Have you tried the CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau)?
      They are pretty helpful in this cases.

  52. joe
    June 28, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    seetec and companys like seetec should be closed down asap.
    they simply don’t work they just lie to everyone and enjoy scaming the public.

  53. Obi Wan Kenobi
    July 21, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Anyone heard if the equiry into A4E has finished yet, and were they shut down?

    • October 6, 2013 at 7:45 am

      A few years ago, 1980’s 1990’s. a company called Community Rural Aid was operating in Norfolk. It was called Community Rural Aid {Projects}. The {Projects} suddenly got dropped for obvious reasons. The company ”Vanished” About the time A4E popped up. However there is NO proof it’s the same people

  54. Obi Wan Kenobi
    July 28, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Update:- 55 weeks into the Work Programme.

    I’m at Ingeus Bradford and I’ve not been seen since may, they’ve just got round to sending me my next appointment letter with the usual theats listed on it. What a joke this place is, so I’m now ready for the latest load of crap from these incompitent idiots.

  55. MCDJ2001
    August 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Thanks Obi for all the info provided. I have just been referred to Ingeus today (Bradford). I will keep you all inform of my own experience.

    • Obi Wan Kenobi
      August 17, 2012 at 10:11 am

      Hope you have a better experience than I’ve had, at the end of the day it all comes down to the adviser you get put with, but after a certain amount of time they switch you to another adviser and so on, I hope you get a decent one.

  56. August 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    I delight in, cause I found exactly what I used to be having a look for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  57. Obi Wan Kenobi
    September 18, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Here’s the solution to the useless Work Programme, instead of paying and wasting £5,000,000,000 on the pathetic Work Programme Providers, why not use this money to invest in firms to create ACTUAL FULL TIME JOBS paid at the going rate.

    How many people could be employed thoughout the country with that kind of money – a hell of a lot, and the profits from that would create even more jobs. It’s not rocket science is it?

    But no, Iain Duncan Smith would rather fuck around with Pivate Providers, because alot of these are owned by his banking buddies in the city of London and it’s his way of keeping them happy.

  58. Obi Wan Kenobi
    September 22, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I think the main reason so many people (including myself) are against the Work Programme, other that the obvious reasons, is because the unemployed were never consulted before this abomination of a programme was rolled out, all of a sudden it was just there and we have to attend or lose our benefits.

    That’s not democracy, it’s communisam, do it or else – what a fucking joke.

  59. Ian
    October 31, 2012 at 2:31 am

    Back to work program is a joke and total waste of tax payers money. When you attend your interview with your advisor in you are late you will be sanctioned yet they leave you for upto 45 minutes very often just sitting in the waiting area. With this time waiting plus time getting to the actual interview this is time your wont be looking for work. Your claim will be discussed only, quite often within feet of the main waiting areas that have NO privacy partitions. Since ive been going to my back to work program its been bloody pointless they never have anything constructive to say just show up for ridiculous basic discussions were you are made to feel stupid. Thats the point to the whole thing i thing making people feel so awkward and stupid they just sign off benefits just to stop this constant harassment. You cant call it anything other than harassment, why else is a person made to travel to wait around for an hour before then being forced to sit on a computer filling in a job form that could be done at home and without all the unnecessary travel more time would be spent looking for a job.

  60. Obi Wan Kenobi
    October 31, 2012 at 10:49 am

    If you have a complaint against your Private Provider the Jobcentre and DWP won’t be able to help you at all, they don’t want to know because they have given the Private Provider a BLACK BOX APPROACH.

    This means the Private Provider are a law unto themselves and can sanction you whenever they feel like it.

    This has to be illegal because the DWP have made the rules for the Private Providers to follow, but they take illegal advantage of these powers and need to be shut down.

  61. Obi Wan Kenobi
    November 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Definition of The Work Programme:

    A programme designed around the fact that the government in short (if your unemployed) doesn’t believe a word you say, even though some of you will have voted them in at the last general election.

    The government are our servants, not the other way round, they seem to have forgotten this.

  62. K
    November 28, 2012 at 10:10 am

    FYI Ingeus used to be called WorkDirections, not Working Links (as stated above).

  63. Angel Tedder
    January 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Seetec are evil SCUM. I was sanctioned for not turning up to an appointment as I had a migraine, and despite phoning them to let them know, its not a good enough reason!! I was without any money for a whole month, thank God for friends who helped out with food. I ended up feeling less than human and ended up in hospital due to slashing my wrists. SEETEC in Colchester, you are fucking pieces of bullying shit, what goes around comes around.

  64. May 3, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Hello my loved one! I want to say that this post is awesome, nice written and
    come with approximately all important infos. I’d like to peer more posts like this .

  65. joe
    June 26, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    we should all saction the government for being iddiots.
    and read this site. http://www.boycottworkfare.org/

  66. August 1, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Hi, just wanted to mention, I liked this blog post. It was funny.
    Keep on posting!

  67. Alisdair
    September 14, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Working Links are the same. They have been harassing me after I spent just two days on their scheme (where they tricked me into signing who knows what) then managed to get a job and just left and stopped my claim and was glad to get away from them.

    Now a year later they are still harassing me. I changed jobs recently and they want to know the name of my new employer. I don’t think my new new employer realises that I had been unemployed (I don’t think they looked closely at my CV) and I do not want Working Links to know my new employer’s address either. I just can’t seem to get away from these people. They say they are ‘confirming’ information for the DWP and I have to constantly update everything I do in my life apparently for the next two years !!

    Working Links complaints are frequent I’m sure but no one seems to have managed to put up a united front, except Edinburgh Against Poverty who’s members were arrested outside the Jobcentre Plus protesting against these companies.

    I’m just sick of them. I mean I signed-off long ago but they just keep harassing me. Its just incredible that they can behave like we live in some sort of fascist dictatorship !!

    • Working Links are SCUM!!
      October 5, 2013 at 10:46 pm

      Working Links are complete and utter c!ӣ$s, the lowest of the low. Let them take a flying fuck to themselves! Fucking c!ӣ$s!

  68. October 5, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Hi there, I desire to subscribe for this web site to get latest updates, so where can i do it
    please help.

  69. November 6, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    magnificent publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the other specialists of this sector don’t understand this.
    You must proceed your writing. I’m confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  70. January 22, 2014 at 9:16 am

    If some one needs to be updated with most recent technologies therefore he must be pay
    a visit this site and be up to date every day.

    • Spamarse
      January 22, 2014 at 10:20 am

      Too right mate :-) I use Firefox too, don’t seem to be having the same rendering problems. Will bookmark you and keep you updated on the latest info :-)

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 499 other followers

%d bloggers like this: