Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Flexible New Deal, TNG and Sanctions.

with 15 comments

Well, it’s all off the Flexible New Deal. Contrary to what I was led to believe by other people, it is TNG that I have to report to.

The New Deal Scandal site, and others, have  already shared their knowledge and experience of this “provider” (for example here)

I wonder if any of this relates to the contents of the Jobcentreplus Flexible New Deal document, “What you can expect and what we can expect from you.” (FNDI 10/09).

It begin with  two pages explaining what the FND is.

One page on what we can expect from you. That is  responsibilities we owe to the DWP and the ‘Provider’.

Then “What happens if you don’t meet your responsibilities”?”

Answer: Sanctions. Seven pages  ( Page 7 to 13), from a total of 14,  about them.

Ends with “How to make a complaint.”

On Page 2 there is some stuff about ‘service standards’.

It would have been more useful if they explained how the Flexible New Deal is going to be delivered, what is consists of, and what responsibilities the ‘provider’ TNG, has towards its clients.

But of this, nothing. 



Written by Andrew Coates

November 24, 2009 at 10:03 am

15 Responses

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  1. I totally agree.

    btw the 7 pages of sanctions states about the Provider giving you fixed sanctions (just like on New Deal: 2 weeks, 4 weeks and 26 weeks).

    It doesn’t mention anything at all about the fact that Providers can give out variable sanctions of up to 6 months in one go (see http://flexible-new-deal.co.uk/flexible-new-deal-sanctions/ ).

    A full copy of the guidance can be found online at http://flexible-new-deal.co.uk/2009/11/01/flexible-new-deal-what-you-can-expect/

    The booklet was meant to initially contain responsibilities of the provider, what the jobseeker can except/how it works, how the provider is paid, a charter, your responsibilities (although didn’t mean so much about sanctions) and details of a Flexible New Deal Ombudsman – strange how most of it was kept out of the final version.

    Did you know TNG are based at Wolsey House where YCMA Training were previously before getting kicked out for a client assaulting someone there?

    Flexible New Deal

    November 24, 2009 at 11:58 am

    • Did you know TNG are based at Wolsey House where YMCA Training were previously before getting kicked out for a client assaulting someone there?

      Flexible New Deal

      November 24, 2009 at 11:59 am

  2. Yes, Wolsey House.


    I remember during a YMCA Induction that someone kept stuffing paper towls down the toilets to make them overflow.


    Andrew Coates

    November 24, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    • After all YMCA Training is the subcontractor right?

      Do Flexible New Deal victims in Ipswich go Wolsey House to TNG or go places like YMCA Training’s Dencora House?

      Flexible New Deal

      November 24, 2009 at 12:25 pm

  3. I started with TNG last week although I’m not in Ipswich so things might be a bit different for you. During my initial interview with my new advisor I was enrolled on two compulsory modules – ‘CV Workshop’ & ‘FND Workshop’. You won’t learn anything new from the CV Workshop (which lasts a couple of hours) if you have already been through New Deal before and have an up to date CV. The FND Workshop is an induction where you supposedly learn more about what the scheme is about (I haven’t done this yet).

    You will have to go in once a fortnight for a jobsearch session which I have been told by someone else on the course lasts for an hour and a half. You will also have a fortnightly appointment to see your advisor to discuss your progress and what can be done to help you.

    I was told by my advisor that my local YMCA who ran the old New Deal in my area are to continue to provide their full-time 13 week programme and that I might be sent to them at some point. My suspicion is that if it looks like I am unwilling or unable to find a job TNG will cut their losses and farm me out to them.

    Work placements won’t begin until around week 49 (my branch of TNG does not yet have any placement officers working there).

    During my initial meeting with my advisor I was told only the CV Workshop and FND Workshop were mandatory, all the others such as confidence building and interview techniques are voluntary. I have since found out that this may not strictly true. They will leave you alone for the first few weeks but if they feel you would benefit from one of the other modules they will automatically enroll you on them without giving you a say in the matter.

    Average Joe

    November 24, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    • Thanks for the insider information.

      Week 49 of this year or week 49 of the course?

      This is rather failing the jobseeker as they really need the work placements within a few months to benefit from securing employment. The employment gaps are long enough already!

      Then again I feared this all along there is no rules against it. Providers must provide 4 weeks of work-related activity .. and thats within 12 months so all providers will do this at the end. For the first year anyway.

      Theres no excuses for no Placement Officers as they managed to employ everyone else for Flexible New Deal delivery.

      Sounds like another reason for complaint!!

      If you fail to attend the automatically enrolled modules you will be sanctioned.

      I am against this – I wont be doing 1.5 hours of supervised jobsearch a fortnight – I can manage at home and the only purpose behind this is for providers to spy on clients to find ways of sanctioning them or withdrawing their entitlement.

      Jack: “Yeah, they tried to get me to apply for some casual factory work, I said I applied but I didn’t bother”

      Roger: “Really? Yeah they tried to get me into an zero hour contract job at something similar”

      Suzy: “Yeah, I got sanctioned for turning it down and I am still made to attend this shithole”

      Conspiracy? No, its contractual. The above private conversation will be used as evidence in applying a sanction against such participants.

      Refusing a job because it is unsutiable isn’t a crime. They can only claim you are not doing enoguh to find employment or not seeking. If you do vast methods to secure jobs and can prove it this is adequate to satisfy your Jobseekers conditions.

      If you planned to rob a bank or something then the provider would have good enough reason to have overheard someone and report it – because thats a crime regardless if the conversation was private or not.

      Flexible New Deal

      November 24, 2009 at 1:01 pm

      • It’s the 49th week of the course rather then of the year. I was told that their intention was to find work for everyone before this happend and that is why they are not worrying about work placements yet.

        I had my induction this afternoon and I found out the jobsearch is every week and lasts for three hours rather then fortnightly as I said in my previous post. One other thing I forgot to mention before, I have been told in no uncertain terms that if I haven’t got a job by the end of the 12 months I would be automatically placed on the new work for your benefits scheme. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!

        Average Joe

        November 24, 2009 at 5:39 pm

      • Thanks Joe!

        3hrs jobsearch every week?

        Plus a fortnight review and also sign on fortnightly in addition??

        Then modules etc.? Blimey…

        Flexible New Deal

        November 24, 2009 at 5:52 pm

      • its important to realize turning down a job doesnt mean that your unavailable for work,it needs to be proved something which is frankly impossible.

        i have not been on this flexible new deal so cannot comment on that,but don’t forget your in the driving seat it all depends on you at the end of the the,pages of sanctions print wont make the slightest difference.

        they cannot leave you without money,no ones starved to death by sanctions,while you might struggle with some bills/debts these can be rearranged,the most important thing keep signing until the appeal even the literature tells you this.

        this new deal can do no wrong in their eyes,perhaps they should wake to this first before bullying the unemployed.



        November 26, 2009 at 12:52 am

      • Good advice Ken.

        However, debts etc. can be managed but it could be argue costs to sign on can’t. Like you can’t pay alter for bus travel or petrol.

        The problem with the sanction system is when you sign on while sanctioned you are complying with entitlement however the money just doesn’t come through. I can fully understand how some people don’t want to sign on every 2 weeks when they have been sanctioned.

        People associate signing on with receiving money; if you won’t get any money, why sign on?

        The answer is simple if you don’t sign on then you can’t get any money. If you sign on and your appeal succeeds you get the money.

        Flexible New Deal

        November 26, 2009 at 7:55 pm

  4. It’s very useful to wade through the DWP FND provider guidance:


    I have founfd some useful ammo to fight Working Links over here in the Valleys, and am currently awaiting a response to my formal complaint about… the lack of a proper complaints procedure (!) amongst other things. Full details at


    Don’t let the bastards grind you down, comrades.

    Dan Owen

    November 26, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    • Don’t give up Dan! 🙂

      Provider Guidance is contractually binding under section 3 of the New Deal contracts.

      This however is not law. There is no step over between the provider and the jobseeker.

      Your entitlement and regulations regarding sanctions for example are completely isolated.

      Providers are only subject to contractual law which is mostly Common Law and not under Statue Law (Acts etc.). Under New Deal contracts with exception to fraud; the worse that can happen is having termination noticed served on them – typically allowing time for a transitional period between them and the new provider. DWP avoids termination as much as possible.

      Flexible New Deal

      November 26, 2009 at 8:01 pm

  5. […] New Deal scandal can report there is another complaint about TNG and Flexible New […]

    • http://flexible-new-deal.co.uk/2009/11/26/another-tng-flexible-new-deal-complaint/

      I have picked up on a TNG Flexible New Deal complaint. Happened around 2 weeks ago – area unknown.

      Some concerns noted are:

      * Faking paperwork – forcing participants to sign to say TNG have done stuff they haven’t. Echos New Deal problems New Deal Scandal raised a few months back. Only difference is providers can directly sanction participants NOW without having to go through an NDPA. Flexible New Deal fraud could already be apparent.

      * Lack of equipment – didn’t have cd/dvd drive to obtain someones CV. Thats common equipment these days! Even if such facilities werent available for security, surely the staff computers have them?

      * No contact details – Jobcentre Plus not giving address or phone number of the provider (same happened here) not been told contact details since.

      * Told by phone to attend interview – didn’t give any details about it and said particulars are in the post. No letter arrived. (Sanction? not stated but still early days would take 3 weeks; might have attended if remembered; not stated)

      * Poorly trained staff – very basic computer skills (how to use mouse and open jobcentre website) not aware what “Word” and “Office” is.

      * Four and a half hour induction course – mostly paperwork related i.e. questionnaires. Brings back the module feedback scam of New Deal where providers have to obtain proof of completion. Often forced into giving good feedback as they aren’t anonymous and have names written on. FND providers have power to sanction.

      Very worrying for people in our neck of the woods.

      Flexible New Deal

      November 26, 2009 at 10:33 pm

  6. when appealing its very important to keep signing on,this shows the continued position of unemployment,you still need to sign to receive hardship jobseekers allowance not much fun but there is council tax if the claim closes they will automatically think you have found employment and that could possibly end up in court,national insurance also,focus on the appeal you need to win that to recover amounts withheld.

    dont automatically give in and think no hope its possible to turn this around.


    November 26, 2009 at 10:57 pm

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