Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

End of Tory Dream? Work Programme branded illegal.

with 290 comments

Refusewp.com has responded to DWP’s reasons of authority for the Work Programme by releasing its Part 2 letter which claims there is no lawful authority behind mandating people on to the Work Programme and also criticised the reasons given in the form of listing laws in a decision as “deliberately fabricated” and “incorrect and intentional misinformation“.

It recognises two offences:-

  • Misconduct in Public Office (Common Law), and
  • Section 123 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992

Ipswich Unemployed Action publishes below a letter for those who have consented to Work Programme under Duress:-

[YOUR ADDRESS]

Secretary of State (Work and Pensions)
Department for Work and Pensions
Caxton House,
Tothill Street,
London,
SW1H 9DA

[DATE]

Dear Secretary of State,

I refuse the Work Programme

It has been brought to my attention that being mandated to the Work Programme was made by DWP in full vexatious dishonesty, where Jobcentre Plus has no lawful authority to request that jobseekers attend under the continuous treat of sanctions.

I have up until this point participated under duress. I no longer wish to participate in this illicit scheme.

I wholeheartedly refuse the “work programme” because my understanding is my continued participation in this illegitimate scheme may bring my benefit claim in disrepute by making me breach the jobseeking conditions. I shall not continue attending this scheme knowing this makes me a benefit thief by default.

I shall continue seeking employment whilst claiming Jobseekers Allowance in accordance with the Jobseekers Act 1995.

Under Section 10 (“Right to prevent processing likely to cause damage or distress”) of the Data Protection Act 1998 I request that the unlawful processing of my personal data and sensitive personal data is ceased with immediate effect in relation to the unlawful disclosure to your provider, and that stored data previously processed by the provider is destroyed without trace.

It is important that you seek legal advice on this matter before choosing ignoring this notice; as doing so and wrongly sanctioning me under Section 8 of the regulations for a different scheme will be committing a criminal offence.

This letter along with any subsequent correspondence received shall be recorded as evidence; along with any retaliatory benefit sanction; in a case investigating corruption in Government departments, which may result in civil and criminal proceedings against you.

Yours sincerely,

[YOUR FULL NAME]

We recommend everyone on the Work Programme who hasn’t refused it (through Work Programme Network letters or disputing the data sharing aspects) do so now by sending the above letter in recorded delivery (with a copy sent first class to your local Jobcentre Plus office) – under the following advice:-

  • Continue attending up until you are excused (protects you from benefit sanctions)
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290 Responses

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  1. Great stuff 🙂
    Right on time aswell for me to get out of the mandatory work activity programme 🙂 🙂 🙂
    My letter got sent this morning and cant wait to recieve my acknoledgement of removal from mwa ! 🙂
    happy happy happy

    only one standing

    August 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    • hi i am due to go on a work programme and been seeing all these comments, just wondering could you tell me what it is all about, i dont want to do the work programme do i have to?

      jenna

      December 19, 2011 at 10:41 pm

      • Hi Jenna,
        “just wondering could you tell me what it is all about,” Well if you’ve read the stuff on here you will have a good idea. The aim is to get you in to work (any work) by whatever means they can including, bullying, threats of sanctions, actual sanctions, forcing you to work for nothing on mandatory Work Activity/Experience and Community Action programme, sending out your CV (if you sign the data waiver form) to whoever they please etc. etc.
        “i dont want to do the work programme do i have to?”. Probably! It actually depends on which cohort (group) you are in. Some are treated as voluntary others are mandated (a word you will jear a lot). most likey you are mandated. Ask the JC+ “am I mandated or is my participation voluntary?”
        Chapter 2 of the DWP guidance notes to providers contains details of which groups are mandated and which voluntary if you want to check your own situation: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/supplying-dwp/what-we-buy/welfare-to-work-services/provider-guidance/work-programme-provider.shtml#work_prog

        Good Luck Jenna – keep reading stuff here and let us know how you get on.

        Gissajob

        December 20, 2011 at 8:50 am

  2. Workfare in Ipswich opportunity:

    The company said 20 jobs will be created at the hotel, with all the entry-level roles being filled through Job Centre Plus (JCP).

    Travelodge has a national partnership with JCP, providing pre-employment training for successful candidates from the local long-term unemployed, enabling them to gain the skills and confidence they often need to re-enter the workforce.

    Great! Does the 20 job figure include unpaid “work experience” placements or is it 20 paid employment positions?

    http://www.eveningstar.co.uk/news/travelodge_chain_to_open_new_hotel_in_heart_of_town_1_989079

    Work Programme

    August 9, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    • jsa referred me to work programme with job fit tomorrow people in bath for one year

      ask my jsa advisor if i had go on this , he saying no way around it , is this true or can i use Action publishes here send letter in
      i not been sanctions yet
      only this this work programme why makeing me feel more bad about being out work then am now , there no way in hell working for free

      jak

      August 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm

  3. Did the workfare schemes (Work Programme, Mandatory Work Activity) and increased sanction regimes have a factor to play in the cause of the riots across London and the UK?

    Work Programme

    August 10, 2011 at 7:25 am

    • Indeed – we need paid sustainable jobs… a future!

      3 month benefit sanctions just for lateness… is it fair to get no money for quarter of a year just turning up late once?

      I can see why so many people are angry.

      Ian Kensington

      August 10, 2011 at 8:53 am

    • I think for some of the rioters it probably did.

      ECAP Activist

      August 11, 2011 at 10:58 pm

  4. I sincerely wish anyone who proceeds with sending these letters out a lot of luck, Maybe a few who are reasonably savvy when it comes to law and who aren’t intimidated by all those words that make up the acts will weigh up their chances and have a fighting chance. But this is the DWP. Almost like trying to extinguish the sun with a bucket of water. In my opinion.
    I thoroughly dislike these ‘programmes’ and they are effectively a scam,
    I am unemployed and have just had a great time on FND.
    So in a few months if I am still unemployed i will have to suffer the indignity of going through all the fun of being compelled and ordered about and talked to like a criminal all over again. Not that I tolerate it. Being calm and assertive and being able to do your own research alongside any advice you get helps.

    Work for free?
    No sorry. I’ll attend, but I do not work for free. Threaten me with a sanction? If you must. Some do not like being reminded that it is them personally as the ‘adviser’ who will be responsible for any hardship you ‘may’ endure. Some get this concept. Some don’t admit they get the concept. Some, arguably, probably have no problem at all with this concept. And finally, some just do not have the capacity to understand the concept.

    Also, while I’m here.
    Are disparaging remarks allowed here?
    Remarks that do not defame or disparage any specified individual or company?
    Remarks that do not contain abuse or bad language?
    Remarks that may paint a vivid picture, but may contain some level of vitriol?
    Remarks that indicate that one might be a little peeved at the treatment one has had from a provider?

    Just curious. Just that if every other comment isn’t going to be approved on this site because it potentially makes the blog a little untidy and may intrude upon the author and site owners sensibilities, then I would like to know now so as not to bother wasting my time with long posts such as this one in future.
    A heavily moderated approach doesn’t exactly lend itself to the cause. Of course severe abuse or obscenity and similar should not be tolerated and probably not approved. As that doesn’t help either. But if it’s simply an opinion, even a strong one, why wouldn’t it get posted?
    That probably means you. No not you. You! Make.

    Sites like this are so important. Whatever some quarters of our diverse population may think or assume when reading.
    There are genuine people out there struggling enough without being treated like dirt and bullied.
    Narrow minded bigots out there who like the sound of their own voice do not bother me. Just injustice. That bothers me.

    Thank you for the good work you do. To all good people.

    Mr No

    August 10, 2011 at 7:42 am

    • They use wordpress’ spam filter so some comments might show up in spam or moderation queue, especially those with a link or few.

      Ian Kensington

      August 10, 2011 at 8:48 am

    • The Policy here is that we will not tolerate any racist or sexist or libelous comments.

      The filter works on these.

      But being nasty about companies?

      You’re ‘aving a laugh!

      Andrew Coates

      August 10, 2011 at 8:55 am

    • I would like to thank you for all the time, effort and hard work you have put into this site. I have only the highest praise for those who help the weakest and most vulnerable members of our Society.

      After reading SSAC reports and H.of L. Statutory Instruments reports, it is clear to me that JSA regs 2011 are unlawful.

      Seperate from this is that the whole procedure abrogates Natural Justice and Judicial Review.

      john hagan

      January 15, 2012 at 11:30 am

  5. IUA, I presume I have to send the above letter if I already participated in the WP, right? Do I need to sent “Part 2” as well or is that not needed?

    Lastly, one very important issue (at least in my case): “Continue attending up until you are excused” – what does that mean?

    Do I still continue to attend my provider’s premises? Do I have to agree/participate in what they ask me to do or do I just attend and then leave? Could you clarify this please – it is very important. Many thanks!

    PM

    August 10, 2011 at 10:17 am

    • If you have refused by letters part + part 2 you dont need to send in this letter (unless they re-refer you)

      If you have participated (i.e. not refused) you send in the above letter… there is no need to send any other letters in.

      “Continue attending up until you are excused”

      This means don’t send in the letter and refuse to attend with immediate effect. Attend until they respond to your letter.

      When you attend refuse to participate – its important that you have attended – Failure to Attend will give a sanction. If you were sanctioned for this, you will eventually get your money back likely, they will claim that the provider or its staff wasn’t aware – as its them not Jobcentre Plus who raises the sanction doubts.

      Its a good idea if you send the letter to DWP (recorded) and JCP (first class), whilst taking a copy along to the next provider appointmen when you refuse, so to keep them in the loop.

      We dont recommend sending the letters recorded to everyone as they will raise concerns as to why you are spending so much dole money trying to get out of the scheme. It is vital you are seen as someone sticking up for their rights under law NOT a scrounger who is doing everything they can to get out of the Government scheme.

      Work Programme

      August 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm

      • Many thanks for the reply WP – it does clarify matters and it is exactly what the doctor has ordered (at least in my case)!

        I have not gone through the part 1 and 2 process – I have sent a modified part 1 only, as I discovered about that this programme is in fact illegal a bit too late when I already signed the agreement as well as the consent form (yes, I was under the impression that I have to, otherwise I am getting a sanction!).

        The consent was later withdrawn and I also wrote to DWP requesting an explanation (hence “modified” part 1 letter) and got the “standard” reply from DWP about Section 3. That response also attached the “purchase order” where I saw what data DWP have submitted to my Provider, so is it safe to use the above letter and be done with it, keeping in mind that the consent with the Provider is already withdrawn, but not the agreement I signed with them (do not know if I can “withdraw” this)?

        Also, another important query as far as attendance/participation goes: I am asked to “agree” on a range of activities to be done with my Provider (usually at my Provider’s premises) on a regular basis (say every 10 days or so). When the “agreed” list of activities is “exhausted” we “discuss” with my “advisor” another set of such activities for the next period. This determines my future attendance and participation. So, if I have exhausted the “agreed” list do I:

        a) refuse to agree on any more activities (if that is the case then there won’t be any reason for me to come to my Provider’s premises as there won’t be any activities/appointments I have “agreed” on to participate)? or

        b) agree with the list of activities offered (in that case do I sign them?), but when attending the scheduled appointments with regards to those I do nothing, just sign-in and then leave the premises swiftly?

        If neither of the above, is there a 3rd option?

        many thanks yet again!

        PM

        August 10, 2011 at 4:42 pm

      • Do “(a)” … as otherwise it would be a refusal (even if you had attended them) which is partly why its called “activities” to give the assumption of the requirement of action (active participation) than just attending,

        Work Programme

        August 11, 2011 at 12:57 pm

  6. the riots and civil disorder we have seen are not uncommon in the uk,especially in the last thirty years they have been more intense and widespread then before but are fueled by deprivation and poverty and housing conditions.its blatantly obvious that those on benefits are targeted with small amounts of money being cut that adds to seething.there is no opportunities but there are cuts’,additionally some come from other backgrounds equally disenchanted with society.

    all we have heard is the banks’, the bankers’, and the markets’.its becoming to sound if the average person isnt really that important,those that are in work are being told to work harder for longer.the financial sector is the most important.its been said they loath the working person but fear the markets’.

    its rater ironic that most protests are from the public sector which includes employees such as jobcentre plus,a solid turnout was seen locally recently over pensions,these same people snear at the unemployed and treat them with contempt,and are totally ignorant.the aggressive letter shown above displays a total lack of argument instead attempting to turn the tables on the sender again through abuse of position.

    ian duncan smith’s misconduct is nothing new,not only does his arrogance and contempt extend to those on benefits he is quoted as “misled” parliament and the public,others might prefer to choose the term lied.

    http://digitaljournal.com/article/300488

    it might be added to what reputation,he hasn’t got one

    something was just not right the way the work programme interview was handled at the job centre,it was very much just pushed along with the minimum of fuss,it has now become apparent that this was the case,data disclosed without authorisation to third parties’,misleading statements regarding six month sanctions when in the first instance its two weeks’, A4e were to blame for that one.no mention of rights of wider appeals only trying to keep complaints in house and attempting to sign paperwork confirming this.

    ken

    August 10, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    • I thought the stupidest and most inane response to this was Cameron’s remarks about the “sick society”.

      Andrew Coates

      August 11, 2011 at 10:20 am

      • Yeah, but did you hear about how he is using these riots to enforce the workfare schemes etc.?! Seems like the riots could even be set up by Government. 3 year benefit sanctions are now guaranteed…

        Hope Cameron & Clegg step up their security.

        Work Programme

        August 11, 2011 at 10:35 am

      • Actually would be better if they just left.

        Dissolve Parliament with immediate effect!

        Work Programme

        August 11, 2011 at 10:36 am

  7. Sent the two letters as is and as you have directed.Had 5 meetings with A4E,thought I would give this programme the benefit of the doubt but to charge £400 to £600 for what I have witnessed so far is ludicrous/criminal.Will let you know when I get replies.

    ck

    August 11, 2011 at 10:19 am

    • £80-120 per each meeting… how long were they for 20-30 minutes? Seems a big waste of taxpayers money!!

      Work Programme

      August 11, 2011 at 1:04 pm

  8. Two were about an hour or so,but one of them took that long because there was a first time adviser mixup so another person and me had to see one adviser for the introductory meet.Then there was a half hour CV meeting,another half hour meeting with an adviser.
    The fith was about spec letter writing and was supposed to last two hours but lasted one hour but had to wait a further twenty minutes for it to start.A small group including me were given a spec letter template, which was useless to me because I had written an example spec letter in about five minutes the night before which (the admittedly nice) woman said was fine.
    The Work Programme was supposed to be tailored for the individuals needs but it is quite clear now that it is not.If you are a school leaver or somebody who has never worked/no qualifications this would be helpful but the jobcentre could already help/support people with this stuff and not charge this amount.But when I go to the jobcentre they are not exactly overjoyed about A4E or the work programme and Ken was right about the strange low key/minimum of fuss approach at the initial jobcentre Work Programme interviews.
    There is apparently no other type of training or qualifications to be offered (apart from more CV/spec letter/interview stuff) at A4E so it is hard to grasp why so much money is being charged for each unemployed person who comes through the door.

    ck

    August 11, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    • Bullying for benefit savings.

      Sanctions!!!

      Which will be increasing to 3 years in about 6 months time.

      Work Programme

      August 11, 2011 at 2:06 pm

  9. Has anyone views on this I saw posted on the 9th of Aug in a local citizens social web forum?
    “I heard a conversation in city center this morning with a pair of middle aged men who said along the lines of “all Job-centre FND? A4E clients are ending on 1 September and will be going back to the Job-centre”?””
    I can only assume that A4E has either had a radical change, a new system between the 2 is about to start or JCP has pulled the plug ??

    cs

    August 11, 2011 at 6:26 pm

  10. hi
    ive done the first letters you so kindly supplied on here,,,recieved the vex letters from dwp,,attended a4e ,where refused to sign agreement.Still signing at jobcentre,Today i recieved letter from a4e requesting i attend review interview 16th aug,,also letter from a4e welfare division respondonding to my personal data onfo,,stating as they are walfare provider they have legal right to dwp passing on my info,.
    What do i do now,,,?..attend review and still refuse to sign?,,send letter part 2 ?.
    i suffer from depression and anxiety,,will not last a week on these schemes ,,dont know how will survive if sanctioned .
    hanks for this site,,it gives hope

    steve

    August 11, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    • Steve: I can’t help you with the letters. The Information Disclosure form that the provider asks you to fill-in, is the one that is voluntary – and a refusal to fill the form in will not affect any benefits you are receiving. This is the form that allows the provider to share your personal information with the DWP and other third-parties. See DWP Work Programme Guidance -Chapter 5 Annex: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/pg-chapter-5.pdf

      From what you say, you are refusing to sign the provider’s paperwork because you believe it is illegal for the DWP to pass on your details to the provider.

      But at this stage, I think you might be better to use the Chapter 5 stuff instead. You can show it to the provider if you go to the appointment. If you don’t attend you will certainly get a 2 week benefit sanction – and although you can appeal – what would grounds would you use?

      If you suffer anxiety and depression then aren’t you on ESA? For some ESA claimants (there are several categories) The Work Programme is voluntary, and because it’s voluntary you can’t be sanctioned!

      Sorry, I can’t be of more help.

      ECAP Activist

      August 12, 2011 at 8:11 pm

      • thanks for help,,,i still confused as to what to do next,,,i will still refuse to sign data sharing form

        steve

        August 12, 2011 at 9:03 pm

  11. sorry,,didnt make clear,,,do i send part 2 letter or the duress one,,i prefer the duress one if honest …thanks

    steve

    August 12, 2011 at 7:15 am

  12. Well, so glad I found this site. I do wish I hadn’t signed the W.T.P agreements. I find it a draconian measure, mandatory, I hate. I have a good business plan which will not involve working in a Urban environment. It was sneered at by the boss at W.T.P maybe because it was too green environmentally challenging and I won’t out. I am 55 years old and don’t need this shit. Any advice would be good.

    Julia Whatley

    August 12, 2011 at 7:20 am

  13. Sorry everyone this is a bit off topic. The DWP Admits providing a dodgy dossier regaarding the reform of benefits for the disabled. Kinda makes you wonder what else they have lied about doesn’t it.

    http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/08/dwp-admits-disability-reform-based-on-dodgy-figures-as-reported-by-left-foot-forward/

    kyron1977

    August 12, 2011 at 10:25 am

  14. I have been placed in the work related activity group, and have an appointment with working links for the work programme this tuesday, is there any way i can avoid having to go? I have an anxiety disorder and most days can’t eat any more than 400 calories, and therefore can’t leave the house very much…any help or advice would be hugely appreciated. The thought of going on the work programme is making me sicker than i already am..

    starshine

    August 14, 2011 at 7:20 am

    • Starshine: All I can suggest is you take a friend with you to the appointment. But phone the provder first, explaining your medical condition, and ask if it is okay to bring someone with you for support.

      If the provider says :no. Says you wish to make a formal complaint. Make a note of the time and date of the phone call and write down the name of the person you spoke to..- regardless of whether the provider says yes or no.

      It’s to late now, with your appointment being on Tuesday. Otherwise I would have suggested you make your request in writing and send it by Recorded Delivery to the provider.

      ECAP Activist

      August 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm

  15. hi,sounds like we in same boat.I have suffered depression for years,,recently manifestered into anxiety and panic attacks.Employment as always been a problem to hold down,
    I had first appointment with work programme A4E 3 weeks ago,.Refused to sign forms allowing them my personal details.Meeting lasted about 1/2 hour.Still signed at jc as usual,,,now got next wp appointment this tuesday,,’a review’.Will ley you know how it goes.Best advice for now is attend your appointment (they will stop benefit if dont attend),,,dont sign data protection waiver.Hope you a little clearer now

    steve

    August 14, 2011 at 8:34 am

    • i am not happy with these a4e forms your view/our view,went in the other day “thought you weren’t coming”/supposed to be in the other day.your late when i was early.

      funny that as this was untrue.me and a4e had copies of the same dates,they “apparently” made a mistake the surprising thing is they didn’t check before confronting me. fortunately i had the paperwork too.

      ken

      August 15, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    • hi,,,had second appointment at a4e today.Was told about being reported to dwp if didnt take part in their workshops etc,Was put down to attend ‘tranferable skills’ worshop this thursday 9.30 -4.30.I told advisor i would not be attending a full day,,mainly due to my depession/anxiety,,,he then changed it to morning only .Also got 2 appointments booked a week thursday and friday.They know i wont attend,,they just wearing me down for sanctions.Looks like i will be cast adrift ,no money,,cant afford prescriptions.Any advice much appreciated …

      steve

      August 16, 2011 at 11:50 am

      • I got the full treatment this morning and have to make 5 telephone nuisance calls a day to employers and apply for six jobs in a week.

        I deeply resent people going into your personal background – it’s like having a bleeding social worker/prison officer lecturing you.

        Andrew Coates

        August 16, 2011 at 11:58 am

      • Andrew, how are they going to check you have made the five phone calls? Are they expecting you to attend daily and make the calls from their office? If so, bad luck.

        Crystal Balls

        August 16, 2011 at 1:46 pm

      • You only have to do 3 steps per week under law (a step doesn’t mean a job).

        applying for 6 jobs and making 5 phone calls is 11 steps… of course the job search in addition is going to increase this much higher, perhaps to 20 steps per week!!

        Work Programme

        August 17, 2011 at 9:11 pm

      • Having done the phone calls I must say it’s – as was predictable – a waste of time.

        The only people vaguely interested said: we have no jobs but send your CV to our E-Mail address.

        Which I could have done anyway.

        And indeed regularly do as Spec letters.

        Andrew Coates

        August 19, 2011 at 9:49 am

  16. Hi,

    I work for a provider that delivers the Work Programme, however I am very interested to find out the wider opinion of the programme, and this site has been very intriguing.

    Don’t worry I’m not the sort who is going to start defend the programme, I’m not accessing it I don’t know what you guys go through with JCPs and other providers across the country. However, none of your remarks surprise me.

    A few questions I have for you-
    Would you rather access an alternative, legal provision? Or is the issue the structure of the Work Programme and the way support is delivered to you?
    What alternative job finding activities do people carry out? Do you feel that job searching with you ‘support’ is just as helpful as all the additional ‘support’ given, i.e. training, MWA, action plans etc etc.

    Thanks

    Jen

    August 15, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    • Jen … what are you on, Just why cant you get it that we do not want work programmes, they are a complete waste of time and money and have been since their conception.

      terratech

      August 15, 2011 at 9:40 pm

      • Terratech, mate don’t label me as some one who is trying to force you onto any sort of work programme, as I said I don’t know the treatment you get at jcps and other providers and I also said none of your remarks around the work programme are suprising given what I know of the industry.
        I am sympathetic to your cause!!

        All I am asking is is there an alternative? What is the alternative solution that would work better if at all?

        If you wanna stand up to your opponants you need good answer to this, I’m simply challenging you on friendly ground so you’re prepared.

        jen

        August 15, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    • I’d say that there is a lot of moral hectoring in the Work Programme, and a lot of pointless ‘job searching’.

      I personally do not apprecate being lectured by anyone.

      Since they do not offer work they are really a kind of force-you-into-jobs-that-are-not-always -there scheme.

      Plus a strong dose of Tory attempts to ‘fix’ the ‘sick society’.

      Andrew Coates

      August 16, 2011 at 10:23 am

      • I had thought it would be the case.

        Plus a strong dose of Tory attempts to ‘fix’ the ‘sick society’.

        In which way?

        Work Programme

        August 17, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    • HI Jen… Where do you want to start, chicken or egg; Failing economy = unemployment= personal responsibility
      This battle has been going on for a few centuries now, just look over the UK`s social history of poverty i.e. Deserving/Undeserving poor; being played out again in the papers today “Cameron uses riots to target ‘feckless’ poor people”

      Question; is there an Alternative?

      Yes, it is called the basic income which respects an individual’s dignity and also their autonomy and also creates an Entrepreneurial economy.

      Stop believing you are helping the unemployed; there is no industry called welfare to work except SLAVERY; you are not a recruiter as I am able to go to them freely (Choice)as an autonomous individual; There are no reforms that will fix this, as the ideological will always start with the personal, not the economic faults that create unemployment.

      terratech

      August 16, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    • “All I am asking is is there an alternative? What is the alternative solution that would work better if at all?”

      In my opinion, the money and resources should be given to the DWP so they can run these schemes themselves, not privatise the welfare state a bit at a time by farming everyone out like so much cattle to private companies.

      Nothing personal, but I find the idea of these parasitic private companies exploiting the misfortune of the unemployed (not to mention the sick and disabled who are being forced onto these schemes) just to turn a profit, contemptible.

      Average Joe

      August 17, 2011 at 9:48 am

      • For the record my organisations is not for profit and we have been horrified by the number of third sector organisations that have had to shut down or down size because of not getting and ‘volumes’ (hate that word) on the Work Programme.

        Indeed my organisation cut 66% of our staff because the Primes we had Work programme offers from weren’t successful. Ironic that those people have ended up on the Work programme!

        Word is the DWP are going to be turning JCPs into ‘administrative centres’ only, so job seekers will be processed and passed onto (mainly) private sector firms for all their support needs. With reference to the Data Security issues this forum has discussed this will be of great concern to job seekers as their information will be immediately passed onto a third party.

        Jen

        August 17, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      • Gone from 3 members of staff to just 1?

        Indeed, and to an extent Jobcentre Plus should be solely administrative…. but its not that much different then at current in regards to processing claims…

        Work Programme

        August 17, 2011 at 9:07 pm

  17. This is great stuff, and I’ve been following these refuse schemes and ideas as best I can (i don’t read off of screens very well and suffer anxiety and stress anyway, no thanks to the JC). But do they work? Surely the DWP are just going to laugh at this, sanction you and that’s it. They may be evil, but surely they’ve got their legal bases covered.

    ghost whistler

    August 15, 2011 at 1:19 pm

  18. The Work Programme is not about getting people into jobs, it’s about fundamentally changing the nature of working. The Work Programme is going to destroy jobs for unskilled, young people in particular, as there will be no incentive for the likes of Tesco to create them. I knew Tesco would be one of the major players, the fuckers. For years multinational corporations have been happy to pay people buttons, now they literally want to treat them like slave labour, and because they own the governments, the British government has simply drafted legislation that completely allows them to do that.

    I think perhaps people might imagine that this couldn’t happen in Britain for some bizarre reason, but we don’t live in a country, we have no sovereignty at all, and the people that run companies like Tesco have no compunction for their actions, and obviously they have no loyalty to national borders. People in the UK will doubtless go on kidding themselves that the reason we live relatively comfortable lives while people in Africa starve is due to our cultural or social superiority. It’s got nothing to do with that. We were required to be productive, so we were given baubles to make us behave that way by the multinational corporations that now control every major industry and ultimately the planet. This is no longer required, so now our standard of living is going to be rapidly decimated.

    WUB

    August 15, 2011 at 4:57 pm

  19. Soylent Green is claimants!

    Mr No

    August 16, 2011 at 11:35 am

    • “Soylent Green is PEOPLE!”

      Charlton Heston

      August 16, 2011 at 7:52 pm

  20. andrew,,,whilst i was sat at advisors desk being given 3rd degree today i heard a couple of other advisors at next table discussing what they were going to do if their 11 o,clock appointments didnt turn up..Thety know full well people wont attend ,,its a easy way to get people off benefits,,,make things impossible to take so you give up

    steve

    August 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    • Got in it in a short drop 🙂

      Build the provider staff's gallows high

      August 16, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    • Steve, round here there are already people living in squalor in an abandoned Ice Cream Factory. It’s officially a drinkers’ tolerated zone.

      But some of them are simply homeless.

      Others are living in the streets.

      If that’s happending In Ipswich I imagine it’s going on elsewhere.

      Andrew Coates

      August 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm

  21. Just been browsing the Regulations Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations 2011 (http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm80/8058/8058.pdf) and be careful when referencing “Regulations 3, 4 & 8 of the Jobseeker’s Allowance (Employment Skills and Enterprise Scheme) Regulations 2011” as mentioned in the letters Part 2….

    There IS mention of the Work Programme in part 9 of the introduction where it says:

    9. The Employment, Skills and Enterprise Scheme covers four initiatives:

    a. Skills Conditionality is aimed at improving take-up of help and
    support for those claimants with an identified skills need that is a
    barrier to them gaining and keeping employment. Jobcentre Plus will
    refer claimants to a skills training provider, Further Education College
    or Next Step careers service with potential benefit sanctions for nonparticipation.

    b. The objective of Service Academies is to support job seekers who are
    close to the labour market but who would benefit from participating in
    pre-employment training and work experience leading to a guaranteed
    interview to help them move into sustained employment in a demand
    sector and to support employers in those sectors to fill their vacancies
    more efficiently.

    c. The New Enterprise Allowance will promote self-employment under
    the guidance of a business mentor, providing access to a weekly
    financial allowance and business start-up loan finance.

    d. The Work Programme will provide back to work support for a wide
    range of claimants, including Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants, and
    claimants on Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support
    and Incapacity Benefits. It will replace much of the employment
    programme provision currently offered by the Department for Work and
    Pensions including Flexible New Deal, Employment Zones and
    Pathways to Work.

    They’ll sting you on this point

    SJ

    August 17, 2011 at 9:41 am

  22. Hi everyone,

    Today i was in my local JC and my adviser said he was referring me to the “WORK PROGRAMME” i then asked if this was a 3rd part he said yes i then informed him that it was illegal to send any details to a 3rd part as it contravines data protection rules therfore illegal he then went to see his manager and came back and said okay i have passed it on and we will write to you in due course, have i done the right thing

    * not agreed to anything
    * informed them of the law on data protection
    * asked if there would be sanctions NO SANCTIONS
    *1st person in dundee apparently to refuse the work programme (i doubt this)

    RRL

    August 17, 2011 at 4:04 pm

  23. RRL: I think you would have been better to have used the Chapter 5 stuff ( about consent being voluntary – and a refusal will not affect any benefits you are receiving) at the Work Programme.appointment at the provider’s office. Here’s the link:
    http://edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk/sites/default/files/information%20disclosure%20leaflet_0.pdf

    As it is, I suspect you will still get a phone call from the provider on Friday – it ‘s usually 2 days after the jobcentre work programme referral inteview. And that will be followed by an appointment letter from the provider.

    Good luck.

    ECAP Activist

    August 17, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    • Thanks ECAP,

      i expect no such call, as i the expect JCP to inform me as to the legal obligations they have concerning my details once this has been satisfied i will then decide if they have acted legally, i do however expect them to come bck with a letter saying its legal then i will produce said letter from chapter 5 and ask for an explanation as to why this legal document is online if not correct and i expect them to honour that document

      we shall see m8

      NO TO SLAVE LABOUR AND TO FALSE FIGURES USED INELECTIONS

      RRL

      August 18, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    • ecap activist

      today i was in my job centre and i have now been summoned to the work programme the provider is as follows

      PRAP CONTACT
      INGEUS UK LTD
      THE REGISTERY
      3 ROYAL MINT COURT
      S11 8HD
      that is the provider who i see have sub contracted a company called triage (working links) is this legal to pas on details to a 4th party

      also got a link to the 3rd party question i put the last time i was in
      http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/dwp-model-tc-national-w2w.pdf

      today i even had a security guard stand behind me in anticipation that i would kick of (no precious history) at no point was i angry or lost my temper i am disgusted at this and now want to do everything in my power not to comply with this slavery (however i need the measly funds i receive) looks like my only option is to refuse to sign the consent forms from the provider

      any ideas what else i can do

      i do feel my hernia has popped

      ps i feel this part of the paperwork i received is incredible

      The provider will – keep your personal data secure and will not share it with any unauthorised third parties

      thanks

      RRL

      August 31, 2011 at 11:44 am

      • You sure it was just the one security guard. I had at least four standing behind me the last time I popped in for a “chat”. And the advisor was signalling/making gestures to what must have been someone/something out of my line of sight. Not forgetting about a dozen security cameras trained on me too. The thing is, I have NEVER so much as raised my voice in the jokecentre. The ONLY person raising their voice was the advisor. I get the impression they are trying to make people out to be violent who are no such thing. The sooner all the jobcentre staff, provider staff and the scum who own and run these scum businesses are at the bottom of the river the better.

        Squirrel

        September 1, 2011 at 9:01 am

      • Its simple… many jobseekers will raise their voice (therefore become “violent” or threatening) in response to the attitude and tone of voice of the adviser and the security guards in the way make it worse…

        its all an bullying technique to provoke a reaction…

        Work Programme

        September 1, 2011 at 11:29 am

      • I get the same heavy-handed security presence too and I am only a very slightly built girl who stands 5′ 2 (in my high heels lol :-)) Maybe the joke centre think I am a martial arts expert or something 🙂 I’m not! The trick though is just to stay calm, cool and collected and not to raise your voice no matter how loud the piece of scum behind the desk is shouting or otherwise trying to provoke you. We tend to imitate others so if the advisor is shouting you will naturally raise your voice too. And that is when the security guard scum can grab their chance. I detest them the way they look ever so eager and twitching to pounce on their victim. Goodness, oh I so hate the jobcentre and the scum who work for it, and that goes for you scum providers too. Karma is a wonderful thing 🙂

        Peggy Sue

        September 1, 2011 at 11:42 am

      • Buffy and Laura Croft would be useful if it ever comes down to something a bit serious.

        Andrew Coates

        September 1, 2011 at 11:57 am

      • Let me assure your readership that of the thousands of jobcentre offices operating throughout the UK none of our facilities employ security guards. They may *look* remarkably similar to security guards but are in fact customer care officers. Thank you for allowing me to publish clarification. Jobcentre Plus Manager

        Jobcentre Plus Manager

        September 1, 2011 at 11:59 am

      • jobcentremanager

        “They may *look* remarkably similar to security guards but are in fact customer care officers. Thank you for allowing me to publish clarification. Jobcentre Plus Manager”

        my my Goebbels would be proud

        RRL

        September 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm

      • RRL: I don’t think Triage have anything to do with Working Links. From what you say, it looks like Ingeus have sub-contracted to Triage.

        You might want to make a formal complaint to the jobcentre abiut being intimidated by one of their ‘goons’. Glad you didn’t ‘kick off’ in the jobcentre – wait till you get to Triage before doing that.

        Apart from using the Chapter 5 stuff at your Triage appointment, there are one or two other things worth knowing – see below.

        1: Before the appointment you should receive a Triage Work Programme booklet – which explains their complaints pricedure as well everything else to do with the programme. Makes sure you read it. If you don’t get a copy of this booklet before the appointment – complain.

        2: At the provider appointment, they supposed to kick off things by first giving you the Info Dislosuire form(s) to fill in. Read the form(s) very carefully, and make sure you look at the back of it. If the form(s) do not say anything about consent being voluntary the form(s) are invalid because the DWP have told all providers that these forms must have this statement to comply with the Data Potection Act.

        3: If the provider signs you up within 15 days of your jobcentre referral – the provider cops for a £400 attachment fee. So if you could postone the appoinmtent beyond 15 days you will have done them out the money. Not easily done, unless you had a holiday booked or something like that.

        You seem to be doing alright on your own – as you’ve managed to delay strating the Work Programme by a few weeks.

        Hope the above helps.

        .

        ECAP Activist

        September 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm

      • Hi Ecap & Everyone,

        Received phone call Yesterday at 3 .45 pm from a chap representing triage who then informed me they had my details sent to them (referred) from DWP and there is a letter on its way, he then went on and asked the following questions

        Name,dob,ni ,benefits,etc etc and to expect a letter to inform me to start on Monday 12th, letter arrived this morning (no complaint booklet), i feel this being deliberate as to prevent people getting refusewp letters sent out !! however i will attend the meeting on Monday and then promptly refuse to sign the data letter (chapter5) then i have to sit for an hr, not happy at all

        RRL

        RRL

        September 9, 2011 at 10:12 am

      • i was looking at this route http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Jobseekers/programmesandservices/DG_198864 however i see this is also stopped if you have a slave meeting

        RRL

        RRL

        September 9, 2011 at 10:34 am

  24. Stanford prison experiment continues to shock

    Forty years ago a group of students hoping to make a bit of holiday money turned up at a basement in Stanford University, California, for what was to become one of the most notorious experiments in the study of human psychology.

    The idea was simple – take a group of volunteers, tell half of them they are prisoners, the other half prison wardens, place them in a makeshift jail and watch what happens.

    The Stanford prison experiment was supposed to last two weeks but was ended abruptly just six days later, after a string of mental breakdowns, an outbreak of sadism and a hunger strike.

    “The first day they came there it was a little prison set up in a basement with fake cell doors and by the second day it was a real prison created in the minds of each prisoner, each guard and also of the staff,” said Philip Zimbardo, the psychologist leading the experiment.

    The volunteers had answered an advertisement in a local paper and both physical and psychological tests were done to make sure only the strongest took part.

    Despite their uniforms and mirrored sunglasses, the guards struggled to get into character and at first Prof Zimbardo’s team thought they might have to abandon the project.

    ‘Very cruel guard’

    As it turned out, they did not have to wait long.

    “After the first day I noticed nothing was happening. It was a bit of a bore, so I made the decision I would take on the persona of a very cruel prison guard,” said Dave Eshleman, one of the wardens who took a lead role.

    At the same time the prisoners, referred to only by their numbers and treated harshly, rebelled and blockaded themselves inside their cells.

    The guards saw this as a challenge to their authority, broke up the demonstration and began to impose their will.

    “Suddenly, the whole dynamic changed as they believed they were dealing with dangerous prisoners, and at that point it was no longer an experiment,” said Prof Zimbardo.

    It began by stripping them naked, putting bags over their heads, making them do press-ups or other exercises and humiliating them.

    “The most effective thing they did was simply interrupt sleep, which is a known torture technique,” said Clay Ramsey, one of the prisoners.

    “What was demanded of me physically was way too much and I also felt that there was really nobody rational at the wheel of this thing so I started refusing food.”

    Power of situations

    He was put in the janitor’s cupboard – solitary confinement – and the other prisoners were punished because of his actions. It became a very stressful situation.

    “It was rapidly spiralling out of control,” said prison guard Mr Eshleman who hid behind his mirrored sunglasses and a southern US accent.

    “I kept looking for the limits – at what point would they stop me and say ‘No, this is only an experiment and I have had enough’, but I don’t think I ever reached that point.”

    Prof Zimbardo recalled a long list of prisoners who had breakdowns and had to leave the experiment. One even developed a psychosomatic all-over body rash.

    The lead researcher had also been sucked into the experiment and had lost clarity.

    “The experiment was the right thing to do, the wrong thing was to let it go past the second day,” he said.

    “Once a prisoner broke down we had proved the point – that situations can have a powerful impact – so I didn’t end it when I should have.”

    In the end it was a fellow psychologist who intervened.

    Prof Zimbardo had been dating Christina Maslach, a former graduate student, and when she saw what was happening in the basement she was visibly shocked, accusing him of cruelty. It snapped him out of the spell.

    Prison disturbances in the US drew attention to the Stanford experiment and, all of a sudden, the dramatic results became well known in the US and all over the world.

    “The study is the classic demonstration of the power of situations and systems to overwhelm good intentions of participants and transform ordinary, normal young men into sadistic guards or for those playing prisoners to have emotional breakdowns,” said Prof Zimbardo.

    ‘Ethically wrong’

    The abusive prison guard, Mr Eshleman, also felt he gained something from the experiment.

    “I learned that in a particular situation I’m probably capable of doing things I will look back on with some shame later on,” he said.

    “When I saw the pictures coming from Abu Ghraib in Iraq, it immediately struck me as being very familiar to me and I knew immediately they were probably just very ordinary people and not the bad apples the defence department tried to paint them as.

    “I did some horrible things, so if I ever had the chance to repeat the experiment I wouldn’t do it.”

    But prisoner Mr Ramsey felt the experiment should never have taken place as it had no true scientific basis and was ethically wrong.

    “The best thing about it, is that it ended early,” he said.

    “The worst thing is that the author, Zimbardo, has been rewarded with a great deal of attention for 40 years so people are taught an example of very bad science.”

    But Prof Zimbardo calls this “naive” and argues the work was a very valuable addition to psychology – and its findings were important in understanding why abuse took place at Abu Ghraib.

    “It does tell us that human nature is not totally under the control of what we like to think of as free will, but that the majority of us can be seduced into behaving in ways totally atypical of what we believe we are,” he said.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14564182

    Stanley Milgram

    August 17, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    • Work Programme: The idea was simple – take the unemployed, tell half of them they are “claimants”, the other half “employment advisors”, place them in a makeshift office and watch what happens.

      The Work Programme was supposed to last two years but was ended abruptly, after a string of mental breakdowns, an outbreak of sadism and a hunger strike.

      The claimants were referred by jobcentre plus and both physical and psychological tests were done to make sure only the most vulnerable members of society took part.

      Despite their computers and mirrored sunglasses, the advisors struggled to get into character and at first Chris Grayling’s team thought they might have to abandon the Work Programme.

      As it turned out, they did not have to wait long.
      “After the induction meetings I noticed nothing was happening. It was a bit of a bore, so I made the decision I would take on the persona of an abusive bully,” said Haley Taylor, one of the advisors who took a lead role.

      At the same time the claimants, referred to only by their first names and treated harshly, rebelled and blockaded themselves inside the “resource centre”.

      The advisors saw this as a challenge to their authority, broke up the demonstration and began to impose sanctions.
      “Suddenly, the whole dynamic changed as they believed they were dealing with potentially violent claimants, and at that point the Work Programme was no longer part of the Employment, Skills and Enterprise Scheme,” said Emma Harrison. It began by humiliating them by making them apply for six jobs and ‘phone five employers a day.

      “The most effective thing they did was simply to ‘phone them at home on their mobile ‘phone, which is a known torture technique,” said Andrew Coates, one of the claimants.

      “What was demanded of me physically was way too much and I also felt that there was really nobody rational at the wheel of this thing so I started refusing to attend appointments.”

      He was put in the “resource room” – one hundred claimants confined to 1 metre cubed room with 100 other claimants and only one computer between them – and the other claimants were punished because of his actions by being forced to sign-on daily by jobcentre plus. It became a very stressful situation.

      Chris Grayling recalled a long list of claimants who had breakdowns and had to be excused by jobcentre plus. One even developed a psychosomatic all-over body rash.

      “The Work Programme was the right thing to do, the wrong thing was to let it go past the second day,” he said.

      “Once a claimant broke down and signed off we had proved the point – that intervention strategies can have a powerful impact – so I didn’t end it when I should have” Iain Duncan Smith.

      But claimants’ groups felt the Work Programme should never have taken place as it had no legal basis and was ethically and morally wrong.

      “The best thing about it, is that it ended early,”they said.

      IBS

      August 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      • We should suggest this as the basis for next year’s Torchwood series, lightly embroidered – and expose it as ultimately an alien plot.

        Andrew Coates

        August 18, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      • @ “IBS” Well written. 😀

        Crystal Balls

        August 18, 2011 at 2:34 pm

      • Yes IBS truly excellent.

        Andrew Coates

        August 18, 2011 at 3:44 pm

  25. Very good. That gave me a giggle, IBS.

    Mr No

    August 19, 2011 at 9:14 pm

  26. why not start a fund to legally challenge these issues in court ? 10,000 people donating £2 each is £20,000 and if word got out you could get 100,000 people donating ……..or more. rather than just write letters of protest which will mostly be ignored .court rulings on the other hand cannot be ignored

    russ wills

    August 19, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    • Russ makes a good point. We’d need a sympathetic Human Rights lawyer. And with enough people, it might be a ‘class action’ on a no-win no fee basis.

      I contacted a few well known London law firms, none bothered to reply. Having said that if enough of us do the same thing perhaps some of them will actually sit up and take notice and reply. Then we can get the ball rolling.

      It’s up to us to take the next step. Everyone of you reading this can contribute – start emailing law firms.

      ECAP Activist

      August 21, 2011 at 2:09 pm

  27. Cant you get a solicitor and if you’re signing on you can get them to pay him? I just had one for a police interview, and then I had to show him my book and he took it from there, never took a penny from me. So surely you could take legal action and also charge them for it, double whammy? lol

    Chris

    August 20, 2011 at 11:16 am

  28. The work program faces financial collapse:

    http://opinion.publicfinance.co.uk/2011/08/will-the-work-programme-work/

    Detailed analysis from the Social Market Foundation here:

    http://www.smf.co.uk/will-the-work-programme-work.html

    It has even been picked up by the FT:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7537ef9e-c982-11e0-9eb8-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1VlhF4QZQ

    Anton

    August 22, 2011 at 2:45 pm

  29. I served the above letter both to the DWP HQ as well as sending 2 copies to my provider’s HQ and their local office. The local office notice was handed over directly to the admin person present at that time, the one addressed to the provider’s HQ was sent via 1st class post and the DWP one was sent via 1st class recorded delivery (I have a copy of the signature and when it was signed).

    Today I have received a phone call from my provider asking why I have not attended my “appointment” yesterday! They also deny (!) receiving the 2 notices I already sent them – as above.

    Even though I sent the provider’s letters via “normal” post and handed the other copy personally at their local office, I also have a voice recording of that part of the meeting when I hand that notice over and tell them that I no longer wish to participate in this illegal programme under duress.

    So, what do I do if the provider tries and raises a doubt with DWP? They (DWP/Provider) may claim/say they’ve never received such notice in which case do I present the *relevant parts* of the voice recording as proof?

    PM

    August 24, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    • You should have attended really. Although I don’t blame you, these centres can be most unpleasant to attend.
      I’m sure I read on one of these forums that the advice would be to attend until you have had a response from the DWP.

      Your provider will probably go ahead and sanction you and the DM will probably not recognise your current legal challenge as a ‘Good reason’.

      Best of luck to you.

      Mr No

      August 24, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    • PM: The provider must contact you by letter when they raise a sanction doubt. I understand they phoned, but they must follow it up with a letter.

      You’ve made a stand on principle, which is to be admired. The downside is that things will now get a lot tougher. I’m afraid you have to be prepared to follow it through by getting a solictor – as you have clearly stated, in writing, the Work Programme is illegal. I also think it is illegal – but that can only be determined by a court case or Judicial Review (not sure which)

      If your not a position to pay for a solicitor and continue the fight, then I’d suggest you call it quits. The worst that can happen is you will almost certainly get a 2 week JSA sanction for failing to attend the appointment.

      Although you can appeal the 2 week JSA sanction, I very much doubt it will be overturned. There is a very remote chance that if the provider doesn’t write to you about a possible benefit sanction you could argue – to the DWP – that the provider failed to follow the correct procedure. Other than that, things don’t look good.

      Good luck.

      . .

      ECAP Activist

      August 24, 2011 at 10:57 pm

  30. dose this letter work some one tell me sent me on it got to go on the 20th sep 2011 what i do now send this letter

    steven

    August 26, 2011 at 2:19 pm

  31. Does this letter work? Good question. I think it may be a little soon to know.

    My advice to anyone trying this… Unless you fully understand what you are doing then maybe it’s best not to send such letters out.

    Sending out these letters is no easy way out of the programmes. And different people will have slightly different results depending on how they are able to respond to any DWP action regarding these letters.

    I am not criticising, I am simply saying that for some people this might be too much to handle if you have little knowledge of the law and how the system really works.
    And also how to respond to the potentially threatening letters you will probably get back from the DWP should you decide to go ahead.

    So before anyone sends out such letters I would suggest they have a good think before they do. If you are made of stern stuff and can handle any pressure that might result from your actions then fine. Go for it.

    Mr No

    August 26, 2011 at 6:00 pm

  32. Steven, since you havent attended your appointment yet, which is september 20th, I suggest if you want to go down this route, take a look at this:

    http://www.refusewp.com/refuse-work-programme/refuse-work-programme-part-1.html

    These are letters you should send out BEFORE attending the appointment with your provider, the letter on this website that I’m commenting on, is for after you attend your first appointment and are enrolled on the Work Programme.

    Chris

    August 26, 2011 at 7:35 pm

  33. Could someone clarify this further for me please: “…my continued participation in this illegitimate scheme may bring my benefit claim in disrepute by making me breach the jobseeking conditions.”

    How does this makes me breach my job-seeking conditions exactly?

    I am very clear on the data protection issue, but the same can’t be said as far as the above goes. Thanks!

    PM

    August 27, 2011 at 1:29 pm

  34. The funny thing about this is, you say in the letter “I will not continue attending” and then the advice after is “continue attending”.

    I’m guessing you’re in breach because this programme doesnt exist under current laws, meaning you are “employed” when on the scheme, and therefore being a benefit thief. My guess, not fact.

    Chris

    August 29, 2011 at 11:40 pm

  35. From the following DWP document it is fairly clear that the ‘Work Programme’ doesn’t mean doing ‘work’. That will probably come as a shock to some employers, but [74] is clear, ‘the participant must not fulfil a role which would otherwise be advertised as vacant’. If you want to get rid of the WP it may be more effective to remove the employer’s incentive to make use of it, by removing the ‘free labour’ element. How can the DWP possibly object if you help them to enforce their own rules, by ensuring you don’t do work that a paid employee would normally be doing? If you’re asked to do so you must report it.

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/pg-chapter-2.pdf

    Ensuring Participants are not Exploited by Employers

    73. When delivering Jobcentre Plus provision you are responsible for ensuring that participants are not exploited. This is particularly relevant where participants are placed with employers for the purposes of training and/or work experience.

    74. Before arranging work experience or other periods of attachment to an employer you must be sure there is a genuine reason why the employer wants to offer participants the opportunity to work with them. The placement must also be genuinely additional e.g. the participant must not fulfil a role which would otherwise be advertised as vacant. Once the participant is participating in the activity you are responsible for monitoring their progress and in doing so you will have the opportunity to assure yourself that they are not being exploited.

    75. Any activity that you arrange for a participant to undertake with an employer must not contravene the National Minimum Wage Act. More information about the National Minimum Wage can be found via the link below:

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Employees/TheNationalMinimumWage/index.htm

    76. In the event that a position becomes vacant and you find that a participant you would have expected to be offered work is rejected, you should look carefully at the feedback received from the employer. If the employer gives you specific evidence of their unsuitability, there is no problem about continuing to offer work experience. If the feedback is vague and evasive, you should consider whether future offers of work experience are agreed with that employer. You must have systems in place to identify any patterns in the employer’s handling of work experience.

    77. Ultimately, any decision made about withdrawing work experience from the employer and participant will probably depend upon the quality of the feedback you get from the employer and the knowledge you have of the capability of the participant.

    Anton

    September 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    • Thats rather interesting, when I was on FND the third time, I was put into a supermarket, promised a job, and then at the end of my time the employer decided not to employ me, straight away that relates to (76) or near enough.

      Altho I dont know what reason the employer gave me, even tho I worked 9-5, when everyone else was part time. Then also as soon as my time ended, someone new was employed, doing exactly what I did…

      Chris

      September 1, 2011 at 8:21 pm

      • Chris: As you probably concluded from your work experience placement, it’s just taxapyer scam! Or, more precisely, a conveyer belt of a taxpayer scam!

        The provider gets paid TWICE, once by the taxpayer for you to go on FND and again by the supermarket for your free labour.

        Thy have to tell you there is a possibility of a job, to get you to comply and not ask too many tricky questions. No doubt they said to the same thing to all the others who did the same placement before and after you!

        If the priovider threatened to have your benefit stopped if you did not undertake the unpaid work placement, it is because the DWP have advised the provider that the jobseeker must be mandated to undertake the ‘activity’ to avoid National Minimum Wage legislation.

        The DWP should be put on trial!

        ECAP Activist

        September 1, 2011 at 8:59 pm

      • You should insist on finding out the feedback. When I was on placement the employer signed my time sheets and wrote the feedback on them, so I could see it.

        In that particular case there was a rather more clever scam going on. The employer had a sideline as a recruitment agency – offered to give glowing references with a fictitious CV (they of course would pick up a recruitment bonus). That would actually be a criminal offence, so I turned down their offer.

        Anton

        September 2, 2011 at 12:21 am

    • You will find something very interesting in provider guidance*:-

      + must
      + should
      + expected (i.e. it is ..)
      + could / probably

      etc.

      “Must” is where its expected to be complied with; “should” is used as a deliberate loophole

      In this case… (the snippets) you MUST make sure people aren’t exploited but you dont have to (“should”) get feedback on why they werent offered the position (big assumption that provider knows about the “vacant position”) in order to determine whether people will be exploited for free labour.

      Very much a traffic system… (Red, Amber/Yellow, Green)

      It must be a must (not falling into the trap by saying it should be a must, lol) for providers to check if there is exploitation etc. otherwise they wont find out. This is intended!!

      However provider guidance is the biggest bunch of nonsense going. Very unlikely to cause a breach of contract… I am sure A4e used the excuse… “Well the provider guidance didn’t say anything about not being allowed to trace signatures. how was our rogue employee supposed to know that?”

      *anyone with the time to analyse each part would be exceptional

      Unlawful Sanctions

      September 2, 2011 at 11:28 am

      • I stopped reading this after the first sentence but I believe it’s important:

        “The government’s Work Programme is now up and running around the country, getting Britain’s long-term unemployed back into work. Many commentators have highlighted the labour market’s critical importance to the programme. While they are right to do so, it is not the only potential pitfall to stand in the way of its success; its centralised and top-down approach has been one of the most overlooked challenges in its path.

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/local-government-network/2011/sep/02/why-the-work-programme-must-go-local?CMP=twt_fd

        Andrew Coates

        September 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm

  36. […] Letter of Refusal for those who have consented to Work Programme under Duress Work Programme Network advice: […]

    • But at the moment the letters of refusal (the two to send in before you get put on the Work Programme or the one you send after you have participated in the Work Programme) are having no discernible effect.At first it did seem that the DWPs feathers had been ruffled but then we all got sent the two smug letters from DWP and Caxton House basically saying you are staying on the Work Programme and we can do what we like with your personal data.
      Of course I did not think the situation we are all in would change overnight but at the moment it seems this hellish staus quo is going to be maintained at our expense,all the more galling after seeing Emma Harrison on ITV the other night giving her worthless “employment advice” to an over 50s unemployed man,she really is worth every penny of the millions she has siphoned off for herself for her own coffers.

      ck

      September 3, 2011 at 11:43 am

      • DO NOT sign the Data Protection Act Waivers!

        Providers must DIE!!

        September 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm

      • I’ve noticed a lack of replies regarding outcomes of the Part 2 letter and this letter. Kinda implies that people are still waiting for replies, it’s being dragged out, or people are losing and dont want to let others know the letters arent working.

        I’m guessing that when people send this off, they’d get a reply similar to the reply to Part 1, stating the laws that allow them to do whatever. So then you’d send off part 2, and we’re back to square 1 since theres been no feedback from people who have sent off part 2.

        Chris

        September 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm

      • Why would anyone want to waive their rights under the Data Protection Act. You’d have to be a right daft chuff to do that. Not even my cat – bless her cotton socks – would sign away her rights under the Data Protection Act 🙂

        Brenda Barnstubble

        September 5, 2011 at 2:58 pm

  37. i have been on a few of theses courses and the amount of money being wasted is a joke. also the scams going on are even worse. for the provider to get paid a simply test has to be passed. but if you fail it they will tell you the answers or even forge it then get the person to just sign it. or in other cases you all have to sign blank pieces of paper. and 99% of placements are slave labour just like the old YTS. one of my placements was from 8.30am to 6.30pm and i had to travel around 2 hours each day.

    dave

    September 4, 2011 at 8:48 pm

  38. A funny from Indus Delta 🙂

    “I have been working on the WP for the last 8 weeks and was told in early August that I wasn’t good enough to do it as i had failed the companies assessment, and was therefore being made redundant in Sept.
    I during this time was on the WP implementation team, running an office more or less single handed,without IT and with the only means of comunication being a mobile phone. I had a caseload of 160+ clients, had 4 jobstarts, and was setting up induction campaigns for 5 offices. ( Manager away on assessment duties)
    I feel insulted by my company who shall remain mameless, ( rhymes with Shirking Finks )
    I am currently on ‘Gardening Leave’awaiting 16/09 when my redundancy becomes final..
    Do the DWP realise the ineptitude of the providers they have nominated to provide this contract?
    we have opened 7 new offices in our contract area since June, and most of them are still awaiting IT, including one in our capital city.”

    Shirking Finks?

    Indus Delta

    September 5, 2011 at 8:10 pm

  39. Response to the above letter received yesterday. I am typing in the main bits:

    You were referred to the WP at the appropriate stage of unemployment, i.e. after 12 months of claiming JSA, and engaged with the WP provider.

    When you take part in the WP, you are also taking part in the Employment, Skills and Enterprise Scheme (the Scheme) which is established in law by the Jobseeker’s Allowance (Employment, Skills and Enterprise Scheme) Regulations 2011.

    If you fail to take part in the WP/the Scheme without a good reason, then under regulation 8 of the Jobseeker’s Allowance (Employment, Skills and Enterprise Scheme) Regulations 2011, your JSA couldstop for periods of up to 26 weeks. You could also loose your NI credits.

    You also referred to unlawful processing of your personal and sensitive data, and requested that any stored data held by our WP provider be destroyed. I would advise that the DWP is able to disclose information relating to social security and employment and training to persons providing services to DWP for use for those purposes, under S3 of the SSA 1998. This could include personal information about claimants who have been referred to a service provider for the purposes of the WP.

    Welfare for Work Providers are carrying work on behalf of DWP and require access to individuals’ personal data and information held by the Department to be able to provide the required services. In this situation, DWP remains the data controller abd the provider acts as the data processor as defined by the DPA; therefore there is no breach of the principles of the DPA as the Department remains the data controller.

    Details of our Data Protection obligations are held on our website and in relation to contractors acting on our behalf, you may find the website mentioned below useful, specifically section 14 of the national standard terms and conditions for Welfare to Work Providers http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/dwp-model-tc-national-w2w.pdf

    I would advice you that failure to participate in the WP as directed by your provider without good reason, may lead to loss of your benefits.

    So, to me there are 2 issues:

    1) the legality of the WP and 2) the data breach.

    I intend to use the relevant parties of the “Part 2” letter from the refuseworkprogramme site to respond as, to my understanding, the WP is not legally defined in the statute books.

    As for the passing of personal and sensitive data without consent – that’s illegal too, as I have not given such consent and, as is the case with sensitive data, explicit consent was not sought nor given either.

    Any more ideas as to how to tackle this would be appreciated!

    PM

    September 11, 2011 at 1:52 pm

  40. Cant win this one maybe say sign under economic duress fear of losing your JSA maybe
    if they was giving NVQ Training skill for new work skill that need better your self , sure that helping in good way
    am all for it.
    But for them say here unpaid job for 4week in same type work done before it wrong that free labor

    we need be asking for better system . your not going win over them
    your better of asking your Mp for bettet system then this outright free labor work programme/work for your jsa
    becasue that just end up takeing some one paid job of some one , then there end up on jsa working for free labor to
    that go for all unskill job out there
    this need be ban right now
    talk your MP about this help them come up with better system
    for now your better of finding temp work for 4 week paid work then do there 4 week unpaid work on work proqramme

    Jako

    September 12, 2011 at 9:32 pm

  41. Anyone attempting to ‘get out’ of any sort of work programme, in my opinion are down right scum.
    The trouble with this country is that people such as yourselves expect everything to be provided and have the right to sit back whilst others work for a living.
    Unfortunately the silver spoon brigade now in government have no concept of of real life, or reality for that matter, but its tough, we are all in the same situation and have to make the best of it.
    If you havent got a job and claim benefits then get off your backside and do some voluntary work, such as helping the older/vulnerable members of society (a bit of gardening, or painting, etc). Stop being a drain on resources and do something with your lives.

    Anon

    September 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    • do some voluntary work, such as helping the older/vulnerable members of society (a bit of gardening, or painting, etc). Stop being a drain on resources and do something with your lives.

      it sounds good but it does people out of jobs. Fact. also if some people cannot find/get/or hold down a job. it means they need real help and the rubbish the job center hands out. on another note the amount of money wasted on theses quick fix courses. is a big waste to everybody.

      dave

      September 27, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    • If you’re so keen on the work programme why don’t you swap your income for the income of someone on the work programme. In my opinion refusal would lead you open to the accusation of being a down right hypocrite.

      Anton

      September 27, 2011 at 4:15 pm

  42. Again just excuse after excuse.
    Whilst out of work I was happy to take as many opportunities as I could get my hands on, I understand it is financially difficult in such a situation (been there myself unfortunately on more than one occassion) but the more experience you gain and the more you try to further yourself the more likely it is you will eventually find yourself in a better situation. In actual fact the job centre is there to ‘assist’ you in getting a job – I was regularly disgusted how many people (such as youselves) that constantly gave excuse of doing jack all or expected the job centre to get a job for them or (quite often) had a god given right to sponge off of society.
    Being (mildly) disabled (but in quite severe daily pain) I have still managed to get off my backside and do something worthwhile, contritbuting to society.
    I repeat what I said previously – get off your backsides, stop expecting everything to be provided for you, stop moaning and making excuses and take charge of your own lives by do something beneficial in society (even more so as this pathetic government are leading us all down the swanee river!).

    Anon (again)

    September 28, 2011 at 8:32 am

  43. ‘It’s exploitation and it’s repellent’: Retailers, councils and charities benefiting from workfare September 26, 2011

    TK Maxx, Wilkinsons, Savers and Matalan have been named as major retailers where unemployed people are being sent to work without pay by Jobcentres and employment provider companies. Since our article last month exposing Tesco, Primark and other multinationals taking unpaid work placements, various people have contacted Corporate Watch describing their own experiences of being sent to major retailers, as well as councils and charities, to do similar work to that of salaried staff while receiving only £67.50 a week in Jobseekers’ Allowance.

    Asked by Corporate Watch how it benefited from these placements, a spokesperson from Matalan said: “we obviously get people who want to work and we are always grateful of the extra help, especially during busy times.” The discount retailer added the placements gave participants a chance to “try the job out to see if it’s the right career for them,” and that they gain “a wealth of valuable experience and get a chance to engage with their community.”

    The company promised to get back to us with examples of people who had moved from the placements to paid work but, at the time of publication, had not done so. TK Maxx declined to comment, while Savers and Wilkinsons did not reply to repeated requests for comment.

    Matalan, which posted profits of £73 million in February this year, said it did not know how many people have participated in its placements across the country as these are managed on a store-by-store basis. However, in a further sign that the number of placements will significantly increase under the coalition’s welfare reforms, the company added it was “hoping to have a national provider such as Retail Works [Seetec] or Job Centre Plus on board by early next year.”

    Corporate Watch was also contacted by people with experience of placements in small businesses, charities and councils. One claimant described how two unemployed tradespeople were sent on a placement and “instructed to build a new building”. They estimated the actual labour cost to be around £3000, yet “they were being told do it for the same rate as their benefits, with the threat of them stopping if they refused. Such blatant disregard for the worth of work is rife within the system.”

    A former staff member at Newham Council, who wishes to remain anonymous, described the reaction of staff when they found out that one of their colleagues was only receiving benefits for her work:

    “I went to [her] leaving do … We were all so sorry to see her go. She was an older lady and was one of the most hard-working and genuinely helpful admin staff we’d ever had. Worked her hours plus more and nothing was ever too much trouble for her. We honestly didn’t know why she was leaving after only six months. She’d worked a minimum of 37 hours per week (often more) and been the backbone of service delivery. The basic starting wage for that level is around £17,000 but for the work she was doing I would have expected her to be started at a few thousand more. Yet all she was getting was JSA and the fares for her lengthy bus journeys, while people doing identical work were getting a salary, paid leave and pension contributions. We were horrified.

    Wrongly, we assumed this woman would be hired back as proper staff within days. The role was needed, she’d proven herself to be a fantastic worker, was well regarded and knew the systems. But no, the post was suddenly deemed no longer required and this lady never came back to us. She did exactly the same job as paid staff, yet didn’t get the same salary. This is illegal if the reason is age or race, but perfectly acceptable if someone has claimed a state benefit. It’s exploitation and it’s repellent.”

    Newham Council has not responded to repeated enquiries from Corporate Watch about its use of placements.

    A former claimant who was sent to a work placement in a charity under the previous Labour government’s welfare programmes,* described how, after he had started using a wheelchair, he was referred to a training course with a charity he was told could lead to a job in broadcast media:

    “On my first day with the charity, I was told that I would have to wait because the course I was promised a place on was full. Instead, did I know how to use a computer? I confirmed that I did and was put to work creating digital versions of all of the charity’s presentational materials. It was impossible to do this work in the charity’s office, however, because their computer was ancient and unable to run modern Microsoft programs. So, I offered to do the work at home on my own computer and print the presentation materials out on my own colour printer (the charity did not have a working colour printer either). It took me several weeks to complete this work and cost me a lot more than £10 per week to print everything out.

    Once I had finished this job, I asked about the media course. I was told that there was still no place available and they had no more work for me to do. I began to realise that there was no media course and that I had been exploited. Also, I had only received one payment of £10 from DWP, not £10 every week [as originally promised]! So, I had done several hundred pounds worth of work for the princely sum of £10. I was not reimbursed for any of my home working costs, nor for any of the paper and acetates I bought to print the new presentation materials on … The gallling thing about it was that the charity I was working for was one that claimed to support independent living for disabled people.”

    A spokesperson for the Boycott Workfare campaign, which is encouraging workplaces to pledge not to take people on unpaid work placements organised by Jobcentres or subcontracted provider companies, said:

    “Huge companies making billions are profiting from people being made to work without pay while in fear of losing everything. These companies can afford to hire and pay staff yet perversely they are increasingly reliant on a workforce subsidised by taxpayers. Councils are replacing paid positions with workfare and charities are replacing paid and voluntary vacancies with unpaid mandatory workers. Workfare as a policy doesn’t make sense in this economic climate. We want to see a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.”

    Have you been sent on an unpaid work placement or do you know anyone who has? Contact Corporate Watch on 02074260005 or contact[at]corporatewatch.org

    http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=4080

    Corporate Watch

    September 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm

  44. I WILL NOT, AND SHALL NOT GO ON THE WORK PROGRAMME.IT’S SLAVERY

    NHF JHFJ

    September 30, 2011 at 11:28 am

  45. I have consulted the family accountant and I have been advised that I would be both financially and mentally better off by not working.I currently have a full time job working 37.5 hours a week, on the minimum wage.However, after I have deducted my travelling expenses I am left with approximately £150 a week take home pay.I have been informed that the JSA is £67.50.So therefore I am working for £82.50 a week, over 37.5 hrs equates to £2.20 an hour.Also I am not getting council tax benefit/housing benefit- so I have calculated by working full time I am £467 worse off a month.So I can not see the benefits of working if by doing not so I am both financially and mentally better off.Opinons ?

    Peter Toms

    October 1, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    • Personally I would be immensely better off with a paid job.

      And I’ve done the calculations.

      Andrew Coates

      October 1, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    • My work programme personal advisor tried to get me to apply for a job of 16 hours per week, and did a “better off calculation” to prove that I would be. However, I had to remind him to include the exorbitant cost of commuting – after that, he binned that particular job.

      He also tried to get me to apply for a clerical apprenticeship offering £100 per week (I’m in my 40s). I binned that one.

      Johnny Jack

      October 2, 2011 at 8:29 am

  46. I was meant to start the so called ‘working-links’ programme this morning, but never turned up. I did hand-in a letter,(stating that I think its illegal to force me to go as I shall continue seeking employment whilst claiming Jobseekers Allowance in accordance with the Jobseekers Act 1995 to the manager Mr Roberts) to the job-centre here in Barry last week & was assured that he would then contact me asap.
    Nobody bothered to contact-me! not even a letter to say he got my letter! I’m due to sign-on Wed as normal? well see how that one goes?

    Patrick

    October 3, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    • Why not go on the NEA system?? Saves u doing slaves work on the Work Programme ( they call it Internship- eg get you working at Tesco/Wilkinsons or other patronising/insulting jobs for £100 a week for 30 hrs) and your mini business maybe a success.

      Boris Nelson

      October 3, 2011 at 5:51 pm

  47. true

    Boris Nelson

    October 3, 2011 at 5:52 pm

  48. I have submitted a petition on the Government e-petition website, I would be grateful if anyone here would like to sign it… here is the link … http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/18365

    Michael Atkins

    October 3, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    • I’ve signed it: housing benefit should be for such low-paid workers, bringing in single people as well.

      Andrew Coates

      October 4, 2011 at 11:28 am

  49. This is long, but I really feel I have to share.

    I have to say that I am absolutely gutted that I have been taken in by this. I really am very ashamed of myself.

    I was referred to the WP, and when I was called by INGEUS to make my first appointment, I said that I had since signed off. I had just qualified and was ready to start a new business. The person on the phone said that I should really attend still, and I said I didn’t want to, the only thing I need is money to get my business off the ground, as after over a year unemployed, I was broke.

    She said, yes, you can get a grant for your business, so I really recommend you go.

    So I reluctantly went, not really believing this, and I was told by my advisor first that no, there was no money available. So I said….O, she lied to me on the phone then…

    Then he went off and spoke to his manager and came back and said…actually, we can give you a grant….

    I had no idea at the time what I was getting involved with, except I felt a deep distrust of this programme from the beginning.

    My jobseekers claim was due to close in a few days, and I thought well, take the money…..but as I now know, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

    We are not talking a lot of money now, £80 was offered to start with. I had sent a business plan, with start up costs and figures (kicking myself now) and clearly the start up costs were around £1000.

    In the end I got £200, because I asked for more. I remember thinking, why is this so random? Where is the paperwork? The money was transferred into my account. I didn’t have to go into the office to sign anything, I didn’t sign an agreement with INGEUS, or wasn’t told anything about sanctions or mandatory attendance, as I was already one foot out of the door.

    I was told that all I would need to do is provide proof of the expenditure and updates every few months on the business, as once referred to the WP, you are on it for 2 years. Only thing with me was…I didn’t have to attend.

    Anyway, 6 weeks later, I realised that things were not working out with the business. My minimum income of a few hundred a month was not even close. I knew it was only early days and would take time, so I decided to sign back on……this was because my career development loan was coming up for repayment every month, which I couldn’t afford, and they needed proof of benefits, and also to get my NI credits – I have a few years with not enough credits towards state pension.

    I am not receiving any other money.

    The Jobcentre referred me again to INGEUS. The first advisor had already said that if I signed on again, my appointments would become ‘mandatory’. There was something about this word I didn’t like. He had been a pleasant chap and it didn’t seem to sit right with his personality. My gut feeling was trying to tell me something. He also said that if I signed on again, that he would have to tell his manager (the one that authorised the cash) and update his spreadsheet (I’m sorry, but…spreadsheet!!).

    Anyway, I thought to myself, I will wait to receive a letter from INGEUS then, for another appointment. Previous to that, I had been corresponding by email. Which after a while, began also to feel uncomfortable…and a little you know, ‘unofficial’.

    It took about 6 weeks for INGEUS to receive a change of circs form, and then I got an EMAIL from the first advisor saying that I had been signing on for a few months and I was supposed to be going there every week. So I said, well I haven’t received a letter about an appointment. I wasn’t exactly going to turn up unannounced and freely hand myself over to this dubious feeling/sounding programme…

    Anyway, the first advisor was on leave, so he handed me in to a RAPID RESPONSE ADVISOR….?? Who I made an appointment with. I emailed back and said I now have a client at 10am, I am available at 2.30pm instead. (I had made it clear that I was working a few hours a week on my business).

    He said he would change the appointment, but because he moves around offices, he would not be able to change it again. So I said who do I contact if you are out of the office if I need to change my appointment (for clients).

    Anyway, the response I got was patronising to say the least, and aggressive in its delivery. So I told him so. He started giving me all the reasons why I needed to come…JSA agreement, should be looking for full time work etc. He also said the mandatory word and said I would be coming three times a week.

    I just told him to treat me with more respect and to at least meet me first before he started to dictate the rules. I asked for another contact again.

    I got a sort of apology. But at that stage, I knew what I was in for.

    Anyway, I turned up for the appointment. I sat and talked for half an hour. The first 10 mins was about what I had been doing to find work, my skills, my business. He had nothing to say, except to show me a piece of paper, which they had obviously cobbled together, which was basically for jobs in BHS.

    I had already applied to a similar job for xmas seasonal work, so I said yes, this is something I would consider. It was so patronising though..saying, if you PROVE yourself, you could be in for a permanent job, after a trial period.

    When I got home, I realised that BHS is just recruiting for XMAS, so I told the RR advisor that I would be applying to the job directly! There was no way I was going to send my CV to him for the job, and all points forward would therefore become MANDATORY.

    Anyway, all he could do was ‘recommend’ I go through them, to cut out the application process. Just a way for them to make money. They have bascially been to BHS, got 10 interview slots and will do anything to get you in the job, so they get their money.

    No thank you.

    Also, I realise now that the £200 ‘grant’ was given so freely, because INGEUS probably got paid for setting someone up in business. It brings a sick feeling to my stomach.

    Anyway, at the meeting with the RR advisor, the last 20 mins was spent asking him, who is ‘WE’, he keeps referring to we, is it the DWP? No, it’s INGEUS. There is nothing in writing – I asked and there is nothing…..I said why do I have to come three times? MANDATORY. I said what if I have a client and need to change…he said it’s up to the advisor’s discretion, but you may lose your benefits. So I said, what about if I have a client? He said, even so, if you keep changing, you will eventually get reported.

    I said what do you mean, if the advisor doesn’t think the reason is good enough, do you mean, if they think the person is lying? (LOL!). And he said, yes. A bit shamefacedly I have to say.

    And all this for NI credits.

    I have to say, that neither of these people were rude to me in person. They seem to be nice young men, who are doing their job. I have to say that also, I went for an interview at WorkDirections about 4 years ago, not really understanding what welfare to work really means in the eyes of the government.

    We had to do a presentation on who’s fault longterm unemployment was….I found a lot of research and presented a mixed case. Also said, there are a very few people, who DON’t want to work, the rest is very complex issues, social, health, economic.

    Needless to say, I didn’t get the job.

    This is my next steps:

    – I have written to the RR advisor, who has washed his hands of me and sent me back to the first advisor (with a sigh of relief probably)
    – I have asked for written confirmation about the ‘contract’ with INGEUS, that I haven’t yet signed. Including information about SANCTIONS.
    – I will be paying back the money they have given me, I would rather my business be dormant than use funds from INGEUS – ill gotten gains
    – I will write a letter asking for my business plan and leaflet to be DELETED from their system and all emails, and written confirmation that this has been done.
    – I will ask for contact by phone/letter in future – NOT EMAIL
    – I will not ask for any further travel expenses back.

    I am going to see how I feel about data protection/refusal action, as it seems there is a lot to take in.

    I will definitely tell the first advisor how uncomfortable I feel with this and also stay no longer than 15 minutes this time. I will also ask what is in place for people with disabilities, in terms of seating, using computers, as this also affects me, and at the moment there seems to be nothing.

    Yours, Shaken.

    Shaken

    October 6, 2011 at 9:44 am

    • Why is it that all government initiatives on long term unemployment, talk about what they are doing ‘TO’ the unemployed, never about what they are doing ‘FOR’ the unemployed? It shows their true intentions are to punish not to help.

      Anton

      October 6, 2011 at 11:28 am

      • Yes, and the thing that makes me really sick is that there were a lot of really SCARED looking people in that office, really demoralised and depressed looking.

        I think it would take a particular type of mentality to work in an organisation like that and actually act and speak like they have taken over your life and you are no longer in control of it.

        it is just no way to treat people. There is a lot of criticism of individuals not doing their bit for society, but I do think that a lot of people have lost their own sense of power, and it is the government’s way of behaving that has caused this.

        This bullying kind of mentality reminds me of the cycle of abuse.

        I read above as well that someone thinks everyone complaining about the work programme is a scumbag that needs to get up off their own arse….do some volunteering etc.

        I don’t think it’s the programme as such, in my opinion, it is very much the delivery and how you are treated which is important. I don’t see how these people can call themselves ‘advisors’ though. It is clearly not a perfect programme though as it really is essentially labelling people in two boxes: won’t work, will. With very little choice about it at the end of the day and given a lot of power to inexperienced robots who have spent enough time in WP provider employee inductions and meetings to speak like a borg.

        Personally, I am volunteering every week in therapy centres, working with clients as part of a therapy business, doing kitchen porter shifts from agencies, looking for a part-time job and spending any other spare time on helping a friend with a legal issue and I am sure I am not the only one desperate to get out of a situation of no money and long term unemployed. There just aren’t enough jobs at the moment!

        I was just downright insulted when I got an email from a complete stranger telling me that I ‘should’ be looking for full-time work, without even taking the time to find out what the situation is.

        I don’t take from this forum that people don’t want to work. Like I said, there are some that do, but it’s just not that simple.

        Shaken

        October 6, 2011 at 1:37 pm

      • We do want work, and we look for jobs, Shaken. As proof many of us done unpaid work placements and got good references from them. Not to mention done voluntary work as you have.

        But if want insults you;’l get them a-plenty on the Work programme.

        I was at one group session this week run by one ‘provider’.

        The adviser insulted, in front of the whole room, an elderly job-seeker, a labourer, telling him that he thought the man had not been looking for work that week.

        This kind of inappropriate behaviour is all-too common.

        Andrew Coates

        October 7, 2011 at 9:31 am

  50. Yes I agree, I think it is utterly disgraceful and I am just glad that I have managed to catch on to this early so that I can be prepared next time I go in.

    The scared people I saw were actually young people, maybe younger than 20, one was in a suit and he had been taken to one side to have a “chat” with some guy, and I bet there are plenty of people like that these advisors find it easy to take advantage of.

    I am not one for saying nothing though, so I will see what happens in the course of time!

    Shaken

    October 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm

  51. as for the not wanting to work comment. a couple of years ago i was doing 4 whole days voluntary work in a charity shop. but i was told by the job center that i had to stop because it got in the way of my job search.

    dave

    October 7, 2011 at 3:09 pm

  52. Hi.

    At my next signing on appointment I am to be informed about the work programme apparently. This is just for information and is NOT the referral. I know this because i specifically asked such.

    I have just recently completed the FND and the 3 months until I can officially be compelled to the WP is not far off.
    And they have changed round the adviser teams recently. So I have to see a new PA, she looks rather stern, but one will find out soon enough. The new signing clerk girl seemed ok though.
    Shame, because the woman who was my previous personal adviser was nice. A decent human being.

    As far as i am concerned the WP is going to be hardly any different to FND. Apart from the fact that it’s double the length, has a different name now and the govt have given the horrid providers even more scope to bully, blackmail and taunt us. Or at least gives that impression.

    And depending on how my new adviser turns out I will probably say this to her too. It’s quite true. And if they wheel out that old tired line ‘That’s your opinion’ I can qualify that it’s not opinion it is fact because i have just been through it. And had problems that i reported because the provider complaints farce was a joke.

    There had better be the option to choose a provider this time, there wasn’t when I was referred to FND. I am not going back to the same provider, no way.
    Mind you, they probably are all as bad as each other.

    I’m trying to think of some enquiries to make at this ‘info’ appointment. But asking questions…? Ooh, that’s a tricky thing.
    They don’t like honest questions. Or honest answers seemingly.

    I really want a job, not any old job, but something reasonable. I do look, keep records. But there’s not much to really apply for. I have some qualifications and experience, but jobs I can go for, even outside my main 3 areas aren’t too plentiful. I would love to get a job before I am ‘given’ to this new mandatory compulsory scam scheme regime. But that looks unlikely.

    This 2 year contract thing is what concerns me a little.
    If I sign off that’s it in my estimation. If I get a proper job whilst on WP as far as I am concerned that’s it.
    Bye bye dole. Bye JC+. F**k you provider. Despite what they think to the contrary.
    I wont be signing any consent waivers. I didn’t on FND either.

    I hope the people who read this, the ones who think most people on these sites just do not want to work, will realise that it’s not avoiding working we are all concerned with.
    It’s the despicable treatment often given and the attitude of the providers. There are a few decent people at the providers, but it appears most are not.
    They mostly appear to live in this corporate led dreamworld where the cold light of day and reality isn’t really acknowledged. Mind you, some of these people are under pressure and need to pay their bills too. Doesn’t make it right though. Some of them know this and would agree.

    It’s all the luck of the draw. Decent human being? Or emotionless drone? The rules are all there, but the interpretation of them varies quite a lot. On both sides of the desk, to be fair.

    Good luck to us all.

    Mr No

    October 7, 2011 at 5:40 pm

  53. I agree, these rats at the Work Programme make Gadaffi look like a saint.I was at a meeting and one guy (must of been mid 50’s) was ordered to leave the room and return in 20 mins, as an apparent punishment for not contributing towards the groups tasks.

    Hannah Pike

    October 7, 2011 at 8:27 pm

  54. I have been told that I have been put on the work program by my adviser at the Jobcentre today, now awaiting thier phone call/appointment.

    Will I be sanctioned for refusing to sign the data protection waiver? It’s ok for them to pass my data on to employers but I don’t want it given to the debt collectors. :/

    Any way I can tell them to tell me each and every time they want to pass my data on and I will advise them then whether the can or not?

    cheers.

    wishiwasfree

    October 20, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    • You can’t be sanctioned for refusing to sign the data protection waiver.

      Here’s a link to the doc, suggest you print it and take it with you in case the provider trys to bluff into signing by saying it’s compulsory.
      http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/pg-chapter-5.pdf

      I suppose you could specify, in writing, which organisations they can and can’t pass your details onto if you don’t want a blanket ban..

      ECAP 17

      October 20, 2011 at 9:43 pm

  55. Also I kind of think maybe a little pressure might do me some good, I do get anxiety attack with very bad heart palpitations (from time to time) and that’s partly responsible by making me not want to phone/deal with people, but at the end of the day I have also gotten a bit lazy.

    I think I would quite enjoy a couple of days work experience a week in an office or something, but seriously fuck primark.

    wishiwasfree

    October 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm

  56. Like a bird on the wire
    Like a drunk in a midnight choir
    I have tried in my way to be free

    Like a worm on a hook
    Like a knight from some old fashioned book
    I have saved all my ribbons for thee

    If I, if I have been unkind
    I hope that you can just let it go by
    If I, if I have been untrue
    I hope you know it was never to you

    Oh, like a baby, stillborn
    Like a beast with his horn
    I have torn everyone who reached out for me
    [- From :http://www.elyrics.net/read/l/leonard-cohen-lyrics/bird-on-the-wire-lyrics.html -]

    But I swear by this song
    And by all that I have done wrong
    I will make it all up to thee

    I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch
    He said to me, “You must not ask for so much”
    And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door
    She cried to me, “Hey, why not ask for more?”

    Oh, like a bird on the wire
    Like a drunk in a midnight choir
    I have tried in my way to be free

    © LEONARD COHEN STRANGER MUSIC INC;

    Leonard Cohen

    October 20, 2011 at 6:46 pm

  57. OK then cool, thanks for your help ECAP I will definitely do that, think I’ll wait to see what they say before pulling out though, be interesting to see them squirm.

    wishiwasfree

    October 21, 2011 at 1:07 am

  58. Also found this video which reinforces what you’re saying.

    I’ll leave it here for other to see. thanks again.

    wishiwasfree

    October 21, 2011 at 1:10 am

  59. Your welcome. Good luck, and thanks for posting the video.

    ECAP 17

    October 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    • Yes, the video is a real plus.

      Andrew Coates

      October 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm

  60. Hi, I recently went to my first Work Programme appointment and refused to sign two forms about sharing my information (noticing the were voluntary).

    However, my advisor then asked me a series of questions and wrote up on the computer that I had given my verbal consent. It was only afterwards that I realised what I done; which was to verbally agree to everything on the forms I’d just refused to sign!

    My next appointment is in a week.Could I just tell my advisor that I withdraw my consent or put it in writing/email? I’m nervous about doing this (he’s not going to be happy). What would be the possible consequences? Could it result in the threat of sanctions, or him just making my time there even more difficult? Has anyone had any direct experience of this?

    Thanks.

    Jason

    November 1, 2011 at 12:46 am

    • Hello Jason

      Just so happens that gissajob has prepared a template for this very thing. See post #946 in this thread :-

      http://unemploymentmovement.com/forum/welfare-to-work/936-data-confidentiality

      (hope you don’t mind g)
      I don’t know anyone who has withdrawn permission like this but it is no different to refusing it in the first place and loads of people are doing that.

      Remember it is your right! Don’t let them intimidate you.

      They can’t sanction you unless you refuse any mandatory activities. (or some other serious breach). Regaining control of your data is likely to actually reduce the likelihood of them giving you a hard time as it stops them getting any money back for you.

      Vindictive and aggressive as they may be, the acquisition of money is the only reason for their existence and they won’t do anything that costs them money with no likelihood of an easy return.

      I think they are getting familiar with the bind they are in over the data issue so they shouldn’t be too shocked. At the moment they are trying to feign indifference and pretend they are willing to continue the program as normal. I believe they have been tricked into this situation. I can’t believe that DWP didn’t spot it when they designed the repayment scheme. I suspect they have been stitched up.

      Don’t worry, record everything and only comply with what you think might be of real use to you or when assured it’s absolutely essential to to avoid sanctions. Even then get it in writing and check it out before you sign up for anything. You can’t be denied a reasonable period for consideration before agreeing to their plans for your life.

      .

      Surplus Labour

      November 9, 2011 at 2:44 am

  61. The DWP seem to have a new tactic in the light of people refusing to sign consent forms for sharing your information… they’re not even asking for permission at all now.

    http://wearenotyourslaves.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/the-gloves-come-off/

    My complaint to the ICO under the Data Protection Act 1998 has now been sent off. I’ve not followed Andrew’s path just yet, I’m attending the WP induction “under protest” for the time being. I’m seeking a lawyer prepared to act for me in the event of them imposing unlawful “sanctions” before refusing the WP outright.

    wearenotyourslaves

    November 7, 2011 at 9:51 pm

  62. Is the above letter still valid.

    I got sucked in by my disability adviser at the jc (to be honest I thought it sounded ok from the way she was selling it or rather Ingeus. (yes I was on prescription happy tabs at the time) I certainly to this date not recall my adviser advising me of any rights or explanation to the page (or pages over time) that my sig went on, these pages always seemed to materialies as i was half way to standing up and leaving, appointment finished etc.

    zig

    November 11, 2011 at 8:00 pm

  63. i tried this letter i sent it to job centre they have refused me my information as asked for in this letter saying they know about this site and my request was vexatious in nature and meant to harasse there staff and cause distress. what a joke! also just so everyone know the work programe setting up accounts and email adress for us on there web site is also a breach of data protection. i have reported seetec the provider to ico and they are looking into it. if they are found guilty we should all do a massive law suit against them. also does anyone know how i can get copys of my referral papers from job centre ico wants evidence and i need to show them that i have not signed away my data protection rights

    tony

    November 14, 2011 at 6:39 pm

  64. http://www.facebook.com/groups/293920907296426/…If you have problems with Avanta work program please come join this group.

    BRI

    November 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm

  65. I’ve just been assigned to an A4E ‘Work Programme’ not long after an Ingeus FND, so I’ve just read this blog for the first time. Well done whoever set it up, there are some interesting comments here and if I learn anything interesting then I’ll chip in too.
    My JCP adviser was obviously unsure, and vague when I asked about it. They said it was too soon to reply to my questions as they hadn’t had any feedback yet and would welcome mine, which I’ll be sure to give.
    I am long term unemployed and homeless, although I had been a highly paid professional. I know, but can’t prove, that I was blacklisted for a silly reason, and though I think I am no longer blacklisted my skill-set is out of date and it is difficult to locate former employees or work friends still working to give references.

    I’ve been through 3 ‘New Deals’ before the FND. The FND for me was sitting in a foyer for 45 minutes each fortnight before 15 minutes talking a different adviser each week who promised different things and gave different advice. It was light entertainment compared to the real New Deal. The WP lasts 2 years and the JCP adviser couldn’t tell me how often I’d have to attend, just saying ‘there are different streams’.

    I always knew not to sign voluntary disclosure statements as I’m familiar with the DP act, I never have and my benefits were never stopped for that reason, although they always try to bully you into it. I’m not going to give them my CV or apply for jobs through their computers either. Being homeless means I can just relocate to another area and another provider continuously, and frankly if they stop my benefits for more than a fortnight I’d have no problem going to prison where at least I’d be fed and sheltered, so the term ‘mandatory’ is just an insult to my intelligence. There is always a choice.

    There are comments here from people claiming to be WP providers and JCP staff. If they want to know what a better alternative would be, then I would suggest a well-run, well-funded voluntary programme run by public sector professionals. Most people, even most long-term, ‘hard-core’ unemployed want to work, benefits are essential but not an attractive alternative to a wage. I’d like to have help updating my skills. I’d like to be able to choose to do expenses-paid voluntary work for more than 16 hours a week so that I can get a reference, or even set up my own community scheme. What I’m not going to do is be treated like a naughty child, or exploited as a statistic, and I am certainly not going to do slave-labour for any multi-national too mean to pay for real workers. I am surprised the Unions permit this undercutting. I will go along to the first couple of meetings out of curiousity, but if I don’t like it, I’ll just hit the road again.

    Tortilla Flat

    November 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    • Good points. Particularly Tortilla as the pesent system costs a huge ammountand creates little (except for the Unemployment Bizniz). Or perhaps that’s the point.

      Andrew Coates

      November 24, 2011 at 4:51 pm

  66. […] https://intensiveactivity.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/end-of-tory-dream-work-programme-branded-illegal/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Uncategorized by dolescumtimes. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  67. Here is my account of the data protection waiver issue:
    http://dolescumtimes.wordpress.com/

    dolescumtimes

    November 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm

  68. Hello everyone, i’m a Work Programme participant at the moment and i can assure you that it’s the worst, lowest level piece of crap i’ve ever encountered.

    I’ve recently suffered bullying by a Work Programme consultant, and am incensed by her attitude. I’ve been spoken to like s**t, and am now compelled to attend an employability skills course(whatever that is) tomorrow for 4 days. I will be participating as little as possible and will just sit there not saying a word until the crap is over. Then im back to my once a month review for half an hour. May i also suggest telling them you don’t know what you want to do for a living then they can’t help you!! as they’ve nothing to go on.

    I can relate very much to many of the comments mentioned above, but i think you all need to relax a little because if you look at the evidence in the wider economy, the unemployment situation is set to get worse, much worse, meaning these programme providers aren’t going to make any money as they’re paid by results in getting people in to long- term sustainable employment of a t least six months, which doesn’t exist much at the moment!!!!

    My advice to you is keep going, relax and watch it sink!!!! and their so called professional advisers lose their jobs one by one as that’s no less than they deserve. Ha bloody ha!!

    Antony Webber

    December 19, 2011 at 8:58 pm

  69. Hi,

    Has anyone received any reply after sending “Part 2” letter to DWP?
    I just would like to know DWP’s latest stand (rationale) against the “unlawful claim to Work Programme”.
    It would be great if anyone who received it posts their official reply letter here (surely pls delete your name).

    Thank you.

    Vinci

    Vinci

    January 7, 2012 at 9:38 am

  70. just what is the situation? is the new work programme illegal? if so, how do we get out of with out getting sanctioned? who can help? etc etc..

    burt

    January 12, 2012 at 5:49 pm

  71. I would like to know how to get out of the current work programme as I am under threat of sanction due to losing an application form and not handing it in on time.

    Samantha-Jane Steel

    January 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    • What precisely are they saying they’re going to sanction you for?, and is it because you’ve expressed your opinion to JCP that you do not want to continue attending The Work Programme, or are you about to attend?

      Did you keep a copy of the form you could show them? If not you can avoid sanctions for having a justifiable reason for losing your form.

      The application form that had been given to you, was it from JCP or your provider? Is it the provider or JCP who needed the form? Did you report it to JCP or your Work Programme Provider when you realised you’d lost it? or waited to your next appointment? If you waited for you’re next appointment you’re on shaky ground.

      Antony Webber

      January 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm

  72. hi, i sent a letter like you have posted here but i have got a reply from job center which is good 😦

    here’s the letter http://i.imgur.com/Xp8Pl.jpg

    ps. the link is clean and am unsure how to post the image of the letter :/

    please help many thanks adrian

    adrian

    January 25, 2012 at 2:38 pm

  73. so after many letters sent of this site to job centre/ seetec provider and ico, the news is not great 😦 ico have sided with the goverment and im wondering what exactly is the next step?. i thought about sending a complaint to the european commision but im not sure if they would help? any tips about where we go from here?

    T0ny

    February 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm

  74. What can i do to get off the waste of time ? Would be greatful of anyhelp to avoid this place On the other hand would be greatful for a job in the paisley area That would remove me from this place They are no help to me atall Just a bunch of immature adutls having a laugh a me at my worst There must be a human rights group who can stand up for people who can prove they are looking for work in there own time

    Its the lazy junkies and people who sleep to 5 oclock who cause this I will admit i dont spend everyday looking for work thats insane and drives me mad I have a hour every 3 days searching SHIFT DAVID CAMERON ASAP

    DAVID

    February 14, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    • Hello David. I don’t know your circumstances but what i’d recommend is use the JSA rules as an argument. For example Say to The Work Programme Provider if like me you’re on your own with no children, “under the terms of your contract with JCP i cannot apply for work of less than 30 hours a week and the job must be at least 26 weeks which is deemed as long-term and sustainable under the terms of your contract” they haven’t got a leg to stand on if you use this, as they should already know and by not complying with their own contract would force you into homelessness and destitution if you applied for what they’re offering.

      Most of the staff that work with these providers are brain-dead robots who couldn’t find their arseholes if they tried. I would also suggest you tell them you don’t know what you want to do and it makes it impossible for them to find you anything. I would also point out that under the terms of your jobseekers agreement with JCP you only have to apply for the number of jobs they have asked you to not the provider.

      I no longer have many activities to do as they can’t do anything with me because the jobs aren’t there to apply for that comply with the rules and regulations of claiming JSA.

      If you have any further problems let me know and i’ll try to help you further.

      Antony Webber

      February 15, 2012 at 10:08 am

      • Hi Antony,

        “under the terms of your contract with JCP i cannot apply for work of less than 30 hours a week”.

        Have you a reliable source for this? E.g. DWP document or similar?

        Charlie D

        February 15, 2012 at 10:28 am

      • Hello David, the regulations and rules regarding JSA and claiming Working Tax Credit which you can claim if single with no children state that you have to have a job which is of at least 30 hours a week for you to top your minimum wage job up.

        If you want to find the information regarding the contract between JCP and your Work Programme provider you can find much of the information on http://www.dwp.gov.uk. If put into the search engine The Work Programme it should bring up which providers work in which areas and you can look if i remember rightly at the terms of their agreements between JCP and jobcentreplus.

        If not that regarding rules of JSA and Working Tax Credits you can probably if i’m right as has been a long time find the information you require on http://www.direct.gov.uk. You may also find links to dwp website via direct.gov.uk.

        I wish you luck but do strongly advise you look at these websites to find the information you want and do a bit of research and digging around as it’s not always easy to find straight away.

        Anything else that concerns you let me know. Good Luck and keep the faith.

        Antony Webber

        February 15, 2012 at 10:38 am

      • Yes Antony,

        For a single person to claim working tax credit the job has to be 30 hours, but that does not necessarily mean that it states in the providers’ contract with the DWP that they cannot sanction claimants for refusing to apply for a job that is less than 30 hours per week.

        Charlie D

        February 15, 2012 at 10:51 am

      • What you explain to the provider is you have no children and alone and if you apply for a job of less than 30 hours a week you will only keep £5 of any earnings you receive and will lose the rest of any housing, council tax benefit and jobseekers allowance making you no better off than you already are as ther’re are extra costs such as transport fares to your place of employment which will far exceed the £5 you retain.

        You will also find that it will take 4 to 5 weeks for your HB/CTB claim to be reassesed, when you have to report a change of circumstance to your local authority which means you could be left without any payment for that period, though you can rapid reclaim JSA which will take a couple of weeks to process.

        The jobs do need to be of at least 26 weeks in length, and no less as that breaches the contract your provider has with Jobcentreplus.

        Antony Webber

        February 15, 2012 at 12:08 pm

  75. Dear readers. And the above poster.

    Unless you can get a decent job that will allow you to afford to cover your rent and bills etc, And ideally a little bit over to actually have a little treat…Then we (yes, I am on the WP too!) will have to put up with the silly stuff the providers do and say.
    Resisting all the way, of course. And not simply complying with the bullshit. There is no instant solution that will apply to all who dislike the WP, unfortunately. Whatever some might claim.

    However distasteful one finds the treatment If you want to get your survival rations you will, to some extent, have to play the game. It’s a shame that even the many genuine claimants have to play the game because the few are playing the system.
    But the majority of us simply want to be treated decently and actually wouldn’t mind a decent job. To be sought from an ever dwindling employment pool. At least I hope it’s the majority here.

    There will be about another thousand or so posts to follow all asking the same question. ‘How do i ‘get out of the WP?’

    You don’t. Simple. You can educate yourself with regard to the law, legislation, provider guidelines. Sift through sites like this, see what works for you, What sounds reasonable and apply your own judgement to your particular circumstances and do your best.
    That’s all anyone can do.

    I’m rather alternative and a rebel and totally behind the cause that is stopping disgusting treatment of people just because they are out of work. The exploitation, the free labour etc.

    If there was a way out of the WP I would not be on it. I cannot find a job so currently there is no avoiding the WP.

    The only thing we can do, however, is try our best not to be treated too badly and be coerced into doing any old crap the providers think they can tell us to do.

    You cannot avoid the WP, but with a little study, a clear head and taking the better advice around you can perhaps make things a little more tolerable. Perhaps avoid the issues of free labour becoming your problem, should that arise.
    Avoiding the silly CV workshops, the enhanced jobsearches etc. I think the enhanced bit just means with them hassling you in their office.
    Show reasonable justification as to why you really do not need these silly things they offer and do not agree to them. If you are in the right then quite often any sanction threat they make is simply that, a threat. Be in the right and you wont go far wrong.

    A simple example being a literacy course, if you can read and write you don’t need it, do you? Same with most of the rest of the shite they try to intimidate you into.
    The free labour i will not be doing. And I’ll write in great detail my experience if and when it does happen. But I’m not going to worry too much about it until it does.
    It is a horrible thing having to attend these places just to be treated like shit. My philosophy is fuck ’em, sticks n stones. I don’t care what they think of me, it’s what i think of me what counts. My value.
    The WP is a game of wits. Have your wits about you and you will get through it.
    If it’s a case of reluctantly having to navigate the WP or potentially not eating. Then maybe use that to influence your decisions regarding getting out of it. Currently there are not many other options,

    Might even find and get a job that we find tolerable, one day!

    Ranting a little now, so I’ll stop here. Not ‘having a go’, if any reader interprets this as such. I just type stuff off the cuff most of the time.

    Mr No

    February 14, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    • Good post Mr no

      Theres got to be somehelp out there someone must come to our rescue Its clear to me they are using intelligence to play us You are bang on the button Mr no with the fact its all mind games I urge everyone who reads this to go in then do what mr no says and play the games anything you are offerd so i can’t do that Inless its something you do want to do and would look for yourself I can see this being scraped what i mean is they pay us money to go in there they pay staff wages the must pay the phone bills and so much more All that paying out they could just put us in jobs like grass cutting cleaning streets kitchen jobs council jobs etc etc I know they are basic jobs but if you are out of work the a basic job would help you cover some out going from when you left work Id rather spend 40 hours in a basic job and get a sense of wee being from earning my own money That go to the job centre and work programme 5 times in 2 weeks and get nothing but laughed mocked and many other this We need to fight back at this

      As i said in my last msg SHIFT DAVID CAMERON AS SOON AS WE CAN

      DAVID

      February 14, 2012 at 11:07 pm

  76. I think we’re starting to win.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/employers-reject-jobs-scheme-thats-all-work-and-no-pay-7079777.html

    A scheme under which jobseekers can lose benefits if they do not complete up to 30 hours a week of unpaid “work experience” is in disarray after companies and charities abandoned it in the wake of public anger.

    The clothing retailer Matalan suspended its involvement in the Government project pending an internal inquiry after claims that the scheme was exploitative. Tesco delivered an ultimatum to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) demanding that ministers guarantee no one would lose their benefits, while both Oxfam and Shelter added their names to the list of organisations which have left it altogether.

    The discount shop 99p Stores said it had also signed up to the scheme but was withdrawing because of the negative publicity, having not yet taken on a single worker through it. Waterstones, Sainsbury’s and TK Maxx have also expressed their opposition.

    The scheme attracted renewed criticism this week after a Tesco advert offered full-time hours for no pay. Instead, workers would receive only their Jobseeker’s Allowance and some expenses, the advert said.

    The figurehead for the backlash is Cait Reilly, a geology graduate from Birmingham, who was told she would lose her allowance if she refused to stack shelves at Poundland for no pay. Ms Reilly has since applied to bring a judicial review of the workfare scheme.

    Other participants say they have been left in no doubt they would have their benefits cut if they refused a place on the scheme, in contradiction of DWP rules. One said he was placed in a company working alongside people on community service. “I spent eight hours a day, four days a week working for no money,” said one participant, who asked not to be named. “I do not object on principle, it is not an issue doing a day’s work but all the studies show it does not decrease unemployment. It makes a handful of Tory MPs happy and gives free labour to a lot of very rich firms.”

    Tesco, which has had 300 participants, said it had urged the DWP to soften the scheme’s more punitive aspects. A spokesman said: “We understand the concern that those who stay in the scheme longer than a week risk losing their benefits if they drop out before the end of their placement. We have suggested to the DWP that, to avoid any misunderstanding about the voluntary nature, this threat of losing benefit should be removed.”

    The Commons work and pensions select committee is to examine the programme. Its chairman, the Labour MP Dame Anne Begg, said: “There is a huge risk that people on these schemes … do not get into full-time work.”

    Looks like the scheme is not compulsory after all.

    Anton

    February 18, 2012 at 10:34 am

    • Well we may be starting to win but to quote Winston Churchill “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
      The work experience programme may not “be compulsory after all” but we still have Mandatory Work Activity and the draconian Community Action Programme – the latter of which specifically promises and authorises “hard labour”.
      We need to keep the impetus going!

      Gissajob

      February 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      • Too right, IBS and co are deftly playing the three card trick. Once you see the SWP and co jumping on the bandwagon you know you are in big trouble. I won’t be popping open a bottle of Tesco “finest” Chardonnay champagne just yet!

        Destroy the Work Programme

        February 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm

  77. Just noted from the Public Interest Lawyers’ site:
    “Public Interest Lawyers is currently acting on behalf of individuals challenging four separate “Workfare” schemes.”

    So it’s not just work experience that’s being challenged but the whole disgusting panolpy of workfare.

    Gissajob

    February 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    • Wouldn’t put it past IBS to have set up this whole Tesco incident using a well-known and instantly recognisable “household name” as a Trojan Horse to deflect attention and diffuse from and resistance to his even more nefarious schemes such as the “community action programme” whilst affording cover as he quietly goes about swingeing and draconian changes to the benefit system that will spell the end of the Welfare State as we know it.

      Conspiracy Theory

      February 18, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      • Boy! Now that’s what I call a conspiracy theory!

        Gissajob

        February 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm

  78. This is why i know this place is not working.It is bad times when you get a smile on your face from reading something We all ovb do not like the help the W.P offers,after all we are the ones on the wp we should have a say how we think we could be helped I have no doubt there are lazy people playing the system I would like to see something like you go into the work P and they say ok there is a choice of maybe 10 places (just for talking sake) pick one and you can go out and work in it for £250 not crazy money but enough to pay pills run the car etc and if you dont like it we can move you a maximum of another 2 places Then ovb if you don’t like 3 places and dont want £250 a would say that’s lazy and you should maybe lose benefits then Its clear alot of people in work do not like there jobs but i know for a fact they like pay-day and staying clear of the job-centre 10 times better Why this cant be done i dont know They can pay for out travel and id things when we need it why not put the money put into getting us out and doing something I cant wait to see the back of the W.P I cant wait I also cant wait to out government do some good With this i thin David cameron needs to go He’s only for the posh people or people who are already in work RIP W.P and shift David cameron

    DAVID

    February 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm

  79. Has anyone managed to get officially excused from the work programme yet? Please post some proof if you have.

    Ben Dover

    February 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm

  80. Hello to you all. Im wondering where i stand as im a bit confused. I’ve been placed on the CAP Community Work Programme 6months with Ingeus. Have sent jc+ a letter (still in progress) about not sharing my data with third parties etc (gone to head office at mo.). Only been to one induction with Ingeus so far. Told advisor i dont want to work for free and will not sign waiver. They looked miffed and said it’s mandatory we were not going to ask you to sign anything. The jc+ say its mandatory. So is it? Am i stuck whether i like it or not????Or do i folllow the rules above and not sign a waiver etc.??? Please help. Thanks.

    Freewillman

    February 23, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    • don’t sign the waiver as it should say on it you don’t have to sign it if you don’t want to and that is mandatory the law and they cant do jack shit about it.

      super ted

      February 23, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    • The consent for your data to be shared with third parties is a CONSENT form, meaning you have to offer your permission for your information to be shared with third parties so you can refuse to sign it.

      However the 6 months long CAP or Community Action Programme is compulsory or mandatory depending on the language you care to use and you must attend for 30 hours a week for 6 months.

      It is possible that an appropriate placement can’t be found and more of your time wil be involved in compulsory jobsearch activities but you must do at least 23 out of the 30 weeks on a placement.

      If you want further information on the Community Action Programme you can access all the information via http://www.dwp.gov.uk/communityactionplacement.

      Hope that helps.

      Antony Webber

      February 24, 2012 at 10:44 am

      • Thanks for the replies everyone. I had a feeling i was stuck on this CAP. I guess i will just have to use my wits and make sure they dont misuse me.
        I must say Antony, the link you gave above shicked me a bit with such comments in it like this:
        “…if a participant fails to attend an appointment/activity a compliance doubt must be raised. There is no second chance/good cause decision for you to make…”
        They have gotta be kidding right. How many people have days of in full time employment for being sick? A lot !!! All they have to do is bring in is a doctors note, and they get paid. However if i get ill loads of paperwork is produced to question if i should get a benefit that i have actually contributed to all my life !!! UNREAL!!! I feel like a social pariah.

        Freewillman

        February 24, 2012 at 11:29 am

      • What everybody has to do is make sure they don’t push themselves, work to rule, and notify the jobcentre of any problems as some DO want to know what’s going on in these placements.

        It really needs everybody forced onto this scheme to make a stand,either refuse to work at all, or behave as you would on a chain gang, like prisoners in some American states, and take every opportunity to have one up on them, which can be done subtlety through humour( an in joke only you and other participants know), sneaking off for a crafty fag, or needing the toilet, and back each other up, as it’s unlikely you’ll be doing this alone, getting to know the people (like yourself) you’re working with, backing each other up if something happens, like the buddy system they have in the Army, when in combat and not fighting, you back your buddies up or you get killed in action, though of course that cannot always be avoided in war.

        I suspect that eventually all these schemes will collapse like happened under Mrs Thatcher, or some member of an organisation involved will get assaulted or worse!!

        Keep your pecker up mate and good luck. All the best!!

        Antony, Romford, Essex

        Antony Webber

        February 24, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    • Here are the rules for the CAP. In particular make sure you are familiar with Annex 2.

      http://tinyurl.com/7grdcnq
      http://tinyurl.com/767cfnm

      Make sure the provider is doing their job and if they’re not complain to the jobcentre.

      They ‘are responsible for ensuring that participants are not exploited’.

      They ‘are responsible for monitoring their progress, and in doing so, gaining assurance that they are not being exploited’.

      They ‘must be sure there is a satisfactory reason why the organisation wants to offer participants the placement with them’ – so ask them.

      Note it says “Some placement providers may be tempted to get involved in the delivery of provision as a way of getting cheap labour or getting someone in to help during a busy period. This is not acceptable. Placements must be additional to existing or expected vacancies and should not replace what would otherwise be paid jobs”.

      We know that is exactly what they are doing. Make sure the placement provider knows that they must not do that and tell them you will inform on them if they are doing it. Providers have been ignoring the rules – don’t let them get away with it.

      Anton

      February 24, 2012 at 11:56 am

      • Thanks Anton. I shall read the info on links and power up my knowledge. Considering im walking around with a bounty on my head for them to aim at !! I guess im going to have to be very watchful of these providers, aswell as the placement boss.
        Will keep you all informed of what is going on. My regards.

        Freewillman

        February 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm

  81. I hate this, the way they force people. Don’t we all! .

    My view is there isn’t a way out, only ways to minimise the impact it has on you.
    The whole thing may be scrapped sooner or later, but the reality is that we have to do it until such time.
    Or try to find a job and sign off. Or refuse and be sanctioned. The WP is bad enough, but this CAP is just punishment. That’s the fact. We know this, thankfully.

    Just typing thoughts here, but does anyone reckon that one could refuse to participate in the CAP on moral grounds?
    A sincere conscientious objection (which i think is still referred to in the legislation! Though not strictly for this purpose) to working for £2 per hour. Despite however they might dress it up as good for us! Or it’s experience, not work! Or similar tosh!

    In addition to this theoretical refusal of the CAP one could state that they would be willing to go on the Work Programme instead!
    In which case you are not refusing to participate in a government programme, just one you morally object to. The WP is shite too, but better handled than 6 months full time (if you include jobsearch) of being exploited and punished.

    They will say no, of course, and when you ask them to enquire into this possibility they will start behaving as they do, unfairly. Probably the threat of a sanction etc. No, they know best, blah blah.
    I would try this myself in the same situation, sounds fair enough to me… ‘Nah, I want a job, I feel the WP will be better for me than slave labour, thanks though, but I feel it’s not for me, at this time’. Or something a little more subtle and diplomatic perhaps?
    If at this stage I was faced with a six month sentence when I had broken no actual law of any description I would be refusing and arguing my case all the way.

    Though in my case I am only in receipt of JSA and no other benefits, therefore I would be able to more easily afford to take the risk of pursuing such action. This isn’t an answer, just an idea.
    I would urge people to think carefully if they have no means to get by if sanctioned.

    This will face all of us currently on the WP who aren’t in work at the end of it. Unless it’s scrapped before then.

    Good luck.

    Mr No

    February 23, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    • Your so right. Mr No.
      If you see a litter picker in your area , it could be me.. or it could be you in the future.
      I’ve got quite a few benefits for good reasons. So it looks like i will have to take my gloves off, so to speak and except my punishment for now.
      However this prisoner will just have to play the system and work to rule, which basically means refuse do to anything if they are cutting corners on health and safety etc. etc.
      Every company i’ve ever worked for has done something shady regarding H+S. Considering im not getting paid for this and wont have the threat of losing my job/ labelled a “trouble maker” by the supervisor/manager , i will become the biggest pain in their butts while on placement.
      More than one way to skin a fat cat eh !

      Freewillman

      February 24, 2012 at 11:50 am

      • That sounds like a good idea. I’d suggest you just work to rule, take your time on your placement and just make it work for you.

        They cannot breach health and safety rules and if this happens, immediately report it to jobcentreplus and the Health and Safety Executive, which surprisingly will investigate if it warrants it.

        Anything like litter picking requires you to have steel toe capped boots which they MUST provide otherwise that is a
        breach and renders them liable for prosecution.

        Good luck and all the best.

        Antony Webber

        February 24, 2012 at 4:40 pm

  82. I get the feeling the CAP is illegal.The reason I say that is because it is unlawful punishment. It sounds indistinguishable from a community sentence issued as a punishment by the courts. The difference being that a community sentence is limited to a maximum of 300 hours considerable less than CAP (see Criminal Justice Act 2003 section 199 unpaid work requirement)

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/44/section/199

    The work itself seem to be the same (see Annex A in).

    http://www.justice.gov.uk/news/press-releases/moj/pressrelease-240811a.htm

    I’m fairly sure someone sentenced to an unpaid work requirement would still get benefits, so I think it would be hard to argue that CAP is not a punishment. In that case it would be a gross violation of Article 6 (right to a fair trial) as well as Article 4 (servitude). I wonder if a campaign to ‘decriminalise unemployment’ might have some public resonance? It could serve to start a debate as to why people were compelled to work unpaid – (possibly alongside convicted criminals?) but for longer and for no other offence than unemployment – sentenced without the benefit of a trial.

    Anton

    February 23, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    • Hi Anton
      Hope you don’t mind but I’ve e-mailed your post to the Public Interest Lawyers (Jim Duffy acting for Cait Reilly and others pursuing action against workfare). I’ll post any reply.

      Gissajob

      February 24, 2012 at 9:20 am

    • Hello Anton

      Interesting comment on the maximum length of community sentences for criminals.

      In Scotland the average length of community sentences served by criminals is 146 hours. CAP referrals will serve a minimum of 780 hours – with no possibility of early release into the bargain!

      Yes, the law-abiding unemployed who are guilty of the new crime of “mindset unemployment” are being treated worse than convicted criminals. Even convicted criminals are not supposed to be exploited by private enterprise!

      But, correct me if I am wildly wrong here; an unemployed person who is not a volunteer, and who is coerced onto the CAP, or the Mandatory Work Activity Scheme, or the mandatory parts of the “entirely voluntary” Work Experience Scheme – all done under the menace of a (benefit) penalty – will undoubtedly demonstrate the International Labour Organisation’s definition of “forced or compulsory labour”.

      “Forced or Compulsory Labour” is a criminal offence under Section 71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, and the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010, so what are people waiting for? REPORT THE CASE TO THE POLICE – let’s face it, it is now a specific CRIMINAL offence.

      Again, correct me if I am wildly wrong, but the police could be pursued for dereliction of duty if they fail to investigate it as an occurrence of a criminal offence.

      Tobanem

      February 25, 2012 at 11:52 am

      • There are a few circumstances in which compulsory labour is allowed.
        1. If it’s a national or local emergency (for example in Australia able bodied people could be mandated to help stop the spread of a bush fire threatening to engulf their town – which seems reasonable).
        2. To perform certain civic duties (the example here is Jury service or in some countries conscription).
        3. As part of a punishment authorised by the criminal justice system (in other words community service orders are allowed).

        No one objects to 1 or 2 because they apply to everyone, or at least everyone who is deemed capable of doing it. The problem with CAP is that it doesn’t apply to everyone. One section of society is singled out for what amounts to criminal punishment.

        I suspect the problem with taking the matter to the police is that they can’t do anything. It’s all authorised by the government and the government has crown immunity. Though I don’t know enough about the law so I can’t speak with authority.

        Anton

        February 25, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      • Hello again Anton

        In one of your posts you suggested the CAP is illegal. (Did you mean this to be a CIVIL illegality)?

        In a later post you said the police “can’t do anything”.

        Can you explain your position – given that forced or compulsory labour is a CRIMINAL offence and therefore a POLICE matter?

        Two other points: You talk about conscription. I suspect you meant military conscription! But we are talking here about civilians, so if a civilian is conscripted into some mandatory workfare scheme, the civilian becomes a forced labourer – which is (criminally) illegal.

        Lastly, it is not part of anyone’s “normal civic duty” to do forced or compulsory labour.

        Tobanem

        February 25, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      • Hello yet again Anton!

        Earlier today I wrote some practical advice on what to do when someone is mandated onto workfare.

        I made the comments on “The Community Action Programme – Slave Labour” page of this website. (Note, it is not the government that commits the criminal offence, as you suggested, but ultimately the person who requires “another person” to perform forced or compulsory labour).

        Here is what I said earlier:

        I will welcome any comments or valid criticism of my advice on what to do if you are coerced onto any workfare scheme.

        If being sent to any workfare scheme, ask the person mandating you – whether that person is a Jobcentre official, a Work Programme official or an employer in a workplace – the following key question:

        DO YOU REQUIRE ME TO PERFORM FORCED OR COMPULSORY LABOUR?

        Do not take no for an answer – if you are being mandated onto any workfare scheme, you are being required to perform forced or compulsory labour.

        Forced or compulsory Labour is now a specific CRIMINAL offence, as you will see when you refer to Section 71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, and the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.

        It is the person who requires “another person” to perform forced or compulsory labour who commits the criminal offence within the framework of the said legislation.

        Report the matter to the police – remember, it is a criminal offence, so that is a police matter.

        Pursue the police for dereliction of duty if they neglect to investigate your complaint.

        Contact your MP and the media about this matter.

        Tobanem

        February 25, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      • “(Did you mean this to be a CIVIL illegality)?”

        No I’m thinking of the Human Rights Act which I assume would be international law / European law?

        “Can you explain your position”

        My position is one of practicality. By all means complain but I’m suggesting they can’t do anything because this slavery is carried out under the authority of the government. Sovereign immunity, or crown immunity, is a legal doctrine by which the sovereign or state cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from civil suit or criminal prosecution.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_immunity

        “I suspect you meant military conscription!…”

        Yes I mean military conscription. I didn’t say ‘military’ because I think there is a requirement to offer a non-military alternative. That is the case in Portugal for example where voluntary service is allowed as an alternative for those who object. My position is that this is not a loophole which the government can use because conscription applies to everyone who falls within the age bracket. On the other hand compulsory labour under workfare is limited to those who are unemployed. If workfare applied to everyone it might just be legal (provided it wasn’t too onerous), just as it’s legal to make people do jury service! (Of course that would never happen because there would be howls of protest). The element which makes workfare different is the selectivity with which it is applied – it’s rather like the government passing a law requiring workfare for all those who are left handed. In other words compulsion for everyone within a particular age group is OK, so jury service and conscription don’t fall foul of the Human Rights Legislation.

        “Lastly, it is not part of anyone’s “normal civic duty” to do forced or compulsory labour.”

        Jury service is a normal civic duty which is both forced and compulsory. You can only get out of jury service if you have a good reason a pre booked holiday for example will not get you out of doing it – it will only get it deferred.

        It is important to understand the legal difference here between compulsory work under workfare and compulsory work under jury service or conscription. It is not the compulsion so much as the selectivity with which that compulsion is applied which makes workfare unlawful. IMO.

        Anton

        February 25, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      • Hello Tobanem,
        Re “I will welcome any comments or valid criticism of my advice on what to do if you are coerced onto any workfare scheme.”

        Interesting, at first sight I would have said they were just agents acting on behalf of the government with no actual powers – merely carrying out a mechanical process. But then I looked at clause 4:

        “4. You have discretion as to whether you mandate participants.”

        That is not mechanical, that’s discretionary. Where is the legal authority for a private company to force someone to work for a third party (or indeed themselves – as has happened with A4E). There should at least be the right to challenge the compulsory nature of it. Any provider doing that could be on dangerous legal grounds.

        “if you are being mandated onto any workfare scheme, you are being required to perform forced or compulsory labour.”

        That doesn’t necessarily follow, being mandated onto the course and being mandated to work are two different thing. It’s the DWP who mandates you onto the course, but its the provider who has the authority to mandate you to work. If they do actually mandate you to work, that raises the interesting question, are you in the eyes of the law their employee? They have the control and authority so it looks like it might be. However employment law is hideously complex.

        http://www.emplaw.co.uk/lawguide?startpage=data/026025.htm

        But I think you might be on to something! That discretion in (4) makes them legally responsible.

        Anton

        February 25, 2012 at 6:30 pm

      • http://www.facebook.com/events/373373192687532/

        please come and support the cause.

        Brian Scotlochrie Grubb

        February 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm

  83. Last night on the BBC was propaganda central with almost everyone on Question Time saying that workfare was a good thing though Ed Vaizey (spelling?) didn’t even know that there are a range of programmes and that one is overtly mandatory, the others are supposedly voluntary though the experience on the ground indicates that they are being implemented as if they are mandatory.

    One woman in the audience rather smugly said that she is a teacher and knows her friends children are alright as they get work experience & internships in family & friends business but the kids on council estates often come from families with no experience of work so will benefit from these schemes. No kidding, internships for middle class children, Tescos for working class kids and a big dose of stereotyping all over again. It’s like we’re back in the 1930s.

    Later we then had Michel Roux Jr defending work experience saying he has lots of interns/work experience in his kitchens. Well, people would pay to get such fabulous experience and I’m sure he is a good employer who trains his staff really well however doing a few months, full time, night shifts stacking shelves for Tesco doesn’t have quite the same impact on a cv and nor does it offer any meaningful transferable skills or training. It’s not the same, apprenticeships & work experience/internships with real training and access to networks of useful contacts = yes, jobs with little or no training that need to be done anyway and should be done by paid workers = no.

    Oh, and apparently the public is hugely in favour of workfare according to the BBC though that doesn’t really explain the success of the backlash against these schemes. Retailers and charities deal with the public every day and they are pulling out in quantity, they wouldn’t do that if the public really were in favour of the scheme!!

    DTiMillion

    February 24, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    • The BBCs coverage on welfare,disability and the NHS is a disgrace,they may as well merge with A4E and ATOS.

      ck

      February 25, 2012 at 7:12 pm

  84. I understand Chris Grayling has denied that the work experience
    program was mandatory, which is true – this afternoon. But earlier
    today Work Programme Provider Guidance told a different story. The relevant section (which has been removed in the latest version) says:

    “Work Experience for JSA Claimants
    14. Where you are providing support for JSA participants, which is
    work experience you must mandate participants to this activity. This is to avoid the National Minimum Wage Regulations, which will apply if JSA participants are not mandated.”

    The relevant document is here
    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wp-pg-chapter-3.pdf

    The cache copy is here (though I don’t know for how long):
    http://tinyurl.com/6t3jt93

    Page 4 is the important bit. If I’m correct it was edited to remove
    the embarrassing section sometime after 8:22 this morning. I’ve contacted Newsnight with the information. Notice the version number of the document didn’t get updated – as if they were trying to hide the fact that it had been changed.

    Now we know, the whole purpose of making it mandatory was to avoid National Minimum Wage regulations.

    Anton

    February 24, 2012 at 5:45 pm

  85. Some news on A4E from
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9103450/Chris-Grayling-government-will-sever-links-with-A4e-if-police-unearth-wrongdoing.html

    “…the company was accused of sending unemployed clients to work for nothing in its own offices.

    A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “We have constantly reminded A4e that they should not place workers in our stores and that we wanted to stick within our own scheme. However, people from A4e managed to convince some of our store managers that their scheme had been authorised by our head office. This was finished as soon as this was found out.”

    A4e claims the current police investigation centres solely on four former employees. But police sources say that the investigation goes further than the four arrested people and is looking at the “wider practices” of the company.

    The police investigation is being overseen by Thames Valley Police, but Fiona Mactaggart MP has written to the SFO asking for an inquiry.

    Sources said that the SFO’s resources would mean they would be well placed to take over the Thames Valley investigation.”

    I suggest anyone with evidence of A4E fraud should contact Thames Valley Police, Fiona Mactaggart MP and the SFO.

    Breaking news:

    “Emma Harrison has stepped down as chairman of her welfare-to-work firm A4e.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17161210

    Anton

    February 24, 2012 at 8:11 pm

  86. I understand Chris Grayling has denied that the work experience
    program was mandatory, which is true – this afternoon. But earlier
    today Work Programme Provider Guidance told a different story. The relevant section (which has been removed in the latest version) says:

    “Work Experience for JSA Claimants

    14. Where you are providing support for JSA participants, which is
    work experience you must mandate participants to this activity. This is to avoid the National Minimum Wage Regulations, which will apply if JSA participants are not mandated.”

    Is this an attack on the NMW?

    The relevant document is here
    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wp-pg-chapter-3.pdf

    The cache copy is here (though I don’t know for how long):
    cache:http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wp-pg-chapter-3.pdf

    Page 4 is the important bit. If I’m correct it was edited to remove
    the embarrassing section some time today. pdf files have a date in them indicating that the latest one was changed today at 15:08:39.
    The original version was last changed 2011-08-17 15:17:36. I think google took its cache copy this morning at 8:22. Paragraph 14 was certainly there a few days ago.

    Interestingly the version number V2.00 has not been updated giving the impression that nothing has changed. Can’t have the minister appearing to do a U-turn can we? Removing the mandatory requirement is obviously a trivial change so no need to update the document version number (or presumably inform A4E, Ingeus and other providers?)

    Anton

    February 24, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    • Note you have to put cache: in front of the http: to get googles cached version. If you just click on the link it will go to the latest version rather than the cached version. Actually this is probably easier:
      http://diigo.com/0nsyi
      http://diigo.com/0nsym

      Also notice how the edit was so badly done they lost the European Social Fund logo and the document title from the upper right. This is beginning to look like a farce.

      Anton

      February 25, 2012 at 1:30 am

    • A common DWP practice. They do not cover their tracks and its really silly considering its a very public document.

      Work Programme

      February 25, 2012 at 10:59 am

  87. Hello again Anton. I have been reading the debate you had with Tobanem. It got me thinking about the phrases they have been using for instance , “…Community Action Plan… ” ” …Work experience…” Is this how the Government are making forced labour legal calling it an experience. An experience of what ? I have already worked in many jobs why do i need work experience? Im in my 40’s!
    From wikipedia “Experience as a general concept comprises knowledge of or skill of some thing or some event gained through involvement in or exposure to that thing or event.”
    So if im being made to do something i clearly have no interest in what experience will i take away from this event. Will it be ” After experiencing the forced CAP. I see clearly this is not the type of thing i will ever wish to do now or in the future.”
    I have been reading the Annex2 you kindly directed me to in a previous post.
    Annex2 2.9 reads “You should take account of a claimant’s personal belief. All participants on CAP should be treated fairly regardless of their religion or beliefs. They should not not be asked to undertake any activity which goes against their beliefs.”
    So theoretically i could say “my personal belief is charity begins at home”. Problem solved! I wonder what they would say to that?

    Freewillman

    February 27, 2012 at 6:18 pm

  88. so, really, this site and the letter is just a way of being grumpy and letting off some steam about the WP. nothing can help us just get us [the jobless] into further trouble. has the owner of this site got a job? did that letter change things? yadda yadda…

    burt

    March 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm

  89. Sadly, although discussion and action are to be commended it does appear that we are back at square one and there is no way around it. All we can do is hope and pray that this government and all the corporate bs running this galley-slave country are removed by friendly extraterrestrials!

    Antraeus

    March 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm

  90. hi , im a bit confused please help me out , i live in birmingham , and i already started the work programme i did four weeks work placement and they extended it to another 4 weeks now , so i really dont want to attend anymore although i still want to carry on searching for jobs , its waste of my time and money attending this programme as they are making me work for free , the advice i need , is where do i send the letter to , do i send just one letter to my local job centre and one to the address above ? please reply asap i want to get this letter to them as soon as possible

    jay

    March 15, 2012 at 5:18 am

  91. this is fucking crazy surely if we the unemployed had any kind of case against this program then a lawyer would surely take up our case, can you imagine a lawyer taking the government to court with the backing of X amount of unemployed work program attendees who are being made to work for JSA.
    i am just going to sign off ( they can stick the work program up their collective arse ) i will look for work on my own or i will go back to collage and learn something worth while. im 36 yrs old and if they think im going to jump through hoops for money that i should be entitled to then they can kiss my arse. fuck the government i will go it alone and turn to crime if i have to.
    any lawyer willing to take some action should contact me asap…
    jq131@hotmail.co.uk

    james

    March 27, 2012 at 3:51 am

  92. Radio 4 revisits the work programme Thursday 29th March 2000:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01dvwcx
    and then on podcast.
    May be worth a listen (I may even be on it as I got a 20 second sound bite on first show and have spoken to journo on this one).

    Gissajob

    March 27, 2012 at 9:02 am

    • Thanks Gissa, it will probably be worth listneing to, these kind of BBC Radio Programmes are usually very seriously researched.

      Andrew Coates

      March 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm

  93. Hi,

    Great site. I have a question about what sanctions can be applied on the Work Programme if you find a job yourself and then refuse to continue to participate (as I undertsand it you are referred on to WP for 2 years and are expected to remain in touch with your provider, Kennedy Scott in my case, even after finding work). Obviously if I am no longer receiving JSA people might say what’s the problem, but I’m concerned that I might be sanctioned if I sign on again within the 2 year period and haven’t kept in regular touch with my provider. I’m determined that my provider won’t gain any bonus if I find work myself, as I expect to, and therefore intend to simply sign off when I find work. How do I prevent backdated sanctions if I then have to sign back on within the 2 years?

    Mark

    April 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    • I don’t think there is anything they can do. Just tell JCP that you’re signing off and leave them to deal with Kennedy Scott. I don’t see why you even have to tell JCP that you’ve found work, it’s none of their business, you could be moving abroad for example, or you could have just won the lottery.

      Once you start work you certainly don’t have to remain in contact with Kennedy Scott. From what I recall they used to offer a bribe of something like £50 on the previous work scheme (FND) if you notified them that you had found a job, but if I had found a job I certainly would not have told them. That is likely to be the only incentive.

      It is very unlikely that the work programme will last much longer – certainly not 2 years.

      Anton

      April 1, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    • Hello Mark, when you joined the Work Programme, you may have signed something giving them permission to SUPPORT you when you find a job to help you settle in.

      You don’t have to take that support if you don’t want to and as you now have a job it’s of no concern to them what you are doing.

      You only have to attend The Work Programme until you get a job then when you get one that’s it, over and done with.

      I think you may be confusing it with when you can get sanctioned for not complying with something the Work Programme has asked you to do, i.e attend a course, apply for a job, research a college course. Now you are employed and earning there’s no need for you to attend.

      Antony Webber

      April 2, 2012 at 12:55 pm

  94. Hi all, been of line for a while due to moving home. Just to let you know im still waiting for Ingeus to contact me. I think there has been an admin error. The JC+ think im on it but Ingeus havent asked me bk since i last had my induction. So much for communication. Nearly 2 months have passed now since contact. I hope JC+ realise that this will count towards my 6 month total. Considering all JC+ ask me when i sign on is “how are things?”and i answer “fine thanks but could be better.” No direct questioning of which i could be accountable for. Crazy eh!!!

    Freewillman

    April 3, 2012 at 11:06 am

  95. Hi Guys. A Friend At The D.W.P Here.

    You Realise That If And When The Government DO Bring in The Law Regarding Monitoring Of Emails (This Included ???), You Will Also Find Your Job Search Actions Watched Too. Oh Dear. Naughty Naughty. Spending Time On This Site Instead Of Job Hunting. I Hear The Sound Of Sanction Letters Printing Already.

    bbb

    April 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    • What makes you think we are not job searching ? I apply for the jobs but cant make them employ me. Official UK unemployment stands at 2.67 million . Do you honestly believe that the Government will monitor 2.67 million people just to see their job search actions. Seeing as the JC+ are checking us out already, I think not . Perhaps you should think more about all those fake apprenticeships “Panorama” have exposed.

      Freewillman

      April 4, 2012 at 3:01 pm

  96. You Realise That If And When The Government DO Bring in The Law Regarding Monitoring Of Emails (This Included ???), You Will Also Find Your Job Search Actions Watched Too. Oh Dear. Naughty Naughty.

    it will never happen and will never work just a waste of money and to cause chaos.

    i can get ppls wifi for 30 miles with my yagi antennas on a pole and crack there codes with an android app for free internet if i want.

    super ted

    April 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm

  97. Hi all, been of line for a while due to moving home. Just to let you know im still waiting for Ingeus to contact me. I think there has been an admin error. The JC+ think im on it but Ingeus havent asked me bk since i last had my induction.

    same here just been used to get the 400 quid and now cast aside.

    and i have been on it from day 1 looks like im on for 2 years of nothing.

    o i forgot that’s all you do when you go anyway!!

    super ted

    April 3, 2012 at 7:36 pm

  98. Hi,
    Just returned from signing on at JCP where I was informed of a new procedure for those consigned to the WP. Instead of signing and being “interviewed” at a specific 2 weekly time I have to complete and deliver a standard form /declaration. The form has to be delivered in person on a 2 weekly basis between 9.30 am and 3.30 pm.
    As well as the usual declarations the form specifically asks:

    Confimation of ongoing attendance with Work Provider
    I last attended jobsearch activity on [date]
    Please explain what happened at this appointment:
    Employers contacted:
    My next appointment is on [date]
    Please provide feedback on your Work programme provider.

    Guess they’re trying to check up on the pimps as much as the jobseekers!

    Gissajob

    April 5, 2012 at 10:53 am

    • Nope. They are trying to screw YOU over. Yes, the provider should be getting you to do job search blah blah blah, but if you do not have these details they will say that YOU are not “Actively Seeking Employment”.

      (Although you have done job search and applied for jobs… the jobcentre are so much scum they feel you do not job search on your own initiative.)

      I would personally write over it saying “Please check with your partner organisation that you pay millions towards. I am sure they can afford the ink more than I can!”.

      Work Programme

      April 5, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    • Hey Gissa.
      Interesting. I’m inclined to agree about them trying to “screw you over”. Sure, there may be an element of checking the pimps performance, However one has to consider this very new and perhaps radical signing on experience carefully.

      I need to process this somewhat! Have you had to do this yet? Informed prior to this change?

      Is this mandatory? Any small print? The problems that could arise from this. Hmmm? Or not?
      I know that signing clerks attitude and professionalism is variable, but not always bad. To take away that human element and what…? You simply hand the form over? Do you get a receipt? Do they ‘put you through’ on the system there and then as they do at normal signings?
      And you can see they have done so on the screen if you should feel the need.
      Is it a game of chance? Do the answers on the form have any bearing on you getting your JSA as usual? Is it now a long low drum roll till the day it’s usually paid in? Probably not, Just typing thoughts.

      Or, is it still the case of you sit down with the signing clerk and they take the form and peruse it and then, depending on your answers maybe decide whether or not there is an issue?
      As long as one always has a looking for work form filled to the required level. Hopefully all honest and plausible. That should be sufficient. I might be asking if it’s a necessary component.
      Are you available and actively seeking work? If so, whatever you put on this form or not shouldn’t affect your benefit.
      I trust you will be keeping us appraised of the situation.

      Guess we’ll correspond at some juncture Gissa.
      Oh, If you read this my ‘time space anomaly’ is no longer! Oh well, didn’t do too bad out of it. Back to the rebellion!

      Take care mate.

      Mr No

      April 8, 2012 at 12:13 am

  99. Hi mr. No.
    To try to answer some of your questions:
    It does not appear to be mandatory since the “introduction to flexible signing” which was handed to me states “If you would prefer to sign at the Jobcentre in the usual way, you can request to do this at any time”. The procedure was introduced (in great haste) by a JCP employee who announced it to me as “Good News Mr Gissajob!” She then briefly explained the new system, passed a form for me to sign agreeing to it, when I started to read the form (rather than just signing it) I was told “my time is valuable! my response “so is mine!”and “there is a copy of the form for you to take away” – . Seems she had a great many people to get through this procedure and no time allowed for people to read before they are expected to sign!
    I haven’t yet “signed on” or should I say “delivered” under the new system but the form states “you will be able to hand the signing coupon issued to you, to a Customer Service Manager on the ground floor, between the hours of 9.30 -15.30” (the misplaced commas are theirs, not mine!). So it would seem that I just hand it in at the reception desk. It remains to be seen whether they look at it then or just accept it and whether any form of receipt is provided. The procedure would mean that there is no computer terminal that the customer sees and no interaction with a jcp employee other than “Here’s my form” and “ta”. The form does ask for “NUMBER” which I was told means “telephone number” (they won’t be getting mine) so presumably someone could phone with queries.
    As a general comment the form is poorly designed which leads to lots of room for obfuscation. For instance:
    “Confirmation of ongoing attendance with Work Programme Provider” – I intend to answer as “ongoing attendance confirmed”
    “I last attended jobsearch activity on” will receive the entry “jobsearch activity is conducted on a daily basis”
    “Please explain what happened at this appontment” – incidentally the largest space is provided for this. Will get: “Job and work siuations were discussed. The contents of the Provider’s Black Box were examined at length the action plan was updated (I do not have a copy but am sure the A4greed can provide one upon your request)”
    “Employers contacted – usual suspects!
    “My next appointment is on” This doesn’t specify whether the appointment is with WP or JCP so I guess I could just put in the next signing date or something more cheeky like “see the data on your data user’s system”. Depends how brave I feel on the day!
    then there is a one line space for “Please provide feedback on your Work Programme provider.

    It looks to me as if the form has been designed in haste as it has no document code and there are a number of inconsistencies

    I guess poorly completed forms will lead to either a phone call of an interview! – at the end of the form “for our use” has two tick boxes – “accepted” and “not accepted” followed by JSA095 input and JSA470 input

    Sorry for length of post – hope it helps. My gut feeling is still that the JCP are looking for ammunition to get at the pimps.

    Gissajob

    April 8, 2012 at 8:51 am

    • Here is a link to images of the documents:
      http://imageshack.us/g/141/page1wl.jpg/

      Gissajob

      April 8, 2012 at 10:41 am

      • Jobseekers Act 1955? lol… get it right!

        I think this move is disgusting. Can you not insist you have your usual signing on appointments?

        Why do you have to hand it into jobcentre? Why not do it at the provider?

        DWP are doing this as a trial. You will soon no longer go to jobcentre to sign on… it will be sent from the provider!!!

        Work Programme

        April 8, 2012 at 11:35 am

    • They wont give you a receipt.

      Someone should try posting it to them.

      I am wondering the legalities of this are:-
      * Before you had to wait to be seen by an Employment Officer – someone with “powers” – and sign the declaration in front of them
      * You can sign declarations via your ES40JP signing on booklet – without signing on (however, this is done for convenience for when you are not signing on i.e. without an appointment)

      Then what happened to the piece of paper you used to sign? I take it they are doing what they do when they sign you on for a bank holiday – authorised it in your absence.

      However, its likely an AO (lower than an EO) will be checking your “evidence” to sign you on…

      Work Programme

      April 8, 2012 at 11:41 am

  100. blah blah. no one can or will help us. this site is just about complaining with not action to help.

    if there was a case, we’ know by now. lawyers kinda of like winning.

    burt

    April 8, 2012 at 2:25 pm

  101. I am currently on ESA WRAG. I saw a JC person on Friday and they say I have to attend a work programme interview with a company called Seetech. They seemed to indicate this was only an initial interview and that I would not have to attend regularly? Sounds fishy to me. I did not volunteer for anything. If it’s an initial interview what can I do to try and avoid being roped into regular attendance and not being sanctioned? I do not mind attending the work focussed interviews but I find the work programme despicable and want to avoid attending them at all costs!

    Dick

    May 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    • You have to attend the interview with SEETEC as you are an ESA claimant and comply with reasonable requests they give you at SEETEC as the programme is compulsory as an ESA claimant as well as a JSA claimant.

      If you feel you don’t need a lot of support from them then i suggest you tell them. You will probably receive an action plan of activities you need to follow before your next meeting which if you don’t comply without good reason jobcentreplus will sanction you if SEETEC report it to them via their computer system. Good luck

      Antony Webber

      May 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm

  102. I have just been referred to the Work Programme after being unemployed for a year. I will state here that I want to get back into work and have been trying to do so for the past year. My last job was 5 years in a local supermarket, definately not a high powered position but I was happy there and would happily work in another supermarket.
    That said, I am not keen to be mandated (that word) onto a Work Programme. I at first refused to sign a new Jobseekers Agreement. They told me I had to update it. I was not sure of what ground I was on and in the end I was coerced by three of them into signing it. I know wish that I had stood my ground and at least ask could I take it home and read it before I signed it. This woud have given me more time to find out if I had to sign a new updated version or not. Does anybody know if you are legally obliged to update your Jobseekers Agreement after a period of time? I am going to put a Freedom of Information request anyway. I will let you know the result.
    I was then given the coupons and told that I did not have to sign on at my normal time anymore. I only had to hand the coupon in on my signing day, between the hours of Blah and Blah. I do not want to do this. I want to sign on at my usual time in my usual way. I have written to my Jobcentre and requested that I may be able to sign on in my usual way and for clarification on the issue. When I get the information I again will let you good people know.
    The WP providers have also rang me to do an “assesment”. I refused to give personnal information over the phone. They issued threats about writing to the Jobcentre that I was refusing a place on the WP and that the phone call was being recorded. I made it clear that I was not refusing a place on the WP but that under the Data Protection Act I was not going to give my personal details down the phone. I explained that I wanted to get back to work and the quicker they got in touch with me face to face, the better for all of us. The person on the other end then told me she would have to speak to her manager. After 20 stressful minutes of thinking I was going get sanctioned the person from WP rang me back and said that it was O.K. and they would be in touch by letter. No apology. I asked for the address of their office they were ringing me from and she told me she could not divulge said information. Its funny that they wanted me to divulge all mine. It seems to me that if you happen to be unfortunately unemployed that you no longer have any rights and can be bullied into giving up said rights.
    All in all not a good start. I wil not be signing consent waiver or anything else they give me, for that matter. There are a couple of good websites that i would recommend to anybody who has been forced onto the WP or about to be. “The Consent Me” site and the “What do they Know” site.
    I have one little critisism of this site, it is that it is really hard to navigate. Keep up the good work. Stan.

    Stan

    May 14, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    • I wrote to the Jobcentre to ask if I can sign on at my usual time in my usual way instead of using the “coupons”. I received a letter from them today. The Jobcentre have confirmed in the letter that I CAN sign on at my usual time in my usual way. They have given me a time slot ten minutes later than my old one.
      I do not know if what I have done is the right course of action for me. I may have shot myself in the foot. I am comfortable in the position I have taken, on the grounds “that it is better the devil you know….”
      If you wish to sign on as normal, do so by sending a request by letter to your Jobcentre. They can not refuse your request. Stan.

      Stan

      May 17, 2012 at 11:23 am

      • Hi Stan
        I have been doing this coupon signing on for three times now. I have had no problem – just hand over completed coupon to reception area it gets a cursory glance and I’m gone within 2 minutes.
        Today I was given a revised coupon to replace the original version.Much larger space for job diary details and the “please provide feedback on your Work Programme provider” question has been removed. Maybe they were getting too many truthful responses?

        Gissajob

        May 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      • I think of it as a kind of work-pass book, something like a permanent register of everything you do.

        It is an utter waste of everyone’s time.

        Andrew Coates

        May 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm

  103. Hello Gissajob,
    Thank you for your feedback. I had read your other posts about whether the coupon thing is a good or bad thing. It looks like the jury is still out.
    I am just trying to protect myself from the worst excesses of the WP. I know absolutely nothing about the WP but from what I have read, it does not look good. I also think that they can not use my not actually signing on to massage the claimant count, because I will be signing on.
    I have not heard from my provider yet. I have also put a couple of Freedom of Information requests in regarding my Jobseekers Agreement. I will give the information out when I get it. Too late for me but forewarned is forearmed for the next victims. Knowledge is power. Stan.

    Stan

    May 17, 2012 at 5:56 pm

  104. Hi Guys,

    I’m on the Work Programme with ‘Ingeus’ in the East of England. On Wednesday their passing me on to another provider (I think to ‘Training Skills Academy’) to do a course on telesales, not what I need, had experience of a telesales role, for one of the many degenerate companies out their, that are able to get away with not only conning their employees, but conning everyone they come into contact with, and the only people whom benefit are the immoral slovenly types that run these places.

    What do I need to do, to get out of this? Because I know what’s going to happen here from past experience from last unemployment when I was 19, now 25, I’m going to spend the next many days being messed around.

    P.S. Ingeus has been a useless experience, the staff are not particularly intelligent (for example no one had any clue what ‘adept’ meant, which I put on my CV), nor, more importantly have much clue and they don’t have any connections at all. Another ridiculous scheme from another government to keen to pander, lie, and manipulate, rather than lead through honesty and logic etc.

    Can’t sleep at the moment, because this is bothering me a bit.

    Di Vaio

    May 21, 2012 at 3:28 am

    • Hi Di Vaio, you’re not alone in thinking like this. I’m on the Work Programme, and though i’ve not been referred for some so called work experience, ive been on 2 employability skills courses with SEETEC who have equally narrow minded, thick, moronic staff who also do not have any connections with employers who want to spend their time blaming their clients and making them think they have a problem.

      If they’re trying to mandate you to the work experience there are a number of forms that need to be filled out before they can send you. I suggest you look at the DWP website and look at the Work Programme information(which has recently been updated) which in detail explains what these providers need to do before they mandate and refer you.

      Good luck.

      Antony Webber

      May 21, 2012 at 9:33 am

      • Hey,

        Thanks.

        Yep this whole programme is an utter disgrace; quite amazing it hasn’t all just gone bang yet. And personally I find these programmes / schemes just create another barrier to employment!

        I started composing a letter on the sharing and removal of my personal data yesternight. Going to read up more on all this later, but there’s loads of info and not much concrete assessment as to whether it will work or not.

        Di Vaio

        May 21, 2012 at 10:50 pm

  105. Hello Di Vaio,
    The course may be really compicated and possibly you will not be able to take everything in and get your head around it. You may even fail it because it is too hard, no matter how you try. Some people are just not cut out to be phone jockeys. Best of luck, Stan.

    Stan

    May 21, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    • lol, If I get harassed and bullied to go on it, I will fail it, because I got the feeling what will happen is; I do this course and those whom pass will be thrown into some dodgy employment on a training wage, then when the so called training or apprenticeship term comes to an end, they say sorry but bye, and they go down to their buddies and get some more free or cheap employees, great for them, but a woeful situation for the poor claimants, society and the country in general.

      Di Vaio

      May 21, 2012 at 10:59 pm

  106. Hello.

    I am being a very naughty claimant and being non compliant with my mandated activity. It may be deemed unreasonable in my circumstances so I await my sanction doubt.

    I was going to complain, have a good draft letter typed up, but I think one will have to see what happens first. My complaints will still be valid. And sanction or not I will be sending letters of complaint.
    I am simply waiting to see what they do, i didn’t attend the first weeks compulsory bullshit and there was no doubt waiting when I signed. So, I continue to be non compliant. I actually want to see if the provider puts a doubt in. They probably will, it’ll probably be at my next signing. I’m prepared. A little stressful, but I’ve had enough of the crap these providers spew and the intimidation they pathetically attempt.
    The DM might rule in my favour. Or not? It could possibly weaken my case for negotiation if a DM rules against me, but I’m not too concerned. I will eat and have a roof over my head so I am going to just do my best. These scamming bastards aren’t going to treat me like dirt.

    I’ll post updates as and when.

    Glad this thread is still active.

    Take care people.

    Mr No

    May 21, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    • I’m gleaning as much info (ammo) as I can from various sites including this one and places like http://www.consent.me.uk and refusewp etc. All very useful. I’ve just seen my GP today and he has signed me off sick for a month due to the stress. However I am already on ESA WRAG coming from IB so I can’t see how that is gonna help much. I guess it is just a bit more ammo in the arsenal to use. Do I send this off along with a letter informing them of my worsening health and withdrawel of consent to the JCP at Belfast? Or do I need to try and get to see some advisor at my local JCP? I tried to go down there today and they said I needed to make an appointment (massive queue so I did not bother). If I must send it to Belfast I will send recorded. Any advice?

      Dick

      May 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm

  107. Hello,
    I put in a Freedom of Information request regarding WP Action Plans. Here is the answer they gave me :-
    “Dear Sir,
    This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
    Is it a legal requirement to sign a Work Programme Action Plan?
    Work Programme providers have the freedom to develop their own approaches to help participants into work and action planning is an important part of this. Providers will discuss and seek agreement with participants about work-related activities that will offer best prospects of employment. Whilst there is no requirement for this to be recorded on an action plan and duly signed by the Work Programme participant, they are required to undertake all that can be reasonably expected to give themselves best prospects of employment or moving towards
    work, and if not do risk a benefit sanction. ”
    No Action Plans, No signing one, official.
    I have written back to ask them to legally define what is meant by “reasonably expected”. Stan.

    Stan

    May 25, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    • further to the above how long can my idiot advisor keep giving me appointments to attend ive been to see him every fortnight since i signed on last november thats seven months in that time ive signed on normally twice and excused signing three times due to bank holidays
      its ridiculous that its taking this length of time im doing my job search three times a week and am now doing voluntary work one day a week for two hours maybe because am doing voluntary work he will get off my back
      what annoys me about him is he gives me a time to attend and its another ten minutes before hes ready to speak to me yet if i was late he would be threatening me with benefit sanctions he will get a curt answer if he tries that one which will be “every interview ive attended in the llast seven months you have never taken me at the time stated on the letter so a few minutes late hardly upsets your appointment system does it considering am here usuall at least 8 minutes before my appointment time”

      jon

      June 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm

  108. my idiot employment advisor was going to put me on the mwa but when he phoned the company that deals with it was told there was only a 99% possibility i would be sent to a local furniture charity(they take in household goods which they sell to people on low income) hes now put me down the volunteer route at the same charity though am only doing two hours one day a week how long do i have to do this for?
    will it help me gain employment? if its anything like mentioning having been on new deal i doubt it very much i applied for 120 jobs after being on new deal and got 120 rejection letters thats how good new deal worked it doesnt as 98% employers didnt believe in new deal
    ideally i would prefer not to mention i do voluntary work at an interview if it looks like am in with a chance of being selected can my advisor sanction my benefit if i dont mention doing voluntary work at an interview? if i did and i still didnt get the job would this be a sanctionable offence as well? i always thought anything discussed at interview was private and confidential but apparently my idiot advisor can phone up and find out why i didnt get the job though the employer wouldnt need to go into details just say he wasnt suitable would this reply leave me open to benefit sanctioning? i have no savings and rely on my benefit to pay bills including council tax which has to be paid so if he did impose a sanction this would cripple me financially and also mean i have to pay the remaining ct in one payment which i couldnt do of course which means i could get taken to court or have ballifs at the door
    can i make a claim against the dwp if this happened?

    jon

    June 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    • Jon, have you signed the Data Protection Act waiver (data sharing) because if you haven’t your adviser is breaking the Law by phoning employers. If, however, you have signed it, you would be best advised to withdraw your consent. See consent.me.uk for further information and and a template letter.

      Office of Information Commisioner

      June 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    • You liability for Council tax is related to your income. It can be claimed even if you are not on benefits (I know because I did exactly this). They don’t like paying it but they have no choice, it is the law.

      Anton

      June 11, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    • Jon,
      I have just typed you a rather long reply but it disappeared into the electical ether. Basically they have got you by the nuts. Withdraw your consent as advised. Use your provders complaints procedure to complain about your Advisers lateness but only if you feel safe to do so. Check “consent me.com” “refusewp.com” and “whatdotheyknow.com” for information regarding the Work Programme.
      Any Mandatory activity MUST be in writing and use a certain form of words otherwise it is illegal and not mandatory.
      I hope this helps. Good luck.
      Stan.

      Stan

      June 11, 2012 at 7:23 pm

  109. i know someone who has just jumped trough hoops and now they are on the sick with pay. but they now have a interview with seetec how can this be right. the JC have said in writing that they don’t have to do job search or apply for jobs. very strange.

    dave

    June 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm

  110. What is the point of this site if it can not help?

    lenny

    June 24, 2012 at 10:56 am

    • To share information. Do not consent. If you already have, withdraw your consent. (consent me.org) Do not sign ANY Work Programme forms. If you get a job, make it that they (the provider) do not get any money for you. If enough people know enough stuff and do this, the scheme will collapse under its own weight. Remember, they are only in it for the money. YOU are that money. Stan.

      Stan

      June 24, 2012 at 7:46 pm

  111. yadda yadda. can this site help? didnt help me.case closed.

    lenny

    June 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm

  112. Well basically I spoke to my WP caseworker and explained I am on voluntary due to being on ESA WRAG with 12 months prognosis from the WCA (I got a written confirmation of this from the DWP). If I was on 3/6 months it would be mandatory to attend. He confirmed he spoke to the JCP adviser wand that I am indeed voluntary which means I should not have a doubt raised if I fail to attend an session with them. I asked for written confirmation of this but he would not give it. Word of mouth is not good enough and I would not trust this company with a 11 foot barge pole. So I went back to the JCP and spoke to someone explaining the situation and he said he would get my adviser to send Seetec a WP11 basically cancelling my obligation to attend. We shall see if this comes through or not. Obviously this is different for people on a 3/6 month prognosis from WCA or if on JSA but if you are on ESA WRAG make sure to find out what your prognosis from the WCA is. They dod not send you this so you have to request it a month or so after you get notification of ESA WRAG. Do not let them try to coerce you into the WP unless you are on 3/6 month! Even then I would try and protest it.

    Dick

    June 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm

  113. Not one person has stated that all they want is full-time employment that will meet their weekly outgoings, and reward them with a spare £25 that they can use for whatever they want.

    United StereoTypes of Unemployment (U.S.T.U)

    August 3, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    • Not one person ? Well here i go I want what you just said As for the spare £25 lol Are you serious ? What can £25 get me nowadays A day trip with my kids to the park Come on Anyway why would we have to state a statement like this when its obviously the point we are fighting about

      DAVID

      August 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    • A spare £25?! you must be joking… £25 would hardly buy a half-pint of bitter in me local!

      Thirsty

      August 3, 2012 at 6:08 pm

      • I hear you They must be on 6 grand a week Or that’s David Cameron himself on the reply as its obvious He’s doing fuck all for the uk ..

        DAVID

        August 3, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    • £25 wouldn’t even pay the taxi fare home from a night out. Life on Mars must be cheap, Dave 🙂

      Chelsea

      August 4, 2012 at 8:27 am

    • lol meant United StereoTypes of Unemployment (U.S.T.U) 🙂 had more than the taxi fare home last nite lol 🙂 left me bleeding knickers in the taxi lol 🙂

      Chelsea

      August 4, 2012 at 8:29 am

      • lol ))

        DAVID

        August 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm

  114. 1 of you who replied to my comment doesn’t want to spend time at the park with their kids. Tut tut.

    Another that replied lives in a area with residents so affluent, their local charges £25 for half a pint of bitter..

    The third left their knickers in a taxi after a night out. Money well spent?

    You all missed my point.

    A high percentage of comments are generally moaning about being put in the classrooms of the Work Programme. Right?

    The people who are ‘for’ this think that the people who are against TWP are job snobs and want money for nothing.

    We’ve got the unemployed, the part-time employed, the full-time employed, the students, the NEETs, the ambitious, the pensioners & other tags.

    If we were to say in one unified voice “We would like to be in paid employment. A job that matches our skills and that we are able to do. A job that will pay enough money so that we can pay our weekly living costs. Not pay for luxuries. Pay for the weekly costs of living. We don’t want to be on benefits. We claim because we don’t intend to break the law. We work because we don’t intend to break the law. We study because we don’t intend to break the law. Please, oh honourable ones. What jobs have you got for commoners like us?”

    if we were to unite & say that.. The Goverment would shit themselves!

    Because they’d realise that we’re aware of a big blag.

    They’d realise that we know the ‘elite’ wasn’t selected or empowered into their roles by God and that we are wondering how they came to be the ‘elite’ force that they are.

    I’ve clocked that someone’s been taking the mick and realizing that the odds of it being me are decreasing.

    If they blatantly ignore all tags mentioned above, & let a few ‘sell-outs’ work in a well rewarding enforcement job, & stitch up the pensioners and pensionless, & enslave the youth as well as drive the mature population crazy; at least we’d know that Peaceful Protest didn’t work & that it’s time to encourage our younglings to be politicians.

    We can play their game. We’d need an army though. Sounds fun, huh?

    Or you can simply tell the honourable ones (and their noble and wannabe noble sidekicks);
    screw your beliefs, screw your visions and screw your worldwide hopes & dreams, right? I’m here in the U.K. and I want a job that I am capable of doing. A job that pays my weekly bills and taxes. You say that you’re in charge. Show me what you’ve got for me!

    United StereoTypes of Unemployment (U.S.T.U)

    August 4, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    • I do take my kids to the park My point was that’s all i can do for them all week Your missing my point we need more jobs more money I am a hard grafter To prove this i duck and dive doing jobs all over the place to make money Laminating flooring painting i set about passing my driving test STILL NOTHING I agree with the part you say we need a army as our voice goes in the rich ears and back out again We are left to fend for ourself However if we get locked of (say we stab a police man) not that i want to But if i did i am set for a much better life that i am on benefits I mean i could go to the gym play snooker socialise with people in the inside who might become friends watch TV all day Ahh and i for got 3 meals a day few phone calls home no gas or lecky to pay never mind the brass neck of sitting in one of the WP courses Doing what i have done all month or week in the house We are the criminals for being on benefits There’s something wrong with this to me

      DAVID

      August 4, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    • What are you talking about United StereoTypes of Unemployment (U.S.T.U)? The “sell-outs” have always been with us… police, teachers etc. those whose co-operation to the State is essential and thus well-rewarded. And now we have the likes of the W2W provider, ATOS, collaborators in the DWP only to happy to take their 30 pieces of silver. And there are mercenaries out there who will do ANYTHING absolutely ANYTHING for personal gain – mercenaries who will ROUND YOU UP and KILL YOU, yes KILL YOU without conscience, compassion or compunction. This is how all seminal fascist States come into existence; what we are at present living through is exactly how Hitler came to power!

      Untermensch

      August 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm

  115. What you say is similar to the guy who wrote this article.

    http://urbangardenmagazine.com/2010/11/human-farming-the-story-of-our-enslavement/

    What I’m talking about is evolution, and moving forward.

    Play the ‘elite’ game by creating credible future politicians.

    I’m no expert. It seems a better idea than anarchy, and much better than Cait Reilly’s attempt to take on TWP in the courts of law.

    By the way, does lawful mean legal?

    United StereoTypes of Unemployment (U.S.T.U)

    August 7, 2012 at 9:41 am

  116. In Hull the dwp are using electronic equipment set up in neighbouring properties to monitor
    movement, eg using the stairs, the toilet, the bedroom, the kitchen etc. yes it’s unbelievable
    but true. More details are available. It’s illegal but the dwp hope that a court would sanction
    it in the interests of detecting crime. Fortunately, electronic equipment exists to monitor,trace and locate their stuff and record it. If properties near you appear to be changing hands as it were, or there are vehicles with missing wheel trims, roof bars, roof boxes, bikes on the bak or a poppy on the grill, be suspicious and use a camera and record the details. Mobile homes are also used by transient dwp spy’s and again if such a vehicle appears in your neighbourhood, get the details and a take a picture.

    These spy workers are competing for huge bonuses for targeting and setting claiments up.
    They’ll lie, threaten violence, damage your property and all because they want a new car or
    sunnny holiday etc. in Hull, so far the Coroner has recorded 7 deaths due to dwp treatment
    and benefit loss. If you expose them, you’ll have daily and nightly processions of vehicles up
    and down outside your home, door slamming, noisy exhausts cars and motorbikes. Beware of the fake taxis, public and private, Asda, Tesco, Iceland all operate vehicles driven by dwp
    workers. This is all denied but the dwp don’t deal in truth, don’t attend interviews you are
    entitled to any of their lies in writing or advance disclosure. In Tribunals, if a worker is called,
    they will try to remain anonymous, eg Miss H etc. Have someone watch the building and
    be ready to have them followed…there is no law that allows them to remain anonymous in
    a free society. Knowledge is power.

    Across the country, hundreds of homes, flats, houses on council estates are being occupied by dwp spy workers..many pretending to be unemployed or disabled. Social housing is for
    those in need and if you become aware of it going on, write to your MP and councillors.
    It’s illegal, immoral, and is topping genuine people and families getting a decent roof over
    their head. Social housing has never been more in demand. The dwp cretins use it to
    attack the least able in society and again purely for personal financial gain.

    Good Luck…

    Pete Peterson

    August 30, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    • “Pete Peterson” why are you all of a suuden inserting this interesting commentary in this particular place?

      It all seems a bit incongrous.

      Tobanem

      August 31, 2012 at 12:57 pm

  117. Thanks for info i was refered to the work program in march 2012 as from that date up to 4.9.12. the provider ingeus have not contacted me i have imformed dwp and now put on my job diry wich i get seen every time i sign on and get signed by dwp personel i am useing this as reason not to attend the work program as well as the info you have provided thanks . J.s [cork208]

    j.skilbeck

    September 4, 2012 at 6:45 pm

  118. This is now September 2012, would this letter still work? I have been on the “work programme” for just under a year now, and I am treated like crap everytime i go in, i need to get off of this “work programme” before i blow a fuse at them.

    Libby

    September 6, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    • Hey Libby,

      I get treated like rubbish too. Unfortunately I’m not aware of any way of actually getting off the ‘Work Programme’, you just have to play there pointless game, try to mess them around as much as they do with us. And if you find employment don’t tell them where you work, unless they actually found you the job then fair enough, but based on my experience of the ‘Work Programme’ the changes of them finding or even helping to find employment is extremely slim!

      Dom

      September 6, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    • If there being rude and unpleasant, write a letter to the providers head office, the DWP, your MP, maybe even a newspaper.

      Dom

      September 6, 2012 at 11:40 pm

  119. I feel for you all and although I am temporarily free of their clutches I am still an inmate of the prison without visible bars. Here is the core of text from my last letters. Nothing was completely successful but it made them panic as evidenced by the huge amount of junk responses from offices as far off as Peterborough and Derby and by the following timidity of the Seetec responses. I will be pursuing this from a position of supposed power now that I no longer claim JSA. And I have a couple of invoices to post off to Seetec

    —————————————————————————————————————-

    Notice to agent is notice to principal, notice to principal is notice to agent

    PLEASE BE AWARE

    This response to your letter of 24 August 2012, and all further correspondence between “Seetec”, any agent, representative or employee of same and my self is now “Public Record”

    I have just received another letter from yourself or someone within the “Work Programme” team. It seems you failed to grasp the meaning of my refusal to contract with yourselves. You seem also now to be stepping over the bounds of what I consider to be my personal right to peace, with your intimidating and unsolicited demands upon my person. You are disturbing my peace which is “DISTURBING THE PEACE”.

    1. You have addressed the letter to the legal fiction person, using the two derivatives namely Mr ******** and Mr ******. You then go on to state in bold type that my attendance is mandatory. You and your corporation have absolutely no rights to demand anything of me even if you have a contract with the JCP/DWP. If you believe otherwise you have been sorely misinformed.

    2. I Martin ******* (the man) as the Owner, and CEO of the legal fiction named above in item 1, have already stated quite clearly that I have not knowingly nor will I ever knowingly consent to contract with yourselves.

    3. Any and all contracts entered into with Third Parties on my behalf are not valid. If you believe otherwise I advise you that you are mistaken and suggest you to think logically about the implications of anybody agreeing/contracting to anything on your behalf.

    4. I am also advising you that I am instigating a fee schedule for any further unsolicited contact/harassment I receive from “Seetec”, any agent/employee or representative thereof. This will be at a rate of £1000 bps (One Thousand British Pounds Sterling) for each call, letter or any other form of contact in regards of this matter.

    5. I further understand that you are acting as a data collector/processor for JCP/DWP or bodies thereof. I would advise you then to be very careful of what you do with any Personal Information whilst it is in your “TRUST” and fully understand that I am the owner of my Personal Information. I personally place a value of £1,000,000 bps, (One Million British Pounds Sterling) for any data of mine that is misused, misplaced, lost, stolen or passed to any Third Parties without my full and express written consent to do this. I also advise you that as I have not consented to contract with “Seetec” I also have not given you any Authority to Collect, Gather, Share or Disclose, any of my Personal Information. If you believe otherwise I suggest you consider who has given you this supposed Authority.

    6. You have now been advised for the final time by my self that I wish no further correspondence with you or any agent or representative acting on your behalf in respect of this mater. I suggest you take action to ensure this does not happen by mistake.

    This was your last and final warning. If I receive one further communication from any of your Agents by means of mail, phone call, knocks on my door, or any other means, then I will assume you have agreed to these terms and have activated the above fee schedule. I will then invoice you for the amount stated in the schedule above. In line with normal business practice full payment within 30 days of this invoice date would then be acceptable to me.

    You are not required to respond to this letter, as I have clearly stated I want no further contact with you or your organisation.

    Yours faithfully

    —————————————————————————————————————-

    Dear D M Cobbold

    I received a letter signed on your behalf regarding doubt as to my entitlement to JSA due to my alleged failure to take part in the “Work Programme”. You also state that further you have been told that I did not attend Seetec on 29 June 2012. I am afraid you have been misinformed. I have provided a copy of the correspondence between myself and this forgetful service provider with regard to this, please see attached appendix ii)

    1. Could you clarify “the activity that Seetec told you to do”., in paragraph one of your letter. See copy attached as appendix i).
    I had at this time not knowingly entered into a contract with Seetec so was not obliged to do anything that Seetec “told me to do”.

    This also further proves that I did in fact attend their initial appointment on 29 June 2012, how else could I have failed to something they told me to? I have also attached a copy of all the correspondence between myself and Seetec relating to their dishonest claim that I failed to attend this appointment.

    2. “When you take part in the Work Programme”, as I am not this seems to be irrelevant at the moment, but thank you for your advice I will check the regulations carefully.

    3. Your second point in paragraph two “you were notified to attend Seetec on 29 June”. I have already partially answered in (1.) above. I have sent them a special delivery reply to ensure they received it, Copied to Sudbury JCP. Please see attached appendix ii).

    As I have clearly stated in the attached letter. I did attend the initial appointment on 29 June 2012, with my actual physical presence at a desk with a representative of the Work Programme Team, at their actual physical offices on the Cornhill in Bury St Edmonds.

    Page 1 of 2 with appendixes of i) 1 page, ii) 2 pages, 5 pages total

    a) I think (3) above is one of the first reasons I should cite as not wishing to consent to signing a contract with Seetec

    b) I also as a tax payer, past and future have no wish to see more of our money wasted on these kind of programmes. It is good that we have such a strong social safety net in this country and I absolutely insist on paying my bit towards that.

    c) I have worked for companies delivering similar programmes in the past and still correspond with individuals delivering this Work Programme. I also ascertained from my initial interview that they were offering me nothing I was not capable of doing for myself without the outrageous two year cost to YOU, myself and every other sensible person who pays for this.

    d) I do except that for certain people there may be some gains to be had from the Work Programme. Weather or not it is value for money is another question.

    e) I further except that you have a duty to encourage people to become financially independent as per your documentation, mission statements etc.

    f) Your own research casts doubt on the effectiveness of these programmes and in some cases proof of their redundancy. Just one such report is “Department for Work and Pensions Research Report No 533”.

    These should give you a start on the reasons why I did not consent to knowingly sign a contract to the Work Programme.
    I am fully aware that am almost certainly wasting my time but have made my statement that I have not knowingly nor will I knowingly consent to contract into this waste of taxpayer’s money known as “The Work Programme”. I will of course do everything else I can to find gainful employment
    Yours faithfully.

    ————————————————————————————————————–

    I have to advise all people undertaking correspondence with me that due to possible inclusion of parts of the contents of that correspondence in a book I am writing that all such correspondence is “Public Record”. I will of course not include personal data and will adhere to all legislation in respect of same.

    Dear J BROCKWELL

    I have already signed off of JSA with absolutely no help from any third parties. My failure to knowingly consent to contract with your program provider is therefore I assume now a moot point. I also must insist that as I did not knowingly consent to contract with them and therefore they had no input to this happy outcome, that they receive no kudos or monies for my labours.

    I do hope that as a person in a position of obvious authority and therefore knowledge of such things you can help me with some questions I have which have direct bearing on my refusal to knowingly consent to contract with the program provider. As interesting as the stock letters/responses are, they are of little worth in this respect.

    1. I would like to know how it is possible for any entity to make a promise/contract on another entities behalf.

    2. How this contract is then given legitimacy without having met all of the five basic principles of English Contract Law.

    I only ask as I would like to trick my neighbour into doing some really unpleasant tasks for me in respect of my blocked drains.

    I would like to add that having had some previous experience of delivering almost identical programs in the past and after researching just what the Work Program and your supplier where able to offer me came to the conclusion that they could do nothing for me that I could not do for myself. I also realised from discussions with persons on and delivering this Work Program that the two year expense to the Tax Payers on top of the already bloated benefits system is in my opinion indefensible.

    I do look forward to your reply.

    Martin

    September 9, 2012 at 11:00 am

  120. the first thing i said to my provider b4 i even sat down for induction was i am not signing anything and i am not entering in to a contract with 3rd party/provider.

    n that was that not been since middle of last year now and just sign on every 2 weeks lmfao

    super ted

    September 10, 2012 at 8:52 pm

  121. Here is the answer to a Freedom of Information request. With thanks to Ms. White and the folks at “whatdotheyknow.com”. :-
    31 August 2012
    Annex A

    Dear Ms White,

    Thank you for your request of 1 May 2012 for information under the Freedom of Information
    Act. Please accept my sincere apology for the length of time it has taken for us to send you a
    reply. In your request you asked:

    What specific Jobseekers Allowance benefit entitlement conditionality sanctions apply to a
    claimant who refuses to sign a Work Programme Providers:

    [A] Work Programme Action Plan (Employment Plan)?
    [B] Work Programme Agreement form?

    I would advise you that the signing of a Work Programme provider’s action plan and/or
    agreement form are entirely voluntary and no sanctions would be applied to any claimant who
    refused to sign them. A sanction may only be applied if a claimant, without good cause, failed
    to participate in the Work Programme by failing to undertake an activity mandated by the
    provider which is aimed at moving them closer to employment. The signing of the above
    mentioned forms is not classed as such an activity.
    If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number
    above.
    Yours sincerely,

    DWP Central FoI Team

    Also do not sign the Data Protection consent form. In fact do not sign anything.
    Stan.

    Stan

    September 11, 2012 at 8:25 pm

  122. The news of work program branded illegal has come as a respite to many unemployed young people as these work programs with mandatory time period and exploitation infringes on their rights.

    Cancun villas

    October 18, 2012 at 11:37 am

  123. New letters issued out on 22/10/2010 with threats of up to 3 years sanctions.

    Dave

    October 29, 2012 at 8:52 am

  124. Also issued with a MAN notice for the job broking part of the w.p even after complaining to ceetec in writing that i had access to all the same facilities before and currently. did find some of this to be of help – http://www.consent.me.uk

    Dave

    October 29, 2012 at 8:59 am

  125. Can I put this letter in the local Angus

    Jason

    December 5, 2012 at 10:04 am

  126. how long do you have to go to the job program fori have been going for over a year now and they say i have to still go

    paul

    December 6, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    • 2 years – then you get to enjoy intensive support for the very long tern unemplyed (The Community Action Programme).

      Gissajob

      December 7, 2012 at 9:34 am

  127. Hi all … Ive been attending ‘Triage’ for nearly a year and half now. I had been asking for a copy of the agreement that i signed when i first attended, since Feb this year 2012, and i have refused to take part in any activities, or sign anything they put in front of me since Aug 2012, I have now have a copy of the agreement, which only took them around nine months to give me ( even though the Data Protection Act says they must give all personal info within 40 days) I sent them a letter withdrawing all consent to their sevices ( as it says i can do this on the agreement without it affecting my benefits). Had a meeting today 20/12/2012 where the girl said i cant withdraw as my benefits would be sanctioned, because i’ve withdrawn consent, she said i wouldn’t be able to use their computers for job searches etc and i would face sanctions for it, as i wasnt actively participating,,.( have a lappy i do searches on anyway) I just said that i totally disagreed with her and we’ll wait and see what the Secretary of States reply is…. Meanwhile she asked if at my next appointment ( to be arranged some time in Jan 2013) would i mind if she asked the manager of JobcentrePlus to come to the same appointment, to explain that i am violating the Jobseekers agreement and that they would be correct in stopping benefits….She also said that it wasnt illegal for JobcentrePlus to send them my details ( under Data Protection Act) becuase they were working for DWP, and i had to do as they said as part of my agreement with JobcentrePlus……. I said i would attend any meeting, but wither im compliant or not would be a different story… Anyway, long story short is, it looks like i’ll be recieving sanctions in the new year, and any legal and lawful advise would be much appreciated, otherwise i think i’ll be railroaded by the lying scum that they are…..

    Graeme Nellies

    December 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    • Check out “consent.me.uk” website. You may also be able to contact them for advice. Have a nice Christmas. Good Luck.

      Stan

      December 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      • Thank you Stan….. will do…. I read a post earlier made by ” Tobanem “, who makes a good point about forced labour.. Very interesting, as we are all apparently born equal, and our consent is everything.. If we do not give someone our consent then what hold do they have over us….

        Graeme Nellies

        December 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm

  128. the letter is bull DWP got it coverd why miss lead peopel and give hope

    edward morgan

    January 25, 2013 at 11:53 am

  129. To the two brave people that went to court and got this governments contempt and hatered of vunrable people of the uk seen as unlawful….THANKYOU x

    deb

    February 12, 2013 at 1:44 pm

  130. Hi All, 12th of Feb now and the manager of Triage has still not contacted me as she said she would about our meeting..but someone from the work programme has sent a letter to the decision maker, about me, with a view to sanctions….. My last signing day i was told that Jobcentreplus may raise a doubt against me because i dont want to be on the work programme.. ( i thought we were still allowed freedom of speech in this country ) Anyway i told the guy, no matter what he did, i would be taking legal action against Triage and DWP for trying to sanction me unlawfully.. I have a meeting at Triage on Friday where i will be seeking the name of the person responsible for the letter they sent….
    Today i have had some very good news…..I managed to aquire a copy of a letter thats getting passed about Jobcentreplus from a friend of mine that works for the enemy…. It’s getting passed around Jobcentreplus at the moment, about a Miss C Reilly and a Mr J Wilson who have won their court appeals. It came from The Telegragh newspaper…
    Quote
    ” Until new regulations are enacted with proper parliamentary approval, nobody can be compelled to participate on these schemes “.
    Solicitor Tessa Gregory said,
    ” Todays judgment sends Ian Duncan Smith back to the drawing board to make fresh regulations which are fair and comply with the court’s ruling ”
    ” Until that time nobody can be lawfully forced to participate in the schemes affected such as the Work Programme and the Community Action Programme.
    ” All of those who have be stripped of their benefits have a right to claim the money back that has been unlawfully taken away from them”.

    I think that is a result and i take my hat off to these two people for fighting this corrupt government all the way to the court’s…. Let the flood gates open, ya beauty….

    I’ll let you know what happens with me in the near future..
    Good luck to all…
    Scunner

    Graeme Nellies

    February 12, 2013 at 8:47 pm

  131. just been santioned with no notice,triage recommened sanction(told jcp) no money 4weeks then on placement 29hours without pay and without jsa . sanction for not attending knew nothing about triage cannot prove any letters or appointments that were made, may i add. was also told twice i was late but early, then accused of being a liar. all reqeusts to resolve matter with manager declined. had to inform mp and in his hands. waiting to hear what he says. legal advise will be sought. made to write out redision letter on windowsill at jcp. then got letter declined, dated the day before i put letter in????? now i say to all you idiots putting the unemployed down, is these actions fair, someday you will be in this position….sooner than u think. if you want kick somebody when there down, do it to the junkies with needles sticking out there arm,that get more help than anybody and classed disabled. 2 posh boys im coming for u be warned. any advise anyboy

    jobless desparaly lookig

    February 13, 2013 at 2:32 am

    • Triage are a bunch of complete morons mate…. Ive been there for nearly ywo years and for the last year i’ve been non- compliant with job searches, signing anything or handing job searches in, one guy hinted that i was a liar too, but i put him in his place, and still they do nothing,, until now….
      You have to tell them DWP, that it is unlawful for them to sanction you and you will take legal action against them if they do not reinstate and reimburse your benefit.. Also ask for the name of the person who sent the ‘doubt letter’ to the decision maker, because your going to ” raise a commercial lien” against them… Their just total wankers, and dont deserve any compassion for they way they treat people…
      If you have access to a computer, look up “The Telegraph” news paper. I have proof that DWP have been circulating the item around their offices.. It’s about them being unable to force anybody into the work programmes, and anybody that has been sanctioned, even for non attendance, can claim all their benefits back, ( i would suggest that you could try and claim compo too) but get advise on that first…. Hope this helps you mate, ( are you from the Falkirk area??) ..

      Graeme Nellies

      February 13, 2013 at 9:25 am

      • Just realised mate….. read the post above yours…..

        Graeme Nellies

        February 13, 2013 at 9:29 am

  132. My son just been on work programme is profoundly deaf been on it 5 weeks in Charity shop,told not to come in again because he was late and went home early because manager told him to,narrow minded person from scheme told him,to learn a valid lesson not to be late for employers,Idiots! never set guide lines for him or give him a rota,shows how out of touch these depts are. out of touch with real people,will complain to disability advisor on Monday has rights under discrimation act,to have support in place.bunch of pricks!

    L HOXBY

    February 23, 2013 at 7:29 pm

  133. They also have focused on protection aspect apart such as providing a many free space.

  134. I have Been on the work program
    (Slave camp)

    For a year i have refused them on every occasion a hard copy of my CV only ever said ill show them i can maintain one.
    Never will i sign any of there forms or the log in book i print my name on that not sign
    My 1st response when i went on the program was a letter stating them to prove its legal and as such apart from all the regulations they gave me still not proved it.

    I only attend to keep them at bay yes i feel like a sheep hounded by wolves but i do not take part in activities say very little refused to work for free under the rights of freedom act and various such acts mentioned here.

    I am quite annoyed they try to bully you but i remind them they have no power of attorney over me and my data nor will i be coursed in to doing child like tasks to satisfy there own jobs.

    My advice just turn up when asked do not sign or agree to anything all you got to do is sit there.

    Oh do not use there own pcs to input your data they can not force you to share data by any means be it pcs or cvs.

    So far i am quite the most irritating and annoying person they do not like but i do not care because i am only turning up lol..

    Stand up for your rights i will attend as you never know what might turn up doors always open but as far as i am concerned they can go on and on i will not be bullied if we all refused to sign they will not get paid.

    Yours the Rightful warrior

    Rightful Warrior

    July 12, 2013 at 9:45 am

  135. During the voyage, the Himalayas serve up as a glittering and refreshing environment to
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    and take care of your emotional wellbeing along
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    kem chong nang

    August 4, 2013 at 6:51 am

  136. Hi. Does anybody have the part one please?

    gary

    August 21, 2013 at 7:01 pm

  137. I’m due to start Work Programme next week do not want to . I work 15hrs a week and sign on for my NI only. Am thinking of paying my own Class 3 what can happen with this and what approach should I take on Tuesday ? Help

    Ballstothis

    August 23, 2013 at 5:07 pm

  138. Hi does anybody know what part 2 of the work programme consists of, more of the same or a ratcheting up

    setembrini

    September 18, 2013 at 3:02 pm

  139. Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It if truth be told was a
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