Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

A4e Fraud.

with 40 comments

In this article we intend to highlight the business practices of A4e. We know A4e will threaten to sue us for this but its only makes the process of such more fun. I personally think its best to throw a few pieces in and allow people to work it out themselves instead of writing it start to finish persuading people to think a certain way and be accused of being propaganda. In our defence this article will be sent to all news channels, the papers etc. and on the internet via twitter and facebook. 

All we ask is you link to this article refraining from copying and pasting it all. We have spent a long time researching this, so please allow the site some exposure (no one will follow the link if the content is already displayed). This article could be the difference between A4e keeping its contract and losing them (if they lose all their contracts they will never get any more).

A4e tries to censor the internet

On numerous occasions A4e has attempted to censor the internet. A sister website of IUA, once when hosted on wordpress.com was taken down on numerous occasions by Automattic Inc after legal threats from A4e. This was due to fair play reporting on fraud happening at A4e… i.e. it might have been damaging to them but was truthful – as A4e is solely funded by the taxpayer they needed to know. This is what we mean by “fair play” – it wasn’t defamation or lies.

Watching A4e (the original version) was successful shut down by A4e. There are numerous cases of other websites and people being censored by A4e.

Verdict:- A4e clearly likes to eradicate criticisms rather than allowing a minority to have an opinion.

A4e spams PR and positive propaganda

To hide up any criticisms, A4e invests its time considerably in numerous social networking accounts and company websites, publishing non-stop “positive PR propaganda” designed to flood the internet hiding the negative aspects.

Of course a business wants its name out there but most choose advertising and community-level PR. I do not know of any business even a quarter the size of A4e that continuously relies on free spamming of PR as a sole form of advertising.

Verdict:- A4e has no intention of advertising – they don’t really need to – but this low-level promotion seems always to begin on a cycle as a combat to negative press about the business. Emma Harrison herself even spent hours on twitter spamming “good things” about A4e as the walls started to crumble around her. Not the typical thing a Chairperson and majority shareholder of a multi-million pound company does.

Emma Harrison ego outgrew the restrains of w2w

There is a typical reason why no face of a welfare-to-work provider (i.e. founder, owner or executive) enters the public domain as a celebrity or known entrepreneur. There was a time when no one really knew who this Emma Harrison was. We liked that time.

When the company started to obtain larger contracts, Emma Harrison wanted to spread her wings (she doesn’t have any) – her ego got too large… “I am a millionaire, I help tens of thousands of people, employ thousands” (not a quote of her) She wanted to show her face… “I OWN THIS FUCKING MULTI-MILLION POUND BUSINESS!!!” (again not a quote – dramatisation) “This is ME!” (also not a quote)

This then involved an arrogant Emma Harrison. She should have played the lovable character… but kept with the “tough love” stuff AND then rubbed the jobseekers and taxpayers noses into her cosy life. The latter was a bad thing to do, however, it is a turn on to have thousands hating you because you are richer than them. Known from here-on in as “envy” – Emma Harrison wanted millions to envy her as a successful female entrepreneur. This is power.

(She isn’t an entrepreneur, only income is from Government – we will cover this shortly.)

She flexed her muscle far too much in regards to where she lives… and that recent £8.6m dividend didn’t really help. If she played the loveable character however, she would have never got this rich and bowed due to pressure.

Apart from her being a bitch, you cannot really blame her. Household names of penniless people who have spent a few weeks in a stage set house were very much more popular than her with her wealth and self-styled success. She wanted to be a celebrity – but not an airhead, someone in power also.

Being a “family champion” filled that void. But by doing so in an unpopular Government, she bitten off a little too much than she could chew.

Verdict:- Emma Harrison should have stayed out of the lime light. It has now cost her potentially the future of her business. Emma being a hate figure is a catalyst to the downfall of A4e.

A4e are bullies

A4e is very much like a private business version of the whole public DWP setup. All staff and jobseekers aren’t free from being bullied. This works well, pressure onto staff makes them take their stress out on jobseekers.

Verdict:- A4e is a bully.

A4e do not pay their partners

It isn’t just the taxpayer getting a raw deal. To name just one example of this, The People’s Supermarket will close next week forever… This isn’t to do with its business model necessarily but A4e agreed to pay TPS to train jobseekers. A4e owes TPS £15,000 for training 17 jobseekers into work – this is plenty to meet its liabilities of business rates which has forced its closure in one weeks time.

A4e knew very well the financial situation of The People’s Supermarket but entered into a business agreement anyway, knowing TPS as a small business cannot afford to commence legal action against A4e to recover the owed monies. A4e therefore feels that it doesn’t owe TPS a penny. A4e got job outcomes at taxpayers expense nevertheless.

Verdict:- A4e calls itself a social business or social purpose business, although one could argue that TPS is more fitting of such description. Even if it was a social business, can A4e have a social purpose if it intends not only to steal from another social business but to allow one to hit the wall?

A4e companies

A4e has previously swapped companies.
A4e has tried before to avoid corporation tax by registering an LLP to no success.
A4e had registered a non-profit business called A4e FUNDRAISING LTD that we assume as a new avenue/income stream.

Verdict:- They seem entrepreneurial at pushing legal boundaries.

A4e and Government corruption

David Blunkett – We are unsure whether it was a sexual thing with Emma Harrison or solely financial. David Blunkett is an paid advisor for the company now. A4e got its Government contracts through corruption and bribes.

Verdict:- A4e didn’t get their New Deal contracts through open and fair competition. 

A4e Fraud

A4e and Fraud goes hand in hand.

9 in-depth fraud investigations into A4e in recent times.
2 current police investigations and 4 arrests.

From memory…  zero day fraud (recent), misrepresentation, timesheet fraud, common fraud, windowing (phrase a quote from A4e employees), leeching, exiting

Verdict:- A cat only has 9 lives. Its over this time. Emma knows it.

Emma Harrison tries to jump ship

To avoid prosecution A4e Emma Harrison CBE, has decided to step down as chairperson from A4e forgetting a few minor MAJOR details:-

  • Its not what position you are when you are prosecuted but the position you were when the crime happened
  • You are still a director holding you liable – more so than a chairperson
  • You are a majority shareholder so you are under law a “shadow director” so hold liability as a shareholder

Verdict:- Emma Harrison obviously isn’t that clever that we all gave her credit for or maybe it was a heat of the moment thing after a major panic.

Neil Watson

Neil Watson appears to be a dodgy cunt.

When A4e was investigated for fraud in 2009 – A4e compromised and employed Sarah Aston as Group Head of Risk (Until June 2011 – she is now Assurance Director – says linkedin) – this resulted in Finance Director Neil Watson losing his job. We picked this up when Neil Watson resigned as a director. A4e tried to sue us for this.

In case you don’t know… A director is a common law officer of a company – they have unlimited liability for its actions.
Our logic … FRAUD INVESTIGATION + RESIGNATION OF FINANCE DIRECTOR  + DIRECTORSHIP RESIGNATION = DODGY???

Actually, he didn’t lose his job. he got demoted once Sarah Aston took over with an audit. A4e employee Darren Marsh alerted us that he wasn’t sacked or resigned (we were only talking about directorship here) but someone called Mark Stanley took over as Finance Director and Neil Watson was working below the new Finance Director.

This is unprecedented – this is a demotion, completely after fraud investigation and was stripped from having unlimited liability for the business.

What do you know? As soon as we heard reports of A4e being investigated for fraud AGAIN we checked the staff…

He is now the “Interim Group Financial Director“!!! Coincidence of not, he is the only person in the “senior team” without a photo. He wasn’t reappointed as a company director strangely enough (maybe as its interim?)  but is the company secretary for A4e Ltd.

Verdict:- I wouldn’t trust this person in my company with the finance! But then again I wouldn’t trust any of those working for A4e.

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40 Responses

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  1. Just added original title.

    Best, off to the market and off to eat now.

    Andrew Coates

    February 25, 2012 at 1:04 pm

  2. For Attention Of: “Work Programme”

    Our client has made us aware of a libellous post petraining to the company A4e, and its owner Emma Harrison, made by yourself on the following blog:

    Ipswich Unemployed Action [intensiveactivity.wordpress.com]

    The post is legally actionable, and A4e will seek to have the highest possible financial penalty imposed on those that seek to destroy its reputation with baseless accusations. Am I writing to you to offer you an opportunity to avoid this outcome, and to withdraw and delete any and all posts relating to A4e on the afore mentioned blog.

    Failure to comply with this request will result in A4e taking legal action to resolve this matter.

    PHA Media

    February 25, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    • Might be something for A4e to raise with the ERSA and its members lol

      Work Programme

      February 25, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      • A4e will seek to have the highest possible financial penalty imposed on those that seek to destroy its reputation.

        well id start at head office if that’s the case as they seem to be doing a grate job at doing this them self.

        work programme should take you to small clams court for that post for taking the piss tbh

        super ted

        February 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm

  3. At Long Last. Finally,some details on this A4e’s whole shenanigan. Well it looks like they wont get away with it this time. Yet I get the feeling some how this stupid bunch of idiots which we call government will allow A4e to squirm out of it only so to hide their own blunder. As a citizen of this country I refuses to allow this nonsense to be swept under the carpet. Not when every month I see a good chunk of my salary going to pay for the continual blunders of the government.

    Paul J

    February 25, 2012 at 2:16 pm

  4. PHA Media can bleat all they like.

    They know that the flood is now unstoppable.

    Let them take legal action… against the hundreds.. nay, thousands of members of the general public that are currently airing their opinions.

    A4e are a deeply unpleasant company.

    jameni

    February 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm

  5. That mansion need reducing to a pile of shit and that money taken off her, get the bitch out sweeping the streets!

    Skin Grind Cleaver

    February 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm

  6. No, A4e are not alone.

    A little history lesson – this time on the New Deal in 2009 – about the dubious activities of A4e and WORKING LINKS who are also not guiltless when it comes to fabricating signatures and [other] paperwork [frauds]!

    Back at that time, the general secretary of the PCS union said:

    “THIS IS A STARK EXAMPLE OF WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PROFITS, NOT PEOPLE, ARE PUT AT THE HEART OF THE WELFARE STATE”.

    Here is the link:

    http://www.personneltoday.com/articles/2009/06/30/51238/pcs-union-calls-for-nao-check-on-channel4-new-deal-fraud.html

    If all that venal chicanery was happening under New Labour back then, what do you expect under the profit-loving, benefit-cutting Tories today!

    Tobanem

    February 25, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    • Yeah, Working Links – their middle name is fraud, always trying to get peeps to sign for things they hadn’t received like moby fones.

      Debs

      February 25, 2012 at 4:27 pm

  7. “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”

    ― Noam Chomsky

    Noam Chomsky

    February 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm

  8. i wonder what crap the staff are being told to say to there stock on Monday morning cos id be going ape shit if went there..

    super ted

    February 25, 2012 at 8:04 pm

  9. I have to say the above was extremely rushed and I even forgot stuff like how A4e got the first ever award for data loss by ICO. Award? Sorry I mean fine!

    Work Programme

    February 25, 2012 at 8:15 pm

  10. May be of use to you people: emmasblog@a4e.co.uk

    Willam smith

    February 25, 2012 at 9:25 pm

  11. Boycott Workfare
    If you can’t wait til next Saturday and you live in north London – here’s another chance to voice your disgust at workfare.

    Friday 2nd March anti-workfare protest at IDS visit to Haringey, 9 AM outside Tottenham Town Hall

    The government workfare schemes of forced labour for benefits (pushed by Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling) are starting to collapse under the pressure of protest and recent bad publicity.

    On Saturday 3rd March there will be a national day of action against workfare, with protests in 20 towns in the UK. But we have the opportunity to show our opposition locally when IDS visits Haringey on Friday morning. He will be spinning the government nightmare at a lecture ”Building for the Future” at the Dream Centre in Tottenham Town Hall (9.30 am to 12 noon).

    Join the 9am picket/protest outside Tottenham Town Hall (5 minutes walk up the High Road from Seven Sister’s tube station) – called by Boycott Workfare

    Willam smith

    February 25, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    • Great.

      Unfortunately in Ipswich I am personally already committed to helping run a pro-NHS stall in town on that Saturday.

      But if anybody in Ipswich is doing anything we can go and give support.

      Andrew Coates

      February 26, 2012 at 10:34 am

      • I am working on a new article as we speak.

        It pre-dates A4e – and could be rather explosive.

        I think I might forward a printed out copy to the police for their investigations.

        Work Programme

        February 26, 2012 at 11:11 am

  12. edix

    February 25, 2012 at 9:56 pm

  13. from the link above…

    And last night the government was reeling under new revelations about A4e and the Harrisons.

    Developments included:

    • Supermarket group Sainsbury’s claimed that A4e had “persistently approached” its stores asking it to take on job seekers on unpaid work experience, “against our wishes”.

    • Fast-food chain Burger King became the latest firm to pull out of the Work Programme, citing “public concerns”.

    • New figures show that the rate at which the long-term unemployed have come off benefits has halved since the launch of the Work Programme.

    • Eighty-five charities working with large private firms to help people back into work have dropped out of the Work Programme since it was first launched in 2010, citing growing concerns that they were being muscled out of earnings.

    • The Department of Work and Pensions, it emerged, has exempted private companies in the Work Programme from inspections by Ofsted, the standards body that previously inspected companies involved in welfare and training.

    • Labour claimed that the government was aware of the suspected fraud at the offices of A4e just weeks before Harrison was made an adviser to Downing Street on family issues.

    Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, said: “David Cameron has serious questions to answer. It has now emerged that the government was fully aware of the fraud at A4e when the prime minister decided to appoint its chair to advise him.

    “Why did he appoint a woman whose company was being investigated for fraud by his own government?”

    edix

    February 25, 2012 at 9:56 pm

  14. All them that are on ae4 should refuse to go to their course with them till they have been cleared ha ha ha and we know that aint going to happen after all if u was burgled you would not go out with the burglar till he went to court would you so why should you continue to go to ae4 I say stay away its your right wile they under investigaition

    Wayne green

    February 26, 2012 at 11:33 am

  15. So frustrated. I discontinued Work Programme Network…

    With all this investigation on A4e I feel like reopening the website and adding 20 or so highly criticising articles.

    So far I have resisted successfully.

    Work Programme

    February 26, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    • You’re are no the only one who is frustrated, duck 🙂

      Vera D

      February 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    • Yep! I never understood why you did that! It was a great site and a vital resource for all WP victims.

      Gissajob

      February 27, 2012 at 11:14 am

    • Selfish reasons really. There is only so much you can do.

      I would like to help jobseekers in a more proactive role. Saying this however, I am still contributing on IUA which I drifted a way from slightly when doing WPN.

      WPN is still available – only as “read only”. Didn’t get round to the forum after all which I know upset/angered/annoyed many people. Focusing on IUA seems the best option at current.

      Work Programme

      February 27, 2012 at 11:34 am

  16. […] all appears to be a case of damage limitation, although, as previously stated losing her previous status as a director and Chair doesn’t limit her liability in criminal […]

  17. ‘Champagne and forged signatures’: Former employer tells how jobless were asked to sign blank timesheets at back-to-work tsar’s firm

    Hours before Emma Harrison’s resignation as head of A4e, an ex-employee broke cover to paint a devastating picture of a company where corruption was ‘utterly rife’.

    Tracie Spiers, 44, said staff members ‘routinely’ forged signatures on documents and champagne was handed out as an incentive to do well.

    Several whistleblowers from around the country had already told the Mail about dubious practices at A4e while asking to retain their anonymity.

    But Miss Spiers was prepared to be named.

    The mother of two worked for the company in 2009 at its office in Slough, Berkshire – currently at the centre of police fraud inquiries.

    She claimed jobless clients were asked to sign blank timesheets ‘every single Friday’, and that some of her colleagues wrote bogus signatures on forms to help them meet their targets.

    A4e earned a £2,000 bounty from the Government for getting someone off the dole. Miss Spiers, from Twickenham, south-west London, said: ‘There was one colleague who used to forge signatures on the forms to pretend someone had got a job when they hadn’t. They would fake the signature of an “employer” for a job that didn’t exist. I was once asked to write one.

    ‘I was sitting at this person’s desk and they said, “Oh Trace, can you do this signature for me?” I’m left-handed. I couldn’t forge a signature if I tried. I refused, saying, “I’m not getting involved in this”. They found someone else to do it.’ Miss Spiers said one manager used to come into the office bearing a bottle of champagne in each hand as rewards for staff who had done well. ‘The bottles would be lined up in the office. It was an incentive to get more jobs put through the system.’

    The unemployed were sent on A4e’s back-to-work courses as a condition of receiving their state benefits. The firm received government money for each person on its courses.

    Miss Spiers said A4e advisers routinely faked timesheets to show someone had attended the course all week, even if they had not.

    ‘Filling in the timesheets was very time-consuming. Some of the client advisers would get people to sign blank sheets, and the adviser would fill them out later.

    ‘The managers were saying, “Just get them done, timesheets are money”. Each one was worth £400 to the company, and there were hundreds of them every week.

    ‘Some clients used to drift in and out and you just knew that they weren’t going to stay all week.

    ‘The client advisers were under such pressure. On Friday afternoon, you had 30 clients’ timesheets to complete and each one took about five to ten minutes. There was no way you could get them done properly in time, so we just had to make them up. It was much quicker to get somebody to sign a blank form and then fill it in later saying they had been in attendance all week, even if they hadn’t.’

    Now unemployed, Miss Spiers said she had decided to expose the ‘hypocrisy’ of A4e’s claims that the alleged fraud was confined to a few individuals.

    She left the firm in November 2009 and says she wrote to one of the managers alerting him to timesheets and ‘job outcomes’ being signed off falsely.

    ‘He replied saying they had carried out an internal investigation and had found my claims were unfounded,’ she said. ‘But it was utterly rife there.’

    Asked about Miss Spiers’s claims, A4e said: ‘We cannot comment on these allegations during an ongoing police investigation.’

    Article here .

    Daily Heil

    February 27, 2012 at 10:32 pm

  18. A4e slough shut due to leaked pipe?

    http://www.sloughobserver.co.uk/news/slough/articles/2012/02/29/57563-branch-at-centre-of-the-a4e-fraud-storm-shut-up-shop/

    Google says its 2 hours old.

    Article has been pulled?

    Error or censorship?

    I hope they didn’t flood the place to destroy evidence

    Work Programme

    February 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    • Has A4e threatened legal action for reporting something insignificant?

      Branch at centre of the A4e fraud storm shut up shop
      Slough and Windsor Observer
      ANY hopes the branch at the centre of A4e’s headline-grabbing fraud investigations had of putting the fiasco behind them have been dampened. A leaking pipe flooded the offices, in High Street, forcing them to shut up shop on Monday morning.

      Or was it a lie by SWO?

      Work Programme

      February 29, 2012 at 2:37 pm

  19. Anybody Notice Job Centre Ipswich Now Want Proof Of Job Search When You Sign. All This Since The A4e Fiasco.

    Middlesex

    February 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm

  20. Neil Watson has been involved with A4e for a long time but again it is planned he will be removed from the reign of Finance AGAIN

    Matt Stevens will be taking over as Group Finance Director from April 2012.

    It happens every time an fraud investigation occurs – or so it seems. Needs an investigation.

    Work Programme

    March 1, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    • a4e ltd. Key Developments
      Matt Stevens to Join A4e Ltd. as CFO
      Dec 1 11

      A4e Ltd. announced that Matt Stevens will join the company as CFO. Matt Stevens, Group Finance Director has expressed his intention to resign from the board of May Gurney Integrated Services plc and will leave May Gurney Integrated Services in April 2012.

      Work Programme

      March 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm

  21. Australian Government might investigate A4e

    A4E Australia….Concern over Gillard adviser’s talks with jobs agency

    A senior adviser to Deputy Prime Minister and Employment Minister Julia Gillard met executives from a firm with ties to Britain’s Labour Party which later won lucrative contracts under the Federal Government’s new jobs scheme.
    British work placement firm A4e earlier this year displaced Australian job agencies by winning contracts under the Government’s $4.9 billion Jobs Services Australia program.

    http://www.twitlonger.com/show/g4q5cv

    Work Programme

    March 1, 2012 at 10:11 pm

  22. […] (in particular its employees) has been found guilty of fraud on New Deal and Flexible New Deal… can they now make the triple and make it the Work Programme […]

  23. So, can anyone help compile a list of places in A4e where were investigated for fraud?

    – Hull
    – Merseyside
    – Sheffield
    – Slough

    any others?

    Work Programme

    March 3, 2012 at 8:40 am

  24. It has been suggested that there had been 125 probes into Flexible New Deal last year. A significant number of which being A4e. I cannot comment further at this time.

    There is only so much the Government can do to defend A4e – if the contracts aren’t suspended soon (not necessarily terminated for good), then it could end in direct action with sit ins and the like to shut A4e down.

    The revelations in the media, specifically The Guardian, this week will increase anger and anxiety about this scandal. A few has been released already, with many more to come.

    A4e’s reputation (to those not in the know anyhow) seems permanently tarnished. Emma Harrison CBE appears to be in hiding and not responding to the media via email etc.

    Next you know, Saint Emma will be in the Priory…

    Work Programme

    March 7, 2012 at 12:08 am

  25. Hiya! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing
    a blog article or vice-versa? My website covers a lot of the same subjects
    as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you might be interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

    I look forward to hearing from you! Terrific blog by the way!

    Ellis

    Ellis

    October 22, 2012 at 6:52 am

    • She may steped down but don’t be fooled people she still runs the operation from her mansion and all the time she is sucking davids c–k she will continue to bleed the tax payer and as we see No bodys been taking to court have they u done what she had u would be in prision she is a slut and and a whore who has sucked and fucked its way to where she is today that’s. Why David lot keep paying ae4 the slime cnts are all in it together

      paul

      October 22, 2012 at 8:11 am


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