Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Workfare To Be Made Restrospectively Legal.

with 45 comments

This is important.

Scheming ministers plot workfare scam

by Paddy McGuffin.

Shameless Department for Work and Pensions ministers admitted today they were considering new legislation to avoid paying out over its unlawful workfare scheme.

A Court of Appeal ruling last month found that the schemes – requiring claimants to do unpaid work experience or lose benefits – were unlawful due to the way the regulations were framed.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith insisted at the time that he had “no intention” of repaying benefits to anyone who lost out and he launched an appeal to the Supreme Court seeking to have the ruling overturned.

New regulations were set on the day of the court ruling to ensure that the DWP can continue threatening claimant’s benefits to coerce them to take part in schemes.

More here.

But the department confirmed it was considering its options in the case of defeat at the Supreme Court. It is believed defeat could prompt action from tens of thousands of claimants who have had their benefits docked, seeking millions of pounds in repayments.


45 Responses

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  1. Isn’t retrospective legislation illegal under the European Court/Human Rights?

    No wonder the tories hate human rights!

    Ghost Whistler

    March 12, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    • Have just been mandated to use UJM 7 days a week:- Also told ALL time unemployed is now being lumped together etc and will be going on the Work Programme until FURTHER NOTICE. Am waiting to see which provider I end up with:-

      Mr James

      March 12, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      • Have just been mandated to use UJM 7 days a week;- Told UJM IS COMPULSORY AS IS ALLOWING ACCESS [Forgot to put that bit in last post]

        Mr James

        March 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      • Can’t reply below so replying here.

        From PCS union website 1 March 2013 :

        “Access to UJ Account

        If, and when, a claimant signs up to UJ, they will be encouraged to give DWP access to their account. However, it is absolutely clear from a legal perspective that the claimant does not have to tick the box to give DWP access to their account, and can provide alternative proof of UJ sign up and use, e.g. screenprints”

        FoI requests confirm the above.


        March 12, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      • “Refusenik” you are out of date, although what you have said about Jobcentre access to Universal Jobmatch accounts is still accurate.

        The Universal Jobmatch Toolkit was updated on 4th March, and according to chapter 3, paragraph 53, Jobcentre personnel cannot mandate a claimant to give access to their account, so if Mr James has been told otherwise, Mr James has been wrongly advised.

        See the new “Toolkit” here:


        It is outrageous for members of the public to be wilfully misled with blatant procedural lies like that.

        Mr James and others would do well to carefully note the contents of chapter 3, paragraph 82 of the UJ Toolkit as well. That is the paragraph which ties knots in the earlier paragraph 51, which can mandate a claimant to register on a Jobcentre “IAD” (Internet Access Device), but not on a home computer – as the very next paragraph 51 describes!

        Paragraph 82 ties the final contradictory knot in the new revised Toolkit – which is really just a cat’s cradle of extra paragraphs created by the Government in an attempt to confuse and bully the docile public into cowed submission.


        March 12, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      • @Tobanem March 12, 2013 at 1:55 pm

        Thanks Tobinem, already have it and others should download it.

        From: Internet Access Devices (IADs) – Awareness for JobCentre Staff May 2012
        “Unlike traditional computers, IADs do not retain any user information or files. The devices only have volatile memories which means that any data input will be automatically deleted at the end of a session. Switching off an IAD removes previous data that a claimant has inputted, and re-sets the device for the next user. This protects a claimant’s personal information.”

        A clear definition of a DWP IAD? If so, registration (at 52 below) only in JCP offices not WP provider offices where it might be argued that cookies are accepted on your behalf.

        “52. However, for legal reasons, you cannot issue a Jobseeker’s Direction to mandate a claimant to create a profile and public CV unless a DWP IAD service is reasonably available to them should they need to use one – for example, because they do not want to accept cookies and therefore need to have access to a device on which cookies have already been accepted.
        53. You also cannot issue a Jobseeker’s Direction to mandate a claimant to give us access to their account – this is their decision not ours.”


        March 12, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      • Hmm. It occurs to me that if jobseekers are now to remain attached to the Work Programme until further notice then this may well drive WP Provider staff out of their minds. Whether this is a good thing or a bad I leave to others to determine.


        March 14, 2013 at 6:55 pm

      • JBS:

        The Work Programme duration is 2 years only – after that you go back to the JCP and are then supposedley put on the 6 month Community Action Programme at wherever – which has now been ruled unlawful by the High Courts of Justice, so god knows what were supposed to do now after the Work Programme.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        March 16, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      • @Obi Wan Kenobi March 16, 2013 at 2:48 pm | #9

        I spoke to an individual who says he’s signed up (apparently happy to do so) for a further 2 years as he has no internet access and limited ability in its use. I know the programme hasn’t run its full 2 years yet and I didn’t have time to get full details but he’s still on his first 2 year stint, obviously.

        ps. post numbering changes as more posts are added. My reference to post #10 @March 13, 2013 at 12:01 pm refers to @Mr James March 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm


        March 17, 2013 at 1:00 am

      • Surely it is an abuse of process to mandate when they haven’t even finalised their own policy and its legality, Are they allowed to stop people’s benefit when they haven’t even established a legal basis themselves



        March 17, 2013 at 11:20 am

    • It’s Only Two Years Two The Next Election.. Panic Springs To Mind


      March 17, 2013 at 11:25 am

  2. It don’t surprise me government looking not to pay us even after losing court case. they are a law in them selfs sooner we get them out the better as they only look after them selfs millionaires scum bags


    March 12, 2013 at 12:29 pm

  3. It’s obvious why the Tories want us out of human rights legislation when they behave like this. When (if?) that odious Thatcher clone, Theresa May has her way and abolishes the Human Rights Act we can expect things to get a hell of a lot worse.

    That guru of the heartless neoliberals, von Hayek, spelled it out when he titled his most famous tome The Road to Serfdom. And that’s the path we’re all on – not just the jobless – but the majority in society.

    Time the serfs woke up.


    March 12, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    • At ipswich jobcentre today at least 3 people were using the ujm on job centre computers.
      I got a u7 day mandate to use ujm [see previous posts]

      Mr James

      March 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      • Did you receive a Jobseekers Direction or did you sign a Jobseekers Agreement with these conditions.


        March 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      • Verbal Jobseekers Direction

        Mr James

        March 12, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      • OK, thanks for your reply re direction. Keep in mind that they can’t mandate you to allow JCP/DWP access to your account according to the above information from the UJ toolkit and the PCS union statement regarding the legal position.

        Health warning:
        What you decide on re JCP/DWP access is your decision, I’m not recommending what you should do.

        If you don’t already know of it, please visit: http://consent.me.uk/universaljobmatch/

        I can remember reading elsewhere of Ipswich JC tactics.


        March 13, 2013 at 9:07 am

      • Surely you can’t be mandated to use UJM as the use of UJM requires you to surrender your rights under the Data Protection Act and the JobCentre cannot force you to give up you rights under this act. I guess you were conned by the DWP line that UJM was for your benefit rather than the reality that it is just a big stick for IDS to use against you


        March 16, 2013 at 3:59 am

  4. Meanwhile, benefit recipients from several places in England on the pilot scheme to pay Housing Benefit directly to them rather than to landlords, are running into difficulties. Rent arrears are rising dramatically – as predicted some time ago.

    Here is the link to the BBC news report from today’s World at One programme on the iplayer:



    March 12, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    • It was hard to believe that anybody would have ever done this.

      I know that years and years ago people got their rent directly.

      That was when rents were a lot lot lower and other bills were much lower too (you didn’t even used to have to pay for water separately, to some thieving private company).

      Today the sight of all the extra cash, when you are hard pressed, must be irresistable for anybody in need of extra money for water, power, heat, clothes or even food.

      That’s without taking account of the obvious fact that some people with drink, drugs and gambling problems will simply spend it.

      Andrew Coates

      March 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      • Thank Yourself Lucky You Don’t Live In Cyprus


        March 17, 2013 at 9:45 am

  5. I predict a riot.
    Wait till the warmer weather.


    March 12, 2013 at 3:50 pm

  6. Why not disable the cookies on the UJM/IAD and then do not consent to receiving them-again. DWP/JCP are bending EU Directive – Regulation 6 to breaking point. I personally think that they are acting illegally. Just DO NOT tick the box.


    March 12, 2013 at 6:40 pm

  7. Here is an interesting FoI reqest with regards to mandatory UJM:- http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/compulsory_use_of_universal_jobm#comment-36677 with thanks to WDTK.


    March 12, 2013 at 7:26 pm

  8. In JCP 4.5 hours. They told a lot of people they were forced to give DWP full access to their account on UJM. Also the one working DWP computer for UJM was on a front desk on a normal staff computer, on the same network. There were some technical problems like staff not knowing how to use UJM, and claimants being given access to the personal details and files of other claimants. It was next to the desk where I had been sent to fill in a form to ask permission to go away from home for under 24 hours to attend, of all things, a jobs fair!

    something survived...

    March 13, 2013 at 1:34 am

    • From:
      Internet Access Devices (IADs) – Awareness for JobCentre Staff May 2012

      “The devices will be entirely separate from the DWP’s Digital Office Infrastructure (DOI) Estate. Thus users will have no access to Departmental systems or data.”

      “To remove the risk of other claimants collecting prints containing other claimant’s personal details, the location of the printer, and how prints will be delivered to claimants, needs careful consideration.”

      “While claimants in dedicated IAD facilities are unlikely to be overlooked by others, IADs in open plan areas should be sited to minimise the risk of other claimants being able to see information on the claimant’s screen. For this reason, positions should be planned away from major circulation routes, for example, in corners, or with the position backing on to the wall so that the claimant faces out into the office.”

      See also the above description of a DWP IAD device.


      March 13, 2013 at 9:24 am

        A PA Once Hinted That They Knew Who Was Using This Site AND The Names They Were Using:-

        Jobcentre Client

        March 13, 2013 at 10:25 am

      • And your point is……..?


        March 13, 2013 at 10:47 am

      • OK, get it now.


        March 13, 2013 at 10:48 am

      • “……….Using:-”

        Is that a ‘smiley’ or a ‘scowl’ at the end of your post?
        Scowl – see #10
        Smiley – you couldn’t be more wrong.


        March 13, 2013 at 12:01 pm

      • @ Jobcentre client – the DWP/Jobcentre/Providers know who is using THIS site!

        Worr Ied

        March 16, 2013 at 3:16 pm

  9. “Workfare To Be Made Restrospectively Legal”.

    That has to be illegal, it’s like saying: I’ve brought a Mars bar, eaten it and now I want my money back, it’s just not gonna happen. DWP in fantasy land again!

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    March 14, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    • Benefit Changes Come In On April The 1st:- [April Fools Day] Who Will Make Fools Of Who ?

      • Once more, Universal Credit ‘Pathfinder’ goes live 1st April for certain places in Lancashire only, UC goes live in October 2013 for the rest of the country.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        March 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      • Universal Credit starts to go live only in certain parts of the country in October. It won’t be completely nationwide until 2017, and that’s assuming the software behind it all, nicknamed “The Beast”, manages to deliver the goods in the first place – and that is by no means certain!


        March 16, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    • No, it’s more like IDS murdering every claimant and then changing the law so that they were never actually born.
      Theresa May is as much to blame. She can’t deport a few radical preachers, so the entire human rights act has to go. It sounds great to a gullible public when you sell it as “steps to deport the enemies of Britain” instead of “I want everybody to have the same legal standing as a hated criminal.”


      March 16, 2013 at 10:02 am

      • ”ALLEGEDLY” Did Not Something Of A Simmilar Nature Take Place “Somewhere In Europe” In The 1930’s Through To 1945 ”ALLEGEDLY”


        March 16, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      • I watched a sci-fi film on that theme a couple of nights ago; a woman grieving her dead son only to be told that he didn’t exist in the first place.


        March 16, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    • you might want to rethink this. Their fantasy land is now our reality.


      March 21, 2013 at 11:11 am

  10. Here we go again! It’s Coates and Co

    Public Relations

    March 16, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    • Mr Coates provides an extremley valuable service on here as I try to do – any questions?

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      March 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      • If people stopped using the site to ”bitch” at
        each other and throw insults around- just a NORMAL FORUM with facts and not suppositions etc then things might improve and we will all get along fine

        Mr Ipswich

        March 17, 2013 at 10:29 am

  11. got a letter this week from my provider 2 days after i was meant to be there, not got a fucking time machine pmsl
    on the 2nd page it now says this.
    if this letter relates to undertaking work experience whilst receiving job seekers
    as part or you participation in the work programme , you have agreed to take part
    in work experience on a voluntary basis to help you gain work skills and
    not even got a contract with them wtf r they on so im a slave now on the wp cus they say so on a letter.
    so i have a mandatory activity notification saying ill do work experience on a voluntary basis.

    do they put this on all the letters now from providers?

    super ted

    March 22, 2013 at 7:15 pm

  12. The government saying it pays to work what nonsense I done 2 days work for an agency declared it to jobentreplus. As a consequence they withheld my jobseekers allowance for a whole month, my housing benefit stopped and a lot of form filling, I been punished for working.

    Tony montana

    April 12, 2014 at 8:46 am

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