Claimant Segmentation Survey: More Nosey-Parker Questions.
Claimants to be Lab Rats for Iain Duncan Smith’s Latest Mad-Cap Plans.
We recently covered the DWP’s intention to give claimants psychometric tests.
Boycott Workfare posts today on the department’s plans as they will soon be rolled out, to use so-called “segmentation survey”.
Now it’s first of all important to note that your answers are part of a test using you as lab-rats to sound out their plans to make your lives harder (if that’s possible…).
The DWP states,
“The Claimant Segmentation Trial is being rolled out to 27 Jobcentre Plus (JCP) offices across the country. It aims to test what the impact of weekly jobsearch reviews (WJRs), also known as weekly signing, is on claimant success in finding work, and most importantly identify which groups of claimants respond best to WJRs.
The trial will use an approach known as ‘Randomised Controlled Trials’ (RCTs) to rigorously test the impact of WJRs. This means that we will need to randomly assign claimants to either WJRs or standard fortnightly jobsearch reviews (FJRs), also known as fortnightly signing, and observe the outcomes.
This is the bit we’ll be interested in (all from DWP link above) with instructions for your lab technician (job ‘coach’):
NINO and consent
To begin a new survey, click ‘Begin new survey’. You must then enter the claimant’s National Insurance number. Please ensure that this is correctly entered as this will be the only means we have to track claimant’s data. If the number entered is not a
valid NINO you will be prompted to correct it.
You must then ask for the claimant’s consent for us to collect information about them. This is necessary because we are collecting additional information beyond what is necessary for the claims process for the purposes of research. Please read out the passage to the claimant and ask if they are happy with this. Please click either the ‘Agree’ or ‘Disagree’ buttons.
If they disagree they will still be part of the trial using the data we already have available and the questions about your views on the claimant, and the NINO must still be entered.
If the claimant has any questions about this trial, see the FAQs below, which should address most of their concerns. If the claimant requires further information still, please seek advice from your SPOC or manager.
The DWP repeats this point saying,
Q: What if the claimant refuses to take part?
A: The claimant may refuse to answer the survey questions; however, they cannot opt to not take part in the trial.
The trial is looking at the impact of receiving WJRs / FJRs, and as such they must adhere to the signing regime they are assigned so long as their claim is active. If a claimant is worried about being part of a trial, explain that their experience of claiming JSA will not differ, except in the frequency of the signings which is nationwide policy.
Boycott Workfare says,
These surveys are completely unethical. Attempting to classify people according to their feelings about work is being used to stigmatise and pathologize certain claimants. The tests are part of the DWP’s efforts to pretend that unemployment and a low wage economy are a result of individuals’ bad attitudes, rather than a deliberate policy. Esther McVey talks about ‘psychological resistance to work’. The test assesses people’s attitude to work through just 20 widely varying and unrelated questions, placing claimants into in the following four bizarre rigid categories:
1 Willing but nervous Jobseeker
2 Eager Jobseeker
3 Ambivalent Claimants with few barriers
4 Other Jobseekers
You do not need to be a docile lab-rat.
These are the facts:
- If you are asked to agree to take part in the Claimant Segmentation Survey you can disagree to take part (see picture ) – it is an entirely voluntary survey.
- Refusal to take part or answer will not affect your benefits in any way: you cannot get sanctioned for refusing to answer any of the test questions or for refusing to take part in this test [Link 3]:
“There is no obligation to answer these questions and it has no bearing on your entitlement to benefits whatsoever.”
- Your advisor has to ask for your consent before going through the questions, because they ‘are collecting additional information beyond what is necessary for the claims process for the purposes of research’.
They conclude, and we agree (repeating our earlier posts),
“Workfare and others have consistently called on the British Psychological Society to challenge the use of ‘psychometrics’ and ‘psychological surveys’ and ‘attitude profiling’ to scapegoat and coerce claimants. And we do so again.”