Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

A4E are Back – to Face New Allegations of “Incredibly Dangerous” cuts.

with 10 comments

Just when you thought they’d gone away…..

Hat-Tip Tobanem

One of the companies at the heart of the government’s welfare-to-work programme is facing allegations that it introduced an “incredibly dangerous” cost-cutting move that could put the lives of many disabled benefit claimants at risk.

Earlier this year, A4E allegedly introduced a new policy that forced advisers with no specialist training or experience to start working with “vulnerable” claimants with mental health conditions, learning difficulties and drug and alcohol problems on the government’s Work Programme.

The company had previously only allowed advisers with “in-depth knowledge of the barriers faced by our hardest to help customers” and “experience of working with disadvantaged, disengaged and/or disaffected people” to work with this group, many of whom were claiming the out-of-work disability benefit, employment and support allowance (ESA).

The claims – which are strongly refuted by the company – raise new questions about the government’s much-criticised efforts to support disabled people into work, with new figures released this week showing that only 1.6 per cent of former incapacity benefit (IB) claimants who were now claiming ESA had secured at least three months’ work within their first year on the Work Programme.

The allegations emerged during a case for constructive dismissal taken by whistle-blower Chris Loder, a former A4E adviser, from Fleetwood in Lancashire.

Disability News.

The word “refuted” is incorrect.

Rebutted or denied are the correct words.

The article continues.

Loder was lauded as a “high performer” by his bosses, achieving nearly 200 per cent of his target for finding jobs for claimants, and was the top-performing sales adviser in the north-west and Cumbria region.

He worked for A4E for nearly 18 months, but was recruited to work only with those claimants of jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) who were closest to the jobs market, finding job vacancies among local employers and securing job interviews for A4E customers.

But after A4E introduced its new policy, Loder was told that all advisers in his office would have to work both with clients in his group and with those who faced more complex barriers, including people with mental health conditions, learning difficulties, and other impairments.

The new policy had already been introduced in two other local offices, and was later rolled out across the company.

In a statement seen by Disability News Service (DNS), Loder says the measures were introduced by A4E in his office in February this year.

After they were introduced, about two-thirds of his new caseload of customers had complex barriers.

Loder, who came from a sales background and had no experience of working with disabled people, warned his manager in Blackpool repeatedly that the new policy was not safe and would put the health of vulnerable benefit claimants at risk.

He says he told his manager that he was worried about the effect his “demanding” way of working with clients would have on vulnerable customers, “in particular people with mental health conditions”, because he “wouldn’t be able to see the signs of the conditions deteriorating”.

He also said he was concerned that his actions “may wrongly result in their benefits being sanctioned”, which could also affect their health.

He was refused extra training that would give him the skills to work with these client groups, and eventually resigned on 20 March, claiming constructive dismissal.

He told DNS that the company’s new policy could lead to the deaths of vulnerable claimants.

So, no training, work for A4E and bingo!

You have super-powers!

We’ve had the DWP playing at psychology. They’ve dabbled in psychometric tests, Online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy  and all the rest.

Now A4E have gone better: their employees are all  full blown psychiatrists, social workers, and special needs teachers.

Respect!

Here’s a timely reminder of what’s happening across the system:

B5Sq4jeIAAEjKXa

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Written by Andrew Coates

December 20, 2014 at 11:25 am

10 Responses

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  1. OT Sort of.
    The Recent Comments list seems messed up for me, all comments are from Ipswich 2015, and no comment box is showing on the last posting.

    Ipswich 2015: Can Be… on Labour’s Ill-thought out…
    Ipswich 2015: Can Be… on Iain Duncan Smith to Make Bene…
    Ipswich 2015: Can Be… on Rachel Reeves (Labour Conferen…
    Ipswich 2015: Can Be… on Universal Credit Shambles, Cha…
    Ipswich 2015: Can Be… on Welfare Cap will “increa…

    Another Fine Mess

    December 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    • They are trackbacks.

      Its because I linked to those articles in “Ipswich 2015” article.

      On here, the comments and trackbacks are separated but wordpress seems to show trackbacks in the recent comments widget. Its really annoying.

      Universal Jobmatch

      December 21, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      • I have removed the trackbacks which as you say, are annoying, as they only relate to one site (guess)!

        When I get them from people who have reposted or referred to us, I leave them because people will be interested in looking at what are usually interesting sites.

        Andrew Coates

        December 22, 2014 at 10:16 am

      • Indeed, I quite agree, trackbacks are important across blogs, but within the same blog they shouldn’t appear.

        Universal Jobmatch

        December 22, 2014 at 10:28 am

  2. Yeah, you can’t comment on the Benny Gumball article with the pic of the guy pretending to jobsearch using a computer with a great big “No Entry” sign on the desktop lol 😀

    rflmao

    December 21, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    • What has Intensive Activity done with the comments box?

      It is not me.

      Andrew Coates

      December 21, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      • DDS ? [”NORTH KOREA” ALLEGEDLY – I DID SAY ALLEGEDLY]

        NORTHOLT

        December 22, 2014 at 6:27 am

    • The “no entry” sign happens to be the MYGO logo. lol

      Comments seem to be disabled. Not sure what happened, I didn’t disable it unless comments are disabled by default and you are supposed to enable it? Never been that way before!

      Universal Jobmatch

      December 21, 2014 at 5:19 pm

  3. FROM THE ABSURD TO THE ABSURDER

    Yes, we are going from the absurd to the absurder – everyday now! What is going to be next? The very idea of pen-pushing ex-salesmen morphing into mental health professionals is dangerously ludicrous.

    Meanwhile, just when you thought Easter eggs and gold stars were absurd when handed out to Jobcentre personnel for hitting sanctions targets, there are now “Sheriff Stars” being awarded to Jobcentre personnel:

    http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/sandra-gives-the-game-away-jobcentres-given-sheriffs-stars-for-hitting-benefit-sanction-targets/

    As I said, from the absurd to the absurder!

    Tobanem

    December 22, 2014 at 9:20 am

  4. Because of the rise in retirement age, the working poor over 60 (over half of that age) and the majority of the 60-66 who are unemployed being because they are disabled and / or chronic sick, are equally suffering benefit sanctions as all other ages.

    There is even talk that long time pensioenrs and disabled by being War Veterans will be
    re-assessed and therefore could lose that benefit.

    The denied state pension from 2013 to women born from 1953 and men born from 1951 is sitting pretty and wrongly being called a surplus in the ring fenced and full National Insurance Fund since 2013.

    Just when those new claimants after 2016 face NIL STATE PENSION FOR LIFE and
    LESS NOT MORE (lots of small print) in the flat rate pension.
    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

    No benefit, no work, no state pension is the bleak outlook from an Autumn Budget pointing to a 1930s level of state spending before the 1945 welfare state, to an age group that will be dying from the cold in unheated homes today.

    Pension60

    December 25, 2014 at 10:47 am


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