Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

In Work “Conditionality” – a Hurdle for the Poor to Jump Through.

with 39 comments

Doug and Dinsdale Piranha: ‘In-work’ Services for Universal Credit. 

Welfare Weekly signals new barriers for claimants, and a potential growth area for “sanctions”.

MPs are to examine Iain Duncan Smith’s plans for “in work conditionality” within the Universal Credit system, it has been announced today.

The Work and Pensions Committee has opened an inquiry into controversial government proposals, which would see Universal Credit claimants on low earnings required to increase their pay or hours to continue receiving benefits.

(Note: the word “required” – no the low paid will not be free to decide how much they work, but they will be “required” to undertake).

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) intends to begin “in-work progression” pilots in 2015/16, where benefit payments may be stopped if claimants fail to take action as required by the DWP.

(Note: has their ever been a “pilot” which the DWP has not deemed a “success?).

A range of pilot schemes will test different approaches to in-work conditionality within Universal Credit, but the Work and Pensions Committee says there is very little detail available about the schemes.

MPs will also look at which organisations are best-placed to deliver the in-work service, including JobCentre Plus and providers from the private, public or voluntary sectors.

(Note: our heart sank when we saw this: it means the Iain Duncan Smith has the intention of letting the bunch of private chancers already ready to leap at the opportunity to exploit the benefit system to their own advantage, in on this little wheeze).

The Committee’s inquiry will ask which claimants should be included in the pilot schemes and which should be exempt, as well as asking under what circumstances it be appropriate to sanction a Universal Credit claimant who is in work.

(Note: the word “sanction” – a fine threat for somebody working in a low paid job).

Most importantly, MPs will investigate whether any international evidence exists on effective ways of encouraging in-work progression, and whether employers can be encouraged to help workers increase their hours.

The Committee is calling for individuals and organisations to submit evidence addressing the following issues:

  • DWP’s plans for in-work progression pilots in 2015/16, and how they should be evaluated
  • Which organisations are best-placed to deliver the in-work service for DWP e.g. Jobcentre Plus/other providers from the private, public or voluntary sectors?
  • What should in-work progression support entail and how should it be delivered (e.g. regularity and nature of contact with claimants)?
  • Which groups of claimants should be included and which should be exempt?
  • How should employers be encouraged to facilitate progression?
  • In what circumstances would it be appropriate to sanction a Universal Credit claimant who is in work?
  • Is there any UK or international evidence on effective ways of encouraging in-work progression?

Frank Field MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said: “The welfare-to-work strategy of successive governments has begun to crack the dependency on out-of-work benefits that had appeared to be an almost intractable problem.

“Efforts now also need to be focused on a welfare-to-work strategy that not only moves claimants off out-of-work benefit, but more importantly helps them move up the pay ladder and out of poverty.

“Too many people on low benefit incomes have been encouraged into low-paid jobs whose rewards are only brought up to a more acceptable income level by tax credits and other in-work benefits.

“I hope our Committee therefore will examine the available evidence and carefully develop an approach to in-work support which is effective, and which people accept as fair.”

In other words Field considers that, “dependency” having been cracked – cruel but fair methods have to be found to ‘encourage’ people to fit into a “more acceptable” (acceptable to Field no doubt – there is little evidence that the people concerned are going to decide on the acceptability of the government’s plans).

Field and Iain Duncan Smith, the Piranha Brothers.


Written by Andrew Coates

December 13, 2015 at 10:38 am

39 Responses

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  1. Looks like it’s going to be noses in the trough time again for shitec and the rest of those malignant fuckers.

    jj joop

    December 13, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    • What an age we live in.

      jj joop

      December 13, 2015 at 12:59 pm

  2. First off no one is going to get sanctioned or should i say cited for sanction purely on the basis there only earning nat min, secondly not the hours they do as how then would DWP justify sanctioning someone for not taking an offer for work that was nat min and less than 30 hours not to mention zero hour contracts.

    Then theres the problem of can you legally make an employee/claimant give up there current vacancy or even sanction them for not doing so, which as things stand no they cant.

    All this government is looking to do is look for ways to disincentivise the public from wanting to claim it in the first place as unlike there unemployed half, don’t fit the mold so commonly used to justify sanctions.

    This, the up and coming living wage, will the employer or wont they and will jobs go as a result will all make for an interesting mix in time to come but personally cant see it working the way the tories would like what with having zero control on the money still constantly going to the top and not coming down.


    December 13, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    • Your find maximus will probably play a big part in this as they have there sights set on a whole range of government welfare contracts.


      December 13, 2015 at 3:08 pm

  3. Maximus – Job Search and Placement, Pre-Employment, In-Work Support – 2 years.



    December 13, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    • 1. Their goal will be to get paid work, more work or better paid work as quickly as possible.

      If you dont have qualifications and a skill, your hardly likely to get a better paid job even in the same sector.

      As for more work hours, thats not going to happen.

      1st the chances of getting 2 or more jobs to coincide is slim to none.
      2nd the more hours you already work, the more unlikely you are to get further hours with another employer, especially when you consider employers hog employees so there at there wim.

      Put it this way, ” would you if you were an employer hire a person with multiple jobs when considering reliability” and if you were that employee and one of your employers rang up to ask for you to cover an extra shift but offering more than your regular time slotted employment , would you take it as its the UC rule above or refuse, risk sanction all for the sake of your regularly time slotted employment, meaning another week you havent earnt more.

      I could produce other things this government hasn’t clearly thought about when talking working credits but hey why not just let it unfold shall we


      December 13, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      • Considering over 25s to 59s must work 30 hours to even qualify for tax credit i doubt this in work conditionality is aimed at them as you wont achieve much there although i suspect there try.

        This means its aimed squarely at the 16 hour entry level meaning over 60s, the disabled and single parents, all of which will have commitments besides finding work like children, the elderly, regular hospital and GP visits,etc. Although not a job, still involves a justifiably and reasonable amount of time meaning i would imagine they would be in the same position as people working 30 plus hours.

        If we thought unemployed sanctioning was a farce, wait till in work conditionality comes in as i suspect alot of appeals coming DWPs way.


        December 13, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      • doug

        very very well put I would remind everyone of the big hole in all this which will make it all boil over – DWP has admitted over at Rightsnet that UC cannot cope with changing hours of work or changing earnings. The claim gets closed. Now imagine [zero hours contracts for instance currently at what 1million people?] what WILL happpen? How about part time workers? This is going to cause the system to grind to a halt – and very very quickly.


        December 13, 2015 at 6:40 pm

  4. […] Source: In Work “Conditionality” – a Hurdle for the Poor to Jump Through. | DWPExamination. […]

  5. Ministers and civil servants were “ruthless” and “reckless” in forcing through their new “fitness for work” test and refusing to abandon it even after they were told of the harm it was causing, according to a former government adviser.



    December 13, 2015 at 7:51 pm

  6. […] Source: In Work “Conditionality” – a Hurdle for the Poor to Jump Through. | Ipswich Unemployed Action. […]

  7. A man has been killed and another injured at a recycling facility in County Durham. Why, oh why do the Jobcentre’s third-party ‘provider’ collaborators keep sending workfare victims to these dangerous, dangerous places?!

    Recycling Plants KILL!!

    December 13, 2015 at 8:21 pm

  8. When are the idiots going to realise the problem is lack of paid work and not people unwilling to do it?
    And the lack of paid work is only going to get worse.

    Another Fine Mess

    December 13, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    • The “idiots” know what they are doing! it’s all about volunteers, in hospitals, hotels, shops, care, police, bars, & everything else. but why do we still have to search for and apply for paid work, – harassment, sanctions & the stopping of ones benefits.


      December 14, 2015 at 8:25 am

    • You should have said a lack of secure paid employment as even when you get one, it never lasts.

      Ive had 3 jobs in a year, all of which boasted this would lead to permanent yet they all lied in order to get an applicant. Ive got so use to it, it took me less than a month in my recent job to work out they would let me go just before Christmas so they wouldn’t have to pay holiday and so on cue it happened. Its the second year in a row an employer has let me go just before Christmas despite my work ethics, time keeping and work rate being spot on.

      Its no surprise to me the work programme figures were larger for claimants holding a job for at least 6 months than a permanent job lasting in excess of a year. Governments own figures prove they are well aware of this yet to date have done nothing to solve it so people can genuinely find and secure employment that doesn’t run out quicker than a gas pay as you go meter.

      To make matters worse, tendered,piece work and self employment related business is being handed out more and more to EU migrants because there quotes are cheaper dew to there outlays what with living in large groups being tiny meaning English workers and businesses are losing out financially while UK money earn’t by EU migrants by far and large leaves the country never to return.

      In there race to be seen as the most successful EU country, our government has forsaken the public, most of which are either blissfully ignorant to whats going on or are to scared to look, hiding in there fantasy land, saying to themselves im alright, i have a job, who cares if no one else doesn’t.


      December 14, 2015 at 9:27 am

  9. The part time workers, which there are millions of, how many of them know a few DWP rules & regs , how many know that everything they will be told will no doubt be a lie, many of them if not all will be sanctioned, I’ll see some of them in the food bank one day, but when I see them I will tell them a few things and give them a few docs showing the truth. if only we could inform them all before they sign up to UC.


    December 14, 2015 at 8:41 am

  10. How will it be possible for part-time workers to chase more hours when jobs with more hours simply don’t exist in sufficient quantity?


    December 14, 2015 at 9:02 am

    • Yes Tobanem, employers won’t give them more hours, the so called living wage, then there is what they call work experience, many PT workers will be laid off, just before employers have to pay the living wage. then those jobs will be taken by volunteers, working for their benefit – workfare.

      The ending of paid employment “a potential growth area for “sanctions”.


      December 14, 2015 at 9:19 am

      • Watch for a rise in apprenticeships to enigma, you know the type that even experts state dont warrant a qualification or special lengthy training like a fish fryer for instance.

        Oh in case any parents have a child looking at an apprenticeship, do bare in mind you instantly lose tax credits and other benefits if your child takes such a position.Only by attending college will such benefits be paid out.

        Dont let your kids languish in a dead end job when they can train for a proper job at college, free from abuse and more in keeping with how children should learn.


        December 14, 2015 at 9:44 am

  11. OT?


    December 14, 2015 at 10:23 am

    • It’s certainly a very interesting slogan these days – and not just in a football setting!


      December 14, 2015 at 10:25 am

  12. Some good news for the Jocks!

    “The UK Government’s spending review will cut funding for employment services due to be devolved to Scotland by around £40m a year, according to the Scottish Government.

    Fair Work Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said decisions made by Chancellor George Osborne last month would reduce anticipated funding for employability services by an estimated 75%.

    Control over the Work Programme and Work Choice is due to be transferred to Scotland in 2017 as a result of the Smith Commission on further devolution.

    A consultation was carried out over the summer on the potential for implementing distinctive new services but Ms Cunningham said the spending review would limit the Scottish Government’s options.

    She has written to UK Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith outlining “serious concerns” about the implications of the review for Scotland.

    Ms Cunningham said: “We estimate DWP intends to cut its spend on Scottish programmes to be devolved by around 40m annually – around 75%.

    “This undermines the agreed intentions in Smith and comes on top of existing limitations in powers being devolved.

    “It is our view that the Smith Commission envisaged the Scottish Government having greater influence over these issues from April 2017 and this cut diminishes their recommendations to an unacceptable level.

    “The UK proposals will magnify the challenge of helping those further from the labour market into work.”

    Ms Cunningham said she had requested an urgent meeting of the joint ministerial working group on welfare to discuss the issue.

    She added: “The clarity needed to procure services has also not been forthcoming from DWP with a number of information requests by the Scottish Government remaining unanswered after several months.

    “The lack of information on this vital issue is unacceptable and this latest move will have serious implications on both unemployed people in Scotland and the support they require.”

    A UK Government spokesman said: “The Spending Review 2015 clearly responds to today’s challenges and looks to spend taxpayers’ money in the most effective way. Scotland will get its fair share of spend for the new contracted employment programme and will be able to use its own resources to top this up.

    “We are firmly committed to delivering the Smith Commission Agreement in full, which includes the transfer of powers over contracted employment support for people with disabilities and those at risk of long-term unemployment in Scotland.””

    Employment services facing £40m a year cuts, says Scottish Government

    Devon Toffee

    December 14, 2015 at 10:48 am

  13. Your probably find the funding short full the providers need will come from the NHS what with this government insisting its health and mind issues that are preventing people from taking employment this time around.

    That way it appears to the public that welfare has been cut rather than the cost transferred to the health sector and maintains track for the Tories to deliberately tank the NHS so they can bring in costly health insurance schemes.

    The question remains as it always does in that WHY dont government trust the NHS enough to deliver these schemes regarding claimant health, why is a GPs word nolonger good enough, why are we trafficking in foreign companies to do a job our NHS is more than capable of doing themselves ?


    December 14, 2015 at 11:13 am

    • You mean like a patient being denied a life-saving operation in order to pay a ‘work programme’ ‘adviser’ their commission?

      work progamme is shite

      December 14, 2015 at 12:07 pm


    DWP admits to errors in procedure but not to a breach of its legal duty (of care).

    Quote: “Mr Parsley [the Coroner] added that while the DWP had admitted to errors, they were mistakes in procedure and were not a breach of its legal duty”.


    It looks as though it will be difficult to LEGALLY prove the DWP are guilty of Corporate Manslaughter, because, among other things, an organisation has to be guilty of a gross breach of a duty of care, in order to be charged with Corporate Manslaughter.

    Meanwhile, a prominent lawyer calls for more support after his own daughters suicide:



    December 14, 2015 at 11:22 am

    • Thanks for that Tobabem.

      I know Leiston well.

      This is tragic.

      Andrew Coates

      December 14, 2015 at 5:38 pm

  15. Not Resting in Peace

    Can you imagine what would happen if the deceased in these DWP death cases could actually look down on the proceedings at the inquest? Ah, so it was procedure that killed me rather than duty!


    December 14, 2015 at 4:15 pm

  16. More from the land of haggis, whisky, shortbread, tartan, kilts and cabers.

    “A new Scottish welfare system must move away from the negative stereotyping of benefit claimants as “skivers”, MSPs have said.
    Holyrood’s welfare reform committee warned that the implementation of a distinctive Scottish system would require a “huge culture shift”.
    The committee has been investigating the future delivery of social security.
    This is in light of new powers over welfare being devolved to the Scottish Parliament.
    In a report setting out their conclusions, MSPs called for an overhaul of the current approach to ensure that “the same dignity and respect that is normally offered to NHS patients is offered to benefit claimants”.
    They said: “Witnesses suggested that elements of the current system appear to operate under an umbrella philosophy which regards those on social security universally as ‘skivers’.
    “The welfare reform committee rejects this narrative and believes that it is neither realistic nor helpful.
    “We believe that a new Scottish social security system requires a huge culture shift.”

    ‘Devastating impact’

    MSPs said the new system should be non-punitive, with sanctions used only as a last resort, and much more accessible with clear and simple communication in plain English.
    The committee recommends the introduction of long-term disability living allowance and personal independence payment awards for people with severe, long-term disability or illness and supports the Scottish government’s proposed increase in carer’s allowance to at least the amount paid in jobseekers allowance.
    The report also calls for the housing element of universal credit to be paid fortnightly, direct to landlords, and for the Scottish government to use the new powers to immediately abolish the so-called “bedroom tax”.
    Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said: “We agree with the welfare reform committee that the current welfare system is in need of a significant overhaul.

    “Its comprehensive report supports our aims of ensuring our new social security powers will treat people with respect and dignity, and be delivered in a fair and efficient way but there is also a need for the UK government to do more to improve the benefits it will continue to deliver.””

    Benefits claimants should not be classed as ‘skivers’, report says

    Devon Fudge Packer

    December 14, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    • “with sanctions used only as a last resort”, but sanctions already are used as a “last resort” if you believe DWP Press releases… so no change there then…. more like same old same… only worse as can see Wee Nicola bring into some sort of “Chain Gang Forced Labour” – type scheme…. she looks the type.

      J Murphy

      December 14, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      • No, J Murphy, I think there will be significant Welfare changes in Scotland, including the use of sanctions – which at the moment are dished out like confetti as a first resort for the flimsiest of reasons.

        The Scottish people did not vote for the Tories. There will be riots if Scottish politicians renege on their word and there are no significant changes to a welfare system that’s already causing widespread suffering and premature deaths – including suicides. But you are welcome to register a cynical degree of concern nonetheless.


        December 14, 2015 at 6:05 pm

      • “J Murphy”, your concern about sanctions in Scotland is not without some foundation after all. Read this:


        But I still think those on welfare in Scotland will be a bit better off. The savage Tory sanctions regime had better be softened before riots erupt in these non-Tory Latitudes.


        December 15, 2015 at 11:23 am

  17. OT: Effects of GidIdiots cuts continue to surface


    “A training scheme to create a career ladder for care workers and to address the acute shortage of nurses in care homes has been axed as a direct result of chancellor George Osborne’s spending review.

    The scheme was due to start in the new year, but its backers were told last week that its £178,000 government funding was being withdrawn. Six other projects designed to boost opportunities for low-paid women workers have suffered the same fate.

    Cancellation of the scheme to develop the role of care practitioner has caused dismay in the struggling social care sector, where there was already widespread anger that the chancellor had greatly oversold a supposed £3.5bn package of help for the sector that he unveiled in the review.”

    So – kick low paid in teeth – check, kick those on tax credits in the teeth – check, cut training funding as we’re all in it together – check.

    Why am I not surprised.


    December 14, 2015 at 8:34 pm

  18. UC claimants will be expected to crawl backwards over broken glass in a pit of fire whilst dodging the fire-breathing dragon whilst whistling Colonel Bogey in order to satisfy the “conditionality tests”


    December 15, 2015 at 10:23 am

  19. Union has called on HMRC to investigate Sports Direct.

    Its a well known fact SD treats its staff like crap but has over recent months been infiltrated to discover the truth and you know what, “shock gosh horror it is true”.

    At one midland branch, 80% of the staff are on zero hour contracts.


    December 15, 2015 at 10:46 am

  20. Government plans to darken the light that is the freedom of information act are thwarted.


    Oh dear., what a shame.


    December 15, 2015 at 10:53 am

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