Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

DWP Statement on Coronavirus as Inquiry into Universal Credit Begins.

with 92 comments

Image result for coronavirus uk

The seriousness of the Coronavirus pandemic is beginning to hit home.

Coronavirus: UK tactics defended as cases expected to rise

The decision to delay closing schools and introduce other strict measures to combat coronavirus has been defended by England’s deputy chief medical officer.

Dr Jenny Harries said experts are assessing new cases on an hourly basis to achieve a “balanced response”.

She told BBC Breakfast new measures could follow as UK cases begin to rise rapidly over the next two weeks.

In the UK, five people with the virus have died. There were 319 confirmed cases as of 09:00 GMT on Monday.

Dr Harries said the vast majority of those diagnosed with coronavirus in Britain are “pretty well” but that they may “feel a bit rough for a few days”.

She added: “Within 10-14 days we will be likely to advise people with symptoms to self-isolate and we are expecting that start of the peak [of coronavirus cases] to come during that period.”

Dr Harries said cancelling big outdoor events like football matches would not necessarily be a decision supported by science.

“The virus will not survive very long outside,” she said. “Many outdoor events, particularly, are relatively safe.”

Statement from DWP on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Thérèse Coffey, the Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions, has made an oral statement to Parliament about the coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

The department is fully prepared for all eventualities and has conducted extensive planning against reasonable worst case scenarios. I have been in discussions with the chancellor and will continue to work across government to prepare.

If claimants cannot attend their jobcentre appointment in person because of self-isolation, work coaches can exercise discretion, so claimants should engage with them and they will not be sanctioned – as long they let us know before the appointment.

And as my Rt Hon Friend the Prime Minister set out last week ‘nobody should be penalised for doing the right thing’.

That’s why the government’s safety net also extends to those who are self-employed or who work in the gig-economy. They can apply for Universal Credit or new-style ESA. Advances are available for Universal Credit immediately.

Madame Deputy Speaker, these are exceptional circumstances and we will support workers to do the right thing for their health and the protection of public health.

Published 9 March 2020

The DWP statement leaves open some important issues.
  • If people are self-isolating, and they are able to contact their Work Coaches in time, (an ‘if’), what kind of “discretion” can they rely on?
  • If people working in the “gig economy” or are self-employed, have to apply for Universal Credit will be able to manage on the meagre “advance loan” they will be eligible for?
  • Will they have to undergo constant “Job Search”?
  • What sanctions regime will they face?
  • What are the plans for Job Centres to avoid people catching the virus?
On the second issue this has also taken place to less publicity.

Universal Credit has a “baked in” wait for the first payment. After completing all of the stages of their application, claimants must then wait for at least five weeks to receive their award. They can ask for an Advance payment if they need money more urgently, which they then pay back out of their future Universal Credit payments.

Many organisations have concluded that the five week wait for a first Universal Credit payment must be reduced or eliminated entirely. There is, however, a lack of agreement about how this might be most effectively—and affordably—achieved. Some of the options suggested include:

  • Scrapping the five week wait for all claimants: for example, by making the Advance non-repayable;
  • Offering non-repayable Advances to some claimants: for example, those considered vulnerable;
  • Allowing more flexibility for the start of a claim to be backdated;
  • Extending run on payments to cover all legacy benefits;
  • Substantially reducing the rate at which Advance Payments—the main existing mitigation measure—are paid back, to help claimants better manage their money;
  • Paying UC two-weekly, like many legacy benefits, rather than monthly.

The Committee wants to help the Government to better understand the upsides and downsides of these options, and explore other possible solutions.

What does the Committee want to hear about?

The Committee would like to hear your views on the following questions about the wait for a first payment of Universal Credit.

You can respond as an individual, a group or an organisation. You don’t need to answer all of the questions. The deadline for sending your views is Friday 17 April 2020.

  1. To what extent have the mitigations the Government has introduced so far (e.g. Advance payments) helped to reduce the negative impact of the five week wait for UC claimants?
    1. What problems do claimants still experience during the five week wait?
  2. What is the best way of offsetting the impact of the five week wait?
    1. Is it possible to estimate how much this would cost the Department?
    2. Is it possible to estimate any costs or savings to third parties (for example, support organisations)?
  3. Are different mitigating options needed for different groups of claimants?
  4. Are there barriers or potential unintended consequences to removing the five week wait—either for claimants or the Department? How can they be overcome?

This inquiry is currently accepting evidence

The committee wants to hear your views. We welcome submissions from anyone with answers to the questions in the call for evidence. You can submit evidence until Friday 17 April 2020.

Read the call for evidence before submitting

Written by Andrew Coates

March 10, 2020 at 10:33 am

92 Responses

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  1. Therese Coffey is the very WORST Secretary of State for Work and Pensions? Anybody disagree?

    Tom

    March 10, 2020 at 10:39 am

  2. Andrew Coates

    March 10, 2020 at 11:30 am

    • Does this include sexual relief to people confined at home ?

      Roger Ramsbottom

      March 10, 2020 at 1:55 pm

      • Yes. But you have to pay for the batteries yourself.

        Vibrato

        March 11, 2020 at 5:33 pm

  3. No mention of jobsearch requirements then. It all comes down to making a phone call, trusting that the information is passed on to the relevant person, and then relying on Work Coach discretion. Nothing definitive. No emergency legislation. No robust procedures in place to safeguard peoples’ Benefits.

    trev

    March 10, 2020 at 11:37 am

    • @trev- I wouldn’t trust the DWP on these informal arrangements. Someone gets ill and then rings up the Jobcentre. Some Work Coach called John says you don’t have to sign-on next week. And that’s all you’ve got ? So you miss the appointment, and get sanctioned. What proof have you got either way ?

      Malcolm

      March 10, 2020 at 2:00 pm

      • Exactly Malcolm, I’ve had experiences of them not passing messages on. And last week they didn’t even send my JSA payment through until I chased it up. They don’t know their arse from their elbow.

        trev

        March 10, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    • @And it’s not clear who has authority to say that a claimant can miss their appointment in these circumstances. The Work Coaches, or just the Jobcentre Manager that can okay this ?

      Desmond J.

      March 10, 2020 at 5:28 pm

      • It’s just pot-luck by the sounds of it, a Benefits lottery. Might be a bit different if we applied the same shabby conditions to MPs salaries.

        trev

        March 10, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    • Thanks for that, an extremely important aspect that has not got MSM coverage yet.

      “As the outbreak steps up in the UK, people sleeping rough could face being turned away from shelters.”

      “For rough sleepers, there is no such luxury and often the only protection from the elements, especially at this time of year, can be in a homeless shelter.

      But that means sharing a small space with a large number of people, carrying an obvious risk of catching the virus.”

      “Homelessness health charity Pathway have called on the government to ensure there are “adequate contingency plans” for people who are rough sleeping or in hostels that can be “rapidly acted upon”. They have also asked for quarantine accommodation from local authorities as well as funding for cleaning and distribution of hand sanitisers.

      Abraham told The Big Issue that underlying health issues are a concern if the outbreak starts affecting rough sleepers – but the reaction in Glass Door shelters has been measured so far.

      “Life’s hard enough when it comes to living on the streets,” she said. “There are so many challenges already, and this is just yet another challenge. The case where we did have to question whether the guest was allowed to come in – he was very understanding – so I think there is some awareness of the incoming need to protect others from potential exposure to coronavirus.”

      Andrew Coates

      March 10, 2020 at 12:45 pm

      • this is all a load of bollocks at the end of the day what like 5 ppl have died from it yet the average death off ppl in the uk per day that die anyway is around 1400 per day.

        superted

        March 10, 2020 at 12:55 pm

      • Indeed, ted. According to the ONS 552,000 people will 👿 DIE!! 👿 in the UK this year. It puts things into perceptive. We all need to row back a bit from this media-driven toilet roll panic buying hysteria bullcrap.

        Annie

        March 10, 2020 at 1:30 pm

      • Whilst you may be right, on the other hand we just don’t yet know how far or fast it may spread, how many will be affected, how many will die. It is the Government’s responsibility to plan ahead and put safeguarding procedures in place, not just sit back and adopt a laissez-faire attitude.

        trev

        March 10, 2020 at 1:43 pm

      • Of course HM Gov could be letting the virus spread deliberately in order to impose martial law further down the line. No matter what the media tell you it will be self-evident if this virus is spreading. You will hear of deaths within you local area. If you think you are in danger it is time to batten down the hatches or run for the hills. As Jacob-Rees Mogg said go by your own common sense, not what the media or authority tells you.

        Flo

        March 10, 2020 at 2:03 pm

  4. Wording of Universal Credit Migration Notice
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/wording_of_universal_credit_migr?nocache=incoming-1534532#incoming-1534532

    Freepost PLUS RTGS-
    JRLH-EUZR
    Harrogate Jobcentre
    Mail Handling Site A
    Wolverhampton
    WV98 1RN

    If you call or write to us,

    please use this reference:
    FIRSTNAME LASTNAME
    NINO
    ADDRESS 1
    ADDRESS 2
    http://www.gov.uk/universal-
    ADDRESS 3
    credit
    ADDRESS 4
    POSTCODE
    Telephone: 0800 169 0328
    (between 9am and 5pm,
    Monday to Friday)

    15 August 2019
    Moving to Universal Credit

    You can move on or before 15 November 2019, or ask for more
    time
    If you need help
    Dear FIRSTNAME
    If you need help making a
    In the Jobcentre today we talked about moving to Universal Credit.
    Universal Credit claim:
    You agreed to make a claim to Universal Credit to replace your
     speak to your usual
    current benefits.
    work coach
    Ask your work coach if you have any questions about when or
     call us on 0800 169
    how to claim.
    0328 (between 9am
    and 5pm, Monday to
    To protect your current level of benefit entitlement, you should
    Friday)
    make your claim to Universal Credit on or before 15

    November 2019.

    If you need more time, you can ask your work coach for an
    extension.

    Why claim Universal Credit

    The following benefits and Tax Credits are ending soon:

     income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

     income-related Employment and Support Allowance

     Income Support

    Housing Benefit

    This is a Universal Credit Migration Notice (v2). Universal Credit is operated by the Department for Work and
    Pensions.

    Page 1 of 3

    Working Tax Credit

     Child Tax Credit

    You receive one or more of these benefits or Tax Credits. You can

    now claim Universal Credit instead.

    Making a Universal Credit claim
    Your Universal Credit payments will be calculated as starting from
    the day you make your claim.
    Your current benefits or Tax Credits will be paid until the day
    before you made your Universal Credit claim. If you get Housing
    Benefit, it will continue to be paid for another two weeks.
    Go to http://www.gov.uk/how-to-claim-universal-credit and follow the
    instructions to make a Universal Credit claim.
    If you live with a partner
    Your partner will also get this letter. You will both need to make a
    joint claim for Universal Credit.
    If your circumstances change
    Any changes to your circumstances before you claim Universal
    Credit could affect the amount of money you’ll get paid.
    To make sure you get paid the right amount of Universal Credit,
    you must tell your work coach if any of your circumstances have
    changed. You must also tell them about any changes that happen
    between now and the day you make your claim.
    Yours sincerely,
    Universal Credit

    This is a Universal Credit Migration Notice (v2). Universal Credit is operated by the Department for Work and
    Pensions.

    Page 2 of 3
    Equality and Diversity
    We are committed to treating people fairly,
    regardless of their disability, ethnicity, gender,
    sexual orientation, transgender status, marital
    or civil partnership status, age, religion or
    beliefs. Please contact us if you have any
    concerns.

    How DWP collects and uses information

    We will treat your personal information
    carefully. We may use it for any of our
    purposes. To learn about your information
    rights and how we use information, please see
    our Personal Information Charter at GOV.UK.

    Call charges
    Calls to 0800 numbers are free from landlines
    and mobiles.

    This is a Universal Credit Migration Notice (v9). Universal Credit is operated by the Department for Work and
    Pensions.

    superted

    March 10, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    • now see how they just put the link to the online application like it is the only way to make a claim.

      when you can make a uc claim over the phone and arrange a interview at the jcp yet this says nothing about that.

      it is a stitch up to get you a online account and journal.

      superted

      March 10, 2020 at 1:20 pm

      • @superted – It’s the End Of Days. The Final Countdown. The Apocalypse Of Unemployment.

        Paul G.

        March 10, 2020 at 1:53 pm

      • i will be making my uc claim over the phone i will not give them a email address so they can not set up a on line account.

        there is a non digital service of uc and i have the foi requests that backs this up.

        they will also not get any phone numbers, if they want to contact me then they can do it by post. 😉

        superted

        March 10, 2020 at 2:04 pm

      • @superted, But surely they will insist on your phone number and all the rest of it ? If you don’t play ball you won’t get any Universal Credit.

        Fred

        March 10, 2020 at 2:24 pm

      • buy law you do not need a email address or phone number to claim any benefits.

        they can give you a job seekers direction to prove that you have them but they can not keep it on record with out your permission.

        if they do have it on there system you can have it removed at any time per gdpr rules and regs.

        DSC_0004

        superted

        March 10, 2020 at 2:33 pm

      • jj joop

        March 10, 2020 at 3:39 pm

      • jj joop

        March 10, 2020 at 3:42 pm

      • Changing from phone to online claim
        Phone claims should be regularly reviewed with the claimant by both work coaches
        and case managers. They should establish whether this is still the most appropriate
        channel for them to manage their claim and their commitments are up to date.
        Where the claimant is able to develop the digital skills they need to manage an online
        claim, agents should refer to the district provision tool and signpost claimants to
        external provision for support in becoming digitally capable.
        When a claimant attains the skills and/or support to manage a claim online, take the
        following action:
         access the ‘Change from phone claim to online’ ALP which is held in the resources
        area of Universal Learning. Complete the first two sections of this ALP
         generate a ‘Change from phone claim to online’ to-do. This is only available to cases
        flagged as phone claims and only when the claimant’s identity has been verified

         this sends a link to the claimant’s email address for them to set a password. The
        service sets a user name once a password has been set

        do not give them a email address, simple as that 😉

        The claimant will then be able to manage their claim online, and see any journal
        entries previously made.
        This process should be completed face to face and only exceptionally over the phone.

        superted

        March 10, 2020 at 3:56 pm

      • If the browser isn’t excepting cookies you wont get far in with an online claim.I agree that the online idea is bad.The right to say no is being overlooked to say the least.

        ken

        March 10, 2020 at 7:48 pm

      • ken, it would be well nigh impossible for a site such as ‘apply for universal credit’ to function without using cookies. It would require at least a ‘session’ cookie for basic functionality. Otherwise, how would it retain your information as you navigated from page to page, clicked ‘submit’, etc?

        Cookie Monster

        March 10, 2020 at 11:38 pm

    • A bit like the stock markets “plunging” ~ 10%. What they don’t tell you is that stock markets are UP like 20% over the past year. The Dow Jones is up 25% on the year. You need to expand the chart from those 2 day red arrow charts they always show on the news. You would think they were trying to frighten the beejesus out of people.

      Nikkei

      March 10, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    • And they also always never mention that the stock markets pay DIVIDENDS. Returns are based solely on the index.

      Nikkei

      March 10, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    • I can’t leave my Jobseeker’s Allowance, not after all these years ! It’s been like a friend. Always there every two weeks. Not as much as you’d like. But then, aren’t friends the same ?

      James Jobseeker

      March 10, 2020 at 2:10 pm

      • It would be like a bereavement. Like losing a long term partner. People just don’t realise how attached you become. The strength of the bond.

        Jemima Jobseeker

        March 10, 2020 at 2:14 pm

      • @James Jobseeker: There are some deep and profound statements made on this blog.

        Edward

        March 10, 2020 at 2:28 pm

      • The best thing James is not to do it cold turkey. Open another bank account and pay yourself a little something into this every fortnight. And you can even say to yourself ”I’m off down the bank now to get my JSA”.

        Robert Norville

        March 11, 2020 at 9:53 am

  5. And they also always never mention that the stock markets pay DIVIDENDS. Returns AREN’T based solely on the index

    Nikkei

    March 10, 2020 at 1:41 pm

  6. Personally I’m more afraid of the DWP and universal credit than coronavirus.

    Parsifal

    March 10, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    • Me too! And I’m a school cleaner who deals with dirty tissues thrown on floors and other disgusting s…!I’m too scared to claim UC!I’m more scared of more trouble with my 2 dodgy discs than Coronavirus

      katrehman

      March 11, 2020 at 11:27 am

  7. @ Remember Parsifal, you must have faith if you are to find the Holy Grail.

    Lancelot

    March 10, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    • I am one of the three, Lancelot du Lac, along with Galahad and Bors destined to find the cup. And if you hadn’t been enjoying Queen Guinevere carnally, up, down, left, right and centre, at every opportunity, you might have joined our number as the forth brother to have succeeded in the quest. When all is said and done when you are hunting the holiest of holy artefacts there’s a lot to be said for playing with yourself.

      Parsifal

      March 10, 2020 at 2:46 pm

  8. Managed migration it has a sound,
    Like the wheels of doom turning round,
    Jobseekers Allowance now is all done.
    It’s Universal Credit for everyone.
    Why couldn’t they leave me be,
    To work or not, happy and free ?
    A claimant quietly content,
    To have his food and pay the rent.
    Is this to much to ask of life ?
    Why change this for a world of work, and strife ?

    Random Poet

    March 10, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    • @random poet. Why indeed random ? You are a philosopher of the unemployed.

      Adam G.

      March 10, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    • Ha Ha !! Random strikes again. A poet for our times.

      Nathan

      March 11, 2020 at 9:49 am

  9. Since all the face masks are being taken off the market, you can now only have a Government Approved Face Mask. The Government Think Tank Design Team are busy making designs so they can be made in China like the Brexit Sand Bags that never turned up in the floods because Brexit Sand Bags are Made In China. The new Government approved Face Masks will have al different designs like the Iain Duncan Smith Face Mask with IDS’s face printed on the face mask. David ‘Dodgy’ Cameroon Face Mask will be popular. But the most popular face mask will be the Boris Johnson Printed face mask. When will these Government Approved Face Mask be ready since they are made in China !!!

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    March 10, 2020 at 8:19 pm

  10. @ Random Poet

    You make it sound like people are on the dole because they don’t want a job, are lazy or just want a cushy life – “happy and free…quietly content”. I am not content, far from it. There are no jobs that I am capable of doing, or even getting to. If I could find some job that I found rewarding, or at least could put up with without becoming severely depressed, and that paid a reasonable wage, and wasn’t too far away, and wasn’t physically exhausting, then I would do it, but no such job exists that I have the relevant skills and experience to do. I have done many different jobs over the years and thoroughly hated every second of it, but I also hate being on the dole, living in poverty and having to answer to the DWP like I’m a naughty schoolboy or a criminal. I quite like doing voluntary work at the foodbank, and in the past have done voluntary conservation work, tree planting etc. which I enjoyed doing. I think that the DWP ought to leave people alone if they are doing voluntary work, and maybe pay a higher rate of Benefit.

    trev

    March 10, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    • trev get some indoor trees growing 😉

      https://herbiesheadshop.com/collections/feminized

      https://www.thctalk.com/cannabis-forum/forum.php

      rrp £10 per gram, tax free 😉

      superted

      March 10, 2020 at 9:58 pm

      • One neighbour who did not want to be named said: “I was walking to the pub and as I went past there was a strong smell of weed.

        The Jobcentre is just over the road so you get used to that but it was very strong, as if I was in the same room.

        https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/gloucester-news/six-arrested-after-police-raid-3289716

        superted

        March 10, 2020 at 10:03 pm

      • I used to have some outdoor trees growing a few years ago, a tree nursery consisting of 1200 Oak saplings in root-trainers that I was managing for a local charity project, but I didn’t have a outdoor tap or hose pipe, so I had to water them with buckets of water carried out of the house, which cost me money on my water bill, and took me about 2 hours each day. The charity never came back to collect the saplings because they forgot about them and when I eventually reminded them they said they couldn’t come because their trailer had been stolen. They all died in the end.

        trev

        March 10, 2020 at 10:20 pm

  11. The loony Tory MP and Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Nadine Dorries, has got coronavirus. Please God let Therese Coffey fall under corona’s spell as well, as soon as possible.

    Scribbler

    March 11, 2020 at 7:33 am

  12. What I am really curious about is why are people stocking up on toilet paper?

    Are they ******** themselves at the prospect of catching coronavirus?😁

    Violet

    March 11, 2020 at 9:32 am

    • I think it must be the number one essential in peoples’ minds, they can’t bear the thought of running out, unlike the rest of us who regularly run out of money and have had to resort to stealing bog roll from toilets in the library, or been forced to use/re-use an old j-cloth from under the sink…

      trev

      March 11, 2020 at 9:44 am

  13. As it’s Budget Day….

    Andrew Coates

    March 11, 2020 at 10:34 am

    • And,

      Andrew Coates

      March 11, 2020 at 10:35 am

    • If this virus is such a terrible threat why aren’t Dorries colleagues self isolating themselves? Something smells fishy here don’t you think.

      Violet

      March 11, 2020 at 2:52 pm

      • Nadine is in her sixties and probably a bit leaky so what would you expect?

        Snappy Nappy

        March 11, 2020 at 5:37 pm

  14. Reblogged this on Tory Britain!.

    A6er

    March 11, 2020 at 11:13 am

  15. Anyone else experiencing problems with Indeed? It won’t let me log-in but let’s me apply for jobs by sending me a verification code to my email, a different code for each job.

    trev

    March 11, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    • @trev – Have you reached the application limit for the site ?

      Jason

      March 11, 2020 at 1:32 pm

      • I don’t know anything about an application limit, if so they haven’t told me. It was just behaving weirdly. I was on the library computer using Google Chrome.

        trev

        March 11, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    • I had problems briefly for a few minutes yesterday

      my_final_username

      March 11, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    • Indeed looks as if it’s being overhauled and not all of it is working. For example the site asks if you want the site to “remember” you for a month, i.e., store your login details in cookies locally on the computer you are using, and then doesn’t even if you check the box to allow this to happen. And then every time you apply for a job you have to verify the email address you have used by entering a code sent to that email address in order to proceed, same as you do when using 2-step verification. This used to be the best job-board going but at the moment look different and has become flaky to use.

      Dark they were and golden eyed...

      March 11, 2020 at 5:29 pm

      • Yeah that’s what was happening this aft. It seems to have gone to pot.

        trev

        March 11, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    • @Violet: Wow! That is really weird. It’s just the same as now. And there was a laboratory near the Wuhan market, reported on by the Daily Express, which seemed to suggest a possible virus leak contaminated the market area.The Chinese scientists were actually studying bats infected by coronavirus.

      Lucy

      March 11, 2020 at 1:30 pm

  16. Yes Lucy this has all been planned for decades!

    Violet

    March 11, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    • Surely the House of Lords can’t be still sitting. Most of the them are pretty elderly.

      Wuhan A

      March 11, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    • Researcher Benjamin Fulford supposedly has ‘evidence’ of corona virus victims bleeding from their eyes, ears and lungs.

      Alex J

      March 11, 2020 at 5:17 pm

      • Benjamin Fulford, like David Wilcock and a host of others, makes a living out of disseminating fearmongering BS.

        trev

        March 11, 2020 at 5:33 pm

  17. There has been that many stories put out about the crow virus that one doesn’t know what to believe, I suspect that is the intention, to sow discord and eventually cause such chaos that the f¥ckheads who instigated it all can save us all with their nwo, out of chaos comes order!

    Tigerlily

    March 11, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    • We got this information supposedly at our fingertips but we don’t know who to believe. Is the government playing it down to prevent damage to the economy. Is a conspiracy site bigging it up to sell us a hazmat suit? Someones must be making a mint on the money markets for sure. As the masons say: Ardo ab Chao – Order out of Chaos. Some fucker has set this off whatever it is – on purpose.

      Ardo Ab Chao

      March 11, 2020 at 2:09 pm

  18. How about a Nadine Dorries face mask. I think a Theresa May Face Mask it will go better with my Theresa May hair style.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    March 11, 2020 at 2:31 pm

  19. Coffey has no Disability Confidence in her own scheme, DWP
    Therese Coffey speaking to the work and pensions committee

    Coffey has no Disability Confidence in her own scheme, DWP list suggests

    By John Pring DNSon 5th March 2020

    Work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey appears to have failed to sign up to her own department’s flagship disability employment scheme, despite employing staff herself in her role as an MP.

    Coffey (pictured) has been in post since last September and has been an MP since 2010, but a DWP document appears to show that she has still not signed up to Disability Confident, which was launched in 2013, even though – like all MPs – she employs staff to assist with her parliamentary duties.

    The discredited scheme aims to encourage employers to “think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people”.

    Three of Coffey’s ministers – Justin Tomlinson, the minister for disabled people; Mims Davies, the employment minister; and Guy Opperman, the minister for pensions – have signed up, according to the latest list published by the department on Tuesday (3 May).

    In all, the latest database shows that nearly 70 MPs are members of Disability Confident, including many from opposition parties.

    Last November, in a press release marking the third anniversary of Disability Confident, Coffey called on employers to “take a look at their record on disability employment and think about what they can do to help create a more equal Britain”.

    But she appears to have failed to take her own advice.

    The scheme has been heavily-criticised since its introduction in 2013.

    You are here: Home / Employment / Coffey has no Disability Confidence in her own scheme, DWP list suggests
    Therese Coffey speaking to the work and pensions committee
    Coffey has no Disability Confidence in her own scheme, DWP list suggests
    By John Pring on 5th March 2020
    Category: Employment

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    Listen with webReader

    Focus
    Work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey appears to have failed to sign up to her own department’s flagship disability employment scheme, despite employing staff herself in her role as an MP.

    Coffey (pictured) has been in post since last September and has been an MP since 2010, but a DWP document appears to show that she has still not signed up to Disability Confident, which was launched in 2013, even though – like all MPs – she employs staff to assist with her parliamentary duties.

    The discredited scheme aims to encourage employers to “think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people”.

    Three of Coffey’s ministers – Justin Tomlinson, the minister for disabled people; Mims Davies, the employment minister; and Guy Opperman, the minister for pensions – have signed up, according to the latest list published by the department on Tuesday (3 May).

    In all, the latest database shows that nearly 70 MPs are members of Disability Confident, including many from opposition parties.

    Last November, in a press release marking the third anniversary of Disability Confident, Coffey called on employers to “take a look at their record on disability employment and think about what they can do to help create a more equal Britain”.

    But she appears to have failed to take her own advice.

    The scheme has been heavily-criticised since its introduction in 2013.

    Figures secured last year by Disability News Service through a freedom of information request showed that the 13,600 employers that had signed up to the scheme by 13 September 2019 had pledged to provide just 8,763 paid jobs for disabled people between them, an average of just 0.64 jobs per employer.

    Members of the scheme include many large employers such as local authorities, government departments, manufacturers, national charities, banks and retailers, including the big four supermarkets, more than 100 NHS trusts, and high street banks.

    But Coffey is not the only work and pensions secretary who appears to have failed to support the scheme.

    Of all the Tory MPs to have held the post since Iain Duncan Smith launched the scheme in 2013, only two – Stephen Crabbe and Damian Green* – have signed up to Disability Confident, according to the DWP list.

    Duncan Smith himself, Esther McVey, David Gauke, and Amber Rudd all appear to have snubbed it.

    McVey’s apparent failure to sign up to Disability Confident is particularly embarrassing because she claims to have created the scheme herself – when she was minister for disabled people, under Duncan Smith – in 2013, and has repeatedly called on employers to sign up.

    Gauke and Rudd are no longer MPs, but DNS contacted Coffey, Duncan Smith and McVey yesterday, and none of them had responded to questions by noon today (Thursday).

    DNS also put questions to Will Quince, the current minister for welfare delivery, who has also failed to sign up to Disability Confident. He also had failed to comment by noon today.

    The scheme has been criticised as “trivially easy to abuse” and allows employers to describe themselves as “disability confident” without being assessed on that claim, and without employing a single disabled person.

    Three years ago, DWP declared itself a gold-standard employer of disabled people under the scheme – securing the status of “Disability Confident Leader” – just days before being found guilty of “grave and systematic violations” of the UN disability convention.

    *Although Damian Green is not listed as a member of the scheme, he said this morning in an email that he had signed up and that he had a disabled member of staff

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    March 11, 2020 at 2:40 pm

  20. Andrew Coates

    March 11, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    • Universal Credit minimum income floor scrapped over coronavirus – here’s what it means.

      Universal Credit includes a Minimum Income Floor if you are gainfully self-employed – but exactly how does it work and what has changed because of the coronavirus crisis?

      Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed in the March 2020 budget that the MIF will be scrapped to help the economy during the coronavirus outbreak.

      He did not say how long this would be in place but did say it was part of a package of measures to tackle the impact of the epidemic.

      IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) welcomed the changes.

      A spokesman said: “The major problem with Universal Credit for the self-employed has always been that the MIF does not account for their fluctuating incomes.

      “If removing it means freelancers and the self-employed can secure the equivalent of their income if they have to self-isolate or are ill during the coronavirus crisis, this is very welcome.”

      On top of this, rules on visits to jobcentres will also be relaxed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

      Universal Credit claimaints will no longer be required to call in to discuss their circumstances with a work coach.

      They can instead do this online and via the phone, in a bid to lower the risk of infections spreading.

      Under normal circumstances, the MIF won’t be applied for up to a year if you show you are building your business.

      So if you start working for yourself and within a year are taking steps to boost your earnings, you are then eligible for what’s called a start up period.

      This means the Minimum Income Floor will not be applied to you for up to a year, and you won’t be required to look for or take up alternative employment during that time.

      Your actual earnings will be taken into account to work out your Universal Credit award during this time.

      The DWP will expect you to take steps to build your business and increase your earnings – and provide evidence of this during your quarterly interviews.

      If you don’t, your start up period could be ended and the Minimum Income Floor applied to your claim.

      If your self-employment changes, for example if you decide to start a different kind of business, you would not automatically get another start up period, as you are only entitled to one for each self-employment and only once every five years.

      https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/universal-credit-minimum-income-floor-17904920

      Andrew Coates

      March 11, 2020 at 3:52 pm

      • More on the Budget:

        Andrew Coates

        March 11, 2020 at 4:07 pm

      • Benefits rise of 1.7%

        Does that apply to JSA too, and is that on top of the rise due in April following the end of the freeze? Or is it just referring to that planned rise that we already know about? It’s bugger-all in effect though. Benefits need to be increased by 30% to lift people out of poverty, and then the Min. “Living” Wage would need to be at least £15 per hour.

        trev

        March 11, 2020 at 4:53 pm

      • Nothing about housing benefit or local housing allowance being increased. The 1.7% only applies to the living expenses type of benefit like Jobseeker’s Allowance etc., and the housing cost type of benefit looks as if it is set to stay frozen indefinitely.

        Bowie

        March 11, 2020 at 5:32 pm

  21. 67p rise on a packet of baccy. Bastards. And they wonder why people resort to smoking the fake shit.

    trev

    March 11, 2020 at 6:19 pm

  22. “A custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black, stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless.” A Counterblaste To Tobacco 1604 King James 1

    This Filthy Novelty

    March 11, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    • Jamestown was founded on tobacco and the Virginia Trading Company set up by Sir Francis Bacon was instrumental in the settlement of America. Since then the Crown has received a King’s ransom in Revenues on tobacco, to the point where the price is extortionate.

      trev

      March 11, 2020 at 7:47 pm

  23. So, a sobering moment for me the other day when I discovered the sheet of paper my CV is printed on would have more value to an employer if it was blank.
    I have no fancy skills with Microsoft packages as I mainly use OpenOffice (Word) for typing and can’t mail merge, my skills with Excel go as far as basic charts and graphs with no knowledge of complex formulae functions and I don’t use Outlook cos I prefer Yahoo.
    My job experiences could be replicated by any school leaver desk monkey and I’ve never really worked in a team cos my bosses give me individual tasks and I do ’em.
    I have no references cos my last employer was 4 years ago and I’ve likely been forgotten by the lot of ’em.

    Why is there no abundance in data entry jobs or something where you don’t have to deal with the public? All the Jobcentre can suggest is working in a call centre and the last time I did that full-time I nearly had a mental breakdown from being yelled at by complaining customers all day long and having no time to unwind before I had to sleep, get up and do it again the next day. I feel like I have nothing to offer anyone anymore… perhaps a consequence of the benefit trap and being stuck on it for so long.

    Nameless

    March 11, 2020 at 8:19 pm

    • @ Nameless

      I kinda know where you’re coming from mate, though I could at least say that I have teamworking experience from the voluntary I do, but genuine paid employment was so long ago most of the firms I worked for don’t exist anymore. I’ve done computer courses that included Excel but can’t remember anything about it and have never used it in a proper job. And it gets worse as you get older. Most jobs I see are either Production or Warehouse, all many miles away, often shift work, and invariably described as “fast paced”,and “target driven”, or involves heavy lifting, meaning they don’t want 50/60 year old blokes who haven’t worked for years. I apply anyway, just to get the automatic confirmation emails for jobsearch evidence. It’s a pointless charade and I’ll be glad when I can retire.

      trev

      March 11, 2020 at 8:47 pm

  24. Like everything else if you want an answer to your question you have to follow the money. ‘Coronavirus’ is a Jam-boy (and girl) engineered scam to crash the financial the same strain of fuckers who engineered the 2008 and the ones before are making a mint as assets tumble in price. And then this ‘pandemic’ passes they will make a further mint when the markets ‘rebound’ and the sell back the assess the assets they bought from distressed fear-induced buyers during the ‘fire-sale’. The Jam-controlled media is playing their part as always. Warren Buffet: “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when other are fearful”.

    George Soros

    March 12, 2020 at 6:46 am

    • @ George

      What do you mean by”Jam” ? Just about managing?

      trev

      March 12, 2020 at 2:35 pm

  25. Like everything else if you want an answer to your question you have to follow the money. ‘Coronavirus’ is a Jam-boy (and girl) engineered scam to crash the financial markets the same strain of fuckers who engineered the 2008 and the ones before are making a mint as assets tumble in price. And when this ‘pandemic’ passes and we are laughing at what a crock ‘coronavirus’ was they will make a further mint when the markets ‘rebound’ and they sell back the the assets they bought from distressed fear-induced buyers during the ‘fire-sale’. The Jam-controlled media is playing their part as always. Warren Buffet: “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when other are fearful”.

    George Soros

    March 12, 2020 at 6:48 am

    • Indeed, George. The Dow Jones previous low was 21,272 on 24/12/2018. Dow Jones is currently at 23,553. So still not at what it was at the rear end of 2018. What Asda call a ‘roll-back’ before they jack the prices up 😉

      Fearmonger

      March 12, 2020 at 7:02 am

  26. ‘Corona virus’ cobblers is ‘climate change’ cobblers on steroids. Financial markets tanking, flights banned…
    ‘Corona virus ‘brought to you by the same scam artists who brought you ‘climate change’.

    Greta Thimbleberg

    March 12, 2020 at 7:50 am

  27. BoJo intends to ‘delay’ the ‘outbreak’ of this ‘corona virus’ ‘epidemic’ to the ‘middle of summer’. Like we have ever had the seasonal flu doing the rounds in the middle of the summer. 😀 And why has the China ‘outbreak’ dropped of the news Corona virus is a load of horseshit.

    bev

    March 12, 2020 at 7:54 am

  28. The smartphone has to be be dumbest invention ever. it is because ‘they’ have got most of us ‘plugged in’ to ‘the matrix’ that it is so easy for ‘them’ to spread fear and panic. Do you think that if we had no smartphones. internet, TV, radio or newspapers or a town crier even that we would be running around like headless chickens buying toilet rolls and beans?

    Propganda

    March 12, 2020 at 8:09 am

  29. The sums & facts:

    UK – Population 70 million.
    World – Population 5.5 billion.

    Number of deaths in UK 2018 (Winter deaths) *23,137 deaths between December 2017 and March 2018!
    UK- *50,100 (winter deaths) in UK 2018!!

    Number of Winter deaths World wide 2018 ——–> between *291,000 to 646,000*!!!

    Corona virus World wide fatalities *4,633!!!!

    1. *= mortality total.
    2. (winter deaths) = are a mild way of saying Influenza or influenza related & was the term the UK Government used to keep people calm instead of creating mass hysteria like the Governments are doing all over the World with this Pandemic.

    Am I missing something here?
    Italy soon to be Germany on lock down, Sporting events cancelled, postponed or cancelled!

    Is there something they are not telling us? As over 23,000 deaths JUST in bonny Scotland vs over 4 & a half thousand deaths World wide is not making sense!!

    Why was Scotland, England & Wales not on lock-down in 2018 as those numbers against the Corona virus are astronomical on each country within the UK compared to Global numbers….

    UK drug related deaths 5546
    World wide drug deaths over 250,000 in year 2018.
    Italy mortality average age of deaths from Corona is 80+ & children are strong against it.
    For the World to close down & lose its mind to these, to be honest paltry figures for Corona compared to what is out there killing people at an alarming rate does not balance, I know there is the come back to the infection % BUT the numbers do not accumulate to what is happening World wide. Fit healthy people will not become a statistic where as there are other viruses/diseases that will kill anyone no matter how healthy you are Stone Cold Dead!

    I honestly do not get this nonsense at all, why has Orson Welles made a come back from Corona??

    Point to note You have Pandemic, epidemic but you also have a ‘Endemic’ which is a all year round virus, disease that does not go away with temperature rise like influenza, an endemic is always present.

    The Endemic that is – Malaria – killed 405 000 people in year 2018 hmmmm

    And as superted has already mentioned 1400 DIE!!!! everyday in the UK

    Anything to crash the Asian markets………….

    Fact Checker

    March 12, 2020 at 9:25 am

    • Anything to prevent Trump from winning a second term.

      KEEP AMERICA GREAT – TRUMP 2020

      Redneck

      March 12, 2020 at 9:32 am

  30. Boris is right that the government’s priority is to protect the elderly and disabled from this virus. If the young and able-bodied die because they can’t get a hospital bed or treatment it will be sad but the most vulnerable must take priority.

    Edith

    March 12, 2020 at 10:17 am

  31. The mystery of why Trump bans entry from everywhere in Europe except Britain and Ireland now solved.

    Andrew Coates

    March 12, 2020 at 10:22 am

    • He’s banned incoming flights from Europe but not Asia/Far East? I think he’s just trying to look like he’s doing something.

      trev

      March 12, 2020 at 2:41 pm


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