Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Posts Tagged ‘Mandatory Work Activity

Name and Shame Workfare Exploiters!

with 41 comments

Refuted carried this information yesterday,

Court orders DWP to name and shame workfare exploiters

View full decision: “The DECISION of the Upper Tribunal is to dismiss the [DWP] appeals” https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bwd25z9g2tFPNzZfbVdQSFRZM3JwZzVwX1hDS01Kc0R0V05z/edit?pli=1 (download as a PDF) and the full history of one of the FOI request’s of 25 January 2012, concerning the names of Mandatory Work Activity placement hosts. This tribunal decision concerned DWP appeals against three ICO decision notices (FS50438037,FS50438502 and FS50441818) all requiring the DWP to name workfare placement hosts.

Above via https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/successful_bidders

On the 15th of July we carried this on the notorious SEETEC (which ‘delivers’ workfare in the Eastern Region, including Ipswich).

We are interested in approaches from all organisations which feel may be able to offer project or placement opportunities. We have expert supervisors in place to manage and run projects but we are also happy to discuss existing projects which have supervisors already in place.

Of particular interest are opportunities which exist within Local councils and Housing Providers to increase numbers on existing projects or to create new projects of benefit to their residents and the local area they serve.

Examples of such projects include estate maintenance and local renovation, groundswork, horticulture, recycling as well as administration, customer service and sales, warehousing, distribution and cleaning services. The list of potential projects is almost endless.
If you are interested in working with Seetec to develop innovative and engaging ideas for the delivery of CWP please e-mail in the first instance to: bizdev@seeetec.co.uk or call Peter Walkerley, Business Development and Partnership Manager on: 01702 201070 Ext. 8262.

Alternatively, if you would like to offer support in the form of venues, projects or placements please call Seetec on freephone: 0800 65 25 414.

Who are the exploiters SEETEC operates with?

We want to know!

Update.

Meanwhile Boycott Workfare has its own list of workfare exploiters here.

Community Work Placements: the Final Bow of Iain ‘Limpet’ Duncan Smith.

with 42 comments

 

Close Relatives of Iain Duncan Smith in Welfare-to-Work Industry.

Cabinet Reshuffle, “once again welfare reforms minister Iain Duncan Smith has been left in situ, despite widespread claims his controversial universal credit scheme is in crisis. He previously refused a move and it is not known whether Cameron even attempted to shuffle him this time around.” International Business Times.

As Iain ‘Limpet’ Duncan Smith clings to his Cabinet post he will have to look at the unemployment figures.

The Independent today reports the TUC saying that,

The jobless rate stood at 5.2 per cent in the first three months of 2008 and the TUC will point to an analysis it has conducted of official figures showing that half a million fewer people were unemployed then than in January-March 2014.

It is, as Boycott Workfare states, of public notoriety that,

People on workfare placements are counted as “employed” in government statistics.

The Office of National Statistics confirmed this in response to a parliamentary question.

These are the main schemes,

  • Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) – The scheme mandates four weeks’ unpaid work for up to 30 hours a week. Although the government claims it is “community work”, its definition of this includes working “for the profit of the host organisation.”. Claimants can face losing benefits for 3 months the first time they do not take part, and this can go up to 3 years for the third time. Claimant’s can, and are, referred to MWA at any point in their claim.
  • The Work Programme – This is essentially a for profit Job Centre you are forced to attend normally after 9-12 months on JSA where you can be forced to carry out workfare at the whim of the private provider. Figures are not available for the number of mandatory work placements under this programme, but Ingeus (owned by city financiers Deloitte) force people to do six month long workfare placements. The Work Programme, is expected to cost  the taxpayer £5 billion pounds.
  • Steps to Work – The equivalent of the Work Programme in Northern Ireland.
  • Community Work Placements (Help to Work).

The last on the list has yet to get really going.

But we note that Iain Duncan Smith’s fellow rock pool life are busy organising it.

The attractions – ‘reducing’ unemployment – are too obvious to underline.

Plus there’s a pretty penny to be made replacing properly paid workers for essential jobs (see below – we are not joking!).

Community Work Placements

Seetec wins Community Work Placements contracts in five areas.

The DWP have recently announced the winners of the Community Work Placement contracts.

Seetec is delighted to have been successful in the following Contract Package Areas:
CPA 1: East of England: Beds & Herts; Cambridge and Suffolk; Essex; Norfolk
CPA 7: North West 2:  Greater Manchester Central, Greater Manchester East and West, Cheshire and Warrington
CPA 10: South East 2: Kent; Surrey and Sussex
CPA 12: South West 2: Gloucester, Wiltshire and Swindon; West of England
CPA 14: West Midlands 1:  Birmingham and Solihull; Black Country

This two year contract part of the government’s Help to Work scheme designed to reach out to the ‘hardest to help’ jobseekers to help them find employment and break the cycle of benefit dependency. Beneficiaries of this programme will undertake work placement opportunities of up to 30 hours a week lasting up to 26 weeks and will be further supported with up to ten hours of job search activity per week.

We are keen to identify opportunities for local projects or work placements which currently exist or could be created in order to improve the local community as well as the confidence and employability prospects of individuals who take part. Placements could be within group projects or in the form of single placements and must all be of community benefit.

We are interested in approaches from all organisations which feel may be able to offer project or placement opportunities. We have expert supervisors in place to manage and run projects but we are also happy to discuss existing projects which have supervisors already in place.

Of particular interest are opportunities which exist within Local councils and Housing Providers to increase numbers on existing projects or to create new projects of benefit to their residents and the local area they serve.

Examples of such projects include estate maintenance and local renovation, groundswork, horticulture, recycling as well as administration, customer service and sales, warehousing, distribution and cleaning services. The list of potential projects is almost endless.
If you are interested in working with Seetec to develop innovative and engaging ideas for the delivery of CWP please e-mail in the first instance to: bizdev@seeetec.co.uk or call Peter Walkerley, Business Development and Partnership Manager on: 01702 201070 Ext. 8262.

Alternatively, if you would like to offer support in the form of venues, projects or placements please call Seetec on freephone: 0800 65 25 414.

Why not contact SEETEC and tell them what you think of their plans to get unpaid workers to do the jobs of

” estate maintenance and local renovation, groundswork, horticulture, recycling as well as administration, customer service and sales, warehousing, distribution and cleaning services.” ?

The Void today publishes a case study in how one money-grubbing workfare scheme operates.

Ipswich Labour Party (and Borough Council) Against Workfare.

with 85 comments

fwd from
John Cook
Secretary/Agent
Ipswich Labour Party
www.ipswich-labour.org.uk

Ipswich Borough Council will not take part in Government unpaid work schemes

Ipswich Borough Council has confirmed that it will not offer unpaid work under the Government’s ‘Help to Work’ schemes, ramped up versions of which came into force at the end of April.

Under the schemes, known as ‘workfare’, there are mandatory work activity and community work programmes in which benefit claimants are placed on 30-hour a week jobs without pay and with the threat of their benefits being removed. The mandatory work activity programme is for 4 weeks and community work placements for 6 months.

It has also emerged recently that there could be sanctions for those who refuse to take a job on a zero-hours contract.

Campaigners have been calling for the government to remove the schemes, which they say are not working and which lock people deeper into poverty.

Today Ipswich Council has stated it will not be participating.

Council Leader David Ellesmere said:

“As a council we aim to be a good employer. That’s why we pay our staff the Living Wage and why we don’t employ staff on zero hours contracts.

It’s right that if someone can work, then they should. But they should also be paid a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

The effect of the Government’s unpaid work schemes will just be to undercut the wages of people already in work, adding to the cost of living crisis already affecting families in Ipswich.”

end—

Comment: This is a good reason why we like Ipswich Labour Party.

Liverpool, Ipswich, follow the lead!

Mandatory Work Activity, Workfare and Sanctions.

with 26 comments

Boycott Workfare states,

As things currently stand following the ruling by three judges in the Court of Appeal on 12th February, our understanding is that:

1) If people are currently under sanctions from the unlawful schemes, these sanctions should be lifted immediately and they should be put back to first tier sanctions. If you are currently under sanction from one of the unlawful schemes but it has not been lifted, please get in touch.

2) Unless people have been sent updated notices under reg 5 of the new regulations then there cannot be a requirement for them to attend any of the schemes they have been sent on (except Mandatory Work Activity). As Public Interest Lawyers put it:

“The DWP made it clear in submissions to the court that the immediate effect of the judgment was that they would be unable to require people to attend affected schemes and that must be the case. Until lawful Regulations are passed and new notifications are sent out I struggle to see how attendance can be required on the affected schemes.”

3) Unless the government wins the right to appeal to the Supreme Court and wins that appeal, then people who were sanctioned on any of the unlawful schemes should be paid the benefits that were withheld. However the government has indicated it will not consider paying this until the appeal decision has been made. We will make sure people know how to get their money back as soon as we find out.

So, for anyone say on a 6 month sanction that sanction should be immediately lifted, their benefits reinstated and they should then go back to the first tier of sanctions (they cannot impose the longer sanctions until there has been the repeated failure to participate).

Ipswich Unemployed Action adds,

Some people have tried to find ways out of Manadatory Work Activity (MWA)

This appears to be the position regarding MWA,

Freedom of Information request for MWA guidance dated 13 January 2013:
 http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/mwa_guidance

“Claimant ceases to claim JSA between point of referral and start date of MWA placement
52. In this scenario the Advisory Team must ensure that the provider is aware of the claim closure reason and updates PRaP accordingly. The Advisory Team may also wish to record the circumstances of the case (e.g. as an LMS Conversation) so that should the claimant return to JSA, consideration can be given to returning them to MWA. Read the rest of this entry »

Mandatory Work Activity: a Personal Experience.

with 16 comments

We publish this moving  guest post (with permission) by somebody who has undergone MWA.

Places and names are lightly disguised.

“To whom it may concern,

I have completed my 4 weeks of Mandatory Work Activities at a well-known Religious Charity and I have 3 things to say:

1) That it  is true that Provider X  is very tight when it comes to reimburse travel expenses:  I was asked to pay upfront for my weekly bus pass and every time I went to L to get my expenses back they, in general, never had any money left. When I asked for my 2 weeks fare to be reimburse they kind of accused me for not having come the previous week. They finally gave me the £18.80x 2 in 2 notes of £5, £4 in coins of £2 and the rest in 20p coins. The following week they told me that they did not have  money and that I would have to come back another day. I refused to leave, asked to speak to the manager who ended up collecting money (some of the notes clamped in between is two rows of teeth while looking for the remaining amount in the petty box. As if I wanted to share is mouth germs. On hearth???) from his own employees to pay back my fare. Pitiful, really!

I also had to travel a total of 2 hours and an  half, each day, to go to my work place.  Not that I would have mind doing it If I had been paid.

On the last week going to Provider X, to collect my transportation fare, I had to face the aggressive behavior of my advisor who was furious that I and two others on the same scheme had arrived half an hour late.  As if we had the choice to leave our work place at will?  As a result I felt like a kid who had done something terribly wrong and found myself stammering while answering.

Since Provider X  never reimburse the fare without showing the receipt (my MWA finished on a Monday, which mean I did not have a bus pass for the week but, simply some single tickets) it resulted that my return ticket from L  to my home was at my own expense: £2.30. In my situation… every little helps! and I was at lost.

2)  I was sent to MWA despite the fact that, and on my own initiative, I was already volunteering (three times a week) in a place where I was learning true valuable skills which could lead me, in the future, to potential employment. When I questioned my advisor on the matter, he simply answer that it was about being employed. My work placement was at the well-known Religious Charity  and, truly, he ought to have known that there were very little, not to say any, chances to be employed by this charity who mainly depend on volunteers in order to survive. Not to mention that, apart from sorting out the clothes, among other things, that are fit to go in the shop for sale, and going up and down the stairs at length, carrying heavy loads of heavy bags of rubbish throughout the day, I hardly learn anything valuable that would have helped me to find a job. All what I learned, with an absolute certitude though, is the extend of the society of consumerism in which we are living in: It’s staggering!

3)  I would also like to mention that the reason for why I have been on JSA is a direct result of the government cuts. I was a self-employed person partly depending on founding/ partly on tax credit and delivered art workshops to people of all age groups. I am now baffled on how the actual government can cut so much of these valuable, necessary and appreciated workshops that helped and supported many; contributing in taking lots of teenager off the street and gave a sense to their life and yet, still be able to gather 5 billion pounds on MWA.

Finally, I do not know if the information I provided above will be of any help to you, I shall hope so. In any case however, I really wanted you to know that I deeply appreciate what you are doing for the unemployed and the rest.”

N

Written by Andrew Coates

November 30, 2012 at 11:41 am

Mandatory Work Activity Preferred Bidders: ATOS and Other Chancers…

with 18 comments

Mandatory Work Activity – The scheme mandates four weeks’ unpaid work for up to 30 hours a week. Although the government claims it is “community work”, its definition of this includes working “for the profit of the host  organisation.

Mandatory Work Activity Preferred Bidders. Update: Friday 13 July 2012

Following a re-let exercise for CPA 01, the preferred bidders for Mandatory Work Activity are now as follows:

CPA CPA Name Preferred Bidder
CPA1 South East Atos
CPA2 South West Rehab Group
CPA3 London Seetec
CPA4 East of England Seetec
CPA5 East Midlands Ingeus
CPA6 West Midlands ESG
CPA7 North West JHP Group
CPA8 Yorkshire and Humber BEST
CPA9 North East Ingeus
CPA10 Scotland JHP Group
CPA11 Wales Rehab Group
 
Hat-Tip to Tobanem.
 
This is the full list of the companies getting their hands on forced labour contracts.
 
Nobody will be surprised that ATOS – with their ‘record’ – got their pushy feet through the door.
 

SEETEC is one of Britain’s top 100 ‘fastest growing companies’.

Seetec Business Technology Centre is another of the select handful of companies who also made last year’s Hot 100 list. In fact, despite the ravages of the recession, this recruitment and training company comfortably made it into our top 20 again. Founded in 1984, Seetec, based in Essex, has become one of the largest and most experienced providers of government-funded welfare to work and skills-training programmes. The company employs more than 500 people across a national network of 50 employment and training centres, and helps thousands of people each year to find work or gain qualifications through a diverse portfolio of employability or skills contracts. Last year, Seetec pulled in £21.2m in sales and profits of £2.112m. This enabled the company, which is 56 per cent owned by founder Peter Cooper, to pay total dividends of £990,608. Some ten per cent of the company’s shares are owned by an employee trust .

In 2011 the Guardian reports,  Peter Cooper, was paid nearly £2m in salary and share dividends.

We reported last year that  Seetec is reportedly refusing to reimburse travel expenses for those attending their Ipswich centre for complusory interviews for less than 2 hours.

 Rehab group is an Irish and British ‘Charity’.

This scandal broke in the Irish Republic last year (Here),
 

Former Miss World Rosanna Davison helped launch the charity’s online bingo site Former Miss World Rosanna Davison helped launch the charity’s online bingo site

The Sunday Times can reveal that the Rehab Group, Ireland’s largest disability-services charity, has received more than €365m from various state agencies in the past five years.

More than €33m of it came from the Charitable Lotteries Fund, set up to compensate charities for income lost to the National Lottery. Rehab’s total income from the fund since it was established in 1997 exceeds €75m.

It emerged three weeks ago that Angela Kerins, chief executive of Rehab Group, has an annual remuneration package worth more than €400,000. The charity, which employs 3,500 people and has a €200m annual turnover, says senior executives’ salaries are not drawn from state funds.

 
 The Guardian reports this on Ingeus, “Therese Rein, managing director of Ingeus, whose company paid £3.8m in dividends last year – Rein holds around 97% of its shares.”
 
 
JHP group is a model of transparency. |Of its Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director and  Jim Chambers we know this: “Annual Compensation: There is no Annual Compensation data available.Stocks Options: There is no Stock Options data available.

Total Compensation. There is no Total Compensation data available.

 
ESG is closely linked to  Sovereign Capital, a private equity company that makes a good living from public funds,
 
ESG: Gavin Freed Chief Executive.Gavin joined esg. as CEO in September 2010, while maintaining his role as CEO of Paragon Skills which he has held since May 2007. Paragon is a sister company to esg. being part of Sovereign Capital, a leading private equity group. Gavin’s role focuses on managing the executive team in its achievement of the operational and strategic business objectives of the two companies. His involvement with both allows esg.’s predominance in the north and Paragon’s strength in the south to combine and create a powerful, national provider integrating the best of employability and skills services.

BEST (Building Engineering Services Training) is a leading UK training provider for the Building Services Engineering (BSE) sector. 

They look like a company simply cashing in on the Employment Programme bonanza  for private ‘providers’.

A4e fraud: current Mandatory Work Activity contract in jeopardy

with 33 comments

A4e could be in shit. deep shit. Not some contract from the past… but now they are being investigated for fraud on a live contract.

Don’t get your hopes up though. Mandatory Work Activity scheme is a DWP set-up bribes for benefit sanctions workfare scheme. Its sole intention is forcing people off benefits (either sign off or 3 month sanctions) more than enslaving people to work for nothing (I wont mention that every National Minimum Wage group except the top one will be frozen this October. Oh, too bad I just did!).  Be late again (or commit any “offence”) that 3 months becomes 6 months. Yes, you guessed it the likes of A4e keeps the “bribe” regardless if you complete 4 weeks, do one day or don’t start. That is not fraud. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Universal Jobmatch

March 9, 2012 at 4:25 pm