Withdraw consent from Work Programme Providers

Completely revised: 04 Mar 14 – Now with updated comments on consent from DWP (28/2/14) in Part 1, New letter in Annex A, to stop employers sharing personal data with DWP/Providers/Subcontractors and new Part 8 on Jobsearch activity and 8.1 Jobsearch evidence. Footnote references/links updated 26 Aug 14.

Brilliant letter to withhold or withdraw consent from DWP Work Programme Providers/Subcontractors [for your editing or amendment]

[Caution: Please do not post copies of the letter below anywhere else online, as it is always subject to amendment and revision]

If you are referred to a Subcontractor, it is very important to give a copy of this letter to the Prime Provider as well.

—- start—–

(Your address)
My ref: (national insurance number)

Dear [Provider’s and or/Subcontractor’s name],

RE: Authority and Consent to Collecting/Gathering/Sharing/Disclosure of my Personal Information*

Part 1: Any Third Party, Outcome related payments and In-Work Support

I writing to you to confirm that I do not or no longer consent to [Provider’s and or/Subcontractor’s name] gathering from or sharing my personal data, with any Third Party, for example an employer or another training provider, for the purpose of  placing me into training or work.

“Work Programme, participants may withdraw consent that they have given where it concerns their provider sharing data with a third party. Where participants have given their consent for the Work Programme provider to share their data with a third party, they may withdraw this consent at any time” 
From:  DWP Central FoI Team  – 28 February 2014 [1]

Part 1.1: Job outcome related payments

I will be informing all past and future employers not to share any of my personal data with the DWP or any of it’s Providers or Subcontractors, relating to any contact you may make with my employers, particularly to secure any DWP Job Outcome or Sustainment Outcome payments. A copy of the letter being sent to employers, is shown below in Annex A.

Part 1.2: In-work support

I confirm that I do not agree to any in-work support mechanisms, especially if I am no longer claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Part 2: Stopping my Jobseeker’s Allowance claim.

Once I stop claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance I require you to cease and desist from all forms of contact with me, as under Part 5.  (1) (2) (d) of the The Jobseeker’s Allowance (Schemes for Assisting Persons to Obtain Employment) Regulations 2013, [2] my participation in the Work Programme ceases to apply.

“Sanctions can only be applied when a person is in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA). If a claim has ended and JSA is no longer in payment, no sanction will be applied if a person declines to avail themselves of any additional support on offer or fails to respond to any further contact from a Work Programme provider.”
From: DWP Central FoI Team – 29 October 2013 [3]

Part 3: Collection and retention of my personal data

Customer Consent to Sharing/Disclosure of Personal Information

Providers are reminded that they are required to obtain customer consent prior to their collecting of customer’s personal information and sharing/disclosure of such information with the Department [DWP/Jobcentre] and/or other providers.

These consents must be given by the customer before any information disclosure takes place.

Your organisation needs to make it clear to customers that giving consent is voluntary and that refusal to give consent or withdrawal of an existing consent will not affect any benefit they may be entitled to.
From: The Generic Provider Guidance – Chapter 5

Whilst the above Chapter 5 memo was written in 2008 [4], it relies on the basic Principles of the 1998 Data Protection Act and therefore remains as valid today as then.

On occasion I may not wish to allow [Provider’s and or/Subcontractor’s name] to collect/retain requested personal data that requires my specific, fully informed and freely given consent, therefore under the Work Programme. [Provider’s and or/Subcontractor’s name] needs to investigate ways in which I can still participate, without the personal data being collected/retained by [Provider’s and or/Subcontractor’s name]. [5]

If [Provider’s and or/Subcontractor’s name] wishes to collect/retain personal data not already held by the Department of Work and Pensions/Jobcentre Plus (DWP/JCP), please fully inform me in writing whether this collection or retention requires my consent. If you consider collection and retention of  specific personal data of mine is a reasonable mandatory Work Programme activity, you are required to issue me with a Mandatory Activity Notification (MAN) [6] which clearly names the precise and specific personal data you want to collect/retain, to ensure certain policy, procedural and legal regulations are adhered to.

Part 4: To provide my personal data by only having to show it.

It may at times be a reasonable  Work Programme mandatory activity for me to only show/provide [Provider’s and or/Subcontractor’s name] personal data specifically requested,  you are required to issue me with a MAN which clearly names the precise and specific personal data you want me to show/provide, to ensure certain policy, procedural and legal regulations are adhered to.

Part 5: Evidence of employment

To restate I do not/no longer consent or authorise [Provider’s and or/Subcontractor’s name] or the Department of Work and Pensions or Jobcentre Plus to contact any employer to obtain evidence of my employment. As this will contradict instructions I have given to all employers, see  Annex A

Part 6:  DWP Memo WP029: Managing Disclosure of Information Objections

This letter is not about DWP disclosure of my personal data under section 3 of the Social Security Act 1998. Or your role as a DWP Data Processor under the Data Protection Act 1998.  DWP Memo WP029 [7] does not address Part 1, Part 2,  Part 3 or Part 4 of this letter.

Part 7: My disclosure to a Third Party

If [Provider’s and or/Subcontractor’s name] reasonably requires me to disclose my personal data with any specific Third Party,[8]  for example an employer, recruiter or recruitment agency for the purposes of applying for a job or another training provider to assist me become more work ready,  please supply me with sufficient written information and a MAN so I can share my personal data on a confidential basis, with the Third Party myself.

Part 8: Jobsearch and evidence

Prior to my mandatory referral to the Work Programme I was able to carry out all my Jobsearch activity requirements within my own resources, such as getting independent advice and support with my CV and Job applications, free use of computers, printing, phone, fax and letter writing and postage etc. If you wish me to attend your premises or any other on a mandatory basis, please state in writing why this would be reasonable and how it would be in addition to the Jobsearch resources I already have access to.

Part 8.1 Evidence

If you wish me to undertake specific Jobsearch activity you must issue me with a Mandatory Activity Notification, if you want me to provide evidence of my jobsearch please note:

“A Work Programme provider may ask you to provide evidence of your job search as part of their support they give you but they cannot mandate you to provide it and you will not be sanctioned if you do not provide it”
From: DWP Central FoI Team – 28 February 2014 [9]

All evidence of my jobsearch is provided to the Jobcentre.

Part 9: Your letter reply and potential complaint

I expect a letter from [Provider’s and or/Subcontractor’s name], within 10 working days, to formally acknowledge that I have withheld/withdrawn my consent specifically outlined in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 above. Failure to acknowledge my consent being withheld/withdrawn by letter will be treated as a Stage 1 formal Data Protection Act (1998) related Complaint.

DWP Framework Agreement for the provision of employment related support services.

24.3.11  notify the Authority [DWP] within five (5) Working Days if it receives:
a complaint or request relating to the Authority’s obligations under the Data Protection Act.

I take this opportunity to confirm I prefer future communication with [Provider’s and or/Subcontractor’s name] to be by letter As well as any Mandatory Activity Notice to only include one activity and no other and to be sent to me using a signed-for proof-of-delivery service to my home address.

Kind regards

[Your name]


[1]  DWP Central FoI Team  – 28 February 2014

[2] The Jobseeker’s Allowance (Schemes for Assisting Persons to Obtain Employment) Regulations 2013 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/276/regulation/5/made

[3] ‘Work Programme sanctions?’
DWP Central FoI Team – 29 October 2013

[4] The Generic Provider Guidance – Chapter 5
The DWP has “withdrawn” this memo, though the Data Protection Act the guidance was based upon has not been superseded. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/customer_consent_to_sharingdiscl_2#incoming-294086 An archive of the memo http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110708120744/http://www.dwp.gov.uk/supplying-dwp/what-we-buy/welfare-to-work-services/notices-to-providers/generic-prov-guide-ch-5.shtml

[5] ‘REED and my CV’
“If the claimant does not wish to provide this information it may be the case that, with
the provider, they can investigate ways in which they can still participate in the Scheme,
without the additional information being provided.” http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/81833/response/225672/attach/html/2/FoI%202839%2008.11.11.pdf.html

[6] Mandation  – Work Programme  Providers Guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/work-programme-dwp-provider-guidance

[7] DWP Memo WP029: Managing Disclosure of Information Objections http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130703143803/http://www.dwp.gov.uk/supplying-dwp/what-we-buy/welfare-to-work-services/provider-guidance/work-programme-provider-memos.shtml

[8] Definition of ‘Third Party’

[9] DWP Central FoI Team – 10 September 2013

[Annex A]

Dear Employer,

RE: My Data Protection Act (1998) consent to share my Personal Data

I am writing to advise that I do not or no longer consent/give permission for you as my employer, under my Data Protection Act (1998) rights, to confirm or deny I am employed by you or to share my employee Personal Data including but not exclusively my Job Title, Hours of Work, Works Number, Wages etc, with any Third Party.

If anyone whatsoever should contact you for my Personal Data please request them to write to me  at my home address, permission for you to share my home address is not given.

Please note any Third Party includes The Department for Work and Pensions/Jobcentre Plus or any of it’s Providers such as [Name of Provider/Subcontractor].

If anyone supplies you with a form signed by me giving consent to share the aforementioned employee Personal Data, I confirm this is no longer valid and I do not agree to anyone mentioned on the form to be given my employee Personal Data.

Exceptions to above are given for HMRC for income tax and national insurance purposes.

Beside HMRC, if you do supply any of my Personal Data to any Third Party, please supply me with a copy of my Personal Data shared and a copy of the Third Parties written request.

Please confirm in writing that you received and will be acting upon the instructions set out in this letter to ensure your compliance with my Data Protection Act (1998) rights.

Notes: Welfare rights law and DWP guidance, in particular, changes frequently.
You may find more recent information via http://refuted.org.uk/category/ or by using the website search facility (top right)

28 February 2014