Work Programme: Travel and Job Interview Expenses

When on the Work Programme (WP), many people complain about not being able to get job interview expenses (Travel/Overnight stays) paid by WP providers. Whilst employers can pay for such expenses the DWP guidance suggests providers only have to pay travel expenses for:

Travel to attend WP provision

Travel to job interviews that providers have arranged

“Travel expenses
A8.02 When the Customer attends either an interview with the Provider, a job interview arranged by the Provider or undertakes other Work related Activities the Provider is responsible is for funding the customers travel costs.”
From: Page 57, The Work Programme – Invitation to Tender – Specification and Supporting Information (pdf)

This is despite a DWP memo to WP Providers simply saying:

“The Work Programme Invitation to Tender specification (which is incorporated into the WP contract) is clear that WP Providers are responsible for the payment of participants travel costs. ”
From: Memo 0018 – Payment of Participants Travel Costs – Work Programme Provider Live Running
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/work-programme-memo-018.pdf

Suggestions to get Travel Expenses paid:

1. Ask the WP Provider to assist setting up any job interview and claim from them, giving them a copy of Page 57 of the Invitation To Tender (ITT). Or
1.2. Ask the employer to pay (before the interview)
1.3 Give WP Provider a copy of Memo 0018 (before the interview) and ask them to arrange payment or purchase of tickets, issuing travel warrants.

Flexible Support Fund (FSF) Travel Expenses for Job Interviews guidance

If all of the above does not succeed apply to the Jobcentre for Travel to Interview expenses/tickets/travel warrants (before the interview) under it’s discretionary Flexible Support Fund (FSF) Travel Expenses for Job Interviews guidance. When making the application you can give the jobcentre a copy of Page 57 of the Invitation To Tender (ITT) and it’s cover page, showing that WP Providers can claim they do not have to pay expenses for interviews they did not arrange. The Jobcentre may require the WP Provider to confirm in writing they will not pay expenses or provide tickets/travel warrants, before considering any FSF interview help.

Complain?

If may be necessary to make a formal written complaint to the Provider or Jobcentre if they are unwilling to pay expenses, citing Memo 0018, Page 57 of the ITT and or the discretionary FSF – Travel Expenses for Job Interviews guidance.

Complaints guidance and procedures:

Work Programme Providers
Jobcentre

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)

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