On Work Programme (WP)? Got/Getting a Job? Want to stop DWP/Jobcentre and or WP Provider harassment; getting paid?

Last update: 11th Nov 2013

DWP does not make attempts to trace the employer and leaves 
this function up to the provider…Jobcentreplus does not contact or get data automatically from HMRC to see if an individual who has left the Work Programme is doing paid work.

(1) Consent to contact employers about employees
(2) Tips to prevent WP provider harassment [all contact] and payment
(3) WP participation ends when JSA ends
(4) Starting work?
(5) Housing and council Tax Benefits?
(6) Flexible Support Fund

(1) Consent to contact employers about employees

The Government has authorised through a Designation Order the removal of the legal requirement for DWP [Not it’s Welfare to Work Providers] to seek explicit consent from Welfare to Work conscripts (aka ‘participants’) for the DWP to contact employer(s) to track their hours of work; wages; job titles and more, under both Jobseekers Allowance and Universal Credit.[1]

“However, for those claimants on the new style ESA / JSA contributory benefits we are still progressing the necessary legal permissions. For these participants you will still need to explicitly gain consent to contact employers.”
From: Work Programme Memo134 – Clarification Regarding the Need for [DWP’s] Claimant Consent – 17 October 2013

This Order assumes the DWP or it’s Providers have details of an employer and there is no legal obligation for employers to provide the DWP with any employee personal data.

There is no legal obligation on employers to provide [employee] information [to DWP or it’s Providers] and they can not be sanctioned for failing to do so.[emphasis added]
From: ‘Consent Flag’ – DWP Central FoI Team – 29 October 2013 https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/180780/response/444351/attach/html/3/FOI%204864.pdf.html x

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“Clarification that when completing form WP07b [Change of circumstances] to notify JCP that the participant has started work, full employer details should be supplied where known. [emphasis added]
From: Amendments to Work Programme Provider Guidance – 10 October 2013 https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/work-programme-memo-133.pdf

(2) Tips to prevent WP provider harassment and payment To prevent or frustrate this from happening [2], with regards the ending of a JSA claim,  the following is suggested:

  1. Do not inform the WP provider of any employment or self-employment
  2. Do not inform the Jobcentre of any employer(s) details
  3. Write to your employer asking stating that you do not under any circumstances give them permission to discuss or share information about your employment; hours of work; wages and job title with the Jobcentre, DWP or Work Programme provider (naming them e.g A4e), without your prior written approval.

“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.” https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/182356/response/444586/attach/html/3/5105%20Reply.pdf.html

From: DWP Central FoI Team – 29 October 2013
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“There is no requirement to provide information [to the Jobcentre] about your employment when ending your [JSA] claim.”
From: DWP Central FoI Team

(3) WP participation ends when JSA ends Remember WP participation stops once a claim for Jobseekers Allowance ends, under Part 5.  (1) (2) (d) of the The Jobseeker’s Allowance (Schemes for Assisting Persons to Obtain Employment) Regulations 2013.

“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.” https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/182356/response/444586/attach/html/3/5105%20Reply.pdf.html From: DWP Central FoI Team – 29 October 2013

(4) Starting work?

When you do get a job you can just complete ‘Part 4 Declaration‘ of your ‘Signing on Booklet’ (ES40JP) and return the booklet to the Jobcentre.

(5) Housing and council Tax Benefits? When ending a JSA claim and starting a new job you may be entitled to extra Housing and Council Tax Benefits, for this extra help you should contact your Council directly and ask if you are eligible and how to claim.

(6) Flexible Support Fund You may be able to obtain discretionary support from the Jobcentre, when you start a new job,  from it’s Flexible Support Fund, this would require inform them of your employer details.

References

[1] Universal Credit includes in-work conditionality, currently being piloted by the DWP https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/in_work_jobcentre_pilots#outgoing-306946

[2] How this approach will work under Universal Credit is under investigation.

Background: Clarification Regarding the Need for Claimant Consent http://www.dwp.gov.uk/supplying-dwp/what-we-buy/welfare-to-work-services/provider-guidance/work-programme-provider-memos.shtml

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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