28 April 2014 benefit changes: Lone Parent Conditionality, Workfare, Jobsearch, Sanctions & more

“…high-level overview of changes that are being introduced from 28 April 2014”

  • Quarterly Work Search Interviews
    (20 minute Quarterly Work Search Interview every 13 weeks)
  • English Language Requirement (in England only)
    (This will affect all new JSA claimants…It applies equally to UK nationals, European Economic Area (EEA) and non EEA nationals)
  • Increasing Lone Parent Conditionality
  • Day One Conditionality
    “Prior to their Initial Work Search Interview, they will be requested [can be mandated following at an interview, if “appropriate“] to:

    • set up an email address
    • prepare a suitable CV
    • register on Universal Jobmatch”
  • Weekly Work Search Reviews
    (It will apply to 50% of all pre-Work Programme JSA)
  • Help to Work Package: Every person who remains on JSA following completion of the Work Programme will be provided with rigorous support tailored to their needs
    Help to Work offers three intensive support options for Work Programme completers. Work Coaches in Jobcentres will work with claimants to understand their needs, and refer them to one of the following:

    • Mandatory Intervention Regime where Coaches have more time to spend with
      claimants
    • Daily Work Search Reviews
    • Community Work Placements
      (Community Work Placements, where claimants undertake work placements of community benefit for up to six months alongside provider-led jobsearch)

    Discuss at:http://unemploymentmovement.com/forum/benefit/9220-important-read-this#38491

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Jobcentre: 90+ Jobcentres with in-work conditionality pilots

Last update: 29 Oct 13

List of 90+ Jobcentres doing the pilots:
https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/181505/response/444582/attach/2/4974%20annex.pdf

…participation in these trials is completely voluntary and no sanctions are issued
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/181505/response/444556/attach/html/2/wdtk%204974%20final.pdf.html
From: DWP Central FoI Team – 29 October 2013

“10 in-work conditionality pilots will test how best to encourage claimants to progress in work” https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/universal-credit-for-local-authorities

“The majority of the trials are providing support to people who have recently left  Jobseeker’s Allowance and started work, as such participation in these trials is voluntary. ”
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/179561/response/441434/attach/html/2/FOI.4727.response.pdf.html
From: DWP Central FoI Team – 18 October 2013

Locations of pilots:

North London
East Anglia
North Scotland
East London
Staffordshire and Shropshire
East and South-East Scotland
Gloucestershire and West of England
Devon and Cornwall
South-West Wales
South Yorkshire

DWP Zero Hours guidance: Jobseekers Allowance and Universal Credit

Update: 5/11/13 “If a Universal Credit or Jobseeker’s Allowance claimant turns down a particular vacancy then before a sanction is applied we will look into the circumstances of the case and consider whether they had a good reason. Where the vacancy is for a zero-hours contract then no  decision is needed and a sanction should never apply.

If the details of the zero-hours contract comes to light after the Universal Credit or Jobseeker’s Allowance claimant starts work or during the application process then they will always have good reason for leaving voluntarily, failing or refusing  to accept the contract and a sanction should never apply. If the claimant knowingly applies for and accepts a zero-hours contract then leaves the job voluntarily, then a Decision Maker would have to consider if they had good reason for leaving, considering all the individual facts and circumstances of the case. ” [emphasis added]
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/181597/response/446733/attach/html/2/FoI.4979.response.pdf.html
From: DWP Central FoI Team  – 05 November 2013

DWP operational guidance Zero Hours
“13. Claimants cannot be mandated to apply for vacancies which include a Zero Hours
Contract. Therefore, if a claimant refuses or fails to apply for or accept a notified Zero
Hours Contract job, a decision by the LMDM is not required. ” [original emphasis]
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/zero_hour_job_and_sanctions#incoming-425164
From: DWP Freedom of Information Request Team – 2 September 2013
Original FOI request: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/zero_hour_job_and_sanctions#outgoing-293366

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)

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)

DWP: Flexible Support Fund, Benefit Advances, Social Fund and Budgeting Loans

Short-term benefit advances: tools for advisers
http://www.cpag.org.uk/stba-adviser-tools

Short Term Benefit Advances: Guidance to Decision Makers (PDF)

Short Term Benefit Advances: Guidance to Jobcentre Staff (PDF)

Short Term Benefit Advances: Guidance to Contact Centre Staff (PDF)

Budgeting Loans & Social Fund: technical guidance

JSA,  Expenses and Jobcentre Flexible Support Fund

Source: Government Still Trying To Hide Crisis Loan Replacements http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/government-still-trying-to-hide-crisis-loan-replacements/

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)

JSA, Expenses and Jobcentre Flexible Support Fund

View details of how Jobcentre Advisers and or Managers can use their discretion to provide support through the Flexible Support Fund
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/jsa_expenses_flexible_support_fu#incoming-430961

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)

Want compensation for poor Jobcentre service?

Check out: Financial redress for maladministration
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/compensation-for-poor-service-a-guide-for-dwp-staff

Complain about Jobcentre Plus
https://www.gov.uk/complain-jobcentre-plus

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)