Information Commissioner Slams Chris Grayling and DWP

The Information Commissioner’s Office has slammed the DWP’s refusal to name the companies and charities benefiting from forced labour on the Government’s Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) scheme.

Previously Freedom of Information requests asking for this information had been granted by the DWP, but when the workfare row blew up earlier in the year, this information disappeared.  Further requests asking exactly where people on workfare were being sent were denied by the DWP, which led one person to issue a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Despite some desperate wriggling from Cris Grayling and the DWP, this complaint has been upheld, with the full ruling now available on the consent.me.uk website.

Those who’ve followed the workfare scandal will be all too aware of the toxic culture which has developed at the DWP under bungling Employment Minister Chris Grayling and the increasingly absent Secretary of State, Iain Duncan Smith.  Documents have been ‘disappeared’ or hastily re-written to cover up for ministerial lies, whilst Freedom of Information requests have been rejected on the flimsiest of excuses.  Information provided to benefit claimants themselves has been so bad that the DWP may find themselves having to pay out millions in backdated sanctioned benefits after the recent workfare court ruling.

It is now a well established fact that Chris Grayling is a lying bastard, and his lackies at the DWP have only been too happy to play along.  The ruling by the Information Commissioner however does demonstrate that persistence in exposing his lies can pay off.

In a move which will unsettle several charities, who have also been disingenuous to say the least about their use of forced labour, this ruling means that the DWP has just 35 days to provide a list of organisations using workfare workers on the Mandatory Work Activity scheme.

Despite what some charities have claimed, Mandatory Work Activity is four weeks unpaid work, used as punishment by Jobcentre officials who believe that a claimant is not trying hard enough to find work.  Charities like the British Heart Foundation and Scope, who have both exploited the free labour under the scheme, claim these people are ‘volunteers’.  This is despite the Social Security Advisory Committee noting, when MWA was first introduced, that it is impossible under the rules to volunteer for the scheme (PDF) .

Claimants face increasingly brutal benefit sanctions for failure to attend MWA, leaving people facing destitution, poverty and even homelessness.  Charities like @Scope and @theBHF have been only too happy to ignore this inconvenient fact and mislead their supporters about the nature of the scheme.

Nest Saturday 8th September sees another National Day of Action Against Workfare, which will concentrate on the so called charities involved in the scheme.  Protests will take place in towns and cities around the UK, for the latest information visit Boycott Workfare or join the facebook page.

Above pic from: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/liverpool/2012/06/496930.html

27 responses to “Information Commissioner Slams Chris Grayling and DWP

  1. From the 19th. Century a saying : “As cold as charity.”
    Plus ça change,then.
    As was remarked in the 1980’s : “The Poverty Business.”
    In 2012 : Mandated Workers (i.e slaves) for charities in the poverty business run by The DWP.

  2. national tyre and exhaust are displaying work experience or placements in A4e.

  3. Pingback: Information Commissioner Slams Chris Grayling and DWP | Social Welfare News | Scoop.it

  4. I’ve been assigned to BHF starting next monday, definitely nothing voluntary about that.

  5. “Claimants face increasingly brutal benefit sanctions for failure to attend MWA, leaving people facing destitution, poverty and even homelessness”.
    And set to get even more cruel, it’s horrendous:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/sep/03/disabled-benefits-claimants-fines-work?commentpage=4#start-of-comments

    “A leaked draft of a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) template letter warns sick and disabled claimants they will lose 70% of their weekly employment support allowance (ESA) if they refuse to take part in work-related activities, more than doubling the current fine.”
    Expect the death-toll to rise. Shame, shame on these wicked, evil ConDems.

  6. David Cameron booed at the aquatic centre tonight when his name was announced as the presenter of the Gold medal to Ellie Simmonds Team GB’s Paralympian heroine as he trys to bask in their glory
    What David Cameron really has in store for our Paralympic hero’s :
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/sep/03/paralympians-fears-disability-living-allowance

  7. Sorry to hear that W.King. Have you been told why referred? Do you happen to know if an advisor carried out an assessment with something called a Customer Assessment Tool? (you should have told and asked permission!)

    • I think im on the work program because im one of the ‘long term unemployed’ and I think my provider might be getting twitchy that they havent got any money because none of my applications have paid off for me. Around my area the only places that have signed up for them to ‘dump me’ as they put it a few weeks ago, was one of the ever increasing number of charity shops we have here. I have never heard of a Customer Assessment Tool, is there anywhere online I can read up on what they are?

      • What you describe sounds like the WP: the Work Programme a person is referred to if long term unemployed, though after how many months depends on that persons age – 12 months for 25+ ; 9 months 18 – 24. (other circumstances can mean sooner at 3). You should have been told by an advisor at interview if being referred to wp, and received a confirmation letter.

        The reason I ask about the Customer Assessment Tool is that specified in the Mandatory Work Activity guidance to jc staff, is a requirement that to be identifed for MWA, the process should be “supported by use of the Customer Assessment Tool”

        However, the CAT is something that can be turned down by the jobseeker. (see point 58)

        http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/122022/response/300016/attach/html/4/3b.Ch%2005%20Customer%20Assessment%20Tool%20v04%201.pdf.html

        Unfortunately though this won’t apply to you if on the WP.

        You know that you can ‘dump them’, the provider (how charming they are!) into getting no payout once you are successful in getting a job by preventing data sharing with future employers?

        http://www.consent.me.uk/workfareconsent/

  8. (sorry, jumping the gun! This is MWA?)


  9. George Osborne booed at Paralympics.
    Does he care? Not a jot.
    Cunt.

  10. And oh yeah, dwp planning 70% benefit ‘sanctions’ on esa recipients not marching in line with harsh measures.

  11. Words fail me. People with serious life-threatening conditions being stripped of benefits. Words. Fail. Me.

  12. When the disabled victims of #Cameron’s Attack Cunts #Atos start filtering through the system and are assigned to #MWA with these evil charities this whole disgraceful situation, and the PR disaster for those ruthlessly exploiting it, are really going to come into sharp focus and finally bring the #Work Programme to its knees

    • They really don’t give a fuck. These evil Tory cunts actually want to see people dying in penury, pain & misery.

      • Of course they want that. if they die they arent claiming benefits

      • Agreed the Tories don’t give a fuck and neither do the pseudo charities if their exploitation can be kept secret, but them being named and shamed on the Internet is disastrous PR for them, it has a devastating affect on their image and tarnishes their brand in the eyes of the public. Benefactors will see that the charity is involved in forced #workfare therefore lacks ethics and will donate instead to a deserving charity, and when they have made that link they wont be returning to the rogue charity. These charities are just a sham and they need to keep large amounts of revenue rolling in to finance their inflated salaries .

  13. I’m gonna keep on saying these things. They will keep hearing them.
    Whether it does any good or not I will never know. I’ll probably be dead beforethis is all over. That would please the bastards.

    miki67 | May 29, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Reply
    Atos now has a better record for miracle cures than Lourdes….

    miki67 | May 29, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Reply
    If a doctor’s surgery was responsible for over 1,000 deaths they’d be gettin’ nicked.
    Harold Shipman would be proud of Atos.

    miki67 | May 29, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Reply
    Atos is the medical wing of The Claggeron’s embryonic Nazi ‘govt.’

    miki67 | May 29, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Reply
    Atos will be given the contract for The UK’s upcoming death camps.

    miki67 | May 29, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Reply
    Atos are social vampires.

    miki67 | May 29, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Reply
    Atos now claim they can raise the dead.

  14. Pingback: Boycott Workfare » Blog Archive » Saturday: nowhere for charities to hide

  15. Pingback: Birmingham Trades Council » Saturday: nowhere for charities to hide

  16. BrownStoleMyPension

    Tuesday 4 September 2012
    Westminster Hall
    Meeting started at 9.28am. Ended at 1.58pm
    Private Members’ Debate:
    Atos Healthcare and the work capability assessment – Tom Greatrex

    http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=11307&player=windowsmedia

  17. Pingback: British Heart Foundation’s Workfare Lies | the void

  18. The government’s workfare scheme is alive and kicking in NHS hospitals. Some trade unions support these schemes and they need to wake-up and understand this is a replacement for real jobs with staff properly trained.
    Charities such as the British Heart Foundation will often criticise the NHS and even paid staff and no doubt the government will be aware of this knowing their plans for workfare fit neatly into the privatisation of NHS services. You have to question if companies such as Sainsburys, Virgin and Circle Health will welcome workfare as they are all involved in the contracting out of NHS services.
    Charity shops often exploit customers and charge more for the same good you could get through freecycling or through alternative outlets.

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