Money For Old Rope … How The Work Programme Poverty Profiteers Are Fleecing The Tax Payer

Former A4e boss Emma Harrison made millions out of the welfare-to-work scam before retiring just as the company became mired in fraud allegations.

Former A4e boss Emma Harrison made millions out of the welfare-to-work scam before retiring just as the company became mired in fraud allegations.

If there is one place that a culture of worklessness really does exist it’s in the offices of the companies running Iain Duncan Smith’s Work Programme.  Some welfare-to-work advisors have been languishing on tax-payer funded salaries for years whilst barely lifting a finger.

Last week the DWP published an update of the Minimum Service Delivery standards for all of the main Work Programme providers.  These are the very basic levels of service that everybody referred to these companies can expect to receive as promised in their contracts with the DWP.  As the document reveals, you shouldn’t expect too much.

Appallingly a claimant on Employment Support Allowance can expect to wait eight weeks before Maximus will be bothered to help them produce a CV.  Those placed with the notorious A4e will only have contact with a named advisor once a month, whilst the most other providers are offering is just fortnightly meetings.  At these meetings participants are likely to be given a string of conditions they must meet, which might include workfare, or they will have their benefits stopped.  Then they’ll be politely asked to fuck off for another fortnight.  And that’s the Work Programme.  That’s the wonderful, flexible, intensive, tailored to the individual, innovative, half-arsed piece of shit that bungling Iain Duncan Smith has so far wasted close to a billion pounds of our money on.  And that’s why the performance of the scheme has been so dire and you are more likely to have your benefit sanctioned than find a job on the Work Programme.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this of course.  Whilst Work Programme providers were initially paid a small fee for every participant, this has been gradually reduced.  The bulk of the funding comes from those who find work – with payments of up to £13,000 should claimants from some groups find and stay in a job.  This payments-by-results funding model was intended to ensure that whilst these companies are free to do as little as they choose to help people find jobs, if they are not successful they won’t get paid.

The problem with this model is that people get jobs under their own steam every single day.  The welfare-to-work sector barely existed before Tony Blair launched the New Deal in 1997 yet for hundreds of years people had been managing to find jobs without any help at all from an A4e Work Coach.  What this means is that even if these companies do nothing at all they will still get paid as long as they can claim the credit for these people finding jobs.  It is a scam, and it always has been.

Since these companies are guaranteed a large chunk of tax payer’s cash whatever they do they have two choices.  Firstly they can target their resources at the so-called hardest to help, which means people with little work history, extensive criminal records or who face other problems such as homelessness or addiction.  This is expensive however and a big gamble.  Employers are not rushing out to hire street drinkers or those with a conviction for violence after all.  And even if they find someone from this group a job, if they lose it then the company will lose most of their job outcome fee.  That’s why Maximus, and their charitable partners the Careers Development Group, are using ‘expert volunteers‘ to provide help for those “identified as having substantial barriers to work”.  It’s much cheaper that way.

The second, and most profitable option for these companies is to do nothing at all.  The job outcome payments will roll in regardless, so they make their money by keeping expenditure to an absolute minimum.  Of course they can tinker round the edges.  They can bully someone into a shitty job when if that person had held out a bit longer they would have found themselves a better job in their usual field.  They can ensure that someone who is at college is forced to leave and take up minimum wage work rather than use a short period of unemployment to gain a qualification and further their career.  They can pressurise someone into becoming self-employed and claiming Working Tax Credits even if that self-employment is unlikely to result in any real income.  There’s lots of ways they can tinker round the edges and almost all of them involve fucking up someone’s life.

The tragedy is that all that money squandered on the Work Programme could have been so much better spent.  Imagine if you walked into a Jobcentre and they told you about a course you actually wanted to go on.  A course that would train you in a real job – to be a spark, a chef, a beauty therapist or IT programmer.  Imagine if you could pick up a fork lift truck licence, or even driving lessons.  Or find out about a community project providing genuine and interesting volunteering.  Or even just have access to a half decent computer, stamps, fares, a phone and stationary so you can get on and find a job yourself.

But even that is beyond the welfare-to-work sector who instead sit on their arses all day sanctioning people’s benefit claims because they were five minutes late to their monthly meeting.  And for that we pay them hundreds of millions of pounds and make their bosses very, very rich.

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113 responses to “Money For Old Rope … How The Work Programme Poverty Profiteers Are Fleecing The Tax Payer

  1. I’m on the Work Programme and, to be honest, the less contact I have with the patronising bastards, the better.

    • Too right – i was parked for 10 months, so only really did 1 of my 2 years, and what I did do was pointless nonsense.

      If anyone wants to increase their chances of being left alone by the WP, decline to sign the Data Protection waiver. Its your right to not sign, and it also makes you worth less to the WP financially, so of less interest.

      • Seeing is believing

        Yes, I declined that one immediately and have been promised juicy job interviews and all sorts to entice me to sign it.
        I simply say you give me the job details and I will apply;
        The info is never forth coming.

        • Certainly letting them know that you are aware of your rights has a tempering effect on them. I presented a withdrawl of consent letter at the initial interview at the Jobcentre before I was sent on WP, that resulted in an 11 month stay before I went on the WP. Once on it I refused to sign anything, despite all the threats of nasty things happening to me that came from my WP advisor – poor guy, I think he was about to have a seizure he got so red and worked up! I sent both the provider and the contracted company (Interserve and JobFit respectively) a withdrawl of consent letter by recorded delivery and I have had no hassle from them – I see them once a fortnight or once a month (it varies) and the meeting lasts perhaps 10 minutes. I’m polite and cordial, but I yield nothing. I finish WP in mid April, and am now formulating what my strategy will be re: daily signing or the CWP…. but I may have a job by then!

    • Seeing is believing

      I am with you entirely on this.
      I had a ‘chat’ with an adviser who said ;what are we supposed to do;
      Leave you to your own devices for two years?’
      ‘If you like-It will save an awful lot of bus fares and give me more time to look for SUITABLE employment,instead of going to crappy psychy training to program me for life as a shelf stacker.’
      Incidentally this u.s. babble training costs the tax payer as much as a 3 tonne dumper truck ticket.
      SHOVELING tax payers money into providers pockets with no benefit to society as per fucking usual!

      • So when they are,caught out claiming money for work they have not done are they required to pay all that back?

        And isn’t this called fraud? Like when benefit fraudsters are meant to pay back money. What’s the stats on this in comparison to mad claims of benefit fraud?

        • IDS is the biggest benefit fraudster in this country. Not people on ESA or JSA. Look how much he wasted trying to bring in Universal Credit and that useless job website (owned and run by an American company).

          Not forgetting he claimed over £100 in expenses buying toilet wipes otherwise priced at £1 in discount shops. And we had to pay him expenses on top of his fat pay wages just for him to wash his dirty underwear…

  2. I did once imaging that what you said at the end of the post, of how the jobcentre should be. I imagined it for a long time. Until a year ago, when they admitted they could not help me in a practical way.

  3. No doubt the WPPs will one day be rewarding IDS for his largesse with consultancies and directorships so what we’re really seeing in the WP is a convoluted way of IDS shoveling hardworking taxpayers’ money into his own back pocket.

    • Seeing is believing

      Yes, I had already guessed that one Bill.

    • I’m absolutely convinced that the real reward he’s after is a Knighthood. He wants to be *Sir* Iain Duncan Smith, and then all his previous fakery and pretensions will be cancelled out. The idea just popped into my head one day, and I knew, with great certainty, that it was true. *nods sagely*

    • Old baldy bonce Smithy is in line to get his gold-plated pension and his knighthood if he does get the sack in May’s election. Fucking slap-headed ponce sitting in his cushy, centrally heated office laughing at us all flashing his large paycheck and expenses while we have to work for nothing.

      I hope he gets arrested for handling forged cheques and money laundering one day.

  4. It’s taking the pisso when thesever
    welfare to work scam artists are coining it in and getting claimants benefits docked for no reason
    .they are not even Dwp or Jcp staffers
    It’s like having a traffic warden to arrest you and put you in jail. It’s ferking. None of their business
    Ideally these companies should have their money docked for doing fuck all
    When claiming for stuff they haven’t done it’s,like that something for nothing culture we hear so much about

    • All WP providers are not employed by DWP or JCP, but on private subsidy contracts designed to deliver results. In other words, all WPP’s are bunged vast amounts of money to sit on their fat asses all day long pretending to get the unemployment levels down.

      That money thrown about to them is better spent creating real jobs, not on mickey mouse training schemes.

  5. Seeing is believing

    I’ve been to A4e and I had to laugh at the stress invisible on staffers faces.
    Feet up on a desk 2 hours at a time.
    The manager turned up 5 minutes late still half pissed,unshaven or showered just a brush the teeth and splash the face job.He spent all afternoon recovering with coffees and a snooze in his office..
    Every time I went !
    I thought good luck to him to be honest.
    He said he was proof you could go from being unemployed to getting a great job from workfare.Living the Dream!!!

  6. The tragedy is that all that money squandered on the Work Programme could have been so much better spent. Imagine if you walked into a Jobcentre and they told you about a course you actually wanted to go on. A course that would train you in a real job – to be a spark, a chef, a beauty therapist or IT programmer. Imagine if you could pick up a fork lift truck licence, or even driving lessons. Or find out about a community project providing genuine and interesting volunteering. Or even just have access to a half decent computer, stamps, fares, a phone and stationary so you can get on and find a job yourself.

    This was the reality back in the 90s as I recall it back in Exmouth…

  7. Seeing is believing

    Yes,but the public keep voting for our ancient decrepit crooked 2 party system and ‘career’ politicians who just keep selling off the countries assets.
    They line their pockets through back doors with the attitude its deserved money as politicians pay is so poor,whilst screaming and shouting at the populace to work harder to balance the books.
    Keep voting for career politicians fresh out of public school who wear more make up than Elvis if you want more of the same.

  8. Reblogged this on L8in.

  9. they all fucking lie

    so what are we going to do about it come voting day, are we going to kick the twats out or just keep moaning about how fucking stupid they are?

    • really had anuff

      Vote for who? The royal satanic peodo ring ,has infiltratred all areas ,
      we will all be shafted and murdered by these orrible masonic zionists

  10. That was the week that was pensioner bonds, paternity leave and a LGBT envoy.

    F*cking hilarious eh.

  11. Seeing is believing

    Democracy started with a wise local person being selected to represent the interests of local people in a wider area forum.
    If everybody went back to that and voted for a local independent candidate common sense may rear its head.
    The idea of voting for a ‘party’ that believes what you do is nonsensical as the parties change their policies according to opinion polls.They neither believe in anything or care about anything other than getting the job.
    I will Vote for a local independent candidate,not some party arsewipe from christ knows where.

    • A collective of 40 idiots would probably run the wise local person out of town shouting this is where democracy ends.

    • Seeing is believing

      Actually, this is not quite correct.Parties change what they SAY their policies will be according to opinion polls.Once in power they get back to lining their pockets.

  12. Seeing is believing

    It could be the village idiot for all it would matter.
    Even my cat would represent my interests better than a party politician,because party politicians work against your interests.

    • The early stirrings of a call for a strong man as party politics in the UK falls to corruption and disenchantment.

  13. I am on a 5 week jobcentre course.we have been making jigsaws,balancing a cane with our fingers,and the best one,rolling a marble down a piece of cardboard.who the hell thinks of these courses up.not once have we discussed making a cv,impressing at interviews.the normal things that anyone looking for a job would need.these firms are taking the piss.it’s soul destroying.

    • Seeing is believing

      The idea of it is to get you to engage in something ridiculous against your will without asking why and get you to lie and say you thought it was a useful exercise. When put on your C.V. any shitbag tosspot employer will think you are just ripe for exploitation and offer you a position of slavery.
      Just in case you were wondering how it is relevant, now you know.

  14. ‘Carees development group’ merged with Shaw Trust and are now called under that name, same employees and managers tho. I left shaken up after the way one of their advisors spoke to me. even after they got rid of him, they still tired to get an outcome from me. i remember being sat in the business managers office shaking and she still wanted me to provide all my employer details and to sign off in the correct way, the new advisor even snatched the paper with the outcome on it from me with such charm, you would not believe how greedy they are. i recorded it. They are horrible. It was never about help nor charity it – was about shame and humiliation- applying sanctions are just a welcomed part of this mechanism. Still can’t believe i received this treatment from a so called charity. it is a joke.The whole thing needs re wiring or just ripping out altogether.

  15. Funny you mention Driving Lessons,I approached my JCP “Adviser/Work Coach/Useless Piece of Shit” about lessons,denied “We would never pay for lessons” I produced an article from the Torygraph,where IDS stated that the DWP would gladly pay for lessons if it improved a claimants chance for employment. A Manager was called,he ducked and dived,a District Manager met with me and asked how a DL would help,I produced over 200 UJM adverts that required a DL,I was informed that I must put in a request,cost it out and prove my case,but that just UJM would be unacceptable,I need to get letters from actual Employers(?) I submitted a summary….Denied!

    Smoke and Mirrors!

  16. Once upon a time we had benefit offices where you got your benefit when you were out of a job or too ill to work.
    Then came Jobcentres which were state employment agencies. All government departments, local authorities and voluntary organisations funded by the state had to recruit through them. Other companies did too, because they were pretty good. They had a temp section too.
    Then benefits and employment were merged into JobCentre Plus……
    And then they got rid of the employment bit.
    So Jobcentre Plus was just a benefits agency with a private company getting paid a bonus every time you got yourself a job.
    There are many Orwellian things about this government but a Jobcentre with no jobs is one of the top ones for me.

    • Seeing is believing

      The Job centers you recall,had the jobs on cards placed on swivel stands.
      Out of business hours the stands were turned to face the windows.Anybody with or without work could ring up and get the job details if there was no phone no. on the job card.
      This all stopped when the gov. decided people they wanted a database of who had applied for what job.They have done their level best to keep tabs on people ever since.

      • How can they even be called jobcentres anymore when they don’t physically advertise jobs in their buildings like they used to years ago. All jobs now are only advertised on the internet.

        Shut the fooking places down as they are in violation of the trades description act.

  17. The work programme sounds like a tax dodge to me ,,what a good idea,,,

  18. There is an upset people of blogs such as these could do in the general election 2015, and that is vote Iain Duncan Smith out of his constituency.

    It can be done.

    See how, on my personal website:
    http://www.anastasia-england.me.uk

  19. Vote for CLASS WAR!!

    EAT THE RICH!!

  20. “a big gamble”…😀

  21. So how does the funding for the elements of the CWP pan out, DWP/JCP – Workfare Provider (Learndirect) to Place of Labour (social enterprise).

    A claimant as a major component/party (albeit coerced) of the contracts should have sight of the contracts to ensure that he or she is not being conscripted into a criminal enterprise.

    • Any help ? I volunteer 4 days a week but have been informed that I will start CWP in the near future,I reminded them that I already volunteer,so why would they pay a Provider to look over my shoulder? I also reminded them that I am only allowed to volunteer 16 hours per week(JCP+) but I would be willing to put in 30 if necessary “You cannot Volunteer more than 16 pw,as it would interfere with availability to look work” utter nonsense as the CWP will be 30+10+travel time,I thought that they could not make you give up a voluntary position(Cait Reilly) any clue?

      • Check Refuted and there is a group of ex-dwp staff who are helping people do a search of Google.

        Might also want to have a Gander at the Ipswich Site

        Good Luck

      • The jobcentre can just turn around and say: “obviously your voluntary work hasn’t help you into work, we have decided that CWP would be more beneficial”…. and it will (to the jobcentre) because doing voluntary work that you probably enjoy and find interesting isn’t going to shift you off of benefits but the CWP brutal punishment (and MWA/CWP IS BRUTAL) regime is DELIBERATELY designed to “off-flow” you from benefits.

  22. “shiity job”?! You mean “entry-level job”😀

    • Seeing is believing

      Yeah, entry level.
      After 2 years and 4 stars on your badge you get to be in charge of the fryer!

      • As bad as they are I would do them, if I physically could, but a lot of entry level jobs are beyond me. All I can expect is some made up job for free and most of the time it sitting or standing doing nothing. I can do that at home, but no I choose to do things more productive with my time. But yes that is all the system has to offer someone like me.

  23. Having recently finished the Waste of Time Programme with A4e I can confirm that the staff are by and large lazy and that the whole thing is a scam which does not provide jobseekers with anything of any use! If you manage to get a job (in all likelihood by your own efforts) whilst on the Programme, whatever you do, do NOT give the ‘provider’ or Jobcentre your employer’s name and contact details. Most of the providers’ money comes from job outcome payments- people who have been on the Programme actually have the power to bring it crashing to the ground!

    • Seetec are sanction happy. Watch out for these cunts as they use any excuse to try and drop you into a sanction. Refuse to do a placement that doesn’t fit in with your previous work/training history and you are fucked up with no money for four weeks.

    • How can you avoid telling them who it is? When you sign off don’t you have to in order to get your P45 to give your new employer? Maybe i’m wrong but that’s what i did in the past.

      I agree though; don’t tell them anything if you can get away with it as they then claim they got you the friggin; job so as they can get their blood money.

      • Just don’t go, they have to give your p45 back sometime, or they will get done anyway for having you on their books for so long.

      • The only thing you have to do is to complete and sign the form in your ES40 booklet – there is an optional section where you can give details of your new employer, but you don’t have to, and if you’ve been on WP it would be advisable not to. All you are legally required to do is to tell JCP+ when you ended your claim and sign. You will then get your P45 sent to you.

  24. Im with Maximus. My advisor got me on a course that was quite good but has a few times tried to get me to go for crappy jobs i dont want. Im on esa

  25. Seeing is believing

    You should never give the job center any details of your next employment full stop,because they put it all in a large pc spread sheet.
    If you leave that job and take another one it disqualifies you from job seekers for a full year, I believe. Just say you have found casual work.
    (which is true;you have no employment protection for months in any new job).

    • I don’t think that’s true. I think may be the case is that you wouldn’t be eligible for contributions based JSA for a year, and that’s regardless of whether you remained in that same job, or changed your job, as it’s based on your NI contributions record. And anyway, there would be no direct way of JCP+ knowing that you had changed jobs. The only government agency that would have any knowledge of this would be HMCR and again, as far as any claim for JSA is concerned the only consideration is your NI contributions record to decide whether you qualify for contributions based JSA or income based JSA.

  26. Those bullied into claiming tax credits then end up in legal trouble for fraud and with a criminal record which makes them unemployable.

    • Quite true but Criminals receive better support into work these days, so they have more chance than just being unemployed.

      • Disclosure and Barring Service another scam to lock citizens out of the jobs market and into the slave gang masters dependency – all in the name of good society.

      • maria
        Criminals don’t have to look for work, because anyone who has to attend appointments with the Probation Service knows this takes priority even over the demands of the DWP.

  27. One thing you can expect, if your provider is the caring compassionate salvation army, is to be told you have no mental health issues of any kind unless you can fetch up a nurse/support worker to accompany you.

    Don’t mention it sir, all part of the service.

  28. Emma Harrison is Piece of Shit

    On Radio 4 at the moment The Price of Inequailty: a commentator stated that the more people are paid the less productive they are, which is true: how productive is that trout-face bitch Emma Harrison sat in her mansion coining it in; how productive are those fucking ‘work programme’ ‘advisors’ sat on their fat backsides doling out santions all day; how productive are the fat, lazy bastards in Learn Direct or Pinnacle People who sit on their fat arses all day arranging slave labour placements and sanctioning jobseekers who won’t wear a great, big cheesy grin on their face whilst they are on ‘placement’. Compare and contrast with the Mandatory Work Activity/Community Work Placement toiling away all day long for jack-shit.

    • I won’t get out of bed for less that £10 a day😀

      • I won’t get out of bed for less than £1000 per day. So the DWP can piss off if they think I will apply for jobs less than 12 hours per week work for less money than I get now.

      • Should a claimant be sanctioned while conscripted to CWP they would be labouring for absolute zero and with Learndirect would be expected to pay their weekly travel costs upfront.

        JSA conditionality (risk of sanction) becomes multi-layered DWP/JCP, Workfare Provider (Learndirect) and Place of Labour (social enterprise) all have the power to instigate a sanction.

        No man born with a living soul would put himself at that multi-layered risk in an attempt to serve three slave masters.

        No ifs or buts CWP is slavery.

      • I won’t get out of bed for less than £10,000 a day…😀

    • Don’t forget ‘WORKING LINKS’ the worst bastards of the whole lot.

  29. Just had a brain wave, why don’t a bunch of us start up a company and put in a tender for one of these lucrative Work Programmes? We could actually offer people genuine support and training and not sanction them, plus makes loads of money. People would be queueing up to use our service because we are nice and helpful and no one would need to go anywhere near A4E or the other nasty companies and then we would make even more money to help even more people!!! Why haven’t I thought about this before!

    • You wouldn’t get the contract in the first place… you need to have the right “connections”….😉

    • you would also have to want to be mean to the poor, if the DWP knew your intent they would not give you the contract. Top marks for being a decent person though.

      • these companies that get the contracts hire professional bidders.. who write all the right things in the contract..

  30. I was placed onto Seetec for six months. Not only did they fuck me about desperately trying to talk me into self-employment, but also they ruined my perfectly acceptable CV, cover letter and spec letter. These are now totally unusable to any employer I wish to contact.

    So when I get round to it I now have to waste my time in repairing the major damage they did to my important job application documents. My cover letter and spec letter are identical word for word, as typed up by an in-competent Seetec manager claiming to be an expert in CV writing.

    As for myself, Not only being parked onto Seetec for six months, I was forced into using their own pointless pre-job website each time I had to attend my four hours a week jobsearching on their premises.

    It’s all very well being made by stupid CWP fools to have an account on prejob.seetec.co.uk and expected by them to apply for a minimum 6 jobs exclusively on that website per weekly seetec attendance, but all the applications I had to do via their own job boards (as their jobs on prejob.seetec.co.uk was sourced by Seetec job coaches) but I never once ever heard back from any employer who had their jobs placed onto Prejob seetec. Cunts.

    Since leaving the fucked-up mis-work programme, no surprises that my Prejob account has been closed and I can’t use it anymore. Just as well as it was bollocks and not worth internet space.

    Oh, and another thing. During my last two weeks of incarceration at Alcatraz (Seetec) posters appeared on the walls on the jobzone proclaiming to all clients that ”Travel refunds were only allowed only if a minimum of 6 jobs were applied for via prejob.seetec and these own-sourced job vacancies applied for were e-mailed to your jobcoach”

    So if you didn’t apply for a minimum of 6 jobs from Prejob.seetec during attendance and you didn’t email these applications to your seetec coach, you would have been refused travel refunds.

    I was told by another client, when I was on my last week’s WP attendance that those posters about the new rules about travel refunds were not Work programme policy as laid down by the DWP. So, Seetec are making up the law as they go along, and are NOT in compliance with any of the regulations and rules they are given to by the DWP. Seetec are violating Work programme regulations with those travel refund posters.

    • By itself, self employment can be a genuinely good thing, but not to be forced into it without a proper plan. I’d love to be self employed, but any business I made would be likely to fail.

    • id ripped them all off the wall and dumped them in the local jcp in front of a wc and demand they refund my travel fees.

      also there is no law stating you have to use there site to look for work there full of shit.

      after 5 years of this shit i have not had to do any of it one every sanction doubt and the dwp still let them get away with it.

  31. lol at the fucking knobheads on Radio 4’s You and Yours trying to justify tax fraud: “It allows me to pay my staff more.” lo-fuckingl”. Imagine if a ‘benefit cheat’ say: “It allows me to spend more, create jobs in the local economy.”

    • Money in the pockets of claimants probably does create more jobs in the local economy than its does in the offshore accounts of criminal tax fraudsters.

  32. It’s not as if any of the government funded back to work schemes have ever been successful.

    Go right back to YOPS, YTS, Community Programme, add in New Deal in all its formats. Without exception, every single one of these schemes has been based on creating another platform for parasites to exploit the unemployed by turning them into cash cows. Every single scheme was a damaging failure for the poor sods mandated to attend them.

    • I had the bad luck to be on yts, and all of the new deals.. and the old school job clubs.. at one i was told i was putting other people off getting jobs as i was “smarter and more qualified” and if I couldnt get a job then whats the point of people less qualified and less smart chance of getting one..

  33. This is the way that I see it (could be wrong) but it is my personal opinion.
    National Insurance is used to pay for unemployment benefit, sickness and disability allowances, state pension and the NHS. Therefore, if a person claims unemployment benefit or sickness benefit and does not receive what monies they are due then surely that is Benefit fraud. Why should private companies be reimbursed with monies that belong to claimants. Bismark in Germany set up a similar scheme and anyone who claimed under the Policy was never paid out owing to the company saying the person wasn’t eligible etc., etc, etc. Could we not start a petition stating that we as tax payers do not want our N.I. Contributions paid to these companies? It’s a bit like paying an insurance policy which never pays out if you have claim. These actions are, to my mind, FRAUD. These practices should not be allowed to continue – pay the people what they are due.

  34. Another thing, the Government can borrow funds from the NI contributions for other projects – have they borrowed too much and are using the “Sanction Monies” to pay their loan back?

  35. Pingback: Money For Old Rope ... How The Work Programme P...

  36. its surprising nothing mentioned about “skills conditionality” where claimants can be sent back to the classroom,supposedly to improve their prospects of being employed.

    Appallingly a claimant on Employment Support Allowance can expect to wait eight weeks before Maximus will be bothered to help them produce a CV.

    It took over twelve months to get mine updated at jobcentre plus,after finishing the work programme.

  37. The New Statesman

    Work Programme staff were told to increase sanctions against clients, says former employee

    A former employee of three separate Work Programme providers describes how staff members were compelled to increase sanctions in order to hit financial targets.

    From 2011, at the dawn of the Work Programme, to 2014, I worked on three separate Work Programme provider contracts. At some point during each of these I, with my then colleagues, was approached by various levels of management and told in no uncertain terms to increase the number of sanctions raised on our clients.

    Different justifications were given for this demand, but the implication was always the same – get the dead wood off our books so we can concentrate on the job-ready customers and hit our targets. Fortunately, I was clued-up enough to resist these attempts at coercion through a proper knowledge of the legal foundations underpinning the Work Programme, but many didn’t, and, at threat of receiving a disciplinary and/or losing their jobs, complied.

    If the general public could hand out medals, I’d have a chestful by now. As soon as I mention that I used to be an employment adviser on the government’s Work Programme, they seem to feel I deserve one for dealing with the Stella-swigging, Sun-reading, swearing and spitting media-fuelled image they have of the typical participant. Of course, I’m always quick to point out that there’s no such thing as a typical participant (I had two barristers on my case load for example) and often make a point of telling them I actually really enjoyed working with my clients – it was the system itself that I had issues with.

    From my first day working on the Work Programme, I was led to believe that it was for the good of those people who found themselves unfortunate enough to be languishing in the long-term unemployment doldrums: the demotivated, the marginalised, the vulnerable. This, however, proved not to be the case. I moved to a different provider a few years later, believing it was the employer rather than the system that was at fault. Wrong again. If anything this new lot were worse. The real problem was that for staff and participants both the key word wasn’t motivation, or empowerment, or education. The key word was, in fact, compliance.

    In order to progress as a participant (or as a staff member, for that matter) you are required to blindly comply with the immoral, the unjust and the misguided. Many do comply, but many struggle to, for whatever reason. Many participants, consequently and often wrongly, have their benefits stopped – sanctioned, to use the official parlance. And why was this the case? Some will point the finger of blame at poor information management; some at bureaucratic incompetence; others at the lack of effective leadership and direction. Personally, I’d be tempted to say that this is what happens when you attempt to privatise the public and place financial targets on human heads.

    In the first few years of the programme, the DWP paid a fee to Work Programme providers for each single job start. Now, and for obvious reasons, the DWP has rethought this process and only makes payments for sustained employment. But at that time, every provider in the country took advantage of the situation by sending participants to labour farms – factories and the like that took advantage of a willing source of cheap labour for a few days/weeks at a time, as benefited business requirements, before discarding them again.

    The whole process was a costly one for the participants themselves who ended up having to wait weeks before having their benefits reinstated, relying upon hardship payments in the meantime. Hardship payments, roughly equivalent to Jobseeker’s Allowance, did not however cover the rent that housing benefit pays on a live claim, putting claimants at potential risk of eviction. Attempts to resist such “farming out”, to not comply with what were clearly disruptive and immoral demands, were again met with threats of disciplinary action or sanctions depending upon whether you were an employee or a participant.

    There are so many wrongs I could point to regarding the day-to-day operations of my time on the Work Programme. Attempts, for example, to force sickness benefit claimants back into work when their health clearly wasn’t up to task. Cases of fraud, with staff under so much pressure to meet financial targets that they felt they had to fabricate job starts.

    Bullying, blackmailing, bigotry and a general lack of regard for the fact we were dealing with real people; individuals with their own specific barriers and issues who needed to be supported accordingly, not forced to comply with financially-motivated objectives. As soon as you start putting a pound sign on their heads – these barristers, baristas, welders, fitters and fabricators – you immediately cut them off from the help they are entitled to. And that, quite simply, is why the Work Programme just doesn’t work – and never will while in the hands of private enterprise.

    Philip Hegarty worked for three separate Work Programme providers between 2011 and 2014

    Work Programme staff were told to increase sanctions against clients, says former employee

    • “Philip Hegarty worked for three separate Work Programme providers between 2011 and 2014” – what a fucking cunt! Why are these bastards always trying to make themselves out to be the victim. BURN IN HELL YOU CUNT!!

    • Strange article full of generic and weird statements even for a supposedly X WP employee.

      Fortunately, I was clued-up enough to resist these attempts at coercion through a proper knowledge of the legal foundations underpinning the Work Programme, … !!!???

      If the general public could hand out medals, I’d have a chestful by now. As soon as I mention that I used to be an employment adviser on the government’s Work Programme, … !!!???

  38. Please bring these complaints to the attention of Ms Sue Marsh at Maximus so that something can be done to remedy this sorry situation.

  39. Pingback: Money For Old Rope … How The Work Progra...

  40. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    Johnny Void here describes the very minimal standards of service in the Welfare to Work industry, and explains how this is a result of the way the programme is structured, and especially the ‘payment by results’. In his final paragraphs, Mr Void suggests the money could have been far better spent if Job Centres actually told you about vocational courses you might actually want to go on, such as those that actually prepared you for a career. Now at one time that was almost what the Labour exchange did. They carried notices of jobs, and could advise you on which one might be the best for you. That, however, is too much like efficiency and providing a service, so now the jobcentres don’t actually provide anything like it. It’s all been handed over to the private sector, who have shown that they’re actually not interested in providing it either. It’s far too much like hard work for them, and this frightens the shareholders. and so they don’t, leaving millions unemployed, but their bosses laughing all the way to the bank.

  41. Seetec –

    Self-employment, zero-hour contracts, or end up part-time working in Poundworld just to make it look good for them. And any one of these ‘opportunities’ is helping the un-employment figures go down.

    Thanks for nothing, you money grabbing con artists. £250 per week from the European social fund for each weekly attendance on your books. That money was rightfully mine for having to humiliate myself for six months forced unpaid work and daily jobseeking bollocks in your pokey little office in crappy computers.

    • yes people who love money usually go though any length to get money, even when it belongs to someone else, they don’t care as long as it is either legal or if they don’t get caught if it is not. That is the way this awful world works at the moment, wish it would change and become a decent place.

  42. Requires People to be Decent

    For People to Put Morality before Materialism
    For Charity to Come before Company Profit
    For a Caring Society Not an Oblivious Society

  43. Reblogged this on Rat Xue's Blog and commented:
    «Appallingly a claimant on Employment Support Allowance can expect to wait eight weeks before Maximus will be bothered to help them produce a CV. Those placed with the notorious A4e will only have contact with a named advisor once a month, whilst the most other providers are offering is just fortnightly meetings. At these meetings participants are likely to be given a string of conditions they must meet, which might include workfare, or they will have their benefits stopped. Then they’ll be politely asked to fuck off for another fortnight. And that’s the Work Programme. That’s the wonderful, flexible, intensive, tailored to the individual, innovative, half-arsed piece of shit that bungling Iain Duncan Smith has so far wasted close to a billion pounds of our money on. And that’s why the performance of the scheme has been so dire and you are more likely to have your benefit sanctioned than find a job on the Work Programme.»

  44. All those folk in this thread mentioning travel expenses reimbursements:
    it`s clearly stated in the DWPs Work Programme Guidelines regs. that travel costs to either their offices or when on a placement are to be PAID AT THE END OF EACH SESSION/DAY, “to avoid the potential situation where a client may be hindered re:future attendance due to lack of travel funds”.
    Check it out yourselves – 100% genuine.
    The fact that Seetec are refusing to cough up travel expenses is sheer blackmail – they aren`t allowed to use the threat of withholding said reimbursements in order to enforce compliance (such as in relation to the in-house Projob website) or as a form of conditionality, either.
    If they try this with you, insist they check, & if they won`t or say they can`t, state that you`ll report them to the DWP for failing to meet contracted standards/obligations.

  45. So as a post work programme jsa claimant iv now been mandated to do cwp and what a pile of bullshit that is its like they are putting barriers in your way to stop you finding work also trying to trip us up to get the sanctions and meet targets its disgusting and quite frankly how anyone could work fir dwp is beyond my comprehension how do they sleep at night?

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