Category Archives: ESA/Atos

The Work Capability Assessment Is About To Get Worse, Less People To Be Placed In Support Group Say DWP

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Recommendations made by Paul Litchfield in the latest review into the Work Capability Assessment

More sick and disabled people will face sanctions and workfare when Maximus take over running running the despised assessments for sickness benefits say the DWP who have promised the number of people placed in the Support Group is expected to fall.

The department’s comments come in their response to the latest review into the Work Capability Assessment, the shoddy computer based test used to find sick and disabled people ‘fit for work’ and stop their benefits.  Sinister US based outsourcing firm Maximus will take over the assessments from next week after ferocious campaigning by disabled people and benefit claimants led to the notorious Atos ending their involvement with the tests early.

The most recent review was carried out by Paul Litchfield, presumably in his spare time as he is also Chief Medical Officer at BT.  Cutting sick and disabled people’s benefits and driving them into poverty is more of a hobby for this bastard.  Litchfield is very concerned that the number of people placed in the Support Group after an assessment has been on the rise and says this should be urgently examined.  Claimants in this group are those even the DWP agree are too unwell to work and who do not have to jump through endless hoops to prove they are looking for or preparing for work.  It is the only group of claimants who cannot be sent on mandated workfare or have their benefits sanctioned for missing a meeting at the Jobcentre.  Litchfield thinks there are too many of them, and is particularly worried about the number of young people languishing about in homes and hospitals with serious health conditions when they could be stacking shelves in ASDA for no pay on workfare schemes – or work related activity as he calls it.

As Litchfield will know however, young people, or those of any age in the Support Group, are able to access the Work Programme if they choose.  If many of them do not then that says more about the bungled scheme than it does about sick and disabled claimants.  The Work Programme is shit. That’s why no-one volunteers for it.

Another of Litchfield’s worries is the use of regulation 35 (2) (b).  This rule means that people can be placed in the Support Group automatically if there is “substantial risk” to their mental or physical health if they are found fit for work.  This can be done without a face to face assessment and is frequently used – often on the advice of a GP or medical specialist – when a claimant demonstrates suicidal behavior or is at risk of self-harm.  Litchfield seems appalled that this group are not being harassed stringently enough by the DWP.  Nowhere does he mention the growing number of suicides linked to the Work Capability Assessment .  Perhaps he thinks there aren’t enough.

The DWP agree with Litchfield that the numbers in the Support Group are too high and in a frank admission say this is down to more paper based assessments being carried out due to chronic delays that have built up in the system.  According to the department: “Following transition to the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments (Maximus) and restoration of the usual proportion of face-to-face assessments it is expected that the level of Support Group outcomes will decline.”

Litchfield must be so relieved to hear that even more sick and disabled claimants will soon be dependent on food banks after having their benefits sanctioned.  He won’t be the only one happy at the news.  Maximus would like to see as many people on the Work Programme as possible, because they fucking run huge chunks of that as well.  No wonder their greedy boss can afford to pay himself $5 million a year.

The Work Capability Assessment is set to get worse.  It is more vital than ever that it is scrapped completely.  Help make that happen this Monday 2nd March with the first national day of action against new contractors Maximus.  Protests, demonstrations and actions are planned in 30 locations throughout the UK and even one in Toronto!  Full details of the nearest protest to you are available in this handy post from Disabled People Against Cuts.  Please help spread the word and let’s make Maximus feel uncomfortable for a change.

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Middle Class Solutions To Working Class Problems Is Why Charities Like MIND Keep Getting It So Wrong

didnt-go-to-work-todayIain Duncan Smith must be pissing himself.  A report released at the end of last year by mental health charity MIND could not have gone further in endorsing the core ideas that lie behind his bungled and brutal welfare reforms.

The report is titled “We’ve Got Work To Do” and claims to demand ‘fundamental reform’ of the workplace and social security system to better support people with a mental health condition.  Sadly it is calling for nothing of the sort and is underpinned by the exact same lies and toxic assumptions that have driven both Tory and Labour welfare reforms.

Just like the DWP, MIND have adopted the flawed medical consensus that work is good for your health. The charity does acknowledge that this isn’t actually always true, but falls short of saying that work can be bad for your health, instead arguing that “inappropriate or poor quality work can have as negative an effect on people’s mental health as not being in work”.  They base this opinion on research carried out in Australia that found that “the mental health of those who were unemployed was comparable or more often superior to those in jobs of the poorest psychosocial quality.”  In other words work can be worse for your mental health than being unemployed, rather than just equally bad as MIND claim.

It is not nit-picking to point out the discrepency between what this research found and what MIND say it found because it reveals the charity’s opinions to be based on ideology, not facts.  This same factual slippage occurs elsewhere in the report when MIND begin by saying that most people with mental health conditions want to work, which later becomes everyone with a mental health condition wants to work. The truth, as revealed in the footnotes to the report, are that only around 58% of people out of work due to a mental health condition strongly agreed they wanted to return to work whilst 20% did not feel they were well enough.

These two distortions – or let’s call them lies – have allowed the despised Work Capability Assessment, benefit sanctions and workfare all to be misrepresented as ‘support’ or ‘help’.  In truth these measures destroy lives.  The medical consensus that work is good for you does often not apply to those on the lower end of the income scale who face being forced by Jobcentres into the kind of work likely to make them ill.

MIND’s Chief Executive Paul Farmer claims at the beginning of the report that there have been “improvements in how people with mental health problems are supported”, although it is unclear what they are. There then follows an emotive story about someone’s journey through the benefit system after leaving work due to depression.  This is actually where their journey would stop, because unless they could provide reems of medical evidence to the Jobcentre they would be disallowed benefits for giving up work.  That this reports begins by misrepresenting the benefit system as it currently functions just shows how removed these giant disability charities have become from the lives of those they claim to support.

Instead the ‘fundamental reform’ they call for is actually more of the same or worse – such as the dangerous idea that sensitive health information from the Work Capability Assessment should be passed over to Work Programme providers like A4e and G4S.  This is like your boss having access to your medical history and appallingly MIND seem pretty relaxed about this as well.

Much of the early part of the report is taken up by calling for improvements in the working environment for people suffering mental ill-health.  Which is fine, everyone wants that, except greedy employers who worry it might cost them money or who harbour nasty little prejudices about mental health.  According to MIND themselves this is about 40% of them.  Yet one of MIND’s recommendations is that the Maximus run ‘Fit To Work’ service – the new telephone helpline which will be used to certify time off instead of GPs – should more effectively engage with employers.  About the only decent thing about Fit To Work, which is designed to bully people back into the workplace before they are better, is that currently you have the right to keep your boss out of any discussions.

The final part of the report discusses what future welfare-to-work schemes should look like for those with a mental health condition.  The charity are calling for “new specialist scheme for people with mental health problems on
ESA”.  A scheme which should be run by those who “have expertise and experience of working with people with mental health problems”.  And here lies the real reason for this report.  It’s a fucking advert to any incoming Labour Government to give MIND a lucrative contract to run a new welfare-to-work service.

There is no longer any doubt that endless Atos assessments, workfare and benefit sanctions are creating a crisis in the lives of those with a mental health condition.  The tragic death toll rises ever higher.  Yet nowhere in this report does MIND call for these brutal policies to be scrapped.  Even if MIND were handed a contract to be nicer to people on ESA this would still leave those who have been found fit for work abandoned and dumped onto mainstream unemployment benefits alongside those whose condition is at yet undiagnosed.  On twitter yesterday MIND claimed they couldn’t call for sanctions to be scrapped for people who are unemployed because it wasn’t a key issue.  If your mental health condition isn’t bad enough to be able to claim ESA then tough shit seems to be the charity’s response if you get sanctioned.

The thing is, naked profiteering aside, MIND are not bastards.  They have dedicated front line workers who don’t get paid anywhere near enough and are sincere committed people.  Workers who would probably agree that benefit sanctions and the Work Capability Assessment should be scrapped immediately.  They see the carnage that is being caused everyday.

The problem is that reports like these are overseen and commissioned by highly paid charity executives who live lifestyles that their service users and lowest paid staff can only dream of.  These lifestyles lead them to make assumptions based on their own distorted experience of the world.  Over time they become unable to avoid inflicting solutions to the problems faced by working class people based on their own middle class values because that is all they know.  Often these solutions are utterly bizarre, like the boss of homelessness charity Thamesreach Jeremy Swain’s obsessive belief that the biggest problem facing homeless people is that beer is too cheap.  You read that right.  Too cheap.

It is near impossible for someone on a huge salary who does a job they love to understand why someone may not feel up to working at present.  That, to someone like MIND Chief Executive Paul Farmer, really does seem like madness. Likewise charity bosses have no real understanding of why it might be dangerous to allow other bosses to snoop around your health records.  Bosses think bosses are lovely people who would never abuse their powers – or at least not without a damn good reason.  And bosses know best, they tell each other that all the time.

Charity bosses in particular have their own view of themselves as benevolent experts confirmed everyday by politicians and journalists who would far rather talk to them than someone on the dole.  Their whopping salaries provide further proof of their own ability.  As do arse-licking middle managers who continually tell them how wonderful and clever they are, to their faces at least.  So Paul Farmer must be is right because he’s Paul Farmer and MIND are right because they are MIND and anyone criticising them just doesn’t understand.  Because they are not experts.

That’s how MIND alongside other disability and anti-poverty charities can so easily dismiss the demands of grassroots campaigns comprising of disabled people and benefit claimants.  Groups which are more or less united in calling for benefit sanctions and the WCA to be scrapped completely.  These people are not experts.  At worst they might even be service users.  And you don’t want them getting too uppity.  Before you know where you are you’ll have working class people running organisations together to address working class problems.  Then there’d be nothing at all for poor Paul Farmer to do.    He might even have to get a real job.

Please sign/share/tweet the petition Benefit Sanctions Must Be Stopped Without Exceptions.

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14 Towns And Cities And Counting Lined Up To Take Action Against Maximus On March 2nd #ScrapWCA

Maximus-same-circus-different-clownsMaximus claimed that they would not face protests due to their involvement with the Work Capability Assessment.  They couldn’t have been more wrong.  14 towns and cities have already called events as part of the National Day of Action Against Maximus on March 2nd.

Please help spread the word about events near you and join in, as organisers Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) say: “If there isn’t a protest where you live – why not organise one? – we can help you with advice, leaflet designs, placard designs and put you in contact with local groups near to you, if you are interested email us on mail@dpac.uk.net”

Have you been sanctioned by Maximus?  DPAC have also asked for people to contact them if with their experiences of attending the Work Programme or other forced work schemes with the company.

For all the latest details on the day of action visit: http://dpac.uk.net/2015/01/maximus-day-of-action-2nd-of-march-list-of-events-around-the-uk-scrapwca/

List if towns and cities so far …

Balham:  Irene House, 218 Balham High Road, Balham, London, SW12 9BX, Time: 10.30 am – 12 noon

Facebook events link for Balham action: https://facebook.com/events/921882261178305/

Brighton:  West Lees House, 21-35 Dyke Road, Brighton, BN1 3GD, (North End of the Clock Tower, Next to Old Job Centre.) Time: 1pm onwards.

Facebook events page for Brighton action: https://www.facebook.com/events/1542104427509/?fref=ts

Cardiff:  (This protest organised by DAN Cymru) Block 2, Government Buildings, St Agnes Road, Gabalfa, Cardiff, CF14 4YJ.  Time: 1 -4 pm

Facebook events page for Cardiff action: https://www.facebook.com/events/1541199339470550/

Croydon:  Stephenson House, 2 Cherry Orchard Road, Croydon, CR0 6BA, Time: 10 am – 6pm.

Facebook events page for Croydon action: https://www.facebook.com/events/641182419342826/

Glasgow:  Corunna House, 29 Cadogan Street, Glasgow, G2 7RD,  Time: 12.30 -2 pm

Facebook events page for Glasgow action: https://www.facebook.com/events/1429430507348206/

Ipswich: Medical Assessment Centre, St. Felix House, Silent Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 1TF.  Time: 1 pm onwards.

Facebook events page for Suffolk action: https://www.facebook.com/events/1513102252288548/

Lincoln:  Medical Assessment Centre, Viking House, 98 Newland, Time: 1 pm onwards

Facebook events page for Lincoln action: https://www.facebook.com/events178533808358604/

Leicester:  Leicester assessment centre, 1st Floor, Rytland Centre, Halford Street, Leicester, LE1 1TQ, Time: 1 pm onwards

Facebook events page for Leicester action: https://www.facebook.com/events/522105471264765/

London – Maximus HQ:  Maximus HQ Level 1, Queen Anne’s Gate, London, SW1H 9BU,  Time: 1 – 5 pm

Contact for details of London Central action: DPAC via mail@dpac.uk.net

Facebook events page for London Central Action: https://www.facebook.com/events/771842739517758/

Manchester:  Albert Bridge House, Bridge Street, Manchester, M60 9AT, Time: 12 noon until 4 pm

Facebook events page for Manchester Action: https://www.facebook.com/events/346833825508275/

Plymouth:  Argosy House, Longfield Road, Plympton, Plymouth, PL6 8LS, Time: 12 noon until 3 pm

Facebook events page for Plymouth action: https://www.facebook.com/events/951081494902471/

Reading:  St Mary’s Butts, Reading, RG1 2LG, Time: 11 am – 1 pm

Facebook events page for Reading Action: https://www.facebook.com/events/1404292959867177/

Sheffield:  Medical Assessment Centre, 1 Hartshead Square, Sheffield, S1 2FD.  Time: 1- 3 pm (meet first at 12.30 pm at City centre)

Facebook events page for Sheffield Action: https://facebook.com/events/1526799147602672/

Truro:  Pydar House, Pydar Street, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 2XD (the current WCA Assessment Centre),  After a while spent there protest will move on to Truro City Centre outside the JobCentre Plus.  Time: Noon till 2pm

Facebook events page for Truro Action: https://www.facebook.com/events/1002956276384446/

And Online!

Visit DPAC for details of the online protest: http://dpac.uk.net/2015/02/social-media-events-for-the-day-of-action-against-maximus-2nd-march-scrapwca/

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Looming Staffing Crisis In The NHS As Atos And Maximus Try To Steal All The Nurses

Hippocrates1Iain Duncan Smith’s brutal and bungled welfare reforms could be set to the plunge the NHS into chaos as nurses and doctors are paid huge sums to carry out benefit-slashing assessments instead of working in our chronically understaffed hospitals.

Last year the Royal College of Nusring warned that a lack of senior nurses in the NHS is putting patient care at risk.  This followed a report a year earlier from the Department of Health funded  Centre for Workplace Intelligence which found that the NHS will face a shortfall of 47,545 nurses by 2016.  It is not just Tory cost cutting set to cause this crisis in the NHS, but a lack of suitably qualified homegrown nurses.  Last year The Guardian reported that the shortage is already so acute that one in five nurses employed between 2013/14 had to be recruited from overseas.

US firm Maximus are the company brought in to replace Atos to carry out the notorious Work Capability Assessment, the crude computer based test designed to strip benefits from out of work sick and disabled people.  Every one of these assessments must be carried out by a qualified healthcare professional with at least two years clinical experience  In an attempt to meet their target of one million benefit assessments a year., the company are currently undertaking a huge recruitment exercise promising nurses the chance to “work within the exciting and challenging area of Disability Assessment”. What they mean is bastards wanted to cut people’s benefits by declaring them fit for work on the flimsiest of evidence. 

In an attempt to bribe healthcare workers to carry out this grubby malpractice, Maximus are offering a considerably better salary than similarly qualified nurses would be paid in the NHS.  A salary, it should be remembered, that is ultimately funded by the tax payer.  This government would rather pay healthcare workers to bully people off benefits rather than deal with the staffing crisis in the NHS.

Maximus are not the only ones who are desperately trying to lure qualified healthcare professionals away from the NHS.  Whilst the notorious Atos will soon no longer carry health tests for out of work benefits, they too are recruiting nurses and other healthcare professionals to carry out disability assessments for the new Personal Indepence Payments (PIP) – the replacement for Disability Living Allowance which pays for the costs of living with a disability such as care, transport or specialist equipment.  Alongside Capita, Atos will be responsible for implementing the Tory policy to strip this benefit from a fifth of disabled people.  Both Atos and Capita have large scale recruitment operations underway.  Atos also use paramedics to carry out PIP assessments.  Last year health bosses warned they are having to recruit paramedics from Poland due to a national shortage estimated to be around 3000.

It is unclear how many nurses and other healthcare professionals are currently working on DWP contracts to stop people’s benefits instead of in hospitals where they are so badly needed, but it is likely to run to several thousand.  Minister for Murdering Disabled People Mark Harper dodged the question of how many staff Maximus are planning to recruit when he appeared before the Work and Pensions Committee this week.  Every last one of these so-called healthcare professionals, which also includes doctors, is breaching the fundamental medical principle of first do no harm.  But with nurses in the NHS facing pay squeezes and increased workloads, there will always be some happy to throw medical ethics out of the window and use their talents to harm not heal.

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The Company That Dare Not Show Its Face: How Maximus Plan To Hide Their Involvement In The Work Capability Assessment

chda-maximus

The logo likely to be used on the paperwork for the Work Capability Assessment

Maximus – the US based firm brought in to replace Atos to carry out benefit assessments – will hide their corporate identity behind a hastily erected front company in an attempt to avoid damage to their brand The Guardian revealed yesterday.

According to the paper, the company will not use its logo on letters sent to claimants facing the notorious Work Capability Assessment, instead using a neutral name such as “The Centre for Health and Disability Assessment”.  In fact this company has been up and running since June 2014, suspiciously several months before it was announced that Maximus would be taking over the contract from Atos.  The Guardian should probably have known this, because they are currently running an advertisement for a Social Media Manager for the new company on the recruitment part of their website.

The company was established by senior Maximus directors Leslie Wolf and William Smith and is based in the their offices in East Sussex..  Already they are using this fake ID to recruit Functional Assessors and other staff to work on the new contract with the DWP as they desperately attempt to find enough healthcare professionals who are nasty enough to take on the role.

The suffering caused by the Work Capability Assessment is well documented with an ever growing list of tragic deaths linked to the process.  Despite this Maximus claim that the press coverage of Atos and their shambolic handling of the assessments has been “unjustifiably negative” and that in future people should blame the government if they don’t like what Maximus does.   This incidentally was exactly the same line Atos used when they whined about people complaining about them.  The idea that it is perfectly possible to hold governments responsible for the shitty things they do, and equally condemn the vile shitbags who profit from them, never seems to have occurred to this mercenary bunch of vultures.

It looks like Maximus are also using the same medical recruitment firm that Atos used to hire staff.  Any healthcare professional considering working for these bastards should remember the words of a former Atos disability analyst:

“The job was making me sick …. It’s against my principles to treat people with long term illnesses in such a disgusting way, so I had to give it up.

“People go into those interviews and talk openly to you because you are a nurse and they trust you.

“Then your skills are used against them, to take away their benefits and destroy their lives.

“I can’t be a part of that.”

Join the Day of Action Against Maximus called by Disabled People Against Cuts on March 2nd.

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Taking The WCA Back To The Bad Old Days, Why Sick and Disabled Claimants Should Fear A Labour Government

ESA-statsShadow Minister for Disabled People Kate Green has pledged to return the despised Work Capability Assessment (WCA) back to its “original purpose” raising fears that gains made by capaigners over the last few years could be lost as Labour attempt to rehabilitate the despised tests for sickness or disability benefits.

Her comments were made at a union meeting late last year and were filmed by  Kate Belgrave who has made the video available to Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC).  According to Green, Labour will: “make sure that the work capability assessment is returned to its original purpose of being the first step in the process to diagnose and identify what sort of support somebody who could work at some point would need to have in order to enable them work, and so we will give every single person who goes through the work capability assessment, at the end of their assessment, a statement of how their condition or impairment impacts on their capacity to work.”

Labour introduced the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) in 2008 with the ‘original purpose’ of stripping out of work benefits from over a third of sick and disabled people.  Speaking to Parliament about the reforms in 2006, the Labour Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions John Hutton said: “I believe that if we take the measures that I have outlined … we can get 1 million people off incapacity benefit within a decade. In doing so, we could ultimately save up to £7 billion a year for taxpayers. That should be the scale of our ambition.”

Whilst the tests were first introduced for new claimants only, in the 2008 budget (PDF para 4.5) Labour announced that all claimants on Incapacity Benefit would be re-assessed from April 2010.  All Iain Duncan Smith did, after the Tory Party weren’t elected in May 2010, was to continue the work begun by Labour.

The contract to carry out the shoddy tick-box style assessments was handed to the little known French IT firm Atos Origin, a company who had previously sponsored events at the Labour Party conference.  Atos were tasked with dividing claimants on sickness or disability benefits into three groups – those unable to work who were placed in the Support Group, those who might be able to do some work at some point in the future – the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) – and those who the company judged ‘fit for work’.

The results have been horrifying as people with serious health conditions have been forced off benefits after a brief computer based test ignored medical opinion to find them able to work.  Many in the WRAG group have faced benefit sanctions after being unable to carry out DWP mandated ‘Work Related Activity’ such as endless job search, compulsory training and even workfare.  The assessments have even become too much for Atos to stomach and following fierce campaigning by disabled people the company announced last year that they would be ending their contract with the government early.

The introduction of the Work Capability Assessment was based on the tabloid myth that hundreds of thousands of people were faking their health conditions  and were really able to work.  This lie took hold despite the UK not having significantly more people unable to work due to sickness or disability then other comparable economies.  Yet still the abuse persisted from politicians of all parties.  In 2011 Ed Miliband even attempted to blame benefit claimants for the financial crisis claiming many of those unable to work were “ripping off society”.

On the ground however a very different picture was emerging.  As early as March 2010 Citizens Advice published a damning report (PDF) backed by disability charities revealing the horrific suffering the WCA was causing.  It turned out that most people were not lying about their health condition after all and tragic stories began appearing in the media of poverty, homelessness, ill health and even suicides linked to the new sickness benefit regime.  Huge numbers of decisions made by Atos and the DWP to remove benefits were being over-turned at appeal.  Protests against the process began to spread throughout the UK.  And slowly, the number of people found fit for work, began to fall (as can be seen in the above graph which represents new claims, not re-assessments).

Just as significantly, the percentage of people placed in the Support Group – meaning they are not expected to look for work at all – has risen sixfold between the last period of the Labour adminstration and the most recent figures.  Of course this – combined with a huge backlog of cases as Atos struggled to find enough healthcare professionals nasty enough to carry out the assessments – has meant that the number of people entitled to sickness and disability benefits is back on the rise, and rightly so.   The job of new contractors, US based outsourcing firm Maximus, will be to reverse this trend.

Labour have promised to tinker with the WCA but have no plans to scrap it.  As DPAC rightly point out, Kate Green’s comments suggest those in the Support Group could soon be in the firing line and face pressure to look for work.  Last year Ed Miliband endorsed a think tank report which suggested the removal of the WRAG group for under 25s who would instead face workfare and their benefits being reduced to the same level as those unemployed.  Maximus, who will be taking over from Atos in March this year, have recently employed a former Labour special advisor alongside a prominent Labour blogger on a huge salary to manage ‘customer relations’.  Bill Gunnyeon, the DWP Civil Servant who oversaw the introduction of the WCA under the Labour government, has also recently been employed by the company.

Anyone who thinks that things might get better for sick and disabled claimants if the Tories are voted out this May could yet be in for a horrifying surprise.  Because if history is anything to go by, then under a Labour administration, things could get a lot worse.

Join the Day of Action against Maximus called by Disabled People Against Cuts on March 2nd.

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More Sanctions On The Way For Claimants With A Mental Health Condition In Scotland

work-makes-meThe DWP are currently tendering for a pilot scheme in Scotland which will see claimants on both unemployment and sickness benefits forced to attend training and possibly even workfare under the threat of benefits being stopped.

Around 450 claimants in the West of Scotland Jobcentre Plus District are expected to be forced onto the scheme if Jobcentre staff decide they have “low self esteem; and/or limited capability to manage stressful or challenging situations.”

Unlike the Work Programme, this scheme will not be aimed at people who have been on benefits for a long time.  Instead the tender documents state that those referred are likely to be people whose period of unemployment is less than 26 weeks, suggesting people could be sent from the first day of their claim.

The DWP say they expect 20% of participants to enter an “educational training course” including work experience or sector based work academies – both better known as workfare.  It is unclear whether those on the programme will be forced to move into unpaid work, however the tender clearly states that benefit sanctions will be applied in the event of “failure to attend or participate in any meeting or activity, having been notified of the requirement to attend by the Supplier”.

Worryingly this mandatory activity could include referring claimants for specialist support to “manage health conditions” or “advice related to alcohol or substance misuse”.  This could mean Jobcentre busybodies and two bit welfare-to-work companies making decisions on people’s healthcare, not doctors.

One of the key aims of this scheme will be to “promote the positive impact working has on health and well being.”   This is the latest propaganda drive from the DWP, who are also plotting four more pilot schemes around the UK aimed at people with mental health conditions.  Whilst details so far are scant on what these programmes will involve, in the DWP staff newsletter they are being justified by bungling toff Lord Fraud on the grounds that: “Work is good for your mental health”.

According the the Health and Safety Executive the total number of cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2013/14 was 487 000.  Work can make you fucking miserable, as anyone who’s ever had a real job is likely to be all too aware.

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