Tag Archives: G4S

Another Shambles At The DWP: Community Work Placements Fail To Launch

g4s-workfareDespite a high profile launch of the latest mass workfare scheme two weeks ago, DWP documents confirm that in fact it hasn’t started yet.

The unpaid Community Work Placements are one element of ‘Help To Work’.  This is the latest draconian scheme concocted by Iain Duncan Smith as part of his increasingly desperate attempt to prove that unemployment is caused by unemployed people.  The £300 million initiative involves claimants sent on six month’s full time workfare for ‘community organisations’ under the threat of benefits being stopped.

The scheme is mired in chaos with sources at the beginning of the month saying that no-one who works in Jobcentres has “been told anything about it”.  This is confirmed by a DWP newsletter which says that “the first claimants will be referred onto Community Work Placements from the end of May 2014”.  It is even unclear whether daily signing, or mandatory interventions – the other two elements of Help To Work – have actually begun yet.  A PCS Union circular to members working at the DWP states that it will the end of May before ‘processes will be in place’ to start Help To Work.

The reason for this embarrassingly delay seems to be down to the tendering process for the placements.  Welfare to work companies who had bid for contracts to run CWPs expected to be told whether they had been successful way back at the beginning of March.  Instead they were not informed until mid-April.  It was not until the evening after the ‘launch’ that the DWP quietly admitted to the public that G4S had won six contracts to manage the workfare placements.

As Private Eye points out this week, G4S were barred from bidding for Government contracts until April 9th due to the investigation into the security tagging fiasco.  It’s hardly a huge fucking leap to speculate that this flagship Government policy has been delayed just so the DWP can shovel yet more tax payer’s cash into the grubby pockets of G4S.

Much of the details of the placements remains shrouded in secrecy. It is still not known who will join the six lead providers, which also include welfare-to-work firms Seetec and Learn Direct, as sub-contractors to run CWPs.  Neither does anyone have any idea which charities will actually accept these forced volunteers.  Well over 250 charities have now signed the statement to Keep Volunteering Voluntary.

This mass boycott is not just a disaster for the DWP, but also for the private contractors who will be paid to run the scheme.  Jobcentre documents warn that if these companies are unable to find work placements for participants then they must provide full time ‘jobsearch’ or ‘work related activity’ themselves.  They will only be paid once someone is either on an unpaid work placement or they are found a job.  A pilot scheme for CWPs found that placements could only be found for 63% of participants and that was before the voluntary sector firmly rejected this kind of workfare.  Whilst hundreds of millions of pounds are potentially up for grabs to run Help To Work, if not enough placements can be found then this will prove expensive for the contractors running the scheme.

In an effort to protect the reputation of placement providers, where claimants finally get sent to carry out unpaid work will be kept a closely guarded secret.  The DWP have repeatedly refused to name companies and charities involved in the shorter Mandatory Work Activity, despite being ordered to do so by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The department claims that campaigners targeting those using workfare could lead to charities pulling out and even bring the scheme to an end.  Charities using workfare, who have a duty to be open and transparent, are now being shielded by the Government in an effort to prevent those who support them from knowing what they are up to.

One charity certain to be involved in Community Work Placements is workfare quango @GroundworkUK .  With no other names yet released then they can look forward to being the centre of everyone’s attention for some time to come.

Read more about the murky launch of Community Work Placements, along with details of the shameful record of Seetec, another provider, at: http://www.private-eye.co.uk/sections.php?section_link=news&issue=1366

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G4S Ride To The DWP’s Rescue, Bungling Fraud Suspects Handed Huge Government Contract

g4s-workfareSeveral hours after the DWP’s £300 million mass workfare scheme began and the DWP have finally decided who’s going to be running it.  The Financial Times are reporting that G4s will operate the flagship contract to provide Community Work Placements in six regions.  This is despite the fact that up until just over two weeks ago they were still mired in a Cabinet Investigation over fraud allegations.   The company are still under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office after over-charging huge sums on their electronic tagging contract.  Other companies with their snouts in the workfare trough include Pertemps, Seetec and Interserve.

G4S will use their experience fucking up the Work Programme to fuck up the Help To Work scheme of which the unpaid workfare placements are a key part.  Quoted in The FT, Sean Williams, managing director of G4S employment support services, said:  “Building on our experience on the Work Programme, we will work through a network of specialist, experienced organisations from the public, private and charitable sector, to ensure that claimants are given real, relevant work experience which will improve their long-term employment prospects.”

Already the new Community Work Placements are mired in chaos with the DWP claiming the scheme had been launched even before contractors had been announced.  The placements are also proving hugely unpopular – over 50 charities and voluntary sector organisations signed up to the Keep Volunteering Voluntary agreement on the campaign’s first day.  Liverpool Council have said they will boycott the placements, calling them “immoral and unworkable”.  Which to be fair is the kind of thing G4S are good at.  But they won’t do much to help the image problem of this exploitative scheme which is currently being roundly rejected by the real voluntary sector.

For some of the many and varied reasons why G4S are a bunch of wankers visit http://www.stopg4s.net/

To join the fightback against Community Work Placements and all workfare go to: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

Atos Paid No Tax In 2012 Despite Boss Earning £2.3 Million

atos-black-triangleFrench IT firm Atos, the company paid hundreds of millions to carry out the brutal Work Capability Assessment, paid no Corporation Tax in the UK last year the Daily Telegraph has revealed.

The company, who also have a string of other public sector contracts and have recently been invited to bid to part-run George Osborne’s mass workfare scheme, claim to have made no profit in the UK in 2012.  Yet boss of the company, Thierry Breton, was recently discovered to have been awarded a £280,000 pay rise during the same period – meaning his annual salary package is now worth an astonishing £2,329,250.

Atos are not the only company with their snouts in the public sector trough who have given nothing back.  The notorious and allegedly fraud ridden G4S also paid no Corporation Tax in the last year.  According to The Telegraph, the company appear to justify this by saying they paid around £400million in PAYE-related taxes.  This is a common excuse from the bosses of tax dodging multi-nationals and it is contemptible, as if it is them, and not their employees, who are paying this tax.

The figures came to light after a National Audit Office (NAO) report which revealed that the four biggest public sector contractors – Atos, G4S, Serco and Capita – received around £6.6 billion from public sector contracts in 2012.  To place this figure in context, that is around one and a half times the annual bill for the main unemployment benefit Jobseekers Allowance.  Almost half a billion of that came from contracts with the DWP which merely exist to bully and harass those out of work and little else.  All these contracts have been a disaster, from the bungled Work Capability Assessment which has seen hundreds of thousands of wrong decisions over-turned on appeal, to the equally bodged Work Programme which is performing worse at getting people into work than doing nothing at all.

Osborne’s latest workfare plans alone are expected to cost another third of a billion pounds.  Still these companies are being handed huge sums of tax payer’s money.  Much of that will end up in the pockets of bosses like Thierry Breton.  Some will be squandered on incompetence such as the Olympic Security farce.  If the investigations into Serco and G4S’ probation contracts are anything to go by then some of it will be stolen outright.   And now it seems almost nothing will come back to the tax payer as they whinge that they haven’t made enough money and so can’t afford to pay tax.

Claimants who take a few quid off the state to stay alive due to sickness, parenthood, unemployment or disability are immediately judged to be benefit scroungers.  Steal a couple of billion and the cunts will probably give you a knighthood.

The NAO Report can be read at: http://www.nao.org.uk/report/memorandum-role-major-contractors-delivery-public-services/

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Chris Grayling Hands Probation Service Over To Bunch Of Crooks

a4e improvingBungling Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling, has announced plans to hand over probation services to some of the shadiest companies operating in the UK.

Grayling is introducing a payment by results scheme for new probation contracts, similar to the one he helped launch on the Work Programme back when he was the bungling Employment Minister.  The Work Programme so far has been an unmitigated disaster as private sector poverty pimps have sat back and let the cash roll in from start fees, cherry picked the easiest to help and forced them into workfare, and largely abandoned everyone else.

Astonishingly it is likely to be many of the very same companies who have screwed up the Work Programme who will be let loose on probation services.  G4S, the company most famous for the death at their hands of Jimmy Mubenga, and the bodged Olympic Security fiasco, are certain to be on the list of those bidding for contracts.  A4e, the workfare company who have faced a string of fraud allegations, have also long been eying up probation services, presumably on the basis that they know a thing or two about crime themselves.

One of the key measures private companies are likely to be paid out on is whether they are able to stop people re-offending and ending up back inside.  This will mean that from the board levels down to the front line staff – who will no doubt be working to strict targets – it will be in the financial interests of the companies to cover up any further crimes probation workers may suspect have been committed.

Will a G4S worker really help the police with their inquiries, as grassing probation officers often do, if it means they won’t hit their targets that month?  G4S’ experience of getting away with crime could prove invaluable in keeping those ‘outcome’ payments flowing into their grubby pockets.

Experienced crooks like A4e and G4S giving people tips on how to stay out of jail for what will be trivial offences in many cases may turn out to be no bad thing.  But the potential for abuse is terrifying.  Grayling is said to favour the ‘black box’ approach to commissioning services.  This means all he cares about is the price, as under these kinds of contracts companies involved are given free reign to do whatever they choose to try and hit their targets.  Just like the Work Programme, these companies could be given unprecedented powers over people’s lives with barely any scrutiny.

According to The Guardian, the public sector will not be allowed to bid for the draconian new contracts which will cover 70% of the work carried out by probation services.  Social Workers should take note, this won’t end with probation staff.

It seems that Chris Grayling is intent on exporting the shambles he left   behind at the DWP into the Ministry of Justice.  Like some malevolent  jumped-up imp, he seems to think he’s being tough by prancing around scattering chaos wherever he treads.  In truth he’s far more Norman Wisdom – without the wit or talent- then he ever will be Norman Tebbit.

And when it all comes crashing down compulsive liar Grayling will no doubt slink off somewhere else in Government, turning his back on the shambles he’s created and claiming “it wasn’t me guv”.

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Most Work Programme Jobseekers Unemployable Claim G4S

In an astonishing slur on hundreds of thousands of unemployed, sick or disabled benefit claimants, welfare to work company G4S have claimed that most people on the Work Programme are not worth employing despite the huge subsidies on offer.

G4S are one of the biggest employers in the world with over 630,000 employees.  As one of the UK’s largest Work Programme providers they are paid up to £13,000 for every benefit claimant they manage to find long term work.

Speaking to Channel 4’s Fact Check blog, Sean Williams, Managing Director of G4S Welfare to Work was questioned about whether the company employs Work Programme participants themselves, picking up a fat ‘job outcome’ fee in the process.  The leading poverty pimp responded:

“I would be delighted if we managed to get a lot of job seekers into our own vacancies.”

He then conceded however that it was unlikely that G4S would offer anyone on the Work Programnme a job saying:  “I would challenge the assumption that there are a lot of job seekers who are easy to help in this group that can just be creamed off.”

Channel 4 also questioned the company on whether Work Programme participants were likely to be given jobs on the bungled Olympics Security contract, something the company hotly denies.

According to G4S, just 35 people on the Work Programme have made it through the training to work on the Olympics.  This is despite the thousands of jobs on offer and the apparent desperate shortage of security guards for the Olympics.

If G4S are not prepared to give people on the Work Programme a job, despite the potential tax payer funded £13,ooo incentive, then the question has to be asked why they expect anyone else to?

It is true as Channel 4 says that some people on the Work Programme have “complex problems”.  Many in the Work Related Activity Group have physical disabilities or mental health conditions.  G4S’s tacit admission that this group are unemployable merely reflects the startling prejudice amongst major employers towards people who are disabled or unwell.

Many more on the Work Programme have simply been unemployed for over 12 months, but it appears there is no room for this group in the company either.   Once again this is hardly surprising.  With competition for jobs at possibly an all time high, it is simply common sense that employers will seek to employ people with recent experience.  That is the unfortunate nature of capitalism.

This flies in the face of bungling Employment Minister Chris Grayling and his inept boss Iain Duncan Smith repeated claims that unemployment is caused by the unemployed.  The multi-billion pound Work Programme is based on the assumption that companies like G4S can ‘fix’ unemployment by ‘fixing’ unemployed people.  It is now abundantly clear that one of the biggest contractors on the scheme does not share that view.

G4S also deny that anyone employed at the Olympics will be on workfare.  Channel 4 fairly point out that, so far, there is no clear evidence that the company were ever planning to use workfare at the olympics.  Once again however this begs the question why not?  If workfare staff are good enough to protect the Queen and work in hospitals then why not at the Olympics?

Surely it’s not the fact that this toff Government are so embarrassed about mass forced labour that they are shy of any publicity that may come from workfare being used at the Olympics?

When the workfare row blew up earlier in the year Chris Grayling was gushing in his support for unpaid work, calling anyone opposed to the scheme ‘job snobs’.  Now, with the eyes of the world on the UK, workfare appears to be a dirty little secret that must never be allowed to sully the sacred Olympics.  It seems the real job snobs are those in charge of the whole shoddy workfare racket after all.

Above pic from: http://a4eprotest.blogspot.co.uk/

Disaster For Work Programme As Long Term Unemployment Continues To Rise

The Government’s multi-billion pound scheme aimed at helping the long term unemployed back into work has taken yet another blow as long term unemployment continues to rise.

Despite overall unemployment suspiciously falling, the number of people out of work for over 12 months has risen by 3000.  This continues a three month trend which has seen overall unemployment going down but long term unemployment rising.  The number of people out of work for over two years rose by 18,000 in the last three months.

Over half a billion pounds has been handed out to private sector companies such as G4S and A4e as part of the Work Programme, the Government’s flagship scheme aimed at finding jobs for those out of work for over 12 months.   Today’s figures conclusively dispel any claims from the lying Employment Minister Chris Grayling that the Work Programme can be considered a success.

Whilst the scheme has seen claimants forced to sleep under bridges and welfare to work contractors mired in fraud allegations, it appears to be having no impact whatsoever on long term unemployment and may even be making the situation even worse.  Meanwhile social enterprises are going bust due to the bungled payment structure, whilst the DWP has indulged in endless chaotic wriggling about the exact nature of workfare on the Work Programme.

Early performance figures have shown less long term unemployed people are finding jobs than if the Government had done nothing at all.  Even the recent G4S Olympics farce may yet turn out to have the Work Programme as a contributing factor.

The Work Programme is doing nothing more than lining the pockets of inept welfare to work firms whilst the DWP bury their collective heads in the sand.  The Work Programme is not working.  No-one is getting job.  Charities are being financially strangled.  Long term unemployment is rising.  Workfare has been rejected by both the business community and the public alike.  And yet still Chris Grayling is throwing tax payer’s money round like confetti seemingly oblivious to the desperate mess he is making.

He won’t be happy until the full £5 billion, the total budgeted cost of the shambles, has all been squandered.  Rarely has there been an example of a Government so desperate to give away billions of pounds and quite happy to receive nothing in return.

Whilst benefit cuts and austerity are plunging millions into poverty, insecurity and even homelessness, Work Programme contracters like G4S are handed endless cash to prop up the failing scheme.  Even if the joke security company don’t take the money they were promised for fucking up the Olympics they will take millions more for fucking up the Work Programme.  And Chris Grayling will no doubt cheer them along as the thieving corporate bastards make off with yet more of our money.

In other news Pizza Hut are the latest company to deliver a humiliating snub to Chris Grayling after announcing they will no longer be involved in workfare schemes.  More details from Solidarity Federation.

Is Workfare Behind the G4S Olympics Farce?

G4S are one of the largest companies involved in the Government’s flagship Work Programme, the scheme currently failing miserably at helping long term unemployed people find work.

Participants on the Work Programme can be sent on unpaid work for a period of up to six months.  It is unclear whether those who refuse still face benefit sanctions as the Government have repeatedly changed the rules, plunging the scheme into confusion.  It is also not possible to find out where people are being sent on workfare as part of the Work Programme as the Government is refuses to answer Freedom of Information requests on the subject.

What is abundantly clear is that G4S have access to thousands of unemployed people, and the power to mandate them to do almost anything they choose.  Alongside this G4S had a separate contract to recruit and train thousands of Olympics Security Guards.

Now it’s clear that G4S had a business  opportunity here.  G4S can use the funding they receive on the Olympics contract to train people on the Work Programme.  Should any of the people on the Olympic contract get jobs, then G4S get to claim Job Outcome fees on their Work Programme contract.  This is known as a double fund.  Two contracts to do what appear to be different things, merged into one with huge savings for the company involved.

The other lucrative opportunity for G4S is to use unpaid workers as Olympic Security Guards, much in the way Close Protection did recently at the Queen’s Jubilee.

Is it possible that G4S panicked after the Jubilee story broke plunging their plans for an unpaid Olympics workforce into chaos?

We may never find out.  Chris Grayling, the minister in charge of the Work Programme, is unfortunately prone to lying through his teeth.  But it reveals the dangers of private sector companies handed huge and diverse contracts to carry out public services, whether they be for  stewarding and securing the Olympics or helping people get jobs.

Profit hungry sharks like G4S will cut every corner they can in the search for a quick buck.  With their operations shrouded in secrecy it is near impossible to find out exactly what’s going on.  All we know is that this represents a yet another disaster for the company who began life under the last Tory Government as Group 4 Security and quickly established themselves as a national joke.

The joke stopped being funny when G4S immigration staff killed Jimmy Mubenga whilst he was being deported.  This hasn’t stopped G4S being handed endless Government contracts to carry out everything from running prisons to harassing benefit claimants.

Once again a private company is running rampant with public services and all the Tory Party can do is wring their hands and then slip them another billion.

There is no clear evidence yet that G4S were planning on using mass workare as part of their Olympic Security provision.  But there is some.  This website mirrors the job vacancies available through JobCentre Plus.  Whilst the vacancy in no longer on the Government site the details appear legitimate.  The Job Description states: G4S OLYMPIC RECRUITMENT- G4S will be here on the 22nd February as part of Security Month to recruit for the Olympics jOBS ALL They will be interviewing in the 2nd Floor Interview Room.

Under the section indicated salary is says: Wage/salary unknownMore tellingly it points out: This is not a job vacancy but you might find it interesting to read.

There’s also this youtube video featuring an undercover reporter, of admittedly unknown providence, who claims to have blagged his way into a job training as an Olympics Security Guard.  Unfortunately he is being interviewed for the inane conspiracy site infowars and therefore should be treated with caution.  Alongside wild speculation of a planned mass evacuation of London, he mentions that many of the people he was being trained with were unemployed and on some form of training scheme with G4S.

G4S, disability testing and the DWP – what’s going on?

Are notorious security firm G4S being lined up to administer disability testing for the new Personal Independence Payment scheme?  Could they even be set to replace arch-bastards Atos?

With a history of bungling and brutality they certainly seem well qualified.  The news that a security company  are involved in disability testing trials on behalf of the DWP confirms what has long been suspected – that this government regard benefit claimants and disabled people as  a criminal fringe, to be harrassed, bullied and impoverished along with travellers, asylum seekers, homeless people and others on the economic margins of society.

Just how involved G4S are to become in policing of benefit claimants remains to be seen.   Let’s see what the DWP have to say …

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

I request some information on the current trials being carried out
by G4S concerning the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

The information requested is:

What are the scope of these trials, how many people are expected to
partake, what are the time-frames and are any other companies or
organisations involved in delivering this trial?

Were these trails made available to competitive tender and if so
can the tender specification be published, or information given on
where it may be obtained?

If these trials were not available for competitive tender then can
the department release all correspondence with G4S (excluding
financial information and other contract details which may be
exempt from the FOI under competition rules)which relates to the
nature, methods and administration of the trials. This information
should include the nature of the trails being carried out eg what
is the level of medical qualification (if any) of those conducting
the assessments, the nature of the assessment including any formal
or informal documents relating to the testing procedure or
standardised questions, the methods of selection of candidates to
take part in the trials etc.

When will the study be complete? How will information be evaluated?
Where and when will these evaluations be made available to the

Are G4S involved in any other work relating to disability testing
or health testing for the DWP, whether regarding the new PIP system
or the current administration of eligibility tests for ESA?

Are there any formal plans to include G4S in the roll out of PIP,
are any agreements in place, or will the independent testing
element of the scheme be made available to competitive tender?

Finally I refer to a previous request made in June 2010 regarding
employment or other destinations of those denied ESA due to the
Atos testing procedure (your Ref: FoI 1370). In your response you
specified that “the Department is planning to commission a survey
which will look at the destinations of a sample of people who make
a claim for ESA. We would expect to publish the results of the
survey as they become available”.

Has this survey been carried out, and if so can the Department make
available it’s findings? If this is not the case then can the
Department confirm that there is still no information or statistics
available relating to how many people denied ESA are able to find
work and in what timescale?


johnny void

Is Prison Company G4S Set To Take on Disability Testing?

In a sign of increased hostility from the con-dem government to disabled people  and benefit claimants it appears private prison company G4S is currently trialling medical testing for the New Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

G4S are an international security company who run prisons, prisoner transportation and immigration detention centres amongst other things. Three G4S security guards are currently accused of causing the death of Jimmy Mubenga, who died during his forcible deportation on a British Airways flight to Angola. All round bastards in other words.

The PIP is set to replace Disability Living Allowance,  a non means tested benefit for people with disabilities and long term health conditions.  The aim to to cut the budget by 20%.  It has already been made clear this will be achieved by more stringent medical eligibility testing, probably along the lines of the brutal work currently being carried out by Atos. It has been made clear that only in the most  extreme exceptions will a condition or disability be deemed so serious that the individual may be exempt from testing.  Everyone claiming will also be subject to regular retesting, even for incurable conditions.

G4S are already moving into the Welfare Sector and currently operate a Welfare To Work scheme in the North East. There core business however is security and boast they: “draw on our global experience of working with governments to secure government buildings and key assets around the world, support the justice and security strategies of nations and ensure that government personnel are well prepared to operate in some of the world’s conflict hotspots”.

Are disabled people and benefit claimants the new enemy within?