"It will be designed to allow you, the people who work at the coalface, to run your own operations as you see fit and provide more personalised help where that works for the individual," he said, and went on, "If a jobseeker needs intensive support from day one and is referred to you, it will be up to you to decide what support they get. One programme also means you can tackle the collective issues of family members in a coherent way – rather than splitting them up into different programmes."
Harrison cited the IB claimant who is supported into getting a job and then goes home and is talked out of it.
This raises some urgent questions:
- What qualifications will A4e employees be required to have for this work?
- What constitutes a "family"? Is it only the dependants of the claimant, or does it include those who are not themselves on benefits? What about claimants who live with parents and / or siblings?
- If a family member declines to co-operate with A4e employees will the claimant be penalised?
- Will A4e employees be able to access personal information from professionals such as teachers, GPs and social workers?
- What rights to privacy will claimants have?
- Will claimants still have the right to appeal to Jobcentre Plus in the event of a dispute with A4e?