Monday, 7 June 2010

Urgent questions

The basis of Emma Harrison's claim yesterday that A4e would be allowed to work with "whole families" appears in a speech to providers by David Freud:
"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?
Emma Harrison called this a "massive breakthrough". It certainly has huge implications.


  1. "we will fix the system so that it works better for you"

    No mention of accountability, raising standards, or providing real training for the clients. Looks like a mandate for the likes of Ms Harrison to line her pockets further at the expense of the taxpayer.

  2. Gnerallly speaking, in the UK the bigger the company the worse the standard of service and the higher the cost. For example, British Gas, Royal Bank Of Scotland, First Bus. I'm sure you can add many more to the list from your own experiences.

    I doubt A4e have asked themselves the questions you posed? They clearly think it will be business as usual. Perhaps I'm an optimist, but I think A4e will find the Gold Rush days are well and truly over in a period of austerity and the sort term quick fix approach they have used previously to get clients into any old temp job in order to get the bonus are especially with talk of payment being based 100% outcome based, with the criteria for outcome being more stringent.

  3. So the provider will decide what works for the client and decide the programme for them. yet again the victim has no say in his fate.


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