Saturday, 30 June 2012

They want more sanctions!

A fascinating piece in the Observer reports that "Private firms on payment-by-result contracts have suggested more punishments should have been meted out".  In 2009, 139,000 people had their incomes stopped.  By 2011 it was more than 500,000.  And yet Corporate Watch has documents which show that the companies want more.  In the first 8 months of the Work Programme, jobcentres stopped benefits for 40,000 people, but that was only about a third of the 110,000 that were referred to them.  The rate, however, is going up.  The document shows that Working Links refers the most cases, but A4e is second.  It requested sanctions in 10,120 cases.  3,000 of these were accepted by the jobcentres.  
The procedure in A4e's case, I'm told, is that offices send the cases of non-compliance through to a central office, along with the reasons for this non-compliance (didn't turn up but was in hospital, that kind of thing); that office then refers them for sanctions.  But regularly the explanations get left off, so people find their income has been stopped when they've been told that wouldn't happen.
The article goes on: Richard Whittell from Corporate Watch said the Work Programme appeared to be focused on slashing benefit rather than putting people into work. "These figures give the lie to the government's claims its welfare reforms are about helping people into work," he said.   " By the time it's finished, more people will have been sanctioned by the Work Programme than properly employed through it. Every month thousands of people are having their only source of income stopped and being pushed into hardship. Companies like Serco, Working Links and G4S may not be very good at finding people suitable work, but they're dab hands at punishing them." The private firms say they make their referrals to job centres in line with government guidelines.
Chris Grayling is quoted as saying that "there was no financial imperative for private firms to punish jobseekers".  So why are they doing it?  Is it the case that increasing numbers of people are refusing to comply with the terms of the WP?  Or is there some other reason?

72 comments:

  1. I seem to remember that last April there was a report in the Guardian that said that Job Centre staff had targets for people referred to Decision Making and Appeals for sanction. The report suggested that the vulnerable were being singled out, for special attention. The report suggested that staff were encouraged to trick vulnerable people by such means as giving directions for people to apply for jobs that required a driving licence to people who they already knew couldn't drive.

    The government vehemently denied that this was happening but later confessed that Job Centre staff, had indeed been issued with these instructions.

    Only 3.5 per cent of claimants referred to the Work Programme actually find employment. There is no rational explanation for why the government keeps throwing money at the private providers when they are failing so completely in the stated objective of finding the unemployed work. Now we hear about the same providers requesting more powers to sanction claimants for infractions of the rules.

    The "black box" approach of the Work Programme means that it is very hard to figure out what the rules that apply to the Work Programme actually are. This makes it hard to know in advance what a provider can and cannot do. It makes it hard to appeal against a decision because the appellant does not know the rules they can use to despite the decision.

    In ancient Rome only the aristocracy were allowed to know what the law was. This meant that they could make up the rules as they went along. Thus it was impossible for the working class to protect themselves against abuse. Eventually the lower class succeeded in getting the rules written and inscribed on twelve tablets of stone in the market place. That way everybody knew what their rights were and the aristocracy would not be able to abuse them.

    There was a principle in English law called certainty of legal rules. This idea was that an individual had the right to know EXACTLY were he stood in relation to the state. It was a vital part of the common law that was established by the Normans after the conquest of England in 1066.

    Neither the Romans nor the Normans could be described as woolly liberals but they thought it a basic right that the population should know the rules that controlled their lives. This is more than people on the Work Programme have.

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  2. It does not suprise me that Work Programme firms do all they can to sanction people. A4e tried to get me sanctioned a few months ago for not attending an interview, an interview I was never told of despite me attending job search sessions every week! I had two phone messages that I failed to attend and that they were obliged to tell the jobcentre. A letter appeared through my letter box a few days later stating the same.

    I was fuming, went into A4e and kicked up a bit of a fuss about the threatening phone messages and letter they sent me. They told me don't worry you are not being sanctioned. I Asked them for an explanation and got none! They still had the nerve to sit there infront of me telling me I missed an oppointment. I said sanction me then. nothing happened.

    They only get yes and no answers out of me as a result.

    On the bright side it turned out to be the best thing to happen to me as I only go in to see them every month or two now for 5 minutes at most. They now I loathe them with a passion and the feeling is clearly reciprocated by them.

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  3. My step-son was sanctioned for 6 months on the WP,did he deserve this? Probably,as he missed 3 appointments,he claimed he was not informed(this was at the begining of the WP)but the surprising thing was the WP and JCP still wanted him to sign on (at his own expense)After 3 months he was able to secure a part-time job as a cleaner 8hrs a week at the NMW.He did not sign on after being sanctioned,the WP called at least 2 times a week,asking if he had found work,as he was attached to them for 2 years..He has secured a few more hours (30) and refuses to disclose where he is working to the WP,they are trying to claim a job outcome..How/Why They did nothing to help and the calls are starting to become aggresive..Desperation?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. If the calls persist, get the police involved for harrasment. keep records of all calls, record them, note times of calls.

      Delete
    2. The candidate is not assigned to a Work Programme Provider for two years.... although Work Programme Providers may delude themselves with the belief.

      The rationale is that, whereas
      i) the Work Programme Provider has a Service Level Agreement within Job Centre Plus,
      ii) the candidate enters into a Job Seekers Agreement with Job Centre Plus,
      iii) JCP designate WP Providers as being "DWP Job Centre Data Processors",
      there is no relationship between the unemployed candidate and the Work Programme.

      Once the candidate signs off, the Job Seekers Agreement is null and void, and the candidate need not have any further relationship with Job Centre Plus.

      Of course, if the candidate has to sign on as unemployed again because the business goes under, or because the contract was short term, that is all fair and well.

      Delete
    3. Is it not the case that if someone gets a job which doesn't last and has to sign on again, they are re-referred to the WP provider?

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    4. I believe that historian is right about this.

      However, is it profitable to have a customer who might spend 2 years doing a series of short-lived temporary jobs that might not add up to the 26 weeks the DWP seem to require?

      Also, does the WP provider continue to receive monthly payments from the DWP after the original 2 years has expired for the customer concerned?

      Delete
    5. The provider doesn't get monthly payments on the WP, just the "attachment fee" and any outcome payments.

      Delete
  4. They could be wanting more powers to sanction, because of the implied threat.. They may be thinking it is YOUR fault you havent got a job, You arent trying hard enough. You have to accept ANY job we give you..So they can get the outcome bonuses..

    It's a Threat.

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  5. A4E and the rest of them already refer three times as many people for benefit sanctions as they successfully find work for.

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    Replies
    1. A4e don't help at all, I haven't even heard from them in over a month. They don't even ring when they say they will.

      Delete
  6. It's the slow privatisation of the JC+. In the fullness of time the decision to punish will be given to the WP providers.

    And clearly there is a culture, no doubt ordered from IDS (and probably not Igor Grayling) personally, to sanction wherever possible. Cosnequently this is why people that have very good reasons for missing appointments (caring responsibilities and emergencies etc) are being sanctioned, as we have seen.

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  7. Giving this sort of power to private, profit motivated firms who employ people who are motivated by bonuses and commisions is contrary to any concept of natural justice.
    The threat and actuality of raising a "sanction doubt" is the main weapon in the providers' bullying black box.
    Everyone who is subjected to bullying should complain - not just through the "offial" procedure (which is designed to exhaust the complainant rather than do anything positive) but also via the JCP and their MP.
    Evry sanction doubt raised should be vigourously contested. Study the DWP guidelines to providers for reasons why doubts are rejected (e.g. mandatory activities have to be notified in writing).
    Information on the correct procedure for mandation can be found here:
    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wp-pg-chapter-3a.pdf
    and raisnin a compliance doubt here;
    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wp-pg-chapter-6.pdf
    Gissajob

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    Replies
    1. Good advice. Both of the documents Gissajob links to were updated on 18/05/12, and I would recommend that anyone attached to the Work Programme reads them. If providers don’t mandate you properly their sanction doubts won’t succeed.

      Delete
    2. The guidance notes need updating. In particular, where it talks of posting a Mandatory Activity Notification (MAN). "If the MAN is posted, it is taken to have benn received on the second working day after posting (not including Saturday or Sunday or bank holidays)."

      Royal Mail's terms and conditions allow up to three days for 1st class and seven days for 2nd class. Most mail will be delivered well within this time frame as RM is "... required to deliver a minimum of 93% of first class mail within one working day and 98.5% of second class mail within three working days."

      If your provider insists on using 2nd class post, then a MAN is unlikely to arrive on the second day. If the activity mandated is scheduled to take place on day three, then there is a good chance that the "client" will miss it and incur a sanction as a result.

      How nice of the DWP to build in an automatic sanction path in their guidance notes !

      Delete
    3. Thanks for that very useful information.

      Delete
  8. NoWorkProgramme1 July 2012 at 03:05

    Providers only get guaranteed money for youth contracts. Adults are a liability which they wish to unload by sanctioning, only those with the best chances of employment will remain while those that may cost the provider will be 'someone else's problem'. Reading the public accounts reports of most providers operating the WP can back this claim. They are sorting out the weak from the strong and getting rid of the weak as it makes them no money.

    It's every person for themselves now. If providers, a blight on the private sector and indeed gives the private sector a very bad image, don't go first then it might be you next, good readers. Good luck.

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  9. They sanction because of they think taking the jsa away will force people to work

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    Replies
    1. Only one problem. no work.

      Delete
  10. I got a 2 week JSA sanction resulting from a A4e work programme referral interview last year. A4e lied in my case, and the sanction was not only overturned at a tribunal hearing - I also got an apology and compensation.

    The central office where sanctions are referred to is A4e Scunthorpe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thereby providing an answer to an old riddle...

      Delete
  11. Was wondering If you get a sanction, then you get a job.. does the provider still get the outcome bonus?

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    1. Oh yes. I used to work for a provider ( not A4E ) and once the customer is attached ( i.e. turned up for an interview ) the provider can claim an outcome regardless of anything else that happens. We used to regularly have customers turning up for induction who were waiting to hear on the outcome of an interview they had arrnged for themselves before even being referred to the Work Programme. We would then claim both the attachment fee and and any subsequent paymants for the customer starting and staying in work even though we had no input in the result.

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    2. I'm a a4e customer, i got an interview under MY OWN job searching, unsuccessful. I told the Advisor, when when i next went, would they be able to make claim for this?

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    3. Nobody can claim anything for interviews, if that's what you mean.

      Delete
  12. hi historian, thanks, you have answered my question.

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  13. I've had to edit this anonymous comment to remove the name of the office.
    "Hi, A4e have caused me an enormous amount of financial problems. I attended an interview here in **** with A4E and waited in the reception to be called. After 15 minutes of waiting, I went down to my Advisers office and noticed he had another person in with him and so I questioned having to wait for 30 minutes and eventually walked into my interviewers office and witnessed hime in the process of sending a SANCTION memo to the DWP. I asked him why he is having me sanctioned when I had been on site before the appointed time of 1PM. Believe it or not but I was put up for sanction. However, A4E asked me not to attend their interview because I had an interview in their office the following day. I was again put up for sanction and had to plead with A4E to have my three sanctions stopped. They did stop two and I have one outstanding that I have been told by the DWP cannot be changed.I want now to go to the Tribunal because the only person who could verify my attendance has now quit working for A4E and in any event if A4E have demonstrated that on two seperate occasions they wrongly accused me of failing to attend interviews, then I should be given the benefit of the doubt. Can anyone help?"

    I would say go right through the complaints process. If you have anything which could verify your attendance, produce it. Contact your MP. Go to the CAB.

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  14. hi am with a4e on the wp my advisor knowing i suffer from depression called me obsessed and told me i should go and see my doctor and get some antidepressants because i told her that i believe because of my age of 52 i get discriminated on grounds of age in interviews i had a jobsearch appointnment but in my lack of concentration i wrote the wrong time on my calendar so i attendet at 1410 pm instead of 10am they want to sanction me i have raised a complaint now they say i also missed an appointment on the 20/6/2012 but this appointment in fact took place on the 19/6/2012 I do feel harassed and also discriminated can I go to a employment tribunal with this ?

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  15. In short I was sanctioned after being in hospital with an asthma attack, I was unwell with a chest infection and unable to attend a session. I informed A4E about this at 9 am as soon as they started to answer their phone. I was told not to worry and i would be rebooked on a later session.

    A few weeks later i found i had been given a sanction! i contacted a4e they said to contact dwp and let them know i had caled in before hand. i did, still was santioned DWP told me A4E had referd me for sanction.

    Add to that I am a single parent and this is my main source of income. lucky for me my mum gave me some money to get by on.

    Now when i attend a4e the amount of people on there with sanctions is ridiculous. Im sure some of them deserve it but in my case and surely others. i could not attend through an illness I have had all my life, asthma has stopped me doing lots of other activities in my life, i don't think the sanction was fair, maybe legally but not morally. what was i to eat had my mum not been able to lend me money, what were my children to eat, how was i to buy gas? electric?

    It an absolute scandal. I hope news night or someone looks into this as its not fair at all.

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    Replies
    1. Short of recording every single conversation, I don't have an answer to this.

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  16. I failed to attend an interview for a royal mail job and i was wondering if royal mail are allowed to tell working links that i hadnt attended if working links phone them to ask if i attended the interview?

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    1. If i cant go to an interview.. its happened twice once i had severe diarrhea and couldnt go so phoned them and explained the other time i had a migraine and my voice was all slurred..i have an interview wednesday am losing my voice and feeling bad. I hope i am well enough to go, but if i am not i am going to phone them and tell them, or croak to them. But always cover your back.

      Delete
    2. Once is understandable, but you're going to have a hard time convincing someone that you couldn't attend an interview twice, let alone three times. If you're feeling ill anticipating an interview, you might consider that it's psychological. Most people would drag themselves there regardless. You apparently don't want to go. It's very hard to sympathise.

      Delete
  17. Two different interviews for two different jobs two different companies. about a year apart..

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  18. This interview is for a 3rd company, about 2 years after the last migraine.. So it wasnt just the same interview.

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  19. 3 interviews.. for different companies, over 5 years.. that happened to me. i asked them to reschedule and they never did..That comment i think you made is unfair i may not have explained clearly but it is still unfair

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    1. Not really. You didn't make it clear, and I think about what other people would think reading your comment. Nobody will reschedule an interview because one person is too ill to attend. Good luck on Wednesday. Go even if you're dying and prove how keen you are.

      Delete
  20. I have been referred for a sanction by A4e. I attended the jobs search review and was given the Sector focused action plan with 3 dates on. The first two I attended on time, the third was over two months later which I also attended on time.I received a letter stating I had an appointment in between this which I was not aware of. As soon as I received the letter and their offices were open, I rang A4e to query this, and to explain to them that date was not on my Action form. They insisted that I had this letter. The only forms I had were the sector focussed action plan and for one date to attend on a letter, which I attended. I just do not miss appointments. The only explanation could be that I was not actually handed the letter they are talking about or that they changed the date and reprinted one off with my signature on, as the dates were exactly one month apart. That or I was handed the old letter and not actually given the letter with the new date on. I searched in the folder I put my A4e stuff in. It was not there. Unfortunately I cannot prove this. What bothered me also, whilst on the phone to the person I had to speak to, I heard his colleague say I was a lying b word. Which was rather offensive. I just think they are bullies who do what they want because they can get away with it, no come back on them. I now have another letter off DWP about the sanction, after being told by the jobcentre that I would not be sanctioned, verbally not written, because it was a mistake and not to worry. So now I have to write this form in and try to explain again that I did not have knowledge of the date I am being accused of missing. I am a single parent with an ill child and this will make us homeless being sanctioned. I cannot understand how they can just do this to people. I haven't murdered anybody, just maybe lost a letter that I did not know existed in the first place.
    I have had appointments before, got there early, because I always go early just in case, only to be told that they have changed the time, date without even telling me, even though I had the time date in black and white. A few times of them doing this and I refused to go walkabout in the pouring rain for 3 hours until they decided to see me they started being ok ish. They would telephone me the day before appointments, in case they decided to change it, reminder calls like the jc do before your appointments. Which, I find essential, as I get stressed not knowing if the appointment is going to happen or not. This did not happen the day before this `missed` appointment which makes me believe there was no appointment. I was also asked if I enjoyed a work placement I was supposed to have been on, which I knew nothing about. They wouldn't believe me when I told them I did not know what they were talking about. They insisted I partook in 2 weeks of work experience. It never happened. I was promised it but I never got a placement.When the jc were talking about work programme they promised training, help getting into work, etc etc, work placements, this is not happening either.It just seems like some of their employees despise you. Why work with unemployed people if you hate them? I do not get it.One in particular where I go is particularly bad picking holes and bullying individuals in front of the group and are basically and making you feel even more crap than you do already. Think little britain fat fighters and change it to job club situation and you get the picture. This one person expects you to join in group discussion, then try and argue with you over anything that you are saying, or tries to belittle you over what you are saying. Why ask your opinion or thoughts if they are going to start having a go at you over it. Each persons situation is different, but they treat everyone as if one size fits all and it does not.
    Now it looks like me and my son will be on the streets for christmas because of a letter I have never even clapped my eyes on.

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  21. (continued) I just feel like they get some sick satisfaction out of doing this to people. I am actively looking for work, fill both A4e tracker and the jc stencil out each time, no complaints ever. I am following my agreement with the jc. I already have depression and do not need them being like this. Also, I told the stand in work coach that I did not have any money until the following Friday to attend their office, a town and rubbish bus service away from where I live so he then arranged 3 appointments before Friday when I get paid. He then smirked when he gave me the appointments. I am really fed up with them as they do nothing they agreed to in the start off. They just get off on giving sanctions out and messing people about. I would love a job, I apply for enough but nobody replies. They expect you to take a 10 hour a week job, for what £50 a week, my rent is triple that. They say oh you will feel better if it is your money, like because you are on jsa like you are some sort of criminal.I would not feel better about working for 10 hour a week because I would end up homeless.They just do not get it.They do not understand that a single person, never mind when you have children, could even live on that.Or ask why I have not applied for a job that states you need a driving license and your own transport. I do not even drive. I just do not know what to do about this sanction as I cannot prove that I was not handed the letter they are talking about.

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  22. They should reintroduce the Community Programme scheme, which they did in the early 90s. On these you worked, trained in a work environment on projects within the community for 20 hours per week and got paid. These were brilliant because you were actually doing something and got a reference and a wage.
    Sitting in a room having somebody not in your situation banging on about how much of a failure you are and not really learning. Just being ear bashed by some of these `trainers` is not pro-active in getting anybody employed. It just makes people feel like they are wasting their time. Most of the staff where I go are ok, it is just some of them. They pigeon hole everybody as the same, when people have different needs. They do not seem to understand this. Anybody going to A4e, make sure you do a separate CV, if you did your own because they attach their watermark on this and this also prevents you from editing and gives them claim over it. They also track your CV in this way. Why should they be able to lay claim to your own written CV. The main problem is that there are not the jobs available and employers are expecting to have people with degrees for basic office work or cafe work. My problem is I cannot get refs because all the past employers have gone bankrupt and I moved away from my old life and do not know anybody.

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  23. Hi

    I have received a 6 week sanction for not applying to one out of three jobs that my advisor gave me. This is despite the fact that I was never told that the jobs given to me were mandatory applications I had to make. I was under the impression that they were merely suggestions. In any event I had applied to many other jobs that week and my advisor even commented on how full my form was.

    Firstly, I don't see how they can sanction it without telling you that any job they give to you is mandatory? (Also considering the fact that half the jobs they do give you require a skill you do not have)

    Secondly, the fact that I applied to many other jobs surely should count against this? I mean if i knew it was mandatory I would have sent a one liner cover letter and CV to make sure it was done and cover me? I guess i thought they would actually appreciate the fact that I have been looking for work and applying to many other jobs and using my time more effectively.

    Finally, okay if they do have to sanction me for not applying to one job which i believed was a suggesiton and not mandatory - surely the sanction should be proportionate? i.e. the two weeks payment rather than stopping all payment for the next 6 weeks in which case is going to certainly jeopodise my housing situation.

    Any one got any suggestions? I have read through the JSA booklets and cannot find anywhere where it says the advisors suggestions are mandatory? Anyone got any regulations I can use in my objections?

    Thanks

    JP

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    Replies
    1. It would appear that you have been incorrectly mandated! The rules are very specific. Amongst others they should be in writing (a MAN), reasonable, contain the consequences of non-compliance etc. etc.
      Now this is very, very strange! The DWP Provider Guidance was up till very recently publicly available at this address: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/supplying-dwp/what-we-buy/welfare-to-work-services/provider-guidance/work-programme-provider.shtml
      I have looked at this many many times. Now I am getting a message:
      You are not authorized to view this page
      You do not have permission to view this directory or page using the credentials that you supplied.
      Are the DWP censoring the public from looking at the provider guidance???

      Delete
    2. Further to previous post have now found the relevant chapter on mandation here:
      http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wp-pg-chapter-3a.pdf

      Delete
  24. Cheers that's exactly what I thought from the above posts. Also she only gave me like one minute to write down why I didn't apply for it.

    I'm going to call tomorrow and make a formal complaint to her line manager if she does not withdraw her submission for sanction.

    JP

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  25. i missed a a4e interview and re arranged it but they still gave me a sanction of 2 weeks on my JSA, from the 17th Nov to the 30th Nov. Why dont they see we are humans too and we dont want to be on JSA, ive tried so hard to get a job but its hard out there when there are no jobs available. Do you thing u can live of £288 per month of JSA? u cant when u got bills to pay and rent to pay, they dont understand cause they have a job and the government only looks after themselfs with there own rules.

    Setp in our shoes and look at us, we are humans not piece of shit on your shoes, we deserve the same rights as you and not to be judged on what we have, sum people are lucky to gain a job but our generation is not so lucky while we suffer the bankers, governments and there servants get richer by the day.

    We need help but all the single parents, people and family's who sign own are not SCUM, we are Humans. Im sorry if i cant find a job but people only see what u have but dont see what is in your HEART.

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  26. I am on the wp with A4E.....saying that, the last time I actually had an appt with them was july and its now almost dec and hadn't heard from them. To my surprise 3 weeks ago I got a letter from dwp saying I hadn't attended an appt with A4E and was being sanctioned for 4 weeks. I live on my own and have no other source of income apart from my jsa. I visited A4E and found out that they hadn't even sent any letters to me but had been sending text messages - TO MY LANDLINE!!! I wrote a 6 page letter to my jc appealing the decision, and happily after 3 weeks and no money I was told today that the appeal has ruled in my favour. Up yours A4E!!

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  27. A4e sent my partner for an interview today that was ment to be 36 hours gaurenteed a week yet he gets there to find out its agency as and when they need him basis. So basically he could go without work for days or weeks at a time. I'm all for him working and so is he, I work full time as a carer yet if he takes this position and gets no work for weeks we will lose everything as currently I am having operations done for my kidney and will be having time off work and losing money I wish I could keep earning! At this interview he was spoken to like a child UNACEPTABLE! And yet a4e claim if he doesn't take this job and sign off he will be sanctioned and we will get no help with rent while I am taking time off for an operation that will save my life. This is discusting and is making me rethink having this operation to keep a roof over our heads and possibly ending up even more ill. I feel like our human rights have been taken away and tbh I even told the horrible women at a4e that she is ruining our lives and making me more ill. If I was not ill he would of gone for it no problems as I can support us both but instead we are being forced to suffer and hold off I shall say again my life saving operation!

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    Replies
    1. This job is obviously casual work, and A4e could not claim an outcome payment for it. If he takes the job, as soon as he has no work he should sign on again. That will mean a delay in getting benefits but he will get them eventually.
      Don't, please, sacrifice your own health over this. Get your operation.

      Delete
  28. Yes I don't have a mobile phone and ingus work program kept bullying me to get one or they would inform the jobcentre to sanction my benefit I'm only on 71 pound a week and have bills and food to pay for a mobile phone is a luxury to me they don't live in the real world just a nice cosy middle class lifestyle

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    Replies
    1. I find it hard to believe that you were threatened with sanctions for not having a phone. Did they just not believe you?

      Delete
    2. Bizarrely this is a requisite of the Work Program, on a recent meeting with an 'adviser' she insisted I obtain a phone, mobile or landline, or face sanctions via the job centre.

      As a partially deaf person, unable to use telephones due to my disability, I was astounded by the demand I acquire such a useless item or be punished.

      Delete
  29. I kept on telling them over and over that I can't afford a phone and instead of trying to help me they said they would get my money suspended for 2 week's I told the jobcentre and they said they have never heard of such rubbish ingus were trying to bully me to buy something I couldn't afford on welfare payments

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  30. They then said I was in breach of. The work program rules and regulations as I had to be. In contact with ingus for job purpose all this bullying from ingus is getting me down please advise me I just want them to stop bullying me and offer me help instead

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    Replies
    1. The Jobcentre told you that Ingeus are wrong. The regulations say Ingeus has to be able to contact you, and presumably they have your address and an email address. Keep calm. Don't give them any excuse. If they put in for sanctions the DWP has to approve it, and I really don't think they would in this case. You're not the only client without a phone.

      Delete
  31. Yes ingus have my address and e mail contact details to get in. touch with me but my advisor keeps wanting me to be contactable by phone they even said I should borrow some money from the social fund to purchase a phone but that will put me in debt but they don't seem to care they seemed to only care about putting in for a 2 week benefits sanction never once have they informed me about job's that may be suitable for me it's all do as your told. or we will apply for sanctions I'm starting to think I would be better off without them

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    Replies
    1. Go through Ingeus's complaints procedure to lodge an official complaint about this. It will help if you do get a sanction notice. Carefully write out what you've been told, including by the Jobcentre; include names of whoever is telling you this. Send a copy to your MP. Stand up to them politely but firmly, and whatever you do don't sign off to get away from them.

      Delete
  32. I got Sanctioned by Working Links for six months for refusing to attend while I was under a prior Sanction.

    I want to see them in Jail.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Ive just got a job and a4e keep phoning me , what do they want

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Presumably they want to know where you're working so that they can follow your progress and claim the outcome.

      Delete
  34. Just read in the paper the work programme is failing long term unemployed people and just parking them on benefits as they are to difficult to help find work what a disgrace the programme is supposed to assist everyone not the one's there handpicked for job's

    ReplyDelete
  35. got a letter for interview at jobcentre and About to get sanctioned by these A4E crooks for not using there useless service for last couple of months...
    for first couple months with them got 4 or 5 interviews ,including same company at least 3 times.
    then nothing ...advisors useless.
    no reason to go there for anything i was not already doing at home (applying at least one job per day).
    so except for access to phone ..and that i could get at jobcentre.
    as above comments i have no land-line and not enough benefits to get one.
    and A4e have not sent anything out to me for months.
    why am i being treat like a crook? i am a law abiding citizen ...

    ReplyDelete
  36. I had my induction with A4E almost 6 weeks ago. As I suspected prior to attendance, the induction confirmed that it's all a bit micky mouse with no real support for getting you back into work.

    2 weeks after the induction I attended A4E only to be told that there was no appointment because the advisor assigned to me was on holiday. I was told to come back in 2 weeks.

    I will attend there again on Tuesday. Looking forward to this just to see what happens.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Watch out at the 'induction' mate. They (Working Links, Avanta, A4E etc) will ask you to sign all sorts of privacy waivers and legal declarations allowing them to look into your business. They may do this immediately upon you entering the door, while you are waiting for the others in your group to arrive. Not to mention the questions about home ownership, debts, criminal records, children, partners, parents etc etc etc. Then later if you get a job they will still pursue you for two years, wanting you to 'confirm' all your personal data again.

    Working Links are a particularly insideous bunch who will claim that they have to collect information for the DWP even if you have signed-off. I do not know if this is true or if they are just trying to get information about whether you are in work every six months for two years after sign off, so they can sponge their bonus from the DWP.

    Of course Working Links and co will not release the Service Agreement they have with the DWP and claim Commercial Confidentiality, yet if it is our lives they will archive every personal detail.

    My advice is to say to them at the induction that you do not want to sign the papers until you have read over them properly at home. At the induction you will also be asked to sit infront of a PC and type answers to questions one at a time. There are dozens of questions about your personal circumstances and private life.

    The best thing you can do is sign off before you are referred to Working Links, Avanta, A4E etc. Maybe a month before just to make sure. I think the Jobcentre refer you to the work programme because you have been claiming JSA for a year and are therefor classed as long-term unemployed. You'll just have to live even more in the gutter than you have been already, if you want to avoid this nightmare.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Best post here.Yes, Sign off after 11 months. Prepare by having a plan and don`t sign on again for 6 months, get a PT job or get food etc from family. Do NOT sign on for so long that you get referred onto this scheme.

      Delete
    2. I believe the job centre are wise to this now and it is 12 months. You cannot sign off now and then sign on to dodge the WP.

      Delete
  38. I was sanctioned for not recieving a letter of appointment through the post - missed appointment. If a letter is worth so much surely they should send it registered. There must be some Legal Precedance to abolish this fraudulent postal behaviour. If the DWP thinks thats is justice then it says its justice for others when then want to pay taxes to the HMRC or council to say they sent it in the post even if the didn't. If A4e were an Ebay or Amazon seller they would have been banned as fraud by now.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I think the DWP SEOs go on the false suposition there are more jobs than people. Since there are vastly fewer jobs than people in most areas, it makes no sense to push everybody so hard as that makes it harder for long term unemployed to get a job. Say if you were slightly under qualified but could still do the job you would have no chance against fully qualified or over qualified applicants. With things as they are, you have loads of applicants who can gasump you who probably wouldn't have applied if it wasnt for the DWP pressure. Would't it be better to take the pressure off ; thus naturally the people who need or are genuinly interested in the job would be filtered as applicants-- since less apply it would givie you a better chance of getting a job.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I was recently sanctioned for four weeks for missing a single appointment. Because there's no regularity with my Work Programme appointments, I got Tuesday 13th and Thursday 15th confused (my previous appointment having been on a Thursday) and only realised on the Wednesday in between. I'd called my WP provider on the Thursday explaining the situation and had my appointment rescheduled (which I attended) and had also attended my regular Jobcentre appointment on the Tuesday I was supposed to have the WP appointment, but apparently these weren't good enough reasons and I lost my JSA for a month. Of course, it took almost a month from the initial mix-up to be told that I was being considered for sanctioning and I received notification of my sanction half way through it. Even though my sanction finished today, I'm led to understand I won't receive my next payment for another two and a half weeks.

    The first time I attended Work Programme, I was astounded by the casual attitude of the staff towards sanctioning; they seemed to almost take pleasure in sanctioning a claimant who'd done something they didn't like, to teach them a lesson.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I truly feel for those people who are actively seeking work but are forced in to attending interviews for jobs they have no interest which pay extremely low wage by staff at government agency Work Programmes. I absolutely agree with the poster above.

    I can tell you from first hand experience that some of the staff their defy belief with their humanity and lack of empathy towards attendees.

    On one occasion I was told to attend an interview 20 miles away from my home - if I did not the threat of sanctioning was on offer! 2 days before the interview I had some tragic news about a close relative - So I phoned themy 'job coach' (that's a laugh!), and was promptly told this is life and things like this happen!....and she would have to inform the Job Centre that I could not attend and it could lead to a payment sanction.....I shit you not, unbelievable! This in turn caused me to have a breakdown and loose the plot - meanwhile they harassed me daily with emails and phone calls, even after I signed off sick with depression and went to ESA.

    I also used to attend a food bank, and the stories of sanctioning by the WP were extremely distressing,.

    The WP did NOTHING to help me into work but instead drove me to a state of absolute despair and worrying depression.

    What struck me about the WP staff was their lack of humanity towards the unemployed. I was talked down to like naughty child and made to feel worthless and constantly anxious. If you are experiencing something similar, you truly have my sympathies and I hope you get off the scheme and find happiness again.

    Anyhow, I got better - found myself a very respectable well paid job and enjoying life once more.

    ReplyDelete
  42. As I former employee of A4e, I am disgusted at how this organisation even managed to get a foothold in the Australian welfare system. If you feel have been unfairly sanctioned file a compliant with Centrelink. Request from Centrelink for SMS notification, as case managers have tendency of making appointments with you, and then altering them, which therefore leads to jobseekers receiving sanctions.
    Job seekers deserve a better service then they are currently receiving.
    You may find case managers regularly changing, as the ones that are any good at personal interaction, are sacked on the grounds of poor performance, within the first 3-6 months of employment. A4e did not even able to follow best practice in relation to performance management. As in my case, I was not provided with the so called 12 week induction training, rather I was given 2 days shadowing, and told to complete induction appointments. I received no supervision, or feedback.
    On the day of termination, my performance was based upon 4 appointments made for me, and I had not seen any of the scheduled appointments.
    If this is how they treat employees I feel sorry job seekers, on their books.
    If you are not happy request to be transferred to another job provider.

    ReplyDelete

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