Monday, 27 October 2014

Whose fault?

One of our regular commenters (is that a word?) has been pressing a story on me which I saw yesterday and was a bit reluctant to post about because it's not clear who is at fault here.  The story appeared in the Liverpool Echo first.  It concerns a 58-year-old unemployed man (worked all his life, made redundant) who was told by the Jobcentre that he was to be referred to A4e.  He then had a heart attack.  His wife phoned the Jobcentre and asked them to inform A4e.  The man lay in hospital waiting for major surgery.  But a phone call was put through to him - from A4e.  This is where it gets contentious.  The message about his illness obviously hadn't got through, but the DWP's comment is that "correct procedures had been followed"; that actually means, "I haven't a clue about this case but it wasn't our fault".  A4e says they didn't know about his illness, which is feasible, but they also say that they ended the call as soon as they realised Mr Rogers was in hospital.  But Mr Rogers himself says, "This guy was persisting about wanting to discuss the next plan of action but I said I was ending the conversation and put the phone down.”  Whichever, it's not good publicity for A4e, especially as the Mail has now taken up the story.

There's a programme on Channel 4 tonight about Universal Credit.  Should be worth watching.


  1. Sick of the Work Programme27 October 2014 at 06:30

    In my experience it is unfortunately not a one off that A4e messes up with communications. On several occasions now I and others have turned up to jobsearch sessions or adviser meetings only to be told to 'go home because it's cancelled.' Apparently, the adviser had 'forgotten' to inform us of this. Even when they have been clearly at fault, I have not received an apology from the adviser concerned. I did however at least make sure that A4e paid travel expenses.

    Although we can't know exactly what was said during that conversation between the A4e manager and Mr Rogers, based on my own experiences of A4e it would not surprise me if the manager came across as pushy, which of course would be particularly stressful for someone who was recovering from a major heart attack.

  2. Yes three years ago when I was under a4e, I arrived for an appointment only to be told when I arrived that my advisor, wash/t in. No curtesy phone call prior and I wasted two valuable hours of my time travelling there and back.

    1. This happened to me too. I was seen by the manager who informed me that my erstwhile "adviser" had left their employment. There followed a very brief interview. A few days later I was informed by post that they were asking for me to be sanctioned for non attendance!! I responded with a curt letter and heard no more.
      Someone should teach these people how to apologise.

  3. I was also part of the A4e work program. Due to my ongoing health condition my GP gave me a medical note, unfit for work. I moved onto ESA and the DWP helpline, and the Jobcentre told me I no longer needed to take part on the A4e work program. The Jobcentre informed A4e, but they continued to phone me. I explained what the ESA (DWP) and the Jobcentre had told me I no longer needed to take part , but A4e said I had been lied to and I would still need to have contact with the centre , even if it was only a two minute chat just to say hello.

    Thankfully the Disability Advisor at the Jobcentre sorted the matter out and put a stop on the continued phone calls and letters.


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