Saturday, 18 February 2012

Police investigation into A4e

The news couldn't be much worse for A4e.  The MailOnline, which has savaged Emma Harrison and A4e in the last few days, now reports that A4e iis at the centre of a fraud investigation.  "The Department for Work and Pensions confirmed last night that a probe into A4e – headed by Mrs Harrison – was under way.  A source at the company told The Mail on Sunday that on Friday afternoon, officers from Thames Valley Police visited the  company’s offices in Slough, Berkshire.  The source said they stayed for up to four hours and demanded staff hand over documents and computer files dating back two years.Apparently what's being investigated is the allegation that "the company had put some  people in jobs for just one day, but claimed the funding nonetheless."

Anyone connected with the industry will be scratching their heads at this.  Under the 2006 contracts (I don't know about subsequent ones) it was perfectly possible to do this in certain circumstances.  A client gets a job, to start on Monday morning; so the provider fills in the paperwork on the Friday afternoon and sends it back to the Jobcentre, which signs the client off benefits.  The client turns up to work but decides at the end of the day that he doesn't want to do this and walks out.  This is still claimable as a job outcome if the employer signs that the job was intended to last for 13 weeks.  They won't get the other half of the money, which is payable only when the client has stayed in the job for 13 weeks.  If this is what's being investigated, then A4e will probably be in the clear.  But we'll wait and see. 


  1. Is this connected to previous allegations of fraud?

  2. In 2010, the contract from what i recall was it had to be a sustainable 13 week job before any outcome could be claimed. If it is true, then an investigation of the entire welfare to work system should be done, However i am wondering if she will say it was a mistake by ONE place.. like she did during the other fraud investigations. It wasnt my company it was a lone individual..

    Another alteration of MZ harrisons past.
    After completing an engineering degree at Bradford University, she joined her father’s training company but eventually set up her own firm, Action For Employment, in 1991 to provide redundant steelworkers with training to find new jobs.

  3. I am totally disgusted with your attitude historian... I don't know why you pretend to be critical of A4e but still very much pro-welfare-to-work. It is not right to set up one day jobs to claim longer job outcomes... its fraud, its theft.

    The 2006 contracts? I am assuming this is a Flexible New Deal and Work Programme concern... and its a completely different contract for both than the 2006 ones.

    I do however get your point that A4e, who has never had a fraud allegation or investigation ever made, only joking, could be filling in paperwork after securing someone a job of 3 months+ who later walks out...

    DWP does their own fraud investigations, this isn't treated as fraud but an overpayment if they work out a payment that shouldn't have been paid regardless of the motive. This simply gets adjusted from future amounts. In some cases the provider may have to pay it back instead.

    For the police to be involved it must have been a more serious. It can even be a small technicality:- assuming the old system you mentioned... it would be naughty but ok to claim at said point if someone walks out (with your disgusting attitude that such outcome is for finding the jobseeker a job and putting them forward for it, and its not your problem if they walk out from it or if the employer hits the wall or terminates employment on financial grounds), however, the simple difference of setting up a job knowing someone would not last is fraud.

    A4e has always forced people into zero hour contracts and unsuitable work. There is a difference between undesirable work (i.e. not the job someone most wants to do) and something their skill base is totally not suited to.

    In order to force someone into such job position only to get an outcome and not genuinely hoping the person has a job (regardless how long it lasts) and knowing because the person cannot hack it because of say, location, financial issues or as they aren't skilled for the job, that they will not be employed after the first day (which might be as short as 30 minutes) is immoral and criminal. Companies like A4e have exploited this self-governed "loophole" for years such as you suggest - there will be times where you can be "cheeky" setting up someone well-placed into such work and make a claim without knowing (or caring to check) whether the person is still in the job down to the wording at the appropriate time (i.e. "the job was intended to last for 13 weeks").

    Financial "bribes" or influence to external companies to generate jobs which doesn't really exist, or isn't intended to last more than a week let alone 13 weeks, such as paying a lump sum intended to pay the wages to begin with knowing that if the employee doesn't walk out the employer can terminate employment under the probation period, or to victimise the employee so much he or she has to leave; are both criminal in nature.

    Of course, I am sure historian knows more scams than I do having worked in welfare to work.

    I hope A4e's number is up, and they lose all their contracts. This is unlikely to be the case, and I think they will walk away from it after 2-3 employees are used as scapegoats... Emma Harrison will be left with the only alternative to write yet another blog post saying how A4e was the victim not the taxpayer AND how it was a couple of isolated individuals not A4e as a whole.

    1. I've published this idiotic comment just to show how easy it is for people who don't know what they're talking about to spout nonsense. My "disgusting attitude" comes from knowing the terms of the contracts. Providers were paid to get someone into a job. If they actually started that job and the employer signed to say that it was 16 hours or more per week and intended to last for 13 weeks then it was a job outcome, whether or not it did last the 13 weeks. I'm sorry if that is too difficult for you to grasp. It's not a matter of whether I approve of it or not, just a fact. The providers have no interest in defrauding anyone at this point; they only get the other half of the payment if the job lasts 13 weeks. You could be right that for the police to be involved it must be more than that, but it's how the Mail reported it.
      I know that most people don't understand how the system works, but I do wish they would take the time to read things carefully before throwing insults about.

  4. Good the woman is a crook. A4e are rubbish and don't help the unemployed back to work nor do their sub contractors based on my personal experience as fact

    They should not be awarded such large contracts for failure - it's a bit like rewarding a bank for failure but this country does that too. A4e should never have been given new contracts because they have an appalling reputation


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