Saturday, 14 April 2012

Get in touch

There are two comments I haven't published.  One is on "Reputations" and begins, "The main issue I had .... " and is anonymous.  Will the writer please send a comment with their email address (which I obviously won't publish).  I want to put you in touch with a journalist.  Be assured that journalists can protect your identity.  If you don't want to do that, I strongly suggest that you get in touch with your local CAB or Law Centre.
The second is from Lee on "Untold Stories" and concerns letters of appointment arriving late.  I'd like your email address too, Lee.  And I'd love to hear from anyone else who has personal experience of this.  I know that there have been many complaints of providers sending out letters of appointment late and by second class post, and then sanctioning people who don't attend because they didn't get the letter.  We need to be able to substantiate that and work out whether it's only one or two providers doing it, or all of them.


  1. People need to know this bad practice, whether its done on purpose or due to maladministration..But these things need to be spoken about, In my contacts with the bbc journalists, they are kind and they are willing to help. The more of us who are affected by these schemes who speak out maybe we will get a scheme that actually works, and helps us all.

    I dont necessarily disagree with the idea of the schemes, but when they treat people like tick boxes,when obvious bullying practices occur it is up to us to speak out. I always document everything, get copies of everything.

  2. It would also be interesting to hear if any of those who got a sanction as a result of an appointment letter arriving late appealed the sanction?

    As Historian says, we really need to know how widespread this problem is!

  3. I recently had 9 letters sent to the wrong address.
    I only got them after being re-directed by the PO.
    Even though the mistake was admitted by a4e, and a promise from the manager he would sort it out, I still received the sanction letters from the Sanction Team.
    I sent photo-copies of the letters along with an explanation, and haven't heard anything since (about 2 weeks ago).
    It made me sweat a little :)...Who knows what's happening...

  4. I recently secured a work placement on my own,I informed the provider/subcontractor about this opportunity their reply was "sorry,we do not allow this activity unless we provide it" OK.. what placements are available? At this time we have none,but if you wish to find your own you will have to sign off,we will still require you to attend bi-weekly appointments and we require access to the potential employer to check on your status...and I THINK WE CAN GUESS WHY...

    1. I quite believe this, You do everything right they dont have a placement but as soon as you find one yourself they say you are not allowed to do that.. Shouldnt they be glad you got the placement. Its a Joke isnt it.. an unfunny joke but the joke is on us..

    2. On placements: if you get your own placement the provider would still have to check it out and do the paperwork. Perhaps they don't want to spend the time doing that, preferring to work with employers they already have signed up. But yes, it's the client who loses out.

    3. I've said about this before, I was told it when I managed to set up my own placement on the ND and it took over a month to do and inconvenienced the organisation running the placement - it's because A4E (and presumably other providers likewise) have to check all the H&S and make sure everything conforms to their insurance standards because they are responsible for you. It requires a visit to the workplace and a chat with the manager (or whoever is in charge). So they won't want to do it as it will mean arranging visits and traveling to the location, for what may well be just one person. I know they should do so, but since the staff at my A4E are continually saying how they are overworked and understaffed I'd guess this is the reason.

  5. @jray

    The only way I've found to get round the provider is to arrange the placement as a 'self-declared unpaid volunteer' directly through the JC on an A15C form.

    Also, it'll mean that whilst you're a volunteer, as stated in the dwp guidlines to providers, you can't be mandated for other work-related activities

    "3. Given the policy intent of MWA, the following claimants must not be considered for referral to MWA:

    currently working (paid or voluntary)

    undertaking employment related study / training

    taking part in or recently completed* another employment measure(contracted or non-contracted) aimed at helping them move closer to the labour market"

    Hope that helps

  6. Someone has left a comment including the words, "I have personal experience which I want to pass on". Please leave another comment with your email address (which I won't publish) and I will point you in the right direction.


Keep it clean, please. No abusive comments will be approved, so don't indulge in insults. If you wish to contact me, post a comment beginning with "not for publication".