Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Fraud and lap-dancing

The Exaro website has got hold of the leaked internal A4e report of 2009 which demonstrated that the company knew that more than a quarter of its job outcome claims were potentially fraudulent.  This has already been publicised by the BBC's Paul Mason, but it's salutary to remind ourselves that Grayling claims that there was "no evidence of fraud" in A4e contracts.  Exaro also has what it calls a "shock discovery" - an instance of this potential fraud in the report.  "The Bootle office of A4e sent the job-seeker to work at ‘X In The City’, a Liverpool lap-dance club favoured by football stars."  If you're not acquainted with what goes on in such places, we read that, "The bar advertises lap dances at £5 a time, and offers a ‘VIP’ deal in private rooms where a half-hour lap dance with champagne costs £50."  The auditors found that "a jobseeker was working at the club for more than 16 hours a week for 13 weeks in 2009."  But they couldn't verify the job placement because the club wasn't open during working hours!
There will be some of you thinking, why not?  It's a job.  And actually, at the time no rules were being broken.  But they wouldn't be allowed to do it now.  Said the DWP, "The secretary of state, Chris Grayling, issued a ban on job centres carrying advertisements for jobs in sex clubs and sex shops. Therefore, we are hardly likely to sanction a job provider placing a person in a sex or lap-dance club. It would be banned."


  1. I'm not sure I see the logic of Mr Graylings banning advertisements for positions in lap dancing and strip clubs; after all isn't it the case that his government is screwing the unemployed in so many ways?

  2. Do we don't know if the person sent to the lap dancing club was working in a "non performing role" for example as a barman.

    As far as I know the performers are self-employed, and not employees.

    1. Hi Milly Tant - much as I am loath to admit this in current times, I worked at the Bootle office of A4e during the time - the gentlemen in question was employed as a bar/cellar man and as far as I know, when I left was still there 12 months later. incidentally, at the same time, there were adverts on the JCP website showing vacancies for 'adult' televsion presenters -double standards anyone??

  3. You may be interested in this http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=10873 Committee Room 15
    Meeting started at 5.13pm. Ended at 7.17pm

    Fraud within welfare to work providers
    Witnesses Robert Devereux, Permanent Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions.

    Lets just say Margaret Hodge is in fine form.. ;) Its mostly about a4e..

  4. Perhaps Mr Grayling needs to undergo some diversity training and learn to "Celebrate Difference". That said, he sounds ideally plaiced to detect any fishy goings on at A4E and similar.


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