Saturday, 15 June 2013

Exit Report

This is something which could only have been dreamed up in an office in Whitehall or Westminster by people whose connection to those it affects is non-existent.  It's the Exit Report now required by the DWP on claimants leaving the Work Programme from the providers.  Here's the memo.  
If you've ever had to get a reference from a previous employer you'll know that such references are now usually very brief and factual; so-and-so worked here from date to date as a whatever.  There will be no judgement as to your character - too risky.  Even teachers these days are wary of what they put in a child's report, and they are qualified professionals who know the child very well.  But the DWP wants somebody working for a WP provider like A4e, someone who may well have no qualifications at all, to pass judgement on their alumni.  They want JCP to be provided with "an insight to the participant" (yes, I know it doesn't make sense - perhaps they mean "into" - but they've written it twice).  Here's what's required:

"Please state below any further information which will provide Jobcentre Plus with an insight to the participant, include for example:
• Employability – your opinion on the participants employment prospects, the type of employment which might be most appropriate.
• Attitude – any changes in attitude and background you have noticed whilst having worked with the participant for 2 years and any known reasons for these changes.
• Barriers to employment – any barriers that you have seen the participant overcome / are still to be addressed / have arisen whilst on Work Programme. Any health conditions or substance dependency the participant may have.
• Compliance – the level of compliance you have seen from the participant, including any possible reasons you might consider to be behind this behaviour and which may be useful in determining further support for the participant.
Any other information you feel might be useful to Jobcentre Plus and give an insight to the participant."

This is very, very dangerous.  It asks for subjective judgements which an employee of a WP provider is not qualified to make, into someone's attitudes and behaviour.  It specifically asks that employee to give an "opinion", to have "noticed" something, to "consider", even, heaven help us, to "feel".  And the claimant has no right to dispute those opinions.
Claimants should ensure that they get a copy of the report (quite rightly, they are not being sent out in the post).  Make sure that the adviser name is filled in on the form and legible, so that an individual can be held to account for what has been written.  If there is anything negative with which you disagree, make that clear to the Jobcentre and seek advice from the CAB as to how you can challenge it.


  1. Perhaps provider employees should be brushing up on the libel laws and checking their professional indemnity insurance to make sure they are covered in the event of being sued.

    "In the UK, if someone thinks that what you wrote about them is either defamatory or damaging, the onus will be entirely on you to prove that your comments are true in court. In other words, if you make the claim, you've got to prove it!"

    So if someone who barely knows me proffers the written opinion that (for example) I may have a drink problem. They had better be prepared to prove it in court.

    Dangerous ground to be treading here.

  2. who'll be writing this Exit Report? Will it be the first advisor you saw three times 20 months ago or your sixth adviser you saw just once last fortnight?

    How can an adviser who may see someone for as little as 10-15 minutes make any kind of judgement on their clients? Especially when overloaded with a massive caseload of 150 or so other participants.

    As Historian says, it is all very subjective and likely to be carried out by people in the worst possible position to do so. Getting hold of ones own report is also a good idea!

    What's the betting that the many of these reports will be compiled in a rushed and hurried fashion?

    1. As per my post yesterday, Data Proection allows you to record your disagreement and/or have any incorrect information corrected. Seems like yet more pointless paperwork - wonder if they need anyone to input this stuff onto their IT systems?

  3. How can I get a copy of this?

    1. If you mean your own exit report, the provider has to give you a copy.

  4. My understanding (albeit, limited) of this document is that it will be similar to the one produced at the end of the New Deal courses. If so, then all participants will be expected to sign the document to verify it. No one at the WP providers should be sending documents that pertain to a client to anyone else without the client's consent; that reeks of a law case in anyone's books. (Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.)

    If you don't like what your advisor says in their exit report, you are within your right to refuse to sign the document, if you are asked to sign it, that is. Simple. The Work Programme has been one failure after another, I don't expect of to end any differently. One thing is certain; these last couple of years have been the years from hell. If no one in Parliament learns from the mistakes that have been made, then there is truly no hope for any of them. They are likely to repeat their mistakes in a few years time and pass the blame onto the unfortunate victims.

    Stay vigilante, my friends. Keep your eyes open.

    1. The template leaves no space for the participant to sign and verify the report, and there is no mention of consent. I hope you're right, but I fear they may have overlooked such niceties.

  5. cant wait for my report done a 20 min induction 2 years ago n that was me done with the wp.

    had 2 sanctions both won by me and had 2-3 letters to go see a new adviser and not gone to any and just sign every 2 weeks with my job search.

  6. It's going to be Jackanory time at A4e when they fill these forms in, fabricating the immense time and effort they've put into trying to get their conscripts into work.

    It'll be interesting to see how they 'spin' mine as they have only ever seen me for 2 minutes every month just to book my next appointment! I don't think the DWP will be too impressed if they tell the truth that's for sure.

  7. In addition to the issues highlighted above I simply don't see them keeping up with the paperwork in the necessary time frame.

    Freedom of information request in the making.

  8. It looks like the DWP are trying to cover up Mark Hoban's original press release dated 3rd June:

    'Press release: Government announces details of post Work Programme support.’

    The Original:

    The Updated Version:

    The updated version has the whole latter half of the oringinal press release missing, including the most important paragraph for anyone finishing the Work Programme:

    'Every Work Programme returner will also be required to register with Universal Jobmatch to aid work search and job matching. This will allow their adviser to check their work search activity online should the claimant give permission'.

    1. I am not sure what's happening here! I have looked at both versions. The one that contains the offending wording is labelled as "updated 3 June 2013" and the one that doesn't use the wording is "Published: 4 March 2013". So if the dates are to be believed the offending wording is an ADDITION to the original text.
      However it looks to me as if these are 2 separate releases - borne out by one being from Mark Hoban and the other from the DWP (no mention of Hoban)
      In any event the first release merely states "Jobseekers Allowance claimants can now be required to look for work using the government’s new Universal Jobmatch website, or risk losing their benefit. "
      The later release says "Every Work Programme returner will also be required to register with Universal Jobmatch to aid work search and job matching. This will allow their adviser to check their work search activity online should the claimant give permission."
      So it would seem that returners will be given a JSD to register with the site but still cannot be forced to give access.

    2. I think you are right, Gissa. The post dated 4 March (to the right under "popular posts") provides the background on this issue. They can't force you to give them access, but expect to have your arm twisted!

  9. OK, several things.. Employability, *I* told my adviser what job I wanted, and showed them my experience and qualifications. The job centre ALSO told them,

    Attitude, well my adviser doesn't see me often, this is my 3rd advisor in the 2 years.

    Barriers to employement.. Well just the Usual from the last 2 times with a4e, Employers don't want to hire him, He cant drive so transport is a big issue, There are NO jobs could be considered the BIGGEST barrier. I told my adviser about my arthritis of both ankles and they didn't believe me Until I showed them the pills I have to take every day and I make sure I take some in fron of them.

    Compliance, I have to obey or sanction, its called fear and is that a good thing in the case. Just looks like another way to point the finger at the person saying see he didn't blow his nose in the right way so he/she must be lazy or something

  10. Off the subject,but need a little help,offered a job,pay is minimum,but I can deal with that,starting on the 22nd no pay for 5 weeks,living on air is not an option,JCP? no longer pay while waiting for the first check,any thoughts?

    1. If you are on the WP ask your provider to help you out with the basics e.g, travel to work, food allowance and gas/electricity allowance, the objective is you sustain 26 weeks and then they get paid so they should offer to help you out in the first instance. I would also ask for an advance on your first pay check from your employer, explain the situation you are in you never know they may help you. As embarassing as it may sound if you dont ask you dont get.

    2. This is perfectly normal, nearly everyone has to work a month before they get paid.

      Consider this, the NHS is the worlds 5th biggest employer, and the standard policy there is that you work the first 2 months in hand...week 9 when you first get paid!

    3. If your WP provider can't help, you can get in contact with your adviser at JCP and ask for help through the Flexible Support Fund. It can help with the purchase of, for example, a monthly bus pass; but it can't help you with living expenses (e.g. food). That's where the local food bank might be of help.

      JCP used to do a thing called Job Grant to help in circumstances like yours, but the Coalition (in their finite wisdom) ended those in April. Pity.

    4. If you're claiming Incapacity Benefit, Income Support because of incapacity or Employment and Support Allowance and you take a job where you're working for at least 16 hours a week, you may be able to get a return-to-work credit worth £40 a week. You only get this if your earnings are less than £15,000 a year and your job is expected to last at least five weeks. Ask at your local Jobcentre Plus office for more details.

      Return-to-work credit is being abolished so you will not be able to start getting it after 30 September 2013. In order to get it before then, your claim for benefit must start before 2 July 2013.

  11. No its not "normal" to work for nothing for 2 months. it should be changed, but as long as people accept it things wont change.

  12. I wonder what will be put in my report, after being on WP almost 2 years, met them once for an initial appointment, and then once again to discuss a complaint and no contact from them since...

    Never even signed the WP agreement.


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