It is fundamental to the government's approach to welfare to believe that claiming benefits is a choice people make. They call it "languishing on benefits" and describe it as a "lifestyle choice". When it dawned on them that most people on benefits were actually in work, and were able to claim tax credits because their pay was so abysmally low, or because they were working part-time - well, that must be a choice, too. Little noticed some time ago was the announcement that in order to claim working tax credits people would have to be working 30 hours a week. Clearly, and explicitly, the delusion was that people working fewer hours than that could find some more somewhere. And now comes the plan to deal with those "not working enough". Last Saturday's Guardian had a chilling article about it. "People earning between £330 and £950 a month - just under the rate of the national minimum wage for a 35-hour week - could be mandated to attend jobcentre meetings where their working habits will be examined as part of the universal credit programme." This makes perfect sense in the government's thinking. UC will ensure that "work pays"; so people must be pressured into working more. And if you're not making enough effort, you can be stripped of your benefits. There will be seven categories of claimants, apparently, including those "too sick to work" and those "too committed to work" (which would include lone parents), as well as those "not working enough". The language of the documents seen by the Guardian includes horrible phrases like "the claimant journey". The TUC has responded with the obvious objections, including forcing people to live in constant fear and insecurity.
All of this is called "in-work conditionality", and the Resolution Foundation has published a report on the implications. It's well worth reading. One point which has been raised by many people is that the resources simply aren't there to implement this. More contracts, perhaps? The private sector is already cashing in. A system called Worktrack is set to replace Universal Jobmatch. It's a much more sophisticated system - take the tour on their website. But then look at the pricing - between £500 and £600 per adviser license, with discounts for multiple advisers. And consider that it is extremely unlikely that it will be voluntary for the client to sign up for this.
One company's opinion on how to make the Work Programme better has been published. G4S, like all the providers, has been invited to submit ideas for the "next generation" of the WP. It's not encouraging for anyone who wants to see an end to this useless scheme. Naturally, the providers want to "reform" it in their own financial interests.
On the work Programme a job offer could be part-time - 16 hours? Yet another way to save money by threatening to reduce or remove Tax Credits. Bring on the Living Wage...ReplyDelete
I read the G4S statement,I am unsure what planet they are on! The statement that this current programme is better and more cost effective than all previous programmes,just shows how useless it is,and of course they sold the last contract by touting "Pay by results" and the investment of their own money in the programme,but now want the attachment fees to continue and increased funding for training(picked up by the taxpayer)on a side note with 3 Months to go on the WP I am now on my 10 Adviser and back 2 square 1...Tailored support my A££!ReplyDelete
If Worktrack replaces UJM what about the £24 Million paid to Monster? UJM is terrible,unsure about WT but it seems like somebody is banking a ton of money.ReplyDelete
So let's get this straight! Someone has to be earning enough (£330 - £950 monthly) otherwise they may be hauled into their local JCP if they are claiming any benefits. To be told they should be working more hours. CRAZY! Just when you though Smith and Hoban had created a world of madness, they surpass themselves yet again!ReplyDelete
And where are these extra hours supposed to materialise from??? Indeed, what if you work for an employer as I did a few years ago that reduces your hours WITHOUT having the decency to tell you this to your face? What then?
Smith is dangerous. He needs to get out of politics NOW!
Okay, so let's say a claimant works 35 hours a week for min wage - Monday to Friday 9-4 and has an hour long journey to and from work. When are they supposed to attend a meeting at JCP? Will the JCP extend their opening hours or is the claimant supposed to put their existing job at risk by taking time off?ReplyDelete
All these recent schemes that are being bandied about make no common sense,the WP and UC are in melt down,UJM might be replaced by WT and the JCP is already swamped by people returning from the WP Why? are they trying to cause a distraction from the overall mess of the DWP's failures? IDS son Edward has taken a Job with another Tory MP,has Daddy pulled some strings? or is he placing his son while he still has a chance? and the Band played on!ReplyDelete
IDS has a son... in politics?! God help us if he's anything like his father!! :(Delete
The fact that UJM is about to be replaced just goes to prove the fact that the site wasn't any use in the first place. But, hey, we still have problems, so let's throw some more money at it!!
The WP was a failure from the start. A blind man could have to us that. It was plagued with the problems that ended the courses before it. Oh, wait, it is the same as all the courses before it. No surprise there then. The current government's motto should be: "If it ain't broke, we'll throw billions of pounds at it until it is!!".
Geez, there are so many idiots at the Houses Of Parliament, it makes me mad!! :( They've all lost the flippin' plot. Hell, they couldn't find the flippin' plot even if you gave them a map with a big 'X' saying "here's the flippin' plot!!".
Sorry. Rant over. I'm off to drown my sorrows in a cup of tea. Tally-ho, old chaps!!
I've heard nothing from the WP since May.Delete
Calling them useless is being generous. It's a complete disaster. They themselves seem to have no interest in the fact they have no resources, no opportunities, no training, nothing. It's a giant black hole.
My GF works on a contract that guarantees her 18 hours a week,she works on average 30 but she gets called at all hours with only a little notice that she is needed,if she is required to report to the JCP she will be unable to continue this,also will the JCP pay for transport.ReplyDelete
If Claimants have to use Worktrack it might cut down on adminstritive costs ie no need for some JCP staff as it is assumed EVERYONE has internet access/is computer savvy. Another possible way to save money (writing off the costs of UJM/any staff redundancy costs). What next..?ReplyDelete
Have just been listening to the TUC conference, attended by Ed Miliband. A member of the audience said to him that 40% of people responsible for the administration of Universal Credit will also have to claim it because of low pay. Therefore, they will come under the expectation of constantly being expected to get more and 'better' work. I'm wondering how they are going to do that- are they going to be answerable to themselves or will colleagues be monitoring them? If the latter is the case, it could make for a very difficult working environment at the DWP!ReplyDelete
The TUC can and should object, but unfoftunately for us, the TUC are worse than useless. They have still not called a general strike and Serwotka's own union includes members who engage in the sort of brutal behaviour we now see every day from the JC+. Total traitors.ReplyDelete
This scheme is simply workfare: people will be called in and expected to 'volunteer' more of their hours to their employer even though they won't get paid for it (because if that was the possibility it would already be happening). That's what this is about.
Some people will lose their jobs over this. Unfortunately it won't be those that deserve the most to be made redundant. This country is in a complete decline.
Glad the current WP contracts end in 2016. I hope the next (coalition) Government order the likes of a4e, G4S, Serco and the other "Primes" to train WP "customers" and then employ some of them in their own workforce.ReplyDelete
I have said on here many times that the ultimate aim of the Tory gov't is to end ALL benefits.ReplyDelete
They have undermined JSA by delaying claims and increasing sanctions; if they win the next election JSA will be replaced by Workfare.
If these Working Tax Credit 'reforms' are introduced it will further disenfranchise thousands of families from benefits (as the 30hr claim cut-off did) as they will not put up with the harassment.
Phase 3 will be an end to ALL working benefits e.g. Child Benefit, Maternity Benefit and Sickness Benefit (all to be replaced by a complusory social insurance scheme to run alongside NI).
Next on the hit list (Phase 4) will be the State Pension - but they will do it bit by bit. I believe the Workplace Pension has been introduced to undermine the former. They will then delay pension increases. They will then introduce cut-offs i.e. if you are worth x you will only get y. They will then introduce means-testing. At the same time of all this they will increase the age at which you can claim. It will then be absorbed by unemployment benefit i.e. you will have to prove that you CANNOT work to claim.
To quote 'Yes, Minister' they will use 'salami tactics'. Will the apathetic British stand for it? So far the answer has been a big fat YES!
The next "welfare reform" is DLA to PIPs - this could mean those disabled people who have independence via a car on the Motorbility scheme, or a free concessionary bus pass losing it.Delete
The Worktrack website is interesting. It says that Worktrack belongs to CASCAiD Ltd, a company that belongs to Loughborough university according to the Worktrack website. It seems that Worktrack is mainly aimed at W2W organizations such as A4E etc, the staff of which will be able to monitor their clients’ jobsearching endeavours in a way that seems to be impossible (or at any rate difficult) for them with Universal Jobmatch insteadReplyDelete
My impression is that Worktrack is certainly intended to rival UJM but that Worktrack will not necessarily replace UJM? Monster’s lawyers weren’t dumb enough to have permitted the DWP to wriggle out of Monster’s own product – Universal Jobmatch – that easily, I suspect, but the DWP is easily dumb enough to have let themselves be trussed up like chickens by Monster, it seems to me..
Maybe once the WP contracts are renewed we'll find out if Worktrack is used. As Judi (previous commentator) says it would be possible to monitor job search activites.Delete
Now I have to reasons why not to apply for part time jobs. 1. I cannot live on part time wages (even with benefits) & 2. I wouldn't be working enough. Can't wait to tell my advisor this as they seem unable to understand I can't work part time.ReplyDelete
BBC News website reports "... the number of people in part-time work rose to 1.45 million, the highest since records began in 1992 and double the number of five years ago."ReplyDelete
Here's the Tory view of the RISE in unemployment in Scotland.Delete
Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said: "Overall, 15,200 fewer people are claiming unemployment benefit compared to one year ago."
Not my words but the words of a senior Tory minister, confirming what we all thought - the aim of the Tories is not to help the unemployed back into work but simply to reduce the number of those that claim unemployment benefit, two VERY different things.
I encountered a problem with p/t work,it was only for 10 hours per week,but could of led to full time,£62 per week but £57 would of been credited towards JSA leaving a net of £5 per week(£71 JSA +£5=£76) minus £21.80 bus fare it was a £16 pw loss,JCP reply? Walk! So IDS explain again how you"Believe" this works out?ReplyDelete
Not sure if this would help but here goes.If you’ve been claiming benefit you could get Return to Work Credit if:Delete
you’ve been unable to work for at least 13 weeks because of an illness or disability and.you’re going back to work, starting a new job or self-employment.You have to qualify for Return to Work Credit. Any money you get won’t affect your other benefits and is tax-free.
It must be 16 hours or more and you do not qualify if you are claiming JSA.Delete
It appears that Return to Work Credit is yet another victim of the present govt’s savagery:Delete
In the Guardian today it reports that IDS has once again misled Parliament,the write off of IT will be over £140+ Million and the PAC wants to have him back in front of them,IDS is in serious denial and clicking his Ruby Red shoes is not working.ReplyDelete
Sorry if the information was out of date. "Making Work Pay" by cutting all additional help seems very short-sighted particularly as billions go to over seas aid. Sorry to offend anyone.ReplyDelete
I actually put this point to a Labour MP when he came here to do a talk a few months ago. He waffled for a bit but basically had nothing constructive to sayDelete
During my visit to JCP,the Adviser(Hit Squad?)asked how the WP has worked out so far,I explained that it had offered nothing! She looked through my file,tutted a few times and said "not to worry,you will soon be finished and then we can see about training" I asked why can't I leave now? "You are contracted for 2 years,your sub is the Council and have had problems running the Programme,but they also have a contract with the Prime and cannot leave without a financial penalty" so what am I suppose to do? "Just coast until you are finished and then we will see" The JCP knows that the WP(Sub) is not even trying,but still the DWP take no action to pull the contract,my sub(the Council) has a 2.2% success rate but the DWP takes account of the overall rate of the Prime and those stuck on this are just the fodder.ReplyDelete
Disgraceful! What frustrates me most about this kind of thing is that, at a time when the government keeps talking about 'cuts that need to be made', there is no accountability for Work Programme providers who have received large amounts of public money yet failed to deliver.Delete
Help.I have just received a letter stating that I must attend a jobfair,travel will be reimbursed,so far so good.ReplyDelete
I contacted the WP(sub) and asked if they would send a bus ticket or refund the full amount(lowest cost) of a bus ticket this is the response...We are aware that the ticket costs £4.50 but we have a maximum reimbursement of £3.30 so you will have to cover the difference,at this time we are out of bus tickets,are cost because we buy in bulk is £3.30 and are policy is to not exceed that amount..sorry..Failure to attend may result in a loss of benefits.Ect....I am pretty sure this is against DWP guidelines.
Find the relevant bit of the provider guidance (I haven't got it to hand but I'm sure somebody here will have) and print it out. Put in an official complaint to your provider and go right through the process. Keep copies of all paperwork. You could ask your adviser if any of the staff are going there and could give you a lift.Delete
Meanwhile, you're going to have to stump up the money or you'll be sanctioned. Horrible situation.
Found the DWP guidelines(Google Work Progamme travel expenses) sent a E-mail to WP(sub) stating that I will pay and file a formal complaint requesting a audit of all travel expenses for myself and all other participants over the last 2 years....Sorry we have made a mistake and will reimburse you in full,just bring in the receipt.Delete
Bbc news report that Nick Clegg claims the Lib Dems "... had a "proud" story to tell on jobs and the economy, claiming credit for the creation of a million new private sector jobs since 2010." Love a good story before bedtime. Nighty-night.ReplyDelete
If you are sanctioned twice regarding JSA, and win the appeal concerning the 4 week sanction, does the 13 week sanction get reduced as the 4 week sanction has been set aside by the tribunal?ReplyDelete
I cannot find an answer to that question anywhere
RE: ''If you are sanctioned twice regarding JSA, and win the appeal concerning the 4 week sanction, does the 13 week sanction get reduced as the 4 week sanction has been set aside by the tribunal?ReplyDelete
I cannot find an answer to that question anywhere''
Yes. the second sanction must be reduced to a four week sanction if the first one is overturned. I know because the exact same situation happened to me recently. What i would advise you to do though to be on the safe side is to contact the department that was responsible for putting the sanction on your claim - and it's important that you do this IN WRITING!! (the address will be on the letter that you received notifying you of the sanction) telling them of the situation of you having the first sanction overturned, and demand that they respond to you IN WRITING that the second sanction will be revered to a four week one. There has been a F.O.I request made about this exact same situation where the DWP confirm what i'm telling you. The request is called ''sanction procedure'' made by Karen Adams
Margaret Hodge is being interviewed on Women's Hour Radio 4 right now. Catch later on inlayer if need be.ReplyDelete