Welfare Powers

 

There is a need to ensure that the work programme is “fit for purpose” for that individual claimant. For example, there are currently two work programmes, each with different mandatory requirements. The decision over which programme a claimant is put into does not fall to the provider, or even the Jobcentre adviser. The programme is selected automatically by a computer with no consideration of claimant’s circumstances. I am advised that this is because the DWP have to share the referrals evenly between the two programmes


Why the contribution is important

 

My service receives many referrals from work programme provider staff. This is because they understand that the claimant cannot meet the work programme requirements. Rather than referring these types of cases to my service, where we then have to start a range of work, which ultimately is costly to the tax payer, to try and have the claimant moved into the support group, there should be a system where a statement from the work programme provider staff can be sent directly to the DWP decision maker and this is accepted as evidence that the claimant cannot meet the conditionality and should therefore be moved into the support group

 

 Currently, many sanctions are as a result of the information reported to the Jobcentre by the work programme provider. There needs to be a robust and effective line of communication between the provider and the Jobcentre to ensure that a person is not sanctioned inappropriately. For example, the claimant is referred to the work programme because he is on ESA and in the work related activity group. However, an appeal is current to try and get him into the support group because the original decision was unsound. The claimant has to meet the ongoing requirements within the work programme, or could face sanction. At appeal it is decided that the claimant should have been in the Support Group all along. As a result he does not have to comply with the work programme requirements any longer. However, due to delays and lack of communication between the provider and DWP the fact that the claimant is in the support group is not known, leading to inappropriate sanctions


 


by Paula on December 23, 2015 at 04:56PM

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