DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
Our Ref: VTR952
23 March 2012
Dear Mr. Jackson,
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request dated 2nd February 2012. You asked:
Freedom of Information request - Work Experience
Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
On the 29th Feb 2012 Chris Grayling revealed that the voluntary
Work Experience scheme is being relaxed in terms of sanctions. See http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/press-releases/2012/feb-2012/dwp020-12.shtml
There was also news reports stating that the jobseeker may:
* refuse or fail to attend first day
* leave in the first week
* leave in subsequent weeks
...without getting a benefit sanction UNLESS they lose their place
due to gross misconduct.
Please answer the following questions:-
a) Is the above statement (with the list items) correct? And if not
so please clarify.
b) What changes in law or guidance will ensure that jobcentre
advisers and decision makers do not sanction those for leaving the
placement before its expected to have ended (i.e. 2-8 weeks after
c) What constitutes "Gross Misconduct"?
d) Will the letters to the scheme change or kept "as is" due to
possibility for a sanction for gross misconduct?
e) Please provide a copy of any and every memo, press release,
notice, bill, draft legislation and statutory instrument involved
in the relaxing of rules for Work Experience.
The information you have requested in point (e) is not all held centrally. You have a copy of
the only press release and there are currently no legislative changes. We estimate that the
cost of complying with the rest of the request to provide any and every memo would exceed
the appropriate limit of ÂŁ600. The appropriate limit has been specified in regulations and for
central Government it is set at ÂŁ600. This represents the estimated cost of one person
spending 3Â˝ working days in determining whether the Department holds the information, and
locating, retrieving and extracting the information.
Because part of your request falls to disproportionate cost we are not obliged Under section 12
of the Freedom of Information Act to consider the rest of your request for information.
However, in the interests of customer service we are happy to provide answers to the rest of
Yes the Ministerâ€™s statement (including the listed items) is correct.
We are currently working with lawyers and guidance is being updated to reflect the new
changes in policy.
â€™Gross Misconductâ€™ might include, for example, theft, racial abuse and violence.
Letters to participants will be amended in light of the recent announcement.
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number
DWP Central FoI Team
Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act
If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing freedom-of-information-
or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team, 5th Floor The Adelphi, 1-11, John Adam Street,
London WC2N 6HT. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter.
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information
Commissionerâ€™s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have
exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information
Commissionerâ€™s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF www.ico.gov.uk