This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Companies who currently are using staff from Workfare'.

 
 
 
DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
Annex A 
 
e-mail: freedom-of-information-re
 
xxxxx@xxx.xxx.xxx.xx
 
Our Ref: FOI 2588/12
 
 

26 July 2012
Annex A 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dear Sam Hilton, 
 
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 29 June 2012. You asked:- 
 
“I would like to request a list of all stores who currently have individuals "working" for them who 
are on any workfare schemes, in Norfolk. I would like to know if any individual in any in Norfolk 
is being employed, working for, or is on work experience at, any business in Norwich, and is 
only receiving benefits for this work. 
      
I would particularly like to know if the following businesses are actively engaged in workfare: 
Holland & Barrett, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Poundland, Primark, The post office, Shoe zone, 
Tesco, TopShop, The Range, WHSmiths.” 
 
Please note that the Department does not operate schemes called workfare or described as 
workfare.  Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act allows us to direct you to information 
which is already reasonably accessible to you. You can obtain information about Jobcentre 
Plus programmes and services from http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/index.htm which includes 
information about voluntary work experience. 
 
In response to your question about work experience in Norwich please see the explanation 
below. 
 
Under section 17A of the Jobseekers Act 1995, persons claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance can 
be selected by the Secretary of State to undertake work, work experience or other work-related 
activity. Failure to do so without good cause can result in a loss of benefit.  Benefit is not paid 
to the claimant as remuneration for the activity.  Instead, performing it is one of a number of 
conditions which may have to be fulfilled by the claimant in order to be paid Jobseeker’s 
Allowance.  The relationship between the claimant, the Secretary of State for Work and 
Pensions and any third parties involved in providing the activity is not one of employment. 
 
The information you have requested about individuals participating in work experience in 
Norwich is being withheld under Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  This 
exemption relates to the commercial interests of the Department for Work and Pensions and 

any other company or organisation delivering services on our behalf. I consider that the 
exemption applies because disclosure could, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial 
interests of companies providing work-experience placements and the ability of the 
Department and its contracted providers to work in partnership with these companies to secure 
such opportunities. 
 
In line with the Department’s transparency commitments, we have previously provided 
information about companies who participate in a number of our programmes that offer work 
experience, where we can collect this information without disproportionate cost. However, we 
are invoking the exemption because it has become clear recently that there are a minority of 
people who appear to be seeking to undermine the goodwill of employers who are prepared to 
offer opportunities to unemployed people by attempting to harm those companies’ commercial 
interests.  
 
These actions are not only intended to harm those companies, but could also have an adverse 
impact on jobseekers who want to get experience in a real working environment to improve 
their chances of getting employment. They could also deter employers from committing their 
time and resources to providing such opportunities to people who are keen to make a positive 
step towards finding a job. Because of this we have had to reconsider our position on releasing 
information on the employers we work with. 
 
As required by the Section 2 of the Act, I have considered whether there is a public interest in 
complying with your request. I conclude that while there is a general public interest argument 
in favour of releasing, the public interest in withholding this information is greater for the 
following reasons: 
 the release of the information as requested could potentially damage the commercial 
interests of organisations providing work experience placements; and 
 The release of the information could inhibit or limit the ability of the Department to obtain 
the best services to improve people’s chances of securing employment. 
 The release of the information could inhibit or limit the ability of our contractors to 
successfully deliver their contract obligations to support Jobseekers into employment. 
 The release could limit the opportunity for Jobseekers to gain real experience which would 
assist them to gain employment. 
 
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number 
above.   
Yours sincerely,  
 
 
 
 
DWP Central FoI Team 
 
 
 
 
 

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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-
xxxxxxx@xxx.xxx.xxx.xx or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team, Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. 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 
Commissioner’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 
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF www.ico.gov.uk