Can claimants be legally compelled to participate in provider-led diagnostic assessments?

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

In its reply to my FOI request, Ref: FOI2021/64341, the department stated that it had no recorded information which refers to it being a mandatory requirement for participants on the Restart programme to complete or sign paper or electronic documents drawn up by a provider.

1. Please provide me with any recorded information held by the DWP stating whether or not Restart provider staff and DWP decision makers can legally compel claimants to participate in diagnostic assessments when claimants are participating in the Restart programme. By legally compel, I mean by Act of Parliament. And by participate, I mean verbally in a face-to-face context with Restart provider staff and/or DWP staff.

2. Please provide me with any recorded information (all forms & documents) held by the DWP stating what legislation DWP decision makers use to apply sanctions to a claimant’s Universal Credit and/or Jobseeker’s Allowance when a claimant declines to participate in a diagnostic session run by the provider, i.e. Reed in Partnership.

3. Please provide me with any recorded information held by the DWP, including all forms and documents used by Reed in Partnership to mandate a claimant to participate in a mandatory activity that may result in a claimant receiving a sanction for non-compliance in said activity.

Yours faithfully,

Curtis Allan

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J Roberts left an annotation ()

Some people may be interested in this:

'A participant may refuse to complete or sign any forms or documents drawn up by a Restart provider, and there is no specific legislation that requires a Restart participant to give a reason for declining to complete an INITIAL diagnostic assessment, or sign an action plan. IT IS EXTREMELY UNLIKELY THAT A PROVIDER WOULD MAKE THE SIGNING OF AN ACTION PLAN A MANDATORY ACTIVITY. (emphasis added)

Restart providers cannot compel a participant to disclose matters pertaining to their health or disability and a sanction will not be applied to a participant if they choose not to share any details relating to this.
The department has no recorded information which refers to a legal or mandatory requirement for Restart participants to complete or sign paper or electronic documents drawn up by a provider. '

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/7...

The implication is that providers can make the signing of an action plan a mandatory activity.

DWP Central FOI Team,

3 Attachments

Dear Curtis Allan,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 22nd
September.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team