Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Those on Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) are treated fairly if they are on the Work Programme, but are treated unfairly in they are not on the Work Programme.

(a) Work Programme JSA claimants -
If a JSA claimant fails to attend a mandatory interview they are given a period of five working days to show good cause FROM the date they are NOTIFIED of this failure to attend. This is extended to seven working days if the failure NOTIFICATION is sent to the claimant by post.
JSA claimants on the Work Programme don’t have their benefit stopped and don’t have their money stopped BEFORE they are notified that a benefit doubt has arisen and until after they have been given a reasonable chance to show good cause. This seems fair.

(b) JSA claimants who are NOT on the Work Programme -
If a JSA claimant fails to attend a mandatory interview they are given a period of five working days to show good cause FROM the date they FAIL TO ATTEND. They are not notified in any way whatsoever of this failure to attend until AFTER their benefit is stopped and until AFTER their money is stopped, leaving them destitute and reliant on food banks because they didn't attend an interview they didn't even know about. Lovely.

(1) Why are JSA claimants on the Work Programme treated fairly and reasonably, as above, while JSA claimants who are NOT on the Work Programme are NOT treated fairly and reasonably, as above?
(2) Please provide me with the relevant LEGISLATION, NOT Work Programme Provider Guidance, that states that JSA claimants on the Work Programme are to be given a period of five working days to show good cause FROM the date they are NOTIFIED of a failure to attend.
I would like to see the actual legislation, not some tin-pot guidance. Just in case you are unsure of what I am asking for, I will say it again: please provide the legislation (presumably a Statutory Instrument) on which the Work Programme JSA Failure to Attend (FTA), as above, is based and explicitly founded.

Yours faithfully,

M Boyce

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M Boyce
 
Please see copy of your FoI request attached
 
 
 
 
DWP Freedom of Information Request Team
 
 
 

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Work and Pensions's handling of my FOI request 'Failure to Attend.'.

No, no, no, no, no. I asked you for Work Programme legislation. You decide to completely ignore what I asked for. Why are you incapable of ever answering questions correctly?
I now want an internal review, and I expect that my original questions (particularly question 2) be answered. If you again refuse, then as previously, I will ask the ICO to look into the matter. Your choice.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f...

Yours faithfully,

M Boyce

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

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Dear M Boyce,
 
Please find attached our response to your recent Internal Review.
 
 
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
 
 
 
 
 

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J Roberts left an annotation ()

M Boyce,

This isn't directly related to your request, but you may find it interesting.

The decision concerns an NI claimant who got whacked by an appeal tribunal for not participating in a scheme designed to obtain employment run by People Plus. This was his second time round. Chief Commissioner Mullan identified errors of law.

From the tribunal's Reasons for Decision:

'PP reported that on occasions he failed to sign in, refused to answer questions, completed the Equality Questionnaire in a meaningless fashion (reported by PP to the Department on 7 July by e-mail), became disruptive (7 July 2016), refused to participate (22 July).'

Chief Commisioner Mullan:

'I respectfully submit that although the LQM [Legally Qualified Chairperson] has listed evidence in the Reasons for Decision which suggests a lack of participation, for the reasons outlined below, the Tribunal erred in determining that (the appellant) failed to participate in the Scheme.'

and,

'By failing to adopt the above course and exercise its inquisitorial role, I submit that the Tribunal was not in a position to determine on a definitive basis that (the appellant) had failed to participate in the Scheme because it was unaware of what the claimant was required to do by way of participation.'

The matter of 'good cause' was next considered. At the tribunal where the claimant got whacked the LQM recorded:

'Is doing exactly the same thing on the scheme as he did in 2014, ie. Drafting a curriculum vitae, preparing for interview, being shown how to fill in an application form, guidance re health & well-being and diet.'

and,

'It was clear to the Tribunal that (the appellant) thought that repeating the Steps 2 Success Scheme with the same contractor would not be of assistance to him.  He has not been employed for 20 years, has limited experience and no qualifications, has health problems and does not see any change ahead.'

Chief Commissioner Mullan notes that the Tribunal did not consider that the claimants belief that the scheme was of no value to him amounted to 'good cause'. He writes:

'I respectfully submit that, for the reasons outlined below, the tribunal further erred in its treatment of the issue of good cause.'

http://www.bailii.org/nie/cases/NISSCSC/...

Piers left an annotation ()

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