Telephone communications and communications by electronic means

J Roberts made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

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The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

On the 29 April 2013 you responded to my request concerning the sanctioning of claimants who fail to participate in telephone interviews and interviews by electronic means (Ref: VTF 1476):

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/1...

You wrote:

"I can confirm that guidance for jobcentre staff to select Jobseeker's Allowance claimants for telephone interviews and interviews by electronic means does not currently exist as we have yet to introduce this facility "

1. If guidance now exists please send me a copy.

2. Please send me details of the legislation that allows for claimants who fail to participate in telephone calls and interviews by electronic means to be sanctioned.

3. Can Jobseeker's Allowance claimants be sanctioned for failing to:

a. participate in telephone interviews/conversations with ( i) Jobcentre Plus personnel (ii) Work Programme provider personnel and (iii) Community Work Placement provider personnel;

b. participate in interviews/exchanges by electronic means with (i) JobcentrePlus personnel (ii) Work Programme provider personnel and (iii) Community Work Placement personnel.

Yours faithfully,

J Roberts

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Operations FOI Requests, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Please see attached response to your Freedom of Information request.
 
DWP Freedom of Information Team.
 
 
 
 

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Dear Operations FOI Requests,

Thank you for your swift response. There are two things that I would like you to confirm.

From Memo DMG 08/13:

"On 22.10.12 new legislation introduced amendments to the Jobseekers Act and JSA regulations which replaced the requirement to attend with a requirement to participate in an interview. However other legislation still referred to attendance and so a sanction doubt could not be raised where a claimant failed to take part in an interview other than a face to face interview."

In your response you wrote:

"DWP guidance on Jobseeker Allowance claimants participating in interviews by telephone or by electronic means still does not exist as we have yet to introduce this requirement."

1. Please confirm that no sanction doubt can be raised where a JSA claimant fails to take part in an interview other than a face to face interview with an employment officer.

'“employment officer” means an officer of the Secretary of State or such other person as may be designated for the purposes of that subsection by an order made by the Secretary of State.'

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1995...

2. Please further confirm that the term "employment officer" can apply to some personnel of Work Programme providers and Community Work Placement providers?

Yours sincerely,

J Roberts

Operations FOI Requests, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.
 
By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 
 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally expect a response within 20 working days.
  
For further information on making Freedom of Information requests please click on the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...

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Operations FOI Requests, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear J Roberts,

Please find attached the response to your request for an internal review.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Freedom of Information Team.

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Dear Operations FOI Requests,

You appear to have mixed me up with a Mr Smith who asked for an internal review.

Yours sincerely,

J Roberts

Operations FOI Requests, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.
 
By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 
 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally expect a response within 20 working days.
  
For further information on making Freedom of Information requests please click on the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...

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Operations FOI Requests, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear J Roberts,

Please find attached our response with the salutation amended.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Freedom of Information Team

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J Roberts left an annotation ()

"However, where a person is required to take part in an interview in accordance with Section 17A of the Jobseekers Act 1995 and Regulation 5 of The Jobseeker's Allowance (Schemes for Assisting Persons to Obtain Employment) Regulations 2013 a sanction doubt can be raised where that person fails to take part in that interview."

Regulation 5 of the Jobseeker's Allowance (Schemes for Assisting Persons to Obtain Employment) Regulations 2013 says nothing about telephone interviews or communications by electronic means:

"Requirement to participate and notification

5. —(1) Subject to regulation 6, a claimant selected under regulation 4 is required to participate in the Scheme where the Secretary of State gives the claimant a notice in writing complying with paragraph (2).
(2) The notice must specify–
(a) that the claimant is required to participate in the Scheme;
(b) the day on which the claimant’s participation will start;
(c) details of what the claimant is required to do by way of participation in the Scheme;
(d) that the requirement to participate in the Scheme will continue until the
claimant is given notice by the Secretary of State that the claimant's
participation is no longer required, or the claimant's award of jobseeker’s
allowance terminates, whichever is earlier; and
(e) information about the consequences of failing to participate in the Scheme"
http://lawvolumes.dwp.gov.uk/docs/a11-61...

J Roberts left an annotation ()

From a response dated 19 July 2017

"126. The Jobseeker’s Allowance regulations (1996), specifically regulation 23, require claimants to participate in an interview in such manner, time and place as an employment officer may specify by a notification which is given or sent to the claimant and which may be 
in writing, by telephone or by electronic means. 
127...
128. Consequently, a claimant can have a sanction imposed if they fail to participate in a face to face interview. However, as Regulation 70A refers to attendance, a sanction cannot be 
imposed if a claimant fails to take part in a telephone interview. 

NB: Although regulations refer to ‘participation’, no DMA action can be taken against claimants for failing to participate. Only failing to attend action can be considered. In this section, therefore, ‘participate’ should be read as ‘attend’ only. 

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4...

J Roberts left an annotation ()

I meant 10 July 2017!

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