The Health and Work Conversation booklet

Frank Zola made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

For your Health and Work Conversation booklet (HWC1 1/17)
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

On page 2 of the booklet it asks:

"How does your health affect your life and your ability to work?"

On page 4 "My 4 steps" it says:

"Step 3 – Obstacle
(This means ‘what is stopping you’)
This is about what is stopping you from getting what you want in
Step 1
. It’s something
within you that you have some control over, and you’re able to do something about it, even
though it is difficult. It could be a habit, something you believe in, or a feeling you have.
Take a moment to imagine what is stopping you."

Page 2 and 4 are asking a claimant to disclose (write down) sensitive personal data, please provide details of legal basis the DWP can prompt claimants to record this data and for all practical purposes discuss it with the Work Coach who will then use these page 2 and 4 disclosures and associated conversation to devise a claimant commitment and action plan that will record and refer to this sensitive data on the DWP computer and clerical systems.

Do you provide any information to claimants that they are not required to disclose sensitive personal data, concerning their health and disability, at or prior to the HWC? Please provide copies of such a notice or information.

In FoI 1331 your reply said:

"The HWC is claimant led so claimants can decide whether they want to discuss their health or set a health related goal"

"If claimants do not wish to discuss their health condition then the work coach will tailor the discussion based on what the claimant is comfortable sharing."
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/3...

and in FoI 4883 you said:

"Claimants will not be expected to disclose sensitive personal health data as part of the Health and Work Conversation (HWC). "

"The Health and Work Conversation is claimant led, if a claimant feels uncomfortable answering some questions in the Health and Work Conversation they will not be referred for a sanction. "
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/3...

Will a claimant undergoing a mandatory HWC, who does not want to disclose, write down on or discuss and health and disability sensitive personal data get referred for a benefit sanction? When they are happy to engage with all other aspects of the HWC?

On the HCW booklet it says

"You and your work coach will use simple tools to talk about an
action that you want to do, and plan how you can do it. "

Please disclose a copy of these tools such as the action planning exercise and a summary of what they are, together with a copy of the guidance your Work Coaches uses to conduct and prepare for a claimant led HWC.

If you use a customised Claimant Commitment for the HWC, please disclose a copy and a copy of any specimen copies you use for HWC training purposes.

Please disclose a copy of any information you hold that a Work Coach merely prompting a HWC claimant to discuss their sensitive personal data means the DWP is NOT "processing" this sensitive data within the meaning of the Data Protection Act?

How does the DWP record that it has a HWC claimant consent to process their sensitive personal data?

Yours faithfully,

Frank Zola

My notes

What conditions need to be met in respect of sensitive personal data?

The individual whom the sensitive personal data is about has given explicit consent to the processing.
https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...

What is sensitive personal data?

Sensitive personal data.

In this Act “sensitive personal data” means personal data consisting of information as to—

(a)the racial or ethnic origin of the data subject,

(b)his political opinions,

(c)his religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature,

(d)whether he is a member of a trade union (within the meaning of the M1Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992),

(e)his physical or mental health or condition,

(f)his sexual life,

(g)the commission or alleged commission by him of any offence, or

(h)any proceedings for any offence committed or alleged to have been committed by him, the disposal of such proceedings or the sentence of any court in such proceedings.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998...

DWP freedom-of-information-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.
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.
 
For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.
 
[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...
 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

Frank Zola left an annotation ()

Some background

Employment and Support Allowance: Data Protection:Written question - 71091
Q
Asked by Stephen Timms
(East Ham)
[N]
Asked on: 18 April 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Employment and Support Allowance: Data Protection
71091
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans he has to safeguard sensitive personal data potentially discussed in the proposed new health and work conversation for employment and support allowance claimants; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Penny Mordaunt
Answered on: 24 April 2017

Claimants will not be required to disclose sensitive personal data as part of the (HWC). The paperwork from the HWC is taken away by the claimant at the end of the conversation. DWP staff will update records to show that the HWC has taken place, record any voluntary actions and any support offered by DWP.

The Department treats the protection of sensitive personal data extremely seriously and safeguards such data in compliance with the Data Protection Act and in accordance with Departmental security policies and standards;

http://www.parliament.uk/business/public...

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.

You can expect a reply by 26th June 2017 unless I need to come back to you to clarify your request or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy 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 [DWP request email] 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. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

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.org.uk/Global/contact_us or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

show quoted sections

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

4 Attachments

Please see the attached reply to your Freedom of Information request.
 

Yours sincerely
 
DWP Strategy FoI Team

show quoted sections

John Slater left an annotation ()

Frank,
The DWP's answers seem to be at odds with its response here:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/3...

It said:
“Our Response

RFI1: Legislation prescribing powers to the Secretary of State to require a claimant at the HWC or other WFI to discuss their health and set health related goals does not exist. The HWC is claimant led so claimants can decide whether they want to discuss their health or set a health related goal.

RFI2: The HWC will be tailored to meet the needs of the individual and allows for an open and honest conversation regarding issues affecting claimants. If claimants do not wish to discuss their health condition then the work coach will tailor the discussion based on what the claimant is comfortable sharing. It is not the role of the work coach to give any health advice during the conversation but they can signpost or refer the claimant to a partner organisation, with their agreement, should that be appropriate.”