UC: Sanctions for not starting or trying Work Experience under Welfare Reform Act 2012 S16(3)(e) and DM Chapter K5

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

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

For a Universal Credit (UC) requirement and claimant agreement to undertake a work experience placement how are claimants notified of their Welfare Reform Act 2012 Section 16/3/e obligation to start, try and undertake the placement (extract below), the employers name and address and any sanction that may apply if the placement is not started or tried out? Please send me sample standard notification letters and or examples of the precise
written details and methods of how the sanctions that can apply are communicated to a UC claimant ,drawing on your 'Chapter K5: Low–level sanctions ' guidance quoted below.

Welfare Reform Act 2012
2012 c. 5 Part 1 CHAPTER 2 Work-related requirements Section 16

16 Work preparation requirement

(1)In this Part a “work preparation requirement” is a requirement that a claimant take particular action specified by the Secretary of State for the purpose of making it more likely in the opinion of the Secretary of State that the claimant will obtain paid work (or more paid work or better-paid work).

(2)The Secretary of State may under subsection (1) specify the time to be devoted to any particular action.

(3)Action which may be specified under subsection (1) includes in particular—

(a)attending a skills assessment;

(b)improving personal presentation;

(c)participating in training;

(d)participating in an employment programme;

(e)undertaking work experience or a work placement;
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012...

Chapter K5: Low–level sanctions

"Traineeships

Whilst their decision to take part in the work experience placement is voluntary, if they agree to a placement they will be expected to start. If they fail to start for no good reason a sanction will apply."

"Work experience

K5123

If the claimant fails to

1. attend the initial interview or

2. start the work experience, a low level sanction could apply if the claimant cannot show a good reason for the failure.

WRAct 12, s16(3)(e)

Example

The DM considers Nicky does not have a good reason for not starting the work experience and imposed a low level sanction. The DM considers it would have been reasonable for Nicky to have at least tried the placement before deciding it wasn’t for her”
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

I note:

Reilly & Anor v Secretary of State for Work And Pensions [2016] EWCA Civ 413 (29 April 2016)
URL: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/...
plus
Reilly & Anor, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2013] UKSC 68 (30 October 2013)
URL: http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKSC/2013...

which highlight the DWP's need to fully inform claimants of the potential sanctions for failure to comply with any social security entitlement condition. Which are currently the subject of a remedial order https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio....

As such I would expect the DWP to be able to fully disclose information of how a claimant who has agreed to a work experience placement is informed/notified/commits in writing how they can get a sanction if they do not START or TRY a placement, per your 'Chapter K5: Low–level sanctions' cited above for generic UC "Work experience" and "Traineeships" and how claimants are informed that Section 16 (3)(e) of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 cited above applies to the placement they have agreed to.

Do you keeps stats for sanctions or management information (MI) connected to work experience placements not starting or being tried after a UC claimant has agreed
to a placement, if you do, please send me stats and MI for last 3 months.

Your 'Chapter K5: Low–level sanctions' guidance refers to sanctions when a claimant does not "start" or for the "Nicky" sanction example has not "tried" a work experience placement, please disclose any information of what is meant by "start" and "tried" and what legislation supports sanctions for a placement a claimant agrees to but does not "start" or has not "tried"?

Does any 'cooling-off' period apply to a claimant who initially agrees to provide an employer with free labour via a zero wage work experience placement but later does not want to start or try it out without risks of a sanction per 'Chapter K5: Low–level sanctions' guidance?

Yours faithfully,

Frank Zola

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Additionally does any legislation or DWP policy limit the amount of time and the start and end date a UC claimant can undertake any work experience placement, outlined in my request: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u... ?

Yours faithfully,

Frank Zola

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Frank Zola left an annotation ()

Background to this request
https://mrfrankzola.wordpress.com/2018/0...

Frank Zola left an annotation ()

Universal Credit and sanctions for not "undertaking work experience or a work placement" as a "work preparation requirement" Under Welfare Reform Act 2012 S16(3)(e).

Related resources

All work-related requirements group

If you’re in the ‘all work-related requirements group’, you’ll get a low level sanction, medium level sanction or a higher level sanction.

You’ll get a low level sanction if you don’t do tasks within the following parts of your claimant commitment:
...
the work preparation requirement...
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefi...

Universal Credit claimant commitment – example
Ref: 3786/13 PDF, 49.6KB, 4 pages
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk...
via https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

Welfare Reform Act 2012 Section 16/3/e

16 Work preparation requirement

(3) Action which may be specified under subsection (1) includes in particular—

(e) undertaking work experience or a work placement;
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012...

Frank Zola left an annotation ()

UC Sanctions

9.3 Low level

They last until you do whatever you were sanctioned for failing to do, plus 7 days for your first low level sanction in any 364 day period, 14 days for your second, or 28 days for your third if you fail to:

attend or take part in a work-focused interview, and a lowest sanction level does not apply
attend or take part in a training course
take a specific action to get paid work, or to increase your earnings from work
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

How can you avoid a work preparation sanction?

'Work preparation' is specified activity which you are required to undertake which makes it more likely that you will obtain paid work, or more or better paid work. It could include going on training courses, drawing up a CV, undertaking work experince and taking part in a work-focussed health assessment.

The following points may help you to avoid a sanction:
http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/ask-cpag-...

Dear DWP freedom-of-information-requests,

To clarify and make amendments to mY request, below is the final version of my request. Please use the FOI
request below for your responses.

NEW FINAL REQUEST

For a Universal Credit (UC) requirement and claimant agreement to undertake a work experience placement how are claimants notified of their Welfare Reform Act 2012 Section 16/3/e obligation to start, try and undertake the placement (extract below), the employers name and address and any sanction that may apply if the placement is not started or tried out? Please send me sample standard notification letters and or examples of the precise written details and methods of how the sanctions that can apply are communicated to a UC claimant ,drawing on your 'Chapter K5: Low–level sanctions ' guidance quoted below.

Welfare Reform Act 2012
2012 c. 5 Part 1 CHAPTER 2 Work-related requirements Section 16

16 Work preparation requirement

(1)In this Part a “work preparation requirement” is a requirement that a claimant take particular action specified by the Secretary of State for the purpose of making it more likely in the opinion of the Secretary of State that the claimant will obtain paid work (or more paid work or better-paid work).

(2)The Secretary of State may under subsection (1) specify the time to be devoted to any particular action.

(3)Action which may be specified under subsection (1) includes in particular—

(a)attending a skills assessment;

(b)improving personal presentation;

(c)participating in training;

(d)participating in an employment programme;

(e)undertaking work experience or a work placement;
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012...

Chapter K5: Low–level sanctions

"Traineeships

Whilst their decision to take part in the work experience placement is voluntary, if they agree to a placement they will be expected to start. If they fail to start for no good reason a sanction will apply."

"Work experience

K5123

If the claimant fails to

1. attend the initial interview or

2. start the work experience, a low level sanction could apply if the claimant cannot show a good reason for the failure.

WRAct 12, s16(3)(e)

Example

The DM considers Nicky does not have a good reason for not starting the work experience and imposed a low level sanction. The DM considers it would have been reasonable for Nicky to have at least tried the placement before deciding it wasn’t for her”
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

I note:

Reilly & Anor v Secretary of State for Work And Pensions [2016] EWCA Civ 413 (29 April 2016)
URL: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/...
plus
Reilly & Anor, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2013] UKSC 68 (30 October 2013)
URL: https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

which highlight the DWP's need to fully inform claimants of the potential sanctions for failure to comply with any social security entitlement condition. Which are currently the subject of a remedial order https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio....

As such I would expect the DWP to be able to fully disclose information of how a claimant who has agreed to a work experience placement is informed/notified/commits in writing how they can get a sanction if they do not START or TRY a placement, per your 'Chapter K5: Low–level sanctions' cited above for generic UC "Work experience" and "Traineeships" and how claimants are informed that Section 16 (3)(e) of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 cited above applies to the placement they have agreed to.

Do you keeps stats for sanctions or management information (MI) connected to work experience placements not starting or being tried after a UC claimant has agreed
to a placement, if you do, please send me stats and MI for last 3 months.

Your 'Chapter K5: Low–level sanctions' guidance refers to sanctions when a claimant does not "start" or for the "Nicky" sanction example has not "tried" a work experience placement, please disclose any information of what is meant by "start" and "tried" and what legislation supports sanctions for a placement a claimant agrees to but does not "start" or has not "tried"?

Does any 'cooling-off' period apply to a claimant who initially agrees to provide an employer with free labour via a zero wage work experience placement but later does not want to start or try it out without risks of a sanction per 'Chapter K5: Low–level sanctions' guidance?

Does any legislation or DWP policy limit the amount of time and the start and end date a UC claimant can undertake any work experience placement

I understand Work Experience can be added to a UC Claimant Commitment as a work preparation requirement. As part of your response please provide a copy of a sample or template letter that would be used to inform a UC claimant of a traineeship and a non traineeship Work Experience placement.

:: Location
:: Start and End date
:: Name and address of the host employer
:: The legislation used to support the placement
:: The benefit sanctions that can apply if the placement is not started, tried or undertaken without good reason.

what information is provided to the host employer concerning the participating claimant?

Yours sincerely,

Frank Zola

mr p shepherd left an annotation ()

all 3rd party providers/company's for profit will want a signed contract so that they can gain funding for it dwp own rules states you dont have to sign 3rd party PAperwork or contracts.

even if you are sent somewhere buy the jcp with a letter stating that it is mandatory yes you have to attend but not enter in to contracts with providers with a wet sig as that is contract lAw.

the dwp has tried it on with me with a sanction for not signing providers contract form as the dm decided i was required to buy law and i won at tribunal in 9mins.

so at the end of the day if you attend and refuse to sign the providers contract or enrollment forms there is noting the dwp can do about it.

mandatory my ass ;)

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 'UC: Sanctions for not starting or trying Work Experience under Welfare Reform Act 2012 S16(3)(e) and DM Chapter K5'.

Response due, none provided.

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

Yours faithfully,

Frank Zola

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

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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 'UC: Sanctions for not starting or trying Work Experience under Welfare Reform Act 2012 S16(3)(e) and DM Chapter K5'.

Complaint sent to ICO, as you have ignored the original request and the subsequent request for an internal review.

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

Yours faithfully,

Frank Zola

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...
 

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Frank Zola left an annotation ()

Complaint sent to ICO

Date: 5. Oct 2018 12:03
From: mrfrankzola[redacted]
To: casework@ico.org.uk
Subject: FOI complaint
RE: UC - Sanctions for not starting or trying Work Experience under Welfare Reform Act 2012 S16(3)(e) and DM Chapter K5
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u...

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

FoI 3442 + IR 461

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

Yours sincerely
 
DWP Strategy FoI Team

show quoted sections

Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

Thanks for your very belated reply.

Can you advise that for Youth Obligation participants after six months of being on Universal Credit that when a claimant agrees to a Traineeship work experience placement, " they will be expected to start. If they fail to start for no good reason a sanction will apply."? To quote 'Chapter K5: Low level sanctions'

Traineeships (page 17)
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

K5069 "Whilst their decision to take part in the work experience placement is voluntary, if they agree to a placement they will be expected to start. If they fail to start for no good reason a sanction will apply."
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

Can you also advise that for Youth Obligation participants after six months of being on Universal Credit that when a claimant agrees to a sbwa (sector based work academy) work experience placement "if they agree to a placement they will be expected to start. If they fail to start, without good reason a sanction will apply."?
To quote 'Chapter K5: Low level sanctions'

Participating in a sbwa (page 16)

K5066 "Whilst their decision to take part in the work experience
placement is voluntary, if they agree to a placement they will be expected to start. If
they fail to start, without good reason a sanction will apply."
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

Can you confirm that the DWP does not use any standard letter/template (editable) when communicating to a UC claimant (On youth obligation at six months) about the terms and conditions and start of a Traineeship work experience placement and a sbwa work experience placement? If such templates, standard notices do exist please provide those that existed in January 2018.

Please advise what date the 'Chapter K5: Low level sanctions' published online at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk... was created?

In your IR 416 reply, you say "current DWP policy is that work experience should be entirely voluntary as per K5121". https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/5... When did the DWP make this policy and who authorised it and can you disclose a copy of any information that confirms when and who made this policy decision? I ask for this information as your Stat Xplore https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/ provides statistics that up to April 2018, for Universal Credit, there has been 253 referrals for a sanction because of claimants ‘failure to undertake work experience or a work placement’.[1]

Yours sincerely,

Frank Zola

[1] https://mrfrankzola.wordpress.com/2018/0...

no-reply@dwp.ecase.co.uk on behalf of DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

3 Attachments

Dear Frank Zola,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 31st
October.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

Dear DWP freedom-of-information-requests,

RE: Ref: FOI2018/08596

Thanks for your reply, with regards your standard letter UCD552
'Starting your Youth Obligation sector - based work academy', it states

"If you fail to take part [highlighted in bold]

If you do not start or complete the training or guaranteed
interview without a good reason your Universal Credit will be
reduced. This is known as a sanction."
;https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/5...

Does this paragraph also concern a claimant who does not "start" a work experience placement?

Your admk5 contains the following:

admk5 - Participating in a sbwa (page 16)

K5066 "Whilst their decision to take part in the work experience placement is voluntary, if they
agree to a placement they will be expected to start. If they fail to start, without good reason a
sanction will apply."
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk...

My request for some of the requested information was very simple: IE: Can a UC claimant (On youth obligation at six months) get a sanction if they do not START a sbwa (sector based work academy) work experience placement they agreed to?

Please disclose a copy of the standard or common letters DWP (Jobcentres) or your Youth Obligation sector based work academy' provider ' West London College' https://www.wlc.ac.uk/employers/more/sec... issues to a claimant, who has been on the Youth Obligation for 6 or more months, informing them of the start and end date of a YO sbwa work experience placement, which would show details of the employer's name and employer address and the start date of a placement.

In your FoI 3442 reply you said:

"While the Welfare Reform Act 2012 gives the Secretary of State powers to make
undertaking work experience a work-related requirement, current DWP policy is that
work experience should be entirely voluntary as per K5121. We recognise that
subsequent guidance in paragraph K5123 does not make this difference between legal
powers and government policy clear. We are looking again at Chapter K5 to ensure it
accurately reflects DWP policy "
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/5...

In light of this explanation, can you further confirm whether,
admk5 - Participating in a sbwa (page 16), to quote:

K5066 "Whilst their decision to take part in the work experience placement is voluntary, if they
agree to a placement they will be expected to start. If they fail to start, without good reason a
sanction will apply."
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk...

Is correct in terms of "legal powers and government policy"? IE: Failure to "start" means a
sanction will apply." as a matter of DWP/Gov policy?

and whether 'Chapter K5: Low level sanctions' Traineeships (page 17) K5069
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
to quote:

"Whilst their decision to take part in the work experience placement is voluntary, if they agree to a placement they will be expected to start. If they fail to start for no good reason a sanction will apply."

Is correct in terms of "legal powers and government policy"? IE: Failure to "start" means a
sanction will apply." as a matter of DWP/Gov policy?

Yours sincerely,

Frank Zola

no-reply@dwp.ecase.co.uk on behalf of DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

2 Attachments

Dear Frank Zola,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 27th
November.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team