Your response related to “Restart 'initial Diagnostic Assessment' tools” 6/8/21

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

This request relates to your response with the reference number FOI2021/57446 provided on 6 August 2021:

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

The request concerned the wording of a questionnaire that claimants are asked to complete by a provider; it included nothing notifying them that they need not complete it (nor any specific question included).

In response to:

“Please disclose details of the benefit sanctions that apply to benefit claimants should they decline to answer any specific or all of the questions on these 'initial Diagnostic Assessment' tools'?”

you responded:

'Finally, on the last question, it is up to the providers to decide whether to mandate a participant to take part in an activity.'

1. Please provide the information you have provided to providers describing their powers to mandate claimants (i) to take part in activities in general and (ii) to provide personal information in particular e.g. by completing a questionnaire.

2. Please also provide any communications from providers (and your responses) seeking information regarding their powers to mandate claimants to complete questionnaires related to the “Restart” programme. I am specifically referring to communications that would be sent to the DWP unit responsible for dealing with enquiries from providers regarding the implementation of the "Restart" contract (not the inbox or phone of every DWP member of staff!).

Yours faithfully,

J Roberts

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

I wish to modify my two requests slightly.

I wish to replace the word 'questionnaire' in my first request with the phrase 'initial or ongoing diagnostic assessment'.

I wish to replace the word 'questionnaires' in my second request with the phrase 'initial or ongoing diagnostic assessment'.

My modified requests in full:

1. Please provide the information you have provided to providers describing their powers to mandate claimants (i) to take part in activities in general and (ii) to provide personal information in particular e.g. by completing an initial or ongoing diagnostic assessment.

2. Please also provide any communications from providers (and your responses) seeking information regarding their powers to mandate claimants to complete an initial or ongoing diagnostic assessment related to the “Restart” programme. I am specifically referring to communications that would be sent to the DWP unit responsible for dealing with enquiries from providers regarding the implementation of the "Restart" contract (not the inbox or phone of every DWP member of staff!).

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Yours faithfully,

J Roberts

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DWP Central FOI Team,

2 Attachments

Dear J Roberts,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 3rd
September.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Ref. FOI2021/71538

Thank you for your response. I have one query. You wrote:

'Restart providers cannot compel a participant to disclose matters pertaining to their health or disability and a compliance doubt will not be raised. Therefore, a sanction will not be applied to a participant if they choose not to share any details relating to their health or disability.' 

My request concerned the disclosure of 'personal information', a broader category than information related to 'health or disability'. For example, the following question is one asked by a provider which seeks personal information about lifestyle.

'How often over the last 4 weeks have you had an alcoholic drink?

1 daily
2 5-6 days per week
3 3-4 days per week
4 Occasional y
5 Never ( I don't drink '

Can a person be sanctioned for choosing not to tell a provider how often they have had an alcoholic drink over the last 4 weeks?

Yours faithfully,

J Roberts

J Roberts left an annotation ()

'Considering mandating a Participant to undertake activity

8.11. DWP does not provide a prescriptive list of activities. You have the freedom to determine the activity you require your Participant to undertake, provided it has the clear aim of helping them prepare for or move into work.

8.12. The only restriction to this is mandating your Participant to complete work experience, apply for work, attend a job interview or take up work. You may agree these as voluntary activities but you must not set these as mandatory requirements.'

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

'Participants in the Intensive Work Search Regime (IWSR) will have agreed work search, work preparation and work availability requirements with
their JCP work coach to claim benefit. During interactions with the participant, the Restart provider may identify a potential doubt. They may
notify DWP using a notification which will be included within the provider
guidance.' (26 Feb. 21)

'The work coach will not mandate potential participants to attend the initial face-to-face meeting with the Restart provider. The Restart provider can choose to mandate the potential participant to the initial face-to-face meeting, but only where non-mandatory attempts have been unsuccessful.' (21 Jan. 21)

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J Roberts left an annotation ()

Something interesting.

Request:

'1. Please provide me with any recorded information held by the DWP, which states whether or not a claimant can be given a Mandatory Activity Notice by Reed to use the career.me App.'

DWP Response:

'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, or to use any Apps such as the career.me App that you mention. We do however, ask providers to note any reasons offered for the refusal to sign an action plan, but the participant is not obliged to supply a reason. A Restart participant is expected to comply with any mandated activities set out in the action plan, but as mentioned above no legislation compels them to sign or provide reasons. It is unlikely that a provider will mandate the use of an App, however, a failure to adhere to other mandated actions set out in the plan may lead to a compliance doubt  referral being raised with Jobcentre Plus.'

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

DWP Central FOI Team,

1 Attachment

Dear J Roberts,

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

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team