DWP workfare is “debateable” for existing volunteers/workers. IE: It can happen? @keepvolvol

“Deployed in isolation, or as the first or primary step, Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) would be wholly inappropriate.
5.  It is debatable whether MWA is appropriate provision for claimants who are:
–  working (paid or voluntary)
–  undertaking employment related study / training
– taking part in or recently completed a Jobcentre Plus employment-related measure
(contracted or non-contracted) aimed at helping them move closer to the labour market
therefore, in such circumstances it is imperative that Advisory Teams consider most carefully
the merits of an MWA referral on a case by case basis”
Source: DWP FOI response 30 April 2014 https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/207951/response/511466/attach/html/3/WDTK%20response%202034%20Gowing.pdf.html


Lone Parents, youngest child 3 – 4? Do not ‘volunteer’ for mandatory Work Programme and Workfare @keepvolvol

If you are a Lone Parent “whose youngest child is aged 3 – 4 years old” do not ‘volunteer’ for the Work Programme (WP) as it will then become mandatory. If you ‘volunteered’ before 28 April 2014 and your youngest child is aged 3 – 4 years old, the WP remains  ‘voluntary’.

“It has been decided that from 28 April 2014 a lone parent whose youngest child is aged 3 – 4 years old may volunteer to join the Work Programme; however upon referral their attendance will become mandatory” [original emphasis]

“Lone Parents with a youngest child aged 3 or 4 who were referred to the Work Programme before 28 April 2014 continue to attend as voluntary participants. Lone parents in this circumstance cannot be sanctioned for not participating in the Work Programme”

“Summary and Action
From 28 April 2014 if you receive a referral for a lone parent who has a child
aged 3 -4 years of age you will have the freedom to mandate them to a work
related activity* should you deem it necessary” [emphasis added]

*Note: Work related activity can include mandatory unpaid work (workfare). Work Programme provider guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/work-programme-dwp-provider-guidance

WP151 Provider Memo – Lone Parent Conditionality – 30 April 2014 – Guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wp151-provider-memo-lone-parent-conditionality

Full list of Workfare Help to Work Prime Providers @keepvolvol

Keep volunteering Voluntary http://www.kvv.org.uk

package area Coverage Supplier
1 East of England – Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire; Cambridge and Suffolk; Essex; Norfolk Seetec
2 East Midlands – Nottinghamshire; Derbyshire; Lincolnshire and Rutland; Leicestershire and Northamptonshire G4S
3 London West – Ealing; Hammersmith and Fulham; Brent; Harrow; Hillingdon; Hounslow; Richmond Upon Thames; Kingston Upon Thames; Wandsworth; Enfield; Kensington and Chelsea; Barnet; Camden; Westminster; Islington; Haringey G4S
4 London East – Hackney; Newham; Tower Hamlets; Barking and Dagenham; Redbridge; Havering; Waltham Forest; City of London; Croydon; Bexley; Lambeth; Bromley; Greenwich; Lewisham; Southwark; Merton and Sutton G4S
5 North East Northumbria – South Tyne and Wear Valley; Tees Valley Pertemps
6 North West 1 – Cumbria and Lancashire; Merseyside; Halton G4S
7 North West 2 – Greater Manchester Central, Greater Manchester East and West, Cheshire and Warrington Seetec
8 Scotland – Ayrshire, Dumfries, Galloway and Inverclyde; Edinburgh; Lothian and Borders; Forth Valley, Fife and Tayside; Glasgow; Highlands, Islands, Clyde Coast and Grampian Learndirect
9 South East 1 – Hampshire and Isle of Wight; Thames Valley (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire) G4S
10 South East 2 – Kent; Surrey and Sussex Seetec
11 South West 1 – Devon and Cornwall; Dorset and Somerset Rehab
12 South West 2 – Gloucester, Wiltshire and Swindon; West of England Seetec
13 Wales – North and Mid Wales, South West Wales; South Wales Valleys; South East Wales Working Links
14 West Midlands 1 – Birmingham and Solihull; Black Country Seetec
15 West Midlands 2 – Coventry and Warwickshire; Staffordshire; the Marches Pertemps
16 West Yorkshire Interserve
17 South Yorkshire Interserve
18 North East Yorkshire and the Humber G4S


Community Work Placements (Workfare) a roaring success?

Great to see the ‘Keep Volunteering Voluntary’ campaign http://keepvolunteeringvoluntary.net/ @keepvolvol off to a roaring success, with Liverpool Council and Inclusion Scotland and many many more boycotting the workfare scheme.

What are the DWP Prime Provider Freedom of Information Act contractual duties?

All DWP Prime Contractors have to sign up to the Employment Related Support Services (ERSS) Framework, below is an extract of Primes/Subcontractors ERSS FOI obligations to the DWP. Older still relevant information can be found at: http://consentarchive.wordpress.com/myinfo/

26.1    The Prime Contractor acknowledges that the Authority is subject to the requirements of the FOIA and the Environmental Information Regulations and shall assist and cooperate with the Authority to enable the Authority to comply with its Information disclosure obligations.
26.2    The Prime Contractor shall and shall procure that its Sub-contractors shall:
(a)    transfer to the Authority all Requests for Information that it receives as soon as practicable and in any event within two (2) Working Days of receiving a Request for Information;
(b)    provide the Authority with a copy of all Information in its possession, or power in the form that the Authority requires within five (5) Working Days (or such other period as the Authority may specify) of the Authority’s request; and
(c)    provide all necessary assistance as reasonably requested by the Authority to enable the Authority to respond to the Request for Information within the time for compliance set out in Section 10 of the FOIA or Regulation 5 of the Environmental Information Regulations.

26.3    The Authority shall be responsible for determining in its absolute discretion and notwithstanding any other provision in this Framework Agreement or any other agreement whether the Commercially Sensitive Information and/or any other Information is exempt from disclosure in accordance with the provisions of the FOIA or the Environmental Information Regulations.
26.4    In no event shall the Prime Contractor respond directly to a Request for Information unless expressly authorised to do so by the Authority.
26.5    The Prime Contractor acknowledges that (notwithstanding the provisions of Clause 26.2) the Authority may, acting in accordance with the Ministry of Justice’s Code of Practice on the Discharge of the Functions of Public Authorities under Part 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Code”), be obliged under the FOIA, or the Environmental Information Regulations to disclose information concerning the Prime Contractor or the Services:
(a)    in certain circumstances without consulting the Prime Contractor; or
(b)    following consultation with the Prime Contractor and having taken their views into account;
provided always that where Clause 26.2 applies the Authority shall, in accordance with any recommendations of the Code, take reasonable steps, where appropriate, to give the Prime Contractor advance notice, or failing that, to draw the disclosure to the Prime Contractor’s attention after any such disclosure.

26.6    The Prime Contractor shall ensure that all Information is retained for disclosure and shall permit the Authority to inspect such records as requested from time to time.
26.7    The Prime Contractor acknowledges that the Commercially Sensitive Information listed in Schedule 5 is of indicative value only and that the Authority may be obliged to disclose it in accordance with this Clause 26.
Framework Agreement Terms & Conditions (Framework Ts&Cs v2.0 final.DOC, 373kb)
Search for “DWP/CD/ERSS/Framework/2010” at http://www.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/

Posted in FOI

Let’s keep volunteering voluntary

 The keep volunteering voluntary agreement

“As charities and voluntary organisations we know the value of volunteering. Volunteering means people independently choosing to give their time freely to help others and make the world a better place. Workfare schemes force unemployed people to carry out unpaid work or face benefit sanctions that can cause hardship and destitution.   We believe in keeping volunteering voluntary and will not participate in government workfare schemes.”

Sign up to the agreement to keep volunteering voluntary: http://www.keepvolunteeringvoluntary.net/signup

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Keep-volunteering-voluntary/592238264202734
Twitter: @keepvolvol