Senior Jobcentre manager sanctioned for self-flagellation pictures in Star newspaper

In today’s Star: Benefits boss lauds Wild West sanctions targets (23/12/14)

Star article appropriated by @richbagley from an @refuted tweet and hilarious articles by @johnnyvoid


Stop press: The truely hilarious Jobcentre manager’s  account has vanished from Twitterspere. (maybe)
View archive of Sandra’s @CEDirector_WSD account.



sheriff (2)


DWP loses another 3 FOI tribunal hearings, must release names of workfare exploiters

The DWP has lost 3* first tier FOI tribunal appeal hearings on disclosure of the names of Mandatory Work Activity (MWA), Work Programme and Day One Support for Young People Trailblazer workfare exploiters. The tribunal’s decision was “unanimous” and found the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) disclosure exemptions claimed by the DWP on The economy s.29; – Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs s.36(2)(c); – Commercial interests/trade secrets s.43 unfounded and “should therefore fail”. Therefore the DWP must disclose the withheld information, or seek an appeal. All of the 3 requesters Sheldon, Sheenan and Chance used to make these FOI requests, alongside the cited case of Zola, with regards naming MWA workfare exploiters throughout the UK.

“Each of the appeals therefore fails and the DWP should respond to each of
the information requests in the manner indicated in the relevant decision
notice*” View full tribunal decision onlinedownload (pdf)

*Original FOI requests
Sheldon – : Groundworks and work programme placementsICO notice (FS50517872)
Sheenan – : Divine Rescue MWAICO notice (FS50515872)
Chance – : Day One Support for young People TrailblazerICO notice (FS50520380)
Case cited: ZolaSuccessful bidders (MWA), with historical links and full text of decisions.
Your Freedom of Information Act: Making requests, tips and ideas for Campaigns, Media exposure and to know your rights

Hat tip: @FOIkid

Expert says DWP robs £300 million a year from most poor and disadvantaged – #BenefitSanctions

Hansard: Jobseeker’s Allowance (Sanctions) “Dr David Webster of Glasgow university, the leading academic authority on benefit sanctions. He estimates that the amount of benefit withheld in sanctions is now running at £300 million per year

Punishing Poverty? reviews benefits sanctions and their impact on clients and claimants

Latest JSA/ESA benefit sanctions briefing and summary

Sanctions: the graph lines that keep on climbing
The latest DWP statistics show ever more sanctions being imposed on claimants. Is there a link with food poverty? Janis Bright comments on Dr David Webster’s latest statistical briefing (17/12/14)

Benefit Sanctions in Numbers: A summary “To June 2014, there has been 6.26 million decisions to apply Jobseekers Allowance sanctions since April 2000.” (17/12/14)

Briefing: The DWP’s JSA/ESA sanctions – 12 November 2014
View onlinedownload (.docx)

Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance sanctions: decisions made to June 2014 – 12 November 2014 – Statistics

DWP says “no legal requirement for Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants to undertake 35 hours of Work Search…each week”

“As there is no legal requirement for Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants to
undertake 35 hours of Work Search Activity each week, no legislation or
national guidance stating otherwise exists.”

Above quote is despite Jobcentre ‘Advisers’/Work Coaches seeking to impose a 35 hour a week Jobsearch requirement for JSA, when such a requirement only exists for Universal Credit and disclosing information that the 35 hour requirement existed for ‘New Style JSA’.
The JSA Supervised Jobsearch Pilot is a randomised trial involving a 35 hour a week jobsearch provision at DWP provider premises.


#UniversalCredit to dramatically increase low-paid, insecure and casual work, especially zero hour contracts (ZHCs)

Low pay and zero-hours contracts rise dramatically, figures show (Observer 13/12/14)

“Just one in every forty of the net jobs added to the economy between 2008 and 2014 has been a full-time employee job. Over the same period 24 in every 40 net jobs added have been self-employed, and 26 in every 40 have been part-time.”

Special report: Why can’t Britain create decent jobs?

#UniversalCredit: Activities that could b imposed when in employment, including Psychological Fundamentalism

“UC claimants who refuse to accept a zero hours contract job offer, without good reason, can be subject to a sanction. However a UC claimant will not be sanctioned for refusing to take a zero hours contract with an exclusivity clause”