DWP Providers say: “Sign here or face Benefit Sanctions” True or False?

Despite DWP providers, of mandatory Jobcentre schemes, often demanding participants sign documents like Action Plans, Consent and Personal Data sharing forms or face Benefit Sanctions, this is not likely to have any legal basis when a scheme participant is willing to undertake suitably mandated activities, but simply declines to sign documents.

Recently the DWP wrote:

“There is no mandatory requirement for individuals to sign specific forms when participating in Back to Work (BtW) schemes, including Help to Work (HtW) ”
http://refuted.org.uk/donotsign/

Despite this clear opinion from the DWP they recently sanctioned Peter Baker’s Jobseeker Aallowance, for declining to sign Community Work Placement documentation [Action Plan]. Peter challenged the original decision to sanction through the Jobcentre’s formal Mandatory Reconsideration (internal DWP appeal) process which he lost, he then lodged a formal appeal to an independent Tribunal.

On 13/2/15 the Tribunal wrote to Mr Baker to inform him:

“I have been advised that the Appeal’s Officer has revised the decision on your case and that the new decision is more favourable”

the Jobcentre followed up with a letter dated 17/2/15 to explain it’s decision thus:

“Advice has been sought from DMA Leeds who have confirmed a person cannot be sanctioned simply for refusing to sign documentation drawn up by the Provider.
Work Solutions have confirmed that Mr Baker was willing to participate in the CWP scheme and a sanction is not appropriate.

As such Mr Baker has not failed to participate in the CWP scheme and a sanction is not appropriate”

Listen to Peter explain the process he went through after declining to sign a CWP Action Plan, including secret telephone recordings of Jobcentre staff:

Background:

Forum discussion http://unemploymentmovement.com/forum/community-work-placement-programme/11915-cwp-victim-wins-appeal-re-refusal-to-sign-action-plan
Work Solutions sanction referral form: page 1page 2
Jobcentre letter dated 17/2/15
Tribunal letter dated 13/2/15

Associated Freedom of information Act requests

Signing providers community work placement (CWP) forms, like action plans – https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/signing_providers_community_work
CWP Participation – https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/cwp_participation
Follow up to “Sign here, or face benefit sanctions?” –  https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/follow_up_to_sign_here_or_face_b
Sign here, or face benefit sanctions? – https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/sign_here_or_face_benefit_sancti
CWP Provider form(s) and an unlawful decision to sanction benefits for not signing – https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/cwp_provider_forms_and_an_unlawf
Signing providers community work placement (CWP) forms, like action plans – https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/signing_providers_community_work
Mandatory to sign CWP Action Plan? – https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/mandatory_to_sign_cwp_action_pla

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