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 WhatDoTheyKnow.com 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


New regulations for mandatory JSA youth (18-21) #workfare, training, maths and English skills

The Jobseeker’s Allowance (18-21 Work Skills Pilot Scheme) Regulations 2014
“The 18-21 Work Skills Pilot Scheme
3. —(1) The 18-21 Work Skills Pilot Scheme is prescribed for the purposes of section 17A(1) (schemes for assisting persons to obtain employment : “work for your benefit” [workfare] schemes etc) of the Act. ” [emphasis added] http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/3117/contents/made

Explanatory memo
“Claimants in the two treatment groups” [emphasis added]
Phase One “…skills training in English or Maths (or both) for up to 16 hours per week for a cumulative period of up to 6 months”
Phase Two “work-related activity or skills training (or both) for up to 30 hours per week for a cumulative period of up to 6 months”
The regulations reaffirm that if a conscript does not agree to ‘voluntary’ work/fare [Traineeships and sector-based work academies]  experience  they can be referred for Mandatory Work Activity placements. The scheme is due to start in late November/December 2014

“It is expected that the Work Experience scheme – which is voluntary – will be the most appropriate option in the majority of cases but other options available under Phase
Two will include:

  • Traineeships
  • sector-based work academies
  • Skills training placements
  • Mandatory Work Activity scheme placements

The adviser will then make a referral to the most appropriate option. Some of these options are (and will remain) voluntary, but participation in some form of provision
will be mandatory.” [emphasis added]

Benefit cuts for the young – secret agreement

TUC informs Union Reps it supports workfare, because it is not “exploitative”

Boycott Workfare and Johnny Void have been pointing out that the TUC along with the CBI are now supporting unpaid workfare (*traineeships) after demands that they should be paid, whilst continuing to purse a rights campaign for interns to be paid. On August 4th the TUC issued Guidance for Union Reps on workfare, within this is a curious formulation of words:

The TUC and affiliated unions are firmly against exploitative workfare”  (emphasis added)

this implies that not all workfare is “exploitative” and seems very similar to the Labour Party stance on Zero Hour contracts. Most people thought Labour’s policy was for the complete abolishment of Zero Hour contracts, but in fact all they offered was a “plan to tackle the exploitation of zero-hours contracts” (emphasis added)  which is just another way of saying that not all zero-hour contracts are exploitative.

“Tuc is wrong workfare and traineeships are slave labour schemes we oppose there support for them”
Ian Hodson @IanBFAWU

The TUC is seeking an ideological shift to reframe use of the word workfare to imply that it is not always exploitative, to reinforce it’s own pro workfare agenda.

*Traineeships: “The TUC encourages employers to pay travel and meal expenses” but not a wage.

Anti #workfare activists to become single shareholders to attend corporate AGMs?

The new breed of shareholder activist: taking on the big boys at the AGM http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/aug/01/new-breed-shareholder-activists

Activist shareholder https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Activist_shareholder

Australia: a workfare state from 2015 – Full Gov tender info and news resources

[ News coverage ]

“Australian Government believes that all job seekers should remain active and engaged while looking for work. From 1 July 2015, most job seekers will be required to:

– undertake up to 40 job searches per month unless there are exceptional circumstances
– agree to a Job Plan that will outline what they will do to improve their work readiness and  to follow through on these commitments
– complete Work for the Dole for 25* hours per week for six months each year if they are aged under 30 years
– complete Work for the Dole for 15 hours per week for six months each year if they are aged 30 to 49 years
– complete an approved activity for 15 hours per week for six months each year if they are aged 50 to 59 years.”

Tender documents:

Exposure Draft for Employment Services 2015-2020 Purchasing Arrangements.pdf
Exposure Draft for Employment Services 2015-2020 Purchasing Arrangements.docx
Appendix E Maps of Employment Regions.pdf


* This was originally blank, 25 is what is being reported.