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a4e work programme complaints

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I've been put on the work programme with a4e and have numerous complaints against them which I am pursuing. I am on esa. Some of the complaints include the first guy I saw laughing at me, the first guy stating that 95% of the people that went there don't want to find work, the lifts being out of order for 3 weeks at least and the office is on the second floor. and on and on...

 

One of my main concerns however ,which I am taking as far as I can including contacting newspapers, is their behavior concerning contracts and agreements. The first time I went I was given a sheet of paper to sign which luckily I noticed said 3/3 in the corner, when I asked for the other 2 pages (which he had not given me) he said we will talk about them after we sign. I told him I needed to see them before I signed… to cut a long story short I became confused and distressed and scared of getting my esa sanctioned if i did not sign.(I have mental health problems) I told him I did not understand what I was agreeing to and asked if I could take the papers away to study or get someone to help me with. He said \"no\", I ended up in tears saying I don't know what I'm signing but signing anyway. I have no idea what I signed.

 

 

The second time the woman walked me to the reception desk and put some paper down and said, if you just sign this you can go, I noticed there were quite a few other papers under that one and said what are these then, I insisted I would need to read and understand ALL of the papers, by now everyone in the reception was looking at us and I think she became aware of this and said I could take them home, I jumped at the chance, she then said "there are a few things I should explain first"…. she tried to retract the offer once she had got me away from the people witnessing the event on the grounds of not wanting to damage my mental health by causing undue anxiety.

 

 

 

at my first meeting I'd become extremely distressed and asked if i could bring someone to help me next time and he said " She will want to see you on your own the first time"... I believe they have been instructed on what words to use as, i took it as a no, which is strongly implied.

 

 

 

I know someone who was refused the right to read the other 2 pages (who also suffers mental health problems) until after he signed, which he refused to do until he had read them, they put him down as refusal to sign and reported him to job centre, he is awaiting news on whether his benefit will be sanctioned.

 

 

I believe a4e have a deliberate policy of withholding information from 'customers' , information that they are agreeing to. I would be very interested to hear if anyone else has had similar experiences of a4e.

 

 

\"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.\" (Margaret Mead)

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Hello and welcome to CAG, I'm sorry to hear about your problems.

 

I hope that the forum guys will be along later with advice for you. Please bear with us until they're able to get here. :)

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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In order to pursue a complaint against A4e (or any other Work Programme provider), you should follow the process outlined during your induction meeting - Chances are, you were not given this information.... The DWP have a section in their guidance notes that outlines the process: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/299404/wp-pg-chapter-16.pdf

 

The first step in raising a complaint is to write to A4e at Queens House, 105 Queen Street, Sheffield, S1 1GN - Send a copy of the complaint to your local MP just to add a little more weight to it.

 

Being given one page of three to sign is definitely not acceptable, and using the threat of sanctions to elicit a signature should be challenged.

 

You are entitled to take someone with you to any or all of these face to face meetings - If an A4e "adviser" objects, then instruct him/her to seek clarification from the contracts manager at the DWP after business has been concluded. **Margaret** kindly provided this link in another thread: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/right_to_be_accompanied_at_jobce#incoming-490264 - It might be worth printing out the response and hand it to the A4e "adviser" if he/she tries raising an objection.

 

Out of a matter of interest, what area is this office located ?

 

 

 

P.S. I have had first hand experience of A4e provisions under the WP predecessor - The staff were ignorant of the rules governing their activities and were always ready to blame someone else for their failings.


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thanks mrp

area is nottingham

I've only been in to the office 3 times but have real problems with them... on my last visit when the woman was trying to get me to sign the papers at the reception ( the chairs for people waiting are in a line facing this desk a couple of meters from it) she 'explained' it was only some stuff we'd talked about that day and started reading out a list of some of the things we'd talked about then started reading out my mental health problems! I shushed her and she shut up immediately but really it was dreadful ...infront of a line of people!... just appalling behaviour.

thankyou for the information, will study it carefully, I need to learn my stuff because these people have me down now as 'easy pickings' ... i.e with a bit of bullying she cries and does anything to get out.

Edited by Okay
edited to remove sensitive personal info

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( the chairs for people waiting are in a line facing this desk a couple of meters from it) she [...] then started reading out my mental health problems!

 

Discussing a client's confidential information in public is a serious breach of DWP guidelines and should be reported to the highest level. This would be:

Head of Work Programmes

Department for Work and Pensions

Level 4

Steel City House

56 West Street

Sheffield

S1 2GQ

 

Address it to Derek French (I think he is still in charge), and don't be afraid to name this woman - I had raised a similar concern and the DWP kicked a few backsides as a result. You should also raise the issue with your MP - If he/she is any good, pressure can be brought from an even greater height and will not look good on them if/when you go to the Independent Complaints Examiner.

 

If you had been in Edinburgh, I would have sign posted you towards ECAP - They have previous form with A4e and know all about their antics. As ECAP are outside your area, you might find the Nottingham Unemployed Workers Centre can offer some advice and support.


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Hi Okay

 

A4E will have an internal complaints procedure, you need to follow that first, once you've received their final response should you remain unhappy, you should complain to jobcentreplus who again will give you a final response. Then you can complain to the Director General of Operations for the Department for Work and Pensions. If matters still aren't resolved then you can ask the Independent Case Examiner to look into your complaint. If your not happy with their response, ask your MP to send it to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.


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:Okay:

 

Sorry to hear that A4e are giving you a hard time. As an employment n support claimant with mental health issues, last thing you need is more stress from them. Take a friend/relative to stay with you during the the next appointment. Should A4e not like the idea, as advised in #3, wave that freedom of info response at them with a reminder that the work programme (like Atos, who've finally been forced to accept chaperones) is a Work n Pensions service.

 

Two more freedom of info requests that may interest you;

 

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/basically#incoming-462802

 

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/work_programme_agreement_forms#incoming-292290

 

As there's no mandatory requirement for signatures on work programme agreements and action plans, a claimant can't be sanctioned for refusal to sign. Should you encounter further problems, ask A4e for a copy of the legislation or Work n Pensions guidance that requires your signature on their forms. The other form that you signed under duress was probably an action plan for work related activity. Which for an employment n support claimant doesn't include jobseeking or work experience. (A4e have been known to get confused. :mmph:)

 

Best wishes, Margaret. :panda:

 

 

 

 

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In cases where client confidentiality has been breached - Discussing someone's mental health issues at reception is a serious breach - I would disagree with rebel11's advice. Bypass A4e and make a complaint directly to the Head of Work Programmes. Complaining at the local level will only result in a "oh well, never mind" response. Involving senior DWP managers is more likely to result in reprimands and butts kicked down the food chain.

 

 

One more suggestion for the OP - Insist on copies of all paperwork that they want signatures on. Tell them that you require them for your own personal record.

 

It would also be worth sending a Subject Access Request to the DWP asking for all records held by your local JCP and all records held by A4e both on computer and paper - It will take up to 40 days for them to respond to the SAR, but you will find out exactly what it was A4e got you to sign. Note: the DWP do not charge the usual £10 fee, so make the most of it.


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Disagree as much as you like, they have procedures in place - page 12 (it's rubbish, but it is what it is), all you end up doing is wasting time when they hand the complaint back to the service provider to look into, before you can move on with the complaint.

 

http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@benefits/documents/digitalasset/dg_202270.pdf

 

In cases where client confidentiality has been breached - Discussing someone's mental health issues at reception is a serious breach - I would disagree with rebel11's advice. Bypass A4e and make a complaint directly to the Head of Work Programmes. Complaining at the local level will only result in a "oh well, never mind" response. Involving senior DWP managers is more likely to result in reprimands and butts kicked down the food chain.

 

 

One more suggestion for the OP - Insist on copies of all paperwork that they want signatures on. Tell them that you require them for your own personal record.

 

It would also be worth sending a Subject Access Request to the DWP asking for all records held by your local JCP and all records held by A4e both on computer and paper - It will take up to 40 days for them to respond to the SAR, but you will find out exactly what it was A4e got you to sign. Note: the DWP do not charge the usual £10 fee, so make the most of it.


Welcome to Consumer Action Group

 

'Challenges are what makes life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.'

Joshua J. Marine

 

1) CLAIM BACK ALL PENALTY CHARGES CLICK HERE

2) CLAIM BACK ALL MIS-SOLD PPI CLICK HERE

3) COMPOUNDED CONTRACTUAL INTEREST CLICK HERE

4) REQUEST CCA FROM CREDITOR CLICK HERE

5) OFT- UNENFORCEABLE AGREEMENTS CLICK HERE

6) CAREY V HSBC (2009) CLICK HERE

7) DON'T BE BULLIED BY CREDITORS / DCA's CLICK HERE

8) IN DEBT DON'T PANIC CLICK HERE

9) FULL AND FINAL SETTLEMENT CLICK HERE

10) SALE OF GOODS ACT-EDUCATE YOUR RETAILER CLICK HERE

11) DISTANCE SELLING-EDUCATE YOR RETAILERCLICK HERE

12) SOGA SUMMARY CLICK HERE

13) WHICH? TEMPLATES [/url]CLICK HERE

14) DOES YOU BANK TREAT YOU FAIRLY BCOBSCLICK HERE

15) EVERYTHING HOUSING CLICK HERE

16) UTILITY BACKBILLING CLICK HERE

17) OFGEM - COMPLAINTSCLICK HERE

18) OFCOM - COMPLAINTS CLICK HERE

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On my very first day at A4e they handed out forms for us to fill in stating what we'd learned and gained by being there; forms which should have been issued at the end of the course. They even coached people in what they should write. Naturally they didn't want us to put in the current date - they'd do it for us later. How considerate.

 

I refused to do it and threatened to complain, though at the time I wasn't as clued-up on the guidance as I am now. They didn't press the matter but a lot of people on that first day did complete the forms so A4e got plenty of 'happy customer' evidence..even before the course started.

 

That's why I took a charity shop placement ASAP and got out of there for the duration.

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In my experience complaining to a provider is a waste of time and energy. Even escalating a complaint up the chain bypassing the provider seems to have little effect.

 

Either complaints aren't taken seriously enough, or the will isn't there to resolve them. If everyone that has a valid issue with a provider complained, then by force of numbers things might change. But that's a big IF.


 

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges

 

Being poor is like being a Pelican. No matter where you look, all you see is a large bill.

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Disagree as much as you like, they have procedures in place - page 12 (it's rubbish, but it is what it is), all you end up doing is wasting time when they hand the complaint back to the service provider to look into, before you can move on with the complaint.

 

The DWP are the data controllers for the Work Programme (and all the other programmes they contract out). If there is a breach of client confidentiality, the DWP is equally culpable for any damage caused. Raising the issue with A4e at the local level will just see it being brushed under the carpet. Reporting a breach of confidentiality to higher levels within the DWP may see tangible results. Even if the complaint is referred back to A4e, the DWP managers will be aware that there is a problem and could initiate further investigations.


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If A4E do nothing, which you think will happen, then you take your complaint to the next level. If there has been a breach of data, once you've complained to A4E and if your still not happy, complain to the ICO.

 

The DWP are the data controllers for the Work Programme (and all the other programmes they contract out). If there is a breach of client confidentiality, the DWP is equally culpable for any damage caused. Raising the issue with A4e at the local level will just see it being brushed under the carpet. Reporting a breach of confidentiality to higher levels within the DWP may see tangible results. Even if the complaint is referred back to A4e, the DWP managers will be aware that there is a problem and could initiate further investigations.

Welcome to Consumer Action Group

 

'Challenges are what makes life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.'

Joshua J. Marine

 

1) CLAIM BACK ALL PENALTY CHARGES CLICK HERE

2) CLAIM BACK ALL MIS-SOLD PPI CLICK HERE

3) COMPOUNDED CONTRACTUAL INTEREST CLICK HERE

4) REQUEST CCA FROM CREDITOR CLICK HERE

5) OFT- UNENFORCEABLE AGREEMENTS CLICK HERE

6) CAREY V HSBC (2009) CLICK HERE

7) DON'T BE BULLIED BY CREDITORS / DCA's CLICK HERE

8) IN DEBT DON'T PANIC CLICK HERE

9) FULL AND FINAL SETTLEMENT CLICK HERE

10) SALE OF GOODS ACT-EDUCATE YOUR RETAILER CLICK HERE

11) DISTANCE SELLING-EDUCATE YOR RETAILERCLICK HERE

12) SOGA SUMMARY CLICK HERE

13) WHICH? TEMPLATES [/url]CLICK HERE

14) DOES YOU BANK TREAT YOU FAIRLY BCOBSCLICK HERE

15) EVERYTHING HOUSING CLICK HERE

16) UTILITY BACKBILLING CLICK HERE

17) OFGEM - COMPLAINTSCLICK HERE

18) OFCOM - COMPLAINTS CLICK HERE

DON'T GIVE UP, THIS SITE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH GUIDANCE AND EMPOWERMENT

 

Don't forget to donate to this site

 

Please let us know how your problem has been resolved, it could help fellow Caggers

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Hi, i'm new to this forum and so, thank you for allowing me to join.

 

My story is long but, in a very short period of time, it as become clear to me that it is standard practice to, what I see as demolish your moral and ignore anything positive you are/have done.

 

Around October last year I was studying level 1 in English and maths, at my own request through my Jobcentre + and was getting ready to sit my exams in December, anyway I went to sign on and was told that I had been flagged for a work programme. This was in November and I found that moving me to that meant I was not entitled to my bus fares to College being reimbursed. I felt a bit unhappy but I was lucky that I could cover this. I passed both of them, I then thought of asking my wonderful "work coach" if she could put me in for level 2, thinking this would look great on my CV and of course help me to find more secure employment, her answer was that she had no clue whether she could refer me. Again zero help from even this place. You need to bear in mind that I have been out of the system for a number of years through illness, silly me thought they were here to help me get the best chance to move forward.

 

Leading from that I went to learndirect who were helpful enough to put me on a course called (European Computer Driving License at level 2) this could be seen as advanced computing, I passed this with a distinction star rating, the highest there is. I am not mentioning this to blow my own trumpet but, this is more, I was adding to my CV of things to move forward and aim towards a good job. I asked again my helpful "work coach" if it was possible to get me on to English and maths level 2, A huge surprise to me that she said yes, I felt great and more motivated to pass these and looked forward to adding them to my CV (it really would look good) Now is where the fun begins. My work coach just before starting me on the courses I have asked for, for six months, decides I have to do job searches for four weeks, lucky that I do driving lessons on a Monday ( so no) Tuesday (yes) Wednesday (no as thats English and same for Thursday, Friday I do voluntary work. I hope you're getting the picture that I am trying my damnedest to move forwards. Now I did not mind the job search but, she asked me if I wanted to see a recruiter to give me helpful advice on my career. I was thinking Call centre or pretty much none manual work as i'm now 46 years old. I agreed and was a massive mistake. The guy basically went out of his way to try to destroy anything I have done in the past 9 months, ignore that and concentrate only my past, the words that came was that I will be nothing other than a labourer came from his mouth and i'm still not sure what stopped me from knocking him out.

 

Next bit of fun :D I was told I had to go on a ten day course for cscs and I have no construction background for those wondering. I was lucky again that it ran for five days but, they I have no doubt got paid for the full ten days. This was not a cscs course but was an employability course? It should have finished this Monday coming for those wondering, the English course I could have missed two weeks of and could get kicked off for falling behind on my studies, I got lots of homework from my tutor and so you ask, what is the problem, you're still on the course you need. I got a text message from my "work coach" telling me that from the 7th of July I am of a course to teach me about how to prepare a CV and training for interviews (mandatory) which may kick me of the English course, I am down for sitting my exam in tree weeks from now, this would give me two more weeks to prepare, I also have my driving test the day before which I have had to cancel a few and two of those in the past tree weeks to make sure I don't get put forward for a sanction.

 

If they treat people who are trying like this, then why are they even pretending to help. I did the early courses to give myself a boost and reason to keep moving forward but, the only ones slowing me down are those who are paid to help? It seems it's down to profit and the sad part is, if you're stuck in their loop of finding you shot term inappropriate jobs then you will be back to where you started and just making them a profit with zero help in what the actual person needs.

 

I'm still deciding whether to complain now or wait until I get kicked off the one course I need to get me out of their grip.

 

Thanks for reading and I hope those who previously posted their problems have had them solved.

 

I forgot to add, i am only thinking they would put me on three courses at the same time to kill my enthusiasm for going forward?

Edited by dazzz

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Hello to you Dazz and welcome to CAG. I'm sure I speak for all when I say that it is a genuine pleasure to have you join us as a member. We can learn from your experiences and hopefully may be able to help you with the difficulties being placed in your way.

First of all well done and congratulation on getting on so well and progressing on the courses that you undertook on your own initiative to improve your future prospects. And you did it in the face of the obstacles being put in your way. I would be proud of those achievements too and shout it from the rooftops.

You are right too when you say that the Work Programme is supposed to be there to help you and cater for your individual needs for the purpose of improving your prospects and not to grind you down or profit at your expense.

There is no doubt about it that should complain. The question is how best to go about it. You have given a good account of plenty to complain about.

In order to be able to help you to compose a letter of complaint could you clarify ;

(1) what sort Jobseeker's Agreement you are on. Is it (i) the old Jobseeker's Agreement, (ii) the Jobseeker's Agreement/Claimant Commitment or (iii) the fully fledged Claimant Commitment?

(2) Is it the Work Programme Provider coaches or the Jobcentre advisers who are referring you to all those courses that interfere with the courses that you are already signed up to?

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Hello to you Dazz and welcome to CAG. I'm sure I speak for all when I say that it is a genuine pleasure to have you join us as a member. We can learn from your experiences and hopefully may be able to help you with the difficulties being placed in your way.

First of all well done and congratulation on getting on so well and progressing on the courses that you undertook on your own initiative to improve your future prospects. And you did it in the face of the obstacles being put in your way. I would be proud of those achievements too and shout it from the rooftops.

You are right too when you say that the Work Programme is supposed to be there to help you and cater for your individual needs for the purpose of improving your prospects and not to grind you down or profit at your expense.

There is no doubt about it that should complain. The question is how best to go about it. You have given a good account of plenty to complain about.

In order to be able to help you to compose a letter of complaint could you clarify ;

(1) what sort Jobseeker's Agreement you are on. Is it (i) the old Jobseeker's Agreement, (ii) the Jobseeker's Agreement/Claimant Commitment or (iii) the fully fledged Claimant Commitment?

(2) Is it the Work Programme Provider coaches or the Jobcentre advisers who are referring you to all those courses that interfere with the courses that you are already signed up to?

 

Hi Lapsed Workaholic and I appreciate your kind words.

 

I signed on for the first time in years in August of last year, this was through the Jobcentre. I got given a signing on book and that's it until about October and it as since then being a4e destroying my plans. I was one of those less savvy and seems I signed papers that could go against me later :/ I wish I had found this site before as I would've been better prepared.

 

When this recruiter told me I was only a labourer I was being double teamed by my "work coach" I mentioned I would like to finish English and maths, the reply came that I was refusing their help then (i knew they was digging a hole for me) so I had little choice or be sanctioned. I only just found out that these people get paid on commission when they "find" someone a job, is this correct and if so, how is that making them find you suitable work? Very strange if correct.

 

Regards the agreement I only know I was on it from August if this helps? sorry I can't be more specific :( The situation is getting that silly that I even cancelled a dentists appointment.

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The immediate and over-riding issue to address, as I understand the situation, is that you have been mandated to go on a course to teach you about how to prepare a CV and train you for interviews on 7 July coming. If you have to attend this course it is likely to ruin your chances in your up-coming exams. All you have already worked hard on, the time and the effort, will have been wasted.

So it is imperative that a letter be sent as soon as possible (Monday morning) requesting a reconsideration, or at the very least a delay, of that mandatory order.

 

Please check the following points for factual accuracy and feel free to add any relevant facts that you feel I have missed.

 

1. You signed on for Jobseeker's Allowance in August 2014 and signed an Agreement committing yourself to 'actively seek employment'. That's your Jobseeker's Agreement.

 

2. As a part of your commitment you undertook, on your own initiative with nobody having to force you, to sign up for courses that would help to improve your job prospects. Those were elementary Level 1 courses in English and maths. A good place to start, you thought, since even the most menial of jobs nowadays require basic literacy and numeracy skills.

 

3. In November you were referred to the Work Programme. Can you remember any details about what the adviser at the Job Centre said during the referral Interview. Did you mention about your courses and exams and what was the response?

 

(There is a recognised procedure to follow when referring claimants to the Work Programme. If this wasn't followed in your case that could be included in your list of complaints).

 

4. Despite being put on WP you continued with your course and passed the required exam in December. How much did you lose by having you bus fare concessions stopped (roughly per week)and did you mention this to anyone or what were you told or advised about this?

 

5. It could be argued here that the complications thrown up by being on WP and the restrictions placed on the time you could commit to your studies meant that you had to give up on the idea of further advancement of your education/studies.

 

6. It did lead, however, to being enrolled on a computing course with Learn Direct. Which you passed with flying colours. A further step in your employability prospects, not to mention a definite added improvement to the look of your CV.

 

7. After this you asked again if it were possible for them to get you enrolled for Level 2 English and maths. She told you she could? You say you are on those courses now and nearly completed them.

 

8. I presume that you were doing job searches all along. You were never pulled up by the Jobcentre for not 'actively seeking employment were you? '. Do you have internet access at home, or rely on intermittent access on a friend's computer etc. Did you do this 4 week job search thing? what does that involve?

 

9. Nothing positive came of your interview with the recruiter?. Apart from being a prize pillock he had nothing constructive to say?

 

10. Can you say a bit more about what was involved in the 'employability' course. Any course you opt to go on yourself counts just as much, if not more, as any course WP arrange for you as far as job seeking or job preparation activity is concerned.

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When this recruiter told me I was only a labourer I was being double teamed by my "work coach" I mentioned I would like to finish English and maths, the reply came that I was refusing their help then (i knew they was digging a hole for me) so I had little choice or be sanctioned. I only just found out that these people get paid on commission when they "find" someone a job, is this correct and if so, how is that making them find you suitable work? Very strange if correct.

 

You really do need to record every conversation with these so-called "advisers" and let them dig their own holes. Pointing out that their nugatory "courses" jeopardises pre-existing educational courses is not a refusal. Unfortunately, without corroborating evidence, it is difficult to fight any possible sanction, hence the need to record every conversation.

 

And yes, these companies get paid a bonus for everyone that finds employment whilst in their grasp - In fact, this is the only revenue they get from the DWP now that attachment payments have been phased out.

 

It would be worth your while reading the Work Programme provider guidance notes issued by the DWP - These can be used against A4e if you find they are trying to mandate you to participate in an inappropriate activity.


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Thanks for the follow up.

 

Sadly if it was mentioned as elementary English and maths it would think to be entry level which it was not, I mention as it confused a few of us when we started as some were entry level 3 and thought just level 1 was lower. Not my ego talking but more the wording.

 

1, Is spot on.

 

2, As said just that word but yes.

 

3, When I was referred I made my thoughts clear on that and did directly complain to my MP at the time (now retired) he just forwarded the email sent and I got an apology from the Jobcentre Manager. Nope no mention of footing the difference but I made my point there. On the week I got told I was flagged for the WP, I had an assessment on what I was doing at the time, I explained and was told that I was doing more than expected ( this was still the Jobcentre before the complaint went through)

 

4, As above.

 

5,

 

6, Pretty much the reason.

 

7, This is where one thing crosses the other. Initially I was told to report to them twice a week for job search and was told that because i'm so busy it should've been 5 days a week for four weeks, Tuesdays and Thursdays but, due to a lesson being on a Thursday, this meant only Tuesday. On the day I saw her she asked me if I would be interested in meeting this recruiter who could help me in the right direction. I think this was due to me mentioning possible call centre work. It seemed to be a bad idea on my part. Anyway I was told to meet this Recruiter a few days later after one of my lessons, I saw him and you know how well that went but, since then I have been in that building almost everyday and he is also there everyday and was told he also does the work coach job and he seems to be good friends with all those who work in there, I saw him on the 18th of June, so just a couple of weeks ago.

 

8, I've never been pulled up on job search.

 

9, Pillock is a good word.

 

10, The Employability course seems to be for those who have no or little work history, such things as clothing for an interview, how to conduct yourself in an interview, how to get to an interview, it was the very basics that most should already know. I think I was placed on this to make up the numbers. I was told to report there on the Monday with another from that work programme, he was also told it was for a cscs card. We turned up and not enough showed up and so was cancelled for the following day, we did and that's when we was told what the course really was. I was not impressed with other course options. The Guy running it was a good guy but due to me being there and now mandatory, there was little I could do but got through with it. He was an ex Teacher and most understand my reason for Education, him included. The course lasted 5 days and finished the Monday just gone, I got a text message on the Tuesday saying I was enrolled in this new course that starts on the 7th of July, the original course should've run 10 days which meant I would still be on it until this Monday. This would have killed three weeks of study time and leave me one week (two full days) to get to test level. I was lucky I managed to get my studying done this week. The studying is done in house and so in the same building and they know exactly what i'm doing. This is not a mistake by them, they do know exactly what they're doing.

 

I hope this covers more and yes I have fixed broadband, I forgot, another part of the employability course was how to manage money, I think I answered that question as i've had broadband with no errors on my part for paying in the past five years.

 

Thanks again :)

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Thanks Mr.P for the reading material, i'll study the lot :-)

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Just for clarification Dazz, did the 'coach' eventually get you enrolled on Level 2 of the courses as she promised, and if so how long after making the promise? Or did you arrange doing Level 2 yourself?

 

Trying to compose a letter and mustn't get the facts distorted.

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Thanks Lapsed Workaholic,

 

For months she claimed to have no idea if she could, I saw my work coach on 3/6/2015 and that is the first time she looked in to it. I feel this was more a case of they wanted it in house and a Tutor had only just started. I sat the assessment of my level on 10/6/2015 and on that date I was one week behind the others as they started the previous week (others as in students) which I did not mind and knew I could catch up, I believe that I official was enrolled the following Wednesday which was the 17th of June, but we all sit exams the same week. 21st and for me the 22nd due to my driving test on the 21st.

 

Btw I am glad they sent text messages as reminders with the dates, basically the work coach rushed to put me on it, this is what confuses me. It is like having two different people getting me to do two different things the same time :oops:

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I just hope the info is enough for you to go, if not of course please don't hesitate to ask. And again, thank you for taking the time :-)

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Based on what you have said I have composed a formal letter that you could send winging to your Work Programme manager.

 

Again feel free to edit it as you see fit.

 

 

....................................................................................................................[YOUR ADDRESS]

....................................................................................................................[DATE]

[The Manager, Name if known]

[Full Local A4E Address]

 

Ref: Formal Request for Reconsideration of Mandatory Activity Notice.

[Your Name]

N.I. Number:..........................

 

I hereby formally request that you reconsider the Mandatory Activity Notification issued, presumably with your connivance, by your 'work coach' [NAME]. Be so good too as to regard this letter as a formal statement of my dissatisfaction with the way in which your employees, under your direction, are administering Work Programme provision, specifically as it is applied in my case.

No regard is given to my individual needs/requirements. Scant regard too is given to your company's contractual arrangements with JCP/DWP.

I would draw you attention initially to Paragraph 6 of the DWP Guidance Document - "Operational guidance >> Get Britain Working >> Work Programme >> Work Programme Referral" issued in March 2015 which states:

6. It (the Work Programme) is built around the needs of individuals, providing the support they need when they need it. Providers will be free to design support based on the needs of individuals and target the right support at the right time, regardless of the benefit the claimant is in receipt of.

Far from providing the support I need, when I need it, and based on my needs, I feel that I am hampered at every turn and that what motivates those purporting to be acting in my interest is their own personal or combined deficiencies and ignorance and their own interests in maximising their own, and their company, profits for minimal effort and to my detriment. I submit for your attention the following commentary on your organisation's cack-handed approach to my individual needs since being referred to the Work Programme under your auspices:

In November 2014 I was referred to the Work Programme. During the Referral Interview no consideration was given to my situation as it was at the time.

Quoting again from the document referred to above Paragraph 50 and 57:

50. The adviser can consider delaying the claimant’s mandatory referral for a maximum of 90 days. They can be deferred multiple times but not beyond the end of the 90 days period. LMS will not allow you to defer beyond the maximum 90 days. It will calculate this using the ‘Eligibility Date’ within the Work Programme window as the start date.

57. Where a claimant is on a training course and would reach their Work Programme referral date whilst on this, or shortly after, consideration should be given to deferring the Work Programme Referral so the claimant can complete the course and where appropriate be given time to try to get a job using their new skills.

I explained at the interview that, on my own initiative, I was attending courses to improve my employment prospects and enhance the appearance and content of my CV but I was ignored, as obviously was their own Guidance. Subsequent complaints, also involving my MP, resulted in a formal apology by Jobcentre Plus. By then the damage was done, my travelling expenses for the courses I was attending was stopped and I was obliged to continue it at my own expense or risk losing any advantage or benefit from the time and energy already expended.

Whether or not JCP advised you of my individual circumstances as they are obliged to do, I advised your minions of them myself. Despite obstructions put in my path I succeeded in passing the end of course examinations.

I was then informed by one of your 'work coaches' that she would facilitate my referral onto the next level of the courses that I had just successfully completed. It took about 6 months of delays before this was enabled.

In the meantime a course was arranged purporting to be for a construction qualification which turned out to have nothing to do with construction at all and which did not even last the assigned duration.

An appointment was arranged with a so called 'Recruiter' who told me to my face that I was a 'labourer' and should aspire to nothing more. Hardly encouraging, totally dismissive of my efforts to improve my condition, intend rather to crush any enthusiasm or aspiration I have.

I have now been mandated to go on another similarly futile course that promises no prospects for improvement but rather detract and derail me from preparing for the examination that I am due to sit within the next week or so for the course I am currently attending.

I have not wilfully refused to go on any of the courses suggested by work coaches, however ineffective they were. On this occasion, however, I feel I must strongly protest against being mandated to attended a course that could interfere with and nullify my efforts on the course that I am currently on and is nearing completion and my future employability prospects.

I ask for nothing more or less at this time than that you act immediately to rectify this state of affairs, that you reverse the current mandatory notification, for the present at least, until after the imminent exams. It is within your competence to do this at once without the need to appeal to Decision Makers or Appeals Tribunals. I would hope that it did not become necessary for me to go to such extremes or to seek legal advice on breaches to Contract (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 or the Protection From Harrassment Act 1997.

I shall expect to be informed of the result of your deliberations without undue delay and I remain,

Yours sincerely,

[Your Name]

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