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I wanted to know what the new rules are with regards to withdrawing consent for the WP to share your info/contact people on your behalf/claim their fat payment for my hard work when I get a job .. as I am sure I read it had changed since last year, also coincidentally each time I attend a review meeting I get loads of spammy job/credit emails in the weeks after which seems a little timely!!

 

Am getting increasingly fed up with the WP provider, by and large I have had a year of having to attend weekly job clubs with slow computers and the like but since I hit the year mark it seems to have ramped up big time, I have a good work history with good companies and a degree and the minute my latest advisor saw it his eyes lit up and I have been pestered left right and centre.

 

 

I was upped to two job clubs a week and also appointments/training sessions/interview techniques etc on one or more additional days a week and it was getting silly and made me ill so I had two weeks off with stress symptoms. I then had more blinking appointments and changes to my job clubs and was told a few weeks back at 1pm on a Monday that I was to stay after job club that day for extra sessions looking into agencies and applying for more jobs for 2 hours each day that week (mysteriously my letter had 'got lost in the post' telling me this), I kicked up a bit of a stink as I am a single parent and said I had to pick my son up from school at 3 so those times were unsuitable, so with a bit of looking at bus timetables he relented to sessions from 1-2.30 each afternoon that week which was still pushing it as am reliant on public transport which is never the best, I attended the first and then had enough, got upset (I am on antidepressants and suffering severe anxiety at the moment relating to a thyroid condition I have just been diagnosed with) and I decided to get another doctors note for 2 weeks.

 

 

During this two weeks I had a letter from them saying I had to come in during that time and I politely told him NO, the day my sick period ended there arrived a letter saying I had to attend a review appointment in 2 days time and I just knew he was going to mess me about, sure enough on the Friday afternoon at the appt he says I need to up my attendance to daily sessions of 4 hours, which means dropping my son at school, a 45 min bus journey there, then getting back in just enough time to pick him up, I protested that I had a PC at home and why did I need to do all this on their premises and he said I might 'get distracted' at home (as opposed to their noisy office of course!!), that I had appts to arrange and so on which were being neglected due to them calling me in all the time willy nilly saying they are mandatory and have to attend, and he said as I was a jobseeker I should jobseek during those hours, I have no prob doing this, my JSA agreement says 5 jobs a week and they say 10 which I do easily and have never not done, he is also pressurising me to do full time work/get a better off calculation for FT work, which my JSA flexibilities say I don't have to pursue due to being a lone parent, there is no mention of any beneficial training, and any suggestions for that or clothing for interviews have been shot down in flames, its just flaming jobsearching in their offices every day, presumably so I can't attend any interviews without them knowing and that I get fed up with the arrangement.

 

Its not as if I am not trying to get a job, I have had about 6 interviews in the last few months but none successful, am really fed up with the situation with the WP and its making me feel worse, we are reviewing the situation tomorrow after my session and I know he is prob going to suggest the same again next week when I have 2 inset days at my sons school, I really just resent the fact that they think they can pressure me like this and assume I have no plans for the week or anything else to do, and then get a nice big payment for MY efforts at the end of it all so want to know what my rights are, unfortunately at the beginning I signed all their docs as I was being too blinking nice!! :-x

 

PS. Sorry this is a bit of a rant having looked at it, but felt good to vent!!

Edited by citizenB

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Totally empathise with your situation, I started the WP 2 months ago and the first thing I did was hand over a printed copy of the withdraw consent form, I received a reply 2 weeks later which addressed each point in the withdraw consent form and they upheld the majority of points and argued on some points but it is too long winded to boil down the response to anything that would make sense, but I would say over all the withdraw consent form is still a valuable tool and I believe has kept them from giving me too much hassle at the moment.

 

I attend once per fortnight normally although they cancelled last weeks appointment for 3 weeks, we spend 15 mins at most while they twiddle their thumbs and peer into the PC monitor and ask me the same question, how many jobs do I apply for each week and that's it so far.

 

Now I have no other experience of the WP to say if the letter did the trick or if it starts out like this for everyone then the pressure increases as time goes by, but I do get the impression they have decided there is no feed to be had here and leave me alone while they concentrate on easier pray.

 

And unfortunately that easier pray seems to be people like yourself, in essence discrimination,

 

To be honest if I was called in to job search for X number of hours each week after explaining I have all those facilities at home I would probably go ballistic and end up sectioned rather than sanctioned, I am sick to the back teeth of the whole affair, how these people can have so much power over others is beyond comprehension and yes it good to vent your anger somewhere let the bad energy out.

 

I have 2 get out of prison cards bookmarked for each year just to give me some relief

 

2 periods of 14 days illness per year self certificated which now can be extended to 13 weeks doctors note rather than applying for ESA under the new regulations and we are also entitled to 2 weeks holiday per year we can be excused from actively seeking work as long as we are available and contactable.

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I wouldn't mind if they did something useful for me but they don't, it really is jobsearch jobsearch jobsearch and nothing more, I had a few interviews a while back and I didn't have a jacket (been studying and bring up my son for the last few years before that on IS) and they said it wasn't an essential item like a blouse, yet all their literature says turn up smart in a suit. The last interview I had I had to use a laptop and had never used one, although I worked in admin I only worked on PC's and I was a bit flummoxed, the feedback said to familiarise myself with newer IT packages and tech, the logical thinking would be the WP provider says they could put me on a course to brush up on my skills but no, not a bit of it, just more ... you guessed it.. jobsearching.

 

Already used up my two sick periods in last few months as I have been poorly with all sorts since my thyroid probs resurfaced, when he told me I had to go in all this week I was nearly in tears, I had a chest infection and said surely I could do it from home since I was feeling rough but I think he got some pleasure from denying me this and repeating the mantra, you would be working these hours anyway if you had a job so you should be available these hours for WP activities. When I was working before I at least had set time off, here you are the mercy of their whims and they seem to have an answer for everything, he tried to tell me that the JSA agreement didn't stand and theirs did and they could change it, which is prob true but trying to persuade me full time is the last straw, then when I said all he cared about was his bonus he said he wasn't commission based, so I guess he must be doing this out of the goodness of his own heart!! NOT!! He also got shirty when asking 'if you were asked to start a job tomorrow what would you say' and I said 'no I wouldn't be able to so soon, unless I had childcare sorted out' again according to JSA flexibilities I am allowed 48 hours notice, they seem to forget this when I get the latest email/text changing my plan. I wouldn't be so bothered if it seemed a fair treatment of all but I was on one of the courses there and they was a girl there who must have been mid 20's, 3 kids, said for one of the tasks she had never worked so she couldn't use anything as an example, have I seen her since, yeah.. loads.. on the bus heading to the town centre to go shopping while I am off to the WP on the same bus, it all stinks!! Aargh, am venting again, am definitely not telling them anything if I get a job, all they have done is harrass me!... and breathe.. haha

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[...] so want to know what my rights are, unfortunately at the beginning I signed all their docs as I was being too blinking nice!! :-x

 

PS. Sorry this is a bit of a rant having looked at it, but felt good to vent!!

 

Your options regarding the sharing of personal data are limited. Under the terms of the Work Programme contract, the providers are considered the "data processors" and the DWP is the "data controller". This basically means that any data you give the DWP/JCP may be handed over to the WP provider for them to process as they see fit and your consent is not required.

 

By all means hand the WP provider a letter stating that you withdraw consent for them to process personal information and/or pass it on to third parties without explicit, informed consent. But don't expect much from the exercise.

 

As for the excessive "job clubs", "supervised job searches", or any of the other inane provisions that you are mandated to attend - If they interfere with child care responsibilities or you feel you have access to better facilities (i.e. faster broadband & computers at home), insist on a reconsideration of the activity. If the "adviser" refuses, demand that you are assigned to another adviser.

 

If you want to turn the tables on them, find a small dictaphone and place it on the desk when you attend. Discretely record all conversations with a second device (most mobile phones have an app for that).

 

It is worth reading up on the guidance notes issued by the DWP:

Generic guidance applicable to all providers, be they Work Programme, Mandatory Work Activity provider, or other scheme: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/framework-generic-guidance-provider-guidance

 

Guidance specific to all Work Programme provisions: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/work-programme-dwp-provider-guidance

 

If you need to let rip with another rant, need some specific advice, or just a friendly ear, feel free to post here. Many of us have had first hand experience of these WP providers and have survived the puerile, worthless activities thrust upon us. One or two have turned the tables on them and have had hissy fits from an "adviser" (I still have the recording somewhere :madgrin:).


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Ha ha, I bet you listen to it every now and again to cheer yourself up don't you?? Thanks for the info in your post, I will look into it, when I get a job I will say nothing as to where it is, just hate the thought of them being rewarded for what is essentially bully tactics and this increase in attendance has just annoyed me so much, there are only so many jobs out there to apply for and it gets to the point where I apply for wildly inappropriate ones some weeks just to cater to their whims, he keeps going on about have I thought about how much better I would be in a job like duh it had never occurred to me. I will stand my ground on the childcare issue, he tried to contradict what I believe is the case with regards to flexibilities for those with children until I said my aunty used to work for the jobcentre for years until retirement and she had confirmed I was correct, he went a bit puce then!!

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[...] he tried to contradict what I believe is the case with regards to flexibilities for those with children until I said my aunty used to work for the jobcentre for years until retirement and she had confirmed I was correct, he went a bit puce then!!

 

Whack a copy of the guidance notes on his desk, and you may well find a few more colours coming to his face. They really don't like it when the customer knows the rules better than they do.


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Whack a copy of the guidance notes on his desk, and you may well find a few more colours coming to his face. They really don't like it when the customer knows the rules better than they do.

 

Hear hear. The best advice for anyone dealing with the DWP or Work Program. It really does make them watch their step.. especially when their own jobs are far from secure these days.

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Hi

 

So, I started the dreaded community work placement thing today, not placed anywhere yet but it was just the initial meeting, they were very vague on MOST issues to be honest, so I wanted to ask (am sure its been asked loads of times) what the notice period is for things like meetings or various other things they may ask you to go in for.

 

I have a letter stating I have to go in for 4 hour jobsearch next couple of Tuesdays but being a single mum, I have a dread of picking up the phone and being told to come in or on Tuesday being told I have to attend a meeting the next day, as it was the Jobcentre conveniently forgot to tell me that the meeting today was til 3pm which was not possible as I had to pick up my son from school, luckily they let me go at 2 instead. I just want to know my facts as I know its often the case that the providers say something completely different to the DWP/JC.

 

Any answers welcome... thanks.

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I have a letter stating I have to go in for 4 hour jobsearch next couple of Tuesdays but being a single mum, I have a dread of picking up the phone and being told to come in or on Tuesday being told I have to attend a meeting the next day

 

IF they (the CWP provider) rings you and tells you that you have to come in for a what-ever the following day, you simply tell them to issue a Mandatory Activity Notice in accordance with DWP guidance*. Any M.A.N. has to be issued in "good time" and take in to account any limitations on your availability & circumstances.

 

This generally means that one week notice is deemed reasonable, and it can not conflict with any DWP/JCP appointments. They also have to make allowances for your child care responsibilities - i.e. Allow you time to take children to school and collect them again at the end of the (school) day. If they say different, instruct them to read the DWP guidance again, and if they have difficulty, you are quite happy to read it to them :madgrin:

 

*) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-work-placements-dwp-provider-guidance


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Thanks Mr P, you are a star, I live in fear every day of them dragging me in for some nonsense and saying its 'mandatory', just like the work programme did who eventually made me ill!! :x

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Hi

 

Hoping someone can help, I might potentially have a job offer for a temp role, when I applied they didn't say how long the contract was for and speaking to them now I have found out that initial contract drawn up would be for 12 days or something and then they hope to roll on with 3 monthly contracts until end of this year/early part of next year.

 

My worry is that as a single parent I don't want to be left out of pocket, whilst the ongoing part sounds great, from the view of the council and the HMRC I am not so sure. HB & CT run on payments state min 5 weeks work required, and HMRC say for working tax credits it must be 4 weeks, question is how would they know this, do I just tell them its an ongoing placement or do they have to see contracts?

 

The whole issue of temping is a pain, I have also been referred by my community work placement provider to the local council temp register as they said I had the right skills, I stressed that I was worried about short term placements and how that would effect my benefit entitlements and she was vague and said 'oh once you get in your foot in the door you should get more work', which is easy for her to say when she has regular money coming in!!

 

Apologies for long post, bit confused at moment!! Don't want to end up worse off and having everything stopped!! :???:

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Hi and welcome, sorry your post seems to have been missed earlier.

 

From a HB point of view, any changes reported will automatically trigger a suspension of payments while your claim is adjusted, this also affects CTB and any other benefits associated with HB, Free school dinners etc.

 

one of the more conversant team may be able to advise further, i only know what ive experienced myself when any changes are reported.

 

HB confirmed that is standard practice


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Does 'Work Trials' still exist? Not for everybody to work for nothing but if it's only for 12 days you still keep your benefits and hopefully they offer you a longer 'paid' contract in the future.

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Hi,

 

I was hoping someone might be able to help, I have recently been placed on CWP and am due to attend an interview at a placement tomorrow which I am not happy about, its not going to improve my skills whatsoever and will probably make me ill as it sounds quite physical and I suffer severe labyrinthitis often. I recently had 12 weeks off as Extended Sickness Period which ran out on 14th February and was placed on CWP on 26th Feb, I am thinking that I might want to switch to ESA as I suffer from numerous conditions and this CWP stuff is just stressing me out.

 

I am having other interviews and until a paid job comes up I want a bit of breathing space to get well, my questions are:

 

1) I am due to sign on tomorrow midday and I have the CWP placement interview before that, would the fact that I had an ESP affect my claim to ESA (although there has been some 3 weeks since I went back onto available to work mode and sicknote ran out)?

 

2) I usually get both my JSA and my housing benefit on Saturdays, the next one due being this coming saturday, would it still go in if I closed my JSA claim and transferred to ESA on say Thursday?

 

3) How long does it take before assessment?

 

4) I recently applied for a budgeting loan but haven't had a response yet, would I have to restart this if i change from JSA to ESA?

 

I just don't want to be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire as I have a little boy to think about and his dad doesn't pay child support so these benefits are my only income and in enough debt as it is.

 

Of course if one of my interviews is successful I will happily take it but just hate being informed by CWP provider that I have to attend something the next day!!

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If you sign on as normal and close the claim, (I think the adviser can close the claim) you will be paid as normal. As soon as your claim is closed, you can put in a claim for ESA.

 

In regards to the assessment - it varies by area. They state 13 weeks. But some people are waiting much longer.

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Hi

 

I have so many questions but in a nutshell my problem is this.. I signed on as usual today for JSA but due to health problems I want to transfer to ESA, I am pretty sure I can get a note from the doctor but am concerned about my HB payments. I normally get them on Saturdays, along with my JSA payment, the next one being this Saturday, if I sign off JSA today or tomorrow then they might not pay me the money as usual on Saturday? Is this right? Would I be better waiting until Monday to end my claim?

 

Worried about how long it will take to get next lot of money as some people say its straightforward and others say it takes ages..... also does anyone have any idea how long the wait for an assessment is in the Portsmouth area, I know it varies from place to place and at certain times of year but as was on ESP then back to jobsearching after sicknote ran out a month ago I can't help thinking they might say those 3 months count as assessment period?

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Hi

 

I sort of asked this question the other day but I just want to clarify a point... I worry about the CWP provider calling me in or something to do stuff and know they need to provide stuff in writing, my issue is this, yesterday at Job search session they handed me a MAN letter telling me to go for an interview for a placement at 10am today, I told them I signed on at 12 and they said that was fine. This morning I realised I actually sign on at 11 so I phoned the CWP provider and said I wouldn't be able to make the interview, the lady on the phone said she would try and rearrange the interview and would call me back, I told her I had several appts including an interview and doctors over the next few days and could the interview wait until Monday but she didn't seem too keen on that idea... it was left with them leaving me a message saying to call them after I sign on so I presume they wanted me to go for interview this afternoon. Am I right in thinking they have to issue a letter either in person or by post for any new activity (section 2.43 of CWP guidance) or would this be considered an extension of the old activity letter given to me yesterday because I cancelled it ... ?? They are pressuring me to attend pronto and I want to get all my other stuff sorted out first, plus I feel like crap but can't use sickness as I have already used up all my sickness periods.

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Hi

 

I have so many questions but in a nutshell my problem is this.. I signed on as usual today for JSA but due to health problems I want to transfer to ESA, I am pretty sure I can get a note from the doctor but am concerned about my HB payments. I normally get them on Saturdays, along with my JSA payment, the next one being this Saturday, if I sign off JSA today or tomorrow then they might not pay me the money as usual on Saturday? Is this right? Would I be better waiting until Monday to end my claim?

 

Worried about how long it will take to get next lot of money as some people say its straightforward and others say it takes ages..... also does anyone have any idea how long the wait for an assessment is in the Portsmouth area, I know it varies from place to place and at certain times of year but as was on ESP then back to jobsearching after sicknote ran out a month ago I can't help thinking they might say those 3 months count as assessment period?

You will probably still receive the hb as they normally send it about 3 days before and then the bank clears it. Also I think once you sign on they press a button to trigger the payment as that takes a few days to clear as well.

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Yeah, I wondered if that was the case because I seem to recall a few years back I had an issue with a payment and they said it had already been processed ... just wasn't quite sure, fear they have this magic button which stops everything and sends me into a blind panic, ha!

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Your best bet is to stay on JSA until you have a sick note from your doctor. Then stay on JSA until your next signing day. This is because JSA is paid in arrears - if you sign off on your signing day you will receive a full two week JSA payment as normal. Then, once you have signed, make your ESA claim that day.

 

If you can't wait that long, then contact ESA today to make your claim, then get your cert ASAP. As Dernawi said, the council will have issued your HB payment so you should receive it as normal on Saturday (HB is paid in arrears, so the switch won't your entitlement to payment on Saturday: it's for the four weeks ending today, and you've been on JSA all that time).


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If I got a sick note tomorrow, given I signed on today to JSA, could I transfer to ESA tomorrow and it wouldn't affect my HB payment due on this coming Saturday?

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If I got a sick note tomorrow, given I signed on today to JSA, could I transfer to ESA tomorrow and it wouldn't affect my HB payment due on this coming Saturday?

 

I would expect that would be OK. As we said, the actual payment is triggered by the council's computer a few days before you receive it, and in any case your entitlement to HB for the last four weeks is fine. So you should get your JSA and HB payments as normal on Saturday.

 

So, if you do as you state then today will be the last day of your JSA claim, tomorrow the first of your ESA claim. That means you should maintain continuous entitlement to HB as well, but make sure you speak to the council about this. Here's why: they'll get a letter stating that your JSA claim has ended, but it won't necessarily tell them why. So they may suspend your HB until your ESA claim is processed. Because you'll get payment on Saturday, that allows four weeks for the DWP and council to sort things out. Speaking to the council means they can put a note on their files so that when they get that information from the DWP (that your JSA has stopped) they'll know what's going on.


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Thanks, I remember they did something similar when I signed off for a fortnights holiday a few years back, I had to go into the council offices and sign a form, I am just hoping as I get HB fortnightly that they sort it out before the next HB pay day on 26th March.....as once I pay the rent next week I have no money coming in until they pay me again .. eeek!

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It depends how busy they are in your area - i waited only 7 weeks


TJR JNR

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if you actually feel ill enough so you cannot attend call the job centre and let them know it may fall under EPS (extended period of sickness) - sickness upto 13 weeks without going onto ESA but am not sure so need to ask them what to do if your not well enough but have used up the 2 days a year or whatever it is of sick days

 

 

Edited to add - you can also get a sick note and present it to DWP (as long as your already in receipt of JSA already which you are) so you don't need to sign on as long as you hand in sick notes if you feel your sickness may not extend past 13 weeks otherwise you can go the ESA route

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