Jump to content


Work program guidance interpretation mandatory activities


trebormoinet
style="text-align: center;">  

Thread Locked

because no one has posted on it for the last 2709 days.

If you need to add something to this thread then

 

Please click the "Report " link

 

at the bottom of one of the posts.

 

If you want to post a new story then

Please

Start your own new thread

That way you will attract more attention to your story and get more visitors and more help 

 

Thanks

Recommended Posts

Ingeus have mandated me to send out 40 speculative letters a week.

 

I have to bring in 40 pre addressed envelopes each week with a covering letter and CV enclosed.

 

They then take them away saying they will stamp and post them.

 

I have issues with this and wish to lodge an objection based on the section in the WPG

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/505310/wp-pg-chapter-3a.pdf

 

Which states:

Please Note :

Do not notify a participant to apply for multiple vacancies on one notification - you must issue a separate notification for each vacancy .

 

So my question is should that also apply to them mandating me to send out speculative letters?

 

One mandate per speculative letter ?

 

I asked for a reconsideration as I feel it is not only a waste of time, I cannot find 40 business addresses that are within my range and would be viable job prospects let alone 160 which will be the total they are expecting as this activity lasts a month, I can send off to businesses that I have no hope of securing jobs with and quickly fill my quota but that would be pointless.

 

I asked if my advisor could help with producing a list but they said it was my job to do that and lastly I am suspicious that they did not post my speculative letters at all and binned them to save postage, how would I go about proving this, I sneakily put one in with my friends address and it never arrived.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The "activity" is to produce forty speculative letters, not apply for forty vacancies. Using the above quoted guidance won't work in this situation I'm afraid. That said, I agree that the number of speculative letters is excessive and is unlikely to return any results or even a response.

 

It is a low cost method that Ingeus (and other Work Programme providers) use to show that they are helping the unemployed. What they do not do is tell you is the probability of securing employment using such methods. Having been on the receiving end of these types of letters, I can assure you that the vast majority end up in the bin with perhaps one in a thousand being read (and even then, not much chance of a job offer).

 

By all means, put them to strict proof that the letters are actually being posted and demand that they assist in identifying suitable companies to target. Ingeus claim to be experts, and have been contracted to provide help and support... If they can not provide either, then they need to inform the DWP of their failings.

 

I hope they are also proving the paper, envelopes, and ink for this little exercise.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the response, I agree I could be clutching at straws here with regard to speculative versus actual vacancies as per the WPG guidance but I do feel somewhere there is a limit as to what I can be mandated to do else I am being set up intentionally for a fail here.

 

I am sure speculative letters do not come under the umbrella of activities they can mandate claimants to do as job applications speculative or not are part and parcel of claimants agreement with the DWP who monitor and police for want of a better word these activities, there is nothing in the guidance that says my job searching is the business of Ingeus, in fact there was a freedom of request I remember reading where the DWP stated work program providers cannot insist on claimants showing job seeking activities, never mind providing a copy.

 

They are there to offer help and support not to police job seeking actives.

 

So this brings me round to the letters, would I be correct in saying that if I were to put a CV and a covering letter inside a envelope that then becomes my own private / confidential correspondence and I have every right to refuse anyone from taking them from me to do whatever they wish with them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of thoughts on the subject. If you are struggling to find forty companies in your selected field to send speculative letters to in each week, and they are refusing to provide help & support, the activity could be judged to be unreasonable in your circumstances. If you feel a total of 160 companies is an unobtainable target, then using the term "unreasonable activity" could form the basis to appeal against it.

 

Certainly demand help and support in meeting the target, and if you can exhaust their resources & patience, they might think twice about inflicting it on you again. It is, after all, the taxpayer (that is you, me, and everybody else) that is funding this programme, so get our monies worth out of them :wink:

 

As for correspondence being personal and confidential, I would contend that it is a private matter before you even get as far as stuffing it in an envelope. If you want to be sure that these letters are posted whilst at the same time getting them to fund the postage costs, insist that the advisor runs them through their franking machine (or stick the stamps on) under your supervision and drop them in the nearest postbox.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
then using the term "unreasonable activity" could form the basis to appeal against it.

I agree that is what I been looking into over the past week, what is and what is not considered reasonable.

Trawling through the .gov website the sections I can find that are relevant as to what could be considered "reasonable" when mandating claimants.

 

 

As far as a work programme provider is concerned

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/505310/wp-pg-chapter-3a.pdf

chapter 15 states :

"The activity should be something that will help participants by enhancing their employment prospects and developing skills and disciplines associated with a normal working environment ( for example attending on time, carrying out tasks, working as a team, interpersonal skills ) . Those skills also include "behaviours" acceptable in a place of work. "

 

So great information there open to so many speculations and is not clear at all, would sending out 40 speculative fall under this blanket phrase, if so then mandating me to stand out doors with a sign saying work needed is the next step as it could enhance my prospects, and what is this enhancement any way, they could mandate me to send out 100 speculative letters per week, 1000, 10,000 at what point is it considered unreasonable.

 

The exact wording on the mandate is :

"Complete 40 speculative applications to businesses X is willing to work for within travelable (sic) distance bring the envelopes on your next appointment to show you have completed the task"

 

Apart from the fact I do not know what travalable means is it not a impossible task to complete if I am asked to compile the list as I might not find 40 companies I am wiling to work for.

 

I understand as long term unemployed I am expected to be willing to accept any work that is reasonable but how can I filter if it is reasonable to work at the company if I am too absorbed in filling in the quota by basically sending out speculative letters to companies starting with A and ending in Z.

 

I would say this more akin to blind folding me and then at 100 paces asking me to hit the bulls eye on a dart board, is this the only support and help they can offer, then it is a pretty poor show as I am quite able to do that myself as you said it is a cheap lazy way of seen to be doing something.

Rant over im back to applying to the BBC, NASA and Google.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The exact wording on the mandate is :

"Complete 40 speculative applications to businesses X is willing to work for within travelable (sic) distance bring the envelopes on your next appointment to show you have completed the task"

 

First point: Travelable - Adjective. (the road) is able to be traveled. Synonym: Navigable.

 

If you wish to take the MAN literally and be pedantic, it doesn't actually say that these "letters" are to be posted, only that you have to bring the envelopes in. Nowhere does it say that the envelopes need to contain anything :razz:.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My bad, I meant to say I do not understand what travelable distance means.

 

Taken at face value that statement encompasses the entire planet apart from some parts of the Brazilian rain forest and other such places if I wanted to be pedantic.

 

Now there's a thought how easy would it be to fill my quota then !

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have now been told that the number of speculative applications per week is going to be increased from 40 to 60.

 

Now I have read everything I can find regarding mandating and there appears to 2 distinct guidelines for JCP staff and Work program providers.

 

What is confusing is that for the purposes of these documents is that they are both called Employment Officers yet seem to have varying criteria as to what is reasonable.

 

It seems that work program workers providers have far less restrictions placed upon them as to what is reasonable whereas JCP staff have a much tougher time.

 

For example as far a work program providers are concerned they can mandate a "Activity" if they think it is reasonable, but it seems the JCP equivalent is called a Job seekers Direction which has quite strict guidelines and far more comprehensive details.

 

It seems the only way I can challenge this is to get sanctioned and test it on appeal but before I do would a letter to my MP by useful in this scenario ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ask your advisor just how many of these letters he or she thinks will get to the right person. Ask many will be considered junk mail and shredded without even being opened? Also ask the best method of finding the right person to address any correspondence to.

 

Because if they don't have the answers to these questions or even considered them, then they should not be asking you to write so many letters. Far better to be targeted like a sniper rather than using a blunderbuss firing buckshot everywhere.

Link to post
Share on other sites

you have echoed what I have told my advisor, along with the fact most companies now use a application form rather than ask for a CV which has been the response from the majority of replies I have received (4 from a total of 40 ) and they have returned my CV as holding it "on file" is a extra administration headache, data protection and so on.

 

I have actually applied for 4 chimney sweep jobs as I am scraping the barrel now finding suitable potential employees.

 

I have sent out many speculative applications over the 2 year period I have been unemployed and they have yielded no success.

As Mr P said, it is just a lazy way to show the DWP they are seen to be doing something without considering the consequences or the detrimental effect it is having on me.

 

After all if this is the best they can offer getting me into work, what message are they sending me ? I can send out speculative letters all day long without them asking me and indeed do as part of my job search requirements so where is the value in this parasite I do not know.

 

AND if I presented these speculative letters as part of my Job search I would be sanctioned for applying for jobs I have no hope of securing which as far as the DWP are concerned is the same as applying for no jobs at all.

 

As the only way I can fill my quota is just do a A-Z of derby businesses and not able to know if it is suitable or not without some research at least.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have now been told that the number of speculative applications per week is going to be increased from 40 to 60.

 

Has this been notified by way of a Mandatory Activity Notice in the prescribed format ?

 

If not, you could politely tell them what to do. If this increase is by way of a MAN, then you should be insisting on a mandatory reconsideration. If the guidance on reasonable activities is good enough for JCP staff, then it should be equally applicable to Ingeus staff.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Has this been notified by way of a Mandatory Activity Notice in the prescribed format ?

 

If not, you could politely tell them what to do. If this increase is by way of a MAN, then you should be insisting on a mandatory reconsideration. If the guidance on reasonable activities is good enough for JCP staff, then it should be equally applicable to Ingeus staff.

Yes it is in the correct format.

You would think work program advisors are bound by JCP criteria but that seems not to be the case, individual WP providers are able to build their own set of activities they deem reasonable and the only restriction I can find is that it passes the "reasonable test" which is not enshrined in legislation as such and is difficult to interpret

 

In regards to my situation is it reasonable expectation that I am able to send out 40+ speculative letters each week, well yes I can send a thousand if pushed, but is it reasonable considering I have sent out hundreds already to then resort to sending out to businesses I have no hope of securing a job with.

 

Simply put, what would prevent them from mandating me to stand on a traffic island with a sign around my neck saying work needed 5 days a week, a reasonable person might see that as a valid prospect.

 

How can one define what a reasonable person would do, I do not regard myself as being unreasonable, if they provided a pre compiled list fair enough, but I believe if they attempted it themselves, they would come across the same problem I am having except they do not have the threat of a sanction hanging over their heads.

 

At the end of the day they can only raise a doubt, it is the decision maker who decides but again the only test is would a reasonable person comply.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it even possible to find, research and type out 60 letters to companies a week?

 

That would depend on what sector one is looking for employment in. If it is a specialised and skilled occupation, very unlikely that the target of sixty per week could be attained. For unskilled manual work, it might be possible. In either case, researching and targeting sixty speculative letters each week would be difficult.

 

Typing up a standard template and then using a mail-merge would be about the only practical way of hitting the target each week. Assuming of course, there are sufficient numbers of businesses in the area who match the original employment brief.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If this increase is by way of a MAN, then you should be insisting on a mandatory reconsideration.

Only if on ESA can one ask work program providers for a "mandatory reconsideration" regarding an activity, according to the guidance for providers.

 

If I have 3 separate complainants I request to be addressed should I issue a formal letter of complaint separately or lump them all together.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If I have 3 separate complainants I request to be addressed should I issue a formal letter of complaint separately or lump them all together.

 

Best to submit three separate complaints otherwise you may find they only address one issue and ignore the rest.

 

Whilst a mandatory reconsideration process is documented for ESA claimants, don't expect Ingeus staff to be conversant with the details of the Work Programme guidance (there is always the general guidance notes to fall back on). It won't damage your case by demanding an MR, and may be of help if it comes to a sanction.

 

The grounds on the latter point is that you were being set an unreasonable target and there was an expectation on the part of the adviser that you would fail. Despite a request to review the "activity", Ingeus proceeded to increase the target, thereby increasing the probability of failure. Furthermore, the "activity" in question fails the test of reasonable in the participant's circumstances [Chapter 3a, page 2, paragraph 4] and also fails to meet the requirements of:

. The activity should be something that will help participants by enhancing their

employment prospects and developing skills and disciplines associated with a normal

working environment (for example attending on time, carrying out tasks, working as a

team, interpersonal skills). Those skills also include "behaviours" acceptable in a place

of work.

[Chapter 3a, page 6, para.15]

 

You need to be pro-active and forceful in objecting to unreasonable activities. If you let them walk all over you once, they will continue to do so all the way through your two years on the Work Programme.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Best to submit three separate complaints otherwise you may find they only address one issue and ignore the rest.

Thanks as always for responding, I have sent off 3 letters of complaint today and await a response.

 

I missed what was staring me in the face all this time and now believe I have a much stronger case.

 

I mentioned to my advisor that as far as the DWP was concerned he was classed as an Employment officer and would these mandatory activities be regarded as a Job seekers Direction, he said he not heard of a Employment Officer nor what exactly a Job seekers direction was so this threw me for a while so I have been looking up work program guidance which is lacking to say the least as to what or what is not reasonable.

 

Finally it struck me printed on the MAN it says,

 

The failures referred to are, if without a good reason, you:

 

"• fail to attend an adviser interview

• if applicable, fail to take part in a particular employment programme (such as the work programme)

• do not take the opportunity of a place on an employment programme or training scheme

• refuse or fail to apply for or accept a place on such a programme or scheme notified to you by your adviser

• fail to attend or give up a place or through your own misconduct lose a place on such a programme or scheme

• fail to comply with a Jobseeker’s Direction"

 

So I take that as I am under a Job Seekers Direction when they mandate activities so as far as that is concerned.

 

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/114206/response/278898/attach/3/Jobseekers%20Directions.pdf

 

The relevant section.

Appropriateness of a Jobseeker Direction to the claimant 14.

 

"When considering whether a Jobseeker Direction is appropriate, there are a number of factors to be taken into account. Advisers must:

• have a full understanding of the claimant’s circumstances;

• be aware of what action the claimant has already undertaken;

• know why the claimant does not want to do the particular activity, which has been suggested;

• be sure that the Jobseeker Direction has due regard to the claimant’s circumstances, making it achievable;

• be aware that where the claimant has undergone training of at least 2 months, for a particular type of employment, which ended within 4 weeks of a Jobseeker Direction being issued, the direction must not relate to a different type of employment;

• check the action required is not within particular restrictions that apply during a permitted period; and

• take account of previously agreed availability restrictions.

 

15. These should be taken account of when considering whether it is reasonable for a Jobseeker Direction to be applied to a particular action.

 

Content of a Jobseeker Direction 19.

 

A Jobseeker Direction must be:

• linked to an action to improve the claimant's chances of finding work;

• tailored to the specific needs of the claimant. It must not be in the form of a standard phrase covering an action which could be used over a number of cases;

• related to labour market activities;

• a one-off specific activity, which the claimant can reasonably be expected to perform;

• time bound and reviewed within 2 to 4 weeks; and

• given in writing. 20. It must:

• give full information about the activity. For example, details of: O the full name and address of the employer, or agency referred to;

• say exactly what the claimant must do. For example: O visit, or send a CV to a specific employer, or a range of employers in a particular trade

• give the date by which it must be done; and

• explain what will happen if they do not comply"

 

I have edited out bits that are not relevant but would you agree they are issuing a Job seekers Direction and I have a valid argument that the activity falls short on a number points Appropriateness and Content ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have edited out bits that are not relevant but would you agree they are issuing a Job seekers Direction and I have a valid argument that the activity falls short on a number points Appropriateness and Content ?

 

Q Work Programme provider can NOT issue a Job Seeker's Direction. We had a case a year or two back on this forum where another WP provider was issuing MANs with the heading of Job Seeker's Direction. The matter was raised with both the ESF and the DWP and these fake JSDs were quickly withdrawn.

 

Do not confuse a JCP Employment Officer with a WP programme "adviser". Both are required to work to a high standard, but the latter has the status of E.O. in name only and is very limited in what they can do. Best not to give them ideas above their station.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Q Work Programme provider can NOT issue a Job Seeker's Direction. We had a case a year or two back on this forum where another WP provider was issuing MANs with the heading of Job Seeker's Direction. The matter was raised with both the ESF and the DWP and these fake JSDs were quickly withdrawn.

 

Do not confuse a JCP Employment Officer with a WP programme "adviser". Both are required to work to a high standard, but the latter has the status of E.O. in name only and is very limited in what they can do. Best not to give them ideas above their station.

 

I am confused, If it is not a Job seekers direction then what part of the failure can they raise a doubt against in relation to an activity, according to the MAN it says,

• fail to attend an adviser interview

• if applicable, fail to take part in a particular employment programme (such as the work programme)

• do not take the opportunity of a place on an employment programme or training scheme

• refuse or fail to apply for or accept a place on such a programme or scheme notified to you by your adviser

• fail to attend or give up a place or through your own misconduct lose a place on such a programme or scheme

• fail to comply with a Jobseeker’s Direction

 

I do not understand why they would even mention a job seekers direction if it were not applicable in some way, and if they are not issuing a Job seekers direction then it is saying to me they have less restrictions placed upon them as according to the WPG, they have less guidelines to follow and so appear to have greater power than a JCP EO in my mind.

Link to post
Share on other sites

[/i]I do not understand why they would even mention a job seekers direction if it were not applicable in some way, and if they are not issuing a Job seekers direction then it is saying to me they have less restrictions placed upon them as according to the WPG, they have less guidelines to follow and so appear to have greater power than a JCP EO in my mind.

 

Work Programme providers do have a wider range of "activities" that they can mandate a claimant to undertake, but they do not have the same (or greater) powers that a JCP EO would have. For example, a WP adviser can not ask for "good reason" when raising a benefit doubt or cancel a sanction. These powers are reserved exclusively for JCP/DWP staff. Quite why the DWP chose to use the term Jobseeker's Direction in the guidance is unknown. Perhaps an error on their part.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Work Programme providers do have a wider range of "activities" that they can mandate a claimant to undertake, but they do not have the same (or greater) powers that a JCP EO would have. For example, a WP adviser can not ask for "good reason" when raising a benefit doubt or cancel a sanction. These powers are reserved exclusively for JCP/DWP staff. Quite why the DWP chose to use the term Jobseeker's Direction in the guidance is unknown. Perhaps an error on their part.

As I understand the WPP can only raise a doubt and it is the DM who decides if the client provides Good reason and or protocol has been followed correctly by the WPP.

But what I am failing to understand is if Job seekers direction is not relevant where on the MAN could a doubt be raised in the list of failures.

 

Fail to participate ? I thought that meant turning up to appointments or does it encompass not completing activities ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fail to participate ? I thought that meant turning up to appointments or does it encompass not completing activities ?

 

Failing to Participate is a magical catch-all that can be used for the flimsiest of reasons. I've had it threatened when recording conversations.

 

Yes, it could be used if you fail to complete an activity, but you should be given opportunity to give good reason by a DM before a sanction is imposed.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I have received an interesting response to my complaint

They said that it was reasonable in their view to send out 40 plus speculative letter per week but they will recommend 20 per week from now on.

 

A gesture of goodwill ? or is that a lame way to say yes your right.

 

Regards to leaving my private correspondence to be posted by them, I can just supply details of whom I post to and do not have to leave them at the office nor provide proof of posting.

 

They are monitoring the situation and will not change advisor as I requested at this present time.

 

I am not happy with the response overall , they never addressed most of the questions I asked, they should be offering "Enhanced support" speculative letters, job search are part and parcel of claiming so in no way can these activities been seen as an "Enhancement".

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...