You Love it, You Slags…

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This blog is aimed at discussing all the ways that the poverty pimps are going to try to screw you and me and what we can and should try to do about it…

I’ve set this up as an off-shoot of the excellent @workprogramme.org blog for one simple reason: due to various technical reasons to do with the server, bandwidth etc etc, any comment made over at @workprogramme.org doesn’t actually appear for quite a while, often hours; this makes it difficult to have a real-time (or near real-time) conversation, a quick request for information, a casual chat or just an exchange of banter.

So basically, if you want comprehensive, in-depth information and analysis of the toxic sham that is the Work Program, then the indispensable @workprogramme.org has to be your first port-of-call (the link is on the blogroll). For chat, gossip, rants and just fucking about, this might be the place.

I don’t really recognise the concept of ‘off-topic’ so anything that’s on your mind, whether or not it’s directly related to the Work Program or only tangentially connected…whatever: feel free to get it off your chest.

Keep up the fight.

Jack Cade

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449 Responses to You Love it, You Slags…

  1. Jack Cade says:

    Testing. Just having a look to see what the comments look like…blahblahblah…add some extraneous text…check on para separation…

    dum-dee-dum-dee…downtown, maybe it’s late…OK, that’s it. Oh, wait…let’s check bold, and italics and links…link to, erm…The BBC

    oh, and blockquote:

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

  2. gissajob says:

    Hi Jack – It’s gissajob from WorkProgramme here. Just like to say it’s a nice site. Expect I’ll be using it a bit.

  3. Jack Cade says:

    Hey, d00d (as I believe today’s ‘happening’ youth say)…so I guess my last post made it up over at WP. Good-o. At the very least, I guess people can leave messages here. Sorry, by the way…I would have got back to you sooner but…I fell asleep; seriously. ..getting old, I guess.

  4. Big George says:

    Hi Jack nice place you have here, another place for all us slaves to rant and rave. Expect big news after the 4th November, will post link here for the new process I have started with my provider, who I currently have claims in excess of £3000 against.

    Everyone who sent in letter 1 to provider will be able to use this process.

    4th November is a big day and possibly the down fall of all providers if everyone gets in claims following this process. Will provide all links and an excellent video where the process came from, template letters are ready for everyone to download/edit and make your own.

    So far I have been either lucky or the tits (provider) don’t know how to handle me, Had my 1st appointment in August and have not been back since, although they do keep trying to get me back there with appointment letters,each letter claiming to be another first appointment.

    George

  5. Jack Cade says:

    Hey, George, welcome…as i just posted over at WPN: knowledge is power…bit of a tired cliche but as true as it ever was. The more we know about what these fuckers are playing at/their tactics etc etc, the more power we have to resist and develop our own strategies…and we’re a damn sight more nimble.

  6. gissajob says:

    Agreed Jack – we can respond quicker than they can. Been thinking how we can reach a wider audience – not come up with much though.
    @ Big George – I’m looking forward to learning more – particularly (if your idea works) whether we can all still use letter 1 (or a close derivative) even though we haven’t all sent it in yet.
    I have my first (delayed) appointment on Thursday at PIMP a4e, followed by a discussion with Team Leader about (one of) my complaints. Aside from what Big G has up his sleeve (we await with bated breath) it seems to me that the best way forward is to encourage as many people as possible to refuse to sign the data waiver and to make as many complaints as possible. The IOC seems a busted flush as they seem pretty powerless – they seem only to be able to say “don’t do it again” whereas the ICE can charge up to £5K for investigating a complaint. Seems to me the best way to go is to get as many complaints to the ICE as possible and ignore the IOC.

  7. Jack Cade says:

    @gissajob, I have a feeling that as the cuts really start to bite (which is around now), more and more people are going to be finding blogs like this and WPN by themselves, just as I did. I was desperate to discover what I could about these fuckers and I suspect lots of others will be too.

    Totally agree with you re: the ICE. As they appear to be the only ones with teeth, I can’t see any point in wasting time on the IOC.

  8. Michael says:

    This is Michael from workprogramme.org

    I am going for my interview with JSA tomorrow, 1/11/11, who will give me a form to sign, I will not sign it, and then send me over to the pimps. I don’t know how it will go tomorrow but I do have a few questions;

    – What should I expect on the interview with the JSA
    – What will happen when they send me to the pimps
    – And lastly what can I say to make it hard for them to find me a job like in poundland? What can I say about my history to make me unemployable yet believable.

    Thank you Jack for setting this up.

  9. Jack Cade says:

    Hi, Michael and welcome. Obviously, I can only speak of my own experience. I was informed by my JSA adviser a few weeks before-hand that I was going to be referred to the Work Program.

    My adviser was a very nice young black guy who couldn’t wait to sit his exam for The Knowledge (the London black-cab drivers exam) and leave the DWP and we were very friendly.

    He was a clued-up guy, a union member and very cynical about the Work Program. It’s only just begun, he said (this was in late July) but all the providers are the usual suspects, i.e. all the same useless bastards who failed to reach their targets on the Flexible New Deal and the New Deal before that. He shrugged and said, ‘I guess you’ll find out’.

    At my next signing, I was given an appointment to see an advisor who would put me onto the Work Program. At the interview. all the woman did was give me the blahblah about the Work Program and its aims etc etc. She looked over my Job Seekers Agreement and made a couple of small and meaningless amendments (travel for 90 minutes instead of the 60 it had been; visit the JC+ to check for jobs on their network 3 times a week instead of two) and got me to sign the new Job Seekers Agreement.

    I examined this very carefully to make sure she hadn’t stuck in anything unacceptable . She then gave me a load of bumpf pertaining to the WP and double-checked my address and tel. number. She informed me that the ‘provider’ (pimp) would be in touch by both phone and letter to set-up an appointment. And that was it.

    I hadn’t heard from the pimps by the next time I went to SO (my previous signing had coincided with the appointment to see the WP adviser) two weeks later and the guy who signed me asked if I’d heard from them. I told him I hadn’t and he just shrugged and said that I’d just have to wait.

    I finally got a letter from the pimps, 4 weeks after my appt. with the WP adviser at JC+. The letter said that they had tried to phone me numerous times (a lie; they hadn’t rung once) and that I must respond to the letter or risk sanctions.

    I responded by email and the pimps replied the next day by email, asking that I confirm my postal address. About 3-4 days later, I got the ‘introduction/welcome’ package from the pimps, plus a letter making an appointment for the following week…

    Sorry, Michael…I’m just going to post this so you know that you’re not being ignored and I’ll continue in half-an-hour or so, (girlfriend sending me to the shops). To be continued…back in a bit…

  10. Michael says:

    Excellent response. Highly informative.

  11. The Hidden says:

    Ive been at Ingeus for 4 weeks. I am on my third advisor. Repeatedly i have been asked the same robotic questions by each of them. Till at the third advisor who is the token, older woman, brazen, fake blonde, fake nails, fake tanned, material fuckwit that she is, has beem summoned forth in order to bust my balls on a weekly basis. Combine this with the JC drone and honestly im finding it hard to not explode sometimes. Im forty and have worked for 20 years in the heavy engineering industry. These idiots have me applying for 20 jobs minimum a week or i am threatened with sanctions/starvation. Done the mock interview which a monkey could do well. It is obvious these people do not care about the free will or choice of the individual. They simply push by any means necesssary to get the job outcome. If there are 5 jobs in your area and you apply for all of them. It is still not enough for these vultures who will try to peck your free will to death in order for them to feast upon your ebbing conciousness. Fuck them!!!!!.
    We are at War now.

  12. Jack Cade says:

    Hi, The Hidden..I want to come back to some of your comments (20 jobs a week? Where the fuck do you find 20 poxy jobs a week? I mean, jobs that are worth applying for? I’m always amazed at the number of jobs advertised at JC+ that are for, like, a week…some of the bastard things are for a day. A day! What the fuck is the point of that?). Anyway, first I want to finish telling Michael what my experience was…

    As I said, I got a letter making an appt. with the pimps. I actually related what happened next over at WPN so I think I’ll just repeat it here.

    I went to my first appointment with my provider with an open mind, despite my belief that the Work Program is just another scam to transfer taxpayer’s money from the poor to the rich. But I was prepared to give them a chance: if they could get me back into work at a decent living wage, I’m all for it.

    My adviser was a pleasant young man but the Jehovah’s Witness-like fervour with which he explained the WP to me set off a small alarm bell. He made it sound like they’d invented a perpetual-motion machine, as opposed to the same old tired bollocks that it is. Nevertheless, I withheld judgement.

    I asked about vocational training and pointed out the relevant bit of the brochure (part of the ‘welcome pack’ I received). This stated, unequivocally:

    “If you require training or qualifications to get into work, we can provide the training directly or arrange it with one of our specialist partners.”

    Oh, no, he said. We concentrate on getting you into a job, any job; then you can work until you have enough to pay for your own training.

    I didn’t waste my breath pointing out that a minimum-wage job was going to leave me with exactly nothing to ‘save’ for training fees. By now, the small alarm bell was getting louder.

    So I asked him what kind of jobs he had access to, taking into account that I had over 30 years of experience in the construction industry.

    Cleaning jobs, he said. Lots of cleaning jobs.

    With ‘zero hour’ contracts? I asked.

    Well, yes, he said and went on to explain that there was nothing to worry about. ‘Zero hours’ contracts were just a company’s way of protecting itself. “You see, otherwise, it’s almost impossible to get rid of workers who aren’t up to the job.”

    If he really believed the foregoing, he was an imbecile; if he didn’t but said it anyway, he was a rogue; but I held my tongue The alarm bells were going off loudly now.

    When I was asked to sign the Data Protection waiver, I refused. The young man seemed a bit shocked by this.

    “But I won’t be able to put you forward for any jobs,” he bleated.

    I almost laughed in his face and drew his attention to the bottom of the form, where it’s clearly stated:

    “My placement on any program and any employment or future offer of employment will not depend on whether I choose to give consent or not.”

    He looked like he’d been hit in the head with a cricket bat. “I’ll have to speak to my supervisor.

    “You do that,” I said. Off he went and came back looking glum but he said no more on the subject.

    At this point, the alarm bells were deafening and I came to the conclusion that this was an utter waste of my time and these twerps weren’t going to be able to do a damn thing for me (except try to force me into some worthless ‘zero hours’ cleaning job.

    Time to launch my Work Program Nullification Strategy (patent pending).

    By now, we had moved on to entering my information on his computer. He asked me what I thought the barriers were to my getting work. Well, I said, aside from my age (50s), there’s my criminal record.

    His face fell. He knew as well as I did that all those crap cleaning jobs (mostly in hotels and offices) are a non-starter for an ex-con. Is your conviction spent? he asked hopefully. Oh, no, I said, shaking my head mournfully. (I don’t actually have a criminal record but it costs about a 100 quid to find that out with a CRC).

    Anything else? he inquired.

    Well, yes, I said: my alcoholism.

    Ah…erm…he said.

    Yes, I said: mostly, I’m on top of it but, you know, once in while, stress and all, I fall off the wagon and I’m sorry to say, I get a bit, you know…violent, hence the criminal record.

    By now, he looked like a man whose puppy has just been hit by a bus. (in point of fact, I’m not an alcoholic or even much of a drinker, though this bloody government might change that).

    A few more entries and we were done. Next appointment in 3 weeks.

    Consider me ‘parked’.

    An alcoholic, ex-con in his late 50s? They’re not going to waste another minute or penny more than necessary on me. Which suits me fine.

    As far as I can see, this is the best outcome one can hope for with these c*nts: to be left alone. These pimps aren’t going to get me into any kind of work, at least not any job where one can earn enough to live with a little dignity nor are they going to make a penny off me.

    The whole thing is a putrid scam cooked up by the usual crooks: socialism for the rich, the ‘free market’ (hoho) red in tooth and claw, for the rest of us. To hell with that. I don’t want to play.

    My next appt.’s this week and I was asked to bring along a copy of my jobsearch record (you know, the one you fill in for JC+).

    I think it’s worth mentioning something else I picked up on (this is also posted over at WPN but it’s not up yet).

    I had an interesting conversation with a neighbour today; he’s been sentenced to the Work Program and he said that when he refused to sign the waiver, they asked him why not. Because my union rep advised me against it, he replied.

    He said that there was an instant distancing, as though they were afraid they’d catch something. Realising that he was onto something, he has taken to mentioning his union, his union rep and his union lawyers at every opportunity.

    When they tried to get him to go for a ‘zero-hours’ contract cleaning job, he refused and directed his adviser to google ‘zero hours contract, Paragon Automotive Ltd.’ They would read about a case last Feb. where an automotive parts company tried to impose these contracts on its workers, got taken to court by the Unite union and had their arses handed to them on a plate. I googled it myself and there’s this quote from the workers brief:

    ‘Chris Randall of Grimsby’s Bridge McFarland, the law firm which fought the case for the workers, said zero hours contracts are condemned because “they provide no certainty for the workers and can provide absolute power to the employer”.’

    My neighbour informed the pimps that his union had assured him that they would back him in any fight against being forced into ‘zero-hours’ contracts, which are not really a ‘contract’ at all.

    Ever since then, the pimps have treated my neighbour like a leper. A 15 minute appointment every 3 to 4 weeks and that’s it. Also worth knowing is that Unite, the UK’s biggest union (over 2 million members) has opened up membership to the unemployed (for .50p a week).

    Well worth it, in my opinion. Bullying one person is easy. Bullying someone who has a 2 million member union behind him or her is (or at least the pimps believe it is) a very different matter.

  13. Michael says:

    That union story is a gem.

    Should I go for the union approach or the ex-con alcoholic short temper lash out who has had sex with his boss’s wife and attacked the boos when he was confronted which led to actual bodily harm conviction. Or should I combine them both if the union accepts ex-cons. I am 29 years of age and will be 30 in January.

    Any advice you can give Jack will be very helpful.

  14. The Hidden says:

    As i do job serches daily i know and apply for jobs suitable to me. Twice now i have been told directly by this new advisor that ten jobs a week isnt good enough. Today i went away with forty envelopes and i am expected to complete at least 20 of them for my next appointment in 5 days time. They are to be at least spec letters to be sent to various companies regardless of jobs offered or not. All of this is noted and put in a database. I know my job seekers agreement does not me hold to this. Yet i must go through the yellow pages to find companies to sent stuff off with no real chance of employement. Also i have been forced to provide evidence of phone call skils. Making calls to random companies and asking for a job. This is not right.

  15. Michael says:

    @The Hidden
    And why are you doing all this? Did you sign the consent forms?

  16. Jack Cade says:

    Michael, I intend to introduce the union motif myself at one of my next appts. (in addition to the already introduced ex-con, not-entirely-ex drunk narratives). I think one has to play these things by ear and it rather depends on the character of the adviser.

    I would advice anyone to appear completely reasonable and matter-of-fact and reluctant to share any intimate details of your life. Swaggering in an announcing that you’ve killed men with your bare hands or that you’ve drank enough gin to float The Bismark, is just going to make you look like a cluck.

    I wouldn’t just announce any of these things. It seems to me that it’s far more effective and therefore, far more plausible if all these things are revealed in increments and reluctantly. I made myself look a bit sheepish/ashamed/uncomfortable when I revealed that I was the re-incarnation of Machine Gun Kelly and a lush to boot.

    I sort of let it slip almost unintentionally. You know, he said: “What do you feel are barriers keeping you from work?” and I mentioned my age and length of time out of work and then paused and lowered my voice and said: “…and my criminal record…” as if I were ashamed of it.

    It was only after we’d explored that one (he was hoping that I had a ‘spent’ conviction, which would mean that I needn’t mention it on job applications. No, I told him, it was a recent conviction and far from spent. When he said: “…and anything else?”, I again lowered my voice, glanced around to make sure that we weren’t being overheard and said: “I used to be an alcoholic”. I then paused for a few beats and amended it to: “well, I still am but I stopped drinking 10 years ago…except for the occasional lapse…”

    I intend to use the same strategy for introducing the union story-line. Just drop it into a conversation in passing. For example, he’ll be talking about about some job and I’ll say: “Is that the place where the workers are in dispute with management? Because I can’t cross a picket line. My union would expel me”. That kind of thing.

    I’m toying with the notion of giving myself manic-depression but that’s the heavy artillery and I doubt I’m going to need it. Still, it’s a good idea, I think, to have a few arrows in your quiver.

    They think of us as commodities, the swine. Well, I see it as my job to de-value that commodity and make it unsaleable: no sale means no profit for the pimps. Fuck ’em.

  17. Jack Cade says:

    @The Hidden, I’m a bit puzzled by this, I must admit. I would imagine that the shit they do has to meet a test of reasonableness. It sounds to me like they’re being totally unreasonable. When the fuck was the last time you heard of someone getting a job from the Yellow pages, for Christ’s sake?

  18. gissajob says:

    @ The hidden: Yes why are you doing this??? Tell them that you have an agreement with the Job Centre Plus (It’s called a Jobseeker’s agreement). It specifies the minimum activity on your part necessary for you to be entitled (NOTE the word “Entitled”) to Job Seeker’s Allowance (Why isn’t it called Job Seeker’s Entitlment?). Tell them that you are fulfilling these conditions and that you do not accept imposition of arbitary and unrealistic targets in excess of what JCP have already accepted as realistic. Point out that the JSag are minimums and that sometimes you do more (of course you do) but that the pimp should not attempt to increase or alter the terms of you JSag. Threaten them with an official complaint anf referral to the Independernt Complaints commissioner (ICE). If you need help with the wording o an official complaint – just ask here.
    Stay strong.

  19. Michael says:

    I think you’re a genius. You’re doing for us what Moses done for the Jews.

    Personally, I would like to think that they would not send anyone with any form of criminal conviction who is an alcoholic into a job.

    What I am trying to do is get them into a position and corner them into letting me come and see them once a month. I will try and do that by doing as you have spoke about. Telling them accidentally.

    Let’s see where it would lead me.

    Oh by the way, who is “Big George” at the top of this page who said “Everyone who sent in letter 1 to provider will be able to use this process.” The downfall of all providers? Is there something I missed?

  20. Jack Cade says:

    Yeah, @The Hidden, as @gissajob says, pull out your JSA and telll them that you’re not only fulfilling your obligations but exceeding them. That JSA must mean something because they amended mine (insignificantly but still…) when they assigned me to the WP. That is obviously the baseline minimum that you’re expected to do to remain eligible for benefits but just how much more the pimps can demand is a good question.

    There must be a set of published DWP guidelines laying out what contractors can reasonably ask of WP clients. I mean, they can’t ask you to apply for jobs in Berlin or drop 1000s of copies of your CV from an airplane…so what exactly are the guidelines and where can we find them? Any idea, @gissajob?

    There must be limits, though. Tell the fuckers (in writing) that if they persist in their utterly irrational demands, you’ll make a formal complaint to the Independent Complaints Examiner, who can fine them £5000 for every infraction. That should get their attention. But it would be good to see those guidelines.

  21. gissajob says:

    @ Jack
    Brilliant! I do drink too much (hence the odd dyslexic finger) so will definitely be hinting at problems with alcohol (like where can you find a drinkable bottle of red ABV 13% + for less than 3 quid?). Thinking also of darkly hinting at a criminal past (nothing so exciting) and a bi-polar disorder (latter probably true but not diagnosed – anyway it’s untreatable so what’s the point of diagnosis?). I’m hesitant to actually declare a criminal record so plan to clam up and become ambivalent at this point.
    I won’t be giving them a CV – The JC+ have already passed details of my employment history and qualifications – what else do they need?
    I won’t be signing a data waiver. Why on earth would I?
    I (probably) won’t be signing an agreement (customer’s agreement) as I have had no input to it. Does a tin of beans on Tesco’s shelf have a say in how it is stacked/its price/its label etc. etc? (I am not a customer – I am a commodity – just like the tin of beans.) If the whole thing is “mandatory” then, by definition, they don’t need my agreement.
    I won’t be volunteering for any courses.
    I won’t be agreeing to anything other than the minimum activities agreed between me and JC+ and evidenced by my JSag – they have details
    I won’t be applying for unsuitable jobs -(for definition of suitable see my JSag – they have copy).
    What are they going to do with people like me?????
    .

    • Jack Cade says:

      They asked me for a copy of my CV at my first meeting. I told them that it came under the Data Protection Act and I wasn’t signing the waiver, so, no, they could not have a copy.

      The kid (AKA my adviser…larf) said ‘I need a copy so I can apply for jobs on your behalf.’

      I set him straight on that: ‘I don’t want you applying for jobs on my behalf. I’m old enough to be your father and then some; I’ll apply for jobs myself. If you find a job or jobs that you think I should apply for, fine…we’ll discuss it and if I agree that they’re suitable, I’ll apply’. He tried to pull that ‘Oh, but what if a job comes up suddenly and the application has to be in that day etc etc’.

      I said, ‘What kind of job needs an application that day or it’s no go? Cocaine smuggling? When was the last time you had a job like that come across your desk?’ He looked sheepish and admitted that it had never happened. I think that first meeting pretty much set the tone for what is to follow. I believe that they’ve already written me off as a dead-loss (from a pimps point of view: I won’t spread my legs so they won’t make a penny).

      Like you, I won’t be ‘volunteering’ for anything. In fact, the question I’ll be asking over and over is: ‘Is this mandatory? No? Then fuck it’.

      My rabid unionism will just be icing on the cake that they’ll wish they’d never bought…’but it looked so good in the bakery window…’. Yeah…tough…my fucking heart bleeds for them.

      Michael, I’m afraid I can’t tell you anything about George’s situation or what he’s up to. @gissajob might know.

  22. gissajob says:

    @ Jack
    you say “There must be a set of published DWP guidelines laying out what contractors can reasonably ask of WP clients.”
    I’m not sure there is! It would take a bit of research. From memory the pimps have been given a lot of leeway in designing individually tailored back to work action plans. In the event of non ahgreement my guess is that it would come back to a test of reasonableness. Now I would argue that the JSag sets out the minimum activity that I must undertake to be ENTITLED to my benefit. The entity with which this has been agreed is the JC+ – who are the body charged with specifying the requirements for benefit. In the absence of some sort of supplemental agreement with a third party (The Pimp) theJSag is the only source and evidence of what has been agreed. If a supposed “agreement” has been signed with a pimp then we have a complication! It would appear that pimps try to get customers to sign a sort of open ended agreement. By which I mean a document which contains a number of fairly innocuous items e.g. the customer will turn up on time. the customer will not be drunk etc. etc. But inserted in the “agreement” is something along the lines of “The customer will come to an agreement with the provider on the activity to be undertaken et. etc.” This seems to be saying – I promise to agree to undertake work based activity but I don’t know what it is that I am agreeing to yet!!! For this reason I suggest that we refuse to sign such agreements – or at least delete the offending “catch all” para.
    By the way how about requesting them to put in “mirror” paras – by which I mean: If I am promising to turn up on time – then so should you. If I am promising to be free of drugs/drink then so should you. Could cause a few problems – but surely not unreasonable?
    I am inclined not to sign anything (but find and record reasons not to) with the notable exception of the travel expenses claim!
    Now that’s enough for one day.

    • Jack Cade says:

      Yeah, I’d better hit the sack. I’ll talk to you tomorrow but there’s some food for thought here. I especially like the idea of ‘mirror clauses’. ‘Night to all.

  23. gissajob says:

    @ Michael
    No wiser than Jack about George’s activity I’m afraid. Keep watching here and at workprogarmme.org.uk

  24. stratfordtom says:

    Thanks for for this guys and Jack. I’m going to be sent to the pimps in a couple of weeks. Working Links, I think. Its really hard to find anyone who tells it like it is about this stuff so I’m very happy i found Work Program Netwok and this blog. You guys are all lifesavers!

    all the best
    Tom

  25. Jack Cade says:

    Hi, Tom. Here’s a laugh for you and everyone. In his article in yesterday’s Financial Times, Pie-Face Cameron said: “We must counsel against pessimism.”

    Hahahahahahahaha…priceless.

    What the dismal cunt is actually saying is: “We must caution people against drawing the correct conclusions from all the figures that are coming out–rising inflation, rising unemployment, falling vacancies, 25,000 small businesses gone under since we took office and tax-revenue falling. Ignore the maths; ignore the Nobel-winning economists; ignore the Small Business Association and The Institute of Directors… trust me: I’m an ex-PR man for daytime television.”

    And let’s not forget, Cameron was Chancellor Norman Lamont’s closest adviser when that Tory buffoon led the country into the financial disaster of Black Wednesday in 1992, earning George Soros over a £1 billion.

    Looks like Cameron’s going for the double: lucky us.

    So…not only a worthless sleazoid scumbucket…but a complete moron, to boot. Magic.

  26. gissajob says:

    Morning all,
    @Jack – i enjoyed your post as always. Been busy this morning composing my next ICE complaint. Even if I say so myself I am rather pleased with the result – looking very professional. Unfortunately I can’t send off immediately as have to wait 40 days (from memory) from original complaint to PIMP with no response. The clock is ticking – 15 days to go.
    This is almost like being at work!

  27. Jack Cade says:

    ‘Morning, @gissajob…here’s another laugh for you: I just had a phone call from my pimp (in truth, a rather dim and timid young man, who, I suspect, lives at home with his mother and who consumes, judging by his weight, poor lad, unhealthy quantities of sugary, fatty foods–he must weigh 20-odd stone). The flimsy office chair that he sat in when we had our first meeting creaked and groaned alarmingly; I kept expecting it to explode in protest…but I digress…

    This young fellow just rang me and excitedly told me about some hotel jobs: room cleaners (spunk-sniffers, as they’re known in the trade), porters, doormen etc., that he thought I might be interested in. Why would I be ‘interested’ in them? I look like what I am: a man who’s spent most of his adult life doing physical labour of one kind or another, mostly outdoors. Hotels value the smoothie-chops aesthetic; I’m the opposite of the smoothie-chops aesthetic.

    Anyway, I asked: ‘are they zero-hours’ contracts? He didn’t know. What is their position on collective bargaining and union representation? He didn’t know. Finally, I put him out of his misery; “You realise that hotels will not, under any circumstances, employ people with unspent criminal convictions?” Long silence…then, ‘Oh…’. Yeah, ‘Oh’, indeed. ‘I’ll keep looking,’ he said. ‘You do that’, I told him and added in my nearest simulacrum of a sweet voice, ‘thanks for thinking of me…’

    The Patent Pending Cade Work Program Nullification Strategy goes from strength to strength. Now that I’ve softened him up with a little union rebop, I’ll hit him with the full-orchestra union jazz at our next meeting. It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing…and the WP swings like a dead monkey.

  28. gissajob says:

    Nice one Jack! On the assumption that you require no royalties for the use of the CWPNS I am thinking of using the following ingredients (all of which will be gradually exposed by the expert interrogation of the so called Advisor):
    A history of alcohol abuse (You ugly, nasty alcohol, you!). Now a recovered borderline alcoholic tea totaler.
    Strong believer in the power of the Trade Unions (leaf out of your book there). Will definitely want to know prospective employers’ attitude to TU membership, collective bargaining etc.
    Vague history of having been in trouble with the law for succumbing to a powerful urge to set light to things. This was whilst working abroad so no conviction here but In the interest of fairness I feel employers should know about it. Even thought of putting it on my CV but decided against since they aren’t getting my CV.
    A touch of bi polar disorder (one of us doesn’t like to talk about it, the other won’t shut up).
    Forgetfulness
    Old age
    Poor hearing
    Did I say “forgetfulness”?
    Enough?

  29. Jack Cade says:

    Shit…I wouldn’t hire you to post a letter. Frankly, your monetary value to my company Pimptastic Douchebag Synergy Associates is nil. Next!

  30. gissajob says:

    Quiet day at the office Jack!
    Still I am now the wrong (or maybe right) side of a bottle of South Africa’s finest 13.5% ABV red so life isn’t all bad. Have to go and do battle with A4e’s finest brains early tomorrow so have been looking for an emergency frontal lobotomy so we can be on the same intellectual plane. Have failed so I don’t expect to be understood. Wonder if they’ll try to conscript me on to a basic literacy/numeracy course?
    Seriously the training scam deserves some investigatiion. Why the keeness to send everyone on some internal/external course when clearly not appropriate? I suspect misuse/misappropriation of public funds. There has been talk (on Indus site) of £1200 kick back from learn direct to pimps . This can only be public money being paid to trainers and a kickback given to pimp. Deserves investigation and exposure.
    The sprouts (or Knobby Greens as my friend calls them) froze well!
    Night night.

  31. Jack Cade says:

    I’m sure that’s the case…if you read my account of my latest appt. you’ll note how they keep trying to push various inappropriate ‘courses’ and ‘workshops’ on me.

    I’m sure these things all qualify as ‘outcomes’ that trigger a payment. Like I said: the first question when they try it on is: “is this mandatory?” If not, they can fuck right off. Good luck tomorrow, comrade.

  32. Mr. X says:

    I’m find it hard to sleep tonight, before the big showdown tomorrow.

    It is possible for me to not sign anything?

    I certainly won’t sign the Data Protection waiver. I also don’t want to sign any agreement that lets the pimp tell me to apply for 20 jobs, et al, or I’ll get sanctioned. And I don’t want any useless courses when I’m back fit again.

    I will probably have to fill in forms that confirm name, address and other tickboxes though, right? What if the same form has clauses that gives the pimp the power to order me around?

    Do I verbally confirm my name/address/details and refuse to sign?

    Do I tell the advisor my story but sign nothing at all?

    These next 12 hours or so are going to be hell, even if I am lucky enough to not see them again until December/January. I can’t wait for my operation!

    • Jack Cade says:

      @Mr. X, they already have a certain amount of your info. I don’t see any point in fighting the petty stuff.

      The crucial thing is the Data Protection waiver because their whole money-making mechanism hinges on that. If they don’t have permission to access your data, they can’t make money off you.

      In my opinion, the trick is to appear reasonable. You don’t want to appear obstructive or ‘uncooperative’ because that might give them reason to sanction. Remember, stay calm, stay polite, stay soft-spoken.

      As for signing a job plan…I haven’t been asked to sign one; anyway, the ‘job plan’ is drawn up by JC+, not the pimps. If they do make unreasonable job search demands, complain to JC+.

      The useless courses are not, I believe, mandatory (although I could be wrong: they may be able to insist, although I’ve refused them without suffering any consequences), although, again, it’s a fine-line.

      If you turn up with no CV, they might be able to claim that the CV course is ‘necessary’. Or if you appear inarticulate and uncommunicative, they can probably claim that you need a course in ‘interview techniques’ to be ‘job’ ready’..

      A lot of this is a ‘play it by ear’ scenario. We’re all on uncharted ground here, including the pimps. They’ll try to get away with whatever they can. We must try to reject whatever we can while staying on the right side of ‘legal’.

      Good luck, anyway.

  33. wishface says:

    Good luck.
    We have to fight this awful system. We have to win.
    I can’t stand these provider people. The more enthusiastic they are the more I worry.

  34. gissajob says:

    Thanks Jack,
    Off now to do battle.
    Have Induction followed by interview about my complaint followed by walk to JCP to sign on – who said life isn’t fun!

  35. gissajob says:

    And…
    The computer room was small and full (pretty overcrowded).
    Maybe the jacuzzi was under all the bodies?

  36. Mr. X says:

    Thanks for the reassurance, guys.

    After waiting around for 15 minutes, the meeting with my advisor went fairly well. I confirmed my details on their computer, he made photocopies of my sicknote and my operation letter. I signed one form, and then I had the dreaded waiver in front of me. It was like seeing a nuclear weapon pointed at me. I asked if I could take it home to read, but he insisted I sign, so I had to point out that not signing doesn’t affect my going there or my benefits. He could only say ‘Okay’ and took it back. When I left, we shook hands and he wished me well for my operation.

    Luckily I don’t have to go there again until February. Although before the waiver, he asked if I could send him my CV. Do I send it to him? He can’t share it with anyone. Or do I only take in a printed copy if pushed?

    Just got my ESA forms today. I’ll be busy.

    • agnes fairchilds says:

      Hi Mr X, I believe you only have to show them a hardcopy of your cv, you do not let them keep a copy as without your signature on the data waiver they would be in breach of the data protection act, (I was told by the manager of my provider office that my hardcopy had been shredded as to keep it would be a breach, this was after I’d complained they’d ‘appeared’ to have lost the hardcopy I’d left them. I also think they did this to attempt to get me to e-mail them a copy as it’s far cheaper for them to pimp out an electronic version of cv, although I believe this would also breach the data protection act if the waiver hasn’t been signed given them permission to share your info with a third party). It would make things a lot easier if there was proper guidelines we could access so that we know what is and isn’t mandatory but these don’t appear to exist anywhere. C’est la vie. I hope this is of some help to you.

  37. Jack Cade says:

    Hi. @agnes,

    I sent my pimp an electronic copy of my CV. I did it because I don’t want to appear ‘uncooperative’ and who knows? They might actually find me a decent job. However, I made it very clear that as I had not signed the data waiver, he could not send my CV to anyone without my express, written permission, nor can he tamper with it.

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s a win/win…I get to look co-operative but they can’t do a single thing without my written permission. I made it very clear to the young man who is my advisor that I would make an official, written complaint if he breached any of the conditions.

    He assured me that he only wanted a copy for ‘reference’, so he could check it against vacancies to see if there was a match-up. We’ll see, but I’m pretty sure he takes me seriously and knows that I will complain in writing and pursue the complaint all the way to the ICE if I’m unhappy.

  38. Mr. X says:

    Thanks, Agnes.

    It’s probably a moot point as I refused to sign my consent away anyway. The appointment letter I was sent home with didn’t have my advisor’s e-mail address on it, so I have plausible deniability. I’ll show them a hard copy if asked, but never an electronic copy (Although after reading Jack’s comment, perhaps I could).

    Just sent my sicknote off to the ESA.

    • agnes fairchilds says:

      Blimey, that was quick. Jack, I can see where you’re coming from but all I get from my advisor is ‘very difficult to get an admin job, ever thought of care/retail/warehouse/airport work. I’ve got a good contact at agency who sometimes get admin positions but not very often. Mainly they’re 3-6 month contracts.’ As they were unaware of the data protection act I’m not confident they’d use my cv responsibly and I can’t see what the difference is between a hardcopy or electronic copy where the DPA is involved. I live in Greater London, admin makes up the majority of jobs, I can’t drive a forklift, not too close to an airport, no interest in care which leaves retail who have only taken on temps for xmas with indeterminate hours and thousands of applicants, many who will have experience or, due to age, are cheaper to employ and wouldn’t be told they’re over qualified. Phew got that off my chest, I used to be a calm person the work programme’s given me a personality disorder. (No offence intended)
      Mr X I’m afraid we’re all travelling blind on the WP, we have to do what we feel
      comfortable with and see how it pans out. The only positive thing we can do is keep communicating with each other and sharing experiences/knowledge.
      Something’s got to give at some point, eventually the tanking economy and job losses has got to be recognised even by the DWP/JCP and work providers and proper steps taken to fix the unemployment problem which doesn’t include that which we are mandated to at the moment. It’s like being forced to join a religious cult. If the Work Programme was a genuinely successful/helpful operation they would have no need to constantly, insidiously, threaten sanctions, we’d be banging on their doors to take advantage of their help, oh no we wouldn’t, we’re all work-shy scroungers, coining it in on benefits. WE know £67.50 isn’t a life style choice and to suggest it is is an insult to our intelligence, to believe we live high on the hog can only be believed by the ignorant, many of whom will/have found out for themselves the nonsense of the lie. Phew, ranting again, I’m going to stop now and have a nice cup of camomile tea whilst twisting Keir Hardies’ cap to get back my sang froid.
      Liking your place Jack, good work.
      Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein

  39. jayne says:

    Hi

    I have had my welcome appointment through for next Monday, only got referred on Tuesday. I am trying to get it changed to an earlier time as the app ends near 5pm and the Providers office is located in the middle of nowhere and I don’t relish the idea of walking to the nearest bus station near dark. I will not be signing the waiver form but does this mean they cannot keep a copy of my Cv ? I am quite happy to show them my Cv just do not wish them to keep a copy. I read on here some workshops like Cvs and interview techniques are not mandatory so can I refuse these without losing my benefit ? I took part in 3 different workshops on FND which was this year so seems pointless to go to the same ones and probable with the same tutor. My welcome app is for 3 hours what can I expect for these 3 hours ? I assume its a group meeting as my letter does not ask me to ask for anyone specific at the reception. If uncomfortable in group sessions in small rooms are you able to request that your first app is one to one ? After all they keep saying this WP is different from FND and more tailored to the individual and away from group sessions.

    • gissajob says:

      Jayne – just reproducing below (sounds dirty!) what I put on the WP site. Hope it helps.
      Hi Jayne,
      I have just been “welcomed Aboard” by a4e. Here is my experience:
      3 hours ? I doubt it will last that long – I was there for 2 after making a nuisance of myself and refusing to sign waiver and agreement. Most of this time was spent discussing a previous complaint with Team Leader. What do they do? You ask. Well first they show you round “here’s the toilets”, “here’s the overcrowded computer room”, ” these are the fire regs” “here’s the kitchen/drinks machine”. Just housekeeping really. This may be just you on your own or a group of 2 or 3. You are then taken to a room where you are told guff about the WP – nothing you don’t know already – lots of “mandatorys” and such like veiled threats.
      They then give you a load of papers to look at and sign (they hope). These range from the entirely innocuous (e.g. an expenditure check list – you do want to claim travel expenses! Remember also to ask about childcare if appropriate) through to the NOT TO BE SIGNED Customer Consent Form (data waiver). There is also a Customer Agreement 9My Work Programme Agreement) – Ideclined to sign then and there as I hadn’t been given sufficient opportunity to study it. I may well sign at later date or just wait and seeif there are any repurcussions. The forms also include an attempt to classify your job readiness and any so-called barriers to work you may have (this may be on paper or they may stick you in front of a PC to do it.) They are trying to quickly see how many courses they can enrol you on (may also have one eye on forwarding you to a specialist sub-provider though it seems that the big pimps are trying to keep all the gravy for themselves at present). The results are fed into something called “Activity Group Streaming Matrix ( this is A4e – others will do something similar). Sounds very technical but anyone who has completed one of those silly questionnairre things in a Woman’s magazine will recognise what it is. A rating is given ranging trying to show how much work they need to put into you: A lot/Some/A little/None.
      This is done for 5 headings (which correspond to the questions you have answered). The heading and the type of questions are:

      ACCESS: YES/NO : sample questions There are jobs locally I can do. I have the tools and resources to find jobs. I know how to find jobs. I have up to date CV/Covering and spec letters/contact number/e mail address (not asking for the info just asking if you have it). Internet access – transport and so on You are then asked to give yurself a score from 1 to 6 on “I have all the resources I need to find work locally.”
      SKILLS: “Skills is about having what employers are looking for.
      Questions here about Maths and English, computer literacy NVQs, I am good at managing my money, I am good at getting on with people, I can prioritise tasks well etc. etc.
      Again give yourself a score 1 to 6 “How many Work Skills have you got?”
      RESILIENCE: Same sort of thing but asking about your attitude e.g. I can cope with pressure, My life is stable and secure, I am good at thinking clearly. Score yourself 1 to 6 “How easy do you find it to cope and manage?”
      The other categories on the grid are OUTLOOK and CAPACITY. I don’t have copies of these (maybe I didn’t fill them in maybe they just weren’t copied I can’t remember!)
      Anyway the matrix is supposed to be completed after the advisor has had a discussion with the customer regarding their responses. There are then some guidelines “to determine the level of support required”. There are 3 possible Actvity Groups and everyone will be put in to one.
      Activity Group 2: Outlook OR Skills are both ticked pink. As I don’t have a colour photocopy I have to use a bit of guess work and say that this means either a lot or some support is deemed necessary – I guess these people are candidates for the basic skills type courses. Activity Group 3 Capacity OR Resilience are both ticked green. – confidence building here we come?
      I answered questions to show that I have no barriers because I want minimum interference and got put in to Activity Group 1. Guess this means that I am job ready and all they will do is try to make me apply for jobs rather than waste my time on courses (I hope!).
      From this An Employment Plan is produced. Mine basically has the usual load of tripe about “all sessions Mandatory” [got to be the buzz word bingo winner by a country mile] for all I know other “Acivity Groups” will have different activities e.g this ot that course – or this may come later.
      After all this you are given the name of your advisor, a next appointment and you are out of the door. Shouldn’t take 3 hours.
      My experience relates only to A4e but I’d bet that all other Pimps have very similar processes.
      If I get time I will try to anonymise the copies I have and put them on imageshack for all to see.

  40. Jack Cade says:

    Hi, jayne…3 hours? I’d be very surprised. My first appt/induction was about an hour, maybe less; 2nd appt, about half an hour.

    I’m not positive but I’m pretty sure I remember someone saying that you can demand a one-to-one appt., although whether that’s applicable to the induction, which is more general and less personal, I don’t know. But for anything of a personal nature, you can demand that the meeting be held out of earshot of other ‘clients’, ideally in a private room.

    As for the CV, as long as you don’t sign the Data Protection waiver, they can’t do a thing with your CV without your express permission (which they have to get in writing). I don’t mind them having a copy because if they do do anything with it without my permission (i.e. put me up for jobs without consulting me, change it in any way) I’ll have good grounds for a formal complaint.

    I can’t say for sure but I think if you play your cards right (i.e.demonstrate that the ‘courses’ are a waste of your time because your CV is fine, you’ve already done the ‘interview technique’ bollocks etc etc) then you’ll probably not have to do them.

    Simplest thing is to say, perfectly calm and reasonable, that you think the course (whichever one) is a waste of your time and you’d rather focus on finding work. Ask them if a course is mandatory. If they say ‘yes’, ask for that in writing. That way, if it turns out that they’re not, you have written evidence that they’ve lied to you and good grounds to go to the ICE and get them fined £5000.

    Good luck

  41. Hello Jack and all the other WP reprobates. :)

    Good to have another place to share ideas and suggestions.

  42. Jack Cade says:

    Welcome, @Surplus Labour…the more, the merrier. The more info we pool, the less chance of the pimps taking anyone by surprise. Good to see you here.

  43. jayne says:

    Hi Gissajob and Jack thanks for your responses and helpful info. I too doubt it will be for 3 hours I know on my induction on FND it stated an hour but was about 20 mins in the end. I really dont need a tour lol I was last there on FND in may this year. I have already completed a questionnaire at the job centre recently on how close or far away you feel you are from gaining employment etc but looks like I may be doing that again. If given loads of forms to look through and sign for is the data waiver one easily recognisable ? I know I can withdraw my consent at any time but I really want to refuse it in the initial app. If my app gets rearranged or I end up going on Monday I will let you know what it entailed

    • gissajob says:

      The data waiver form shouuld be easily recognisable. It may be called something else e.g. Customer consent form. It MUST have the words ” If you do not give consent this will not affect your entitlement to participate in the programme, or any job offer or employment obtained. ……..etc. etc.”
      Read carefully any form which asks for your signature -don’t sign this one.
      I doubt very much if this will cause ructions. I think the pimps are getting accustomed to people (note “people” not “goods”) refusing to sign the form.

  44. Hello jayne…the data release form should be easily recognised. It should contain something like the following from DWP Provider Guidance Chapter 5 9 V2.011 Annex 1:-

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/pg-chapter-5.pdf (scroll down to the end)

    Employment Programmes – consent to share information

    If you do not give consent, this will not affect your entitlement to participate in the programme, or any job offer or employment obtained. You can write to [Provider] at any time to withdraw your consent and this will not affect your placement on the programme or any employment or offer of employment made.

    Participant name…………………………………………. (Please print name in full)

    I give consent for [Provider], my future employer and DWP to share information as described in stages 1 to 3 above.

    I confirm that:

    I have read the information above and understand why this information sharing is needed and how this information will be used.

    I understand that:

    If I am in receipt of any benefits, my entitlement to these benefits will not depend on whether I choose to give consent or not.

    My placement on any programme with [Provider] and any employment or future offer of employment will not depend on whether I choose to give consent or not.

    I can withdraw my consent at any time by writing to [Provider]
    Signature …………………………………….
    Date………………………………

  45. John Smith says:

    Great site, great information. Thank you for providing a great service to the country. I have my first appointment with the WP soon, so the experiences/tricks/techniques of others will come in very handy. I will make sure to post my experiences, once my interview has taken place.

  46. Jack Cade says:

    Welcome, @John…sharing our experiences, news, insights and (inevitable) mistakes is what will get us through this shit. The more we know, the better prepared we are for whatever they throw at us. The better prepared we are, the less they can fuck with us. I look forward to hearing about your experiences.

  47. gissajob says:

    Hi All,
    Have spent the morning composing my first complaint to the ICE which has now winged its way through the ether and been received by them. I am impressed by myself! We’ll have to wait and see what happens next.
    Anybody had any experience of the ICE yet?
    If they prove to be effective I have 2 more complaints on the stocks.

  48. Jack Cade says:

    Interesting. Just for my (and everyone’s future reference), what is the ICE’s address? Does the complaint simply take the form of a letter or do you need a special form?

    Actually, @gissajob, perhaps you’d consider writing a post (which I’ll put up as a separate article with its own comment thread) on the complaints procedure. Speaking for myself, I know I’d find it extremely useful. Whaddaya say? Complaining For Dummies or Sticking It To The Work Program–sounds good to me.

  49. agnes fairchilds says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/panorama/2011/11/britain_on_the_fiddle.html

    looking at the comments for britain on the fiddle it appears the old saying’s true you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

    • I noticed that too. While such a program would normaly generate a fair amount of negetive comments, they also usualy get a fair few from the Hate Mail brigade. Even they seem to be struggeling to support this program.

      It has to be among the most obvious cases of the BBC kissing the governments arse in return for who knows what promise. They couldn’t even be bothered to try to make a decent job of it.

      The consistancy of the comments is a welcome sign that as Agnes suggests, they overestimated the stupidity of their own audience.

    • gissajob says:

      Hi Agnes and thanks for that. I have just spent half an hour or so reading the comments and I am heartened. It seems the public aren’t the fools the Government and the BBC take us for.
      At the same time I saw the local BBC news(East Midlands) had an item (a propos of nothing) about how many local job vacancies there are supposed to be. More BBC propaganda. The BBC really needs to grow a pair and realise that they are not fooling people.

  50. wishface says:

    I sent the beeb an angry tweet. I’m sure they’ll take notice…

    just like they didn’t when i shouted at them down the phone after hearing Kelvin Mackenzie’s hysterical rant during the riots.

    They don’t care. Anyone that thinks the beeb are loony lefty liberal types reallyis living in their own little world.

    When it comes to these issues the BBC have toed the government line before: getting Pigby Jones to bully two kids who were out of work (young men, more precisely – and hardly troublemakers either) in a scene reminiscent of a gangland showdown in some disused wasteland. Sinister doesn’t begin to describe it.

  51. Jack Cade says:

    Thanks for the link, @gissajob, and yours, @agnes.

    I didn’t watch that Panorama (I don’t own a TV and download anything I actually want to watch, i.e. Breaking Bad, The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, The Walking Dead, Mad Men, Sons Of Anarchy, The Daily Show etc etc…thank you, Pirate Bay) but friends who watched it told me it was putrid.

    Like @wishface, I’m always bemused when I hear the Beeb described as ‘left-wing’ or ‘socialist’ or ‘radical’ or ‘anti-government’. What a fucking joke. If the Church of England is the Tory party at prayer, then the BBC is the Tory party talking down to us. Toe-rags.

    I’m going to go and read those Panorama comments now…perhaps there’s still hope for Britain…

  52. Jack Cade says:

    Just read the comments under that Panorama piece. Good to see that the majority of people are on to the BBC. Except for the inevitable 2 or 3 Daily Fail hate-monkeys.

    Mind you, what can one expect from people who are happy to read a paper that championed the Nazis until 1939 (the firm smack of government; made the trains run on time blahblahblah); a paper that attacked Churchill viciously in the late 30s because he said such hurtful things about that nice Herr Hitler (who knew how to deal with unions and radicals and commies and poofs and gypsies); a paper that agitated and protested against allowing German Jewish refugees into Britain in the late 30s and caused many to be sent back to their deaths in gas-chambers

    A vile, poisonous rag that has always supported fascists; a paper for cowards, bigots and bullies; a paper that I’d be ashamed to be seen reading; a paper I wouldn’t line my cat-box with.

    • gissajob says:

      Don’t like it then eh Jack?

      • Jack Cade says:

        I’m ambivalent…on the one hand, I think it’s absolute shite; on the other hand, I think it’s absolute shite. I’m conflicted (as American psycho-babble merchants are fond of saying…)

        • agnes fairchilds says:

          I’ve received a letter from my WP: ‘We will place you with one of our recruiters to help you with your job search to gain an interview. For this the recruiter will need to see your CV. In our conversation you would not agree for us to have an electronic version of your CV which will make it harder for our recruiter to help you find employment.
          I understand that this is a great matter to you but for us to be able to support you a CV would be the first item we would need, to be able to speak to employers to try and generate interviews. We will discuss this at your next review again so our recruiter is fully informed…………….Under DWP Work Program regulations and JSA rules we must assess your needs and report any doubt as and when existence of non compliance is perceived.’
          Note that they only need to see your CV, non-compliance is a perception not an absolute (fear factor). Has anyone any idea what/who a recruiter is? Has anyone met one? Do they work for independent employment agencies, or is it just an in-house job title that’s meaningless in the real world? They sound like something out of Blade Runner.

  53. Jack Cade says:

    Interesting @agnes…in the first place, I fail to see how a CV is going to help or hinder this ‘recruiter’ (I have no idea who or what the ‘recruiter’ will prove to be: I’ve only had 2 appointments so far): I suspect it’ll just be some in-house non-job, as you suggest.

    After all, a proper, real-world recruiter must cost money and the pimps are about making money not spending it.

    Actually, come to think of it, perhaps they count placing you with a ‘recruiter’ (in reality, a recent hiring who’s even more inept than the regular employees and is shunted to the ‘recruiter’ non-job reserved for doofuses) as an ‘outcome’ or ‘result’ or whatever they call it, and it triggers a payment. That wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

    But their claim that:

    “…you would not agree for us to have an electronic version of your CV which will make it harder for our recruiter to help you find employment …”

    …is bollocks: all a ‘recruiter’ needs is an outline of your basic qualification/skills and experience; just a few brief notes. Anything else can be had by asking you.

    I don’t see any harm in letting them see your CV; in fact, I don’t see any harm in letting them have a copy. At first, I refused. But then I realised that a CV comes under the Data Protection Act and because I hadn’t signed the waiver, they couldn’t use my CV without my express permission.

    After I’d refused them my CV, my advisor was rather pleased when I reconsidered and he said to me, unprompted: ‘If I find any suitable jobs that i think may interest you, I’ll email you the details and you can check it out yourself and raise any questions you might have; if everything’s to your satisfaction, you send me an email giving me permission to use your CV to make this specific job application and I’ll do the rest’.

    It all comes back to the DPA waiver, as so much of their operation does. Without the waiver, they can’t do what they’d undoubtedly like to: spam every arsehole ‘zero-hours contract’ agency in town and try to bully you into the first shit cleaning job that came along. The hell of it is, you might be forced to take the job; I could be wrong, but if they say it’s a ‘reasonable offer of work’, to refuse it must raise a sanction doubt.

    By not signing the waiver, we retain control over what jobs we apply for and the pimps are unable to do more than notify you of vacancies. We mustn’t allow ourselves to be confused by retaining physical control, which doesn’t really mean anything, and retaining legal control, which means everything.

    That’s why I let them have my CV. It makes it appear that I’m ‘reasonable’ and am ‘complying’, so avoiding ‘sanction doubt’ territory; but at the same time, I know perfectly well that I’ve already snookered the pimps because I retain legal control. Game to me; set to me; match…?

    • agnes fairchilds says:

      HI Jack, thanks for the reply, I did give them a copy of my cv (hardcopy) at my induction, was told it was very good, then they completely ignored my experience, qualifications, skills and asked me if I’d ever thought of care or retail. Never signed the data protection waiver, left without being given another appointment. 2 months later I finally met my advisor and discovered they no longer had my cv and he had no knowledge of where it had gone. I wrote and complained that it appeared to be ‘lost’ in which case the data protection act had been breached. Had meeting with the manager which is when he told me it had been shredded as without the data protection waiver being signed they are unable to keep a hard copy of my cv. If this is a breach of the data protection act then why isn’t an electronic copy treated in the same way? Doesn’t make any sense to me, but I think I will do as you have and ensure I have their compliance in writing before I allow them another copy. It’s like swimming through treacle with these people, I find it very difficult to believe that there’s a level of ineptness below that of the advisors but I guess I’ll find out at my next appointment. Maybe I should write for clarification on this matter to the head office, on the hardcopy vs e-copy issue that is not on the levels of
      ineptness of the advisors, that would just be entering Dante’s inferno, don’t want to go there.

      • gissajob says:

        Hi Agnes – late at night (for us old folks) and dyslexsic fingers have struck so this may be a duplication of a previous post – if so “sorry” .
        You are obviously dealing with people who are your intellectual inferiors – this is frustrating.
        My advice? As ever – make a complaint! If you feel like being really stroppy (who wouldn’t?) go straight to the ICE with a copy (for information) to the Job Centre. Sit back and see what happens. May be that the ICE say you have to go through pimp complaints procedure (in which case you can do that, be unsatisfied and end up back with the ICE). Or it may be that they take on and investigate your complaint = trouble/additional work/cost for pimp.
        It seems to be becoming clear (at least to me) that the best way to resist is to use the Data Protection Act by not signing waivers. NOT to use the IOC (who appear to be as toothless as my old granny). To complain as much as possible. To keep DWP/JCP informed of pimp shortcomings. Above all to get to ICE who at least have the power to hit the Pimps in the wallets and handbags.
        Nighr Agnes (nice name!)

  54. All fair comment Jack. I still want to retain every little bit of control I can though. I realise that without our permission to freely distribute our details they can’t misuse our cv’s as they would like. I will not even give them a copy of mine though until they either offer a rational reason for wanting it or look like being able to stop my money if I refuse.

    In agnes’s case, I would be asking exactly why they think their possession of my cv is so crucial to their helping me find work. Just because they say it does doesn’t explain it or justify it.

    If they have contact with a potential employer, what possibly justification do they have for not simply giving you the contact details? If they have such contacts and deliberately withhold them from us, they are clearly demonstrating their unsuitability for the service they are supposed to be providing. I don’t want my chances of finding employment being compromised by any association with the bunch of lying cowboys who my provider employs. Any potential employer who would knowingly work with the pimps and the WP scam, I would not want to work for anyway

    The only justifiable explanation for them to even see our cv’s is to ensure they are of a sufficient standard to not be a barrier to employment in themselves. Once that is confirmed I can see no further reason for them to interfere with them.

    I am not suggesting agnes should necessarily challenge them on this but I hope I get an opportunity to. I think I am in such a backwater here though, small town with no chance of large scale employers offering slave jobs, that they know they have nothing to offer and won’t trouble us any more than they have too.

    • Jack Cade says:

      Sorry @SL, your comment was caught in the spam trap and I only just found it. God knows why it happens. Re: your remarks, I agree and I pretty much echo what you say further down. I advise asking them for a written explanation of why they think it’s necessary to have a copy of a CV. I suspect it would be gibberish and that they’ll decline and stop pestering you for it.

      But as I say, I’m happy to let them think they’ve won a skirmish, them being too thick to realise that by refusing to sign the waiver, I’ve won the battle. Having said that, I had a quick recce of my advisers computer while he was away doing something or other and discovered that he currently has 106 clients. I doubt he’s going to be wasting any time on me, especially as I’m sure that number is going to rise.

      I love the smell of fiasco in the morning; it smells like…victory.

      • No problem Jack, I was confused but it got there in the end.

        I am all for letting them think I am a bit thick too. I find a Columbo like persona is very effective.

        btw… you should have a camera ready to get a pic of the screen when they leave it un attended. Thats a serious data protection breach.

  55. Jack Cade says:

    “…he told me it had been shredded as without the data protection waiver being signed they are unable to keep a hard copy of my cv. If this is a breach of the data protection act then why isn’t an electronic copy treated in the same way? Doesn’t make any sense to me…”

    Nor me, @agnes, nor me.

    Frankly, I think that they’re all pig-ignorant, in addition to being eye-wateringly incompetent. They really don’t have a clue. Take comfort in knowing that if they do breach confidentiality by sending out your CV without your written permission, it’s a serious offence and they will pay a large fine. Make this clear to them.

    Tell them you’re happy to consider any job they come up with and if it’s suitable, you’ll be happy to apply for it or have them apply on your behalf. However, if they choose to apply on your behalf, make them explain to you, preferably in writing, why they would want to take this route, as opposed to just forwarding the details and blank application to you; I expect they’ll give you some song-and-dance about the ‘time factor’; whatever.

    Personally, I think it’s good tactics to allow them to win some small battles: I’m more interested in winning the war. After all, we face a long fight.

    Then again, unless the DWP changes the targets it’s set the pimps, most of them are going to lose their contracts come next June/July. Then what? Do we get shunted to…I dunno…just back to JC+ (assuming one hasn’t found work)?

    We are living through ‘interesting’ times.

    All the best, Jack

    • agnes fairchilds says:

      Yes Gissa I think you are right re the waiver, and yes Jack, we certainly are living through ‘interesting’ times.

      • agnes fairchilds says:

        Just googled your name Jack, good one, if nothing else this work programme business is certainly educating me.

        • gissajob says:

          Me too . Never heard of Jack Cade before. We will end up with the best educated unemployed/unemployable people in the world.

          • wishface says:

            Isn’t that what life should be? A pursuit of knowledge for it’s own sake? Soon we will have schools run by Tescos only teaching people wht they need to know for the work that will exist: GCSE Shelf Stacking and PhD’s in Unexpected Items in Bagging Areas.

  56. Jack Cade says:

    Cade has a big role in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, which is fairly accurate, historically (the events happened 100 years before Shakespeare’s birth). There’s a great scene in the play where Cade and his men have defeated the King’s army at the battle of Blackheath and have occupied The White Hart Inn, by London Bridge, making it their HQ.

    Cade jumps up on a table and makes a stirring speech. He says that he will make good ale a penny a pint, loaves a ha’penny, no man to be imprisoned for debt etc etc.

    At this point, his second-in-command, Dick The Butcher (he was actually a butcher, not so-called for being bloodthirsty) jumps up on the table beside Cade and says:

    “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

    It still gets a big laugh, as it undoubtedly did in Shakespeare’s day. Coincidentally, the first thing Cade did on entering London was to touch The London Stone with his sword, a traditional gesture that signified control over the city.

    The London Stone is still there on Cannon St., behind an iron grill, unnoticed and unknown by the millions of City workers scurrying past it every year. It’s about 10 minutes walk from my flat. It was there when the Romans ruled London and its origin is lost in the mists of history.

    Here endeth the lesson. Can I have a job as a history teacher, please? Ta.

  57. jayne says:

    My induction app has now been moved to next Monday, still same time thou but got told I should be out in half the time and not the 3 hours so hopefully won’t be too bad. I had a letter today with an offer of employment starting part time for a 3 month trial then full time if that’s my preference. After 2 years signing on I cannot wait to be out of their clutches, to be fair everyone at my job centre as been really nice but I found FND demeaning and I didnt feel like they treated me as an individual they just think everyones the same if a few don’t seem to adhere to their end of the bargain. So il only be on WP for less than 2 months, after induction where I refuse to sign the waiver do I have to take them a copy of my letter from the employer or are they not allowed to ask for details if I don’t sign ? Also being as I will be working in January will they try to place me on work experience or group workshops or will I just be seen fortnightly ? Can I just tell them I will be signing off after christmas but say I don’t wish to disclose my employer details ? Are they likely to think I aam making it up if I dont show proof ?

    • I would suggest that you just keep the job to yourself until you vanish from their clutches when you start the job. Make sure you get your final benefit payments first though.

      They might not like the sound of your job anyway being as that it’s only for an initial 3 months trial. They will be more concerned with potentially losing their 6 month in work payment than they are with your chance of finding employment.

      I think it could be quite an interesting couple of months for you applying the patented Cade WP resistance plan, safe in the knowledge that your escape route is in place.

      Don’t tell the bastards anything you don’t have to. You owe them nothing but contempt!

    • Jack Cade says:

      @jayne in answer to your question about refusing to sign the waiver: just refuse to sign it. If they ask, say your deeply uncomfortable with the blanket nature of the waiver; how it permits them to do anything they fucking want with your data, including sell it to a third-party. They’ll say, Oh, we’d never do that…but that’s not the point: if they decide they want to, they can…if you’ve signed the waiver.

      You don’t actually have to say anything but NOT signing the waiver is the single most important thing you’ll ever do with the pimps.

      If they try to threaten you into signing it with talk of ‘sanction doubts’, immediately tell them that what they’re doing is illegal and if they repeat the threats, you’ll make a formal complaint to the Independent Complaints Examiner, who can fine them £5000. That should shut them up.

      You have a perfect right not to sign. DO NOT take them a letter from your employer or even mention what your plans are. Fuck ’em. What they don’t know can’t hurt you; if they did know, they might try to fuck you up, just out of spite.

      Just play the slightly dozy jobseeker who’s been having trouble finding work because of your unspent criminal conviction (not really necessary but this knowledge will make them much less keen to waste much time on you).

      Make sure you have a CV to show them otherwise they’ll stick you in some bullshit ‘CV Workshop’. Look at CVs online if you need a template of what they like to see. I don’t think they send people on that ‘work experience’ bullshit until you’ve been with them for a bit.

      By the looks of it, you’ll only be with them for less than 2 months. At the rate I’ve been getting appointments, that’s two appointments. They won’t have time to try and fuck with you. In the mean time, tell them NOTHING that isn’t absolutely required.

      As for the rest, just play it by ear, taking comfort in the knowledge that you’ll soon be shut of the bastards.

      Good luck, Jack

  58. Jack Cade says:

    @jayne, I couldn’t agree with SL more. Tell the pimps nothing. When time comes to start your job, go in to the JC+ a couple of days beforehand and sign off. You’re under NO OBLIGATION to tell them anything either.

    All you say, if they ask (as they probably will) is : as of (whatever your start date is) I will no longer be eligible for Jobseekers Allowance” That’s it. Nothing more.

    If they persist, tell them straight: “I’m under no obligation to answer your questions” You might add (as I would): “I don’t think that what I do after I’ve signed off is any of your business. Thanks for your help. Goodbye”

    As for the pimps: fuck ’em. What can they do? Nothing. You didn’t sign the waiver so they couldn’t make money off of your getting work anyway; they can’t stop your final payment because it’s in arrears and any ‘contract’ you entered into with the pimps was under duress, so just blank the fuckers. Oh, happy day…

    I can’t wait for my time to do the same. Well done, mate and good luck with the job. Drop by now and then to let us poor serfs know how it’s going.

  59. jayne says:

    Thanks Surplas and Jack, I will take your advice and say nothing. I’m sure once I have not signed the waiver they won’t be too interested where my job is anyway. If I can just be seen once every 2 weeks till new year then I’ll just be able to endure it. Once I have signed off I have no intention of keeping in touch with them and will not be telling the JC anything besides my last date I want to claim for. Any correspondence from provider will be binned or returned to sender no longer at this address lol

  60. Jack Cade says:

    That’s the ticket @jayne…don’t sign and don’t mention your plans, work or otherwise. Like I said. I got referred to them by JC+ on the 13 of Sept. Since then, I’ve had exactly 2, yes 2, appointments with the pimps, and 4 weeks between the appointments…so, with any luck, you won’t be seeing much of them at all before you’re off.

    • agnes fairchilds says:

      Jayne well done on finding a job, and I’m going to third what Jack and SL have said, you’re out of there, what can they do? The only hold they have is sanctions.

      I met the recruiter today, turns out just to be another advisor, older and with far better people skills I had to keep reminding myself ‘you are not my friend’, and you’re right she is a new one, out of the 5 advisors she was the only one seeing people.

      Here’s the interesting part as she pulled up my record on the computer there was a little box half way down and typed in was ‘Handle with care. Record….’ I couldn’t read the rest. I asked why handle with care was there and her answer was “yeah what it is if someone doesn’t want to give in their cv we have to be careful because ….(too muffled to make out)…..how can we get someone a job without a cv….” Didn’t sound convincing to me, I think it’s either the non-signing of the waiver or the letter of complaint sent to the head office. Anyway I took the Jack way and told her I was quite happy for her to forward the jobs to me and I would apply and yes I would want all the details of said job not just a name and e-mail address so that I can tailor cv and covering letter accordingly. She was happy with that and will phone them through for me as and when.

      And for those who are only being called in once a month, so was I until today but now I have to go in once a month for a review and once a fortnight for job search. That will teach me to complain.

  61. agnes fairchilds says:

    Jayne please ignore. Before I forget they also have a wonderful customer charter. It starts with ‘You are with the Work Programme for the next two years whether you are in employment or not’ and somewhere further down “If you find work you must tell us before you start, if you do not this may affect your employment” (or words to that effect, after the comma is correct), they really do think we are idiot chattel. I couldn’t get a copy as it was pinned to the partition in an open plan office.

  62. Jack Cade says:

    @agnes, You have to get a copy. That’s not only a lie but an outright threat. “Tell us were you work so we can make money off you, or we’ll fuck up your job”, is what they’re saying, in essence. I can’t fucking believe that they actually put that in writing. That’s solid gold. I must see if I can get a copy. I didn’t spot that in any of my pimps bumpf.

    It’s not only grotesque but it must be illegal. Christ knows, it’s unethical.

    What? We’ll get you sacked if you don’t let us milk you for every penny? Please do whatever you can to get a copy @agnes…that needs publicising. It shows the true face of these horrible scumbags.

    That is something we can use. These amoral creeps must be fought. I’ll bet the press and the ICE would love to see a copy of that. Comply or we’ll get you sacked? And these are the people contracted to get people into work?

  63. Jack Cade says:

    Just looked through all my pimp bumpf and there’s nothing that even hints at any of that, let alone a naked threat.

    In fact, nowhere in all the voluminous brochures, pamphlets and paperwork does it say that I’m obliged to tell them anything about a job I might get or that I must stay in touch.

    Clearly, your pimps @agnes are at the mafia-end of the Poverty Pimp Scale of Swinishness. Incredible.

    • gissajob says:

      @ Jack – “In fact, nowhere in all the voluminous brochures, pamphlets and paperwork does it say that I’m obliged to tell them anything about a job I might get or that I must stay in touch.” Well Jack this forms part of the standard “agreement” (at least on A4e).. Can’t quote exactly as I didn’t sign mine – just took away a copy and heavily redacted it in black permanent marker so now indecipherable! But this was one of the clauses I objected to – hence non signature. Guess even if I’d signed I would completely ignore as a sanction doubt is a joke if you’re nor receiving benefits!

  64. Calm down Jack…and breath…. :)
    Your right though, that is truly outrageous. Get a pic on a phone if you can’t nick it agnes.

    agnes…handle with care… :) Well done you. Respect! I wonder if the “Record” bit could mean they suspect you of recording them?

    You lot are realy spoilt on the WP anyway. Computers, posters, phones, offices, partitions, posters…etc… eeeh you don’t know you’re born. Bare room, trestle tables, no electric and no documentation whatsoever after nearly three months here.

    • agnes fairchilds says:

      Blimey SL I don’t think I can get a picture surreptitiously, unless I’m outside in the sunniest weather the flash goes off. I think they’d notice, i’ve been upped to fortnightly visits I don’t want to increase my chances of more “help” and weekly visits.

  65. Jack Cade says:

    Yeah, SL, I know..but it just makes me see red…the scumbags.

    Trestle tables? You’ve got trestle tables You young ‘uns don’t know you’re born. When I were a lad…etc etc.

    @gissajob, the only thing I signed was yer standard boilerplate; I read the bloody thing three times with the advisor looking on. I was looking for anything I didn’t like or that I regarded as sneaky. I most certainly didn’t come across that.

    It was an innocuous document, stating my obligations (be on time, no kicking the staff, no crack dealing in the hallways…that kind of thing); and their obligations, all standard stuff. Perhaps because my pimp is ostensibly a charity, they’re less underhanded. That might be it.

    Re: @agnes and the ‘handle with care.record…’ perhaps they’re just making one another aware that this client is to be treated with caution as she or he is likely to lodge a formal written complaint if provoked. I’m guessing that just being articulate and reading things through before signing or refusing to sign marks you out as a potential hazard. I can only think that’s a good thing.

  66. jayne says:

    Just got back from signing on, saw a woman from hell, she acted like she was on commission to raise sanction doubts before xmas. I always keep a detailed record of my job search but she was not interested in that instead she pulled up 2 jobs from August I had been put for when I had seen an advisor, wanted to know what the outcome was… well obviously unsuccessful ! She said as well as applying each week I should be calling employers and asking why I didnt get an interview etc. I can’t afford to call back everyone I apply to, surely if it was a JC advert they should be the ones asking why didn’t so and so get any further with their application. When I said if I am given the option to call, post my cv, email my cv, apply online then I prefer to apply online as you get a confirmation email or email my cv in then at least I have evidence in case of a doubt. She soon put my money through then and said goodbye lol. My question is can sanction doubts be raised for not following up applications ?
    I thought now I am on the WP js staff would just sign me quickly as I am the property of the provider. Maybe I was just unlucky could of been a newbie or she was told her jobs at risk, never seen her before, usually sign and thats it cos my jc is so busy.

    • agnes fairchilds says:

      Jayne, check what your Job Seekers agreement says, if it says you only have to apply for the jobs that’s what you have to do. I think you were just unlucky with your advisor today, maybe she’d had a bad day and needed to take it out on someone and you were that lucky person, think of it as a public service. She put your money through and that’s what counts. If it were the Work Programme advisor who’d said that, it might be a different matter. Work out how many more times you’ve got to sign on before you sign off and smile.
      When I sign on now they just run an eye over my job search diary and take my signature, then we have a chat. My last one was quite interesting, they’ve finally woken up to the fact their jobs are at further risk and they’ll end up just a call centre with the work programme taking over all other roles. There’s fear running through the place now. They’ve also had quite a few complaints coming in about the various providers and she acknowledged that a lot of people being sent to the work programme shouldn’t be. Everyone’s wise in hindsight, or when the pointing finger starts to move slowly to you.

  67. jayne says:

    HI Agnes

    On my agreement it just says to look on the Direct Gov website at least 3 times a week and phone or write to an employer once a week, which I class as when I apply for a job, nothing on there about chasing jobs up.

    Maybe I was just unlucky, hope the WP advisor il be allocated is satisfied with how many jobs I apply for every week rather than having to chase them up too.

    I have 3 more signings till xmas then one just after and if I don’t see her again it will be a breeze lol. Have my first WP meeting monday so hopefully only have to go fortnightly after, may take advantage of the 2 weeks holiday you can have and say Im visiting family to get out of one fortnight, I’ll do it so I dont miss a signing day though.

    • agnes fairchilds says:

      You could be even luckier Jayne, most of us seem to have monthly meetings with the work programme at first. I think my induction was in August and it’s only this month that they’ve upped it to fortnightly job search. I’ve had 2 meetings with advisors, the last one asked me if i’d be interested working for them. Personally I’d rather rip out one of my kidneys with my bare hands and auction it off on Ebay, i was quite insulted they thought I’d fit in but comforted myself with the thought they’d rather have me inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in.
      No pasarán! as they say around here (hat tip to Surplus Labour)

      • Jack Cade says:

        @agnes, seriously? Sweet leaping Jesus…I’d better start hiding my light under a very large bushel. What if the bastards offer me a job as a poverty pimp? Obviously, I’d rather drink a bucket full of cold vomit 3 times a day, 5 days a week. But if one refuses, can that be construed as ‘refusing a reasonable offer of work’? I have a horrible feeling it can. Oh, Christ…

        • agnes fairchilds says:

          Yes Jack, seriously, although it was an open question with intentions open to debate. Remember they didn’t offer me a job just asked if I’d be interested. We’ll all be going in with a nervous twitch now, maybe we should all chip in and purchase a job lot of very large bushels. You keep your light well hidden Jack

  68. Jack Cade says:

    @jayne, I’ve never experienced anything like what you’ve described. I fill in my ‘jobsearch record’ religiously. It includes a space for ‘what will you do next’, in which I put: ‘will follow up with email’ or ‘will re-visit site’ of whatever is appropriate. Which I actually do, in addition to far exceeding the number of jobs applied for that my JSA stipulates.

    I signed on yesterday and had my ‘jobsearch record’ out and ready but the girl (she looked about 16 and I’ve never seen her before) didn’t even ask to see it and when I proffered it for her examination, ignored it. When I asked her for some new ‘jobsearch record’ blanks (because mine was near full), she was very reluctant and I had to insist.

    She couldn’t get rid of me fast enough and that’s been my experience for the last half-dozen signings. Usually, they would at least glance at my ‘jobsearch record’; then they barely did that. Now they’re not even asking for it. The plot thickens.

    You were just unlucky to get the rare (in my experience) total bitch. Like @agnes, I have a strong feeling that the staff at JC+ are worried for their jobs, which might explain her mood. I reckon they’ve been set targets, i.e. get X number of peopled signed per/hour or you go on a list of people who can be let go when the axe falls. They don’t want to be sitting where we are.

    I’ve also noticed a large increase in the traffic at JC+. lots of new signings. And I reckon it’s going to get worse. More unemployed (the Tory cuts haven’t even hit yet; fewer jobs available; the pimps unable to meet targets…it all looks like the makings of the most spectacular cluster-fuck since Iraq.

    • agnes fairchilds says:

      That is interesting Jack, I signed on this week, I only have a couple of spaces left on my jobsearch record and I never got a new one, didn’t notice til I got home. This is the first time it’s happened normally they put one in for me without asking if I’m down to the last page never mind the last couple of spaces.

      • Jack Cade says:

        @agnes, 6 months ago, at every signing, my adviser would bring up all the latest jobs on his/her computer and we’d go through them, with me giving some the nod, others the head-shake.

        Then they’d all be printed out and off I’d go. I quickly noticed that at the subsequent signing, the adviser would check the computer to see which jobs I’d taken the info for, and would check my jobsearch record to see if I’d applied for them. That carried on until about 2 months ago. Then they got slacker and slacker and now, they can’t even be bothered.

        They’re probably worried that we might be taking the jobs that they’ll be needing soon.

  69. jayne says:

    @ Jack

    I’v never been given a jobseeking record sheet from my jc, I buy my own small notebooks and keep a detailed record. Never seen any of these sheets handed out in my jc, its not very often I am asked what I have done in the prior 2 weeks but take my notebook each time.

    @ Agnes

    Monthly apps at providers will be even better, may only be seeing them once after induction if thats the case, guess it depends on how many referrals they have had and how many staff they have to divide the apps with.

    • agnes fairchilds says:

      Maybe if it is someone, (e.g union), with some clout might be taking a closer look at the following and decide it’s time to test the coalitions pronouncements in court.
      http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/human-rights/what-are-human-rights/the-human-rights-act/protection-from-slavery-and-forced-labour/
      Taken from the above link
      What the law says

      Article 4: Prohibition of slavery and forced labour

      1. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.

      2. No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.

      3. For the purpose of this Article the term “forced or compulsory labour” shall not include:

      a) any work required to be done in the ordinary course of detention imposed according to the provisions of Article 5 of this Convention or during conditional release from such detention;

      b) any service of a military character or, in case of conscientious
      objectors in countries where they are recognised, service exacted instead of compulsory military service;

      c) any service exacted in case of an emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community;

      d) any work or service which forms part of normal civic obligations.

      • All well and good Agnes. Unfortunatly “clout” in this society is down to money. It would take a fortune and years of effort to eventualy have the case heard in Europe.

        The unions have a vested interest in the increasing numbers of workers engaged in the poverty industries. I think as ferral scum, we are not sexy or exotic enough for the likes of Liberty.

        Have I said yet…we are on our own? :)

        The only time the big guns would dirty their hands with us will be if we first turn the tide ourselves. Then I hope, we will be in a position to tell them to shove it.

  70. Jack Cade says:

    @jayne, I’m really surprised. In London, they’ve been the norm for years and I know of people having their payments stopped (for a fortnight or 30 days) for not having filled them in, thereby failing to demonstrate that they’d be doing enough to find work.

    That Cameron…he’s such a kidder…and Grayling:

    Employment minister Chris Grayling added: “If people who are fit for employment, still haven’t managed to find a job after the intensive support provided by the work programme, we want them to do community work and get into the habit and routine of work.

    …is another one. When are these fucking knuckleheads going to grasp that 4 million unemployed into 450,000 vacancies doesn’t go? Did someone drop these dunces on their heads when they were little? I wish someone would do it now…

  71. gissajob says:

    @Jayne. I’ve never had any sheets given to me either – nor have I ever seen anyone else get them. Like Jayne I use an A4 (not an A4e!) sized notebook and just list the jobs for which I have applied (always exceeds the minimum specified on JSag). Usually I am asked for it – it’s given a brief glance and handed back. Last 2 times I signed on not even that – first time I offered it to the bloke (felt sorry for him) last time we just had a discussion about my complaint (copied to JCP) about A4e. I get the distinct impression they can see that there is duplication of effort here ( why have 2 people paid to do a fortnightly check when 1 would do?) and they are worried about their jobs.
    I’ve never had a JC adviser look up potential jobs or suggest ones for which I might apply (apart from when I was mistaken for someone else and asked why I wasn’t applying for factory work) – “Never worked in a factory in my life was the reply” as slowly the plot unfolded.

    • agnes fairchilds says:

      We are spoiled in London, job searches and free job search record sheets. Wonder why it’s different elsewhere. I didn’t know it varied depending on location.
      I was able to avoid all the pointless A4e type things by putting up a reasonable argument why it would be of no benefit to me and was offering less than I was already doing, and the advisors always agreed with me.

  72. gissajob says:

    OH Yes – and they really have difficulty hiding their utter disgust when A4e is mentioned.

  73. agnes fairchilds says:

    I once forgot to put the date in as I’d lost it and just jotted down the jobs I’d applied for that fortnight on a piece of paper, then transposed it onto the jobsearch record when found before signing on. My advisor at the time told me always to make sure the date was on as it was a reason to sanction someone. They’d been given sanction targets, another one, they were told to sanction people if they were late, no matter if only 5 minutes, it was any excuse to reach their target. That advisor isn’t there anymore, (she didn’t get sacked), far too nice to work there.
    I was also told that once on the work programme there is nothing more JCP can do for you, including a jobsearch.

  74. gissajob says:

    Hi agnes;
    “I was also told that once on the work programme there is nothing more JCP can do for you, including a jobsearch.” Who told you this? If true then it really explains why the JC staff are feeling a bit redundant !

    • agnes fairchilds says:

      It was a JC advisor when I signed on and was told I was going on the work programme gissa. It’s been confirmed by another advisor on normal signing at JC. Any college courses, job searches, self employment help all now to be accessed through the provider, that’s of course if they’ll spend any money on outside involvement which seems rather doubtful at the moment.

      • gissajob says:

        @Agnes Of course they won’t be spending any money on outside training (unless there’s some sort of a kickback for them c/f Learn Direct). At my initial interview I asked (just to be awkward) what training they would pay for. Got the reply “we’re job focussed here” – I said “guess that’s a “none” then”.
        The latest Condem pronouncement re compulsory work is a shocker. When will the British Public wake up and see that we have a bunch of Fascists in charge? Maybe not until the likes of Emma Harrison and cronies are handed the NHS to run along work programme lines?

  75. Jack Cade says:

    Christ, @gissa, @Dr Death..I wish you wouldn’t say things like that. put me right of my fucking dinner. Emma Harrison…just the sight of her name makes my blood start to boil.

    @gissa, I asked exactly the same thing on my first appointment, helpfully drawing the pimps attention the brochure they’d sent me stating that they would provide, either in-house or external if required, any training I required to be ‘job ready’.

    I got the same fucking reply you did: Nah..we concentrate on getting you into a job, any job, as quickly as possible (his exact words). My warning bells started going off around then. I live for the day I see this whole rotten edifice collapse back into the shit-heap it sprang from. Soon, Lord; let it be soon…

    As for Emma poxy Harrison…words fail me…she has been sent to test us.

    • wishface says:

      If they are refusing to offer you training then you have a window of opportunity to complain to, at the very least, the JC. The WP is supposed to be helping you as an individual get meaningful work. We all know that’s not the reality, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hold them to account.

      • gissajob says:

        @wishface. I am not slow to complain but I think they will easily rebuff this with the claim that they offer “training”. Trouble is it’s complete bollox and a complaint might make me an easy target for one of their stupid confidence building, CV writing, basic literacy/numeracy, cake decorating courses!

        • wishface says:

          I’ve no doubt about that, however if they are refusing training in favour of making you apply for jobs then I think there’s a chink in their armour. Maybe, maybe not.

  76. WTF says:

    This is a snippet the Community Action Programme Provider Guidance Chapter 6

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wp-cap-6.pdf

    “Consequence: If you fail to mandate a participant correctly (as outlined above),
    or the Mandatory Activity Notification is not recorded in a way that meets the
    criteria outlined above JCP Decision Makers will be unable to impose sanctions.
    This will frustrate the proper operation of the CAP and that of JCP. This will also
    impact your potential to receive a Completion Fee/Job Outcome payment if the
    participant is not actively engaged.”

    WTF!

    • wishface says:

      That document also says that claimants cannot be mandated onto work if that work would replace regular paid work. Surely then that shuts the entire thing down? if there’s enough for someone to be working 30 hours a week (which doesn’t include 10 hrs you are also meant to spend with the provider in the same week, according to that same document) then there’s a job someone can be doing for a wage.

      • Community Payback says:

        Yes, it does, in effect, shut the whole thing down; because not even Offenders on Community Payback work a full-time week, it is “spread” over a much longer time frame – it can take a year or more for an Offender to complete their Community Payback.

        • Community Payback says:

          Just to add, the reason it is “spread” out is to act as a further punishment – most Offenders would rather “get it out of the way” as quickly as possible. What the government is proposing for the unemployed is far, far worse than what convicted criminals are sentenced to.

  77. SmithnBloggs says:

    Good work Jack, the more ways for people to communicate and exchange ideas of how to not only sink the work programme altogether but hopefully teach this thieving and corrupt government and any that are elected in future that they do not starve the poor or threaten them with homelessness nor do they criminalise and punish the people it was elected to serve and protect. In other words, do not declare war on your own countries citizens because irrelevant of whether they are poor or not, the fact that the number is increasing more and more means you are creating a bigger enemy.

    Here is an account of my last appointment with my provider, it is a rather long spleen venting I do admit which is perhaps why I was unable to upload it onto the ‘Work Programme Network’ site, I dunno but I hope it gives people a bit of a chuckle and that the sarcasm translates.

    I took some of ‘gissajob’s’ advice that I received via the WPN forum about going into heavy negotiation mode with the providers and oh boy am I starting to piss them off or unsettling them, I’m not quite sure yet but it has been said many times before that “knowledge is power” and I can confirm that yes indeed it is. It can also and more importantly in my view give you the confidence knowing that you can look these people (providers, job coaches, employment consultants or whatever other linguistic bullshit job titles they use) straight in the eye and remind them about what the responsibilities, rules and regulations that they have to adhere to are.

    With this in mind, two weeks ago on the 27th of October I attended the ‘follow up’ from my initial ‘Insight Interview’ on October 13th as I’d expressed a reluctance at the Oct 13th appointment to signing any paperwork there and then without looking through it thoroughly and also to allow me to get a second opinion from someone else also, so I requested another appointment for the ‘follow up’.

    As you will see from the original ‘Steps To Success’ appointment dates below, I was supposed to be having the ‘follow up’ with my ‘Employment Consultant’ (from now on known as EP) but she was not there so I was seen by what I am presuming was a ‘Job Coach’ (from now on known as JC). I was ten minutes early for the appointment which I have decided shall be my default setting to arrive for my appointments from now on as I want to convey the impression of ‘enthusiastic expectation’ and genuine intrigue about witnessing the miracle of four and a half million full time sustainable jobs appearing out of thin air. As I was sat waiting for my interim JC, I say interim as my regular JC will eventually be the same advisor that I saw when I was with TNG (Avantas fledgling company) two years ago when on ‘Flexible New Deal’ but that’s another crime… sorry, story.

    Anyway whilst I was waiting, the interim JC came out of the side office with what can only be described as a contemptuous sneer on his face and checked me out straight away as he walked into the room, which was a coincidence because I was looking straight at him as he did so and in hindsight, imagining how it must of looked from where he was standing, the fact that I was leaning over looking through the files in my bag to make sure I’d took all the relevant documents, information, advice, tips and suggestions (some of which were off contributors on the WPN forum, cheers guys), along with me, my body posture and head position must of looked like I was ready to get up and mace the cunt in the face with Agent Orange which I would of done had he looked at me like that in the street and I’d had Agent Orange on my person but anyhow it had an affect on him that I don’t think I would of achieved had it been a premeditated act.

    After he’d walked past me he went arse licking this young female advisor at the other end of the office who rattled on with nauseating shallow pride about a new set of gates she was having fitted on the front of her drive which I could only imagine were as cheap n tacky looking as her fake and hangover piss coloured fuckin tan.

    Give credit where credit is due though, he did call me over promptly at the pre-arranged time and almost appeared civil and polite when he invited me to take a seat which I did and carefully placed my bag on the edge of the table positioning it so as to get a good audio level on the Dictaphone that I was recording the appointment on which I believe should be standard procedure when dealing with people that are involved in sophisticated organised white collar crime because they are the sort of scum that exploit other human beings misfortune and misery for there own selfish and all consuming greed regardless of how helpless and impossible the situation is for the people they prey on.

    Anyway, meanwhile back at the ranch he asked me to confirm my name and address and I asked him did he not consider that having to say my full name and address out loud in an extremely hushed office no more than fifteen feet away from four other ‘customers’ I’d never met before, could be a security, if not privacy issue? Needless to say, his ego had an adverse reaction to being caught on his back heel and being exposed as a complete and utter amateur and was compounded by the fact that it was right in front of the ‘tacky gate fake tanned girl’ who I’m pretty sure was too lost in her world of CSL sofas and overdosed on brain methadone TV to be amused by his incompetence, anyway he turned the computer monitor in my direction so I could confirm whether the details he had about me i.e. name, address were correct which they obviously were.

    He asked me if I had emailed a copy of my CV as it said on my ‘Steps To Success’ (which I had not signed) that I would email it to my EC after my initial ‘Insight Appointment’ with her. I told him that I had decided that I do not want my CV altered in any way and sent off to anyone without my prior consent pointing out to him that it is illegal for anybody other than myself to apply for vacancies, he assured me that they would not do that and that it was only so that I could upload my CV onto their ‘Avanta Jobs’ website which is basically the same as ‘Jobsite.co.uk’, ‘Total Jobs’ etc where they have a search engine that recognises keywords in your CV then searches all the vacancies that it thinks are relevant to you from many different sources.

    I told him that I would register on it there today then upload my CV onto it at home at a later date which I did and also created a different password from the one I had put in when registering on their computer. He then began to start asking me whether I’d filled in the ‘Employment Needs Questionnaire’ from now on known as ENQ before I stopped him and said there are other matters that needed to be cleared up and questions I require answers to before we even go near the subject of the ‘ENQ’ but that I did also have many questions about that too.

    I then asked him whether he had a first aid certificate to which he answered yes, then I asked whether he’d had a refresher course for it in the last twelve months and whether I could look at it, he became quite rude and said yes he had done but that he didn’t need to show it to me and suggested that I was being awkward to which I replied that my request was valid and that I had a right to know who the first-aider was and whether they had the relevant and correct certificates to prove it, once again he suggested, no he accused me of being awkward just for the sake of it, his manner becoming rather agitated and it was at this point the ‘tacky gate fake tanned girl’ came over and put a photocopy of her first-aid certificate (allegedly) on the desk which was then followed by another copy of a certificate off another member of staff in the room. I have uploaded them and the links are below.

    I thanked both the other members of staff for supplying me with the relevant evidence that I’d requested and turned back to my interim JC and in a calm and pleasant tone said that we were almost done with this section and that I just needed for him to tell me where in the building would I be able to find the accident book, it was at this point he stated that the appointment was being terminated, it was also at this point I pulled out a copy of their ‘User Agreement’ and stated that in that case I would not be able to tick the box next to the statement that clearly asks whether I am aware of who the first-aider is and the location of the accident book nor would I be able to tick the one saying that I had read the information about equality, diversity and safeguarding on the notice board as I had no idea where the notice board was situated.

    I caught him casting a furtive glance over my shoulder to another member of staff who was sat at her desk behind me and I am presuming she was advising him to either get his shit together or not to even go there because I saw him take a deep gulp with his Adams Apple and the dawn of realisation appear on his face that he was dealing with someone who was more than capable of kicking the shit out of him both intellectually and physically. Witnessing the kind of disgraceful abuse of another human beings vulnerability, helplessness and seeing how these sinister and creepy white collar criminals in the private sector operate (courtesy of the DWP who I’m presuming are already under investigation by Scotland Yards Serious Fraud Office) turns my stomach but also fortifies my resolve and determination that I am (as I think both ‘Surplus Labour’ and ‘gissajob’ have advised) going to participate and comply these cunts to death.

    I have been given another updated copy of my ‘Steps To Success’(this too has not been signed by me nor in this case the JC either) with some alterations made which I have also uploaded and as usual any advise/tips or suggestions would be very much appreciated. My next appointment is today Thursday the 10th of November where I shall be going through every question (at my request) on the ENQ and asking my JC how each one is relevant to me getting a job that suits me within the industry that I have just over 33yrs of experience in.

    I asked could I have an early appointment preferably first thing in the morning as there are 91 of these questions that I need to have the relevance of them explained to me and I would expect the appointment to probably last most if not all of the day. My request obviously fell on deaf ears as my appointment is for later on in the afternoon. Don’t think much will be achieved at this meeting and I fear that it may take many many months to get through all 91 one of them but I do guarantee that together with my JC we will achieve this goal.

    Rant One (Part One) over and out 

    Steps to success on 13th October



    First Aid Certificates 27th October Appointment


    Steps To Success on 27th October




    The User Agreement

    • Jack Cade says:

      My apologies, @SmithnBloggs; I just found your interesting post in the ‘spam trap’. Thanks for posting.

    • gissajob says:

      @SmithnBloggs,
      Respect!!!!
      Bloody brilliant.!!! I give you a nine out of ten. can’t think where youi lost the one mark – just that perfection is difficult. With 33 years of experience it really is annoying to have some jumped up “Apprentice” wannabe try to call the shots.
      Too inebriated and elated to look at your docs just now but I would like to say that you have made my day. My recommendation? More of the same! I hereby award you a black belt (1st Dan) in pimpology.
      Keep it up!
      Bloody Brilliant.

    • Well played sb. Looking forward to further instalments.

      I must admit that my own calm questioning has degenerated after 3months of the crap to sat there exhuding barely contained contempt and hatred for my coaches and all they represent .

      All my worst fears have been confirmed and all my research shows it’s far more punitive and oppressive than I first thought. From initialy thinking this was just the latest in a line of methods to harrass the unemployed to now recognising it as part of the most sinister and socialy divisive policy of modern times. The abolition of welfare.

      It’s far more dangerous and stressful getting angry with them though, subjected to their ultimate coersive control, so I am glad to be reminded to just reflect their own madness back at them.

      How long I can stay calm while surrendering to and complying with an idealogicaly driven attack on myself, my people and everything I have ever believed in I don’t know. If we can’t get angry over that, when can we?

  78. agnes fairchilds says:

    Quick question. When sending an initial complaint to Independent Case Examiner, do you enclose supporting evidence, i.e. correspondence or just a letter outlining your complaint? Looked on their web site but cannot find the answer. Thank you

    • gissajob says:

      Hi Agnes, When I did mine I did it btye-mail. I incorporated all supporting evidence (e.g. scanned images of documents) in to one word document that went through chronologically the sequence of events about which I was complaining. There is no right or wrong way to do this – just set out as clearly as you can your case and let them have as much evidence to support your case as possible. They can ring up or e mail for clarification if they need it.

  79. jayne says:

    From DWP site:

    Entitlement to Jobseekers Allowance may be affected when someone wishes to undertake unpaid work for a non charitable organisation. If a volunteer is doing what someone would normally be paid for, this may be classed as unpaid work, not volunteering, and could affect their benefit. here are a number of reasons for this; firstly the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has a duty to those people receiving benefit to ensure they are not being treated as cheap, or free labour by employers. Secondly, DWP has a duty to taxpayers to ensure that it is not paying benefits to those who should be receiving payment for work they are undertaking.

    Still don’t understand how they can claim this but are able to suggest work placements on WP like there was on FND, If they insist on some kind of work placement on this new scheme then I suggest everyone expresses an interest to work in charity shops or volunteer work advertised on the Do It site. We have a right not to be free or cheap labour, and they shouldn’t be allowed to break their own rules by making out its legit if you are placed on one of their schemes ie WP.

    • Evans the Bakers says:

      Try telling the DWP Counter Fraud Squad that you are only “helping out” Evans the Bakers as a “volunteer”; they will assume that you are WORKING and being PAID for it. But everything would be fine and dandy if you were working in the same Evans the Bakers as a volunteer or on “work experience” placement – in that case you wouldn’t be working, therefore no need to be paid.

  80. agnes fairchilds says:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/patrick-butler-cuts-blog/2011/nov/10/work-programme-charities-working-for-free

    Interesting article in Guardian re volunteering england and work programme providers.

    “Some people are turning up [to volunteer centres] and say: ‘I have been referred by [provider] ‘x’ and I have been told not to tell you.” journalist wants to hear from charities and those on the work programme who’ve further info on this.

  81. agnes fairchilds says:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/10/welfare-plan#start-of-comments
    And again. Maybe this is the start of whisper becoming a shout. Fingers crossed

  82. Jack Cade says:

    I just saw that article and was about to post a link but you beat me to it, @agnes.:

    What is clear from the VE briefing is that not all WP providers are exploiting volunteer centres. The briefing quotes Ingeus Deloitte, and Just Education and Training as examples of companies which have formally subcontracted with volunteer centres. But others, including A4E, Maximus, Remploy, Avant, G4S and CDG group, which is a charity itself, have all allegedly made referrals to a volunteer centre without prior contact with the centre

    I recognise my pimp in there; anyone else? These people are fucking pieces of work. They want to milk the taxpayer while creating nothing, certainly not jobs, and palm the real work off onto voluntary organisations. Truly, these parasites are the scum of the earth.

  83. Jack Cade says:

    How the fuck does the DWP square this:

    Firstly the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has a duty to those people receiving benefit to ensure they are not being treated as cheap, or free labour by employers. Secondly, DWP has a duty to taxpayers to ensure that it is not paying benefits to those who should be receiving payment for work they are undertaking.

    ..with the 6-month work placements (as council cleaners, replacing paid cleaners) that Ingeus is planning, as linked to by @gissajob yesterday? (Thanks for that snippet, by the way @jayne).

    • gissajob says:

      Beats the shit out of me me, my friend.
      Still this is all a drop in the ocean compared with what is about to start in some selected areas (what did we do to deserve this?) under the CAP. Just in case you missed it – it’s 30 hours per week of mandated unpaid work (chaingang here we come) plus 10 hours per week of mandated jobsearch – guess that will be tramping around knocking on doors saying “gissajob” or else queing for Ack4enemma’s only working PC. Single mothers and over 50s not excluded (could be a big childcare bill in there for someone?).
      Provider Guidance here;
      http://www.dwp.gov.uk/supplying-dwp/what-we-buy/welfare-to-work-services/provider-guidance/community-action-programme.shtml
      The areas chosen for imminent trailblazing are: Derbyshire; Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland; East Anglia; and Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.
      Before you relax the plan is to roll this out nationally by 2013 (Whether or not traiblazing successful?)
      Existing pimps seem to have been given contracts without any bidding process (Ingeus and Ack4enemma rubbing their paws in delight). I expect to be mandated asap.
      Good news and I quote from DWP Provider Guidance Chapter 2 para 2 Claimant eligibility “claimants will not be able to volunteer to participate in the trailblazer.” (!!!!) Good to see that they have a sense of humour.
      Came across legal argument (seems very learned) that Work for Benefit is illegal
      http://www.boycottworkfare.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/workfareillegal.pdf
      Don’t know who author is (Michael Petek) but surely some of these arguments should be used against the CAP?

      • Jack Cade says:

        As grim as it sounds, let’s see if these incompetent fuckers can actually implement it. Even the pimps are laying people off (Working links, 650 this year alone). The fact that (as per Patrick Butler’s Grauniad piece the other day) the pimps are shifting their ‘training’ responsibilities (CV courses and the rest of it) to charitable organisations without telling said organisations that the clients are referrals from pimps, speaks volumes: the financials are starting to worry the fuck out of them.

        I read somewhere that the pimps bids were something like 40% lower than the real estimated cost of delivery. You can’t kid the maths or try some PR bullshit on equations; the numbers will come back and bite you on the arse. How are the pimps going to make the numbers work? They’re going to have to cut costs by a huge amount. That means losing staff, first off.

        They hope they can replace them with ‘volunteers’ but that won’t fly: the ‘volunteers’ are quickly copping on to their racket (i.e. volunteers do the work, the pimps get the pay).

        And where does that leave all the ‘mandated activities’? Who, exactly, is going to monitor these ‘activities’? They won’t have the staff; ‘volunteers won’t do it; that leaves…who?

        JC+? Oh, yeah…that’ll go down well with JC+ staff.

        Nah..this whole thing has the air of a gigantic edifice teetering on a precipice: a little shove, and the whole lot comes down.

        In the meantime, we have to do what we can to help. Open dozens of throw-away email accounts and email dozens of messages a day, with 1 MB image attachments, to the pimps’ email addresses: clog their in-boxes. Just to be getting along with. Any suggestions for fucking them up are welcome.

        I wish I knew a really good hacker; I’d love to read these fucker’s internal e-mails/messages/memos. I have a feeling that the size of the shit-boulder rolling down the hill towards them is rapidly becoming apparent.

        ¡No pasarán!

        Jack

      • jayne says:

        Didnt labour want us to work for our benefits, did they ever trial this ? with being forced to do 30 hours then you have travelling time on top of that how do they expect us to do 10 hours job search and the travel to and from that too ? say the hours are 9-3 working and you have to do 2 hours a day at the providers its simply impossible, my provider premises shut at 4:45 so even if I was doing community work on their doorstep its not feasible. Have my 1st meeting with Serco tomorrow and have to leave at 11:30 to get there for 1:15. Isnt it about time they concentrated on promoting the uk for new businesses and jobs being prioritised for uk workers ? Why are we being punished because there are no uk jobs ? Even criminals dont do 40 + hours a week community service it gets more spread out, I think there will be a lot of people sanctioned and having to live on hardship, we shouldnt be forced to work alongside burgalars/muggers etc we the unemployed are paying the price for the lack of jobs in the uk if total unemployed and total uk job vacancies were a close number then fair enough.

        • jayne says:

          If in 2013 I am on the WP and CAP gets implemented think I would rather live on 60%of my money and spend my time searching for jobs like my jobseekers agreement says, If people are away from home 40+hours a week then how can you adhere to your js agreement like phoning or writing to so many employers a week ? Maybe new agreements will include I give my consent to be a slave for 6 months

  84. jayne says:

    Your welcome @ Jack

    For anyone wanting the info : When you are on the Direct Gov site looking for jobs scroll to the bottom click on ‘search for volunteer work’ then on the right hand side there is a link called Volunteer work and jobseekers allowance.

    I know if sent to do a placement it would probably end up being factory or shop work and not a charity where volunteers work for free, but surely the rules should apply as in theory you would be doing a paid job for nothing. If they have to introduce bouts of work for your benefit it should be 10 hour weeks not 30 hours, Im just talking about JSA here as a lot of people who work still claim housing benefit.

    At the bottom of the above mentioned page is :

    •If you are doing the same type of duties as someone who is paid for their time, an explanation of why you are not being paid.

    Bet they are not so interested in explanations when sent for slave labour from the WP.

  85. Ragged Trouser Philanthropist says:

    They worked in silence for some time, and then Owen said:

    `At the present time there are thousands of people so badly off that, compared with them, WE are RICH. Their sufferings are so great that compared with them, we may be said to be living in luxury. You know that, don’t you?’

    `Yes, that’s true enough, mate. We really ought to be very thankful: we ought to consider ourselves lucky to ‘ave a inside job like this when there’s such a lot of chaps walkin’ about doin’ nothing.’

    `Yes,’ said Owen: `we’re lucky! Although we’re in a condition of abject, miserable poverty we must consider ourselves lucky that we’re not actually starving.’

    Owen was painting the door; Easton was doing the skirting. This work caused no noise, so they were able to converse without difficulty.

    `Do you think it’s right for us to tamely make up our minds to live for the rest of our lives under such conditions as that?’

    `No; certainly not,’ replied Easton; `but things are sure to get better presently. Trade hasn’t always been as bad as it is now. Why, you can remember as well as I can a few years ago there was so much work that we was putting in fourteen and sixteen hours a day. I used to be so done up by the end of the week that I used to stay in bed nearly all day on Sunday.’

    `But don’t you think it’s worth while trying to find out whether it’s possible to so arrange things that we may be able to live like civilized human beings without being alternately worked to death or starved?’

    `I don’t see how we’re goin’ to alter things,’ answered Easton. `At the present time, from what I hear, work is scarce everywhere. WE can’t MAKE work, can we?’

    `Do you think, then, that the affairs of the world are something like the wind or the weather – altogether beyond our control? And that if they’re bad we can do nothing but just sit down and wait for them to get better?’

    `Well, I don’t see ‘ow we can odds it. If the people wot’s got the money won’t spend it, the likes of me and you can’t make ’em, can we?’

    Owen looked curiously at Easton.

    `I suppose you’re about twenty-six now,’ he said. `That means that you have about another thirty years to live. Of course, if you had proper food and clothes and hadn’t to work more than a reasonable number of hours every day, there is no natural reason why you should not live for another fifty or sixty years: but we’ll say thirty. Do you mean to say that you are able to contemplate with indifference the prospect of living for another thirty years under such conditions as those we endure at present?’

    Easton made no reply.

    `If you were to commit some serious breach of the law, and were sentenced next week to ten years’ penal servitude, you’d probably think your fate a very pitiable one: yet you appear to submit quite cheerfully to this other sentence, which is – that you shall die a premature death after you have done another thirty years’ hard labour.’

    Easton continued painting the skirting.

    `When there’s no work,’ Owen went on, taking another dip of paint as he spoke and starting on one of the lower panels of the door, `when there’s no work, you will either starve or get into debt. When – as at present – there is a little work, you will live in a state of semi-starvation. When times are what you call “good”, you will work for twelve or fourteen hours a day and – if you’re VERY lucky – occasionally all night. The extra money you then earn will go to pay your debts so that you may be able to get credit again when there’s no work.’

    Easton put some putty in a crack in the skirting.

    `In consequence of living in this manner, you will die at least twenty years sooner than is natural, or, should you have an unusually strong constitution and live after you cease to be able to work, you will be put into a kind of jail and treated like a criminal for the remainder of your life.’

    Having faced up the cracks, Easton resumed the painting of the skirting.

    `If it were proposed to make a law that all working men and women were to be put to death – smothered, or hung, or poisoned, or put into a lethal chamber – as soon as they reached the age of fifty years, there is not the slightest doubt that you would join in the uproar of protest that would ensue. Yet you submit tamely to have your life shortened by slow starvation, overwork, lack of proper boots and clothing, and though having often to turn out and go to work when you are so ill that you ought to be in bed receiving medical care.’

    Easton made no reply: he knew that all this was true, but he was not without a large share of the false pride which prompts us to hide our poverty and to pretend that we are much better off than we really are. He was at that moment wearing the pair of second-hand boots that Ruth had bought for him, but he had told Harlow – who had passed some remark about them – that he had had them for years, wearing them only for best. He felt very resentful as he listened to the other’s talk, and Owen perceived it, but nevertheless he continued:

    `Unless the present system is altered, that is all we have to look forward to; and yet you’re one of the upholders of the present system – you help to perpetuate it!’

    `’Ow do I help to perpetuate it?’ demanded Easton.

    `By not trying to find out how to end it – by not helping those who are trying to bring a better state of things into existence. Even if you are indifferent to your own fate – as you seem to be – you have no right to be indifferent to that of the child for whose existence in this world you are responsible. Every man who is not helping to bring about a better state of affairs for the future is helping to perpetuate the present misery, and is therefore the enemy of his own children. There is no such thing as being natural: we must either help or hinder.’

    • Jack Cade says:

      Great quote from a great book (although I’m pretty sure that Tressell meant for that ‘natural’ in the last sentence to be ‘neutral’).

      The whole system is rotten from top to bottom and it’s up to us, the people, to change it. Depending on scumbag politicians, every one of them bought and paid for by special interests, to institute real change is a fool’s errand.

      In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
      As modest stillness and humility:
      But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
      Then imitate the action of the tiger;
      Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
      Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;
      Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;

      The days of rage are coming. Let’s not waste them.

      • OCR says:

        Yes Jack, it seems like Optical Character Recognition process has introduced a few typos.

      • SmithnBloggs says:

        ‘Rise like Lions after slumber
        In unvanquishable number –
        Shake your chains to earth like dew
        Which in sleep had fallen on you –
        Ye are many – they are few.’

        Percy Bysshe Shelley

  86. Ahhh…OCR, them were the days. :)

    Welcome to “The Brave New World” of all powerful, all encompassing, omnipresent Corporate Recognition Systems:-

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=KMWAHruBFo0C&printsec=frontcover&dq=Ragged+Trousered&hl=en&ei=Q52-TsOqHMGl8QOS68iJBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDwQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Come on…”You love it you slags” :)

  87. Jack Cade says:

    Just in case you had any questions about what ‘the NHS is safe in our hands’ actually means when spoken by Tory scum:

    The first private company to take over an NHS hospital has admitted in a document seen by the Observer that patient care could suffer under its plans to expand its empire and seek profit from the health service.

    Circle Health is already feeling a strain on resources due to its aggressive business strategy, the document reveals, and the firm’s ambition to further expand into the NHS “could affect its ability to provide a consistent level of service to its patients”, it says.

    The company, run by a former Goldman Sachs banker, was awarded management of Hinchingbrooke hospital in Cambridgeshire last week in a ground-breaking move lauded by ministers as a “good deal for patients and staff”. — The Observer, today

    Fabulous…our Health Service is to be run by ‘… a former Goldman Sachs banker…’. What could possibly go wrong?

    War has been declared; don’t kid yourselves or comfort yourselves with some absurd fantasy–‘Ed MilliVanilliBand and Labour will fight for us!’. No. They fucking won’t. They’re the same neo-liberal scum as the Tories and the Lib Dems.

    They are the enemy. It was Labour and the vile James Purnell who suggested the ‘Workfare’ scheme in the first place (it was also the scumbag Purnell, who’s never done a lick of honest work in his fucking life, who wanted ‘crisis loans’ to be charged at 17.5% interest).

    Fight or resign yourself and your children to serfdom. Those are the options. We can start by sabotaging the Work Program in any way we can. We know it’s going to fail; we have to ensure that it fails abjectly and that there’s no bail out. And that’s just for starters.

    • wishface says:

      What gets me is that the tories will defend this by saying it was Labour that introduced this (which is true, not that it escuses the tories an iota), but they will in the same breath blame labour. They’ve done this for the past 18 months, especially on welfare. They’ve taken credit for all the welfare reforms that labour introduced while blaming the fictional bogeyman of ‘something for nothing’ on them as well.
      No top down reforms of the NHS eh?
      Scum, utter scum.

  88. Jack Cade says:

    Very interesting (and amusing) post from @SmithnBloggs further upthread at Nov. 10, 1.02 PM. I only just discovered it in the ‘spam trap’. Well worth reading. Quick link HERE. Good for you, @SmithnBloggs: give ’em hell.

  89. Bernard says:

    Hello guys,

    I had my first WP interview on Friday. From what I had read on this website, I was expecting a one-on-one interview with an advisor, on the allotted appointment time. However, when I arrived, I was told it would be a group session. I was directed to a room with a large table, a number of chairs, and three stacks of paper.

    I sat there waiting, whilst the room filled up glum looking new WP inmates. The WP advisor then gave us the usual dribble on how he believed the WP would be a success, and how it was a step up from ND and FND.

    He then handed us each a copy of the customer contact form, I took a long look at it, but it seemed harmless, so I filled it in. He then handed us a copy of the travel reimbursement form, which I also filled in. The final stack of paper was the data waiver form, thanks to this site and WP.org, I was well aware of this piece of filth, he handed us all a copy, stating this would allow them to help us get onto courses and find jobs, understating the importance of it. I had a long look at mine, and then told the advisor I would not be signing it, the other inmates seemed a little confused to why I was not signing this helpful form, I told them it was not mandatory, and that I wouldn’t be signing it for that reason alone. A few others who were about to sign the form, followed my lead and didn’t sign it. The advisor’s grin slowly shrivelled, he had a look of bemusement on his face, but he powerless to do anything.

    I was then given my next appointment in two weeks time, and left the inmate rehabilitation centre.

  90. Nice one Bernard. :)

    My own provider keeps us seperated as much as possible. I have to talk to people outside. Unfortunatly most have already meakly signed. No questions asked.

    I wish ours were group sessions. They haven’t got the room though and I think they only have the two ball point pens anyway!

  91. Mr No says:

    Divide and conquer. United we stand, divided we fall. Etc.

    That’s why the group sessions are diminishing. Possibly?

    Though we can still inform our fellow inmates of the right to withdraw their consent. And inform them correctly of how will not affect their benefit. And how it makes the pimps job more difficult.
    I will be talking to as many people who are willing to listen as I can.

    I had a very similar experince to Bernard above at my FND group induction. After i enquired about ‘Info shared with third parties’ only one other said they will be taking their forms home too for perusal. The look the ‘adviser’ gave me was pretty stern. They tried to sneak the data waiver into the same tickbox form that confirms that the fire exits were shown, complaints procedure explained etc. Crafty!

    Another issue i also wrangled with them about was the invasive psychological assessment they want you to do, got threatened and after a few weeks relented. They want this done on the computer now I gather. Hmmm? I just put the middle option ‘Neither agree nor disagree’ to every question. Told them i was doing it against my will. It came out at 50/50 as you might expect and because of this concoction of profiling questions alone I was deemed as “Needing help in all areas”. I’m job ready, oops, no I’m not!

    This may be of a concern. What info are they requesting with these online ‘induction’ programmes nowadays on WP? They get you on this PC straight away? I expect the high pressure sales tactics to be present, trying to keep one off balance. Quick, quick, quick, let’s go, the hard sell, get them signing. This form that form, threaten, threaten, bully. And repeat.
    They think that you will just keep complying with the “Next’ button on a screen. Then when finished you have to press “Submit’. Or switch the PC off, so it loses your details after you have seen most of what is presented to you on the screen. There’s a sanction doubt right there.
    But you have to do it they’ll say, Really? Do I have to involve myself in their online ‘cloud’ type stuff requiring email and a log in? I don’t do social networking, the odd forum and blogs like these yes, but I’m not on Farcebook or Twatter. I do not wish to be sold on their silly versions of such. Should they even be up and running. Upload my CV and details. Erm? No. I’m the data controller, mate.

    i’ll stop there i think, Too much typing and possibly ranting a little now.

    Just some thoughts.

    Cheers.

    • I think that “invasive psychological assessment” you mention will pale into insignificance when psy-ops Newcastle Collage Group start with their scum reprograming initiative:-

      2 days to continuous assessment leading too, unique Psychological Intervention, Our INfit programme, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy,Neuro Linguistic Programming.

      Designed by a psychologist but delivered by a team of tutors. (So that will be done responsibly and well then)

      If that doesn’t help reduce you to a compliant sniveling wreck, they get the electrodes out.

      http://tinyurl.com/cc2njsx

  92. jayne says:

    Had my induction with Serco today, arrived early by nearly half an hour, called to a room at 1:15 was there till about 3:30. A guy gave a presentation about what to expect etc. Was given form after form 4 in total about how job ready you feel, job goals, your dream job etc, didnt sign the waiver, didnt say on mine it was not mandatory but did state if you declined to sign it wouldnt affect your participation in the programme etc. Noone checked these forms before we left so I am sure I will be pulled up on it at my next app. Did a Groper Careers Interests profiler online which determines possible careers and interests, took about 20 mins, my result was a rainbow trout lol, has anyone else done one of these ? Next app next Wed same day I sign so not so bad then it should be fortnightly and also jobsearch gets introduced which is now 1.5 hours and not 2.

    • gissajob says:

      Hi Jayne, The pimps want to “enrol” as many as possible on the £400/£600 rate before it gets cut to 75% next April. Hence the prerogative at the moment is to get as many signed up as possible and get the claims in to the DWP and job searches etc, take very much a back seat.
      This will change as the payment emphasis shifts from payment for new entrants to outcome payments.
      The wording on the waiver should conform exactly to that given in the DWP guidance . No excuses for anything less. It is noticeable that some pimps are trying to sneak the waiver agreement in surreptic. Typically including it with a load of other forms for signature and/or including the wording giving permission as a clause (half way down the page) on an otherwise innocuous agreement. e.g. A4enemma’s agreement form. Watch out these bastards are sneaky.

      • jayne says:

        Hi Gissajob

        Yes I was expecting them to be sneaky as before we had even finished one form they were putting the next one in front of you probably hoping you would rusg through the forms and not bother to read the page if it just asked for a date and signature they prob also assumed people wanted to fill in the forms asap and get out of there. But I was prepared and read all through the data protection page and left the print name signature and date clear. In the visual presentation he was talking about data protection and said we will always ask consent before approaching an employer I know I signed it on FND and always had a phone call to ask if they could pass on my details to be accepted to attend an open day etc with an employer. Serco guy also said their target for this month is 90 job outcomes and they have reached their target every month since July and it had been raised every month. He said the WP is highly successful

    • gissajob says:

      Well Jayne this is what I mean by sneaky!. The data waiver form seems to restrict the sharing of information to that required for them to claim payment whilst you are on or after you have been on the WP. The other Checklist form is very sneaky in that in the declaration it includes the words “I consent to my information being shared with the European Social Fund for publicity purposes and government departments, agencies and other organisations in order to secure training, job interviews and employment for myself.” NOTE the “other organisations”! This would include anybody they wanted to spam with your CV.
      I think this this approach is definitely against (at least) the spirit of the DWP guidelines , and may be worthy of a complaint to the DWP.From memory A4enemma’s form was similar (I haven’t signed it yet) – if I do i will first delete the offending permission phrase.

  93. jayne says:

    I didnt sign either form, if my advisor goes through the form on Wednesday I will say I will sign to say all above topics were covered in the welcome meeting but I do not give my consent for my info to be shared. Hope they will accept this, being as you do not have to sign the waiver form or you can retract your permission at any time I hope I wont be bombarded with questions as to why I dont want my info shared that could lead to an interview etc. I contacted Serco online to query who the other organisations and government depts are, will post on here if I get any useful info back. How do I raise this with the DWP is there a complaints address ?

    • gissajob says:

      I don’t know of a specific DWP address for complaints. I think what I would do is take a letter to my next signing on at the JC and give it to them. In the back of the JC leaflet “Our Service Standards” there is a form for use in making a complaint. Fill out the form and say that the attached letter gives details of your complaint.
      Incidentally according to the model contract (http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/dwp-model-tc-for-services.pdf) the pimp has to give the DWP details of any complaint relating to the Data Protection Act:
      “h) notify the Authority (within……. Working Days) if it receives;
      i) a request from a Data Subject to have access to that Person’s Personal Data; or
      ii) a complaint or request relating to the Authority’s obligations under the DPA;” Wonder if they do?

      So I would head up your letter “Complaint under the Data Protection Act” and say something like:
      Dear DWP,
      As you know a customer’s informed consent is required before a provider can release personal data to any other party not within the Work Programme supply chain. To this end the DWP have specified in their Guidance Notes to Providers a wording to be used when a customer waives the right to confidentiality under the Data Protection Act 1998. Serco’s “consent to Share Information “ form appears to conform to the DWP’s guidelines. However Serco also require their WP customers to sign a declaration at the end of their “Welcome Session Checklist” form. The declaration includes the wording “I consent to my information being shared with the European Social Fund for publicity purposes and government departments, agencies and other organisations in order to secure training, job interviews and employment for myself.” By aggregating this “permission” wording with other less onerous statements e.g. “I confirm that my Welcome Session has covered the subjects listed above.” and requiring only one signature Serco are in breach of the DWP’s guidelines. For example with such abstruse wording on the checklist declaration it is perfectly probable that a customer’s desire not to waive his rights under the Data Protection Act will be frustrated by signing a checklist declaration. This is clearly unsatisfactory and in breach of your guidelines. I request that you enforce your guidelines by whatever means you deem necessary including:
      1. Mandate Serco to stop using the existing Checklist wording
      2. Mandate Serco to contact all customers who have signed the existing checklist wording to inform them of their rights to have the permission given withdrawn.
      3. Mandate Serco not to act on the wrongly obtained permission until such time as a correct procedure has been followed.

      Yours etc.

      That may put the cat amongst the pigeons

      • jayne says:

        Thanks Gissajob for your excellent letter example. I will get one of them leaflets when I sign on Wednesday and write my letter of complaint to the job centre I sign at. No doubt it will be mentioned on Wed at my provider app, I agree with you its sneaky, that checklist for the welcome meeting should of been on a seperate sheet and the consent to share info piece should of been included with the data waiver. I await my response from Serco to see what they have to say, Anyone who has been conned in this way and didnt read this form properly and just thought they were signing for the checklist of the welcome meeting I urge to write to your provider and say you withdraw your consent for any information to be shared or ask if you can amend the form when you are there as it should be within your personal folder.

        • jayne says:

          Update : My query has been passed onto Quality Assurance Managers.

          • gissajob says:

            OK let us know what they come back with (if they do come back). Bet “other organisations” includes potetial employers.

            • jayne says:

              Update:

              There are 2 consent forms that feature as part of the Work Programme start up process. One of which enables Work Programme providers and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to contact employers to confirm details of your employment. To comply with Data Protection legislation Work Programme providers need to ensure they have the participant’s written, informed consent allowing DWP to contact their employer/s directly. Providers need to explain to the participant why their permission is being sought and inform them that they themselves may be contacted to confirm details of their employment. You are not obligated to provide this consent should you not choose not to do so.

              The paragraph in the welcome session covers sharing of information in relation to the European Social Funding (ESF) Publicity requirements. As the Work Programme is part funded by ESF there is a requirement to publicise this, and some claimants may feature in marketing or promotional material providing they have provided consent (claimants will be contacted prior to any material going to press). In addition, this section covers the sharing of information with Government Departments (the DWP), Government Agencies (Jobcentre Plus), and other agencies – this may include subcontractors who we have a contractual relationship with as part of the Work Programme. Furthermore, should a claimant wish to undertake training or engage in work experience then there would be a requirement to share information with the relevant providers/employers at that point.

              Under legislation the DWP is able to disclose information relating to social security and employment and training to persons providing services to DWP for use for those purposes, under section 3 of the Social Security Act 1998. This could include personal information about claimants who have been referred to a service provider for the purposes of the Work Programme. Welfare to work providers are carrying out work on behalf of DWP and require access to individuals’ personal data and information held by DWP to be able to provide the required services. In this situation, DWP remains the data controller and the provider acts as the data processor as defined by the Data Protection Act; therefore there is no breach of the principles of the Data Protection Act as DWP remains the data controller.

              Under section 3 of the Social Security Act 1988 as part of the delivery of Work Programme we are able to share your information with the DWP, JCP and contracted agents engaged in delivery of the Work Programme. We would not seek to share your information with any additional third parties including employers/training providers without requesting written permission from you first.

              Seems they dont need your consent anyway. but why ask for it if it comes under section 3 anyway ? Important bit at the end that they need your written consent and cant just pass your details onto any employers. Advice needed shall I still complain to the DWP or now I have it in writing so to speak they cant just send my cv to employers etc shall I wait and see if they breach this ?

            • gissajob says:

              hi Jayne re your update – there’s a lot of newspeak doubletalk here! They say “We would not seek to share your information with any additional third parties including employers/training providers without requesting written permission from you first.”. Isn’t this exactly what they are doing when they ask us to sign the declaration (i.e. give our written permission to contact other organisations)?
              As you point out “Seems they dont need your consent anyway. but why ask for it if it comes under section 3 anyway ?” Well if our consent isn’t needed to contact just about anybody except potential employers why make such a big deal about getting our consent? Their argument does not make sense. The publicity stuff is rubbish – what chance of you agreeing to be used to publicise Serco’s services ??? (and even if you did they say they would get your prior written consent – so why ask for it now?)
              I would press ahead regardless with the complaint along the lines of the letter and see what the DWP say.
              Good Luck and let us know what you do and what happens.

  94. Mr No says:

    @gissajob – Yeah, I noticed that too. Crafty! I shall be most thoroughly examining all literature they expect me to sign. Negotiating the removal of any such offending lines in these basic agreements might make for an interesting response. Otherwise it’s not to be signed.
    This is exactly how my pimp on fnd sneaked it in. On a seemingly innocent checklist. Or tried to! I didn’t sign it

    What part of refusal of consent do they not comprehend? Does one document (in their estimation?) modify the other? I wouldn’t have thought so.
    The dwp statement regarding it being your right to refuse such without penalty should still apply to both. The pimps might try and argue a case, but at best it would be a weak one.
    Perhaps the dwp statement should be on both of these forms. Interesting.
    Would they claim that because they are using the ESF in this example that somehow it is exempt? It’s all down to the subtle use of language. It’s the same thing, but just worded a little differently.
    But different in how it mentions “publicity requirements” in the checklist and “publicity purposes” in the declaration. Tricky. Maybe i am reading too much into it? I might have to think further and come back to this. Refusal to sign pending independent clarification shouldn’t trigger a sanction doubt. And there is the issue of all the pimps having their own versions of all these poxy forms.

    I would insist on it’s removal before signing any form they have sneaked it onto. And insist on a photocopy of any modified ‘agreement’ you have signed (called a ‘welcome session checklist’ in jaynes example) for ones records.
    I cannot see them rolling over to print out their cleverly worked out forms minus the bits we don’t like. Even if they are trying it on and know it. Is it legally valid to put lines through such with a permanent marker pen? And make them swallow it? The editing of their document, not the pen! However tempting.
    .
    I hope that is not too incoherent. Thoughts translating into typed words can inspire me to ramble on a bit sometimes. Which isn’t always helpful.

    Thanks to jayne for the link and info.

    • gissajob says:

      Hi Mr. No
      ” Is it legally valid to put lines through such with a permanent marker pen?” yes – initial the alteration.
      “Make them swallow it” – they have no choice.
      I would also complain along the lines of example letter. The more we complain the better.. I didn’t sign the a4enemma’s agreement and don’t have their wording but I,m sure a similar trick has been tried. When I queried it at my “welcome Aboard!” the girl couldn’t wait to call in the Team Leader and somehow the agreement never got signed! I will ask for a copy at my nexgt meeting and if it contains any offrnding wording I will complain to the DWP via the Jobcentre.

      • agnes fairchilds says:

        Don’t know about legal but one of the forms at the induction I attended (CDG/Maximus) had a list of things that you’d agreed to, one was that they could contact employers and another was that they could contact your GP, I put a NO against these two. Did this with the ‘advisor’ well aware of what I had done, he said nothing which was out of character compared to his induction spiel which was v v aggressive and insidiously threatening of sanctions if you weren’t a forelock tugging peasant. With one word repeated back to him from his spiel, during his spiel, (it was ‘excuses’), he apologised for his use of language. I have had no comeback as of yet.

  95. agnes fairchilds says:
  96. agnes fairchilds says:

    Patrick Butler over at the Guardian is worth a read if anyone’s missed this.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/patrick-butler-cuts-blog/2011/nov/16/do-public-spending-cuts-kill?INTCMP=SRCH

  97. agnes fairchilds says:

    Who knew there was a one week cooling off period re work experience though possibly not if it’s mandatory work experience.
    ‘The Department for Work and Pensions says that if jobseekers “express an interest” in an offer of work experience they must continue to work without pay, after a one-week cooling-off period, or face having their benefits docked.’

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/nov/16/young-jobseekers-work-pay-unemployment?intcmp=122

  98. SmithnBloggs says:

    At my appointment last week my regular JC who I had when I was on FND (bit of a coincidence I know) and is quite friendly said to me that her Aunt knew someone who works for this TV production company and asked me to email my cv to her (my JC) and she would forward it onto him. She couldn’t remember his name and I don’t know whether she would be passing it onto him via her Aunt or whether she was going to get his email address from her and then forward it on directly. I have already refused to email the provider a copy of my cv and reminded them that it is illegal to apply/send my cv without my prior consent and I’m wondering whether this is a trick to get round my refusal so that they can spam my cv to whoever they want. She may believe that because we got on fine whilst I was on FND and I am friendly with her at present that I trust her. I obviously do not trust the white collar criminal gang that employs her nor do I trust the old “we’re here to help you find the job that suits you” bullshit line that she says in one breath and in the next asks me what else I am looking for if there are no opportunities in the area I am qualified in. I can understand the concept of being flexible but I find the link between sound and lighting engineer where I specialize and driver which is what she is trying to cajole me into applying for a rather tenuous link, not to mention outrageously offensive to my intelligence. Am I right in refusing to email my cv to her and instead requesting her to get the name/details of this person her Aunt knows and emailing it to him myself with a covering letter perhaps from my JC or her Aunt explaining the connection or am I being too confrontational too soon again, it’s just that it does seem a little unorthodox the way she is going about it and at the end of the day her paymasters are the white collar criminals and there is no doubt as to where her loyalties are or indeed is her knowledge of the ‘timeshare style scam of the 90’s’ company she works for and their all consuming finance driven agenda. Any suggestions as to how I should play this one would be much appreciated.

    Thanks guys!

    • Pie in the Sky says:

      Steady on, SmithnBloggs: you have already refused to email the pimp a copy of your CV and refused and refused to sign the data protection act data sharing waiver form and now lo and behold this “dream job” materialised out of know where. So you email the pimp a copy of your CV – got what they want! Then you know what will happen next. Well, I will tell you for nothing – the pimp will say that someone or says you are the ideal candidate; just one little thing – they cannot apply until you sign the data sharing waiver – gotcha. Then the “job” will just dissapear in a cloud of smoke. This is the way it is likely to play out. You wont be able to withdraw your CV, but you can still go the messy withdrawal of consent procedure – better not to have sign in the first place, SmithnBloggs. I wouldn’t throw the “dream job” out with the welfare-to-workfare , do as gissajobs says and ask her for more information – detailed information – any vague, wishy-washy nonsense will tell you she is lieing. I am almost as certain as certain can be that you are being set-up here. Time to think straight. But, as Jack says, maybe this whole welfare-to-workfare business is making us paranoid.

  99. gissajob says:

    OK Smithnbloggs
    Let’s think about this. I think you should take her up on her offer at face value. Who knows it might lead to something and it would be better going through her auspices rather than coming “out of the blue”. If it is some sort of trick then your refusal to sign the waiver still stands good and you still haven’t given them permission to spam your details. If it doesn’t work out and it turns out to be a trick you can always write a rescind permission letter to restore the status quo.

    • SmithnBloggs says:

      Thanks gissajob, I do need to be reminded now and again that some of these frontline provider staff may actually have good intentions and genuinely want to help. I actually think from some of the other accounts I’ve read about peoples experiences with their providers, that Avanta could be one of the better ones. Saying that though, if I do secure a job in TV, behind the scenes or not, I will use the connections I make to highlight this ‘serious white collar crime’ that the DWP and these outside private companies are involved in. Guess my career won’t last long if I don’t adhere to the ‘state sponsored’ so called independant broadcasting regulations tho eh? :)

      • Roland the Rat says:

        How likely is it that this “adviser”‘s aunt know someone in a TV production company? I am not saying this is a trick but this is a known provider ruse, even going as far as a member of staff giving a “presentation” saying that everyone has a guaranteed job in the offing on say a cruise-ship or maybe even as a TV presenter – but that would be pushing it a bit. Of course not jobs exist and it is all one bit trick to get their victims to “open up” or whatever.

        I would be inclined to press for the direct route of contacting this “potential employer”; I sense you are giving ground, obviously because you think there maybe “something in for you”, and this provider will sense this too – you are trying to rationalise and self-justify: “Well, they can’t be all bad”. I would be very, very careful. Remember: These cunts are NOT your friends! They are SCUM!

        • Roland the Rat says:

          I maybe wrong, but my gut feeling is that this is total BS, as I say I could be wrong.

          • gissajob says:

            OK Roland you may be right., or this whole nasty WP business might be making us all paranoid. I just feel there is nothing to lose since any permission given would relate only to the specific job opportunity (no matter how tenuous) and permission can be withdrawn at any time.

        • wishface says:

          I would say, also, express interest (a good thing, as it looks like you’re playing the game) and ask insead for a direct contact number so you can call this person. You then take charge of the situation and put them on the backfoot.

          • Pie in the Sky says:

            Agree wishface, I would express lots and lots of interest. But hey, look the pimp can’t even remember the mysterious “contact”s name at the production company. It is always worth bearing in mind that the pimp’s objective is to farm their victims out as slave labour. And to do this they need two vital things: your consent to them sharing your data with every Tom, Dick and Harriet and you giving them a copy of your CV. And they will try every trick in the book to obtain them. Do you really want to throw all your protections always and risk driving a van for tuppence h’penny an hour for the “chance” of your “dream job”? Think about it, SmithnBloggs!

  100. Jack Cade says:

    On the whole, I’d have to agree with Roland–ask for the contact details and tell them you’ll do any applying yourself; then again, as @gissa says, where’s the harm?

    If you give her permission to forward your details, that permission is only valid for that particular instance. In a way, it’s actually kind of a useful test: if it turns out she’s put you up for some completely unrelated bullshit job, then you’ll know she can’t be trusted, ever. If it’s a genuine deal, well…who knows, something might come of it.. Good luck, anyway.

  101. Jack Cade says:

    By the way, there was a comical photo the other day in The Grauniad, illustrating the govt.’s ‘apprenticeship’ program and how the ‘over-50s’ were taking ‘advantage’ of it.

    It showed some old dear, half way up a step ladder at B & Q, handing a box to a customer.

    Fabulous! Now Gladys (or it may be Ethel) can finagle these new skills (stepladder-climbing; box-handing) into a meaningful job (instead of helping to fiddle the unemployment figures by being an ‘apprentice’ and providing B & Q with cheap, tax-payer subsidised labour).

    Unemployment at a 19 year high. Isn’t it odd how there always appears to be an outbreak of ‘laziness’ whenever a Tory govt. comes to power?

  102. SmithnBloggs says:

    Thanks guys, I do realise it is a tricky one to give advice for as it’s more about the individual JC’s personal agenda and whether her intentions are genuine or not which none of us can be certain of as yet and even though she was my advisor whilst I was on FND, her targets may possibly be different as will her powers of freedom to be creative as to how she hits those targets Legally ‘gissajob’ is right as far as my consent being given for that individual opportunity only and also reminding us to keep a check on that paranoia.

    On the other hand I do obviously like ‘Roland the Rats’ take no prisoners and don’t compromise cos they all piss in the same pot attitude but as ‘Jack Cade’ has pointed out though, it is indeed a good opportunity to assess whether she is snide or not. I have an appointment there today at 13.30 to talk to someone about going self employed. I have no intentions, desire nor realistic chance of economically being able to afford that but my JC has pointed out that it can’t do any harm to learn about what benefits and help there may be on offer and as one of her colleagues (the interim JC who’s nose I put out of joint the other week) pointed out that most people in my industry are self employed and went on to prove his point by printing off some ‘Info’ on the Adult Directions Online website.

    I will remind him that the last sound engineering job I did was for a company and request that he pays more attention to the real people that have real experience within that industry in future and not to believe everything he’s paid to believe in. So as you can see I am being swamped with help by the whole department with JC’s keen to help giving information, suggestions about other routes to go down etc. Whether they are desperately trying to justify there jobs and the work programme as a whole, have genuine intentions of wanting to help or perhaps playing the passive aggressive game only time will tell.

    So I think what I’m going to do is print off my cv and hand it in to her in person today whilst at the same time ask her for the name and the company of this person her ‘Aunt’ knows as I need to put that in my ES4JP as evidence of actively seeking work as this is also just a reminder for her about what rules and regulations I am bound by because these providers need to be reminded that they are not my paymasters and I have not signed anything with them concerning my eligibility for JSA.

    In fact the only document I have signed at Avanta is the ‘User Agreement’ and even on that I haven’t ticked all the boxes. Why haven’t I ticked all the boxes on that ‘User Agreement’ you may ask? Because I am making them work for every little tick in the box as I have to justify every day of existence and stay positive whilst at the same time being made to feel as though there greed n fuck ups are my fault.

    Cheers again guys and will keep you updated.

    • Pie in the Sky says:

      That’s a good one – you will need full details of the “vacancy” for your ES4JP. I wonder if she will ask you to email her a copy of your CV?

  103. Bernard says:

    Hello Guys,

    I have just had my second appointment with my WP provider. Without even greeting me, my advisor put the data waiver form I hadn’t signed from my appointment in front me, and asked why I hadn’t signed it. I told him that I had a long look at it and had decided that I would not be signing it, his facial expression swiftly shifted from fake enthusiasm to anger. He then started a long speech on how he would not be able to apply for jobs on my behalf if I didn’t sign the waiver, I told him that I was perfectly capable of applying to jobs on my own and had been doing so for a number of years, also telling him that signing the form was not mandatory, and that not signing it would not affect my place on the WP or my entitled to benefits. He knew he was out of his depth at this point and quickly shut up, they are nothing more than bullies, looking for weak targets to take advantage of. My appointment lasted around 20 minutes, and basically consisted of a job search, something which I do more thoroughly daily from home. All in all, a mildly amusing appointment, this buffoon trying to win a battle of wits with me, and failing miserably.

  104. jayne says:

    Hi Bernard, I think I will be in a similar position as you next Wednesday when I see my advisor for the 1st one to one app. I never signed the waiver form either. Even if I had not been prepared to stay well clear of it I would of had major concerns, on my form it mentioned the provider can be kept informed of your take home pay each week, I find this very intrusive, your personal wages from doing a weeks work should be personal and private.

    Further to my response from Serco I have asked for more info re why ask for consent to share info if as they say according to section 3 they have the right anyway, I also asked if signing this 1st form is that the written consent you mean to be able to spam my cv to potential employers etc. For people who may have been tricked into signing something similar I asked if this consent can be withdrawn the same as it can for the data waiver. Will report any further answers I get.

  105. Jack Cade says:

    I’m inclined to @Pie in the Sky’s attitude: these cunts are not our friends. The pimps don’t give a flying fuck what’s right or fitting or suitable for us; only what’s right for them. And what’s right for them is whatever makes them money. I think we need to grasp this fully and act on that basis.

    This is an adversarial relationship; they mean to profit by fucking us over in any way they can. Treat any action as enemy action. We have to develop and refine evasive manoeuvres and counter-manoeuvres, which is already happening and needs to continue and improve.

    The Grauniad story that @agnes links to tells the tale: the pimps send people on these absurd ‘work experience’ schemes, as if stacking shelves at Tesco is going to help you get a decent job. I mean, for fuck’s sake: what possible incentive does Tesco have to actually hire anyone when they know they can get slave labour from the pimps?

    But what’s worse, the pimps didn’t tell the poor saps that they had a week’s ‘cooling off’ period, during which they could change their minds about being slave labour and instead, told them that they’d be sanctioned if they refused. That’s what we’re up against.

    These people are scum.

  106. gissajob says:

    Good News! At last someone is taking on the slavemasters with a legal challenge to forced work. In this case it’s Mandatory Work Experience being challenged but I guess the same arguments apply equally to the new CAP
    http://www.publicinterestlawyers.co.uk/news_details.php?id=193

  107. Jack Cade says:

    That’s great, @gissa…let’s hope this is the start of a larger, nationwide backlash; excellent news nonetheless. Thanks for the link. I’ll be watching the progress of this one with interest.

    • gissajob says:

      I have sent them a brief message of support using their “contact” page from website. maybe we should all do the same?

      • SmithnBloggs says:

        Fantastic ‘gissajob’…. and yeah absolutely, I have just sent a brief message of support too and totally agree that we should all do the same.
        Well linked? :)

  108. fuckem says:

    Your a great bunch got so much ifo off here ,i am now just waiting for the pimps to send for me ,they are called intraining anyone with them?

    • gissajob says:

      @fuckem “Welcome aboard” Whoops expect a4Emenna’s got a copyright on the phrase. So she can sue me. Sorry not with intraining . Have been consigned (literally at £400) to A4enemma. We are just talking about the same sort of pimps here – just that some are more inefficient than others. Give us feedback re your experince.

  109. fuckem says:

    I was with A4e on the FND a load of twats ,again thanks to you lot i am ready for intraining i shall let you know how i get on .

  110. Jack Cade says:

    Welcome, @fuckem…don’t know ‘intraining’ but perhaps someone else will know of them. A quick bit of googling tells me that ‘intraining’ are part of: http://ncgrp.co.uk/
    The pimps vary in small ways but I think that overall, they’re the same parasitical scum whatever name they’re going by. Fuck ’em, indeed…do keep us informed about how you get on and what the pricks throw at you.

    Good idea, @gissa. I urge everyone to go to:

    http://www.publicinterestlawyers.co.uk/contactus.php

    …and send a message of support for their fight against slave labour.

  111. gissajob says:

    I’ve heard back from Jim Duffy (The PIL solicitor) re CAP he says:
    Thank you for your message of support. Yes – I think the same arguments could be made re CAP. At the moment we have not been approached by anyone wishing to challenge that, but it seems like there would be an arguable case.
    Regards
    ,
    Jim Duffy

    Solicitor

    Public Interest Lawyers

    Eight Hylton Street

    Birmingham

    UK

    W: http://www.publicinterestlawyers.co.uk

    T: +44 (0) 121 515 5069

    F: +44 (0) 121 515 5129
    Anybody been mandated on to the CAP here’s your chance to fight it – contact details above.

  112. gissajob says:

    more info:
    The trailblazers in Derbyshire; Lincolnshire, Rutland & Nottinghamshire; East Anglia; and Leicestershire & Northamptonshire, will identify around 16,000 eligible claimants (those who have completed FND). DWP will randomly allocate them to either

    ■the Community Action Programme
    ■Ongoing Case Management activity or
    ■the control group (normal JCP support).

    The allocation cannot be changed and participation is mandatory. The Ongoing Case Management offers increased adviser interventions, more frequent jobsearch reviews and interventions, and more proactive marketing of existing support eg Flexible Support Fund to improve the take up.
    So if you are in the CPA (contract package areas) mentioned above and you have “graduated” from FND look forward to some “Special Treatment” (as the Nazis would say). I expect to be one of the 16000 Guinea pigs. It’s just random which gas chamber you get sent to. Anyone allocated to CAP should contact Mr. Duffy asap.

    • wishface says:

      The Guardian have a massive article about workfare http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/nov/16/young-jobseekers-work-pay-unemployment?commentpage=last#end-of-comments

      I would say that if a WP provider ships someone off to Poundland or wherever they are not doing their job (they of course would argue otherwise). Grayling and co. have appeared in the media all week defending the WP by saying it’s targeted support blah blah blah for people into sustained work. If providers are passing the buck over to employers happy to receive slave labour then they cannot be doing what the politicians claim the WP is for or about.

      • tomthumb says:

        Here’s what Social Market Foundation have to say about the Work Programme leading to real jobs:

        Providers will also undershoot what the Government anticipates would have happened if no welfare to work scheme existed at all, suggesting that the Government’s analysis of this ‘policy-off’ scenario is over-optimistic;

        Yes, unbelievably, as they’re cutting the Health Service and pensioners fuel allowance, they pouring billions into Duncan Smith’s Work Programme, which will produce worse results than if it didn’t exist at all. Humpty-Duncan’s so worried, he’s banned providers from publishing stats.

        Of course, worse results for who? well, worse results for the taxpayer, whose paying for free labour for global companies; worse for the placement, who will earn £65 a week and be LESS likely to get a proper job than if they were going to Jobcentreplus; but definitely NOT worse for Tory funders, getting their free workers, and definitely not worse for Government’s wanting to discipline those with jobs into accepting crap, or else – Workfare!

        Yes, it all makes a perverted kind of sense in Toryland.

        Now we can compete with those totalitarian states for cheap labour. You know, those places our politicians used to tell us were immoral, vicious dictatorships because they enforced, erm… slave labour on their people.

  113. fuckem says:

    Hello just a few things I would like help with, when I was referred by the job centre on Thursday to intraining I asked the chap how often I would have to attend he said it could be every day or as little as once a month just wondered how everyone else was getting on with this. Also I have been working in the building trade since I left school 28 years up until 18 months ago when I fell out of work, so if they offer me a job at poundland and I turn it down saying I would rather wait for a job to come up in my trade is this then a reason for a sanction? One last thing when you don’t sign the waiver do the pimps sort of think this person knows what they are on about so be careful , or do they think right we are going to make things as hard as we can for them ,Thanks

    • Bernard says:

      Good answers from gissajob.

      My two cents would be:

      1. Attendance requirements vary from provider to provider, but most attendance at the moment are on a appointment basis, once a week, once a fortnight etc.

      2. They should be offering work and training tailored to your needs, qualifications, work history and job goals, that is what the work programme is allegedly about, tailored support. So if they try and shift onto some irrelevant training or work experience, remind them of the service they signed up to.

      3. I doubt they will spend too much time on the non data waivers signers, it is extremely unlikely that they will be able to obtain their job outcome bounties from the government of those who haven’t signed the waiver. From what I have seen most people sign the waiver without even reading it, or knowing what it even about, so the providers concentrate on getting these people into cleaning jobs, so to collect their fee.

      Hope this helps.

  114. gissajob says:

    Hi Fuckem (nice name)
    OK I assume we are talking Work Programme here. You ask:
    1. “I asked the chap how often I would have to attend he said it could be every day or as little as once a month”. Well which is is it? Ir’s not up to you to decide! Just keep the appointments they make for you. My feeling is that these will not be too frequent at the moment as they are concentrating on getting as many victims aboard as possible at £400/£600 a throw.
    2.”if they offer me a job at poundland and I turn it down saying I would rather wait for a job to come up in my trade is this then a reason for a sanction?” Well it should not be as you are entitled to look for a job which to you are suited by means of experience, training and education. Point this out to them. I would avoid the negative expression ” Wait for a job” and replace it with something more positive like “search for a job”.
    3. “One last thing when you don’t sign the waiver do the pimps sort of think this person knows what they are on about so be careful , or do they think right we are going to make things as hard as we can for them.” Good question! These people have targets to meet . If they spend too much time and effort making life difficult for the stroppy buggers they might get some satisfaction but are wasting their efforts when they could be “”picking the low hanging fruit”. By which I mean it’s better for their job security for them to go for the easier victims. When did you last see a wildlife documentary where the predator went for the most difficult and dangerous prey? A lion will always take the easiest and weakest from the herd – never one which could injure or kill him, go figure. I personally consider myself to be intellectually superior and vastly more experienced than just about anyone I have encountered the other side of the desk (though I have quite liked some of them!), I try to hold on to this thought when entering a new scenario (even though it’s a bit like playing away from home all the time). So far it has held me in good stead. I want them to know that I am potentially trouble and definitly unremunerative – that way they just might interfere with me as little as possible.
    Hope that helps – now go live up to your name!

  115. Bernard says:

    I have just heard on the news that the government wants to move the power of issuing sick notes from GPs to independent examiners. It looks like the government won’t rest till all the poor sick people die off, and the healthy ones are too demoralised to question anything they do.

    • wishface says:

      Insanity.
      Any GP supporting this really shouldn’t call themselves a GP.
      How can this even work? Sick notes are issued by GP#s as part of their normal practise: ie you turn up saying you’re ill, they look you over diagnose the problem and, if they feel you can’t work, sign you off. Having to then get an appointment at a completely different place (no doubt the local ATOS gulag) on top of this is going to be disastrous! What about home visits?
      What about accountability or a second opinion? How much will these cost?

  116. tomthumb says:

    The Tory War on The Poor has begun in earnest, Bernard:

    Unemployed people in west London have been warned they could lose their council homes unless they find jobs. Wandsworth Council is considering a policy that would mean people only got council homes if they were working. If they failed to stick to their side of the bargain they would face the prospect of losing the home, it said.

    Read the story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-15716304

  117. Michael says:

    Just curious, what happens if they find you drinking? I have to go to one of the pimps agency, I don’t want to give out the name, and I am drinking alcohol disguised in a normal looking bottle. Can they sanction you?

  118. Michael says:

    Well, I went in drunk and did not sign the consent form. The woman knew I did not have to sign it and she did not say anything to me. That maybe a good sign but they could be plotting something. I, now, will have to wait for that phone call and 1-on-1 interview. I am with A4E in London.

    • tomthumb says:

      I’d be careful about the drinking, Michael. I have a feeling they might say that drinking is an impediment to your finding work and then force you to go on some fucking ‘alcohol counselling’ scheme or you get sanctioned.

    • Gissajob says:

      Take care Michael! They will be itching to use you as an example to others. Well done for not signing the waiver. If they do attempt to raise a sanction doubt then I would argue that I should not be punished because of an illness This will leave you exposed to referral to other anti drink organisations but that is the price to pay for not being sanctioned.
      If you skate by this one I think you may like to gradually expose to your adviser that one of the barriers to work is a fondness for alcohol. Try not to trigger a referral to some other agency but just enough to make it clear that you are not “low hanging fruit” – i.e. will be difficult to place and not worth their efforts.
      Let us know what happens.

  119. Jack Cade says:

    Baroness Warsi is apparently keen to rebrand the Tory party as compassionate…obviously some kind of sick joke.

    Here are the latest beneficiaries of Tory compassion:

    Elaine Christian, aged 57
    http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/Woman-drowned-drain-upset-health-check/story-12927176-detail/story.html

    David Groves, aged 56
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/05/22/stress-of-tory-benefits-tests-killed-our-dad-family-claims-115875-23147158/

    Paul Willcoxson, aged 33
    http://www.thisishampshire.net/news/9095159.Jobseeker_took_own_life/

    Leanne Chambers, aged 30
    http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/north-east-news/evening-chronicle-news/2010/08/05/body-found-in-river-wear-is-leanne-chambers-72703-27003699/

    Paul Reekie, aged 48
    http://news.scotsman.com/arts/Author39s-suicide-39due-to-slash.6438473.jp

    Christelle Pardo, aged 32 and son
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/07/mother-suicide-welfare-state

    Suicide pact of couple, one with learning difficulties, forced to live on £57 a week and walk ten miles each week to the nearest foodbank.

    http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/2011/11/08/bedworth-suicide-pact-couple-found-lying-side-by-s

    INCAPACITY BENEFIT REFORM

    ISBN978-1-84387-342-6
    Centre for Regional Economic
    and Social Research

    The problem is that existing IB claimants, a high proportion of whom have been on incapacity benefits for many years, often stand little realistic chance of finding work. Their long period on benefits frequently disqualifies them in the eyes of employers, let alone their often advancing years, poor qualifications, low-grade work experience and poor health. That so many IB claimants live in the weakest local economies up and down the country adds a still further twist. Labour’s second round of reforms was always set to trigger much distress for very little reward.

    The Coalition’s time-limiting of entitlement to non-means tested benefit will merely crank up the levels of distress. Not only will claimants have to jump through new medical hoops and prepare themselves for jobs they are most unlikely to find, but large numbers will also discover, from 2012 onwards, that their benefit is cut or withdrawn altogether. The only winner is the Treasury.

    In terms of the numbers affected and the scale and severity of the impact, the reforms to incapacity benefits that are now underway are probably the most far-reaching changes to the benefits system for at least a generation. They will impoverish vast numbers of households, and cause untold distress in countless more. The incapacity benefit numbers need to be brought down, but this is not the way.

    http://www.shu.ac.uk/_assets/pdf/cresr-final-incapacity-benefit-reform.pdf

  120. Michael says:

    I will let you all know what will happen. I will try my best to make my self a hard individual to work on. Yet, I will let them know that I am fully capable of doing things for my self and I do not need to be held by the hand.

  121. Hi all been a while, Afraid my process is still ongoing and can’t reveal anything yet, May have to actually take Ingeus to court.
    Nice letter received this morning from DWP, Sanction Doubt has been raised because I did not attend an appointment and a form to fill in.

    Well, when I get my reply back with a full written explanation of the sanction doubt and the providers name then the fun really begins.
    If this name is the same person who sent me my appointment I am hitting them with a tort as my previous letter to them stated personal and private claim.
    Who ever they are they will owe me £1000 which I fully intend to claim/collect or at least commercial lien on something they cherish, House,Car and they can say goodbye to their credit record for the next 6 years as it crashes.

    What will be classic is while I have only attended my 1st appointment back in August I will be personally serving this person her Notice/Tort, that will be fun, Will video it for all to see and witness.
    Can you imagine actually going into Ingeus offices without an appointment. Please shoot me now.

    These fuckwits have really peed me off now, Of all times to start a Sanction Doubt a few weeks before Christmas.
    They ruin my family Christmas I will ensure the provider responsible PAYS.

    Rant over….

    Video link of the process I am using will be uploaded soon, No templates just yet though.

    George

  122. SmithnBloggs says:

    I attended my providers ‘Avanta’ last week on the 17th of November to find out about what benefits I may still be able to claim if I was to go self employed as advised by my JC with her logic of “It can’t do any harm to just see what benefits you might be still eligible for” (At no point did I request or indicate any desire to go self employed) nevertheless I went along with the logic of it can only go to prove that not only are they ‘not’ there to help find a job to suit you, they are not even there to listen to you. The first question I was asked was, “do you have a business idea” to which I answered that not only do I not have a business idea, I also have no wish or desire to go self employed. The rest of the appointment was spent with him ticking boxes and asking me one or two questions as he went through it e.g. was I claiming housing and council tax benefit etc. Below is a scan of that paperwork.
    Note: Pay special attention to the very first box he has ticked considering the very first question the clown asked me.


    The next day on the 18th I had to attend again to do a job search ‘similar’ to one I do at home virtually everyday. I use the word ‘similar’ because although the procedure of doing it was exactly the same, the actual time it took on their inefficient computer system had turned the process of applying for three vacancies from what should take no more than 1hr including personalising the covering letter for example highlighting my ‘strong points’ when applying for jobs that I have no experience in, into a ridiculous two hours. I was actually in the building for just over two and a half hours but the first half an hour was spent trying to explain to my ‘Job Search Coach’ (from now on known as JSC) that I haven’t put any restrictions on what other areas I am looking for work. Unfortunately it seems that these flumps deem total flexibility as not being specific enough and as a result I’m afraid (though predictably) it descended into a bit of a heated debate though I am quite sure that given the choice, the JSC would rather me remonstrate with her than defenestrate her. Although both these options will be available at all times, I think for the immediate future I will plump for ‘remonstrate and educate’ rather than ‘defenestrate and evacuate’. LOL

    Soooo I think it is time to be a little bit more proactive from now on and start spreading the word to other prisoners who maybe unaware about how to sink this slave masters ship. I don’t know whether to be covert about it or whether to openly hand out the info I intend to print out (See below). Any advice, suggestions or warnings etc would as usual be very much appreciated.

    First go to: http://www.refusewp.com and watch the video then:
    Go to: http://www.workprogramme.org.uk/
    At the top of the page click the: guidance here then click in the box where it says: Letter of Refusal for those who have consented to Work Programme under Duress and follow the instructions.

    ——————————————————————————————————-

  123. wishface says:

    I wonder what they’d say ifg you refused to sign the form on the basis of not understanding that xy and z will affect your benefits.

  124. wishface says:

    I’m such an idiot. Every time I sign on the topic of the WP comes up and it’s mentioned that, eventually, that’s where I’m headed. Like looking at a fast approaching black hole. So I agreed to apply for a completely unsuitable job I woudl rather eat razor blades than apply for, all presided over by the JC itself (so i can’t get out of it). I agreed just to appease the situaion and be seen to be making an effort. The whole application ptocess is a nightmare; it’s a call centre job (ugh). The lesson here: never give an inch when dealing with this system no matter how hostile and threatening an environemtn (or how pleasant it’s dressed up to be).

  125. jayne says:

    Update :

    I hand delivered my letter of complaint to JC re the double signage of data protection consent at my Serco welcome meeting, will wait for my reply if I get one.

    Had my 2nd app with Provider Wednesday, arrived half an hour early but was seen early so didnt have a long wait. Not one mention of why I didnt sign the data waiver tbh I dont think my forms had even been looked at because all he did was write down what jobs I had applied for from my notebook and looked at the proof I had from printing off from my email etc, then he said if any of these jobs are successful we will have to check with your employer the date you start and if you are actually working for them etc. I didnt pick him up on the fact that I never signed my data waiver I will do that on the last appointmnet I have with them before starting work and watch his reaction.

    A few questions : If people do not sign the data waiver can the Provider still check with your employer even if its just to know that you actually started ?

    If I did reveal the employer I am starting with next year and the employer received contact from my provider and I had not signed my data waiver giving them permission, what happens ? I assume they will be in breach without my consent, what happens to the advisor who will have got in touch could they lose their job ?

    I have no intention of telling them or Jc my employer details but because of that section 3 ruling can they find out from say the tax office or if you claim working tax credit ?

    I dont think any employer would relish being harrassed by a Provider being as they want to know the start date how many hours plus your weekly pay each week, feels like a parent keeping tabs on a child to me.

    • Gissajob says:

      Hi Jayne
      You ask ” If people do not sign the data waiver can the Provider still check with your employer even if its just to know that you actually started ?”. I think any such contact would be illegal rendering both the individual advisor and the pimp company (and even the employer)liable to criminal prosecution. Anyway they won’t check just once they’ll keep on checking so that they continue to get their income stream from the staggered outcome payments. Remember that the agreement (waiver) applies to the new employer as well as Pimpo – so new employer should not be disclosing any information (even the fact that you work there) without your express permission. The DWP may find out where you are working from the tax people BUT this still does not mean that Pimpo has the right to contact the new employer nor does it mean that the employer has the right to disclose information about you to Pimpo. The waiver form is king, Without a signed form Pimpo will find it difficult to get payment.

  126. jayne says:

    … My next app is in a fortnights time, I was asked if I wanted to attend job search I declined I said I do that at home, I am sure it will become mandatory after a few appointments as I have spoken to someone I travelled with who was going to the same place she has to have fortnightly app with an advisor then the other week do a job search. I for one do not have my cv on a external space ie a floppy disk or memory stick neither would I want to and have to put it on their computers, so even if I did have to attend job search it would be pretty pointless as I would have to repeat what I have done there at home to be able to email my Cv in.

  127. Mr No says:

    Good point Jayne.
    I will be declining any jobsearch at the provider. Although you were lucky enough to be ‘asked’. Which is a request, you can turn down a request.
    Again it depends on the pimp and the adviser. I’m sure many people will be ‘told’ to attend a jobsearch. And when asked if it’s mandatory to attend they will probably say yes. They often make it up as they go along these idiots. Especially as we don’t yet know what is and isn’t compulsory, sorry, I meant mandatory!
    And like you say, what’s the point? One can do such at home if they have net access.
    I will not be entering any details on their computers because I only trust my own computer to be safe and secure. I do not use ANY public computers, especially when it involves entering passwords and uploading personal details etc. So, as you say, pretty pointless.
    What do they do anyway, sit next to you and hassle you? Tell you to go and find 98 vacancies to apply for? Or just call you in to waste your time? You know, just in case you are working on the side.

    Regarding your question about can they still check. If you get a job with no help from the pimp then f*ck them. Sign off and tell nothing. It seems they can still try and get an outcome from checking tax records etc. But it will be more hassle for them.
    What I would like to know is what happens if the pimp somehow manages to coerce you into one of their crap jobs via the ‘deals’ they have with employers? And how not signing the data waiver affects such. Mind you, they don’t have jobs as such do they? A few weeks experience with a possible job at the end. Ha! In other words no job, just a few weeks exploitation. Hmmm? Anyway… Stay strong and good luck.

    • agnes fairchilds says:

      They can check up on your tax record??? Even if you haven’t signed the waiver? What information can they glean this way? employers name? hours worked? pay? Could they get in touch with your employer? I think if I get a job I’ll put emigrating as reason for signing off.

      • Mr No says:

        Hey agnes.
        I’m sure it’s been mentioned recently. Probably on WPN. Or from a link I followed at least? I read such myself and thought FFS! Though I read soooo much stuff it’s hard to recollect all the details and where sometimes. If I have any more details or recollect I’ll be sure to post such up.
        Unless someone else may know more and with some accuracy. Thought it worth mentioning though.

        Off benefit checks? Tax records to see if any employment/work has been gained?
        They may not be able to get to your employer directly, but there is the possibility of them somehow being able to use these details to make money.
        The thing that really gets to me is that they still want to get paid even if you get a job without any assistance from them whatsoever. Nice.

        Please forgive me if I dreamt this. I’m sure i didn’t. But whatever the case this whole farce is a f*cking nightmare.

      • Gissajob says:

        Hi Agnes If I get a job I’ll just tell them “my circumstances have changed such that I will no longer be claiming JSA”. That’s enough – let them try to find out in what way my circumstances have changed – I am not obliged to tell them. What are they going to do? They can’t sanction someone who has signed off! The JC can probaly get info from HM Customs and Taxes (and then pass this on to Pimpo inc.) but it’s not up to me to make their racket easier.
        If you haven’t signed the waiver it would still be illegal for them (DWP/JC/Pimpo) to approach your new employer. It would also (without your specific consent) be illegal for new employer to disclose any information about you.

    • Gissajob says:

      OK Mr. No, There seems to be a lot of confusion about what is and what is not mandatory under the WP. You say “They often make it up as they go along these idiots. Especially as we don’t yet know what is and isn’t compulsory, sorry, I meant mandatory!”
      You don’t know how right you are! I have looked at Chapter 3 of the DWP Guidance notes to Providers which deals with Mandating Particpants to undertake activity. Here are a few slected high/low lights:

      To ensure you comply with regulations when mandating participants you are required to:
      Ensure that the activity is reasonable in the participant’s circumstances.
      Notify the participant in writing of:
      The specific action that they are required to undertake.
      When or by when they must undertake it.
      That the action is mandatory.
      What evidence, if any, they must supply to demonstrate completion.
      The potential consequences should the participant fail to comply. Required wording: If you do not undertake the activities required in this notification your benefit could be affected.
      For ESA participants only, state on the notification that ‘this activity forms part of your work-related activity action plan
      Record the above information (the Mandatory Activity Notification) along with all other ongoing mandatory requirements in a single document.

      Furthermore:

      You must notify the participant in writing if you mandate them to undertake activity. You must also ensure that as a minimum, participants have access to all ongoing mandatory requirements in a single document that is available to them at their request.

      They are even helpful enough to tell the pimps:
      If you fail to mandate a participant correctly (as outlined above), or the Mandatory Activity Notification is not recorded in a way that meets the criteria outlined above Jobcentre Plus Decision Makers may be unable to impose sanctions. This will waste both your time and that of Jobcentre Plus.

      So a mandatory action has to be reasonable in your circumstances. Clearly room for argument e.g. sending people with PHDs in English on a basic literacy course is not reasonable!
      Everything has to be in writing in a single document which you are entitled to see upon request (so ask to see the document – I would ask for a copy – don’t just accept something is mandatory because someone has just made it up). Does the document (if it exists) conform to all the requirements above? If not then they will have trouble making a sanction doubt stick and will only “waste their own time and that of the Jobcentre.”

  128. wishface says:

    I would think if you’re keeping a record of your own jobsearch and can back up what you claim to have applied for etc then any sanction doubt (presuming a sane decision maker of course) wouldn’t have much of a leg to stand on.

  129. Ben says:

    Hello all,

    I was wondering if someone could help me with a query. Is work experience mandatory on the work programme? I have been told that it is mandatory by my WP, and that I must take part.

    Thanks

  130. fuckem says:

    Hello me again got to go and see the pimps at 1 oclock wednesday will let you know how i get on ,So is this right if you yourself find a job nothing to do with the pimps they still want to take the credit and get paid ?

    • Gissajob says:

      Fuckem – yeah that’s right – you are their property after all. That’s why it’s important to not sign the data waiver.

      • Ben says:

        Hello gissajob, Just wanted to thank you for replying to my query on WP.org, couldn’t actually find the page I left the comment on, but read your reply on ‘last 5 comments’ So they actually able to mandate you to anything they like, no set length for the ‘work experience’ so one could basically be forced to work for two years unpaid if that’s what they decide.

    • Ben says:

      That is exactly what they want to do. If you sign the waiver and manage to get a job, they will keep tabs on you for two years, they will contact your employer regularly to ask for details on your wage/salary, how many hours you worked that week, etc

  131. Mr No says:

    @Ben.
    “…so one could basically be forced to work for two years unpaid if that’s what they decide”

    I doubt that very much. I wouldn’t be concerned about such happening. Yeah they might try and coerce you into a month. Then maybe another month at some point. The old ‘few weeks experience with a possible job at the end’ trick, but no way could they ‘mandate’ 2 years legally.

    Only a very naive individual would be susceptible to any grand scale manipulation. And that’s no judgement on someone who is naive to the workings of these horrible providers. They will try and con you into doing stuff and often do get away with a lot of crap, but 2 years work experience? .No way. It’s even rather daunting to most of us that have been with the pimps previously. Well, for me at least. Nasty people mostly. There are a few decent ones, but rare unfortunately.
    Honestly mate, try not to worry about that happening. Just keep reading this and the other blogs/sites and you’ll get the info and news of what actions they are trying on with us all,
    To be honest I do not know if any work experience is mandatory or not? As many have mentioned already we are kind of all seeing how it goes, playing it by ear. And sharing our knowledge.

    Haven’t seen Gissajobs reply you mention to know exactly what was said. So apologies if I’m jumping the gun.

    Very best of luck to you Ben. And to us all.

    • Ben says:

      Thanks for your reply Mr No. I can only go by what I was told repeatedly by my WP provider, and that was the work experience was mandatory.

      Gissajob linked me to http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wp-pg-chapter-3.pdf chapter 3 of the DWP WP guidance, which basically states “Where you are providing support for JSA participants, which is work experience you must mandate participants to this activity. This is to avoid the National Minimum Wage Regulations, which will apply if JSA participants are not mandated.”

      Kind of disturbing, DWP advising them on how to avoid NMW. I still don’t quite understand how they avoid paying NMW when the client if forced to work a set number of hours, set days, carry out duties paid employees do.

    • Gissajob says:

      @ Mr. No
      You say “but 2 years work experience? No way.” This is true under the WP but some of us are having the CAP trailblazed upon us (CPA 01 and 02). This can last for 2 years (and presumably be renewed indefinitley until retirement age!). It is 30 hours per week of mandatory unpaid work and 10 hours per week of supervised jobsearch. The plan is to roll it out nationally in 2013.

      • Ben says:

        So how exactly are they bypassing NMW law? I know it is in exempt in some cases, but if you are working for 30 hours a week for 6 months, there is no way they class that as training or work experience.

  132. Hi all, Bad letter received today from DWP, I have been Sanctioned for not attending a WP Appointment and even though I sent in the reasons why I did not attend it happened anyway.
    (Wasn’t expecting any less though)

    In the process of creating some Liens for all Directors of Ingeus for £1000’s each and 2 special 1’s for the adviser who caused the sanction doubt and the DWP prat decision maker who must have just rubber stamped the Sanction Doubt without even looking at my evidence.

    I’m pretty certain the timing so close to Christmas is just vexatious to cause me as much hardship as they possibly can. Lucky I have some gold chains I can porn that will help me through Christmas period.

    Will video the Lien been served to the adviser and lets see her face drop when she gets it, She will think I am there for my appointment but in fact will just serve her with the Lien and then go.
    Even better when I get to send in the debt collectors to collect it.

    Absolutely explosive stuff and time to hit back at them all in a big way.

    George

    P.S

    Anyone know how we go about claiming hardship payments, We have 4 kids in the house youngest been just over 1 year old. Nothing was sent regarding this in the Sanction letter.

    • Ben says:

      Sorry to hear about your situation. WP pimps and DWP are scum. On the matter of the crisis loan, have a look at this link http://www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/specialist-guides/technical-guidance/sb16-a-guide-to-the-social/crisis-loans/#howcl

      How to apply

      You should contact your Jobcentre Plus office about making an application.

      You may be able to make your application by telephone.

      We will deal with your application as soon as possible, and you will be given a letter telling you about the decision. If you are offered a loan, the letter will tell you the amount of money you will get and the rate at which you will repay it. You will be asked to agree to these terms. If your application is by telephone, you may do this agreement on the telephone.

    • wishface says:

      Sorry to say, but I think hardship payments were axed a year or so ago. Disgusting really.
      Best of luck with your claim, but i doubt the advisor will care or even understand. It’s a culture of bean counters with no accountability for the consequences. That’s the system.

  133. Cheers for the kind words guys, So no hardship payments and only crisis loans, fucking government have screwed the whole welfare system.
    As you say the adviser won’t care or understand, He will have to learn the hard way with a commercial lien on him and once gone public who ever they are and what ever credit rating they have will be screwed much like us unemployed.
    I have a few days study to get my liens ready then lets see what happens when they get served.

    Liens go after the person personally, everyone is responsible for their own actions and no court is needed as everything is based on truth.

    Have a new appointment made for Tuesday for WP and the adviser is in for the biggest shock of her life. I’m turning up this time and going to personally serve her lien to her. Should make her Christmas like the sanction she caused me has made mine.

    Watch this space as any sanctions imposed could become our weapon to hit back at the pimps and the government.

    George

    • wishface says:

      I don’t know what liens or torts are, but you sound very sure of your position. I hope you are right because these systems are never administered fairly – that’s the problem. Even if they are they will drag their heels like a heavy corpse.

  134. Hi Wishface, That’s the beauty of liens, they are no courts everything is based on truth.

    Major study required at moment will update later.

    George

  135. Mr No says:

    It’s only my opinion, but I don’t think the adviser will be phased in the least by such an action as a lien. It will probably be an alien concept (pardon the pun) to him or her.
    Common law is the true law of the land and the only law that is fair and I personally adhere to such. But legislation is a hard nut to crack even when common law and sense tell us how unfair much of it is.
    Please believe me George when I say I’m not pissing on your cornflakes here. It’s very laudable of you to try this and there is a chance it might work, or at least make them think. But as you say yourself, some major study will be required.
    I hope you will agree that this course of action is NOT something we should all try. Unless one is very knowledgeable and confident and are prepared for such an action to fail.
    I hope you will let us know your progress be it a good result or bad!

    Many people out there thought that these letters of refusal of the work programme were going to be the remedy to our impending exploitation by the providers. That didn’t quite turn out to be the case. or at least it hasn’t so far.
    We have to continue to adapt and survive, it’s terrible that we have to do this at all in our 21st century supposed civilised society, but as evidenced, we do!

    I only say this because I wouldn’t like some people who happened across this to think ‘Ooh, this might be a way out’ and build their hopes up too much.
    I think the majority of us have to continue our guerilla tactics and use any weaknesses in the legislation as it stands. To continue the discussion and help each other. I personally have had it with these people and plan to make things as difficult for them as possible, even if it results in me being sanctioned. Thankfully I’m in a position where I will not become homeless or will struggle too badly if it comes to that. Though it will make things a little difficult!
    I’m rather rebellious, especially when it comes to injustice and unfair treatment. And if they get really nasty I’ll quite happily tell them to f*ck off and do their worst. I’ve overturned sanctions before and even stopped them in their tracks. Largely due to the providers incompetence and them not knowing the legislation. Their greed and ego often blinds them. And them interpreting the rules as they see fit. This is the means by which we can keep them at bay, for the most part. Teamed with us all helping each other.
    I really wish George the best of luck with his particular course of action. Although personally, at this stage, it’s not something i feel is for me

    I type this with the utmost respect and sincerity and mean no offense whatsoever.
    I hope it is taken in the spirit it is intended.

  136. Gissajob says:

    Hi Mr. No,
    I think you have it spot on. Whilst I wish George every success in his actions – keep us informed George – it is not something I would do (at least on my own). If George’s idea works (a very big if) then some sort of mass action against the pimps might be appropriate – at the moment let’s look at it as an experiment.
    Meanwhile guerilla warfare is the way forward. Make the pimps’ lives difficult with questions , more questions and complaints.

  137. wishface says:

    It’s just the way things are these days. Bureacracy and the nature of the people in power mean that those of us with legitimate grievances just don’t get heard – even if that means they break their own rules. I’ve had this all last week with Santander who’ve decided they don’t want to abide by an agreement made with me in March to pay off my overdraft leaving me owing them more than i previously did. They won’t listen, they don’t want to listen and all I can do is rant (and I have) down the phone. The DWP are no different.
    I think it’s great that people are challenging them but I would hope they are 100% sure of their position because even then it’s going to be a fight. Maybe get the CAB on side?

  138. agnes fairchilds says:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/voluntary-sector-netw…e-charity-discussion

    Has everyone seen this, live question and answer session 1pm-3pm with the following:

    Derek French – Work Programme delivery directorate, Department for Work and Pensions

    Paul Winyard – welfare to work programme leader, NCVO

    Richard Clifton – director of business development, Careers Development Group

    Louise Winterburn – policy manager, Locality

    Dan Sumners – senior policy and information officer, Volunteering England

    Nick Carey – policy officer, ACEVO

    Steve Kerr – policy officer, London Voluntary Service Council

    Mike Harvey – business development director, 3SC

    Tessa Willow – chief executive, Volunteer Centre Liverpool

    Questions can be left in the comments section

  139. wishface says:

    Interesting, but the link doesn’t work I’m afraid.
    Can’t say i’m enthusiastic they will be honest. It will be the usual corporate spin, just the same as we’ve gotten from our ‘elected’ representatives recently.

  140. Mr No says:

    I attended my 1st appointment last week. It was as expected, the usual crap and psycho babble from the off.
    Didn’t sign the waiver. Not too much fuss made about that. I guess a memo has gone around the sector and they are prepared for people to refuse, Possibly?
    This wasn’t my adviser. I will meet my assigned adviser at the next appointment.
    The only thing I signed was a form that simply asked about my qualifications and work experience. And what I have to do for my next appointment like bring a CV in and suchlike.
    This form has nothing untoward on it. I guess if I didn’t take my CV in they could use that as an excuse to sanction, But i will show them a hardcopy and will not let them keep it.

    Also asked for me to bring in the last 3 jobs I applied for. This is tricky because if they see that 2 of these jobs were in an admin role (on part time hours!) I will possibly be inundated with any and all admin jobs by virtue of the fact that’s what i have applied for recently. And I do not want that. They will want contact names, addresses, the lot probably!
    I want to see if they can provide at least some opportunities in what I know first. Fat chance!
    But if I do not supply 3 vacancies they will use this against me in some fashion. Not necessarily a sanction for non participation, but they will take me to task on that. And use this to their advantage to harass me.
    One possible intention is to say I will supply details upon any outcome of any vacancy I apply for once I have had a reply, or no reply should that be the case.
    Or I could simply outline what the vacancies are without going into detail?
    Just throwing some ideas around here. Actually not signing the waiver could, in theory, give me a right to withhold details on what i apply for. Maybe? They might (will) disagree though.

    Actually, and even better, I could apply for some jobs in what I have experience in!
    Just so they cannot offer me anything else.
    And if i really do get one of those rare interviews then that would be a bonus. A reply is rare enough these days though.
    Jobs in my sector at my intermediate level are few and far between these days. Maybe one or two every couple of weeks, for example. And I apply for most of them. If suitable.
    But even if the jobs are at a more advanced level than I am capable of at least they will not be in the very few sectors they have covered. And so they will not be able to compel me to admin.
    I’ll have to give this some thought.

    Or I could say that I had cleared my inbox and the job market always gets a bit sparse at this time of year. So haven’t seen much suitable, unfortunately. Plausible!
    I really do want a job, but the job that I want! Guerilla warfare baby.

    The bit that is a little risky is that I left without my second appointment arranged. But they know where I am and the onus isn’t really on me to make contact, is it? So bollocks to ’em.

    Mind you I will probably get a letter in the post soon for a second appointment. Or a sanction doubt for christmas? Or both!
    Bit of a long post there guys, I do like to be thorough. Hope I’m being reasonably clear.

    Cheers all. Hope you are all well.

    • Gissajob says:

      Give them the details of the last 3 jobs – this is probably no more than you do when signing on at the JC. They cannot (or should not!) contact any body without your express permission – and you haven’t and won’t give it. If asked why say “I think being contacted by an organisation like yours will jeopardise my chance of getting this job and any future job that may come up”

  141. wishface says:

    Details of the last 3 jobs? That’s worth watching. There’s obviously some process going on there.
    I had assumed that they would work off what job types are on your JSAg? Perhaps that’s what they mean.
    Personally I’d say that the last few jobs were applied for via email and without record. I’m sure they’d moan about that.

  142. Well a big disappointment today, Went for my 2nd Work Programme Appointment with the intent of serving some documents on my adviser who raised a sanction doubt last week.
    A lien for £1000 against her for causing me hardship and mental anguish and various other bits thrown in for good measure.

    Have another 4 to get ready for each director of Ingeus, each for the same amount £1000 as in my fee schedules I have been sending Ingeus.

    She wasn’t in, I could not believe it, The bitch is off sick, I wanted to make her sick when she got served, Had the camera ready and rolling.

    Going to have to ring in every day now till shes in then pop down in a taxi pretty quick or the old fashion route and trace her through 192, Anyone got the latest copy of 192 disc.

    Handed in a new letter one that I changed last night, most of the same initial refusal although i had to include I was now there under duress and threats of further sanctions, Had to include my fee schedule too.

    Had a nice chat with some manager who only had his script of what he had been told and what to do and say. He was actually ok and seemed human, he actually listened to me and hopefully he’s now checked up on Liens so HE will not raise any further sanction doubts.

    Explained to him I was under no contract with Ingeus until DWP provide me with my questions to my answers.( Bet anyone £10 I get a reply from DWP before the week is out).

    Need more study now, got to find this nice lady advisers home address somehow, She has ruined my Christmas I want to be able to do the same to her.

    George

    P.S
    Will upload video of chat when I have had a chance to check it out and do any editing.

    • T says:

      Good luck mate…Let’s hope this witch doesn’t have any problems over Christmas…You know, slipping over on the ice and breaking her leg or anything like that.

  143. T says:

    How they can claim this fucking bollocks is supposed to “help” anybody is utterly beyond me…They are allowing civilians with no more “power” than my fucking milkman to interfere with state-administered processes, making it likely that people (such as George) will not only be unable to celebrate Christmas with their families, they’ll be unable to eat too.

    Cunts. They absolutely make my fucking blood boil….I hope that bitch Emma Harrison comes down with some kind of really awful bout of the shits/vomiting from the 21st of December to the 5th of January.

  144. fuckem says:

    Just got back from my first appointment with the pimps, Didn’t sign the waiver nothing was said but you could see them sort of back off ,Told some other people there they should not sign but most did .

  145. Gissajob says:

    Well done Fuckem for not signing and don’t feel disheartened that some others did.. From what you say it seems that some others may not have signed and that is a victory! We must do all we can to spread the word that non signing keeps you in control.

    • agnes fairchilds says:

      Just received reply from ICE :
      “As your complaint has not been considered in line with the provider’s internal complaints procedures we cannot look into your complaint at this stage.”

      And for future reference

      “This office can only investigate certain issues. The ICE looks into maladministration (poor service) by the DWP, it’s Agencies and WP providers. Poor service includes taking incorrect action, delay in taking appropriate action or misinforming customers etc. This office cannot look into complaints about legislation, policy or complaints which do not gall under the sphere of maladministration.”

  146. agnes fairchilds says:

    gall should be fall

  147. Gissajob says:

    @Wishface
    I enjoyed your contributions to the Guardian debate. Well done mate.

    • wishface says:

      Thanks.

      I’ve no idea who those people were, but oftentimes they are so removed from the reality that the likes of us endure they need a bit of a reality check.

      I really do fear for the future.

  148. Mr No says:

    As did I. Nice one wishface.

  149. wishface says:

    Is it normal to have to attend the jc on the 23rd of December? I seem to remember in the past they gave you time of for good behaviour over the christmas period.
    That’s when i have to sign, over xmas, so I presume I will have to go in and justify my existence the day before Christmas (when we all know there are no employers open or recruiting anyway).

    • Santa Claus says:

      I always thought it was the case that you were “excused” for one signing over the Festive period irrespective of whether you due to sign on a Bank Holiday; the way your dates fall 23rd December should be your “off” day.

      • Mr No says:

        Neuro linguistic my arse!

        Yes, a piece of spam, Though kind of applicable to WP, hence it’s here I suppose. Though a tad untidy in such a blog perhaps?
        The pimps drones aren’t generally smart enough to successfully employ (ha!) such on us. Some of them can be rather tenacious though and find it hard to deal with anything that’s reasonable, but deviates too far from their script. So they start making rules up as they go along. As many reading will know. Listen, question, stay calm. That’s half the battle right there.

  150. Mr No says:

    Yeah, pretty normal I’d say. It’s not a bank holiday, just another day.
    Mind you, your ‘allowance’ should go in earlier than that. Hopefully.
    I’m going to ask when mine will be paid in as my payment will be due during the holiday period too. The following Monday and Tuesday are bank holidays I believe, so it should go in early because it will not be able to be processed otherwise.

    Are you not on the WP yet wishface? Now that I am they just ask you what you’ve been doing, you then sign and go. 5 minute appointments! Not that I am complaining about that.

  151. wishface says:

    Not yet….
    Come March it will be inevitable as that’s a year of JSA. I know that when you sign they just sign you as the WP take care of the rest.
    I’m in no hurry for it, but I know they are getting restless. I have to see a ‘work psychologist’ at the JC on the 19th as well. Someone that will no doubt try and persuade me the value of working in a dead end job for a pittance.

  152. Mr No says:

    Work psychologist? WTF?

    Do you have a history of depression or suchlike? Answer not really necessary,
    Though it’s nowt to be ashamed of. I have been depressed, not that i would tell the JC or pimps that!
    Unless that’s the case I cannot see how this is mandatory? Is it mandatory? Have they actually referred to this person as a psychologist? Ask for his professional qualifications. I would!
    If you have no admitted history that would provoke such an appointment I would tell them to stick their shrink where the sun don’t shine.
    I assure you I’m not prying, it’s just that I haven’t heard of such a practice. Are you rather assertive and bold enough to speak your mind? That to some people in supposed authority positions would be considered rebellious behaviour. You naughty boy! Ha!
    I’m not wanting any info you don’t want to share, just offering my thoughts on the subject. After all, isn’t that exactly what we are here to do.

    Take care mate.

    • wishface says:

      I was claiming ESA prior due to stress and anxiety (due in part to JSA and it’s the same thing again, only this time there’s even less support). My JC is relatively benign, compared to some, but it’s the same old rules.
      What’s needed is a third avenue of support, which is what ESA is supposed to be, but tht’s stressful enough. The ESA people are beyond incompetent. Unfortunately there isn’t that third avenue. It’s either be ill enough to a) convince the GP and b) pass the WCA, or claim JSA and deal with all that nonsense.

  153. wishface says:

    The first piece of spam i’ve seen here.

  154. Mr No says:

    (Duplicate post, due to me hitting reply for poster rather then chronological order!)

    Neuro linguistic my arse!

    Yes, a piece of spam, Though kind of applicable to WP, hence it’s here I suppose. Though a tad untidy in such a blog perhaps?
    The pimps drones aren’t generally smart enough to successfully employ (ha!) such on us. Some of them can be rather tenacious though and find it hard to deal with anything that’s reasonable, but deviates too far from their script. So they start making rules up as they go along. As many reading will know. Listen, question, stay calm. That’s half the battle right there.

  155. wishface says:

    I chose to see the work psychologist because i was told I had to be doing something so it was either that or get referred to the WP.
    On the subject of xmas, claimants are entitled to a fortnight’s holiday each year, but I have no idea how that works. Now i would assume that if you take a holiday you won’t get your money paid until you next sign on (so not much of a holiday), but given tthat money may get paid in prior to signing there may be a way around it.
    I could sure do with a break; I don’t like this time of year (too much noise and too many people and awful constant xmas overkill on the tv) and coupled with having to sign on it’s a real struggle.
    I don’t mind discussing my issues, but they aren’t really what this website is about and I’m not here to blow my own trumpet :D

    • Louise says:

      Wishface, at your next signing on (9th December) you should receive notification that you are excused signing on 23rd December and your next signing-on date is 6 January 2012. And you still get paid (maybe a little early). It is worth mentioning that you used to get paid a week earlier at Christmas and New Year but that has changed in recent years (maybe because people were finding it difficult to budget). This seems to have changed in recent years but depending on when exactly your payment is due and even taking into account bank holidays you may be paid a day or two earlier to give you some money for your last minute Christmas shopping.

      • Louise says:

        If you sign-on on 23rd December your payment would normally be paid on 26th December. I think that you will receive your payment no later than 23rd December, it will probably be in your bank account before you even sign-on.

      • wishface says:

        Well, let’s hope that is the case and that they do excuse me. That would be nice. I could do with a break. If not, well who knows.

  156. Bernard says:

    I have just read the Guardian Q&A over on the WP.org website, great comments from Wishface.

    I am glad to hear that the providers are in great financial trouble, it warms the cockles. However, sadly, I believe they will receive a bailout from the government even though they will miss their targets by a huge margin.

    The providers should also be ashamed to call forced labour with threat of sanction ‘voluntary work’. Forced labour is an abuse of the human rights act and minimum wage law. The ‘work experience’ gained on these scheme constitutes real work, set times, set days, set duties, with no training or learning experiences. It also replaces the need to hire paid employees to do said tasks.

    Further, I know for a fact that employers do not take unpaid work seriously, I have done a vast amount of unpaid work since graduating from university and it has been commented negatively on by the interview panels at my last 5 interviews. They don’t see it as real work, even if you are doing the exact same duties a paid individual would do. It is actually the only thing I can see that has held me back from being successful at these interviews, they see you as a big mug with no value to their labour.

    • wishface says:

      I agree entirely. When I did voluntary work years ago I knew then that employers just didn’t take it seriously. If there are other applicants (and there are always going to be) then so long as they have ‘real’ experience then you don’t stand a chance.

  157. Jack Cade says:

    My God, these people are the scum of the earth. Just when I think that they can sink no lower..they sink lower:

    Thousands of seriously ill cancer patients will be forced to take medical tests and face “back to work” interviews, despite assurances from ministers that they would not make it harder for the sick to get welfare, charities have warned.

    Buried in a report to ministers by Prof Malcolm Harrington, the government adviser on testing welfare recipients, are proposals to force cancer patients who are undergoing intravenous chemotherapy to prove they are too ill to work.

    At present, patients who are unable to work because of cancer and the side-effects of treatments are allowed to claim the highest rate of employment support allowance (ESA), worth up to £100 a week. More than 9,000 cancer patients were placed automatically on the welfare payment from October 2008 to June 2010. However, the expert report says this “automatic entitlement” has encouraged dependency on benefits, “encouraging wrong behaviours from employers and stigmatising cancer as something that can lead to unemployment or worklessness”.

    Instead, cancer patients on chemotherapy in hospitals will now have to prove that they are too sick to work, and take part in the controversial work capability assessment to determine whether someone is eligible for benefits. If cancer patients are found able to return to employment they may also be required to participate in work-related practice job interviews, as a condition of receiving their benefit. —The Grauniad, today

    Those ‘compassionate’ Tories: dontcha love ’em?

    Sorry I’ve been neglecting my blog duties, gang…had a laptop breakdown and had to source a cheap, used hard-drive. All sorted now. I’ll get rid of that daft NLP spam, too. I’ll have a new post up today or tomorrow, relating the experience of my last appointment.

    Jack

  158. wishface says:

    It’s best not to think ‘it can’t get any lower’ because these evil bastards always find a way to sink lower.
    How on earth people on chemo can be expected to compete for jobs just beggars belief.
    How long will it be before someone drops dead in a jobcentre tryign to sign on having lost their ESA?

  159. Gissajob says:

    I’m not sure what happened to previous post – seems to have disappeared. Apologies if this turns out to be a duplicate.
    Good to have you back Jack- I was beginning to worry a bit there!
    An update on my personal experience: I attended for my second appointment at A4greed to meet my advisor for the first time (first appointment was full of refusing to sign forms and discussing my complaint with Team Leader). A4greed are new to this area and, to be fair, their offices seemed reasonably well appointed – not crowded and the computer room was almost empty – the PCs seemed newish. There is CCTV everywhere (remember this if they complain about you recording – they are recording you!). Adviser’s desks close together so privacy would be a distinct problem though there seemed to be a number of private rooms available (but not being used). Enemma Harrison’s much boasted about fruit bowl was in reception (just the bowl – no fruit!).
    My “advisor” was out of the mould – not brilliantly intelligent, reminiscent of a car salesman and operating to a script. I was recording and am sure he knew it. I was not asked to sign the waiver (I previously refused). I showed a paper copy of my CV on the understanding that it wasn’t copied (Tel nos and e-mail details removed). He tried to get me to agree to explore self-employment with their specialist (I have periods of self employment on my CV), I refused. I was asked for tel nos and e-mail address – I refused, saying my preferred method of communication is by letter. This caused a brief debate in which I plagiarised Jack’s argument about long term, sustainable jobs not being pimped out with such urgency that e-mail/tel/mobile phone contact was required. I also pointed out A4greed’s lamentable history of breaches of the data protection act.
    I am in CAG 1 (i.e. supposedly job ready), this was deliberate on my part as I want minimal interference in the form of useless courses. By now I think I was beginning to annoy him! I was told that I had to attend mandatory, supervised jobsearch twice a week for approximately 1 and half hours a session. I responded that this was unreasonable as I could do whatever was required from home. Another debate ensued his argument (if you could call it that) being that I would get support and no distractions at their offices. I held my ground it what was fast becoming a stalemate.
    I was then ushered into the Manager’s Office (one up from the Team Leader at previous appointment) and “double teamed” by both manager and team leader. Manager said he was in the process of responding to my escalated complaint and that I would be receiving a letter in response.
    There then followed a brief rerun of the arguments already described but with added threats – the word “sanction” and “mandatory” weren’t actually used. Instead I was told “You have a choice, you can always sign off or not comply – and we are obliged to report this to the Job Centre”. Some choice – “do what I say or starve” was my response. I then offered a compromise of one hour a week attendance. This was accepted. I was then introduced to another adviser and I gave him a brief resume of my career and job expectations. I now have a further 2 one hour appointments before Christmas (plus a possible discussion of my ongoing complaint).

    Sorry this has been so long but I hope it helps someone. This has now become personal and I am determined that they will make no money out of me.

  160. wishface says:

    Support and no distractions? Unbelievable.

    Well, what i mean is very believable, since this is par for the course with these people.

  161. Mr No says:

    Hey Gissa.
    Some choice. Hobsons choice!
    Well done on ‘negotiating’ down the jobsearch.
    In theory one could possibly refuse doing ones jobsearch at the pimps office due to what you already explained. The advisers response regarding “support and no distractions” is flimsy at best.
    Remember, with regard to refusal of their ‘services’ that if you can show reasonable grounds not to do such then the DM shouldn’t endorse any sanction. Remember I said ‘In theory’!
    Actually, when you attend I would suggest just following their cues and not make a fuss, it might be interesting to just do some jobsearch and see what, if anything, they offer in support. I’m wondering what they might do. Sit with you? Intermittently hassle you?

    Might be worth remembering that you should really only be there to jobsearch, with the emphasis on the search. That’s what I would do. I’m not entering my personal details on theirs on any other public computer. Might have keyloggers on there. Well, you never know?
    They might like to think this is a potential window into your life over your shoulder. I do not trust these pimps at all. Not one little bit.
    If they should tell me to apply for x amount of jobs by the end of the session i will say if i find some suitable. Mind you they will find issue with that. They find issue with anything they can find an issue with. The legislation doesn’t cover applications. An application is a step.
    They will see this as a typical dole scrounger tactic. But it’s not the case and as long as I know this then they can think what they like.
    But when the pressure is on, especially when they gang up on you, it’s quite an experience. Added to that the general attitude and coercion. Nasty!
    So I don’t blame you for reluctantly complying.
    I don’t know how I will react to a similar situation. I may well call their bluff. I may not. We will see. As I always seem to say, it depends entirely on the unique, or not so unique interactions between you and your adviser.

    Still waiting for my second WP appointment. They wrote down that my preferred means of contact is by post. So I’m not calling them! Would you?
    Anyway, does it not have to be a written appointment one has ‘non attended’ in order to be sanctioned? Or arranged (written down) at the previous meeting? I cannot be ‘missing’ an appointment never made.
    I’m such a naughty person. Better than any of those c nuts though. F*ck ’em.
    I’m hoping that I’m somehow ‘parked’ until after the festive season. Though I’m not relying on that, there’s still a couple of weeks yet!
    I’m wondering if when I sign on next they’ll flag up some trumped up doubt. For not calling them to arrange my session of persecution perhaps? That’ll be fun. Maybe not valid due to what I said above. The onus isn’t on me. They know my address..
    Though I will not anticipate that too much. I’ve decided that I need less stress. Just play it by ear.

    Anyhoo, that’ll do for now. Good to see you back, Jack.

    Take care people.

    • Gissajob says:

      Thanks for that Mr. No,
      I think the “support” is probably help with filling in application forms and writing covering letters. a4greed’s slogan is “improving peoples lives’. l think the “v” in “lives” is a typo and superfluous so I won’t be asking for their help. The worst of them actually remind me of a bunch of Mormon doorsteppers – so bloody sure that they have all the answers and won’t listen to or respect other’s opinions. Any time spent on their premises is stressful and non productive and I will be keeping it to the minimum.
      I agree that the onus is on them to contact you rather than vice versa – just sit back and relax – i can’t see how any sanction doubt raised for non attendance at a non existent meeting can be made to stick.

  162. wishface says:

    It would be interesting to see how the DWP could justify sanctioning someone for refusing to jobsearch at the pimp’s palace, if they could establish they’d made the effort at home. That would certainly prove where their loyalties lie and betray this nonsense about a flexible customer centric approach, and all the other blather that the government puts out.

  163. agnes fairchilds says:

    I just got back from my appointment with advisor and job search. I got given a sheet to fill in which jobs I would be applying for. No problems. Then I went to see the advisor. She asked to see the sheet, I gave it to her and told her it was a bit ridiculous coming in to do a job search as it was just a duplication of what i’d done in the morning. This puzzled her, and then she got back into her stride telling me how not many people have a computer at home???? And that to save duplication I could come in and photocopy my JCP diary so that they could keep that in my file but I’d still have to do job search there. She realised that it’s difficult as I have to do job search for JCP and for them too. Then she asked me to print out the emails I’d sent, it would only take a minute on their computers. I refused to do this, She then asked me to print out the applications when I got home, which I agreed to just so I could get out of there. This was so she could have a look at them and see where I am going wrong, (there’s a nasty little attempt to knock my self esteem, didn’t work), and keep them in my file, her job is to help me she’s on my side, why did I think I haven’t been successful as there are lots of jobs out there. Looks like a fishing exercise to me, one of them is an on-line app, why would I pass this information onto her? She then went to get my file. Inside was the customer charter, I haven’t got one of them I said, oh that’s probably because you didn’t sign the waiver she said, still never got one. Then the action plan got pulled out and then it was put away again. I don’t have an action plan, i didn’t ask why, the answer always seems to be because you haven’t signed the waiver. I told her I was escalating my original complaint, didn’t mention I was now adding to it that I haven’t been given any complaints procedures even though the ICE has notified them of my original complaint. There was however a laminated print out on the desk of how to comment/complain, unfortunately the laminate made no mention that if you weren’t satisfied you could take it to the ICE, whoops that doesn’t match their tender.
    But best of all, an agency rang me up while I was in there job searching, with a job. It’s not permanent, it is as and when, but it is a foot in the door of the public sector, and as long as I can make £270 a month I am no worse off than I am now.
    Haven’t got to go back till the new year now, then it’s 2 1/2 hrs job search weekly. I’ve got fingers and toes crossed that today may have been the last time I have to encounter the work programme.
    Sorry it’s a bit long and rambling, I’m typing it as well as I can remember, I did nearly lose my temper today.
    And just to add welcome back Jack and well done wishface re guardian q&a

  164. agnes fairchilds says:

    http://www.boycottworkfare.org/ Workfare at Poundland facing legal challenge

    http://www.redpepper.org.uk/all-work-and-no-pay/ (hat-tip andrew ipswich unemployed action)

    • Gissajob says:

      Thanks for the links Agnes,
      The more I read, the more I learn, the angrier I get! We seem to be turning in to a right wing fascist state. Probably Camoron’s bid to get back more powers from Europe will include ditching the Human Rights Act (thus nullifying any challenge to slave labour).
      The pimps seem incapable of understanding that ;
      1. They haven’t created one new job. The whole unemployment bizniss is about who gets the job. If one of their alumni gets a job he/she does so at the expense of the person that would otherwise have got that job. Proof – ask yourself if the pimps weren’t herer would there now be millions of unfilled job vacancies! Overall result to the unemployment stats = nil. Cost to the taxpayer £5billion +?
      2. People do not like being unemployed. For the vast majority of us it is not a lifestyle choice. it is demeaning and degrading and a huge waste of talent.
      3. We not not like being sold to the pimps in order to line the pockets of the Enemma harrison/Delottes etc. etc. etc. etc. This is no way to build self esteem and confidence (though it does a lot to transfer public money to tory supporters).
      4. If the welfare system needs reform (it does) it should not be placed in the hands of privateers out to line their own pockets but should be seen as a genuine public service aimed to help those who need it. Genuine new jobs and real training are what is required – not the systematic milking of European Social Fund money (largely on false pretences).
      5. To stigmatise the unemployed is reprehensible (but maybe understandable in the light of the media onslaught from the usual suspects). To criminalise the unemployed by community payback in excess of the sentence imposed on convicted criminals is obscene. The message being sent out is “it’s better to be a criminal than to be unemployed”.
      6. Using free unpaid labour will undermine the rights and living standards of every citizen – Trade Unions take note.
      7. arithmetic! Even by the hugely distorted standards of the official statistics there are approaching 3 million unemployed . This does not include a whole host of people actually looking for work (including those on pension credit and – believe it or not – the work programme! whopeee! I’m not officially unemployed!). Not wishing to be pedantic let’s say 5 million looking for work. Official vacancies run at around 500,000. Let’s be generous and ignore duplication, phantoms (imaginary vacancies there to meet JC+targets) and commission only (chugger type) vacancies. Even on this generous basis if the system were to fill every vacancy there would still be 4.5 million of us looking for work.
      8. The private sector will fill the jobs lost by the public sector. And what colour is the sky on planet Camoron? We have yet to see the full impact of job losses in the public sector. maybe another 700,000 over the next 12 months or so. The private sector is struggling to maintain the jobs it has at the moment and there is a lot of slack in the system – By which I mean that before hiring new employees the existing workforces will be put back on full time , then overtime. This is but a distant prospect with growth stalled.
      9. Recession? What recession? Quite right we have a depression not a recession.
      10. The business to be in? Well the Poverty pimp sector looks set to boom. A government in our pocket. An inexhaustible supply of raw material in the form of consignments from the DWP. An inexhaustible demand for slave labour from the like of poundland/asda/tesco etc. Money to be levered out of the ESF and backhanders from learn Direct etc. All in all a license to print money.

      Rant over – too tired correct errors – I know there sre some.
      Good night.

  165. Mr No says:

    Hi agnes.

    Sounds like the typical difficult adviser type there. Making some of this shit up as she goes along. So used to the bullshit working on most people, so has to improvise when faced with assertive types.
    Well done for not losing your temper. It’s rather difficult sometimes though. I lost my rag a couple of times on FND, but not so bad as to incur any wrath. Well, maybe a bit, but I just take the piss out of them. If deserved of course!
    I am perfectly reasonable and polite until they start being silly. They want you angry, being calm and asking reasonable questions often confuses them. Which isn’t always a good thing, but it’s what we need to do. After the joke that was FND I will not take any more shit from these idiots! They know they have us on the backfoot and they really take the piss. Sorry, I will take the piss right back.

    I think you could politely and assertively demand a copy of the customer charter.
    Seeing as you are allowed to deny your consent. You are still under a contract with them and as such is doesn’t affect your place on the programme. And as you have been mandated to the programme I would say that you are perfectly entitled to any and all literature that would normally be available. Including this charter. What exactly is this charter? Is it specific to your provider? There own unique equivalent of the JC+ customer charter pamphlet? What is this document that they are refusing you? Interesting that she mentioned the waiver.

    If it were me and this document was within easy reach and could have simply been calmly picked up or removed (from your file, a physical folder of actual paperwork) then at some opportune moment I would have grabbed it and read it. If able to do this unseen all the better. Though I would have blatantly read it seen or not. But that’s me.

    With regard to her saying about how many do not have a computer at home… If I was fortunate enough to have the presence of mind in that situation then i may have jumped on that as reasonable justification as to why I didn’t need to come in for jobsearch ta very much.
    Though it’s often the case that one only thinks of what would have been a great thing to say after the event. Me most definitely included in that!

    Also good on you for refusing to print the emails out. See, you can refuse stuff. No sanction threat there. And you haven’t signed the waiver, so you should have some degree of rights to keep it personal. After all, haven’t most of us refused them a phone and email without penalty? I have and they have seemingly accepted this. Though we are all still feeling our way.
    Good luck with any potential job. As and when hours aren’t a great option to sign off for. In my opinion at least. As a last resort if sanctioned etc perhaps? But you will know what’s best for you.

    Thanks for the post agnes. Could almost feel the vibe of the place from your description.
    We need this good coherent discussion teamed with accurate descriptions of our experiences. Maybe being a little careful not to reveal anything that could be detrimental to our particular situations. Stating the obvious.

    Cheers.

    • agnes fairchilds says:

      Thanks Mr No, I fear the work programme will give me ulcers. I know what you mean about thinking of answers/questions after you leave. Another problem I find is that I don’t want to be mean to anyone, I do believe, or want to believe, that people are basically good and honest but I find this belief naive everytime I go to the WP and then I get angry with myself for letting them get to me or make me question myself. But I do believe to the very marrow of my bones that the work programme is wrong built on lies and obfuscation and that no-one with any integrity would work for them. But we are where we are.

  166. Gissajob says:

    Good post (as ever) mr. No.
    I agree – we need to support one another. I actually believe that the odds are stacked against us but also that withmutual support and exchange of experiences we can fare much better than if we were isolated..

  167. Bernard says:

    The Poverty Pimps are getting nervous and desperate, hence an escalation in their sanction threats and nasty behaviour. I have already seen numerous members of staff made redundant during my first month at the detention centre. They are falling far short of their targets, come March, hopefully quite a few of them will be out of business. They can not even get close to their targets in this economic climate, not even cleaning jobs. If the government bails them out, it will only further cement them as corrupt bastards. The Work Programme is a huge failure.

    • Gissajob says:

      Hi Bernard – yes it’s farcical. I have to attend 2 “structured” jobsearch sessions between now and Christmas. Who on earth is going to be hiring at that time of year. When will these fools wake up and realise that it doesn’t matter how hard one searches for a job if there aren’t enough to go round there will always be a pool of unemployed. Maybe I do them a disservice and that is exactly what they do want – just to keep the proles down!
      I got this from the Indus site:
      “It looks like at least one prime may be having money problems. Starting this week one of the East of England providers is refusing to pay travel expenses to people on the Work Programme who visit their centre for less than two hours.”
      Surely this is against their contract with the DWP??

      • agnes fairchilds says:

        I’ve never had my travel expenses refunded.

        • wishface says:

          If you travel to the appointment and it’s not your signing day then I’m pretty sure that any p[rovider is obliged to meet your expenses. This may not be the case in these days of the right wing so it wouldn’t surprise me if they are happy to further stiff the unemployed. But i’d kick up a right stink. In fact it would be the first thing i’d insist on being resolved at every appointment. If it’s part of their contract then they should be happy to resolve such a simple piece of admin.

          Shouldn’t they?

      • wishface says:

        I have to sign on the 23rd and I wonder the same thing: am i going to apply for a job the day before xmas? Get real!
        Not only that but they also tried to spring a surprise review on me for the 29th as well under the guise of ‘human error’ on the part of my adviser when she booked the appointment on 25.11 for the 23.12 (what a confusing nightmare). The adviser that told me this yesterday had a right attitude about her as well. I’ve blogged about it.
        The whole thing is crazy. Give the claimant a break, it’s christmas ffs! That way they can give themselves a break. But no, IDS thinks christmas and holidays must be earned – just like Jesus said! The man’s a swivel eyed zealot with no clue about the real world.
        With respect to:
        “It looks like at least one prime may be having money problems. Starting this week one of the East of England providers is refusing to pay travel expenses to people on the Work Programme who visit their centre for less than two hours.”
        If the refuse then simply refuse to attend. Surely to god that’s in breach of the rules as you say. That’s the line folks, they’ve drawn it. More fool them.

  168. Mr No says:

    I suggest you keep your receipt/tickets and ask for your travel next time agnes.

    If they refuse my travel expenses I will be justified in not attending till they do so.

    Ooh, just let them try and not reimburse my fares. Ha! Both barrels they’ll get.

  169. Gissajob says:

    Agnes – that can’t be right! If the pimp requires you to attend (i.e. an appointment has been made by them) then they should pay the travel expenses (by cheapest public transport). They should also pay any caring expenses (e.g. childcare) incurred by the customer.
    I suggest you raise this with your pimp – and ask for (demand) back payments. If they refuse then you should complain.
    I get my bus fare refunded – all I have to do is give them a photocopy of my ticket. This is standard practice and is probably part of their contract with the DWP – I can’t imagine that a4greed would be doing this if they didn’t have to! If you get the chance ask other victims at your pimp if they get travel costs refunded.

  170. agnes fairchilds says:

    bringing this over from black triange dwpexamination. Makes for interesting reading, claimant took on provider of FND through court. ECHR 1998 Violations by DWP and trainee provider.
    http://www.dwpcorruption.co.uk/Archive/DWP_and_Calder_UK.htm

    Thanks everyone re fare refunds

    • Gissajob says:

      Hi Agnes,
      very interesting, thanks for the link. Would be interesting to know the exact ruling and reasons given by the court as, on the face of it, a lot of the arguments/complaints seem to apply to the WP as much as the FND. Would also help to know the process to go through to get a case to court (without too much cost!).
      Good luck with your fares claim

    • wishface says:

      Is your provider seetec?

  171. agnes fairchilds says:

    No not Seetec,

    Found this on ipswich unemployed action.

    DWP Generic Provider Guidance:
    (DWP Provider Guidance Chapter 2: “Travel Expenses”)

    138.Participants attending provision are entitled to a refund of the travel costs they incur. It is your responsibility to pay the participant’s travel costs as travel expenses are included within the funding received from DWP as part of the overall contract package.

    139.Participants are expected to travel to your provision by the cheapest method available to them. However, some participants will be unable to travel by the cheapest method for example, due to a disability or the need to be accompanied by a support worker.

    140.On commencing provision you should advise participants what evidence they will need to produce to claim refunds of travel costs, for example bus tickets.

    Work Programme Provider Guidance: Ch4

    63. Undertaking this action promptly will enable you to offer the claimant both the initial support they may require to begin work, for example travel expenses, clothing etc and ongoing in-work support to help them sustain employment.

    and remember….

    Work Programme Provider Guidance: Ch1

    9. Jobcentre Plus remains responsible for the overall participant experience and will collect any informal feedback that participants volunteer about
    their provision. This will be passed to your performance managers on a regular basis.

    • Gissajob says:

      Hi Agnes – good find. It seems to me that they don’t have a leg to stand on! Have some fun! Complain that you weren’t advised at outset what evidence you needed to produce (para 140 above). Complain that you have been misinformed re travel expenses (i.e. told they were non refundable). Demand a full refund for every appointment you have kept. It may be as well to put in writing then you can give the JC a copy when you next sign on as “informal feedback”. Mention this to the JC as it’s not just you that has been swindled – it’s presumably dozens of others in the same boat – and they should get a refund too.

  172. fishbutty says:

    I had my first appt a few weeks ago on a one to one basis and made sure not to sign the “data protection” and “sharing of information” sheets after reading the posts here. My advisor asked me to bring my cv to the next appointment tomorrow. I am happy for him to see it but he’s under the impression that he will be scanning it and putting it on their system. As I know they cannot be trusted I don’t want them to do that.

    What would be the best approach to make sure he doesn’t try to interpret my not wanting it on their system in a negative way as they seem so keen to do?

    • Gissajob says:

      Hi fishbutty, I did a long, comprehensive repy to your question. I pushed the button and got consigned to the regions of eternal darkness! I am not [repared to do the same again (especially with this peculiar, stuttering input!). Suffice it to say that you are well within your rights to refuse pimp access to your CV (why would they need it if they don’t have authority to send it out?). Be reasonable but refuse them permission to keep your cv. If they want to send it for a specific vacancy then they should contact you so you can apply direct. Show them a paper copy by all means (saves answering a lot of questions) but do not give thenm permission to keep on file.

  173. Mr No says:

    I am supposed to be taking my CV in too at the next appointment. I didn’t sign the waiver either.

    I will show them it and when they try and go off to scan or photocopy it, Or even put it aside on the assumption they are keeping it! I will politely state that I will be retaining my CV.
    I will have shown that I have an adequate CV. And they may look at it. But they will not be scanning it or keeping even a photocopy.
    Also my telephone and email details will be missing from this CV. If I am asked I will mention that my preferred method of contact is post or at our arranged appointments. My private data is my private data. And as such have the right to privacy. I will say that I use a family members phone for employers. They rarely call anyway. An email if you are very lucky!

    Gissajob is right. Just be polite at all times. But stand your ground. Stay calm.

  174. wishface says:

    I have to say I’m really struggling right now. I’m thinking of ringing up the JC and seeing if they can do anythingas I can’t face having to attend two appointments next week at all, includiong signing. I can’t even get an appointment anytime soon with the GP until the middle of January (as if they’d help). Of course if I don’t turn up next week it’ll be even worse.

    • jgglas says:

      i was told by advisior (ingeus) medical and family emergency,s are aloud(think she said 3 or 4 per year) were reasonable for canceling appointments. last month i phoned them just said i an emergency medical appointment and asked for a new appointment. didn’t tell what it was none of there business.

  175. agnes fairchilds says:

    @wishface. I really don’t have anything constructive to say to you, but I do hope that you find a way through. I just wanted you to know that you’ve been heard, I wish you well.

    • wishface says:

      Thanks. If i could just get through to new year without havign to deal with that wretched place it’d make all the difference, but the consequenes for just playing truant are going to be far worse – and I doubt they’ll listen to me feeling sorry for myself, which is i’m sure their persective.

  176. fuckem says:

    Wishface , don’t let the bastards grind you down ,we are better people than them, remember that mate

  177. Mr No says:

    Hey wishface.
    Sorry to hear you’re feeling down.
    The signing on should be straightforward at least, hopefully anyway. Just fill in your book, do what needs to be done etc. Thank you, see you next time.
    Always remember that if in any period you don’t see any vacancies to apply for this isn’t your fault and is not grounds for sanction doubts alone. As long as you are making the effort and can show such. To a reasonable extent.
    I know this is obvious stuff and it’s not new info to you.
    You seem to be a perfectly reasonable and intelligent sort and if you conduct yourself with even half of the common sense you display in type on the blogs then all to the good.
    Stay strong mate. Good luck.
    .

    • wishface says:

      Thanks. The problem is the complete lack of any kind of support or advocacy at all. When it comes to sick notes/benefits doctors can’t get away quick enough. They just don’t want to kmnow. That of course doesn’t help.
      I wish i could believe i could just sign on and be done, but I don’t even have the energy to muster to even travel there. Not to mention the third degree i got last time I signed due to them making a pigs ear out of my appointments (don’t ask, they never explained it to me either). If i have to go through all that again I shall flip my lid.
      I have no idea what a work psychologist even is, but it’s rather telling that after a year of trying to get an appointment for an asperger diagnosis and being told the local mental health department won’t see me (again don’t ask why, i have no idea), I can get an appointment with a DWP shrink pretty easily. But I certainly don’t trust their opinion, their with the DWP!

    • Gissajob says:

      @wishface. Just like to second what mr No said. Just remember all things must pass and things rarely turn out to be as bad as we anticipate.

  178. wishface says:

    Thanks for the comments. I don’t want this to be a self indulgent affair, that’s not the purpose of this thread. I just find it criminal the total lack of support that’s available. How many more people find themselves struggling in silence?

  179. wishface says:

    Have a look at the ingues thread on the consumer action group forums, there is a client on the Work Programme that, having signed off, is being offered £75 by his provider….on the condition that said client coughs up the details the provider wants so they may secure a payment.

  180. agnes fairchilds says:

    This happened to me about 15 years ago on another programme, 6 months work experience + an NVQ 2, it was voluntary, 4 days experience + 1 day at the course centre, where we got trained and marked by people working towards a training/teaching qualification. It’s a long story, the course was nothing which I’d been led to believe and no help in changing career path. I never bothered collecting the NVQ as it was worthless to me, one fellow refused to complete the NVQ as he didn’t believe he had actually done anything to cover it, I agreed with him. Anyway, once it had ended I got phone calls asking if I’d attended the interview they’d set up for me, they thought they were speaking to someone else on the phone, I called them back fuming at this deceit, they apologised and said they’d rang the wrong number. Then i got at least 2 letters offering me money if I told them if/where i was working, and then they sent my a letter offering to enter me into a prize draw if i told them if/where i was working. I ignored them all and they went away and left me alone. I will be doing this with this bunch of providers too.

  181. Bernard says:

    Don’t let the bastards grind you down wishface, they will count it as a victory when they issue a sanction doubt. Attend the appointments if you can, and do the minimum, also make sure to question everything they ask you to do, they don’t like being on the other end of harassment.

    The bastards will not be getting a job outcome fee out of me, think that I’m going to be grateful to them for issuing sanction threats for trivial things, constant harassment etc. Scum, the lot of them.

    • wishface says:

      Thanks.
      I’m probably going to phone in sick on friday. I can’t deal with their nonsense anymore. They couldn’t even properly refund my bus fare yesterday (which i need for friday anyway) before I had to leave to catch the bus home. Apparenlty only one person, in the entire office had the means to get the money. They are a joke, especially the receiption guy who was incredibly rude in the process. Oh i could go on about how i loathe the place until the end of time…

  182. Mr No says:

    A word to the wise wishface… Remember if you do phone in sick that’s one of your two ‘allowed’ periods of sickness gone. And as it’s a normal signing on day, which we have to do every two weeks anyway, why not just front up and have your book filled in with the required (minimum?) amount of ‘activity’? They may not hassle you too much. Hopefully,
    When you are on the WP you might need both of those times that ‘you are allowed’ (!) to be off sick.
    Also, maybe, if you are able, go and check on thursday if your money has been paid in. Or friday morning before you sign? If you go.
    I also have to sign this week! Hopefully just the usual 5 minutes in and out, which seems to be the case since WP referral! It would be particularly petty if they were to raise any issues just before the festive season, but nothing would surprise me with most of these idiots.

    Some slightly decent news on the WP front here… I have not received a letter from the pimps regarding any further appointment yet. I was going to post the other day, but thought I’d wait a bit. Thinking that even this week I may get a letter. But no, no letter thus far. I think I may be ok now till January. February? Nah, doubt that very much. One can hope though. Ha!

    Take care all.

    • wishface says:

      You’re probably right. Rationally the smart thing to do is go in and sign, get it over with. But my rational thinking has been shot to pieces by these people (and remember this is just the regular JC+ staf; i’ve yet to experience the full joy of the WP). I know you’re aonly allowed to periods of sickness a year, i haven’t need to use any yet. I’d declare a holiday period, but i suspect you can’t do that if you’re holidaying at home and besides they want contact details and i haven’t the energy to come up with some great big lie.
      I had to see a DWP Work Pscyhologist on monday. What a bizarre notion. I’m not even sure what the point of it iwas because from what I cans ee she doesn’t seem to do or have the means to do or change anything. Just money for old rope. She turned up late (that’s a bit unfair as she did apologise – and she seemed personable enough) and so the appointment ended near to my bus time and the idiots on the desk couldn’t muster the administrative skills to get money from petty cash and hand it to me to refund my bus fare. Seems to require such a military effort that immense logistical planning and forethought is required. They got very indignant when i reminded them, quite politely (i’m not going to bite the hand that feeds), i need to catch my bus, as if to say “but i’ve already done my bit, how dare you question me?”. But I need the money mate! And in the meantime the obsequious reception person gets the huymp and starts accusing me of doing this before, ie being ‘difficult’, in a really snide way. Complete fiction. But we all know what these clowns are like.

  183. Bernard says:

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/supplying-dwp/what-we-buy/welfare-to-work-services/notices-to-providers/generic-prov-guide-ch-5.shtml

    I wonder why providers would waste their time harassing customers who haven’t signed the data waiver. It is very unlikely that they will be able to claim a job outcome payment.

    • Gissajob says:

      Hi Bernard. I guess they’re hoping that we’ll all be so impressed at their service and the help they give in finding us long term, sustainable employment that we’ll change our minds! Or maybe they’re afraid if they “park” non signers it would send out the wrong message to others. Anyhow I think non signing the data waiver form is the most effective weapon in our armoury at the moment.

      • wishface says:

        Can the Jobcentre pass on these details directly to the provider (as they likley have them as part of the claim)?

        • Gissajob says:

          Hi Wishface. If you mean the JC passing on details of your new employer to pimp – then the answer is “yes” – they can pass this on – but only if they know details of the new employment! The claimant (ex-claimant) is under no obligation to tell the JC details of new employment though this will probably disqualify any new job bounty being paid.
          Anyway even if the pimp has details of the new employer he would be commiting a crime to contact them without your permission (i.e. if the waiver has not been signed). I appreciate this may not deter some of the pimps. Similarly the new employer should not be discussing you or your details with the pimp unless you have authorised him to do so – and you haven’t because the data waiver is not signed. Strictly speaking a new employer should refuse to talk to pimp without obtaining your permission first – to do so would be a breach of the Data Protection Act.

          • agnes fairchilds says:

            @wishface, hope the day went well for you today

            • wishface says:

              Thanks. Actually it did. Not that I shouldn’t be grateful, but it seems at times the JC plays good cop, bad cop. You never really know where you stand. However I did attend, didn’t want to, but it was the best thing. Fortunately it was done and dusted quickly enough and I got my bus fare properly refunded. So all in all I can’t complain. Let’s just hope that 2012 is the year the unemployed get a break from this ridiculous system because no matter how well, or otheriwse, it’s administered, the problem is the system.

  184. gissajob says:

    Good new site to do with all things data protection etc.
    http://www.consent.me.uk/

    • wishface says:

      Good stuff.

      2012 is going to be a year of change for the welfare system, it’s friends and enemies (that’s YOU mr D Smith). I think we’ve got a real fight on our hands over the next 12 months, both on and off the WP.

  185. OceanDepths says:

    If anyone has any suggestions, tips or ideas on issues of protecting YOUR data whilst on the Work Programme, you can email info@consent.me.uk or use the form at http://www.consent.me.uk/contact/
    @ Jack Cade If required to ‘show’ a CV, then just remove the bits that you don’t want to disclose, just replace them with [redacted], for such items as email address, employers names, school names, qualifications etc. In short provide a copy of the CV but in such a way disclosure of personal information is fully controlled, whilst providing enough evidence of a ability to create and update a CV?

    New Year resolution: “I withdraw consent”

  186. agnes fairchilds says:
  187. gissajob says:

    Thanks Agnes – I seem to have sneaked back in under the wire! Happy New Year.

  188. agnes fairchilds says:

    Well done gissa, and a Happy New Year to you and all

  189. agnes fairchilds says:

    don’t really know if i should be putting this up but……….http://www.onepoll.com/ I’ve used this, you can only take your money out when it hits £40, it take around 3-4 months to accumulate this amount keeping you well within the £5 a week you can earn without it affecting your benefits, but you get pence for doing surveys, £40 often comes in handy and it is free money. Investigate or ignore as you wish.

  190. gissajob says:

    They’ve done it again! This from the Indus site:

    Indus Delta has recently had an influx of commenters who appear to be opposed to the entire idea that claimants should seek work. We do not feel that it is fair to those who spend their working lives trying to help people get jobs to allow the discussion part of the site to be overtaken by people who are opposed to what we all do. There are other websites that take on that role. We have therefore had to disallow some commenters, and will continue to do so to others in similar circumstances.

    . What is it about these people that makes free speech so abhorrent to them?

  191. agnes fairchilds says:

    http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/improving-public-service/reports-and-consultations/reports/parliamentary/small-mistakes,-big-consequences/15

    ombudsman upholds claimants complaint regarding JCP

    ‘We recommended to Jobcentre Plus that:

    the Chief Executive write to Mr K to apologise for their failings; and
    they pay him £10,000 in recognition of the injustice he suffered.

    Given our concern that Mr K’s case might indicate a wider problem in the Jobcentre Plus unit that had dealt with it, we also recommended that:

    the Chief Executive should consider what further action he might take to assure himself that such problems would not recur, and to provide the Ombudsman and Mr K with a copy of the ensuing action plan.

    Jobcentre Plus agreed to implement our recommendations. ‘

  192. wishface says:

    I learned today that if you don’t have a significant work history you are supposed to be referred straight away to the Work Programme, not after a year.

  193. Mr No says:

    Hello.

    Until there is something ‘official’ in writing to refer to regarding instant WP referral then it could just be an opinion rather than fact. I’m sure i’ve read somewhere that they want people on WP after 3 months, or that’s the plan? The providers would like the fresh initiates though!
    I really don’t think they could currently and legally put anyone straight on WP. That’s just not right. Mind you, when does that ever stop them! And i don’t know the source of the info. Just my opinion.

    Just popping in to say hello, hope everyone is well and that this year will be better for us. Despite the indignity of having to go through the WP.

    Signed on this week, 2 minutes! ‘Hello, how are you?’. Etc. Signing form was ready for me to sign as i approached the desk! Mind you, usual signing person wasn’t there, otherwise I may have been there the full 5 minutes.

    Back to searching for a decent job. They are right when they say there are jobs out there, just nothing that is suitable for me. As opposed to what they would consider suitable for them.
    Maybe one or two jobs a fortnight will come up that are worth an application. Maybe 3? Or I could waste my time applying for jobs i cannot do, not qualified/experienced to do, cannot afford to do! Etc.
    I do what I do and if they don’t like it then tough. I want to work, But I will not be coerced into anything I do not want or am justified in declining. And if it’s reasonable justification then it should be ok. The sanction doubts will be forthcoming I suppose.
    Unless a nice little job turns up reasonably local first. Then I will gladly sign off.

    Caught between a rock and a hard place. Trying to keep the stress levels down, Easier said than done. But trying is better than giving up. That’s not an option!

    Is everyone still here? Where’s Jack I wonder? Hope we will keep the lines of communication open. At least until they start further restricting this interweb thingy. Half Joking!

    Take care all.

    • wishface says:

      On the WP i’m told that when you sign the JC just take a signature. No job searching or fannying around (that’s all handled by your pimp).

      The problem I have with the legality of all this, and what I tried mentioning on that other workprgramme discussion site (which seems to have been abandoned), is that we can discuss amongst ourselves on the internet what’s right or wrong. But when you’re in the jobcentre dealing with these people face to face it’s a different story – especially as they hold the purse strings. That doesn’t mean they are right when they tell me people without significant work history are meant to be referred much sooner, but it does mean that you better be prepared for a bit of a fight if you try and argue the point and most of us just want to sign and get our money rather than deal with all their bollocks. Same with dealing with propviders I would think. These people aren’t being paid to make your life easy – or even to tell you the rules.

      • Cops & Robbers says:

        But what you are alluding to is the same psychology that operates in a police interrogation room. “Suspects” c.f. jobseekers are placed under tremendous pressure and will sign a confession c.f data protection act waiver just to get the hell outta there… in others words complying with “authority” brings temporary relief but will bring severe consequences further down the line such as prison c.f picking up dog turds from the canal bank. Standing up to “authority” is never easy – it’s not meant to be but you have to think ahead a little bit.

  194. gissajob says:

    @wishface the DWP guidelines might help – Chapter 2 and the annex cover claimant eligibility and “entry points”
    Chapter2 here: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wp-pg-chapter-2.pdf
    it says “5.
    Claimants will have different entry points to the Work Programme, and different participation requirements, depending on their circumstances (such as age, benefit type and availability to seek work). There is a summary of the payment groups and participants’ entry points and participation requirements in Annex A.”
    Looking at Annex a you will need to know what cohort you are in (as per the table).. Looking at the detailed description of each group on page 6 I can see no mention of ” people without significant work history “.
    Find out by asking at the JC which cohort you are in and check your position against the table.

    • wishface says:

      I will be sent to them come March, which will be a year into my JSA claim. That’s the default position anyway. I’m prepared for that. There was always going to be some pressure brought to bear on claimants at that point; there always was.
      What concerns me more is that, with regard to the passing on of information, the DWP already have my CV and my phone number (home only, i don’t own a mobile). I can refuse to give those directly to the WP, if asked, but surely they’ll just get them from the JC. I suppose I could ask the JC remove said info, but even if i have the authority to do so it will only provoke a load of passive aggressive crap from them (you know the sort, ‘were just trying to help’) which frankly I can’t deal with right now. That’s assuming they even acede to my authority anyway.

  195. jayne says:

    After over 12 months of being unemployed being on the WP is jeapordizing the job I was due to start tomorrow.
    They knew I was due on the WP from my interview last year. I emailed them an enquiry last week for their new address as they were relocating in Jan and I needed it, Ithen had a call from office staff to say a letter had been sent out with all their new details and I was asked to confirm if I had started on a government programme which I said yes to as it had been discussed in my interview anyway. Iv since had an email from the manager to say he needs to discuss my pending employment with his partners as last year when they were working from another county they had employed someone on the wp and they had been unindated with intrusive questions on a weekly basis. I explained I had not signed the consent form.
    As other ppl have said providers could find out as i may need to tell jc a new employers details so I get the £100 back to work bonus and I need the 4 week run on of hb as I live alone.
    I didnt get my next wp app as I said I was signing off I gave no details even thou at every app he banged on about needing info if I got a job. Is my claim safe at the jc as I have not signed off but worried provider could close it as I told him the 9th ????
    If I lose this job offer I will be fuming, I want answers as to why my provider kept saying about needing employers addy when I had not signed the consent form. Why was their inductions 3 hours long filling in forms yet the forms have obviously not been looked at.
    I thought signing the consent form was just intrusive for us but its as bad for employers if they have to send account of our weekly hours and pay each week especially for 2 whole years. Small companys do not have time for this.
    If worse comes to worse and I complain to Head Office at Serco with my email evidence am I within my rights to refuse anymore face to face app till my complaint has been investigated ?? I have no problem with sending them a weekly report of my jobsearch.

    • wishface says:

      As far as I can tell, and I’m no expert on all of this, it shouldn’t affect those things at all. The provider only wants the employer info because that’s how he gets paid. If you don’t have to give that info or sign said forms then there really shouldn’t be an issue. They are answerable to the JC so if the JC turn around and refuse to pay you those things then they are being extremely petulant. All I can say is talk to Citizens Advice.
      These problems really shouldn’t be happening and any JC adviser worth a damn should recognise that you have a job and that’s more important than what some silly WP provider thinks.

      • I Cant Believe Its Not Bullshit says:

        The provider wants your details so they can pass you on to the “Career Coach” :-) lol for ongoing “support and advice” :-) lol

    • gissajob says:

      Hi Jayne – difficult one this so let’s try to work it through. You say you need the back to work bonus and the run off benefit so this means that the JC will need to know details of your new employer. I think we can safely assume that if the JC knows these details then it won’t be long before your pimp knows them too. However the pimp is still not authorised by you to contact your new employer and to do so would be a breach of the Data Protection Act. I doubt if this will stop them as they will do anything to get their payoff! Similarly your new employer does not have your authority to speak to the pimp about your employment – and they should not do so without your express permission. If challenged by the new employer I guess the pimp might try to bluff saying something like “oh we have her permission for you to speak to us”.
      I think what I would do is try to explain (as politely as possible) to the new employer that you cannot stop the pimp ringing up and asking about you (even though this is illegal). That you don’t want the new employer do discuss anything about you with the pimp – they should say something like “ I am not at liberty to confirm or deny any details about any of my employees (or anyone else) with you. Please do not contact me again.”
      Hopefully this may work.
      Good Luck!

      • jayne says:

        Hi Gissajob, went to the cab this morning. My claim is safe I am the only one who can close it via phone or giving in my book,or if I miss signing or a jc app and don’t get in touch in 5 days. I said I didnt get a next wp app so I am advised to wait for contact, I can always say I sent them a letter re a different start date or whatever and it must of gone missing.
        Re needing to tell jc of a new employer he said to get the back to work bonus I need not tell them after all who would sign off if it was not to be getting a job/income instead. The run of hb could be a different matter to prove as I said the job was only 30 hours so I would need to reclaim housing benefit when I start or working tax credit or a combination, then i would have to prove where I worked like showing wage slips etc so my new hb can be worked out.
        If my job is safe he advised me to query about why my consent form refusal was never brought up ie was these forms even looked at.
        The employer is within his right to say he would rather not take anyone on from the Wp the same as its their right to advertise and say no agencies as this doubles their paperwork. If I do get bad news then I can always take it up through the relevent ombudsman from my local council if I think I have been treated unfairly and messed about.
        I took a copy of the consent form and he even said it was very intrusive, he joked even when he worked his wife didnt even know what he bought home each week so why on earth should a stranger be kept in the loop with what you take home each week. He commentated on small run companys like the one with my job offer why should they have all this extra harrassment simply for giving someone a job.
        My jc have a rough idea of my place of work as on the rare occasion they looked at my job diary it was after an interview there and also I had to rearrange a jc app with an advisor due to it falling on the same day as a 2nd interview callback and I had to show proof. So if the provider gets in touch with jc before me and finds out this info then contacts the employer directly I can have them for being in breach of data protection as they didnt check if I had signed it or not..
        If I want to pursue re the checking of forms and it turns out I have to remain on the wp a while I can state in a recorded delivery letter what I am not happy with and I would like an answer before I get my next app. If I show more than willing to send in my job search account regularly then they may accept this after all all my apps so far have been about 5 mins and all he has done is look at my job search so whats the difference. It annoys me its 2 bus journeys away taking about 1.5 hours with the connecting bus wait just to be in the place 5 mins.

      • From the DWP says:

        These desperate-for-a-quick-buck bastards will no doubt ‘phone Jayne’s new employer and use the old trick of saying: “I’m from the DWP, you are required to give us some details regarding Jayne’s new employment”. Cunts!

  196. Mr No says:

    This type of scenario happening has crossed my mind before. It is indeed a difficult one.
    Sounds to me like the outcome will ultimately rest with the employer in this situation.
    Have you actually been offered the job? Employer expressed his concerns regarding being hassled by the provider after offering you the job? The employer may be within his or her rights to not employ someone on WP, but without the finer details it would appear that the employer may be being a bit of an arse! Maybe not?
    It would qualify for discrimination if they failed to employ you on this basis. But you cannot really blame them, maybe this other provider they mentioned was a right pain in the backside.
    Have a proper conversation with the employer, tell them in no uncertain terms how you can understand their position and how you haven’t signed the data waiver. And that by contacting them they will be breaching data protection. So this will make them easier to deal with should they start calling.

    Also it will be down to the JC too, because that’s the only way the provider will be getting any details, not from you.
    If they decide to employ you, the only people that will have to know will be JC/DWP to enable any HB issues.
    I think the breaching of the data act may prevent a lot (some at least) of providers from chancing it. That will probably be the crucial difference between you and the last person they employed from a govt programme. That employee probably wasn’t aware of the data sharing issues and signed everything. Mention that to the employer too perhaps. Especially if you really want this job.

    If you can do the job no problem then this issue shouldn’t be an issue. Or shouldn’t be. But unfortunately it is.
    Any manager, or head cheese in a company that has at least half a brain and is assertive should in no uncertain terms be able to deter the provider from any further enquiries. If indeed they did find out from the DWP, the providers hands are tied legally. This knowledge alone should convince the employer to just blooming well give you the blooming job!

    Good luck Jayne. Hope you can sort it out. Let us know how it goes.

    • jayne says:

      Mr No, Yes I have a letter from the employer with a start date on it, I was informed this could change as they were relocating from another county, needed to build up a client list and pair me with a driver employee (its a care within the home job) I had no problem with this as long as I was kept updated. When I had no choice but to email the manager as the start date was due and I received no letter, I also asked for the new company address (even if its a mobile job an employee should know their employers details) I had no intentions of giving this to providers or the JC ( I was just going to sign my booklet with the date I wanted my last claim date to be and put it through their door ) But of course I would need employers address if there was a query with my HB run on and to start an immediate claim for working tax credit or HB or both.
      Anyway this must of set off alarm bells if he had had a bad experience before, He knew from my interviews I was due on the WP.
      I have informed him I never signed the data waiver so contacting them would be an offence.
      As yet no reply or any contact from provider either.
      I do not want to hassle the employer too much, I will give them till Sunday.
      After that should I contact the provider to ask for an app or wait for them to contact me ??? will I be sanctioned for not keeping them in the loop ???
      If I lose this job I really cannot sit there calmly knowing they lost me a job. (even if its just by being on the scheme and employer would rather not employ someone on it )

      Either way I want to complain, ppl here seem to have been queried why they did not want to sign the waiver. , I never got asked which makes me think they never looked at these forms and just stuffed them in my folder. Anyone know the complaints proccess do I have to attend still with an ongoing complaint ?
      Come Monday there will be a letter to head office of providers and if not satisfied with reply a letter to independant case examiner.

      • Mr No says:

        Hi Jayne.

        So you are on the WP and have attended an initial appointment where you didn’t sign the waiver. Or you haven’t signed the waiver because you haven’t seen them yet to sign the waiver? Have you been referred, but are awaiting first contact?
        Sorry if this is in a previous post, i find blogs a little harder to navigate then forums.
        I’m assuming from what you say you have no appointment already arranged with the provider, Whatever the state of play.

        Personally I would not contact the provider at all? If you have no appointment arranged with them why should you? Fuck them and sort out this job offer.
        I had my initial appointment and am on the WP, but as yet they haven’t posted me a second appointment. I’m not going to contact them as they know where I am if they want to send me a letter. Or claim to!
        As is my situation, you cannot be sanctioned unless you miss an arranged appointment. The onus is on them, not you.

        The waiver hasn’t been signed. That’s the main thing. See how things go with the employer first. if it doesn’t work out then think about how to proceed.

        If I was in your position i would have no contact with the provider. See what happens with the employer first, they shouldn’t take too long to decide what they want to do.
        They have effectively already given you the job if you have a letter with a start date!
        If they do not employ you it’s just as much down to them as it would be any providers fault. Even if the provider will be the cause of the retraction of their offer of employment.

        Just stay cool for now, have a think about a conversation with them (employer) after the weekend. It is all down to the employer and the action they take.

        Then once they finally confirm (preferably by letter or email, good to have a record!) that you are actually going to be employed, sort out the JC stuff and sign off. You may have to give details to the JC, as you say, but at the end of the day if the jobs one you actually want then maybe not worry too much about the provider getting their payoff. If they get a payoff. Unfortunately due to HB issues you appear not to have the luxury of just walking away. Complaints aren’t really necessary at the moment. In my opinion.
        Don’t make any hasty decisions until you know 100% you are starting the job.
        Don’t contact provider, don’t sign off, don’t make any complaints until such is required.

        Take it easy and once again the very best of luck.

        • jayne says:

          Yes I am already on the WP inducted 2nd week of Nov 2011 had fortnightly apps till Christmas week. Told advisor I had more or less secured a job but didnt want to say any more till I was sure said I would sign off on the 9th of Jan. He went on about in work support and they would want details sent (never any mention I never signed the waiver)
          My priority at the mo is waiting on securing this job at the end of the day I am a job seeker not just WP produce, if still unemployed I will await a letter off them then choose if I want to complain.
          I have been applying like mad for shorter hours that cover what I get on JSA ie 10-12 hours pw. That way I know I will get full HB still but just want out of the system.
          Does anyone know if I will still need to sign on with this amount to cover my stamp ? If so are WP apps still mandatory even thou I would just be signing to cover my stamp and receive no JSA. Guess refusing everything and being sanctioned would make no difference being as I would be signing on for NI credits only.

  197. agnes fairchilds says:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/11/firsthand-experience-work-programme

    Guardian looking for peoples experience on work programme, comment are open as well

  198. jayne says:

    Update advice needed

    I received emal from prospective employer today. After reassuring them Provider has never had my consent to contact them the advisor I was seeing has only gone and contacted them and provided them with a outcome for payment form !!!
    Advisor must of found out their details from JC they had a copy of my 2nd interview letter as I had to prove it to rearrange a jc app last year. Never had a problem with giving JC info whenever I had interviews.
    I too have had an email from Provider not read it yet but can see it starts with have you signed off/confirm your start date.
    I asked the employer to forward me the email he received.
    What should I do now as the data consent has been breached ? Looks like my employment has been compramised. I really do not want to contact my advisor and give him the heads up, should I press ahead with my complaint to their head office ?? Any help with how to word it would be appreciated and what should I do now if I am not starting work ?? do I have to keep going to the sub contractors and seeing this advisor that breached my consent ???

    • The Mitchells says:

      This is bang out of order, Jane!

      This is from the mse forums and gives you an idea of what these cunts – because make no mistake about is that is exactly what these fucking scum are – cunts – are capable of:

      Dark Lady 10-04-2011, 5:08 PM

      “For me it was a leg up into the sex industry as i went from a work placement in a charity shop to a work placement filing at the council to a proper job in a sex chatline office which i applied for off my own back to get off benefits and off New Deal. The New Deal provider at the time (Reed) wernt too happy about what had to go on the paperwork. In fact it took two hours to sign off because they were panicking about it.
      Then just after i started the job (which was nightshifts) my boss told me that “someone from the Jobcentre” had been round to the chatline office (during the day while i was at home sleeping, night shifts remember) wanting to know the exact details of the job i was doing. Now it doesnt make sense that it was a Jobcentre advisor cos they have it all to gain when you sign off.
      So it must have been someone from Reed New Deal who was !!!!ed at losing his bonus (cos they didnt get one back then if you found a job and signed off on your own back but they got a bonus if you stayed on the dole and kept doing work placements with them) this was ten years ago. I was absolutely furious.
      A They could have lost me the new job.
      Luckily my boss saw through it and told them to get lost.
      B Once i had signed off it was no bloody business of theirs anyway. How dare they.
      The Reed advisor even had the cheek to say to me “oh the chatline are only paying you 12 and a half grand a year. We can do better than that.” So i fired back, “No you cant. You have had me on work placements for months on end.
      Absolutely unbelievable and 12 grand a year was a bloody good wage ten years ago especially in a small town like this. So i bit that companys hand off and kissed New Deal goodbye.”

      Dark Lady 11-04-2011, 3:30 PM

      “Four Candles you talk about it getting you motivated to get up in the morning but the chatline job i got was nights. People might work 9 to 5 in your world but thats not the case for everyone.
      And i found the chatline job myself so Reed got the hump over losing their bonus and the chance to keep handing me out as free labour. Which is why they came to my office when they knew i wouldnt be there because of sleeping during the day because i worked nights. They were deliberately trying to make a nuisance of themselves hoping my new boss would get fed up and sack me so then i would have to sign on and then be back on their books as free labour again. I was lucky that i had a decent boss who saw through it and told them it was none of their business anymore.
      But if these !!!!!!!s had got me the sack i would have gone straight to the press.”

      here

    • wishface says:

      This really shouldn’t affect you getting or starting the job.
      Don’t get me wrong, these providers are crooks plain and simple. Certainly complain, get them fucking in the firing line.
      But your employer should, hopefully, be understanding of this, it isn’t your fault after all.

  199. jayne says:

    Just thought does this employer have to become my employer for me to raise a complaint even though they have made contact with an employer they assumed I had started with when i didnt sign the data waiver ??

  200. Big George says:

    Jane, You need to look into commercial liens, You have them by the balls if you get that email from the employer they contacted.
    I just filed 6 claims worth £6000 against my provider for bringing a sanction against my claim, Wish
    I could have a been a fly on the wall when they were received.

    1: Go to the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) and file a complaint for breech of the data protection act 1998 against your provider.

    2: Make a formal complaint to the provider, Need to do this so you can later on get ICE involved and get the provider a nice £5000 fine.

    3: Read up on commercial liens, Google Ben Lowery and the Spaniard.

    I am around most days if you need any help, Always looking for work on the computer so will catch any posts pretty quickly.

    George

    • wishface says:

      I wish you luck with your claim, but if they contest it and do nothing (as is likely, these people are scum), how are you going to back this up? Can you get legal aid for this anymore?

  201. Mr No says:

    Hi Jayne.

    If you aren’t offered the job because of the provider contact with the employer then that is discrimination by the employer. Pure and simple.
    The employer should simply ignore the provider and employ you, but as with most these days they don’t want the bother. In a way you cannot blame them entirely, but I’d say do you actually want to work for a company like that? Ideally you want the job, but it says a lot about the employer in my opinion. Mind you could you imagine how the provider might pester the employer? Hmmm? Especially as they have had this happen before.

    Do you have to keep going to provider if you don’t get the job? Yes, if you do not want to be sanctioned. Unfortunately,
    Who to complain to? Well, the official line is you must complain to provider first. Ha, what a joke, they may be just a tiny bit biased.
    Others here may be further down the road with what to do and when you can approach the ICE. Though you could go back to the CAB. Depending on how sympathetic they were to your situation the last time you went.
    .
    Unfortunately it would appear that we have to watch what we tell the JC as the reality of the situation is there is little we can do to prevent communication between them and the provider. This may not be entirely practical depending on any individuals particular circumstances.

    You have cause for complaint regardless of whether you get the job or not.
    They have ignored the fact you haven’t given consent. As is your right.
    This doesn’t surprise me in the least. But they have broken the rules.

    • jayne says:

      Employer contacting me Friday with outcome he needs to speak to his partners.
      Now have the email forwarded with the form he even said you need to fill in this form just to satisfy our audit requirements.
      If needs be yes I will be complaining to the employer seperately. After all all he needs to do is block the emails, return any letters to sender etc thats what I would do as an employer. Not sure if he replied to provider saying do I need to fill in this form as I have it on good authority she did not give consent for you to contact me. Again thats what I would of done and seen providers response.
      Either way will wait till Fri till I send my complaint letter. Sending it to the complaints and compliance manager at the regional office of provider. If unsatisfied with answer I will complain to ICE.
      If no job outcome I will wait for an app letter. Wonder how I would get treated after making an official complaint. Will they turn nasty and make me go in more often for job searches,work placements and workshops etc or give me a wide berth because they know they will never get paid when I find work.

      • agnes fairchilds says:

        Jayne before you complain to ICE make sure you’ve exhausted the WP complaints procedure otherwise ICE wont/cant do anything. If the WP wont/haven’t given you their complete complaints procedure look it up on the tender, (someone put the links up on refuse wp site).

  202. agnes fairchilds says:

    between appointments with WP i found work, signed off just filling in part 4. Appointment with WP came around which I obviously didn’t attend, received one phone call from WP, unanswered and no message left, have heard nothing since. Fortunately I wasn’t in Jayne’s position of needing HB etc so didn’t have to tell JCP anything. This may be the quiet before the storm or maybe they think they’ve sanctioned me, who knows I just hope i wont be seeing/hearing from them anymore.

  203. Mr No says:

    Congratulations on getting a job. Must have felt good to just walk away. A sense of satisfaction missing a provider appointment without them being able to tell you off like a naughty child.

    Hope things turn out well for you.

    • wishface says:

      Indeed.
      I was given a job to apply for last time I signed on. It pays about £70 a week. To be honest, I can understand wanting to sign off (god, who doesn’t want to!), but for £70?

      • Mr No says:

        To be honest a part time job would be fine for me at the moment. But there is just as much competition for such vacancies.
        For £70 I would rather work around 12 hours a week than sign on. The job would have to be local and permanent. And hopefully working with decent people. That’s always a bonus.
        And especially if it it meant that i could sign off and forget about the WP.
        Putting up with the crap that they spew for our allowance is rather tedious at times.

        • wishface says:

          I sent off the application form (rather than get sanctioned), but even that was the usual ridiculous nonsense: a 12 hour job asking why you want to work for them as well as your entire work/education history (which isn’t great, so explicitly showing that doesn’ thelp).
          Problem for me is that I just don’t feel I can handle working right now. If it was somethign I could do from home, or in the right supportive environment, then that would be one thing. But of course there’s as much chance of that as there is of IDS suddenly developing a conscience.

  204. agnes fairchilds says:

    Thanks Mr No, the hours are short but it’s more than I was getting on dole and although it’s not ideal it’s something. Just hoping it lasts longer than the work programme. And yes it was a marvellous feeling getting the monkey off my back.

  205. SmithnBloggs says:

    Hi Guys,

    I’ve posted a link below to show you all the letter I received from Avanta for an appointment that I attended yesterday. Before I go into specifics about possible criminal activity that members of staff there may of committed, I would just like to give you a brief overview of what happened at that meeting and welcome tips and advice on not just about the ‘data protection’ issues of my CV and the illegality of them not only requesting it in the first place but demanding that they have an electronic copy sent to them but that ‘threats of raising compliance doubts’ has risen it’s default setting punitive head, a great way to demonstrate a lack of ideas, solutions and well, not really fit for purpose as it’s only about punishment if customers do not comply in allowing themselves to be intimidated to bypass ‘provider guidelines’ and subscribe to their arrogant disregard for statute law. I’ve started a bit of a letter of complaint to the local branch but the gimp I dealt with is the manager there so things are gonna get interesting at ‘Avanta’. Anyway I want to try and get this complaint letter in as soon as so any advice on which other departments and initial steps you think I should take would be really appreciated dudes. I am going to enjoy educating my new gimp at ‘Avanta’ on what he can and more to the point, cannot do when speaking to me and any other customer he thinks he can pimp because he would not behave like that in the street and is not going to act like that to people who have done nothing wrong other than by no fault of their own and via ‘illegal mandatory’ forced to be complicit in perpetuating this myth that ‘providers’ are all above board and not organised white collar criminal gangs so please be as creative and as cunning with your suggestions (legally permitting of course) as you always are. Thanks Guys

    • Mr No says:

      Hi S&B.

      Ok, so you went to the appointment. I will assume whatever you gave them regarding ‘Jobsearch evidence’ was accepted. But now it’s the old CV chestnut.

      Well, at the moment it’s a request, an unwelcome level of pressure and the obligatory ‘threats’ of sanction. At the moment it’s just a threat. There have been FOI requests about CVs and it’s ‘supposedly’ legal to refuse. Lawful? Ha, like they care too much.

      I’ve heard reports of them simply mandating you to supply the CV. it is a bit of a minefield. But as we all know here, piss up, brewery. Add to that psychopaths and profit driven targets. Etc.

      Until they mandate, bollocks to ’em. Though any mandation to circumvent your rights would be questionable. That’s what has happened to me essentially. Well, mine was also punishment for asserting such things.
      I wouldn’t suggest to them to do this, just go with the flow. Offer a hard copy. I don’t know what contact details they have from you already, but whatever you don’t want known on the CV just ‘redact’ it. At a push i would do this myself and if they don’t like it tough. One CV supplied.
      You can deny email too and a phone number. If unlucky you get punished.
      I am going to have another look at this CV issue myself.

      They do what they like, we all are muddling through really. I’ve still got all this CV fun yet to come, when I finally do decide to comply with the pimps.
      Ha, it’s a joke. Would be hilarious if it wasn’t so serious.
      Not a great help, but I wish you good luck and keep on posting.

      • Gissajob says:

        I would ignore the request to forward all e-mails to your gimp. This would mean disclosing your e-mail address which you are not required to do. If this results in an attempted sanction I would argue that the mandated activity was unreasonable.

        Good Luck and keep fighting.

    • Hi.
      Firstly go to: http://www.consent.me.uk/myinfo/
      That site is compulsory reading, but I must say that anything I suggest may well be out of date – i haven’t looked there for a while so it’s possible the DWP scum might by monkeying behind the scenes to change what we can and can’t do.
      It’s my understanding that you are not obliged to sign an action plan. So if they ask you to agree to one you can negotiate what you want out of it. You do not have to sign it. Of course they won’t like that, but that’s a given in all of this.
      What strikes me most about that letter is their request for all your jobsearch material (even though they do not say how far back they want to go). Now in my opinion you aren’t obliged to show this to them. As I udnerstand it, anything that you are required to do (ie the actions you can be sanctioned for if you don’t comply) must be set in writing (though I suppose this letter counts as that). Having said that, I don’t know what right they have to demand to see your jobsearch since it isn’t they that pays the benefit. The jobcentre looks at your jobsearch when you sign on (at least it does with me).
      If you feel you have to then of course remove all pertinent personal info. Give them nothing. That includes emailing them, don’t be doing that (just say your email isn’t working or better that you don’t have an email account). But sio long as your jobsearch tallies with what is agreed for you to receive JSA (that is, what’s on your Jobseeker’s Agreement) then the pimp can get stuffed; they might not like it, but they have no part of that. The JSAg is agreed between you and the DWP, not the work programme. If they try and raise a sanction doubt then they haven’t a leg to stand on.

  206. SmithnBloggs says:

    Hi Mr No!

    Yeah same ere dude and am a bit worried now then because I’ve based my whole complaint letter about this guys behaviour and using threats to coerce people out of their rights being against provider guidelines,
    I got the info, great template letter (if the info is correct) plus references links to send to the ‘provider’ from this website below which I think I originally found from someone on here who’d uploaded a link to it quite a few months ago but it does request on there that you do not post the template letter anywhere else as permanent on the internet as it is frequently updated and I think it was the 4th of August 2012 that the last update was done. If yourself or any of you other guys can check it out and confirm whether it should be recommended or if you think it should be left alone.
    In the meantime then, I think I’d better just send the formal complaint letter to him and hang back with the ‘Withdrawal of consent to share/disclose information’ letter until someone maybe on here will know whether the information and advice they’ve given is a bum steer or not. I hope it is correct cos it’s a belter and the cunt’s getting it both barrels.

    http://www.consent.me.uk/workfareconsent/

    P.S.

    I apologise for not posting more often but not much has been happening and they have pretty much maintained a veneer of giving the illusion that they are operating within the provider guidelines until this but I do regularly read peoples post on here and check if there are any new developments occurring and I will keep everyone on here informed about any interesting results/reactions to this letter x

  207. Gissajob says:

    Hi seems fairly comprehensive!
    Maybe this para:
    Part 6: My disclosure to a Third Party

    If [Provider’s and or/Subcontractor’s name] reasonably requires me to disclose my personal data with any specific Third Party,[5] for example an employer for the purposes of applying for a job or another training provider to assist me become more work ready, please supply me with sufficient written information and a MAN so I can share my personal data, with the Third Party myself.

    Needs a “to” between “assist ne” and “become”

    Sometime ago I drafted a similar letter and it’s still on this site under the consent poll thread.

    Either letter should be fine.

  208. smithnbloggs says:

    Cheers Guys!

    Once again all excellent points and pointers/links with further advice which have given me some idea of what kind of minefield I am entering and it seems to be one of ‘interpretation’ in a grey area. Well it’s been nothing but grey areas since I sent my ‘Refuse WP’ letters right at the start of all this shite last year so “ere we go again”

    Following my appointment on the 3rd of Sept I sent off a formal letter of complaint by recorded delivery to my pimps local office and also one to my local JCP and to the benefits delivery centre explaining it was just a courtesy letter to make them aware of the incident and facts before the pimps did and notifying them about my complaint. I also enclosed a copy of the complaints letter and they were all sent off on the 5th of Sept. On Saturday the 8th of Sept I received two letters from them, one was a letter notifying me of my next appointment as he’d terminated the interview before telling me when my next one was and the date that was sent by them was the 4th, the day after my appointment. The other letter dated the 7th Sept, the day after they would of received my formal complaint letter, acknowledges receipt of my formal complaint and as a result as had to cancel my forthcoming appointment. It then goes on to say that instead my next appointment will be arranged with ‘The Business Manager’ to discuss my complaint. The last paragraph then states that ‘The Business Manager’ is currently on annual leave and will be back in centre week commencing 24th September which is when my appointment will be posted out.

    Just to go back to your question on Sept 4th Mr No about them accepting my ‘jobsearch evidence’, well the letter they sent stated they wanted me to email the evidence of the jobs I’d applied for in advance of the appointment but I didn’t. I did however take a scanned copy of the last months ES4JP details of job search activity that I give to the advisor at my JCP office and he dismissively flicked his hand in the air and said “That is no good to me, I’m not interested in that”. He then told me to email them to him, which I did as they already have my email address because that was the only thing that I agreed to at the initial induction at the start and they said that I had to register an email so as to be able to use ‘Avanta’s’ jobs match website that they boasted was better than all the other jobs sites because ‘Avanta’s’ collects together all the jobs that those websites find and puts them on theirs. Which incidentally was the reason given as to why he required a copy of my CV, so as to do a job match and also said that these jobs that I have applied for in the email evidence I sent him doesn’t prove that I have the relevant experience in that industry and then asked me how I could prove that.

    I was so tempted to tell him to Google my name and the band(s) I have been in with links to videos from live gigs/discography, interviews, the lot. But I didn’t because I know he already does know so I just told him he was being pedantic which may or may not of been the appropriate response, I dunno. How do you respond to someone who is nothing more than a “fuckin gimp in the real world”?

    What they didn’t tell me was that they needed my consent to get my email address or that it wouldn’t affect my benefit if I did not consent to them having it.

    Anyway I think I may get my letters ready to withdraw consent to collecting/Gathering/Sharing/Disclosure of my personal information to send off to the relevant places the day before my next appointment with ‘The Business Manager’ to discuss my complaint. I will listen to what she has to say then I will hand a copy to her personally too. Well at least that’s a basic outline of my strategy anyway so as always dudes any more ammo, tips, steps and points to check you think may be of value or possible pitfalls and booby traps these desperate fuckers may resort to, I very much appreciate.

    I think it is also worth mentioning that there has been a steady decline in staff numbers at my pimps and I have had 3 advisors so far (including my last one who is also the branch manager and making a complaint about) so these skin traders are struggling, not just for ideas but for adjustment back into the real world where people don’t behave like ticks in a box.

    Love & Strength

    S&B X

    P.S. When I signed on last week, the advisor at JCP gave me one of the old booklets to fill my job search evidence in and told me to ignore and throw away my old coupon versions away if I had any left as they were going back to the old style booklets again. I didn’t think to ask why but I will next time I go in.

    • I use those old booklets and I never keep them. I have considered whether I should, but I’ll be damned if i’m keeping all that bollocks in my house. It does my head in.
      They sign the damn thing every two weeks anyway. I reason that if they sign my booklet and thus approve of what i’ve done and thus allow me my pittance then they can’t later turn around and say it wasn’t good enough. Tough, you signed it of your own volition. Obviously the jobsearch at the time was good enough because…you signed it!

  209. Gissajob says:

    Hi SmithNBloggs,
    Well your experience sounds remarkably like mine! Either we have the same pimpo or the same thing is happening all over the country! – I suspect the latter.
    My Advisor has left too.
    My replacement advisor has left (or at least been changed) before I have even seen him/her.
    The branch manager has left and been replaced.
    My complaint of 3 weeks ago remains unanswered and even unacknowledged.

    SNAFU.

  210. Marcus says:

    Yes, at my JCP after a couple of months of coupon posting, now they require to present the coupon for inspection. The guy that looked at mine explained that there have been coupons that were not filled “properly”.
    I have the impression that it has been a reaction, from higher above, to the C4 program showing JCPs not checking the jobsearches.
    However because the voucher introduction was prompted, locally, as a response to personnel shortage I think it will not last.
    To all stay strong.

  211. Mr No says:

    I’m still waiting for the dee double u pee to reply to my reconsideration letter. Ha. It’s just one big joke that aint funny.

    Best of luck S&B. A fellow musician! Cool.

  212. smithnbloggs says:

    Hi Guys,

    I would like some advise please on a couple of matters but first I will try to keep the events that lead up to this dilemma and to recap as brief and as coherent as possible.

    I attended an appointment in the beginning of September this year at my local branch of ‘Avanta’. In the letter that I received from them notifying me of the date, time etc and the objectives at the appointment, which were to discuss next steps and to put an action plan in place for returning in to sustainable blah blah blah and also for Job search session which could last up to 3 hours. It the next paragraph it asks could I bring all job search activity and forward any e-mails that I have sent to any employers to his email address. When I attended the appointment, I took the ES40JP booklet that I show staff at JCP with my job search activity on it to the advisor at ‘Avanta’ (who also has ‘Career Coach’ next to his name, whatever that means) and he dismissed it and said he wasn’t interested in that. He then told me to email the evidence from their computers to him. Although I sent the ‘WP Refusal letters’ at the initial referral stage in 2011, I never signed any action plan, data protection waivers etc but I did however give my email address as they told me it was necessary in order for me to access their ‘jobs match’ database, they were also given my mobile number along with other information by DWP. So as to avoid a ‘sanction doubt’, I did as he said. After I had emailed around 8 or 9 vacancies to him, I asked whether he wanted me to send him anymore to which he said no but to hang on as he needed to fill in the necessary paperwork to confirm I had satisfied their ‘requirements’? Anyway, when I sat back down with him at his desk he asked me to send my CV to him electronically to which I asked as to the purpose he required that for, he said it was to do a ‘jobs match’ on their database which I had been using already for over a year without anymore success or vacancies that are already available elsewhere on the net where you upload your CV. He also said that although he can see from my applications that I was applying for jobs in a certain industry, (for which I have over 30yrs experience) he had no evidence of that without seeing my CV. In short, I told him that he didn’t have the right to retain personal information such as CV’s or to send it out to third parties without my written consent.
    He then threatened to raise a compliance doubt because of it then he terminated the interview so I wrote a letter of complaint plus the letter concerning ‘RE: Authority and Consent to Collecting/Gathering/Sharing/Disclosure of my Personal Information’ to the local branch of ‘Avanta’ and also one to my local JCP and BDC along with a courtesy note explaining my concerns and informing them of the details surrounding the incident for their records in the event of the provider going ahead with that threat as soon as I got home from that incident. A few days later I received a letter from them notifying me about my next appointment which was around two weeks away, I did however notice that the date they had sent that would of also been the date they would of received my complaint which was confirmed a couple of days later again when I received correspondence from my local branch’s manager who is also the ‘Career Coach’ and the advisor concerned in the incident, acknowledging receipt of the complaint and due to that he had to cancel the forthcoming appointment and stated that the ‘Business Manager’ would contact me when she arrives back from annual leave. On the 11.10.12 I received a telephone call on my mobile phone and as I didn’t have my reading glasses, I was unable to see what number the call was from and was expecting a call anyway so I answered it and was a little surprised and taken aback by her announcing she was the ‘Business Manager’ and was calling me because she was told I wanted to call in and talk about what happened about the incident to which I replied that I had already made clear what had happened on that day and it was up to ‘Avanta’ to suggest a way of resolving the situation. Fast forward to the outcome which is that she basically ignored the breach and the guts of what the letter(s) were concerning and proceeded to reel off excuses and reasons and focused more on what my obligations were and her ‘clockwork toy like’ mantra was only interrupted when I asked her to be careful with the words she was using as “if you’re unwilling to accept our help” could be mistaken for me not fulfilling my job seeker requirements and that accusation could lead to another complaint about slander as my ‘job seeker’ requirements had been fulfilled and that closer inspection of my ES40JP with the signature of the advisor that checked and signed it at my JCP office would indicate that, anyhow my complaint was completely ignored so on the 15.10.12. I sent another copy of the ‘RE: Authority and Consent to Collecting/Gathering/Sharing/Disclosure of my Personal Information’ along with a copy of the relevant ‘provider Guidelines’ and references enclosed and attached to the ‘business manager’ at my local branch, one to their head office and one to the DWP. Below are links of the replies I received from the ‘Business Manager’ at my local branch of ‘Avanta’ and one from the DWP.

    Avanta reply:

    DWP reply:

    In a letter dated 16.10.12. I was sent an exact duplicate (except appointment date etc) to the one which was originally sent for my appointment back in September asking me to email (the same advisor/career coach/branch manager who I had made the complaint about) my evidence of my job search to his email address at ‘Avanta’ again.

    My next appointment is for 05.11.12 so I wanted some advice in light of the changes made recently to the meanings of JSA eligibility of how I now stand if I refuse to
    A: Email him my job search evidence but take in a copy of my ES40JP booklet again for him to look at?
    B: Email him a copy of my CV for him to retain on their system for the purpose of ‘Job matches’ or whatever reason they can think of?
    C: Could you give me any advice on how you think I should proceed forward as to my complaint and whether you think it is worth pursuing at all?

    I would be most grateful of any advice or suggestions/steps you think I could take.

    Thanks Guys

    SmithnBloggs X

    P.S. I don’t know if it’s worth mentioning and I certainly can’t prove there is a connection and if there is, they may have the right and ability to check (I’m sure they do) but up to about a week and a half before I received my appointment by letter in September, I had stopped using ‘Avanta’s’ own ‘jobs match site after regularly signing into for over a year, it could be a coincidence of course.

  213. Hi Smithbloggs,
    I would personally take in the ES40JP booklet again and explain that the JCP has no problems with your job search and here are the records.

    As far as the CV goes I would print out a copy with all personal data retracted on it. Under no circumstances would I allow them a copy for the computer or with all data intact on it.

    Since you have not signed the data wavier they have no rights to this information and will only use it to spam your CV to who ever.

    I would also be retracting my email address and telephone number, Plain and simple just write to them explaining you no longer have internet access so email contact is out and you lost your telephone so only contact now is through Royal Mail.
    If you have an Android phone look in the market for an application called ” true caller” it shows you who is calling before you answer. ( I can send the apk if you need it )
    I know for a fact that Ingeus have my telephone number but at no time in the year I have been with them have they called me.
    I am now parked while a complaint over my adviser telling plain lies to get me sanctioned is investigated, I always record all interactions with Ingeus and have told them the same, That alone seems to have put any new appointment’s on hold.
    Could also be the fact that I explained to the regional manager that I record all interactions and have proof that my adviser lied on that particular day and I’m in the process of transcribing all the videos so they can be used as evidence against her.
    I explained to the manager and the adviser that I will be making a complaint to ICE over this matter and doing everything I possibly can to ensure this woman is removed from her position of trust and if possible out of her job.

    I am now waiting for a letter for a meeting with the regional manager to discuss this matter further and have explained to him I will be recording the meeting.
    4 recording devices are going to be used, 3 hidden cameras and a nice Dictaphone on the table, I want to see his face when I provide the transcript of my last meeting and prove that my adviser is telling pork pies.

    George

    • smithnbloggs says:

      I doff my cap to you WP sir! 

      Thanks dude, I just needed some final confirmation that the basic data privacy issues and provider guidelines hadn’t been affected in some way before I made my decision on the management and strategy of this one as they ARE getting rather agitated by this constant stumbling block called ‘the law’ or anybody who has a basic knowledge of it.

      I got back from ‘Avanta’ a few hours ago and will post a more detailed account of what happened this afternoon when I both calm down from the exhilaration and go through the audio recording but in the meantime here are the final words between me and the providers before the interview was once again terminated and I was asked to leave.

      Pimp: “Awe he’s been recording everything that I have said, right I am calling the
      police”.
      Me: “Well you go ahead and do that then kid”.

      Needless to say, he didn’t call the police but I was more than happy to leave after 2hrs of being held against my will.

      So to sum up, it was a ‘very interesting’ day.

      

  214. “Since you have not signed the data wavier they have no rights to this information and will only
    use it to spam your CV to who ever.”

    But the problem here is that by not submitting a cv you are seen as not engaging with the WP, that’s why they quote their JSA Regulataions/Employment Scheme crap. I have no idea if it has any legal grounding, but since they hold the purse strings they can pretty much do what they like. We need to see absolutely crystal clear guidance on this otheriwse people could well find themselves in serious shit because this is how they are enforcing all this crap.

    • smithnbloggs says:

      Hi GW,

      I certainly wouldn’t advise everybody to go down this route because it will all depend on what you did and did not sign at the induction stage of which mine was back in 2011. It was only due to the fact that when I received my referral letter I did a search on the internet for more information about this ‘Work Programme’ that the government were forcing people to attend the premises of organised white collar criminal organisations against their will with no consultation or information for members of the public to look at.
      The only independent advise I could find at that time was from the brilliant ‘Work Programme’ forum where a lot of on here first met and we were all extremely aware of the risks we were taking when we all individually and by our own free will, decided to post our letters of refusal parts 1 and 2 to the relevant departments and of the possibility that it could backfire on us.
      I am quite happy to keep pushing that envelope because I am unhappy about having to justify my very existence and made to feel like a criminal by people who are criminals.

      You are right to point out that it could get people into serious shit though dude and after today’s menu of ‘shiit en fan’, I could be one of it’s early victims but from the reaction it caused and the way the whole atmosphere changed, I left feeling positive.

      Personally I perceive that as a result.

      Lets see X

      • The whole purpose of them asking for a CV is to spam it, if you have not signed the data waiver you can show them a CV but can also retract any personal data, that includes any details you don’t want the pimp to see, Who you last worked for, your duties etc..

        You have shown that you can produce a CV and they can’t sanction you for it, Never email them a copy though.
        Another good way is if you really must show all the details is to make the CV copyright then you have them if your CV does get spammed about.

        Not been asked for mine yet but I’m ready for when they do.

        George

        • smithnbloggs says:

          Yeah that’s interesting because he was in total improv mode when I produced my redacted cv and at first tried to trick me by asking whether I was sending this out to employers in this format to which I replied that this is the format for the sole purpose of showing you. He then went on to generally criticising my cv to which I asked how and it went on like this, me asking how he would be able to improve on the already professionally prepared cv and as to what qualifications did he have to justify his criticism of a reputable company that I trust and suggested I give him their number so that he can discuss his criticisms, suggest how their company may improve their service and that I was certain they would be happy to supply you with the relevant details of their complaints procedure if you wish to do so.

          • smithnbloggs says:

            Apologies for the atrocious grammar folks, obviously ‘to supply him’ and ‘if he wished to do so’ would be more appropriate? 

    • Ghost Whistler I see where your coming from and agree completely, We have to be so careful now as any reason to Sanction and they will.

      You MUST NEVER SAY NO at the pimps, take it under consideration or I will have to take some advice over that, anything but a complete refusal.

      As for the CV, if you did not sign the data waiver then retract any personal data you don’t want them to know about, Even job details if you don’t want them to know about them.
      (I have shit factory work on my CV but if pimps knew I would be in a slave factory quicker than ever)

      It was on the data waiver form you can’t be sanctioned for not signing your data rights away and the CV is just that your personal data.

      The CV I have ready for them is full of retracts, The main purpose is to show YES I can produce a good CV so don’t need any editing or workshop for a new one.
      The layout I have kept the same just all data has been retracted from it other than my name.

      George

  215. Providers Must Die says:

    Hi All,

    I’ve been giving a “Vacancy Tracker” to fill in by the pimp.
    The headings are:

    Date Applied, Job Title, Company Name, Contact Name, Method of application (email, telephone call etc), Telephone Number, Outcome.

    What’s the best position to take on this? a) Fill in Date Applied, Job Title and “redact” the rest b) Tell these cunts to fuck off! c) Other

    I have a sneaky suspicion the “Method of Application” is so they can say: “You’re going to have to get cold-calling”. Fuck these cunts!!

    PMD

    • I would personally not fill it in and give them my job search record (a photocopy that is) that I do for the JCP.
      They have no problem what so ever with my looking for work, I just keep to my JS Agreement as written down. Mine is quite old now over a year since changed.
      Look for an apply for at least 2 jobs, Look online and news papers. (easy)

      I will not ever furnish the pimps with any info that they ask of me if it means I am giving away my personal data, I will never use their computers for anything ( will need to know what security is in place over any data inputted)
      Can’t get me on any courses as I have not signed any data waiver and if they try I will get them confused with the DP10 Checks and required licenses for what ever slave trade it would be.

      Copy out/ photocopy your JCP job search booklet and give them a copy of that, If asked this is not what I gave you then explain that JCP are quite happy in this format and if you wish to have it in your own format THEN YOU PIMP WORKER fill the form in with the details I have provided you, I’m NOT writing it out twice to keep you happy.

      George

    • “Date Applied, Job Title, Company Name, Contact Name, Method of application (email, telephone call etc), Telephone Number, Outcome.”
      Ridiculous! adverts at the DWP don’t even have half that info!
      Mind you i was nearly sanctioned in the past for applying for a job and not speaking to the specific person listed as the contact (he, the manager, wasn’t available and someone was able to speak on his bhealf, didn’t matter though).

  216. Providers Must Die says:

    PS I haven’t signed the Data Protection Act waiver!

  217. Gissajob says:

    Hi Providers Must Die, (bit severe that name!).
    All pimps ask for similar info. Partly this is so they can check you’re doing something and also it gives them a ready made prospect list of employers who are hiring (or at least advertising). Set aside for a minute why anyone applying for a job would wantonly increase the competition for said job(s) by alerting pimpo to said potential employer and giving name and details of person to contact! Of the options above I use (c) other. I fill in the website ref (e.g. Monster job ref 123456), date, job title, then tick CV sent. in outcome it’s invariably “auto e-mail acknowledgement” and in “what do I do next” I put “await developments”. I never bother updating info. I try to list only jobs that are advertised through agencies on jobsites as pimpo won’t bother checking agencies and if he does then agency should know better than speak to him. In any event since pimpo doesn’t have your authority to contact potential employers there should not be a problem. You could add on the jobsearch sheet a little reminder – along the lines of “Please note that I have declined to waive my rights under the Data Protection Act 1998 and contact with any of the above persons would constitute a criminal act”

    • Hi Gissajob, Love that last line you put in, Nicking that for all my next communication with the pimps.
      I actually think the name ” Providers Must Die ” is ace, they should all die a horrible death.
      These people are beyond human and have no decency, They create lies which in turn can ruin peoples lives.

      Any Sanction causes untold troubles,
      My case:
      Gas & electricity scheme was cancelled and housing benefit also suspended.
      Almost had gas board and bailiffs in to fit tokens meters, Luckily I talked them round but at a cost of over 60% of my JSA now goes towards gas & electricty.
      Housing were actually pretty good and managed to get the rent out on time (private rental) was just a balls ache to have to go through all these hoops all the time.

      My latest sanction doubt was sent to me after I had just won an appeal over another sanction doubt. This time the actual date of the missed appointment was over 2 months ago.
      I have appealed again and as yet not hear anything, most likely down to the fact I explained to the DWP that this sanction doubt is vexatious in nature due to a £1000 private claim I just issued against the pimp worker,
      That I have full video evidence of every appointment/interview with the pimps and at no time is an appointment made as she has stated in the sanction doubt.
      5/6 weeks later have had no letters from DWP regarding this sanction and awaiting a letter with details for a meeting with the regional manger to discuss my complaint against the pimp worker.

      George

      • Marcus says:

        Theworkprogrammeme I find very interesting what have you done. What exactly is the procedure you used to take the Pimp worker to court? I am not familiar with the legal processes so try and explain to a simpleton ;-).
        Thanks.

    • Fuck the work programme says:

      That is the problem with the unemployed – too soft! It is the whole mindset. Why do you think the unemployed are on one side of the desk and these fuckers are on the other side. Because these fuckers are fucking RUTHLESS, that’s what, they are utterly unscrupulous. They will leave you without an INCOME, without a HOME and they don’t give a shit – just TOUGH!! They will place your live in danger! They will destroy your health! They will work you to death! They will totally DESTROY you and they don’t give a shit. They will KILL you and they don’t give a shit – TOUGH!! These cunts are not human they are an abomination. They are pure evil! Fuck the lot of them!

      • Fuck the work programme says:

        Just think where Mr No would be if he didn’t have any sources of help and support! He would be DEAD! And these cunts wouldn’t give a shit – TOUGH! Well, fuck these cunts!

    • Job Seeker says:

      Would they not be likely to contact an employer/agency you had applied to to obtain a copy of your CV/application, so they could compare it to anything they had on file. Remember that “CVs” are shared with JCP (they just look them up on the system), this is the sort of thing that could get a lot of unsuspecting people in serious bother. Also, it goes without saying that it is always “good cop” that extracts the information, and “bad cop” that uses it. Never, ever trust these people – any of them, not matter how nice they seem – once you start thinking: “Well they can’t be all bad, only trying to make the best of a bad lot”, you’re a goner.

      • smithnbloggs says:

        I am still in the cooling off period after throwing the shit in the fan at my appointment on Monday because I want to be in a rational state of mind before I respond, which may well take the form of another letter of complaint about the advisor who I’d previously complained about in writing, after him threatening me with a compliance doubt if I didn’t send him an electronic copy of my cv. I not only had the same advisor on Monday but he asked me again to email him the evidence of my job search despite the fact that I’d sent a letter to ‘Avantas’ local branch, head office and the DWP concerning withdrawal of consent to them collecting/retaining my personal information so by default, that act, if I was to of carried it out would of contained all of the information that I had clearly stated in the letter that I did not give them permission to do so I am not sure whether he has broke provider guidelines by doing that and would appreciate any advice from you guys concerning that plus advice as to whether I should go to stage two of ‘Avantas’ complaints procedure about the original ‘compliance doubt threat’ (which I’m afraid the audio recording is too inaudible to be used as evidence) or back to stage one with this latest complaint (depending on whether I have a case or not, if so recording is good)? Also, I think I should also mention, that when I was told to go and sit at the computers and do a job search I noticed that the monitor on my left had a notice in the middle of the screen saying something to the affect of ‘Authorised staff check data on their system at the end of the day for unlawful use and updating of system to improve its performance’ or whatever, only wish I’d of been faster on my feet and used my phone to take a pic of it, doh. To the right of me on one of the other monitors it had the ‘Avanta’ logo and written underneath it stated that all data and information was erased at the end of each night. There was NO WAY I was going to input any passwords for any of the other jobs brokerage sites I am registered with never mind going into my email account because I simply don’t trust them, the fact that there was a lad in there that was raising my suspicion too, (which I will explain more about in my next post) only fuelled that suspicion. I produced a redacted cv for him to look at, a copy of my ES40JP to show what steps I had taken to look for and in my case apply for under the ‘job seekers agreement’ that I have with JCP. So as far as I’m aware, any compliance doubt, if he were to make one, would be purely subjective and this is where the danger area is which ‘Ghost Whistler’ rightly made the point about. The ‘Black Flag’ that I.D.S. has given his baldy knob head blessing to not only creates ambiguity with regards to the guidelines but can lead some provider staff to believe that they can lie, threaten, deceive and treat every so called ‘customer’ as though they are subordinates and are to be treated with contempt. It is illegal to treat people the way they are doing and that is why I always record any face to face appointments with both ‘Avanta’ and ‘JCP’ because they are not going to tell the truth about what is happening to innocent people in these places. There is nothing whatsoever positive/ constructive/productive/creative/encouragement/light/warmth/empathy/compassion/sincerity/love or good in the services provided by any of them. If I wanted advice on mental health issues I would go to a doctors so I don’t need posters at the providers suggesting that that is one of the reasons I am unemployed or that the leaflets on the table in the waiting area placed amongst the (few vacancies they have printed out off the internet) about legal advice and barriers of having a criminal record etc perpetuating the myth about the unemployed, it is a totally unacceptable form of discrimination. I must also mention before I forget that I have the recording (that I still haven’t checked yet) of me asking the advisor in my JCP office on the 24th of Oct about whether my ES40JP has any validity, as I explained to her that the advisor from ‘Avanta’ dismissed it and said it was of no interest to him, she did a bit of ad-libbing in her response but said one or two things I thought sounded interesting. Anyway, I apologise for my unpredictable little rant as I only originally intended to agree with ‘Job Search’
        – once you start thinking: “Well they can’t be all bad, only trying to make the best of a bad lot”, you’re a goner.

        Yer bang on tha money dude!
        Although I would suggest a little bit of compromise with them here and there is also a good idea as is unfortunately attending all of the mandatory appointments because that seems to be a bulls eye for a sanction to me if you don’t. I have always tried to play the game without playing and always revert back to a slogan that I think Gissajob came up with ages ago and that was, “comply the bastards to death”. They know it’s doomed already, we are merely customers collecting evidence about their organised white collar criminal fraudulent activities so as to assist in any future prosecutions.

        That is all we can do for them!

        Speak soon

        Keep positive dudes X

  218. Providers Must Die says:

    Thanks all for the quick responses!

    I’ll “consider” option c)

    With any luck before I hand the form in the bastard “advisor” will have been run over by a bus or the whole “work programme” will have went up in smoke. Seriously, these cunts are vermin that need exterminating. They are are cancer on the lives of the poor, they do nothing but cause serious misery and distress; they are fucking evil and without conscience. They couldn’t give a shit whether you live or die in the gutter from cold and starvation just so long as they reach their “target”. They are literally killing people and if this continues it is going to get worse – a lot worse; they must pay the price for their evil-doings and if that price is DEATH then so be it! Fuck ’em!

    • Them or Us says:

      Too right, if these fucking providers don’t DIE it will us that will be the ones getting thrown into the DWP crematoria. They fully intend to kill us off whatever which way they can; we are fighting for our very lives. We are facing an abomination of evil!! It is them or us!!

      • Alexandr Solzhenitzyn says:

        “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? . . .”

        — Alexandr Solzhenitzyn, The Gulag Archepalego

  219. Puzzler says:

    What about if the “provider” gives you an employer application to fill in on their premises? This would still give them sight of your personal information even though you haven’t given/withdrawn consent to share it. What if you are “mandated” to attend a “workshop” that is attended by an “employer” and you are given an application form to fill in for a job there and then?

    • Mandarin says:

      Any idea how long consent.me.uk and donotsign.com will be up for. Rumours abound that the site owner has been “nobbled” in some way. Wouldn’t be surprising in the slightest. I get the impression we are up against some really, really bad people who will stop at nothing to get their way.

    • Personally I would try, probably futilely, to argue that I would prefer to fill the form in at home where I can think clearly about my answers. It shouldn’t be their place to presume you won’t fill it in either. Of course they will insist they need it done there so they can pass it on to the employer directly. What can you do? These people are just wankers. I suppose you could argue that unless and until you are directly mandated, in writing, to do just that it should be up to you how you fill the form in and, so long as you send it back to the employer, the pimp shouldn’t harass you under the assumption you won’t.

  220. Marcus, I have been following common law and creating a private lien against the person.
    Currently have Ingeus Directors under default for £5000 and a support worker for £1000.
    On my next stage with the 2nd support worker who blatently lied to try and get me a sanction when I filed a claim against her for £1000. None of them understand it which is good as they just let you get them to default stage (very very good position to be in).

    Just need to find a way now to get the personal address of all concerned so my court claims can be sent to their home address with their homes down on the lien.

    Will post some good links for you to watch and understand this stuff.

    George

    P.S
    Update just received a letter from regional director (i missed our appointment last week) he has now cancelled my complaint about the lying pimp worker and arranged a new pimp worker for me who will be sending me an appointment.
    Letter been sent informing him I still wish to make a formal complaint which will be escalated to ICE if the pimp worker isn’t sacked along with my own claims against her in the private sector.

  221. Gissajob says:

    Just been told by JCP that they are ending the accelerated signing on for WP victimes. Next chitty will be the last. Apparently “normal” signing on will then be resumed with a fixed time.
    To my mind this is one more reason to complain about incorrect mandation as one of the few “perks” of being on the was the accelerated signing on.
    I was also told (in response to a direct question) that UJ is not mandatory.

  222. While I stated common law it is actually commerical law that the banks and big companies use themselves today.
    Perfect for this situation when the pimps cause you a tort, Cause you hardship.
    Just because its their job means nothing, If they knew a certain action would cause you hardship, distresss then they have created a tort against you of which you can claim against.

    Read the first bit of that page and read enough, written by a true slave to the state who has not grasped the concept of been free and still believes everything he will see on TV.

    Everyone has their own beliefs the same as religions, each to their own.
    I have read up on Common Law for the past 2 years now and I believe we have been deceived big time, by the government, the banks and the police.
    I fully understand implications of any actions I take and know that the men in while coats could be called in to drag me away, let em try is what I say.

    Not going to go ranting any common law crap around, not the place, and not the subject on topic.

    On Topic:
    Flaming cheek of Ingeus actually using my phone number to call me, first time in over a year since they have had my number the new pimp worker calls me. Bloody true caller failed me today and I answered as I was expecting a call from someone.
    Time for a new payg sim with new number for jcp to forward on to pimps.

    George

    • smithnbloggs says:

      Hi WP, I haven’t heard a thing from Avanta since it kicked off and my advisor terminated the interview. I haven’t took it any further and I’m not sure whether I’m doing the right thing or not? The way I’m looking at it is to wait for them to make the next move now they are aware that I will probably be recording them again and generally be an awkward cunt.

      There were a couple of ‘incidences’ at that last appointment that have stuck in my mind and both could be paranoia or the tension in the air of an expected ‘showdown’ or whatever, I dunno but something felt not right. This was the setup of the people in the room when I sat down with my advisor: Me, 5 members of Avanta staff not doing a lot really all things considered. Plus there was also a lad there that had sat at the end computer with a rucksack who was in there when I arrived and the only thing he said was to my advisor as I was within earshot and that was, “how long do I have to stay here for”? The advisor replied, “until you get a job”! Words alone do not convey the subtle nuances of contempt and distain in his voice but the recordings do. Anyway and that aside slightly because I believe that was a red herring as he didn’t seem to be doing much job searching the few times I glanced over nor did I hear much keyboard action going on either. He seemed to be just glancing over at the screen now and then or watching me especially whilst I was talking to another lad who sat down next to me and was biting off curses under his breath about the ‘punitive’ detention he was ‘still’ being subjected to by these time wasting knobheads in this place.

      Now this is where I may have FUCKED UP and I sincerely apologise if there have been consequences and if I am responsible for it, I may be totally off the mark here and perhaps I have spent too much time analyzing it so let me explain.

      Whilst in conversation, I started discussing with him about how much help these fuckers would be giving if there were no money incentives in it for them and I suggested he check out the cmuk site when he got home and look at the template letter concerning ‘withdrawing consent’ but that he should personalize it, amend/add to etc but stressed he checked the references and other info on the subject before he sent any letters out. All this was said in hushed tones and whilst he was doing his job search/emailing cv’s out. About 5 to 10 mins later he chuckles under his breath and said that he had “written a letter similar to this a few years ago to the TV licensing department”. I was mortified, not only had he gone to the site on their computer, he had also printed off 2 copies of his amended letter, 2 envelopes off a table in their office and then I think he may of handed one in there and then to his advisor before asking me if he should send another copy to head office, I’m not sure who’s more stupid, me or him? He’d obviously gone to the site without me seeing whilst I was reading the paper, because I didn’t want to apply for anything on their system that would require me to input my email passwords and so on, due and going back to this shady fucker with the rucksack who I have a very strong suspicion was ‘a friend of one of the members of staff who enjoys a bit of computer cracking/hacking in his spare time’ and that he had installed a key logger on their local branches system. As I mentioned in my last post about there being a notice on one of the screens about data being checked for improvements to their system/service and that all data is erased at the end of the night blah blah so they have covered there backs in that respect, it’s just the question of ‘who these people are’ that check it, that has now arisen in my mind. It sounds like something out of James Bond I know but honestly you really had to be there to suss it, see it and …. , “Oh I don’t know dudes sometimes I think maybe 14 to 15 months of the constant anxiety that these (some but not all) nasty, angry but ultimately scared little people have caused me has had some affect on my perception but I really do think that it is not beyond the depths that white collar criminals will stoop to because crime is their bread and butter, shirt and tie, no different the shower of shite that at one time were fuckin people over with timeshare scams in the 90’s.

      For obvious reasons I don’t want to name the exact local branch of Avanta in Gtr Manchester I suspect of this as my big mouth may of already caused people hassle but my appointment was on the 05.11.12 from 13:00 till around 15:00hrs.

      Once again I am truly sorry if I have fucked up and equally so if I am imagining all of this.

      S&B.

      • Zero says:

        I’ve come to the conclusion that you are better keeping your mouth zipped in these shit holes and only engage your vocal chords when absolutely necessary. But the “inmates” will always “engage” you in conversation and their is always someone listening in; you never know who people are; who is telling tales behind class. Even when you have an appointment how many times have you seen someone else just sat at their, sometimes within your field of vision and sometimes behind or to the side just sat listening in, or the advisor looking/signalling to someone else. You never know if you are being set up. Best to go with your “gut instinct” – it is rarely, if ever wrong – if something feels amiss, it is.

        • JC says:

          Look at how “immigrants” for a want of a better word “interact”, just simple “yes” or “no” answers, they don’t give anything away.

    • Zero says:

      PS You never know if you are being recorded. Also the jobcentre and provider offices are plastered with CCTV.

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