DWP edits documents to pretend work placements weren’t compulsory

The government have been consistently claiming that the Work Experience Scheme and the Work Programme are entirely voluntary, and that only Mandatory Work Activity is compulsory. They were lying, and now we have proof.

I previously pointed out that a DWP document proves that referral to the Work Programme is mandatory in many cases. This image taken from page 7 of the DWP Work Programme Statistical Release states that job seekers aged 18 – 24 will be referred after 9 months, aged 25+ after 12 months, and ESA claimants within 3 – 6 months.

Work programme referal points

Referral to the Work Programme does not automatically mean being sent to work in an unpaid work placement, but it does give full power over your future to the contracted Work Programme provider company. Thanks to the investigative work of Johnny Void we now have proof from a DWP guide for Work Programme providers that when a provider sends a job seeker to a work placement it is compulsory. Here is an image from the relevant page of the guide.

work programme provider guidance original

Paragraph 14 states:

Work Experience for JSA Claimants

14. 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.

However, if you try to read the original document from the DWP website at this point that isn’t what you see. Instead you will see this page:

work programme provider guidance modified

The documents has been modified. The original paragraph 14 is gone and paragraph 15 has been relabelled as 14. Also note that the European Social Fund logo has been removed. Despite the changes, the version number of the document, shown at the bottom right corner, is V2.00 in both cases. Credit again goes to Johnny Void for spotting that the document had changed and finding the original document lurking in the Google cache.

You can check the Google cache for the original document at least until it updates to reflect the new one, and you can check the revised version from the DWP website. I have saved copies of both the original and the revised documents here. (My copy of the original was saved as a PDF from the Google cache.)

Work Programme Provider Guidance Chapter 3 (Original)

Work Programme Provider Guidance Chapter 3 (Revised)

Éoin Clarke has also discovered that the DWP have removed the latest version of the Work Programme prospectus from their web site, although the 2010 version is still available. The prospectus has a similar table to that at the top of this article. I have saved a copy of that document here too.

Work Programme Prospectus v2 (2010)

Not only do we have proof that Chris Grayling, Iain Duncan Smith, David Cameron and the DWP were all lying, we also have proof that the DWP silently modified their documents to remove the evidence.

We are at war with Eastasia. We have always been at war with Eastasia.


Author: Latentexistence

The world is broken and I can't fix it because I am broken. I can, however, rant about it all and this is where I do that when I can get my thoughts together. Most of the time you'll find my words on Twitter rather than here though. I sometimes write for Where's The Benefit too.

7 thoughts on “DWP edits documents to pretend work placements weren’t compulsory”

  1. Glad this has been highlighted as persons with disabilities should be protected against compulsory/mandantory work under the UNCRPD article 27/2 which the previous government Disabled Minister @AnneMcGuire signed upto in 2006 then was again rattified by Johnathon Shaw again Minister for Disability 2007/8 and now the Con/LibDem government are clearly breaching this x I have already written to Trevor Phillips @EHRC and Geneva regarding this x WATCH THIS SPACE

  2. You need to send this to all the news networks and programmes so they can highlight this and get Mr Chris Grayling MP and Iain Duncan Smith MP to explain themselves to the unemployed and the nation live on T.V

  3. Here is my latest attempt to understand DWP-think

    I believe I have finally worked out how the devious mind of the DWP works:

    I had a look at the regulations and they really are poorly drafted. I
    don’t think there was any deliberate attempt to mislead, at least in the
    beginning but:
    34668 JSA may not be payable or it may be payable at a reduced rate to claimants who are entitled to JSA1 and have
    lost a place on WE through misconduct2(see DMG 34681 – 34682) or

    subject to the good cause provision detailed at *DMG 34730*, given up
    or failed to attend a place on a WE without good cause3 (see DMG 34683
    -34691) or
    after being notified by an Emp O of a place on a WE (see DMG 34669), refused without good cause (see DMG 34701 – 34702)
    3.1 or failed to apply for it or
    3.2 to accept it when offered4 or
    neglected to avail themselves of a reasonable opportunity of a place on WE5
    *DMG 34730 is the regulation requiring attendance on the first day and that you leave within a week or finish the course.

    This obviously begs the question why are the rest of the options there?
    If I volunteer and don’t go on the first day I am already under
    sanction so the question of applying or accepting or ‘availing myself’
    of the opprtunity is irrelevant?


    *34669* While an individual’s decision to participate in WE is purely
    voluntary, once they have agreed to take part in a specific placement
    and written notification has been given, then attendance and completion
    involves reasonable mandatory conditions and is subject to sanctions

    *DMG 34669 is drafted in such a way as to give rise to the possibility
    of misapplication but it also reads in such a way that the only part of
    the process which is voluntary is the acceptance and that as soon as the
    client has said yes and a letter has been drafted by JCP the rest of
    the process is on a mandatory footing. This would tend to backup the
    stories being told by the clients and would make the letters telling
    them that it was compulsory strictly speaking correct as they have
    already gone through thhe voluntary phase. The reason for doing it this
    way is that it allowed the programme to be voluntary but also meant that
    it met the minimum wage exemption requirements.

    The last point is that I can’t for the life of me see why sections 3.1 and 3.2 and 4 are in the regulation.

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