London is still England’s poverty capital
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Key findings

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FOI Tribunal orders DWP to release names of workfare exploiters, after losing 3 appeals.

Tribunal orders DWP to release names of workfare exploiters, after losing 3 appeals.

20/6/13 update: Tribunal grants DWP permission to appeal against decision to name workfare exploiters

“The Tribunal dismisses the Appellant’s appeals and upholds the Decision Notices [Case Ref: FS50438037] of the Information Commissioner (the Commissioner) in all three appeals.”
Full decision:

DWP submissions to Tribunal:
Notice of Appeal
Grounds of Appeal
Skeleton argument on behalf of the Appellant; and
Open chronology
inclusive of reliance on information from Boycott workfare and Johnny Void.

DWP Ordered To Name The Workfare Exploiters (18/5/13)
Government must reveal workfare exploiters! (18/5/13)
Workfare placements must be made public, tribunal rules (19/5/13)
DWP ordered to name charities and companies providing ‘workfare’ placements (20/5/13)
Workfare and the First-tier Tribunal (20/5/13)

Some background info:

Copy of one of the original Freedom of Information Act requests on and DWP evidence submitted to the ICO trying to justify refusal to disclose information.

Now Chris Grayling Attacks the Foundations of Democracy!

Government blocks publication of names of ‘workfare’ employers
DWP quote: “Put simply, disclosure [of names] would have been likely to have led to the collapse of the MWA [Mandatory Work Activity] scheme“

Mandatory Work Activity

ICO Decision Notice – Case Ref: FS50438037 (PDF)
View online
Date: 22/08/2012
Public Authority: Department for Work and Pensions
Summary: The complainant asked the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for the names of organisations that provide work placements under the Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) programme. The Commissioner’s decision is that by withholding the information under sections 43(2) and 36(2)(c) the DWP did not deal with the request for information in accordance with the Act. He has concluded that s43(2) was not engaged and that although s36(2)(c) was engaged, the public interest favoured disclosure of the withheld information. By failing to state or explain in its refusal notice that s36(2)(c) was applicable to the requested information the DWP breached s17(1)(b) and (c) of the Act. This decision notice is currently under appeal to the Information Tribunal.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 17 – Complaint Upheld , FOI 36 – Complaint Upheld , FOI 43 – Complaint Upheld

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Updates suspended April 2013

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All new JSA and Universal Credit claimants to be automatically signed on to Universal Jobmatch

Each of the four job centres involved in the early roll-out will be testing a range of activities to prepare for Universal Credit from April including:

  • trialling the new claimant commitment
  • ensuring all new JSA and UC claimants are automatically signed on to Universal Jobmatch
  • introducing a new fortnightly job search trial to make sure people are meeting the terms of their claimant commitment
  • and installing more internet access points to help people make their claims.

Notes: Automatic Universal Jobmatch registration and use likely to be achieved by all new online JSA and UC claims being linked to creation of a Government Gateway account and this account is then used to create a Jobmatch profile and upload a public CV.

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PCS Union opposes conditionality and sanctions targets

Previous briefings DWP/BB/76/12 and DWP/BB/137/12 informed members that PCS completely opposed targets and expectations for DMA referrals.

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Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) [workfare] Act 2013

Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013

Decision Makers Guidance (Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013
Memo DMG 11/13

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Benefit sanctions for failing to do an email/electronic or telephone based interview

From 02 April 2013, a number of changes are being made to decision making on benefit sanctions, it will then be possible to get a sanction for failing to attend not only a face-to-face interview, but an email/electronic or telephone based interview.

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