Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Jan 31, 2013 22:13:07 GMT
How many on incapacity benefits make it on to the Work Programme?
The key to endemic worklessness?
(June 2011 - February 2012)
Incapacity benefit related
4,040 ESA ex IB
2,610 JSA ex IB
Employment & Support Allowance only
Voluntary participation groups
Incapacity benefit related
3520 ESA ex IB
2250 JSA ex IB
Employment & Support Allowance only
Voluntary participation groups
Government's media promoted claim is to tackle 'endemic worklessness which they continually associate with claimants on longer - term incapacity benefit. The above figures show how many have been 'referred' and how many 'attached' to the Work Programme. A referral is just what it says, some pen - pusher referring someone to the programme and the attachments are those who are well 'attached' to it; it's from here that great things happen as the claimant; having been through the ESA assault course is next exposed to a the wonders of the Work Programme, no doubt attending endless sessions and re-writing CV's which more and more employers reject in preference to a standardised application form.
Let's not be cynical though, let's home in on all those thousands having an incapacity benefit history who will have been attached to the Work Programme. Bear in mind we're talking about 1.9 million incapacity claimants when the assessment programme started you may expect thousands upon thousands to be firmly glued to a Work provider by now:
The results are disappointing
...just 7,990 incapacity attachments
Of which 2,220 were volunteers rather than mandatory attachments.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on May 21, 2013 19:46:30 GMT
The Work Programme is failing the taxpayer
By failing to use the specialist services aimed at unemployed people who find it hardest to find a job, the Work Programme is putting the public purse at risk
Richard Johnson The Guardian, Tuesday 21 May 2013 A member of staff gives advice at a Work Programme session for long-term unemployed people. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian
After six months of deliberation, the work and pensions select committee this week publishes its second report into the Work Programme (WP). The inquiry set out to answer the question, can the Work Programme work for all user groups? The short answer is: no, two years after launch, it is clearly failing the most disadvantaged jobseekers.
The committee acknowledges that the WP simplified the sector. It has shifted things to payment by results, supposedly reducing risk to the public purse. The contractors are highly variable in quality. Their performance is improving, for some jobseekers anyway, but they are running the service with massive caseloads. "Creaming and parking" (helping the jobseekers that are easier to find work for and ignoring the hard ones) is endemic. Specialist services, to address complex jobseeker needs such as disability or homelessness, are underused, and specialist subcontractors get a raw deal. The WP also fails to engage adequately with employers and has a poor relationship with Jobcentre Plus.
The fundamental flaw is laid bare in the £248m that the committee says the Treasury is clawing back for underspend on the WP in 2012-13 – money that was allocated and that contractors haven't earned.
The initial WP concept (as set out by Lord Freud, now responsible for the rollout of universal credit) was based on the simple notion that it costs a shedload of money to keep people on benefits – more than £100m a day. Surely, it is better to invest in welfare-to-work programmes to reduce the benefit bill through moving people into work. If the Treasury can't find the additional cash for extra welfare-to-work programmes, then get private sector firms to fund it and pay them back out of the benefit savings they generate.
Some people, even after years of unemployment, find their own job. Money spent helping this "deadweight" will be wasted. Some people, however, are at risk of getting stuck on benefits and never moving off them. The higher the levels of disadvantage, the more complex their needs are likely to be, and the more expensive any solutions. But the jobseekers that cost more to help will be the ones that deliver a greater return in reduced long-term benefit liability.
It appears that this link between programme investment and savings has been forgotten. The payments made to WP contractors, as noted by the committee, are ineffectively targeted. The contractors are not incentivised to risk spending on jobseekers who appear hard to help. More via the Guardian
Lazy mean minded Work programme providers appear to be reaching for the sanction sheet when claimants don't turn up for a humdrum mandatory activity, it doesn't seem to occur to them that the claimant may just have had enough working in Poundland for nothing and they end up getting a real job.
'Provider Direct' is yet another telephone service helpline which seemingly provides guidance to Work programme contractors on whether of not a benefit claimant should be referred to a DWP decision - maker to make a decision on whether or not they should face the dreaded 'sanction'.
It looks like Provider Direct is absolutely inundated with calls, indeed it looks like they're getting a third too many from over zealous sanction busters. Provider Direct is evidently getting a bit cheesed off with providers making inappropriate referrals. Indeed their guidance shows that around 30% of referrals by naughty WORK providers may be 'inappropriate'. Here's what the official, if somewhat overly bureaucratic guidance says....
"The aim is to reduce the large number of inappropriate DMA WP08 referrals which will have clear benefits for both providers and DWP"
"Currently, a significant proportion of unnecessary WP08 DMA referrals being made are caused by providers not having been aware about participants’ changes of circumstances, most notably change of address and found work."
"It is estimated that approximately 30 percent of all WP08 DMA current referrals fall into this category."
I'm detecting a whiff of chaos here. Why on earth wouldn't the Work Programme providers already know they've got one of their customers a job? - here's me thinking that's why they are called 'work providers'. It seems like the providers aren't in full possession of the facts, it does leave you with the impression that claimants are quite happily finding work without their help.
I'm also slightly bewildered as to why providers don't seem to know their customer's address details, one wonders how they are able to offer this marvellous package of one to one 'support' without actually knowing where those they are meant to be supporting live - astonishing. It's yet another sign that when the claimant's details change the provider isn't being kept aware.
Rather than thinking 'bungling bureaucracy', it seems more a case of blame the claimant, the minute the errant claimant doesn't turn up for a mandatory appointment, providers are instantaneously thinking 'ah time for a sanction', inferring they are assuming the worst of those they should be helping. It smacks of providers thinking all claimants are demotivated or lazy and just can't be bothered to get out of bed in a rush to see their provider or engage upon whatever mandatory activity it is that they should be attending.
When government is telling us about all these thousands taking up work, it surprises me that providers aren't thinking 'ah perhaps they've not turned up because they got one of the many thousands of jobs we are finding people each and every day. Nor do they seem to realise that in taking up work a fair few claimants may just have had to move home, I'll leave the Bedroom Tax out of it for now.
It's also surprising that only this week we hear how the sanction statistics are currently subject to delay and yet Provider Direct seems to be right on top of the figures when it comes to collating up to date information about the movements of the thousands of claimants who they seem to have on their books....
"Provider Referral and Payment (PRaP) system updates over night"
Why doesn't Parliament just get on to Provider Direct and ask them for the missing statistics? With overnight updating there would not appear to be any legitimate reason for a delay over the production of the figures would there?
Alarmingly, the guidance also refers (via various convoluted flow charts) to potential data breach situations where Provider employees may have disappeared or gone in to a puff of liquidation....
Instances when DWP would need to be informed of a change of circumstances that could require a change to the Access Code:
If a member of staff leaves without giving notice, or they were subject to pending disciplinary procedures.
If a person has been dismissed
If there is any reason to suspect fraudulent activity Version 8 26/03/13- 8 -
If a subcontractor organisation goes in to liquidation/ceases trading or terminates their subcontractor relationship with you or;
Any other scenario where there is the potential for a security breach
(This list is not exhaustive)
Provider Direct are obviously busy, they're having to marshal calls by restricting providers to only being able to enquire about up to five claimants in a single telephone call. I get the impression they're a little rushed off their sanction minded backsides as they move from call to call. I'm also a little bit curious over their 'incentive', or perhaps this gives us a little clue as why they're so keen to get it right:
The adverse decision rate should increase if inappropriate referrals are removed; and
Reductions in the number of instances of potential participant negative behaviour towards providers due to inappropriate WP08 DMA referrals.
They're obviously minded to up the 'adverse decision rate' and avoid situations where claimant 'behaviour' may serve as a threat to the life of a sanction happy provider - thinking the worst of the claimant rather than simply conceding to their own mistake in avoiding situations where officialdom has fouled up the paperwork again. Honestly, what kind of a culture are we dealing with here? - what ever happened to giving people the benefit of the doubt?
I wonder how far these referral figures go to make up the overall 'sanction' statistics? I'm also a little curious as to who operates this outfit 'Provider Direct', sounds suspiciously privatised if you ask me.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on May 31, 2013 19:40:32 GMT
KAPOW! The DWP's new 'TRAILBLAZING' Report....
Move over Batman, Robin.....
It seems the DWP has called in their replacement, enter 'Trailblazer'.... It's the DWP's latest weapon against the endemic worklessness disease which IDS would have you believe has been sweeping the nation for the last ten years.
Funny because I seem to remember it starting in the 80 & 90's, but never mind....
Yes more public money has been spent on what sounds like a ground breaking survey in to the causes of long term unemployment in the DWP's new 'trail - blazing report'. It'ssomewhat less dynamic than its name suggests, Trailblazer is clearly the work of a cluster of academics who have spent endless hours (and expense) in preparing this full on 118 page evaluation of the support seemingly given to the 'very long - term' unemployed. Trailblazer quotes you percentage after percentage, it's written in DWP morse code with no shortage of meaningless abbreviated references to groups such as those found in the 'CAP' 'OCM' 'JCPO' or 'SVLTU' categories. I get the impression it's deliberately designed to baffle you with science. For those of you brave enough to persevere, your efforts I promise you are all in vain.
Trailblazer is a report of nothingness, all the digging and research renders this report totally useless when it comes down to providing us with the information we really need to know. How many ended up in work? Why did the Work Programme fail those who were still on JSA after months of Work Programme torture? What about the DWP's efforts to help those on benefits other than Jobseeker's? - if you are in search of information such as this you will be bitterly disappointed with Trailblazer.
Dig deep if you like but my guess is you'll feel let down. It's hardly surprising that the report is so low on substance when you look at the size of the evaluation. Why such low numbers when the DWP continually reminds us that thousands and thousands remain 'trapped on a lifetime of benefits'?
Amongst the handful of lives researched by Trailblazer we learn that a mere 15 to 18% of those surveyed "entered paid employment, became self-employed or were waiting to start work at the time of the survey" - my guess is far more were waiting than working. It's telling that the data only relates to those who remain on Jobseeker's Allowance after going through the Work Programme - a clear indication of failure if ever you needed one. Why didn't they survey anyone actually on the programme? Why not seek to find out out the views of the long term incapacitated who end up languishing in the ESA Work Related Activity Group at the mercy of a Work Provider?
Whilst there are thousands who could have been surveyed, the trailblazing academics focussed their findings on a mixture of DWP staff and Jobseeker Allowance claimants, the information gathered was collated on a 'self - reporting' basis with an overall 'response rate' of just 38%. It appears that 'wave 2' of the survey was far from a Tsunami with just 70 individuals (a mixture of staff and participants) being interviewed over the phone and during face to face interviews aimed at eliciting sufficient information to compile information from the perception of the participant. I'm left confused as to how the report jumps from 70 interviews in 'wave 2' to over 1,500 telephone interviews, perhaps it would have been helpful for the academics to have included a sample of the questions asked? - no such luck.
If this is what the DWP call 'trailblazing' then I think we have even more reason to believe the DWP are simply far too busy wasting time and money on gathering pointless reports rather than suggesting to their Government ministers that the real answer is for them to create a solution - it's called real work.
Here's a few excerpts from 'Trailblazer', it'll save you trawling all those 118 pages.....
This report presents findings from an evaluation of the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP’s) Support for the Very Long-Term Unemployed (SVLTU trailblazer, a six-month scheme designed to test potential support strands for claimants who remain on Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) after completing the Work Programme. The trailblazer was designed as a Randomised Control Trial and participation in each strand was mandatory. SVLTU consisted of the following two treatment groups and one control group:
Community Action Programme (CAP): a six-month work placement complemented by provider-led supported jobsearch. Providers were contracted by DWP to source placements for claimants which delivered a community benefit;
• Ongoing Case Management (OCM): a more intensive offer of flexible and personalised adviser-based support, as well as a set of standard activities, delivered by Jobcentre Plus through increased adviser interventions for six months;
• the control group (standard Jobcentre Plus Offer (JCPO)): Fortnightly Jobsearch Reviews plus additional appointments with advisers based on advisers’ discretion and access to a menu of back- to-work support.
15% to 18% in each programme strand entered paid employment, became self-employed or were waiting to start work at the time of the survey
It is important to note that these findings are based on self-reported job outcomes data collected six to seven months after starting on the trailblazer (i.e. at the end of the programme). It is possible that a different pattern will emerge in the months following programme completion. DWP are planning to publish administrative data on job outcomes in 2013, which will provide a longer-term picture of the job outcomes of all trailblazer participants.
The groups who were less likely to feel the programme had helped them included men, owner-occupiers and people with mental health problems.
Wave 1: The aim of the first wave was to provide an opportunity to gather early feedback on and responses to the trailblazer from Jobcentre Plus staff and JSA claimants. Telephone interviews were conducted with 30 claimants who were allocated to, but did not participate in, the CAP and OCM strands and 21 claimants who were participating in the programme
Wave 2: The aim of the second wave of qualitative fieldwork was to explore views and experiences of the programmes at a later stage from the perspectives of staff and participants in the three strands. The participant fieldwork involved telephone and face-to-face in-depth interviews with 70 participants in total, 30 on OCM, 25 on CAP and 15 on the JCPO.
Quantitative survey of SVLTU participants
In total telephone interviews were conducted with 1,565 individuals. The following provides an overview of the survey methodology, focusing upon the sample, questionnaire content, fieldwork and weighting.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on May 31, 2013 19:49:40 GMT
Watch out all you shirkers!
Hoban's 'hit squad' has arrived......
This is quite possibly the biggest single sign to date that the DWP has conceded to the failure of the Work Programme.
The once 'flagship' programme is now distinctly at half mast. For the DWP to have to call in a £30 million hit squad you just know they are in big trouble. IDS has lied his socks off over the figures to a point where he can probably no longer recall his date of birth with any degree of accuracy. What happened to all the payment by results promises and all the rubbish over getting 75% of those faking illnesses off the sick and in to work?
It was all based on idealogical reform - a recipe for disaster from the word go.
It's crashing down on IDS and this just smacks of pure desperation. Rather than blame himself for his chaotic mismanagement of the Work Programme, IDS reverts to once again blaming those his government puts out of work for being unemployed, or those made mentally sick by government's draconian austerity cuts for claiming to suffer from depression. In truth IDS can't blame it on the long term sick or the long term unemployed any more, he's presided over this incompetent reform long enough now to have to accept it is he who should take the blame.
Sanctions, hit squads, training courses and preparing CV's are not the answer as IDS knows only too well. It's high time IDS took the rap for what he has fouled up, he should be brave enough to admit this ambitious scale of welfare reform was never possible on the meagre budgets set by his austerity obsessed chancellor, he's not listened to countless people telling him he's got it all wrong, he's been driven to losing his temper and telling lie after lie - but in reality the arrival of the hit squad marks the death rattle for IDS and his wretched reforms.
Here's how the DWP are spinning it....
Work Programme leavers will be targeted by a hit squad of specialist advisers as part of a tough approach to get them into a job.
Up to 5 specialist advisers will be based in individual Jobcentres dedicated to working with people not in sustained work after 2 years on the Work Programme.
Claimants will be given an end-of-term report from their Work Programme provider assessing what progress they have made and their ongoing needs, to inform their new adviser before facing the toughest Jobcentre regime to help them find work. At their first appointment they will have to agree a binding back-to-work plan laying out what they are required to do.
Minister for Employment Mark Hoban said:
The Work Programme is getting some of the hardest to help claimants into work despite a tough economic climate.
We always knew that there would be some who would require further support after the Work Programme, which is why we’re introducing this intensive and uncompromising regime.
We’ll be stepping up the pressure on claimants, who will be expected to attend the Jobcentre more frequently, with rigorous monitoring to ensure they are doing everything they can to find work.
Claimants will be expected to be on a training scheme, Mandatory Work Activity placement or intensive work preparation within days of finishing on the Work Programme – losing their benefit if they fail to comply. An extra £30m will be available to pay for extra training and specialist help to prepare them for work, for instance counselling for people dependent on drug and alcohol.
Claimants will also have to attend the Jobcentre far more frequently than other jobseekers, with weekly signing on being routine and some people being required to meet their adviser every day.
The advisers, who will be focused on working with those returning from the Work Programme, will take a tough approach to monitoring whether claimants are sticking to their plan with anyone failing to participate losing their benefits.
The programme comes after Jobcentres involved in a trailblazer found that claimants targeted by an intensive approach were much less likely to stay on benefit.
Every Work Programme returner will also be required to register with Universal Jobmatch to aid work search and job matching and to allow their adviser to check their work search activity online.
The tough sanctions regime will see anyone failing to comply with mandatory activity lose benefit for 4 weeks for a first failure, with penalties of up to 3 years for serial offenders.
The intensive support will last for 6 months, and will be used for all Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants returning from the Work Programme who need more intensive support.
The Work Programme
The Work Programme was launched in June 2011 and is aimed at those at risk of long-term unemployment. Providers are paid according to results to get people into work, with extra incentives to support the hardest to help.
The Work Programme has already helped more than 207,000 people off benefits and into a job.
Our research report on the Jobcentre Trailblazer includes evidence of positive impacts on a range of employability factors, and statistics published alongside the report show evidence of a positive effect on off-flows of 5 to 7 percentage points compared to the control group of Jobcentre Plus Offer.
New sanctions regime
The new sanctions regime referred to above came into force on Monday 22 October 2012. Under the new regime there are 3 levels of sanctions:
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Jun 2, 2013 9:58:45 GMT
Why has ESA assessment only led to 1,290 real jobs?
When the papers would tell you 5 million are ready to work?
3,053,200 found 'fit for work'
1,028,800 placed in the 'Work Related Activity Group'
1,074,200 had closed their claims before assessment
What's going wrong?
To date the DWP has found 3,053,200 claimants fit for work via Employment & Support Allowance, 1,028,800 have been placed in the 'Work Related Activity Group' and 1,074,200 have closed their claims before being assessed. The figures are here and all up to date, these are The DWP's own statistics
My question, with over 5 million people allegedly being claimed by the media to be ready for the labour markets, why has the DWP via their multi - billion pound Work Programme only been able to place 1,290 in a real job?
Could it be there just any or is it that these claimants are not fit for work at all?
The total number of attachments to the Work Programme up to July 2012 is 836, 940 of which 80,720 attachments were made with claimants who had a claim history including incapacity benefits or Employment & Support Allowance (approximately 9.6%).
The total number of claimants with an ib/ESA history up to July 2012 who have a recorded 'job outcome' is just 1,290.
When consideration is given to how a total of 1,215,200 claimants have been found fully 'fit for work' and 894.600 have been found to have some capability for work (in the Work Related Activity Group) you arrive at a combined total of 2,109,800 potential Work Programme placements.
An attachment total of 80,720 ib/ESA related claimants, of which only 1,290 are reported to end up with a 'job outcome' is derisory considering that from the ib/ESA reassessment scheme there are on the face of it 2.1 million potential entries in to the labour markets. It is very disappointing that the number of Job outcomes is such a diminutive fraction of the very group which the Work Programme pledges to offer the most help.
The Work Programme is failing not only in terms of its overall performance but in particular towards those who are incapacitated and have had to go through all the trauma associated with 'work capability assessments' - these results are deplorable and clearly show something is seriously amiss.
It is therefore perhaps useful to consider the range of health problems experienced by those attached to the Work Programme to see where their respective 'barriers to work' may exist:
The following figures make interesting reading:
Health problems experienced by claimants attached to the Work Programme up to July 2012
Data (in thousands) up to and including=JUL12
Primary Health Condition
JSA/Pension Credit/Income Support Claimants (No health condition recorded)
Mental and Behavioural Disorders
Diseases of the Nervous System
Diseases of the Circulatory or Respiratory System
Diseases of the Musculoskeletal system and Connective Tissue
Injury, Poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes
The highest incidence of health problems affect those aged between 35 and 44 where 11,590 are reported to have mental health and behavioural related problems. It is this group which accounts for the highest number recorded as having a health problem (38,020).
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Jun 7, 2013 22:52:06 GMT
Benefit sanctions sky rocket under coalition!
But why so many?
2.25 Million Jobseeker's sanctioned since Coalition came to office!
Are they serious?
These figures are truly earth shattering.
DWP figures which you can access here show that since May 2010 an astonishing 2,257,000 claimants on Jobseeker's Allowance have had their benefits referred for a decision on whether to cut their benefits for a fixed length period. The numbers of sanction referrals has rocketed from around 5,500 to 6,000 per month since 2000 right the way up to 2007, since then they have slowly increased but it is only since the Coalition took office that sanction referrals have sky rocketed to levels we have never seen before. A study conducted by the DWP in 2006 showed that around 130,000 claimants in total were subject to sanction referral in a year. These latest figures are seeing figures of over 110,000 in a single month.
From April 2000 to October 2012 there has been a total of 3,192,910 sanctions where a decision has been made over whether the claimant's benefit should be stopped for a fixed period. The fact that two and a quarter million of those sanction referrals have been recorded should be cause for serious concern as to the vigour at which they are being applied.
The DWP's statistical footnote explains that 'prior to April 2010, a Failure to Attend Advisory Interview attracted an entitlement decision. Since then, it has attracted a fixed length sanction of between 1 and 2 weeks.' It is this kind of sanction which accounts for 1,150,670 of all sanctions - by far the largest number, this category has only come in to play since the Coalition took office. 487,980 reported failures to participate in the Coalition's Work Programme are recorded since July 2011. The fixed length sanction regime can last a longer than two weeks but the period of 1 to 2 weeks is what is recorded in the DWP's notes.
These figures raise serious questions over the validity of the sanction regime. It is simply incomprehensible that the rate of sanction should increase from 5,000 per month to over 100,000 purely because new conditionality has been built in to the claims regime. It should be remembered that these figures only relate to those claiming Jobseekers Allowance, the DWP has yet to publish full figures for the Employment & Support Allowance.
Questions should be asked as to whether it is the DWP's privately contracted Work Programme providers who have simply become too 'sanction happy' in a bid to cover up their badly performing rates of placing the most 'difficult to place' claimants in to the workplace. Claimants stand to lose their benefits for 1 to 2 weeks for failing to attend an advisory interview, in many cases their appeal rights are limited or not explained to them. I can recall cases where claimants were sanctioned for the most bureaucratic of reasons. In one case a claimant attended the Jobcentre for a full hour and a half in the morning happily going through all of his return to work options and was told he did not need to return in the afternoon to sign on at a desk which was a matter of a few metres away in the very same Jobcentre from where he was in the morning. He was assured his signing details would be passed to the claims adviser and thought no more about it. he later learnt he had been sanctioned for not turning up in the afternoon. He ended up having to appeal - a process which took months.
One has to wonder if these sanctions are being imposed as a way of reducing the numbers who appear on the DWP's payment database; which is needless to say closely linked to the data collected for Government unemployment statistics. Once a claimant has been removed from the payment database there is no telling how long it will be before the claimant reappears as a statistic - despite it being only a matter of weeks without benefit it can take months to adjust government statistics.
"If a claimant fails to undertake any activity required as a condition of their participation on the Work Programme without good cause, then a doubt may be raised against their claim. These doubts are referred to the DWP Sector Decision Makers (SDMs). Once the SDM has made a decision on whether to sanction or disallow/allow a referral, they enter their decision on a system called DMAS (Decision Making and Appeals System). The decision is also sent back to the Jobcentre Plus office for entry to LMS (Labour Market System) and JSAPS (JSA Payment System) which then makes the appropriate changes to the actual payment to the customer. "
So it would appear the LMS records are updated upon sanction and will will have the effect of quickly 'adjusting' the unemployment figures - very handy.
Now lets compare those sanction figures with previous years using the same DWP data sources:
Isn't it astonishing that under the Coalition sanctions have soared to two and a quarter million compared with 174,460 over the same time period between 2000 and 2002? Yet the Coalition are always telling us how they're reducing the numbers claiming Jobseekers Allowance with figures of approximately 1.5 million - they've seemingly sanctioned more than are currently claiming!
One also has to wonder how the rushed off its feet DWP is physically able to deal with this many sanctions, especially with all the appeals and reclaims it has to process - it all points to systematic chaos within the Department.