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TOPIC: Work & Health Programme Referral

Work & Health Programme Referral 15 Apr 2018 21:34 #7035

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This thread will be primarily concerned with the processes by which claimants may be referred by DWP coaches to the Work & Health Programme (WHP). To that end it would help if members confined their posts on this thread to issues arising out of the referral process. The referral process means the process by which the claimant is selected and the process by which, once selected, the claimant is transferred onto the Programme. Thank you.

The Work & Health Programme is defined by DWP as:
“The Work and Health Programme (WHP) is the new contracted provision to support people into employment. By employment we mean any form of employment including full time and part time.”

They have very helpfully defined for us what they mean by ‘employment’, the one word that is self-explanatory. They haven’t been quite as forthcoming in defining what they mean by ‘contracted provision’ or ‘support people’. For example, are they talking about a contract between DWP and providers or between providers and claimants? Is their definition of supporting people hounding the sick and disabled in defiance of medical advice and evidence onto pointless courses and into work that they may not be able to sustain for any length of time without detriment to their existing condition?

We are expected to come to our own conclusions on those terms.

They also helpfully tell us who might be eligible:
“To be eligible for Work and Health Programme (WHP) all Participants must be of working age, and resident in England or Wales. The expectation is that most WHP participants would be working age – aged between 16 and 65 but there is no upper age limit on voluntary participation.”

So, basically, if you’re lukewarm and breathing you are likely to become the fodder. The programme lasts for 456 days (15 months) with a possibility of it extending to 639 days (21 months).

The Work and Health Programme Procedural Guidance can be found at this link. There are 20 attachments, or Parts, in all explaining it:

www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/work_health_programme_procedural

For anyone unfamiliar with DWP procedures, which I guess will be most of us, they are not easy to digest but with patience they can be understood.
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Work & Health Programme Referral 15 Apr 2018 21:37 #7036

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Who can identify potential participants for the programme, and how they go about doing it is the next issue to address. Two groups are recognised:
1. Signposting Organisations (SO)
2. Work Coaches

1. Signposting Organisations:
We are not told exactly who those SOs are. (SOBs might be more appropriate) But we can deduce that they must already have some interaction with claimants, hold some details about them and are able to gather more. We are told that they must be on some sort of recognised list held by DWP. A description of how they are to go about identifying potential participants for the WHP, and how to refer them to the DWP for consideration is given in Work and Health Programme Procedural Guidance – 2. Signposting Organisations (SO).

www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/460415/response/1110039/attach/5/2.SO.pdf

Those SOs can’t refer anyone onto the programme directly. They can only propose potential participants to DWP after discussions with said potential participants.

2. Work Coaches:
To avoid adding to any confusion caused by trawling through the Guidance I will only highlight some of the main points to consider here and now.

It would appear that the work coaches bear the brunt of deciding/selecting who is eligible for referral. This applies equally to any prospective participants proposed by SOs. It is important, therefore, that claimants should familiarise themselves with the procedures that work coaches are supposed to follow.

The first thing they have to do if they identify:
• a claimant on their caseload who might be suitable for the Work and Health Programme
• a claimant referred by a Signposting Organisation (SO) on a WHPSO1 form.
they must consider the eligibility criteria and the claimant’s suitability for the WHP.

See: Eligibility criteria chapter 5.
www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/460415/response/1110039/attach/8/5.Eligibility.pdf
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Work & Health Programme Referral 15 Apr 2018 21:39 #7037

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Once the foregoing checks are done and the work coach is satisfied s/he moves on to the next step which is;

“……….must contact the potential participant and invite them in for a meeting. This will allow you to explain next steps. Use the WHPL006 'Your meeting details' invite to interview letter”.

If you don’t get the official invite, you don’t go. To go would be gate-crashing.

In the WHP referral meeting, work coach must take the following action:

Step 1. Access his diary.

Step 2. Start the interview on Labour Market Screen (LMS).

Step 3. Explain to claimant that s/he has been selected for the WHP.

Step 4. Explain the referral process.

Step 5. Explain that the potential participant should expect to be treated fairly by the provider and that the provider will explain their minimum standards of service. If they are not happy, the referral letter explains how to make a complaint.

Step 6. Explain the potential participant's responsibilities whilst on the WHP.
Note: These responsibilities are set out in the referral letter.

Step 7. Remind the potential participant of the benefits of taking up the provision. May want to include the following:
• WHP can help them into employment and help keep the job
• WHP can help them if they have problems finding work for example, if they are disabled or have barriers to finding a job
• WHP will help them improve their skill set and provide the right kinds of training to get a job
• WHP will provide that extra help and support that they cannot get from DWP
• WHP will help them write an action plan mapping out the manageable steps to take to help them move towards employment
• WHP will continue to support them through the early stages of employment

Step 8. Explain DWP needs to share information about them with employers, WHP providers and work placement hosts. Explain that some of this is explained in the referral letter. If they want to know more, they can visit www.dwp.gov.uk/privacy-policy

Step 9. Remind the potential participant that the provision will last for 456 days with the possibility of it being extended to 639 days.

Step 10. Explain to the potential participant that if they reach 24 months unemployment and disengage from the WHP, they will be mandated for the remainder of the time on the programme if they are on Jobseekers Allowance (JSA). This is when the participant meets Long Term Unemployed
(LTU) eligibility criteria.

Step 11. Check the Labour Market System (LMS) ‘HIST’ tab to prevent duplicate referrals.
Note: Some Labour Market System (LMS) processes incorrectly remove the marker.

Step 12. Identify if the potential participant needs support in understanding or accessing Jobcentre Plus (JCP) services and complete the free text box on the referral opportunity quoting: ‘May require reasonable adjustment or additional support’.

Step 13. Review and/or update the Claimant Commitment or action plan.

Step 14. Tell the potential participant that if they find work prior to them engaging with the provider, they must notify Jobcentre Plus (JCP) immediately in order for them to consider any in
work support that may be available (depending on benefit being claimed). Once they engage with the provider, it becomes the provider’s responsibility for any in work support.

Step 15. Make the referral to the WHP using the WHPL003 referral letter.
Note: If potential participant is MAPPA, follow the current MAPPA instructions to consider if it is necessary for the provider to be made aware of the restrictions contained in the MAPPA J notification form.
If it is, you must update the potential participant's 'Action Plan' in Labour Market System (LMS) with the relevant details.
The information in the action plan is transferred to the provider automatically via Provider Referral and Payment system (PRaP).

Note: The above steps are essential to ensure that WHP providers get full relevant information, especially around any restrictions to availability, caring responsibilities.

Throughout the referral interview, you must consider whether the potential participant needs that little bit of extra support.

Before making the referral, make sure the potential participants:
• understand what’s been discussed
• have no questions or concerns
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Work & Health Programme Referral 15 Apr 2018 21:42 #7038

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We have touched briefly here on the main points to be aware of before you get the notification summons to the interview.
Hopefully you will have time to study the two Guidance packages thoroughly. Those are:

Work and Health Programme Procedural Guidance
www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/work_health_programme_procedural#incoming-1134121

Work and Health Programme Provider Guidance
www.gov.uk/government/publications/work-and-health-programme-provider-guidance

The coaches have been instructed to make sure you understand what’s been discussed and that you have no questions or concerns before they make the referral. That means that they need your agreement. You need to ensure that they have done their job thoroughly and that you don’t agree to or accept anything until you are sure and confident that you know and understand the implications.

Before you leave that interview you need to understand what all those abbreviations and groupings they’re talking about means, why you’re in them, or not in them, as the case might be. Why the programme is appropriate for you or why it is not.

You need to understand who selected you for the programme and why, what you’re expected to receive and what good will it do.

Don’t accept that your questions will be answered at a later stage by a provider or someone else. The coach is part of the DWP, the DWP gave the provider to contract that is going to affect your life. The coach, representing the DWP, should know the answers and not try to fob you off. If the coach can’t answer your questions, s/he is not qualified to decide your fate and why should s/he be empowered or given authority to do so?

Whether you commit to it in the full knowledge of what you are committing to or whether you do not is a decision you are there at that point free to take. You should also understand that whatever you decide you do so with conviction in the full knowledge that the implications of your decision may need to be defended.

When the old Work Programme was in full flow thousands of claimants were shanghaied onto it illegally because proper procedures were mostly ignored. Coaches got away with murder. Claimants had no idea what they were there for or why. The result was years of bitter complaining and griping on forums like this before it was eventually dropped.

Let’s see if we can’t drop this programme a bit faster.
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Work & Health Programme Referral 16 Apr 2018 10:59 #7048

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Having got through the process thus far the next move, if you have agreed to participate in WHP, is for the coach to refer you to a WHP provider. This will be within two days of the afore-mentioned meeting.

Service Providers
On 10/10/2017 DWP announced the prime contractors for the new Work and Health Programme. It will be run by five service providers across six regions in England and Wales. The successful prime contractors for Manchester (1 lot) and London (4 lots) will be announced separately.

1. Central England Provider: Shaw Trust Go live: January 2018
2. North East England Provider: Reed in Partnership Go live: January 2018
3. North West England Provider: Ingeus Go live: November 2017
4. Southern England Provider: Pluss Go live: January 2018
5. Home Counties Provider: Shaw Trust Go live: January 2018
6. Wales Provider: Remploy Go live: December 2017

The results will be disappointing for a number of large providers including G4S, Working inks, PeoplePlus, APM, Prospects, and The Work Company who all qualified for the umbrella framework.

Devolution
London and Greater Manchester have been given funding under devolution deals and will select their own providers.
In Manchester the programme will be called the Working Well and will launch at the end of January 2018. InWork GM have been appointed to deliver the programme.

The Work and Health Programme will launch in London in Spring 2018. The programme will operate on a “sub-regional basis with groups of boroughs working together through strategic partnerships”.

There will be four such partnerships:

• Shaw Trust (West London)
• Ingeus (Central London)
• Maximus (East London)
• Reed in Partnership (South London)


Your details will be forwarded to whichever of those organisations have been given the contract to provide the service in your region within two days. It is envisaged that those organisations will sub-contract further some of the services that they are obliged to provide to other organisations that they choose to provide the service on their behalf within their regions.

Be aware that this involves further disclosure of your personal data.
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Work & Health Programme Referral 16 Apr 2018 11:03 #7049

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Participant’s referral from Jobcentre Plus
Following the referral interview (within 2 days) Jobcentre Plus will send over information on the individual to support initial engagement.

Information sent as part of the referral is sensitive personal data within the meaning of the Data Protection Act and handling, processing and transmission rules apply. The information sent as an anticipated minimum will include:

• full name including title
• National Insurance number (NINO)
• full address including post code
• telephone number inc area code
• other telephone number (mobile)
• qualifications
• Driving Licence
• aims (free text field)
• job preferences
• employment history
• preferred hours
• Participant’s payment group
• if the Participant is voluntary or mandatory
• Incident Marker – notification where a Participant has had an incident recorded while working with Jobcentre Plus. The Jobcentre will issue you with a notification of control measures form by post to make you aware of any measures following an incident. Further information on incidents can be requested by contacting Jobcentre Plus
• Disability Status – notification that the Participant has informed Jobcentre Plus that they are disabled. Disabled may require special arrangements when you meet with them
• childcare needs/arrangements, for example lone parent, preferred working pattern
• Participant’s signing cycle
• Participant’s claim pattern
• Voluntary Early Entry Category
• JSA signing day
• Jobcentre Plus agreed employment restrictions on availability
• Welsh language written or spoken
• referral ID
• provision ID
• date of referral
• Participants who require additional support – this will be notified by the inclusion of the wording “May require reasonable adjustment or additional support” on their action plan
• disadvantaged marker set Y (yes) or N (no). Where information states disadvantaged marker set ‘Y’ you will need to ask the Participant to disclose any disadvantages they have.

A cursory glance through this list will show that there is a lot of personal data there that you can withhold permission to be shared. A lot of it has no relevance to the provider’s primary purpose of getting you into work.

It would be advisable to consider informing your coach, during your interview with him/her, that you wish to exercise your right to withhold permission for some of this data to be shared.
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Work & Health Programme Referral 16 Apr 2018 13:46 #7054

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Thanks for the postings @Benefit Bolshie ;) . I was just wondering since most area have been live/active since Jan 2018, is there is any figures of participants on the WH-Program so far from the dwp? To see the scale of the problem? :huh:

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Work & Health Programme Referral 16 Apr 2018 13:52 #7055

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El-dudeareno wrote:
Thanks for the postings @Benefit Bolshie ;) . I was just wondering since most area have been live/active since Jan 2018, is there is any figures of participants on the WH-Program so far from the dwp? To see the scale of the problem? :huh:

It might be a wee bit premature to expect figures just yet Dude. They wouldn’t have had a chance to fiddle them yet.
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Work & Health Programme Referral 16 Apr 2018 13:58 #7057

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@Benefit Bolshie "It might be a wee bit premature to expect figures just yet Dude. They wouldn’t have had a chance to fiddle them yet."

What are you 'implying' @Benefit Bolshie, that the DWP make things up as they go along... :whistle:
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Work & Health Programme Referral 16 Apr 2018 15:26 #7059

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El-dudeareno wrote:
@Benefit Bolshie "It might be a wee bit premature to expect figures just yet Dude. They wouldn’t have had a chance to fiddle them yet."

What are you 'implying' @Benefit Bolshie, that the DWP make things up as they go along... :whistle:

Couldn't possibly!!!!
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Work & Health Programme Referral 16 Apr 2018 15:29 #7060

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When the Provider receives the above listed details about the prospective participating claimant they must contact and arrange a face-to-face interview with the claimant within 10 days.

To facilitate this, the provider is expected to conduct an initial conversation with the participant to make arrangements for the face-to-face start meeting.

With regard to (18) below it would be prudent for the claimant not to accept any instruction or answer any questions if this initial conversation is attempted over the phone. At this point the claimant should start as s/he means to go on and insist on any contact, including giving details of a face-to-face meeting, be made in writing.

The claimants’ preferred method of contact must be honoured. That means that email addresses and phone numbers do not need to be given to the Provider unless the claimant chooses to be contacted by those methods. It will be up to the claimant to insist that 18 and 19 below are honoured at the first opportunity.

Participant Contact
18. The frequency and means (text, email, etc) by which you contact participants will be driven by your delivery model and the Participant’s preferred method of contact must be recorded on your systems and followed.


The Provider must also prepare an action plan for each claimant:

Action Planning – Minimum Requirements
19. You must ensure that, as a minimum, participants have access to all ongoing requirements in a single document that is available to them at their request. This should include a clear explanation of what each activity is, when it occurs, when it must be completed by and what evidence is required to demonstrate completion of the activity. You must make it clear to mandatory long term unemployed claimants where activities are mandatory, please find further information in Chapter 5a - Mandation to activity attracting a Low/Lower Level sanction, Chapter 5b - Mandation to activity attracting a Higher Level sanction and Chapter 6 – Working with Participants with complex needs and/or additional support requirements.


Chapter 4 outlines what the action plan should contain.
assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/678144/whp-provider-guidance-chapter-4-action-planning.pdf


Having got this far the next challenge is the actual face-to-face meeting with the provider.
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Work & Health Programme Referral 16 Apr 2018 22:48 #7066

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At the face-to-face meeting with the provider their flunky will already be in possession of such of the information as has been included in the list already set out along with any other matters discussed and agreed with your consent at the meeting with the JCP coach and passed on. Your continued interaction during the meeting will be determined by the information they already have and any further information you choose to give, or any topic you choose to raise.

Make sure that prompt payment of fares and any other expenses are sorted out to your satisfaction.

Remember they will be trying to control the meeting and the sequence of events. Don’t let them have it all their way. If you have any issues that you want to raise, raise them. If you have questions to ask, ask them. Don’t be cut short or fobbed off with waffle and vague responses. If they ask you something and they don’t let you respond fully, object vigorously. Tell them not to bother asking if they don’t intend to let you answer.

A good recollection (better still a recording) of the meeting with the JCP coach would help you prepare for this face-to-face meeting with the provider. Make some notes and have them ready. Clarification of some of the matters discussed with JCP coach may be necessary and should be called for from the Provider.

I would suggest as a priority you should assert from the start your right to be contacted in such a way as you choose and for that to be understood and accepted by the provider.

It should also be understood and accepted by the provider that any of your private and personal details not be disclosed to third parties without your prior consent on every occasion. Be careful what you input on any computer on their premises.

The law requires that you show evidence of an up to date CV. It also says that you are not required to give anyone a copy. This means that you may show them a copy as evidence of having one, but you need not allow them to keep it.

Remember to ask for time to read, study carefully and understand any document they ask you to sign or form they ask you to fill in. Then sign only if you are satisfied with the contents and their explanation of why they require it. For example, signing a document outlining their policies will be of no use to you in finding a job, but they could use it against you at a later date.

Another favourite ploy, which you can bet they will try, is to try to make you feel inferior by suggesting that it’s because of some fault or deficiency in you that you are not getting a job. They will try this by asking inane questions like; ‘Why do you think you are out of work?’ or ‘What do you need to help you get a job?’

You might answer: “That’s a question for you. I’ve been persuaded to allow myself to be referred to this organisation by threats of sanctions and guarantees of help to get into work. This organisation has decided, with no input from me, that you be delegated to fulfil your organisations’ contractual obligations to the DWP. It is for you, therefore, to get on with what you have been employed and tasked to do. Your first task should not be to establish your superiority over me by suggesting that I am somehow responsible, or that it is because of a fault or deficiency in me that employers choose not to employ me. You tell me about the sort of help you are able to provide and I will tell you whether I need that help or not, and if not, why not. I'm here to tell you that I will not be belittled or threatened”.

As already pointed out the course of this meeting will be determined by the individual circumstances of the claimant being interviewed. The above list of suggested topics for discussion is by no means conclusive and I’m sure most members will be able to add or detract from it to suit their own circumstances. Feel free to do so.
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Work & Health Programme Referral 17 Apr 2018 12:19 #7073

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What will they do if you don't sign their action plans?
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Work & Health Programme Referral 17 Apr 2018 13:02 #7077

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Catwoman wrote:
What will they do if you don't sign their action plans?

If you agree an action plan then obviously they would know that. The only reason for requiring a signature is to assist with their record-keeping and to enable then to claim that they have done something and are due payment for it.

There is no legal requirement for you to sign anything to re-affirm you word.

The provider can’t sanction you. All they can do is raise a doubt with JCP along with reasons for the doubt. It is for JCP to issue a sanction. The compliance procedures are set out in Chapters 7 and 8.
www.gov.uk/government/publications/work-and-health-programme-provider-guidance

If you have any questions about signing provider documents you could raise them at either or both of the referral meetings that we discussed above. Ask to see any legal evidence they have that says they can compel you to sign anything.

I’ll try and dig out a recent FOI response that backs up the proposition that you are not required to sign their documents.
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Work & Health Programme Referral 17 Apr 2018 14:04 #7082

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One a side line here, what do others consider the term “Participation” with regards to the WHP provider coach’s? I feel as soon as you turned up at the appointed time and signing in register is a start, and nodding and eye contact to what the roach has to say is another plus. Apart from that is there much else you have to do, as they are there to help you :huh: . Not for you to do their job for them? But you can be referred to you JCP work roach for ‘non-participation’, so I was wondering is there any dwp/WHP provider rules for this matter?
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Work & Health Programme Referral 17 Apr 2018 14:30 #7085

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I hated when they would ask me to sign something and I said "I will only sign it if you won`t use my CV and the guy agreed. I was on ESA at the time though and I was asked to sign a form that allowed me to participate in some charity shop volunteering near the end of my time there. Must have been some kind of insurance policy or health & safety stuff. I remember reading it but can`t remember what the damn thing said. Anyway, they were true to their word and never did use my CV. But I did feel pressure and that feeling of vulnerability came over me, which I hate.

I think what people worry about mainly is at the point of asking us to sign anything and we question it or refuse, they will lie or threaten us with non participation and this goes back to what Dude is asking about. Is attending and participating the same thing? Participating is taking part, surely?
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Work & Health Programme Referral 17 Apr 2018 14:58 #7086

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comply or die wrote:
I think what people worry about mainly is at the point of asking us to sign anything and we question it or refuse, they will lie or threaten us with non participation and this goes back to what Dude is asking about. Is attending and participating the same thing? Participating is taking part, surely?

That is exactly my point CoD, there is a fine line between protecting your rights and being a push over :unsure: . However, it can be a very grey area that many don't wish to go down, of 'participation'.
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Work & Health Programme Referral 17 Apr 2018 15:31 #7089

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We have an overview of the procedures required to refer a potential participant onto WHP.

1. You are notified, in the prescribed manner, of a meeting with your work coach at JCP specifically for the purpose of referring you to the WHP.
2. When you attend that meeting the coach is charged with discussing with you the advantages to you, in your circumstances, of the WHP.
3. You are expected to say your piece in that discussion. By the end of it you and the coach are supposed to be in agreement as to what to do next. That’s participation.
4. If referral is agreed at this stage, your details are passed on to the provider.
5. You are notified, in the prescribed manner, of a meeting with a representative of the provider of the programme specifically for the purpose of getting your agreement on the referral and accepting an action plan.
6. You are expected to say your piece at this face-to-face meeting too. By the end of it both parties to the discussion are supposed to be in agreement. That’s participation.

If a coach or provider rep decides unilaterally to raise a doubt about you to JCP that may result in a sanction, whatever the reason they give to justify raising the doubt at this stage it can’t be because of failure or lack of participation in the processes thus far. That must be self evident.

Now, if by failure, or lack of participation, they mean failure or lack of participation in the WHP itself it is self-evident that that is also a lie. You haven’t actually been referred yet for goodness sake. A nodding acquaintance with the English language, or perhaps a good dictionary, can be a useful tool in your box if you don’t want to be frit by words of more than 4 letters.
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Work & Health Programme Referral 17 Apr 2018 17:11 #7091

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Quote: 6. You are expected to say your piece at this face-to-face meeting too. By the end of it both parties to the discussion are supposed to be in agreement. That’s participation.

But what if after both meetings, participation is refused by the claimant for reasons only known to them? I can`t believe this wouldn`t then throw up a doubt or them deciding that we refused to `engage` and will be dealt with accordingly. I also don`t hear many people say they were given a choice to actually discuss whether agreeing to participate on a work programme was consensual but rather, forced upon them. It`s always very much a sprung surprise on many folks and too late to guard ourselves from attending. It`s only then that we can use protection guidelines to ward off the worst of a bad experience.
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Work & Health Programme Referral 17 Apr 2018 19:21 #7092

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comply or die wrote:
But what if after both meetings, participation is refused by the claimant for reasons only known to them?
If you attended both meetings, and done what the meetings are designed to be for, you will have participated, whether you like it or not.

If, after all your discussions during the meetings, you have a reason for not going on to accept the ‘action plan’ and ‘engage’ in the actual Programme, why should you not explain it to the other side? Surely that’s the whole point of attending the meetings.

comply or die wrote:
I can`t believe this wouldn`t then throw up a doubt or them deciding that we refused to `engage` and will be dealt with accordingly.
It certainly could be taken as a refusal to engage if you failed to engage for no good reason. However good you may think your reasons might be they would be useless, and not convince anyone, if you didn’t explain what they were. You would be entitled, and would deserve, to be dealt with accordingly. Accordingly being as the procedural guidance sets out.

comply or die wrote:
I also don`t hear many people say they were given a choice to actually discuss whether agreeing to participate on a work programme was consensual but rather, forced upon them.
Irrespective of what you heard many thousands of people were able to avoid participation in the old work programme because they were prepared with legitimate reasons to get out of it. There was indeed a referral process not too dissimilar to this one for WHP. Go back and read the Guidances for that programme. If nothing else, the law which allows such programmes to be introduced and implemented demands it.

comply or die wrote:
It`s always very much a sprung surprise on many folks and too late to guard ourselves from attending
. You have no such excuse this time. Others have actively joined battle while you prevaricate.

comply or die wrote:
It`s only then that we can use protection guidelines to ward off the worst of a bad experience.
When JCP and the providers flaunt the law and guidance to wangle you onto the programme your only recourse is to use the law and the guidance against them. When you attempt to do the same don’t be surprised if the law and the guidance is used against you.
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