Thursday, 17 April 2014

Some Of the best Benefit Advice Online - Secure your rights and avoid Jobmatch and Workfare



Please if claiming benefits visit www.refuted.org.uk they have excellent advice, a small example is provided here!
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/refuted.org.uk 

Twitter: @refuted Email: email@refuted.org.uk


Why your consent is very important: DWP, Employers and Work Programme Providers





Understanding Welfare Rights can at times seem very frustrating and confusing. But do remember the frontier of rights is ever shifting.
Consent is very important
The website consent.me.uk was set up on 21 December 2011, as a way of securing people’s rights of consent to how their Personal Data is obtained, processed and shared, under the Data Protection Act requirement to obtain explicit consent from participants conscripted onto the DWP’s flagship Work Programme.
As a mark of consent.me.uk’s success after 25 months since the June 2011 launch of the WP and complaints from it’s Providers unable to secure outcome payments[cash], as people either withheld or withdrew their Personal Data sharing consent, the DWP and ConDem coalition has sought to subvert the long standing principle of consent by issuing a Designation Order. All highlighted in the WP Memo 134:
WP134 Provider Memo – Claimant consent   17 October 2013   Guidance
This issue arises from employers and Work Programme providers being prevented from claiming job outcomes[cash] by individuals removing or not giving consent for their employment in formation to be shared with DWP.
Q: Can I still regain control over my consent?
A: Yes
Whilst the DWP and it’s WP Providers have been given new powers to contact employers to track WP participants so they can obtain or validate payment claims. There is no obligation for employers to give either the DWP or it’s Providers employee Personal Data.
There is no legal obligation on employers to provide [employee] information[to DWP or it's Providers] and they can not be sanctioned for failing to do so.[emphasis added]
From: ‘Consent Flag’ – DWP Central FoI Team – 29 October 2013 –https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/180780/response/444351/attach/html/3/FOI%204864.pdf.html
Q: What should I do then?
A: Do not give employer/employment details to the DWP/Jobcentre or it’s Providers and or Write to you employer saying something along the lines of:
Dear Employer,
RE: My Data Protection Act (1998) consent to share my Personal Data
I am writing to advise that I do not or no longer consent/give permission for you as my employer, under my Data Protection Act (1998) rights, to confirm or deny I am employed by you or to share my employee Personal Data including but not exclusively my Job Title, Hours of Work, Works Number, Wages etc, with any Third Party.
If anyone whatsoever should contact you for my Personal Data please request them to write to me  at my home address, permission for you to share my home address is not given.
Please note any Third Party includes The Department for Work and Pensions/Jobcentre Plus or any of it’s Providers such as [Name of Provider/Subcontractor].
If anyone supplies you with a form a signed giving consent to share the aforementioned employee person data, I confirm this is no longer valid.
Exceptions to above are given for HMRC for income tax and national insurance purposes.
Beside HMRC, if you do supply any of my Personal Data to any Third Party, please supply me with a copy of my Personal Data share and a copy of the Third Parties written request.
Please confirm in writing that you received and will be acting upon the instructions set out in this letter to ensure your compliance with the Data Protection Act (1998)
—-
Comment: Further research needed on how this relates to Universal Credit, particularly in-work conditionality.
Notes: Welfare rights law and DWP guidance, in particular, changes frequently. You may find more recent information via http://refuted.org.uk/category/ or by using the website search facility (top right)




Work Programme: You can still withdraw consent to share personal data with a Third Party


“However, whilst on the Work Programme, participants may withdraw consent that they have given where it concerns their provider sharing data with a third party.
Where participants have given their consent for the Work Programme provider to share their data with a third party, they may withdraw this consent at any time”
Or do not give consent in the first place!
“For consent to be fully informed and freely given you need to tell the customer exactly why you need the information, what you are going to do with it and whom you might share it with. We cannot put any conditions on a customer to try and persuade them to consent.“ Source: DWP Jobcentre  policy on Consent




DWP and Providers do not need consent to contact employers, for payments.


Via a Freedom of Information disclosure of 13 December 2013 it confirms that DWP Providers do now have the power to contact employers, regarding Work Programme (WP) Outcome or Sustainment payments, without a participants consent on the basis of a Designation Order.
Power to do what?
Power to contact employers without consent is not the same as any power to require an employer to supply any employee Personal Data. No such power exists, that requires an employer to disclose employee Personal Data to the DWP or it’s Providers for the purposes of Work Programme (WP) Outcome or Sustainment payments.
DWP guidance amended on 16 December 2013 still requires Providers to give WP participants a leaflet explaining these changes.
“Written and Informed Consent via Designation Order
17. Providers will need to present all of their customers with a leaflet explaining the Departmental position in respect of consent to contact an individual’s employer.”
For Providers to obtain such payments and the DWP to validate this all assumes the participant has any obligation or desire to inform either the DWP or it’s Providers of any employment/employer, which they do not. Additionally nothing stops an employee from formally writing to any past or present employer informing not to share theirpersonal data with a WP provider or the DWP. Under the Data Protection Act (1998) any employer would still need  explicit employee consent to share personal data in this context.
There is no legal obligation on employers to provide [employee] information[to DWP or it's Providers] and they can not be sanctioned for failing to do so.[emphasis added]
From: ‘Consent Flag’ – DWP Central FoI Team – 29 October 2013 –https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/180780/response/444351/attach/html/3/FOI%204864.pdf.html
“There is no requirement to provide information [to the Jobcentre] about your employment when ending your [JSA] claim.”
From: DWP Central FoI Team – 21 September 2012
“Clarification that when completing form WP07b [Change of circumstances] to notify JCP that the participant has started work, full employer details should be suppliedwhere known. [emphasis added]
From: Amendments to Work Programme Provider Guidance – 10 October 2013https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/work-programme-memo-133.pdf
Confusion on provider powers in this area caused as guidance given to DWP providers seemed to suggest they did need to seek explicit consent to comply with the Data Protection Act from participants and this new power only related to DWP not requiring consent, but it transpires both DWP and it’s Providers have equal powers in this regard.
Original guidance to WP providers said :
“…need to obtain the  customers consent for you to do this [contact employers]  in order to meet the requirements of the Data Protection Act”
As of 16 December 2013 the above quote has been removed and replaced with:
Written and Informed Consent via Designation Order
17. Providers will need to present all of their customers with a leaflet explaining the Departmental position in respect of consent to contact an individual’s employer.
18. DWP now has a designation order in place that allows the Department and Providers to contact the customer’s employer directly to validate employment details.
19. There is no longer a requirement for you to obtain customer consent to allow DWP to contact a customer’s employer or for you to contact an employer in
connection with Outcome or Sustainment payments.
To reflect above updates will be made to the withhold/withdraw consent letter and other related comments posts like:
On Work Programme (WP)? Got/Getting a Job? Want to stop DWP/Jobcentre and or WP Provider harassment; getting paid?
Notes: Welfare rights law and DWP guidance, in particular, changes frequently. You may find more recent information via http://refuted.org.uk/category/ or by using the website search facility (top right)
http://refuted.org.uk/2013/10/12/withhold/




Withdraw consent from Work Programme Providers


Completely revised: 04 Mar 14 – Now with updated comments on consent from DWP (28/2/14) in Part 1, New letter in Annex A, to stop employers sharing personal data with DWP/Providers/Subcontractors and new Part 8 on Jobsearch activity and 8.1 Jobsearch evidence.
Brilliant letter to withhold or withdraw consent from DWP Work Programme Providers/Subcontractors [for your editing or amendment]
If you are referred to a Subcontractor, it is very important to give a copy of this letter to the Prime Provider as well.
—- start—–
(Your address)
My ref: (national insurance number)
Date:
Dear [Provider's and or/Subcontractor's name],
RE: Authority and Consent to Collecting/Gathering/Sharing/Disclosure of my Personal Information*
Part 1: Any Third Party, Outcome related payments and In-Work Support
I writing to you to confirm that I do not or no longer consent to [Provider's and or/Subcontractor's name] gathering from or sharing my personal data, with any Third Party, for example an employer or another training provider, for the purpose of  placing me into training or work.

“Work Programme, participants may withdraw consent that they have given where it concerns their provider sharing data with athird party. Where participants have given their consent for the Work Programme provider to share their data with a third party, they may withdraw this consent at any time”  

From:  DWP Central FoI Team  – 28 February 2014 [1]
Part 1.1: Job outcome related payments
I will be informing all past and future employers not to share any of my personal data with the DWP or any of it’s Providers or Subcontractors, relating to any contact you may make with my employers, particularly to secure any DWP Job Outcome or Sustainment Outcome payments. A copy of the letter being sent to employers, is shown below in Annex A.
Part 1.2: In-work support
I confirm that I do not agree to any in-work support mechanisms, especially if I am no longer claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Part 2: Stopping my Jobseeker’s Allowance claim.
Once I stop claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance I require you to cease and desist from all forms of contact with me, as under Part 5.  (1) (2) (d) of the The Jobseeker’s Allowance (Schemes for Assisting Persons to Obtain Employment) Regulations 2013, [2] my participation in the Work Programme ceases to apply.
“Sanctions can only be applied when a person is in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA). If a claim has ended and JSA is no longer in payment, no sanction will be applied if a person declines to avail themselves of any additional support on offer or fails to respond to any further contact from a Work Programme provider.”
From: DWP Central FoI Team – 29 October 2013 [3]
Part 3: Collection and retention of my personal data
Customer Consent to Sharing/Disclosure of Personal Information
Providers are reminded that they are required to obtain customer consent prior to their collecting of customer’s personal information and sharing/disclosure of such information with the Department [DWP/Jobcentre] and/or other providers.
These consents must be given by the customer before any information disclosure takes place.
Your organisation needs to make it clear to customers that giving consent is voluntary and that refusal to give consent or withdrawal of an existing consent will not affect any benefit they may be entitled to.
From: The Generic Provider Guidance – Chapter 5
Whilst the above Chapter 5 memo was written in 2008 [4], it relies on the basic Principles of the 1998 Data Protection Act and therefore remains as valid today as then.
On occasion I may not wish to allow [Provider's and or/Subcontractor's name] to collect/retain requested personal data that requires my specific, fully informed and freely given consent, therefore under the Work Programme[Provider's and or/Subcontractor's name] needs to investigate ways in which I can still participate, without the personal data being collected/retained by [Provider's and or/Subcontractor's name]. [5]
If [Provider's and or/Subcontractor's name] wishes to collect/retain personal data not already held by the Department of Work and Pensions/Jobcentre Plus (DWP/JCP),please fully inform me in writing whether this collection or retention requires my consent. If you consider collection and retention of  specific personal data of mine is a reasonable mandatory Work Programme activityyou are required to issue me with a Mandatory Activity Notification (MAN) [6] which clearly names the precise and specific personal data you want to collect/retain, to ensure certain policy, procedural and legal regulations are adhered to.
Part 4: To provide my personal data by only having to show it.

It may at times be a reasonable  Work Programme mandatory activity for me to only show/provide [Provider's and or/Subcontractor's name] personal data specifically requested,  you are required to issue me with a MAN which clearly names the precise and specific personal data you want me to show/provide, to ensure certain policy, procedural and legal regulations are adhered to.



Part 5: Evidence of employment
To restate I do not/no longer consent or authorise [Provider's and or/Subcontractor's name] or the Department of Work and Pensions or Jobcentre Plus to contact any employer to obtain evidence of my employment. As this will contradict instructions I have given to all employers, see  Annex A
Part 6:  DWP Memo WP029: Managing Disclosure of Information Objections
This letter is not about DWP disclosure of my personal data under section 3 of the Social Security Act 1998. Or your role as a DWP Data Processor under the Data Protection Act 1998.  DWP Memo WP029 [7] does not address Part 1, Part 2,  Part 3 or Part 4 of this letter.



Part 7: 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,[8]  for example an employer, recruiter or recruitment agency 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 on a confidential basis, with the Third Party myself.
Part 8: Jobsearch and evidence
Prior to my mandatory referral to the Work Programme I was able to carry out all my Jobsearch activity requirements within my own resources, such as getting independent advice and support with my CV and Job applications, free use of computers, printing, phone, fax and letter writing and postage etc. If you wish me to attend your premises or any other on a mandatory basis, please state in writing why this would be reasonable and how it would be in addition to the Jobsearch resources I already have access to.
Part 8.1 Evidence
If you wish me to undertake specific Jobsearch activity you must issue me with a Mandatory Activity Notification, if you want me to provide evidence of my jobsearch please note:
“A Work Programme provider may ask you to provide evidence of your job search as part of their support they give you but they cannot mandate you to provide it and you will not be sanctioned if you do not provide it”
From: DWP Central FoI Team – 28 February 2014 [9]
All evidence of my jobsearch is provided to the Jobcentre.
Part 9: Your letter reply and potential complaint
I expect a letter from [Provider's and or/Subcontractor's name], within 10 working days, to formally acknowledge that I have withheld/withdrawn my consent specifically outlined in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 above. Failure to acknowledge my consent being withheld/withdrawn by letter will be treated as a Stage 1 formal Data Protection Act (1998) related Complaint.
DWP Framework Agreement for the provision of employment related support services.
24.3.11  notify the Authority [DWP] within five (5) Working Days if it receives: 
a complaint or request relating to the Authority’s obligations under the Data Protection Act. 
I take this opportunity to confirm I prefer future communication with [Provider's and or/Subcontractor's name] to be by letter As well as any Mandatory Activity Notice to only include one activity and no other and to be sent to me using a signed-for proof-of-delivery service to my home address.
Kind regards
[Your name]
References:
[1]  DWP Central FoI Team  – 28 February 2014
[2] The Jobseeker’s Allowance (Schemes for Assisting Persons to Obtain Employment) Regulations 2013http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/276/regulation/5/made
[3] ‘Work Programme sanctions?’
DWP Central FoI Team – 29 October 2013
[5] ‘REED and my CV’
“If the claimant does not wish to provide this information it may be the case that, with
the provider, they can investigate ways in which they can still participate in the Scheme,
without the additional information being provided.”
[7] DWP Memo WP029: Managing Disclosure of Information Objections
[9] DWP Central FoI Team – 10 September 2013
[Annex A]
Dear Employer,
RE: My Data Protection Act (1998) consent to share my Personal Data
I am writing to advise that I do not or no longer consent/give permission for you as my employer, under my Data Protection Act (1998) rights, to confirm or deny I am employed by you or to share my employee Personal Data including but not exclusively my Job Title, Hours of Work, Works Number, Wages etc, with any Third Party.
If anyone whatsoever should contact you for my Personal Data please request them to write to me  at my home address, permission for you to share my home address is not given.
Please note any Third Party includes The Department for Work and Pensions/Jobcentre Plus or any of it’s Providers such as [Name of Provider/Subcontractor].
If anyone supplies you with a form signed by me giving consent to share the aforementioned employee Personal Data, I confirm this is no longer valid and I do not agree to anyone mentioned on the form to be given my employee Personal Data.
Exceptions to above are given for HMRC for income tax and national insurance purposes.
Beside HMRC, if you do supply any of my Personal Data to any Third Party, please supply me with a copy of my Personal Data shared and a copy of the Third Parties written request.
Please confirm in writing that you received and will be acting upon the instructions set out in this letter to ensure your compliance with my Data Protection Act (1998) rights.
Notes: Welfare rights law and DWP guidance, in particular, changes frequently.
You may find more recent information via http://refuted.org.uk/category/ or by using the website search facility (top right)
28 February 2014
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