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Programmed - Action Plans

A few weeks ago I made a FOI request to ask if it was compulsory for claimants mandated to the WP to sign an action plan. The response I have received is as follows:

"Work Programme providers have the freedom to develop their own business models and processes to support and help participants find work. It is not however a mandatory condition of Jobseekers Allowance to sign an action plan, or a form confirming attendance to a Work Programme induction session or form confirming receipt of Work Programme induction session documents.

It is (among other things) a condition of Jobseekers Allowance that Work Programme participants make the most of the help made available by the provider, for example, by attending meetings or taking phone calls at the times agreed and completing activities agreed with the provider. Individuals who are mandated to undertake an activity by a Work Programme provider may incur a loss or reduction of benefit should they fail to comply without good reason. Participants are also required to attend their Jobcentre Plus office fortnightly to show they are available for and actively seeking work and therefore, still entitled to Jobseekers Allowance."

Now I don't know how the likes of my new chums at the Salvation Army will interpret this, which of course is half the battle. But it seems pretty clear. Claimants cannot be compelled to sign these things. But then the second paragraph says that if mandated a claimant that subsequently doesn't act will face a sanction.

I'm not sure I'm best placed to translate that more clearly; I'm not a lawyer.


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Just so I can be sure this is being read at all and decide whether it's worth continuing, please shout out in the comments. Even if you think I'm talking barmy bollocks, it'd be helpful to know if there are people reading this and not weird bots from phishing sites or Russian hackers or some weird sentient algorithm.

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Thanks