CWP,Sanctions and Misinformation.

After completing a Month of MWA at a local Charity I stayed on as a Volunteer,I felt that I could be of some use and also change the policy of using mandated labour,after 6 Months this was accomplished,the Manager of the shop was not very happy and I was asked to leave,I informed the JC+ at my next visit and promptly put on CWP,I accepted this and contacted the Provider as I had a few questions regarding Travel expenses,Insurance and what documents that I would be required to sign (I already knew the answers but wanted to iron it out before induction) it turns out that they had subcontracted out to another company that in return had contracted out to another(the first sub had been struck off in 2013 yet is still trading as a lot of the paperwork has its logo?) At the Induction which took 2 busses and 2 1/4 hours,I was left waiting until a young lady introduced herself,she handed me a stack of paperwork which we duly filled out,I was then asked to sign it,I asked about Travel "We will pay you 1 Week in arrears" I pointed out that in the Provider Guidance it should be paid daily or in advance...I asked what Placements would suit me? "We will discuss that later,sign the paperwork..I refused to sign,but noted on the paper DWP/JCP and Tribunal rulings that I am not required to sign. We agreed to meet in 2 days at the Subs office (10 Minute walk from my home,why we did not meet there in the first place?) I then met the contracts manager who said I have only 3 days to start a placement as day 20 since the JCP referral would be up,I pointed out that it was 20 working days,but if she went on CWP live updates it has been extended to 30...I asked about the placements available,they offered 2,the first was at the Charity that I just finished at,the other picking up trash 22 miles away,I asked how either of these would improve my chances of employment? (Blank stare) Sign the paperwork,you are required to do so,if not I will refer you back with a DMA01 and you will be sanctioned for failure to participate! I referred her to the DWP/JCP/DMA/LMDM rulings ...Doubt raised! I was shocked to find that the Charity was still accepting MWA/CWP claimants and contacted the head office,It was news to them also as after checking with their Insurance company these placements are not covered...Why? Mandated people on BtW/HtW are specifically NOT to be considered "Employees or Workers" under the NMW regulations and therefore are not entitled to the NMW We sure as Hell are not Volunteers,turns out the Manager went against policy,all placements were removed. I have been warned not to bring up these points as it is considered disruptive and could result in a sanction doubt being raised.....I have remained polite at all times,but the Providers have been fudging for so long,cutting corners and a law unto themselves,although the Complaints policy was not explained at induction I did file one with the Provider...The Provider said everything was done according to company policy,CWP guidelines are just that "Guidelines" and refusal to sign is a Sanctionable offense....Any thoughts?

The requirement for CWP is that placement starts within twenty working days of warm handover. The amendment to PG allows the start to be recorded within thirty days so that potentially late recording of the start i.e. for organisations that are using paper based attendance recording are not penalised against MPL.

Most insurance companies already include volunteers, interns and work placements as an extension to their definition of "Employee" or will do so on request. If your host hasn't done so then fine for them.

There is poor CWP provision out there and, as with all types of businesses, those that do it well and those that do it badly. I would disagree with your provider that Provider Guidance is only a guideline - it's the can and can't do of the contract and you would really expect there to be decent placements available that can provide a worthwhile experience that will help you into work which I hope you will do soon.

Finally, the CWP experience need not be negative. There are people who actually welcome being put on placement and benefit from it. Job entries in some CPAs are very high against placement starts so clearly some providers are doing it right.

@ Bob,I agree that if sourced properly CWA "Could" be beneficial.

(1) Placements must start within 30 Working days,CWP live updates extended this a few Months ago,you are correct,sadly the Provider has not passed this on to the Subcontractors.

(2) Employers Liability,after checking with several Insurance companies here lies the problem,after the Cait reilly V DWP some bright spark changed the NMW law and added "Those on BtW or HtW are not to be considered Employees or Workers and are not entitled to the NMW" once informed of the Mandatory nature of the Placement they would still cover them but they would require a "Rider" naming the individual and would want them vetted "Mentally and Physically"

(3) The requirement to sign Provider paperwork has been an issue since the start of the WP,rulings by HMCTS/DWP/JCP/DMA Leeds all state basically the same thing " A claimant is not required to sign any Provider paperwork,but must be willing to participate,refusal to sign is not sanctionable,but will not excuse the claimant from BtW,HtW"

I'll just drop this link to a blog post by George Selmer here:

The story looks relevant to this discussion topic (and probably others here).

My own take is that even if the best support in the world is provided, sometimes you get results, and sometimes not. There's a lot of random things going on, and employers can be particularly random.

Which is not to say that support isn't needed. People who've applied fruitlessly for thousands of jobs may understandably feel there is little point. They don't know a random employer is going to behave quite randomly and give them a job out of the next thousand applications.