government

G4S government contract ban ends even while SFO investigation continues

Thu, 10/04/2014 - 13:26 -- nick

Work programme provider G4S is to have its ban on applying for new government contracts ended - after just one year.

The company was pulled up after it was found to have overcharged the state by £109 million for the electronic tagging and monitoring of prisoners.

But the Cabinet Office has backtracked on this ban, saying G4S had taken "positive steps" to change its practices and engaged "constructively" with the government. Read more about G4S government contract ban ends even while SFO investigation continues

Government's benefit cuts force food bank use - report

Wed, 09/04/2014 - 12:52 -- nick

The government's benefit reforms are forcing some of Britain's poorest people to use food banks - despite all official denials.

According to a report by Sheffield University researcher Hannah Lambie-Mumford cited in today's Guardian, the link is now proven, despite a recent official government report reiterating that an increase in food bank use was not due to its welfare cuts. Read more about Government's benefit cuts force food bank use - report

Atos pays off government to escape disability assessment contract early

Thu, 27/03/2014 - 12:54 -- nick

Hated work capability assessment (WCA) company Atos has had to pay off the government to be allowed to escape its contract a year before it was due to end.

The French firm's contract had been due to end in August 2015, but it has paid a "substantial" amount of money to be allowed out of it early.

Mike Penning, the minister for disabled people, said:

"Today we are announcing that we are seeking a new provider to replace Atos, with the view to increasing the number of assessments and reducing waiting times. Read more about Atos pays off government to escape disability assessment contract early

DWP letter: Universal Jobmatch fake jobs issue is real

Wed, 26/03/2014 - 14:29 -- nick

The Department for Work and Pensions press office has today contacted UnemployedNet in response to an article we published on 6th March. This carried allegations made by Labour MP Frank Field that the government's Universal Jobmatch site was hosting fake jobs, duplicates and jobs that did not meet legal requirements, including not being for an "actual job or work opportunity", companies using premium rate phone numbers to make money, not paying the minimum wage and charging applicants to apply or start work. Read more about DWP letter: Universal Jobmatch fake jobs issue is real

DWP heading for 'meltdown' on delivery of projects say MPs

Fri, 14/03/2014 - 13:37 -- nick

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is heading for 'meltdown' as it fails to deliver its biggest reform projects.

The shock finding is included in a report to be published next week by the public accounts committee of MPs, which covers the government's relationship with its private sector contractors.

More than half of public spending now goes through private companies, but they are not subject to freedom of information (FoI) laws meaning failures are never properly explained. Read more about DWP heading for 'meltdown' on delivery of projects say MPs

Jobcentres make official referrals to food banks despite government denials

Wed, 12/03/2014 - 12:54 -- nick

Jobcentres are using an official process for referring unemployed people to food banks - despite the government's denials that these facilities form part of the welfare state.

A freedom of information request by The Guardian has uncovered a six part flowchart called 'Food Bank Referral Service - High Level Process', an official Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) document that leaves Iain Duncan Smith with huge questions to answer. Read more about Jobcentres make official referrals to food banks despite government denials

Labour jobs plan attacked by the wealthy who would pay for it

Tue, 11/03/2014 - 12:35 -- nick

The Labour party's plan to guarantee a job for every young person who had been unemployed for more than a year has come under attack - by the Institute of Directors.

The IoD represents some of the wealthiest people in the UK, and they will have pension allowances cut to pay for part of the scheme.

The rest of the money will come from a levy on bankers' bonuses. Read more about Labour jobs plan attacked by the wealthy who would pay for it

'Fraudulent' universal jobmatch site exploiting unemployed - MP

Thu, 06/03/2014 - 13:43 -- nick

The government's flagship universal jobmatch site has been accused of exploiting and failing unemployed people by a respected MP.

Those on Jobseeker's Allowance are forced to sign up and use the site, which carries information on jobs, as a condition of receiving the benefit.

But an investigation by Frank Field, the veteran Labour MP, has shown that more than half of all the jobs advertised on it do not meet its conditions or the law. Read more about 'Fraudulent' universal jobmatch site exploiting unemployed - MP

No more government pole dancing courses as funding for training axed

Wed, 05/03/2014 - 12:33 -- nick

More than 5,000 training courses are to lose funding as the government cuts the money it provides.

These courses are of "low value" according to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and do not warrant public support.

Those cut include balloon artistry, self-tanning and instructing pole fitness - the 'art' of pole dancing for health.

Skills minister Matthew Hancock said the aim was to make the courses focused more on the needs of employers, as well as ensuring there was a more reliable route into work:

Read more about No more government pole dancing courses as funding for training axed

Government apology for coma woman told to find work

Fri, 28/02/2014 - 13:24 -- nick

The government has apologised for a letter sent to a woman in a coma telling her to attend "intensive job-focused activity".

The letter, written by Iain Duncan Smith's Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), was received by the family of Sheila Holt.

Ms Holt had been suffering from physical and mental health problems and had fallen into a coma in December, her family informing the DWP and SEETEC, the organisation providing job-focused activity, at that time. Read more about Government apology for coma woman told to find work

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