Tag Archives: whistle blower

If DWP workers are unhappy, where are the whistleblowers?

Distortion With Prejudice: Will we ever get some FACTS from the Department for Work and Pensions - or just more spin and spiel?

Distortion With Prejudice: Will we get some FACTS from the Department for Work and Pensions – or just more spin and spiel?

The controversy over the non-existent ‘Zac’ and ‘Sarah’ on the DWP’s sanction-supporting leaflets has turned up some very interesting questions – not the least of them being the involvement of the secretary of state, Iain Duncan Smith.

Vox Political received a comment yesterday from a person who works at the DWP, who did not provide a name but went under the moniker “Atthecoalface”. This Blog won’t publish the comment as it was sent, in order not to compromise the identity of this person – but the comment itself was fascinating. Here it is [boldings mine]:

“IDS had no direct involvement in this leaflet whatsoever, I can tell you that as a fact,” says our informant. “It is very rare a minister is involved in literature sent out, beyond occasionally being aware of it. He certainly wouldn’t take the time to read it, as us minions who actually work for DWP are rarely worthy of a moment of his time unless he drops in for a photoshoot or tells us how valuable we are, before saying we deserve no pay rise again.

“All written things are signed off by a senior civil servant though. And this is where IDS does have an impact.

“In recent years, the Department has gone further and further away from helping people and more to saving money. Many who create written letters are as empathetic as ever, but get told by senior managers that they’re either not harsh/strict/stern enough.

“So the tone of all of our output is disfigured to represent the views of those in charge. Of course, you then get those who are obsessed with climbing the greasy pole, who put falsified things like this in to gain extra brownie points. Well, it’s backfiring now. Emails sent out saying this [have] been withdrawn immediately. Interestingly, the senior management who made these calls are not apologetic in any way.

“There are many within DWP who do care, and in equal number they all detest the way Department is being run by those on high. I’ll continue to do the right thing where I can, as I know my colleagues will, and I know I can sleep well at night knowing that I’ve done the best job each day. When Labour lost the election, there was a collective sigh.”

Firstly: If the tone of the output is disfigured to represent the views of those in charge, doesn’t that mean the Gentleman Ranker (as we like to call him here) has had direct involvement in this – and every other leaflet? If he wasn’t demanding publicity materials that support his insupportable policies on benefit sanctions, assessment and whatever else, then the civil servants working for him would not be forced to provide them.

Secondly: If there really are many within DWP who do care, and detest the way their department is being run, then why aren’t they whistleblowing left, right and centre? That’s what the public needs – a source of genuine information to counter the propaganda being pumped out of the DWP press office, the Tory mass media and Job Centre Plus offices across the country.

Where are the whistleblowers?

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The government’s plan to smash workers’ rights

You may not be aware of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.

It is the Coalition’s latest legislation against ordinary working people, currently moving through the Parliamentary process. Today (October 17) was the second day of the debate on its second reading.

The Bill contains some horrendous proposals that could seriously damage workers’ rights. Here’s the letter I wrote to my MP, pointing them out:

Dear Roger Williams,

I am writing with regard to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill which, as I understand it, is likely to cause serious harm to the relationship between workers and (certain) employers if it ever becomes law.

Please do not support this Bill. I know this request puts you in a difficult position as a member of the Coalition, but if you cannot bring yourself to vote against it, at least don’t vote in favour of it.

If the Bill becomes law, it will diminish the rights of all employees in this country. The proposals it contains would reduce the amount of compensation payable to unfairly dismissed workers – and this comes after the time an employee is required to be employed before they are able to claim for unfair dismissal was raised from one year to two.

I understand the Bill also proposes to reduce protections for whistleblowers at work. This is completely wrong-headed as it protects abuses and attacks those who seek justice.

If the Bill is passed, it will allow employers to make minimal offers to workers to leave, then gag the same workers from even mentioning this at employment tribunal, even if they reject the offer.

It will leave thousands in fear for their jobs at a time when the government should be making it easier for firms to hire.

Not content with that, whoever drafted the Bill has included the abolition of the Human Rights Commission’s duty to promote a society free of discrimination. Why? Is that not something we should all be striving towards?

Is the government sending a message that it intends to promote intolerance against minorites – or, to give it its proper title, bigotry?

Do you want to be a member of a government of bigots?

The product of these complex clauses in the Bill, combined with the fact the Government are also going to start charging fees for employment tribunals, has been termed ‘Beecroft Lite’, as it virtually amounts to Adrian Beecroft’s call for ‘compensated no-fault dismissal’.

Many people will agree to a poorly-compensated ‘settlement agreement’ as, for many, accessing justice will seem too complicated and too expensive.

We already have millions of people out of work – this Bill will make it easier to fire people.

The working people of Brecon and Radnorshire rely on their rights at work to give security for them and for their family.

Please consult your conscience before voting on this Bill.

I will be very interested to see if he paid any attention to me. As he is a Liberal Democrat, and therefore a member of the Coalition, my hopes are not high.