Department for Work & Pensions

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The DWP has 4 operational organisations:

  1. Jobcentre Plus: administers working age benefits such as Jobseeker's Allowance, and decides which claimants receive Employment and Support Allowance; See also Employment Policy
  2. Pension Service: pays the Basic State Pension and Pension Credit and provides information on related issues
  3. Disability and Carers Service: provides financial support to disabled people and their carers
  4. Child Maintenance Group: provides the statutory Child Support Schemes, operating as the Child Support Agency and the Child Maintenance Service. (WP)

2. Pension Service

Executive Non-Departmental Public Bodies

Disabled People’s Employment Corporation

Health & Safety Executive

Find information and advice about work-related health, safety and illness from the independent regulator, HSE. The HSE is responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare, and for research into occupational risks in Great Britain. The HSE's states its mission as "to prevent death, injury and ill health in Great Britain’s workplaces.".ref

In 2017/2018, HSE spent 10,227 + 8,158 x 1000 = ?? on PFI service, interest and finance lease charges.ref, p.97 Essential Pharma, Health and Safety ExecutiveWikipedia-W.svg, Gov.uk, hse.gov.uk, History

Chemicals Regulation Division

Sometimes referred to as the Chemicals Regulation Directorate. Responsible for the regulation of biocides, pesticides, detergents, chemicals covered by REACH, and for compliance with the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation.ref. Our primary aim is to ensure the safe use of biocides, industrial chemicals, pesticides and detergents to protect the health of people and the environment within the § HSE’s and DEFRA’s overall objectives.ref

  • Aug.15.2018: Landmark Glyphosate Cancer Ruling Sets a Precedent for All Those Affected by Crop Poisons. ... The UK system is particularly contemptible, as the regulator - the Chemicals Regulation Directorate - receives ~60% of its funding from the agrochemical industry, part of which is a charge on the UK turnover of the company. For a number of years now this has resulted in the CRD receiving around £7 million or more per year from the agro-chemical industry - this means that the CRD has a financial interest in any policy and/or regulatory decisions under consideration. It's a straight-up conflict of interest. Georgina Downs, Counter Punch.

The Pensions Advisory Service

TPAS is a non-departmental public body[1] and independent non-profit company limited by guarantee which provides free information, advice and guidance on state, company and individual pension schemes. Additionally they help any member of the public who has a problem, complaint or dispute with their occupational or private pension arrangement. [2][3] The organisation is grant-aided by the Department for Work and Pensions. [3] The service is provided by a nationwide network of volunteer advisers with the required knowledge and experience who are supported and augmented by a technical and administrative staff based in London. [3]

Pension Wise

The Pensions Regulator

Advisory Non-Departmental Public Bodies

Industrial Injuries Advisory Council

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Social Security Advisory Committee

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Tribunal Non-Departmental Public Bodies

Pension Protection Fund Ombudsman

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Pensions Ombudsman

  • Pensions OmbudsmanWikipedia-W.svg
  • Mar.11.2018: I say pensions are boggling – and I’m the ombudsman. Anthony Arter, a pensions lawyer, appointed by the govt to investigate complaints about the bewildering and sometimes murky pensions industry, and to hold companies to account. Arter has been the Pensions Ombudsman for almost 3 years and runs a free service with more than 50 staff. From Friday, the 350-strong complaints team at #The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) will begin to come under the control of the Ombudsman. ... flooded with complaints from members of the British Steel defined benefit scheme. Figures from the Office for National Statistics last week revealed the total pensions bill for workplace schemes plus the state pension had risen £1 trn over the past 5 years to £7.6 trn. Of this, £900 bn is for unfunded public sector schemes, such as those for teachers and civil servants, while £2 trn is for private sector defined benefit plans. The Times, Ruth Emery

Public Corporations

National Employment Savings Trust Corporation

NEST is a defined contribution workplace pension scheme, set up to facilitate automatic enrolment as part of the govt's workplace pension reforms under the Pensions Act 2008.

  • Jun.23.2018: Millions of savers are denied pension drawdown. Proposals by MPs that the National Employment Savings Trust should be allowed to develop a “drawdown” option for its 6.4m savers were not accepted by the govt, which said that it had yet to be convinced that the extra flexibility would have an overall positive effect on the market. The TUC and Age UK both expressed disappointment. Nest is used by more than 600,000 employers and manages £2.7bn. It could be one of the biggest pension schemes within two generations. Patrick Hosking, The Times.

Office for Nuclear Regulation

The ONR is responsible for regulating safety and security at nuclear licensed sites across the UK. It is funded by charging fees to the nuclear industry. The ONR also has responsibility for assessing safety and accident response systems at Ministry of Defence sites ref. The ONR undertakes the following activities:

  • Permissioning inspection: assesses safety cases to ensure that sites understand potential hazards and properly control them before activities can be licenced.
  • Compliance inspection: checks that licensees comply with their licence conditions through planned inspections.
  • Enforcement: undertakes a full spectrum of enforcement activities, from the provision of advice through to prosecution.
  • Influence: works to encourage improvements in areas that are difficult to regulate. These are safety culture, leadership and vision. ref

Pension Protection Fund

Dept-for-WP-Pension-Protection-Fund.svg

The Pension Protection Fund is a statutory "lifeboat" fund, established to provide compensation to members of eligible defined benefit pension schemes, should their employer's pension fund become insolvent. The PPF commenced life in Apr.2005 in response to public concern that when an employer's defined benefit pension scheme became insolvent, scheme members could lose some or all of their pension in cases where the scheme was underfunded. Additionally, the govt hoped that its existence would improve public confidence in pension schemes generally. However, it is seen by some as a dumping ground for tycoons avoiding their liabilities.ref

Funding: The PPF is principally funded from 4 main sources:ref,AR-2018, p.103

  1. charging a levy on eligible pension schemes
  2. taking on the assets of schemes that transfer to the PPF
  3. recovering money, and other assets, from the insolvent employers of the schemes it takes on
  4. funds to pay compensation in the future, which are invested to earn an investment return.

Eligible firms who have a final salary pension scheme must be a member of the PPF, and pay it a compulsory levy.ref Retired scheme members will generally receive 100% compension; those not yet retired will receive up to 90% on reaching compensation age - but the levels are subject to a cap, recalculated every year.ref,ref

Flag-Tax-Haven-v2.svg

The Board of the PPF is a statutory tax haven corporation responsible for managing the Fund and for making payments to members, established under Section 107, Pensions Act 2004. The Board invests in the public equity, fixed income, and alternative investment markets across the globe. For its alternative investments, the firm invests in property, private equity, sub-investment grade debt, infrastructure, farmland, timberland, and funds aiming to achieve an absolute return.

Investments are primarily outsourced to external fund managers, although it does have in-house team of investment professionals. The Annual Reports do not disclose who these external firms are.AR-2018, p.107 The Board's subsidiaries are:

  • The Board of the Pension Protection Fund
    • PPF Nominee 1 BV, OC, reg. Netherlands Flag-Netherlands.svg
    • PPF Nominee 2 BV, OC, reg. Netherlands Flag-Netherlands.svg
    • Crown Secondary Placement Plc, OC, reg. Ireland Flag-Ireland.svg
    • Emso Opportunity Strategies Fund 2 Ltd, OCD, reg. Cayman Islands Flag-Cayman-Islands.svg
    • III Absolute Return Fund Ltd, PO, reg. Cayman Islands Flag-Cayman-Islands.svg
    • PPF Real Estate Nominee 1 Ltd, CH
    • PPF Real Estate Nominee 2 Ltd, CH
    • PPF Real Estate Nominee 3 Ltd, CH
    • PPF Real Estate Nominee 4 Ltd, CH

Other Bodies

BPDTS Ltd

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Independent Case Examiner

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Remploy Pension Scheme Trustees Ltd

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Timeline

  • 1970: Department for Employment: renamed again.
  • 1968: Department of Employment & Productivity: renamed.
  • 1959: Ministry of Labour: the department reverted to its previous name.
  • At the end of the War, the National Service Department wing was wound up and its functions passed to the Military Recruitment Department.
  • Jun.1945: The Board of Trade was handed responsibility for industrial policy, except that concerning labour power.
  • Apr.1945: Functions relating to unemployment insurance and assistance were transferred to the Ministry of National Insurance, but the Ministry of Labour retained responsibility for employment exchanges.
  • 1939: Ministry of Labour & National Service: the department was renamed, reflecting new duties under the National Service (Armed Forces) Act 1939. It allocated people to work between the armed forces, civil defence and industry, and to administer the Schedule of Reserved Occupations. The National Joint Advisory Council, comprising employers' and workers' representatives, was consulted.
  • 1920s: Took over all Board of Education work relating to youth employment and responsibility for training and employment of the disabled from the Ministry of Pensions. It also supervised trade union regulations.
  • 1918: Under the Trade Boards Act 1918 the Ministry enforced the minimum wage, helped establish joint industrial councils, and set up the Industrial Court in 1919 for arbitration of industrial disputes. It proposed multiple Unemployment Insurance Acts amendments, administered benefits through employment exchanges, employed the unemployed through special works schemes (through the Unemployment Grants Committee), and represented the UK at the International Labour Organization from 1919).
  • After the New Ministries and Secretaries Act 1916, the Ministry of Labour took over Board of Trade responsibilities for conciliation, labour exchanges, labour and industrial relations and employment related statistics. Following the First World War it supervised the demobilisation and resettlement of ex-servicemen.

Articles

  • Aug.18.2018: The DWP is accused of hiding ‘secret reports’ about how jobcentres treat disabled people. In May, the DNS submitted a Freedom of Information request to the DWP, asking to see reports written by community partners in London jobcentres in 2017 and 2018. Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, authorities are required to respond to requests for information within 20 working days. The DWP did not respond within that time, so the DNS contacted it twice more in July to ask for the information. The DNS reports that a staff member from the DWP’s FOI department told the service: I don’t know why it has taken so long." ... ... So the DWP can be late, but others can’t. Welcome to the department’s double standards. Andrea Needham, The Canary.

2016

  • Nov.30.2016: Benefits Sanctions Cost More Than They Save, National Audit Office Report Finds. The National Audit Office (NAO), the independent watchdog of state spending, said that fining claimants for failing to meet certain conditions caused them greater hardship, and cost the govt almost twice what it gained. The analysis found the DWP spent £30-50 million a year applying sanctions, and around £200 million monitoring the terms it set for job seekers. But in 2015, the measures saved just £132 million. It also revealed large and growing delays in the system. In Aug.2016, 42% of decisions about Universal Credit sanctions had taken longer than 28 working days. Martha Gill, HuffPost News.

2014

  • Jan.27.2014: DWP’s shame: Facts reveal how ministers duped the press. Today the DWP finally released its press release claiming that huge numbers of people who wanted Employment and Support Allowance have been found fit for work instead. Interestingly, the DWP story differs from that published by the BBC, even though the corporation must have used a version of the press release provided to it in advance. ... I wonder if it isn’t a smokescreen to hide how the DWP is pushing thousands of disabled people into saying they are self-employed and taking tax credits rather than ESA, in order to fudge the figures and make it seem as though good work is being done. The best source of ESA-related statistics is on. ...but it seems clear that the BBC/DWP figure is a conflated total, simply adding up all new claims – rather than claimants – from 2008 onwards. This is exactly why UK Statistics Authority chief Andrew Dilnot chastised the government after the Conservative Party released an almost-identical press release last year. the iLegal site where the figures behind the press release have been picked apart by an expert who doesn’t have a vested interest in saving ministerial face. (...) Why did the BBC then go ahead with the propagandised misrepresentation of the facts that appeared on the BBC News website on Saturday? Mike Sivier, Vox Political.

2013

  • Feb.12.2013: Poundland Free Labour Work Scheme Ruled 'Unlawful', Cait Reilly And Jamieson Wilson Win Appeal. Three judges ruled that the regulations under which most of the govt's back-to-work schemes were created are unlawful and quashed them. The DWP has not been given leave to appeal, but has said that it will appeal to the Supreme Court. Jessica Elgot, HuffPost News.
  • Feb.12.2103: Cait Reilly: "I'm no job snob, I hated being on benefits. They made me angry". Cait Reilly bats off accusations that she is little more than a "job snob", as the work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith branded her. She is currently working on the checkout in Morrisons. And she is no scrounger. "I hated being on benefits," she said. Jobcentre told her she could no longer do her work experience in her local museum. Instead, she had to do unpaid work stacking shelves in Poundland. Solicitors Public Interest Lawyers offered to take up her case pro-bono. In fact, despite being threatened with sanctions, her placement in Poundland was not mandatory at all. Reilly's battle against the DWP's so-called "workfare" schemes hit the headlines in Jan.2012 just as ministers were themselves dealing with a series of protests from the public and from major corporations such as Waterstones and TK Maxx. As high street chains dropped out one by one from the DWP's work experience scheme, fearing they would be linked to exploiting the unemployed for free labour, it was Reilly who became the lightning rod for a debate on the poor and undeserving poor. The Guardian, Shiv Malik

2012

  • Feb.21.2012: Iain Duncan Smith: it's better to be a shelf stacker than a 'job snob'. Iain Duncan Smith, Work and Pensions secretary, has dismissed critics of the govt's Work Experience programme for the young unemployed as "commenting elite" with "an unjustified sense of superiority". In a strongly worded defence of his department's policy of giving unemployed youngsters work experience placements in exchange for benefits, Mr Duncan Smith said supermarket shelf stackers are of greater value to society than the 'commentating elite'. Nick Clegg today announces plans to pay companies and charities more than £2,000 for every jobless youth they place in education or employment in a bid to defuse the "ticking time bomb" of youth unemployment. The Deputy Prime Minister will set aside £126m to help 55,000 teenagers with no good GCSEs, with providers paid by results. Under Mr Duncan Smith's programme, the young unemployed work for up to eight weeks for 30 hours a week, after which they may be interviewed for a job. Those that pull out after the first week face having their benefits withdrawn. The scheme is supported by major chains including Boots, McDonald's, Argos, Tesco and Primark. But critics say the programme is 'slave labour'. The Telegraph, Matthew Holehouse
  • Feb.03.2012: Waterstones ends unpaid work placements after investigation. High street chains have been taking on unemployed workers for weeks without pay as part of the govt's Work Experience scheme and others like it. In a High court case, the govt has defended itself against claims that the unpaid work experience schemes are contrary to Human Rights Act legislation on forced labour. Cait Reilly, a 22-year-old geology graduate, brought her case against the Department for Work and Pensions, saying she was made to work in her local Poundland store branch for 3 weeks without pay. The DWP admitted that it made a mistake by not telling Reilly she had a chance to opt out of the placement. Waterstones, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Argos, Asda, Maplin, TK Maxx, Matalan, Primark, Holland & Barrett, Boots, McDonald's, Burger King, the Arcadia Group owned by Sir Philip Green. Chancellor George Osborne announced that the number of 8-week work experience placements would be massively extended to 250,000 places over 3 years to be funded from the £940m Youth contract. (more...) The Guardian, Shiv Malik