Jobcentre Plus sign.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has condemned the Government’s decision to privatise part of the administration of Universal Credit.

Private firm Capita will be gifted with the responsibility for booking initial work search interviews for new Universal Credit claimants.

Capita is currently facing a second inquiry into a £1.5bn Whitehall jobs contract, which small companies claim could leave them facing financial ruin.

The outsourcing giant is also one of three firms to be recently awarded a £5bn NHS commissioning deal, as well as delivering disability benefit assessments for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) in parts of England and Wales.

A press release on the union’s website reads:

“Their intention is that the process for booking the appointment for a claimant’s initial work search interview will be handed to the private company Capita. No DWP staff will be transferred to Capita under this proposal.

“There is no justifiable business reason for doing this. DWP claim that Capita will be able to make these appointments at weekends for claimants who make a claim online at a weekend, but in practice the appointments could just as well be done by DWP staff the following Monday, as has happened up to now.

“Capita already have been handed the same task for claims to Jobseekers Allowance and this announcement extends that arrangement to Universal Credit claims.

“PCS has protested strongly to DWP about this decision. Seeing their work privatised is a kick in the teeth for our hard working members.

“Members will also be understandably concerned that this privatisation is a foretaste of further private sector involvement in the delivery of Universal Credit.

“PCS has also made the point to the department that Capita is consistently failing to meet its key targets in relation to JSA First Contact calls that are currently out sourced to them. This failure contrasts with the DWP staff in CCS who are consistently meeting the very same targets.

“Again the failure of the private sector to out-perform the public sector has been ignored as the tired, false dogma of ‘private sector good, public sector bad’ is wheeled out once again.

“PCS will continue to argue against all privatisation of DWP work and will continue to campaign for all privatised work to be brought back in-house where it belongs.”

Last edited at 4:40am on 22 February 2015 to resolve an incorrect external link.



  1. More money for politicians when they lose their seats and walk straight into jobs with these companies, the whole idea of private companies, running anything in the health and benefits sector, and indeed PFI’s is rotten to the core.

    • I am not anti Union im a Socialist, but im anti Union who protect workers who implement misery on poor peoples lives and the disabled. This UC is sick how can it include ESA and the demand sick people to start looking for work when ESA has Support Group which, exempts people from work. I have heard 2 cases of PCS defending this workers, first, is here when they defend the workers who do the dirty collaborator work for this Dictatorship and the second was up North the workers were crying they had to travel an extra 20minutes to work, they claimed it would cost the tax payer more money, why do we even pay for these workers to get to work??? Why can’t they pay their own way???

      Its time the Unions dropped these people, or we drop this particular Union and became like Spain and Greece were the left did this, ended 1 day peaceful protests became militant and now on verge of taking over both nations not just Greece.

  2. Can you imagine how much money the government would have saved if they had stuck with the status quo and not messed with peoples live.

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