Disability News Service (DNS) is reporting that charities that sign up to help deliver the government’s new Work and Health Programme must promise to “pay the utmost regard to the standing and reputation” of work and pensions secretary Esther McVey.
DNS discovered the requirement after a Freedom of Information battle to obtain copies of the contracts with the DWP that charities have to sign.
The contracts include a clause stating that charities must “pay the utmost regard to the standing and reputation” of DWP and must do nothing that brings the DWP into disrepute or which “damages the reputation of the Contracting Body or harms the confidence of the public in the Contracting Body”.
The contract defines the “Contracting Body” as the work and pensions secretary, a position currently occupied by the much-criticised Esther McVey.
The clause also applies to any smaller organisations that the charities sub-contract work to.
The DWP says it has been inserting this clause in its contracts since 2015.
There is a fear that such a clause will prevent charities involved in the Work and Health Programme from speaking out about the many injustices dealt out by the DWP, even if those injustices are not connected to the programme.