Funding news

Prime contractors for Work Programme will have to subcontract to voluntary organisations - 23 December 2010

Organisations winning major contracts under the government’s new Work Programme will have to use smaller voluntary sector providers and face losing their contracts if they do not treat them reasonably, the Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed.

Employment minister Chris Grayling opened the tender process yesterday for the Work Programme, which will replace existing welfare to work programmes in England, Scotland and Wales.

The documents say that prime, or first-tier contractors, will be expected to follow the already announced Merlin standard, which the department has set up to ensure subcontractors, including third sector organisations, are treated fairly.

It is the first time such conditions have been written into a contracting process.

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