to think that workfare at Christmas instead of paid temp work is just fucking wrong.Shoe Zone.

(151 Posts)
Darkesteyes Fri 23-Nov-12 18:11:32

Found this on Twitter.

profiting from workfare; encourage organisations to pledge to boycott it; and actively inform people of their rights.

Know your rights! Visit consent.me.uk and donotsign.com

Workfare in Shoe Zone this Christmas
Posted: November 23rd, 2012 | Author: boycottworkfare | Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
This week, Boycott Workfare has been contacted by a concerned member of staff working at high street retailer Shoe Zone. Their first hand experience, which they bravely wanted to share with us all, provides yet more evidence that workfare is replacing paid jobs. As with Argos and Superdrug, Shoezone are using ?work experience? from the job centre to cover the busy Christmas period instead of employing temporary staff or giving current staff the option of over-time. Here is their story:

?I work in Shoe Zone in the south east. This week our manager has held three ?interviews? with people sent from the job centre. They are to help us for up to 30 hours a week for 8 weeks over the Christmas period. One of them stated he would only be getting his bus fare paid by the job centre. This is to be called ?work experience?. If there is work to do over Christmas surely we could hire staff for 8 weeks in a proper fashion? I am sickened that my manager imagines they are doing these people a favour of some sort to ?let them experience work?. I get the feeling that head office will be very pleased with themselves too to keep a store running smoothly over Christmas without actually using any extra resources, when these work experience placements can pick up the slack.

The three people start today on this ?work experience? and I am terrified by the idea that head office think they don?t need to pay their staff and can run a store with people from the job centre. i myself am on part-time minimum wage and if they can have workers for free now what is to stop them making my position redundant and using job centre people to run the store at no cost to themselves? If my hours are cut next year, i shall know why.

I do not feel its right these people will be expected to do the same work as our usual staff. Even worse, i will be expected to keep an eye on them to make sure no mistakes are made when pulling stock and writing labels etc- extra work we could do without at Christmas time. They will not be authorised to use the tills or ordering system but everything else including dealing with customers, they will be expected to do. Its a disgrace. I fear for the safety of my job at the moment and in the future if this ?work experience? continues.?

StaceeJaxx Fri 23-Nov-12 18:37:04

Yes it's very, very wrong. angry Shoe Zone should be fucking ashamed of themselves. And the Tories are completely deluded! How on earth do they expect people to get jobs and boost the economy when all the Christmas jobs are being done by people on benefits for nothing. hmm Are they completely thick? Oh wait no, they just don't give a shit about people who don't earn millions! angry

thecook Fri 23-Nov-12 18:49:55

Thank you for naming and shaming the companies. It is appalling. Work experience my arse.

AThingInYourLife Fri 23-Nov-12 18:53:14

YABU

It's wrong all the time, not just at Christmas.

Hydrophilic Fri 23-Nov-12 18:55:19

I went into a costa the other day and was served by a work experience student. I chatted to her, she was very professional, and I asked her if she was getting paid. She said no. Costa were perfectly happy though to have her handling money and running the store with only one other member of staff.

I know students go out on work experience from school but when I did it, we weren't allowed to handle money at all and were supernumerary to the normal staff.

drmummmsy Fri 23-Nov-12 18:57:24

i'm jobseeking at the min, and have noticed generally a reduction in the number of xmas temp retail posts. i did wonder if something like this might be contributing to it

ravenAK Fri 23-Nov-12 19:01:11

They'd be a bit stuffed if everyone on NMW decided to boycott their product...

Oh & they also support Operation Christmas Child.

Grrrr.

quoteunquote Fri 23-Nov-12 19:12:16

Completely shameful, we run a small company, we have never not paid someone for work, on trial or not, a fair days work for a fair days pay.

It a sick concept exploiting someone desperation for work.

ParsingFancy Fri 23-Nov-12 19:19:35

Unfair competition on you, too, quoteunquote, if your competitors are using freebie labour. And I believe the companies actively get paid as well as getting the labour.

I have no problem with real work experience - eg two weeks shadowing round different areas of the business - but commercial workfare is wrong on so many levels.

Thanks for the heads up about Shoe Zone, Argos and Superdrug, I shall boycott.

MrsMushroom Fri 23-Nov-12 19:32:40

I will also boycott but I fear it wont matter. It's like communism!

ElectricMonk Fri 23-Nov-12 19:45:30

Thanks for the heads-up, I'll add them to my boycott list.

This initiative is abhorrent, considering how difficult things are for small businesses and people who are unemployed or can only find part-time work. If it was really about addressing unemployment and ensuring that welfare claimants make a contribution to society wherever feasible, surely the thing to do would be to set up placements with charities like Shelter, Women's Aid, and food banks, rather than devaluing the work force, undermining the minimum wage and reducing the already very limited employment opportunities available angry.

quoteunquote Fri 23-Nov-12 19:47:12

Unfair on everyone, we all end up with a very unhappy society.

Name and shame the companies that use workers that are not paid a proper wage.

Tiredmumno1 Fri 23-Nov-12 19:58:55

Here is a link of the companies that have or are using, or going to be stopping workfare

boycott workfare

TheLightPassenger Fri 23-Nov-12 20:06:45

yanbu. and how much use is the supposed work experience if the staff aren't till trained shock

quoteunquote Fri 23-Nov-12 20:39:15

Just been cancelling direct debts, along with an email saying that I am happy to reinstate if they sign up to boycott workfare.

thanks.

Darkesteyes Fri 23-Nov-12 20:45:59

A Thing in Your Life i totally agree. Its wrong all the time. But i thought it might be contributing to the fact that there are fuck all Xmas temp jobs available (hence me mentioning in the thread title) and it looks like drmummsy is finding this to be the case.

Darkesteyes Fri 23-Nov-12 20:52:53

ElectricMonk these are mandatory so if they were doing a placement at Shelter then Shelter would be forced to report them if they didnt turn up to placement Shelter causing a benefit sanction that could then lead to homelessness????!!!!! They realised the conflict of interest and toxicity of this and pulled out way back in Feb when this all hit the headlines.
And people on the ESA WRAG are having to do workfare so if they are sanctioned because they cant come into placement due to illness (and the placement "employer" has to report these abscences. Its a conditionality of using workfarers.

Darkesteyes Fri 23-Nov-12 22:20:47

Just spotted this on Twitter too.

South Tyneside JCP

@JCPSouthtyne

8 wks Work Experience at Debenhams South Shields, interviews 29/11/12.18-24yrs old and interested? Contact your JCP Adviser quote SOS/39303

9:27am Fri Nov 23

AThingInYourLife Fri 23-Nov-12 22:57:45

Yes, you're right, of course

It is certainly worth pointing out the effect it is having on seasonal work.

But this is the obvious outcome of the policy, so presumably intended by those who support it.

samandi Sat 24-Nov-12 01:51:26

It's an absolutely abhorrent practice. It's taking work away from people.

ihavenonameonhere Sat 24-Nov-12 04:15:06

I would think 2 weeks would be fair enough but 8 weeks seems too long in this sort of environment.

teacherandguideleader Sat 24-Nov-12 09:32:21

Some of our students go on work experience every week - it is a compulsory part of some courses and a good experience for them as they have stuff for their cv. What gets me is that they are not taken on as extra but instead of paid staff in some cases.

I think something like workfare could be a good idea if it was done properly and generally did help get people into the workplace without exploiting them.

TheLightPassenger Sat 24-Nov-12 09:33:43

2 weeks in December seems morally wrong to me, as it's deliberately taking on unpaid staff at a busy time rather than taking on Xmas temps.

teacherandguideleader Sat 24-Nov-12 09:44:52

Christmas was always a time of hope for jobs - get something as a temp, prove yourself and get kept on - would be a shame is this stopped that

flow4 Sat 24-Nov-12 09:45:41

My DS needs a part-time job and can't get one, because unpaid 'work experience' people are filling so many of the part-time, casual and temporary jobs that used to be filled by teenagers.

As a society, workfare is creating a generation of young people who get to 18 without having had any work experience, and are so unemployable... And are then forced onto schemes like workfare... sad It's a nasty vicious circle that is bad for the whole of society.

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