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

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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.?

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 24-Nov-12 10:08:51

Young people can gain work experience without a paid job though, thousands of people volunteer either for their own purpose or to boost their cv.

People are only sent on these placements if they have been on benefits for a while, used properly there are many things to be gained from the experience. Its not unpaid either, most will be getting JSA as a bare minimum but add on HB, CTB etc and its giving something back in exchange for months, if not years, of financal help.

AThingInYourLife Sat 24-Nov-12 10:23:33

"its giving something back in exchange for months, if not years, of financal help."

To Shoe Zone? confused

TheLightPassenger Sat 24-Nov-12 10:33:36

bit of a difference between one or two mornings a week helping visitors to local hospital/sorting stock in a charity shop and full time hours in a shop that could and should be offering min wage paid work to xmas temps.

WildWorld2004 Sat 24-Nov-12 10:47:12

Happymummyofone so you think that it is ok for people who are on workfare to work 35 hours a week for £70 jsa.

Have you not thought that some of the people who do workfare are unemployed because a lot of companies dont take on paid employment. I mean why would you pay someone a wage when the government pay you to have someone work for you.

flow4 Sat 24-Nov-12 11:39:50

Of course people volunteer for pleasure and usefulness, but the key to a successful volunteering placement is in the word itself - it needs to be voluntary!

My teenage son could volunteer to 'boost his CV', but actually he wants the money... And up until about 18 months ago, he wouldn't have had much problem earning it.

It puts financial pressure on me too, as a working single parent. I expected him to be bringing a bit of extra money into the household by now. Volunteering doesn't help with that.

givemeaclue Sat 24-Nov-12 12:02:52

I disagree. It's a good Way of gaining work experience and a possible route to a paid job. It's 8 weeks of practical work that has to be better on a cv than 8 weeks of sitting on the sofa.

Well done to those taking part. These people turn up untrained, unmotivated and down. Speak to some people who have done it you will be surprised what they gain.

givemeaclue Sat 24-Nov-12 12:03:40

Totally agree with happy mummy

flow4 Sat 24-Nov-12 12:05:25

"It's 8 weeks of practical work that has to be better on a cv than 8 weeks of sitting on the sofa." < Absolutely, giveme... But it's considerably worse than 8 weeks of paid work, which is what these young people could have expected to get just, a few years ago.

TheLightPassenger Sat 24-Nov-12 12:07:13

untrained and unmotivated? really? does being on benefits automatically deskill people hmm.

ParsingFancy Sat 24-Nov-12 12:08:55

But we're paying these workfarers!

If the Christmas work were being done as paid work, people would be getting the same experience but paid for by the shop that's benefitting from it!

Instead the shop is developing benefit-dependency!

Rudolphstolemycarrots Sat 24-Nov-12 12:16:42

I think work experience is a valuable way to get a foot in the door. In one way, the person doing the work experience is actually being 'paid' by recieveing unemployment benefit often for long lengths of time. Foot Zone however is not a charitable organisation, it is out for profit. With such a company it would make sense if they paid the weekly cost of the unemployment benefit and then gave an additional daily payment to the volunteer.

CrazyChristmasLady Sat 24-Nov-12 12:21:02

That is shocking!!!

I got my jobs when I was younger by starting as a Christmas temp staff then they kept me on after.

Yet another shite Tory policy. Oh but its all to get people back to work and off benefits though. hmm Yes, how are these people paying their bills exactly.

ParsingFancy Sat 24-Nov-12 12:32:42

We're paying their bills, while the companies sit back and say, "Nice one!"

AThingInYourLife Sat 24-Nov-12 12:41:25

"Speak to some people who have done it you will be surprised what they gain."

I don't care what they gain.

Public money (our money) should not be used to subsidise private companies while they get around the national minimum wage.

It is bad for everyone (especially the low paid) for unpaid labour to be made available to businesses in this way.

It is profoundly immoral and people who support it are mostly idiots, if they're not the cynical fuckers who profit from it while convincing the idiots that it makes sense.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 24-Nov-12 12:42:51

Madness. Making it cost effective to not employ people is insane

givemeaclue Sat 24-Nov-12 12:45:19

Flow, they are paid, in benefits. If they don't wish to do it they can of course get a job or sign off benefits. If they can't get a job them any work experience would surely be helpful in building their cv

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 24-Nov-12 12:59:53

Giveme. I am not allowed to employ anybody at below the nmw i wouldnt even if i was. so at they very least the companies that do this should pay the nmw for the hours done to the person instead of them receiving the Jsa.

That way it wouldn't also mean it would mean them getting a free workforce instead of actually employing people

AThingInYourLife Sat 24-Nov-12 13:00:03

"they are paid, in benefits."

Benefits are not pay.

That's a pretty basic error to make.

It's kind of embarrassing.

givemeaclue Sat 24-Nov-12 13:13:58

They receive money in the form of benefits. They are asked to get some work experience in return. They don't have to, they can get a job or sign off benefits should they not wish to take advantage of the opportunity.

They are given money by the government in exchange for labour. That I, called being paid.

givemeaclue Sat 24-Nov-12 13:18:12

They may have skills, but if they are long term benefits claimants they have not been able to get a job with those skills have they.

AThingInYourLife Sat 24-Nov-12 13:26:19

"They are given money by the government in exchange for labour. That I, called being paid."

grin

Interesting.

Because both the government and the employers involved in this scheme insist that it is not pay because

1 it is significantly less than the NMW, which would make it illegal

2 it is not paid by the employers, but by the state, which makes it a massive, unjustifiable subsidy to business by taxpayers

This whole scam relies on the fiction that people on benefits are not doing actual jobs they should be paid for, but are actually being done a great kindness by the companies who allow them to work for free.

In reality, when low-skilled work is done for free people in low skilled jobs lose their livelihood.

So higher taxes for the working stiff while private companies use free labour at our expense.

Socialism for the rich.

Takver Sat 24-Nov-12 13:31:33

I don't see a philosophical problem with people getting benefits while on work experience with charities - and often in the past (don't know about this workfare scheme) work experience in the voluntary sector was popular with those taking part.

The practical problem remains that all studies that I know of show that it REDUCES people's chance of getting a proper job. Not just because of the impact of taking paid temporary jobs out of the system, also because of negative labelling and also because you're taking people away from active jobsearch.

I can see no excuse for the state providing profit making companies with free workers - again for most studies I know of wage subsidy schemes (which are much more carefully targetted than this current workfare programme) have minimal additional effect. Basically all that happens is businesses take on the same number of staff but the state pays some of the cost.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 24-Nov-12 13:41:02

Giveme is it going to be that easy to just get a job when all the companies are being handed free slaves so they don't have to pay them?

givemeaclue Sat 24-Nov-12 13:49:44

It's not all companies, its a minority. Most businesses could not take the cost of hiring and training on an 8 week cycle

katykuns Sat 24-Nov-12 13:51:41

The only people that support workfare, I have found, are the ones that join in on the benefit bashing idea that everyone on benefits is a work-shy lazy scrounger...

I can't believe anyone supports something that means damaging the limited number of jobs available to the public already, and replacing it with SLAVE labour. When the workfare system came out as an idea, I supported it, thinking it would be small numbers of hours out in the community, doing things like feeding a patient in the hospital, or helping keep the surrounding areas clean. I didn't think it would be to help greedy companies make yet more profit.

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