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.

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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.?

givemeaclue Sat 24-Nov-12 13:52:29

I prefer to save my ventingofor, those businesses eg google, amazon etc .in owe the tax payer billions than those trying to help people into work

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Sat 24-Nov-12 14:08:54

Hi Darkesteyes you mentioned Shelter above, they decided not to participate in the Work Programme - statement here

I think Workfare is wrong - businesses like Shoezone and others are able to get free staff while taxpayers subsidise them.

AThingInYourLife Sat 24-Nov-12 14:10:21

The way a business gets to "help people into work" is through the magical technology of employing them. For real wages.

Not exploiting them for free.

flow4 Sat 24-Nov-12 14:38:57

giveme, my DS doesn't get benefits: he's 17 and a full-time student, so isn't entitled to them. One of my many issues with Workfare is that the government has made education expensive, and is now undermining the opportunities that students used to have for earning and staying out of debt. Workfare shrinks the low paid, unskilled and low skilled employment markets dramatically.

DowagersHump Sat 24-Nov-12 14:44:48

Why are companies going to give anyone a job at the end of the 8 weeks when they can get another bunch of hapless saps to do the same job for nothing?

Unpaid labour is just that, however you dress it up

Catkinsthecatinthehat Sat 24-Nov-12 14:56:44

In previous years big companies were perfectly able to take on temp Christmas staff, often teenagers looking for their first job, pay them, and still remain in profit and in business. Of course they're not going to refuse an offer to be paid to take on workers who don't cost them a penny in wages. They must be laughing.

How can small independent shops compete when big firms get staff for free?
How many permanent staff lose out on paid overtime due to free staff?
How many permanent staff on zero hours contracts have lost shifts due to free workers?
How many people have missed out on paid Saturday and temporary jobs in the run up to Christmas due to free workers?

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 24-Nov-12 15:05:30

So you object to the tax payer losing out because they don't pay tax

But not to the tax payer losing out by paying for there staff who in turn will pay no tax because they don't earn enough even by working full time hours or the people who want to be tax payers who won't be because large employers who would normally give them work won't.

cory Sat 24-Nov-12 15:41:08

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."

And in the meantime, those workers who would normally have done the extra Christmas work will be sitting on their sofas. And this is an improvement exactly how? confused

Darkesteyes Sat 24-Nov-12 15:59:21

HappyMummyOfOneSat 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.

What HB is that then? It is being abolished for under 25s remember? And people ARE being put on to The Work Programme which includes workfare within WEEKS of signing on.

This scheme is now preventing those who actively want to get into paid employment from doing so.

That's what makes it fundamentally wrong before any other argument.

The state shouldn't be subsidising the private sector in this way.

WildWorld2004 Sat 24-Nov-12 17:01:36

My brother has done workfare in a factory. He did 8am-5pm mon-fri for £71 per week. He said he hated it because everyone around him was getting paid while he was working for basically nothing.

If these companies can find a place in their companies for workfare people why dont they pay them properly.

Darkesteyes Sat 24-Nov-12 17:04:51

WildWorld thats awful. Bloody disgusting. How long did he do it for? Was it 8 weeks?

WildWorld2004 Sat 24-Nov-12 17:10:36

It was either 6 or 8 weeks. How can it be legal?

Darkesteyes Sat 24-Nov-12 17:25:24

Its fucking disgusting.

Old post of mine from an old thread.

carernotasaintFri 06-Jul-12 22:15:39

Calisto i was on workfare under New Deal in 2000. After completing a 13 week placement (4 weeks at a charity shop and 8 at my local council) Reed/Pelcombe wanted me to do ANOTHER 13 weeks at Campbells soup factory for my JSA. I scoured the local paper and found a job at a local sex chatline office. I went for an interview and got offered the job so i took it

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 24-Nov-12 17:42:49

Some people are far too choosy, you can find posts on here alone where people wont work as it pays equal to their benefits, they only want to work within school hours etc. People simply wont be able to be as choosy anymore as they will be expected to do something in return for their benefits.

People who work transfer between jobs so arguing it means no time to job search is rubbish, those that work do it easily.

It has been all to easy for people to choose not to work, those who genuinely want to work tend to find their own employment and would be grateful for anything that boosts their cv's in the meantime.

AThingInYourLife Sat 24-Nov-12 17:58:07

"People who work transfer between jobs so arguing it means no time to job search is rubbish, those that work do it easily."

Empirical studies = rubbish

Prejudice of the spiteful = common sense

AThingInYourLife Sat 24-Nov-12 17:59:57

Oh, and a spell of workfare is not a boost to any CV.

It marks you out as a loser.

Darkesteyes Sat 24-Nov-12 17:59:58

Happy Mummy. It is NOT people "being choosy" when the employer who employs a person part time then insists that that employee keeps themselves available the rest of the time "just in case" they are needed.
That is the employer who is being choosy not the employee.

ElectricMonk Sat 24-Nov-12 18:28:02

Darkesteyes - thanks for the information on Shelter, I didn't know that. I'm not sure I agree with their logic, although I understand why it's an awkward position for them to be in.

While I loathe the workfare system for the reasons I gave in my earlier post, my ideological position on all of this is that people SHOULD be expected to contribute to society in whatever capacity they are able to if they are receiving state benefits. If they are disabled or too unwell to work then they should be exempt. If they cannot work because travel and childcare costs leave them with too little money to live on then they should be exempt. If they are unable to work due to a family member needing personal care then they are contributing to society so they shouldn't be required to undertake any work that is incompatible with their caring responsibilities and family life. If they simply can't find a job or don't want the jobs they are offered then they should be working for a charity/non-profit community service that is otherwise uneconomical to run and does not infringe on existing public/charity sector employment. If they don't want to contribute to society in that way or by getting a job, then I don't feel that it is society's responsibility to support them.

If the workfare system consisted solely of placements in which participants were given fair treatment, opportunities to use their existing skills and develop new ones, time off for job interviews and preparation, all work-related expenses paid, and the same sick leave and holiday allowance as somebody on a minimum wage job then I would consider it wholly acceptable as an indefinite arrangement. It would make people who are out of work more employable, help to dispel the (far from unanimous) assumption that society owes you a living if you don't want to earn one for yourself, and remove a lot of the stigma and self-esteem/confidence issues related to unemployment. However, it would probably be too expensive to implement as a compulsory thing - I do wish that, at the very least, it could be implemented as an optional alternative to workfare though. Maybe some money could be diverted away from running the random and seemingly pointless courses that qualified but unemployed people complain about being sent on...

Do other people who are opposed to Workfare really believe that people should have the right to do nothing (aside from jump through administrative hoops) in exchange for benefits, regardless of their capacity to work?

Aboutlastnight Sat 24-Nov-12 19:12:09

There was a time when you could get a job in a shop without any 'work experience' at all.

flow4 Sat 24-Nov-12 19:17:00

These days you probably need a degree. hmm

How mad have things got, that as a society we raise the school leaving age and force encourage young people to go to uni to keep them out of the employment market for longer, then introduce a scheme that destroys that same market.

Really, it's insane to make Big Business more important than people.

Aboutlastnight Sat 24-Nov-12 19:17:19

Social worker friend had a client who did workfare for a month in the depot at Tesco. Enjoyed it, guy had been in prison, this was a good opportunity. Surprise, surprise no job at the end of it. Why give people paid work when another batch of free labour, paid for by the taxpayer, is knocking on the door.

Workfare, when it is for private sector profit making companies, devalues the work market.

It gives highly attractive free labour to companies so they can rake in yet more profit but shut down the vacancies they previously had open to students and seasonal workers.

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 24-Nov-12 19:36:36

YANBU. disgusting. Shame about Superdrug sad (I don't shop at the others)

givemeaclue Sat 24-Nov-12 21:39:20

Wild, what was you brother doing before and what is he doing now

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