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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.?

Darkesteyes Sun 25-Nov-12 16:20:45

The damage that workfare is doing is going to be irrepairable if it carries on like this.
In my area ive only seen one store advertising for Christmas seasonal work and that was Store Twenty One.
Surely Shoe Zone should realise that most of their customer base are people on benefits or low wages.
Treating them like this is hardly going to keep them is it?
Wild World your situation is an example of what i have mentioned on the £500 benefits thread.

Darkesteyes Sun 25-Nov-12 16:25:48

What i wrote on the other thread. It sounds like the situation you are in WildWorld.

DarkesteyesSat 24-Nov-12 16:40:31

Outraged a lot of employers who employ part time workers expect those workers to keep themselves available just IN CASE they are needed to do overtime.
Therefore making it harder to get another part time job to fit around those unreasonable requirements.

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DarkesteyesSat 24-Nov-12 16:43:41

What i meant was that some employers employing a part time worker who eg works Monday to Wednesday will then expect that part time worker to keep themselves available for Thursday and Friday JUST IN CASE they are needed.

Darkesteyes Sun 25-Nov-12 16:34:25

Definate in your DBs case that Job Centre and that employer should be named and shamed. I can understand if he wouldnt want to but i bet he feels like it sometimes.

WildWorld2004 Sun 25-Nov-12 17:19:42

It is exactly like that. The whole of our department have small contract hours. One girl did get a second job. The employer employed her knowing full well that she had the first job and was keeping it. The second employer tried to get her to quit the first job because they wanted to be able to phone her & ask her to work whenever they wanted but yet they wouldnt increase her contract.

Darkesteyes Sun 25-Nov-12 17:27:45

And yet you get some people on here bleating at others to get 2 part time jobs if they cant find a full time one which is the sort of advice given out by the more right wing or well off Mners who have never been in this position and have absolutely no idea.
IMO the situation you mention either should be made illegal or you should be classed as being "on call" if they are asking you to keep your days off free for them JUST IN CASE or asking you not to get a second part time job JUST IN CASE they need you then you are effectively on call and should be treated and paid as such.

Darkesteyes Sun 25-Nov-12 17:31:58

And come January when the Christmas retail figures are out and they all sit there moaning about how no one is spending they wont look closer to home because they wont want to face the fact that workfare and keeping their actual employees in poverty by employing them on short hours and then keeping them on unpaid call just in case they are needed.....well then they dont have the money to spend. A lot of retail companies are causing this situation with their own greed.

Darkesteyes Sun 25-Nov-12 17:47:15
MiniTheMinx Sun 25-Nov-12 17:50:35

Capitalism creates inequality, thrives on inequality and then falls flat on it's face because of.......inequality. If workers are kept in perpetual poverty then profits will fall.

I don't shop in shoe Zone or superdrug but walking around our local town, in an affluent area in the south east, I see eight empty shops on one street and no advertisements for seasonal staff.

Ozzy is going to plunge us into a "tripple" recession and in any other job, gross negligence and gross misconduct is a sackable offence. Most employers would consider theft, dishonesty, sabotage to be a grounds for dismissal.

MiniTheMinx Sun 25-Nov-12 17:55:18

Thanks for the link. from that report "Only 2 per cent of all working-age households contain no one who has ever worked, according to the report" these scroungers that the government talk of simply do not exist.

Darkesteyes Sun 25-Nov-12 18:00:11

Totally agree Mini. I shall be watching with interest when the figures for this quarter come out.
I have started a thread on the In the news board about the independent link above. The poverty is caused by short hours contracts and workfare.

Darkesteyes Sun 25-Nov-12 18:01:33

Its sickening isnt it Mini. At best they have grossly GROSSLY exaggerated. At worst they have downright lied.

Molepomandmistletoe Sun 25-Nov-12 18:05:01

I'm just waiting for the annoucement that it's a tripple dip recession. To be honest, in my eyes, we never got out of the first dip...this is a depression as far as I see.

Did anyone see in the daily mail ( yeah I know but it's the only thing I found this morning) that was trying to praise that 150000 people have been sanctioned and forced off benefits? and then right at the end admit that it was a useless policy and only 20 people have found employment from it, oh, and the statement that states that these people on workfare can not be counted as unemployed...hence how the figures can be manipulated?

daily mail link

Darkesteyes Sun 25-Nov-12 18:13:04

Molepom i noticed that last night. There is a picture of IDS smug face there too. Ugh.

MiniTheMinx Sun 25-Nov-12 19:04:56

Thanks Molepom, I will have a read. It seems that workfare isn't what it is purported to be. It seems to be a way of stripping benefits and massaging unemployment figures, shovelling tax payers money into the pockets of business and a stick to beat the poor. It sickens me. I'll have a proper read and have a look at the other thread as well.

Tiredmumno1 Sun 25-Nov-12 19:17:17

I had a read molepom, I actually find it incredible that people fall for that "they refused to do it" line, as if, I wish others would take a look at the bigger picture.

It's not necessarily people refusing, it's probably more than likely because of things like what happened to wilds brother, not being able to be in two places at the same time, so he follows their advice and sanction him for it, no doubt the same thing has happened to thousands of others. As well as needing to take a day off sick, well they can't do that either because again they will get sanctioned, it's beyond belief really. However the government are hardly likely to admit to that or their failings are they?

Darkesteyes Thu 29-Nov-12 17:39:14

The Not-Working Programme
Posted: November 28th, 2012 | Author: editor | Filed under: Info on schemes, Welfare to work industry | 1 Comment »
No jobs. Just sanctions.

Yesterday the news we already knew. The Work Programme isn’t working. It’s a £5 billion pound failure. Not one of the 18 contractors reached the target set by the government of getting 5.5% of clients a job for at least six months. Only 3.5% of people referred to work programme found jobs lasting six months. But that’s not even the whole story. Workfare industry lobbyists the CESI have calculated that the real figure of people getting any kind of employment on the scheme in its first 12 months, is in fact just 2.1%. The government’s target for minimum performance by providers is 5.5%. Even these pro-workfare industry lobbyists have now stated that:

“This suggests that the Work Programme as a whole is underperforming against contractual expectations, even when accounting for changes in the economy.”

The cost of this £5 billion failure can also be measured in human misery. You have a one in ten chance of being sanctioned on the Work Programme but less than a one in twenty chance of finding work. 15,000 people a month are currently being sanctioned, with the total number of people sanctioned and therefore plunged into dire poverty since the scheme began currently likely to stand at more than 150,000.

Whilst failing providers such as A4e happily sanction people’s £71 or £56 per week JSA, their profits are entirely funded by the taxpayer through their £438 million contract, which they maintain despite being investigated for fraud. The data shows that providers such as A4E, Ingeus, REED, and G4S are more interested in stripping people of benefits than finding people work. There are no jobs, just sanctions.

It is nothing short of scandalous that the employment minister Mark Hoban, and Work Programme providers can blame a weak economy for the scheme’s failure, yet people who are unemployed and sent to A4e, Reed, Ingeus are constantly told as part of their ‘induction’ that the reason they are unemployed is due to personal failure. It has never been clearer that the real reason people are unemployed is that there is a lack of jobs. This is made worse when providers supply employers with unpaid staff, on threat of joining the ranks of the 150,000 people who have faced sanctions.

The Work Programme, like the other 6 workfare schemes, was an economic failure from the start. Workfare was never designed to create jobs, it has never boosted employment anywhere in the world. Workfare was however designed to cut the benefits bill, and to deter people from claiming state support when times are hard. It is also being used to hide the true number of unemployed, as the Office of National Statistics has confirmed.

Workfare also replaces paid jobs. After all with stores like Argos, Superdrug and Shoe Zone to name just a few using workfare to reduce hours and keep costs down instead of providing paid employment, where were all the jobs needed for the Work Programme to succeed going to come from anyway?

Given the misery workfare causes, the role that some charities are playing is shameful. They are directly increasing poverty for the poorest by taking part in workfare and putting people at risk of sanctions. The Salvation Army – a key proponent of workfare – has an annual income of £207,011,000. Yet it is actively increasing poverty for people both in and out of employment by taking part in the government’s workfare schemes.

Darkesteyes Thu 29-Nov-12 17:40:12

The above is copied and pasted from the Boycott Workfare site.

Darkesteyes Thu 29-Nov-12 17:59:10

Just spotted this on another thread.

NotQuintAtAllOhNoThu 29-Nov-12 14:02:41

My neighbour who has never had any work other than as a cleaner and a dogsitter (single mum of three), and now has cancer, been walking dogs and volunteering for the RSPCA got a letter through last week that she has to "report for duty December 1st" and work 16 hours per week for no "salary" just to keep her benefits.

Times are hard. I listened to Radio 4 on Tuesday, they explained the original notion of Benefits, and Lord Beverages vision, how it was never meant as a life style choice (not that it is in your case at all op) but meant as a stop gap while people found their feet. I think this government is going back to the original notion of what the welfare state was meant to be, and scrap sustaining people out of work for whatever reason.

Comet has just gone bankrupt, hospitals and local government are downsizing, unemployment is on the rise at the same time as benefits are slashed. We dont know where this will end, all we know: You have to rely on Yourself only

Darkesteyes Thu 29-Nov-12 18:14:24

On December 3rd (which is also International Day of the Disabled) ESA WRAG claimants become "eligible" for compulsory workfare.

Luckytwo Thu 29-Nov-12 18:15:32

My son did an 8 week stint thanks to the job centre a wee while ago in a local company. He was apparently to be allowed time off to attend other interviews. However the guy he worked for kept saying oh you don't need to do that, there will definitely be a job at the end for you.
On the last day but one, my son said, well he's just about done the 8 weeks, and they said, thanks , bye.

In the mean time others started , so it was clear what they were doing.

This is just plain wrong and does nothing for the self esteem of the person being treated as if their work has no value, however if they don't do it their benefits are withheld.

I had no idea that high street stores were also doing this, it is unbelievable.

I cannot abide such practice, bring on a general election and get these eejits out. angry

ParsingFancy Thu 29-Nov-12 18:53:00

Just remembered this.

In my yoof, I worked for an employment agency. They sent a largely teenage gang out every day to factories for miles around. I made every thing from oxygen masks to pork pies.

The jobs required zero experience. It was economically viable to take someone who'd never stepped foot in the place and get a single day's work out of them.

So much for claims that EIGHT WEEKS isn't enough for companies to break even.

(Disclaimer: obviously some jobs can't be done with zero experience. But clearly many can.)

Darkesteyes Fri 30-Nov-12 22:38:35

From Monday (which is also international day of the disabled) there is indefinate mandatory workfare for ill and disabled people.

www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/nov/30/sick-disabled-work-benefits-programme

diaimchlo Fri 30-Nov-12 23:32:47

I am on ESA and in WRAG and run the risk of Work Fare.... with my health conditions I cannot plan ahead as they fluctuate so how can I commit to attend work experience? which quite frankly at 54 really don't need, as I already have a lot of experience and qualifications. If, as can happen many mornings, I have great difficulty getting out of bed and then mobilizing round my home, so how can I be a reliable employee?

There are many of the charities who have used Work Fare pulling out now due to the ConDems extending this slavery to the sick and disabled.

For those of you who think it is a great idea, I would agree if the people who were working for £71 per week in benefit, had the remaining of MW paid by the company taking advantage of their labour, that to me is a fairer system.

Also another thought are the public companies that are taking advantage of Work Fare lowering their prices in line with their savings on free labour, of course not!!!!!!!!!!!

ParsingFancy Sat 01-Dec-12 13:01:46

I've been thinking about this a lot.

I think the new "welfare" system will be worse than workhouses.

Workhouses at least provided the necessities of life: shelter, food, hygiene, warmth. Where they required the (non-sick) residents to work, they sourced the work that was to be done.

This new system doesn't. It sets up demands that are impossible for people to meet and then leaves them without the necessities when they fail.

Mandatory work for people unfit to work is bad enough. Frequently they won't be able to do it and will then have ESA sanctioned.

But even this arranged mandatory work pales compared to the housing plans.

The Draft Universal Credit regulations state that, once they've been disabled for 2 years, people in the WRAG will have to earn a set minimum amount or face housing benefits sanctions.

Presumably they will have to find this work themselves.

If they fail to persuade someone to employ them enough (including self-employed), they may be without shelter as well as without other necessities.

The outcomes are obvious.

ParsingFancy Mon 03-Dec-12 14:32:15

So, topically, today I received a letter from the DWP setting out the new sanctions regime for disabled people on ESA.

"From 3rd December 2012, the law is changing and you could lose more money, for a longer period of time if you do not:
• attend and take part in work-focused interviews
• carry out work-related activities that your advisor asks you to do, without a good reason"

Sanctions are cuts of up to £28.15 per week (from payment of less than £100), up to four weeks. However, sanctions start after you agree to comply with their demands. During the period you are contesting the demand - for example because it's unsafe for you - ESA is stopped completely.

The sanctioned person can appeal, but this is taking upwards of a year for ESA awards, so it's hard to see sanctions appeals being faster.

The House of Lords criticised the DWP for giving so much power to individual JobCentre clerks, who have no competence to judge what is medically safe and absolute discretion to sanction.

There is simply no meaningful protection for disabled people.

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