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.?

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Tue 11-Dec-12 13:29:43

Will HAVE to do that. I'm just glad that I have Charity involvement.

ParsingFancy Mon 10-Dec-12 10:43:49

Couthy, I think the safest way would be to turn up to a factory "for workfare" and state that you have epilepsy (or write in advance saying this - do everything on paper anyway). Invite them to do a risk assessment.

Tell them you are willing to do workfare at their company, they just have to provide you with appropriate work, wrt your health and safety. If they terminate the placement, get that in writing as well. If necessary, write letters like "I'm writing to confirm our conversation this afternoon, in which you stated..." to force everything onto paper.

This is what I'm planning to do, if it comes to it. It forces the responsibility back to the people who actually have it, when they're trying to make you piggy-in-the-middle.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Mon 10-Dec-12 02:55:39

OMG. Due to my epilepsy, using anything that classes as heavy machinery (which includes factory work, shelf stacking as I can't use the compacter, and many other jobs), if I refused to do workfare in a factory because IT WAS ILLEGAL FOR ME TO OPERATE HEAVY MACHINERY, and my medications ALSO make it unsafe for me to operate heavy machinery, they would stop my benefits completely while I contested it?!

WTfuckingF??!!

ruledbyheart Mon 10-Dec-12 02:50:51

Although Figleaves took on one person atthe end of it, he was very recently out of prison so the government paid them to take him on...

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Mon 10-Dec-12 02:49:59

Sock - that's what I've been wondering about. I'm soon to be receiving a personal budget to hire a carer - what would happen if I was sent on Workfare?

I can't even chop carrots, I'd like to know what work I'd be deemed capable of!!

ruledbyheart Mon 10-Dec-12 02:46:48

My partner did this twice early in the year 35 hours a week for basic JSA, absolutely disgusting, and they still expected him to look for other jobs and sign on.

8weeks in total was promised a job in both at the end of it but they fobbed him off.

Figleaves are part of this scheme and literally have 5-10 people for free labour for 6weeks then get another lot in.

In the end my partner found a job and was advised not to take it, he put off his start day due to this but thankfully the company he was with was fine and when the work experience fobbed him off again he started there.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 10-Dec-12 01:12:17

I'm rather interested to know what would happen to a disabled person who needed a carer due to learning disabilities,neurological disability or mental health condition with them 100% of the time,

If DWP decided they could work. How exactly would that happen does the carer get o go to workfare as well?

soontobeburns Sun 09-Dec-12 23:59:50

It is awful my oh was on a work place scheme with b&ms and get did fantastically. All the people loved him and managers and was told he could get a job at the end of it. When it came to it head office wouldn't employ him as they can get people for free, even though the ship manager was pushing for it :'(

ZhenThereWereTwo Sun 09-Dec-12 23:39:11

It is absolutely disgusting.

The jobcentre tried to place my DH on mandatory Workfare in Savers on his 1st signing appointment for six weeks! Luckily we are not stupid and quickly found their own guidance on the Internet, complained to a manager and he was taken off it.

Three weeks later he found full time permanent employment with no help from the jobcentre. He wouldn't have had the time to do all that job searching if he had been doing 40 hours a week in Savers with no job at the end of it.

All those vulnerable people who cannot fight for their rights being forced onto this slave labour scheme is a disgrace.

Darkesteyes Sun 09-Dec-12 23:19:52
Darkesteyes Sun 09-Dec-12 23:13:00
MyNutcrackerSuiteAudrina Mon 03-Dec-12 23:40:09

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

IDS must be the greatest healer since Jesus Christ Himself. The man is a walking miracle, curing all those people. Just like Our Lord did in the Gospel of John chapter 5 verse 8

I expect he has done his research and worked out the cost of five loaves and two fishes as well. Divide by 5000 and that's how much your average whinging scrounger should have to live on after sanctions. What a marvelous example he is to us all.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Mon 03-Dec-12 23:04:29

Hi NotYou, it's really good to hear of someone using the scheme positively. It's great to hear that you've taken on people. smile

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Mon 03-Dec-12 19:22:20

I would support a scheme that allowed vvv small businesses to take people on on workfare terms as long as it was voluntary and as long as they got a limited number of placements.

As in, 8 weeks for JSA in start ups for people who wanted the placement. Company can do this say 5 times in 2 years (or something).

Well done, NotYou smile

I have a v v small business. Might turn my first profit (and get my own first paycheque!) in early 2013. I get absolutely no encouragement or support from the govt EXCEPT access to this scheme. I have taken on 2 girls on work experience and at the end of each placement I offered them a job. The scheme gave me the chance to train them (very varied office & ecommerce/trade admin) & see if they were really suitable for my business without spending money I can't afford on someone who turns out to be useless. By the time I employed them they were all trained up, infinitely more confident & relaxed and properly settled in.

I think it's awful to use the scheme when you haven't the slightest intention of offering the participant a career in your own company, but I think that many small companies can really benefit both themselves and the participants in the scheme if they approach it fairly.

AThingInYourLife Mon 03-Dec-12 18:41:19

No, that's still allowing businesses to get around the NMW.

Training staff is a normal business cost.

It should not be subsidised in this way.

cornflowers Mon 03-Dec-12 18:38:42

It would make considerably more sense as a scheme if the Workfare volunteers received their £70 JSA as usual and the participating businesses then topped this up to meet the minimum wage for the hours worked. This way, the businesses would still be paying a reduced rate for the untrained staff, without exploiting them.

AThingInYourLife Mon 03-Dec-12 18:02:54

I don't get why it's any different for a charity to exploit tax-later funded forced labour than any other kind of business.

If there's a job there, pay someone a living wage to do it.

If there's not, rely on volunteers.

It always amuses me that you get people being all indignant about the "taxpayers money" being given to the unemployed, but have no problem at all with it subsidising large companies. Those poor hard done by companies. They obviously need our charity.

TheLightPassenger Mon 03-Dec-12 17:46:18

agree with Parsing's analysis why charity involvement in workfare may be ethically dubious.

ParsingFancy Mon 03-Dec-12 17:13:42

Workfare at charity shops certainly appears less ethically dodgy on the surface than free labour for commercial concerns, and should cause less damage to the real economy.

But there are catches.

As Darkesteyes says, the charities can end up with conflicts of interest, and a significant cost of supervising people who don't want to be there.

There's also the trend for charities to make money by accepting contracts to provide services to govt and private companies. Sounds all well and good, but the charity is competing with other providers for that business. If the charity is allowed to use workfare but a private company not, that's once more turning existing paid jobs into workfare.

cinnamonnut Mon 03-Dec-12 17:10:39

I volunteer at a charity shop and I think we have one or two workfare people.

Darkesteyes Mon 03-Dec-12 15:46:45

When a charity uses workfare they then have to report non compliance (whatever the reason might be whether it be illness or a family emergency) to the Job Centre so you then have a charity like the Salvation Army who uses workfare then reporting someone to the JC for a sanction which then causes the poverty they are supossed to be against.
A massive conflict of interest and i would question the motives of any charity that gets involved with or takes advantage of workfare.

mrsd277 Mon 03-Dec-12 15:36:41

A lot of charity shops seem to be using workfare. Be interested to know if people have the same opinions about people being worked for free in charity shops?

Darkesteyes Mon 03-Dec-12 15:32:38

Apparently Vic Derbyshire was discussing this on Five Live at 10 this morning. Im going to try and listen online.

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