Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

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.

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.

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

WildWorld2004 Sat 24-Nov-12 22:36:05

Givemeaclue my brother has been unemployed for a few years. Not for lack of trying. Hes still unemployed unfortunately. He is well educated & hard working. He always gets good feedback from workfare but as always there is never a job at the end of it because there is someone waiting from the jobcentre to take his place.

We live in an area with little unemployment. It could have something to do with the majority of companies we have here are part of workfare.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Sat 24-Nov-12 23:19:29

ElectricMonk Shelter have no involvement in the Workfare scheme.

Darkesteyes Sat 24-Nov-12 23:30:38

Electric Monk i see what you are saying but there are people being forced onto workfare who have previously worked for a long time and paid National Insurance while doing so. So if they do workfare they have effectively paid for their Jobseekers twice over!
WildWorld a few weeks back it was revealed that the ONS do NOT count workfarers as unemployed.
Wild World your DB always gets good feedback from workfare? Blimey how many times have they made him do it.

picnicbasketcase Sat 24-Nov-12 23:39:24

It's awful and I can't believe anyone is in favour of it. Luring people in to work for nothing so their benefits aren't taken away, with the idea that there could be permanent employment at the end of it, when in fact they will get rid of them and then take another batch of people and not pay them either. How is that fair to anyone but the businesses? Disgusting.

WildWorld2004 Sat 24-Nov-12 23:53:27

Picnic a lot of employers tell workfare workers before they start that there is no job at the end of the placement.

My brother has done 3 or 4 placements. Every few months he gets sent to one. All telling him that there is no job at the end of it. However hardly any of his friends who are in the same situation as my brother have done workfare. So even that is unfair. Not everyone who has been unemployed for a certain amount of time gets sent to it. Its whoever the people at the jobcentre or whoever pick to do it.

DefiniteMaybe Sat 24-Nov-12 23:58:30

Workfare is pathetic. My brother was sent on a placement, one of his scheduled "work" days was on the same day as his sign in day. He asked the job centre what he should do. He was told to go and sign on then go to his placement. He did as he was told and the employer reported him to the job centre for being late and he got sanctioned for 3 months. 3 months with NO money. It is used as an excuse to make people lose their benefits not to make them work for them.

MacAndCheese Sun 25-Nov-12 00:01:16

I think that some sort of work experience related to the skills/interests and experience of the jobseeker would be a good idea.

But it shouldn't be FT for benefits and with no chance of a job at the end of it. That's exploitation.

I was unemployed until the beginning of November. I'm now a Christmas Temp hoping to be kept on after the festive period. If I don't, at least I'll get a good reference out of it - but if I do get the option I'll be taking it as there aren't any childcare jobs in the local vicinity. I say that there aren't any - a more accurate way of putting it is that nobody wants me.

It wasn't because I was being too choosy that I haven't worked since May hmm it's a sign of the times.

Tortington Sun 25-Nov-12 00:05:50

it really is disgusting. profit making for the rich and limiting the number of ral jobs available for job seekers.

it is really wrong.

I have no objection to the principle of workfare, there are plenty of things one could make the umeployed do - but that would not make tory friends richer and would actually cost money in terms of resources - thinking about the benefit to the volunteer rather than the company

VestaCurry Sun 25-Nov-12 00:06:43

While there's a supply of cheap (ha ha ha did I say 'cheap' I mean FREE!!!!) labour lined up, there will be VERY few jobs that come out of a scheme like this and once someone is unlucky enough to be caught in a job centre's grasp, they'll be shoved out to said scheme ad infinitum because them a box can be ticked to fill a spurious quota for a half-wit minister to spout at a despatch box.

Why? BECAUSE THE MAJORITY OF EMPLYOYERS WILL GET AWAY WITH IT IF THEY CAN AND THEY CAN BECAUSE THERE ARE NO JOBS.

.

Darkesteyes Sun 25-Nov-12 00:06:51

WildWorld and Definate if that were me id be talking to the Guardian.
Definate that employer had a bloody cheek. He was "using" an unemployed person so he must have known he would need "time off" to sign on at some point That employer was an arsehole as well.
WildWorld 3 or 4 placements He must be totally disheartened and demorolized by now. Its sick.

VestaCurry Sun 25-Nov-12 00:08:07

'them' a job.....indeed...then a job

WildWorld2004 Sun 25-Nov-12 00:14:00

I think its getting close to the point where he thinks he will never find a job so whats the point in trying.

ParsingFancy Sun 25-Nov-12 00:30:47

Workfarers not counted as unemployed? When they're receiving JSA?

So the recent "fall in unemployment" might be complete bollocks?

FFS. I know headline figures can be dubious anyway, because they conceal underemployment (part-time jobs), but actively subtracting JSA workfarers is intentional manipulation.

Any chance of a link to details about this, please, Darkesteyes?

Darkesteyes Sun 25-Nov-12 00:43:43

Parsing Fancy I found this.

consent.me.uk/avoidworkfare/stats/

Darkesteyes Sun 25-Nov-12 00:46:42

From the same link.

In accordance with international guidelines, all those in government
supported training and employment programmes are defined as being in
employment. Such people cannot therefore be classified as unemployed as no
one can be both employed and unemployed at the same point in time.
The claimant count measures all people who claim Jobseeker’s Allowance.
The only relevant factor in determining whether someone is in the claimant
count or not is whether or not they are claiming JSA. It is not correct to
say that all people on the claimant count are unemployed.

Darkesteyes Sun 25-Nov-12 00:48:02
Darkesteyes Sun 25-Nov-12 00:49:33
Darkesteyes Sun 25-Nov-12 00:51:44

unemployment figures

You report that unemployment is rising in Scotland while it is falling in the United Kingdom as a whole ("Unemployment in Scotland rises again", The Herald, October 17).

inShare.


Every Government finds new ways to massage the employment figures.

The UK Government is counting people on its Welfare to Work or Workfare programmes as employed, as confirmed by the Department of Work and Pensions and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) replies to freedom of information requests published on the Informed Consent blog at www.consent.me.uk/workfare- unemployed.

Workfare makes unemployed people work unpaid for private firms, including Conservative party donors, or else lose their benefits.

ONS figures, and research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, found half of all people counted as newly employed are on Workfare, government training schemes, or self-employed; mostly in part-time low-paid jobs such as gardening and cleaning, in which they may be worse off, losing benefits they received when unemployed.

The private firms involved are grossly overpaid by the Government, but its own research shows Workfare and training schemes do not help people on them get jobs.

Even on the ONS figures, unemployment was at 2.51 million when this Government came to power in May 2010. It is now at 2.53m, even on their figures.

The DWP admitted last year it had targets for the number of people to be denied benefits, while whistleblowers alleged that staff fear being punished if they don't meet those targets. .

This may explain the fall of 4000 in the Jobseeker's Allowance claimant count.

Duncan McFarlane,

Beanshields Farm,

Braidwood, Carluke

Molepomandmistletoe Sun 25-Nov-12 08:22:40

All workfare is and shall ever be is free labour to those with "links" to the government and a new way to manipulate the unemployment figures.

cheerup Sun 25-Nov-12 08:32:11

I do not get this government's approach to economic recovery. People who work for free have no money to spend nor do those who have been made redundant from the public sector. Private sector employees are ultra aware of job insecurity and so not exactly wanting to splash the cash (with the exception of a relatively small proportion of very well paid professionals in secure careers). So who's shopping and how much of what those who are shopping buy is made in the UK? If we don't buy, sell or make stuff how are things ever going to improve?

Pochemuchka Sun 25-Nov-12 08:50:20

Knew this would be you darkesteyes - glad you keep reminding us of the disgusting practices of these money grabbing companies.

Things desperately need an overhaul.
Anything that is a paid job, needs to be paid.
How can it be justified that two people doing exactly the same job will get such different pay? One only getting their bus fare in some cases!
What about equality?
This is just out and out exploitation and is a step backwards.

I don't think there's any harm doing small community related things for a few hours a week but these companies should not be involved.

I would also like to see a list of the greedy companies who give people 8 - 16 hour contracts and force them to top up their hours with overtime so they can pay less holiday/maternity etc.

I know a few people who rely on increased hours at Christmas and aren't getting them this year. They're being passed over in favour of these work experience placements etc even though they've worked there for years.

WildWorld2004 Sun 25-Nov-12 08:56:16

I am one of those people working under 16 hours. My contract is 8 hours per week & i cant remember the last time i only worked my contract hours. The company expect you to work when they want you & get annoyed if you cant. Some weeks i will be working 10 hours others 20 hours. I cant get another job that will fit in & i cant claim wtc. I am stuck. Why are companies allowed to treat people like this?

FlangelinaBallerina Sun 25-Nov-12 09:27:47

I usually buy a cheap pair of ugg copies from Shoezone for wearing around the house each winter, and so does my mum. Not this year.

DefiniteMaybe has your brother appealed? When did this happen? There is a 1 month deadline for appealing but sometimes they will accept out of time appeals if there is a good reason. He would need to fill in a GL24 form, you can get them online.

DefiniteMaybe Sun 25-Nov-12 10:06:36

He did appeal and got turned down. Hes managed to get some work with an agency now, but it is temporary on a week by week basis. It is proper paid employment though not slave labour like workforce. There have been no seasonal jobs at all advertised in this area.

flow4 Sun 25-Nov-12 10:21:40

No, there are no seasonal jobs here either sad

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.

Add message | Report | Message poster
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.

Darkesteyes Mon 03-Dec-12 15:30:28

Bloody hell Parsing im sorry to hear this. Its fucking disgusting. So if you cant do something because its unsafe they then STOP YOUR MONEY COMPLETELY. How the fuck can this be legal. Its inhumane and what will happen is you will get people who ARE too ill try and struggle to do it and it will cause workplace accidents. Which the Government AND the Dwp will have caused.

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.

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 15:46:45

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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 18:41:19

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.

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.

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

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

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.

Darkesteyes Sun 09-Dec-12 23:13:00
Darkesteyes Sun 09-Dec-12 23:19:52
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.

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 :'(

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?

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.

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 02:50:51

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 02:55:39

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??!!

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 Tue 11-Dec-12 13:29:43

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

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