I haven't committed any crime like this woman has, so why do I have to do 120 hours of unpaid work?

(366 Posts)

confusedangry Woman sentenced to 215 hours of unpaid work for committing benefit fraud. I'm currently having to do 120 hours of unpaid work (30 hours a week for 4 weeks) or I'll lose my benefits. So what's my crime? Being unemployed? Being poor? Completely baffled by this governments policies. confused

tripecity Mon 29-Apr-13 18:13:12

same here, its madness. You are basically being treated like a criminal

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 18:13:14

I totally agree with you.

But this thread will not go well, your going to be insulted and a few Berkshire are going to come on and say ohhh no your not working for free your working for the benefits you already get think yourself lucky you get them because obviously your rolling in it blah blah blah.

I strongly advise you don't let it upset you

WannaBeANinja Mon 29-Apr-13 18:13:23

Your having to do unpaid work to keep your benefits, it's to encourage you to go out and find yourself paid work so the money you receive is in return for you doing something, not nothing.

find a job

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 18:13:36

Berks not Berkshire

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 29-Apr-13 18:15:38

Awesome x-post!

Of course you aren't BU, it's all bollocks is what it is.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 29-Apr-13 18:15:46

The two things are not remotely related. No one is telling you you have committed a crime, or treating you like you have.

ThePinkOcelot Mon 29-Apr-13 18:17:54

Wow, is that people are having to do now?! I didn't realise that.

mymatemax Mon 29-Apr-13 18:17:59

The two things are not related & should not be compared. One is punishment for a crime. If you are actively seeking & available for work then u should be available for unpaid work & any experience you gain will increase your chance of finding future employment. Is there any reason that you dont want to do it?

toomuchtoask Mon 29-Apr-13 18:18:10

I don't see the problem with someone having to work for their benefits (if they are physically able to). Why compare it to committing a crime? Absolutely daft. Nothing in life is free. I have been on benefits in the past and tbh I would have welcomed doing something with my time (as long as it left me with enough time to do job applications). In fact I organised my own voluntary work for several weeks.

Sorry I don't feel sorry for you which is what it seems that you want.

Ha WannaBeANinja I'm applying for OVER 100 JOBS A WEEK! And have been for the past 8 months, I haven't even had an interview yet! Fancy finding a job for me, because obviously the hundreds I'm applying for a month, some how I must be doing it wrong. hmm Oh and my DH was made redundant last year form his civil service job, you know how the government is cutting civil service jobs left right and centre. So they take his job away, we have to claim benefits because well we're not fricking millionaires, and I'm being treated like a criminal. Got to love the Tories haven't you. hmm

JakeBullet Mon 29-Apr-13 18:19:08

Wannabeaninja, while the OP is working for her benefits I am assuming the company in question is not having to fork out for an official employee. Shame as the OP wants a job but isn't likely to get one while companies can get their workers for sod all cost to them. hmm

Yes I'd rather be working 30 hours+ a week for NMW you know the LEGAL minimum wage is £6.19 (I think) yet I'm being paid roughly £1.50 an hour. How is that fair? I'm comparing it because she's being punished by being made to do unpaid work. I'm also being made to do unpaid work, yet I haven't committed a crime. confused

ReluctantlyBeingYoniMassaged Mon 29-Apr-13 18:21:43

Will you have to work alongside those doing it as a punishment?

When I was looking for work after recovering from a breakdown I was expected to work in Pound Land for free over Christmas. There were to be eight of us, with one job available at the end of it. I went into supply teaching instead.

JakeBullet Mon 29-Apr-13 18:21:57

I wouldn't mind working voluntarily between jobs or while I was looking for work. It's all stuff you can add to a CV so might not be totally wasted. It's not comparable to community service at all and you will gain something from it......and you won't have that criminal record either so you are already streets ahead.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 29-Apr-13 18:23:25

If you really have applied for over three thousand jobs in the last 8 months and you haven't even had an interview, then tbh, you probably are doing something wrong.

That's right JakeBullet the shop I'm working in has ONE paid employee, the manageress. The rest of the staff are ALL on Mandatory Work Activity. And the ones who are about to finish their 4 weeks train the newbies who've just started. Their are currently 5 of us on MWA in the shop.

mymatemax Mon 29-Apr-13 18:26:53

Wannabe, have you had advice re your application style & CV. We struggle to recruit for some jobs. Which area are you in. If you are within an hour of our small town there are vacancies.

BreconBeBuggered Mon 29-Apr-13 18:27:07

I'm willing to bet that the repercussions for criminals who don't turn up for their community service aren't as harsh as the ones for benefit claimants who could lose money at the whim of some local manager with sanction targets to meet. Oops, sorry, there are no such targets. IDS said so, so it must be true.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 18:28:34

Even the dwp accept that you are more likely to get a job yourself than via one of the mandatory program's.

Its a bunch of utter wank that actually increases unemployment

ReluctantlyBeingYoniMassaged Mon 29-Apr-13 18:29:24

Cor, that shop is saving a fortune!

Pollydon Mon 29-Apr-13 18:29:25

Yanbu, these companies are gaining an employee for 4 weeks for free! Youshould be getting a taken extra payment from the employer st the very least !

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 18:30:16

If you don't show up for court ordered unpaid then you sweet talk your probation officer get shit loads of chances and as a final resort go back to court.

They even give you a lift to the unpaid work.

seesensepeople Mon 29-Apr-13 18:30:46

I guess it depends whether the experience is valuable and looks good on your cv or increases your experience.
It also depends on whether you can work the 30 hours that fit around any commitments you have - many working mums in paid employment manage to do this (and many don't).
Does it increase your costs or are those covered? I'm thinking any childcare or travel expenses?
Do you have to wear those flourescent jackets on telling the world you are on benefits - the criminals do, it's called Community Payback.
What happens after the four weeks? Do you stand any chance of a proper job at the end? Do you go back to just having to prove you are looking for work? Do you have to do another four weeks in a certain period of time?
What sort of jobs are on offer for these "placements"? Are certain employers taking the mick by repeatedly accessing free labour?
These are all the sort of questions that need answering before we can decide if this is unreasonable or not.

ubik Mon 29-Apr-13 18:31:37


It's shite that you have to do this. I hope you find something soon. Sorry your husband lost his jobflowers

I hope you and your husband are keeping it together in what must be a very stressful situation.

toomuchtoask Mon 29-Apr-13 18:31:59

100 applications a week? Seriously. That's over 14 a day. I mean this kindly and constructively but it's no wonder you aren't getting interviews. They can't be your best quality or tailored if you are doing 1 an hour Cut this back to 2 quality applications a day and I am sure you will reap better rewards. Churning them out will get you nowhere.

lljkk Mon 29-Apr-13 18:32:20

How do you apply for 100 jobs a week?! shock Was that rhetorical?

Honestly not trying to be arsy, but that works out as about half an hour each, which probably just isn't enough time on average. Plus I am very impressed you can even find 100 suitable new jobs/week to apply for. Roughly what area of the country? Are you sure you're targeting your efforts well?

After 8 months, I would have thought you'd welcome a respite from all the pointless applications for 4 weeks, tbh. Is there any chance of a reference on the back of it? Do JSA-people expect you to keep making 50 applications a week while doing the 30 hours?

ubik Mon 29-Apr-13 18:33:19

And I doubt op will get any paid work from this company - why should they employ someone when there is a ready supply of folk being forced to work for free?

ubik Mon 29-Apr-13 18:34:52

Oh dear op, you are about to get your life pulled apart by the armchair experts.

lljkk Mon 29-Apr-13 18:34:56

Wait... OP says she will be paid for this work experience, £1.50/hour?
I've contemplated jobs where that would be my net earnings after transport & childcare.
If it gave me something up to date to put on my cv, I think I'd be pleased at the opportunity.

Dawndonna Mon 29-Apr-13 18:43:04

Clouds in some areas (rural) there really aren't the jobs available. Mind you, there aren't a hundred jobs a week advertised either.

However, I do think the slave labour mentality of this government is wrong.
Homebase supporting slave labour

ravenAK Mon 29-Apr-13 18:43:32


Also, that x post upthread was awesome.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 29-Apr-13 18:44:06

The £1.50/hr is what her JSA works out to over the hours worked.

It's CRAP that you are being made to work for free. It undermines the lower end of the labour market, by giving employers a steady supply of FREE LABOUR.

Why the hell would they pay for staff if they can get them for free? It would be very bad business sense as an employer.

It's utter CRAP for the Jobseeker though - how can they hope to find a NMW job when those NMW jobs actually only now pay £1.50 / hr PAID FOR BY THE GOVERNMENT?!

Vast difference from £6.19 / hr...

The Tories always opposed NMW, now they are abolishing it by the backdoor, by devaluing this labour to just £1.50 / hr.

toomuchtoask Mon 29-Apr-13 18:44:18

ubik - who is pulling anyone's life apart? We are allowed to agree or disagree surely.

ssd Mon 29-Apr-13 18:45:06

I look forward to the time WannaBeANinja loses her job and sees how easy it is to get a new one

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 29-Apr-13 18:46:04

And anyone who previously had a skilled job and is put on any sort of a work program after losing that job is NOT going to have 'something useful' to put on their CV - totally the opposite in fact.

Most employers look at the Work Program placements as a bad thing in an employee they are interviewing!

WannaBeANinja Mon 29-Apr-13 18:47:35

**It's CRAP that you are being made to work for free*

OP is not being made to work for free though is she?? Shed working for the money she receives- her benefits

lljkk Mon 29-Apr-13 18:47:54

Couthy, would it be better if OP could put down on her cv some true voluntary work? Or did I read that people on JSA not allowed to do voluntary work?

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 18:48:03

The £1.50 and hour is what she already gets in benefits and she is expected to pay her transport and any childcare out of that £1.50.

Raum Mon 29-Apr-13 18:49:29

OP if you have applied for that many jobs perhaps your piss poor attitude simply shines through.

Adjust self-important entitlement attitude and perhaps you'll be in with a chance, there is a very good chance that if this placement is your first work experience in a while that it'll help towards a job.

Dawndonna Mon 29-Apr-13 18:50:03

But she shouldn't have to Wanna. It sends out the wrong message to the employers - that they can 'employ' someone, with no union representation, no rights and for nothing. Oh, and the idea of benefits is to tide you over in hard times, not to force you into slave labour. That's why they're called benefits.

I'm going to try and answer all the questions in order. (I guess I asked for it posting in AIBU wink).

I can work the 30 hours as DH is currently doing the childcare whilst I do it. (Although he's next on the jobcentre's list, even though he's been in paid work for the last 10 years hmm). I'm getting travel expenses back, yes. No I don't have to wear a fluorescent jacket, but I do have to wear a tag around my neck saying "JC Volunteer". (Even though I'm not volunteering hmm). No chance of a job at the end of it, it's a charity shop. I still have to prove I'm looking for work whilst doing the MWA, I also have to be available for work at all times without it interfering with the MWA. (How that's possible I don't know. confused) I just go back to signing on after it's finished (and still have to sign on during it too). I think I have to do another round of MWA at some time in the future if I haven't found work in a certain time period. There are currently 5 of us on MWA working in the shop. A new one starts every week.

ubik thank you

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 18:51:13

Couthy is correct they are a bad thing on a cv AND most refuse to provide a reference.

And yes she is effectively working for free but at the same time she's reducing employment and allowing companies to exploit workers and costing the tax payer more and she has no choice about it.

WilsonFrickett Mon 29-Apr-13 18:54:40

If you are genuinely applying for 100's of jobs a week and not getting an interview, then there's something wrong with your CV. If you fancy pm-ing me I can take a look at it for you (obvs take your personal details out if you're not comfortable sharing them). I blardy hate this dressed-up excuse for slave labour. Why in the name of arse should companies employ people for real if they get the labour for free????

toomuchtoask Mon 29-Apr-13 18:55:11

I don't think you understand what slave labour actually is Dawndonna.

This is only for a 4 week period and the benefits are still tiding her over. Don't want to do the 4 weeks work then don't get benefits. Pretty simple really.

It is however sad that the bad attitude of a minority of people (e.g. those who see benefits as a way of life -and yes there are some before people jump down my throat) has ended up meaning everyone has to be treated as if they don't want to work.

K8Middleton Mon 29-Apr-13 18:55:40

The whole thing is scandalous. Nobody benefits other than the shareholders of these organisations.

I'd rather my taxes were not being used to subsidise: low paying employers; employers who use workfare instead of employing people properly or private landlords.

It is disgraceful.

WannaBeANinja Mon 29-Apr-13 18:56:32

**But she shouldn't have to Wanna**

why shouldn't she???

I need/want money-I go out and work for that money.

I find the 100 job applications a day and no reply slightly hard to believe aswell,

What type of work Are you applying for? If your answering adverts for work that you are not qualified/experienced in then it's understandable that you are not getting replys.

I really don't mean to be unkind and I'm sorry about your circumstances but surely either you or your husband can find a job-any job so that you don't have to claim benefits and then get sent to do unpaid work as you call it

tomuchtoask A portion of them probably aren't up to scratch TBH. I apply for the ones I think I have a hope in hell of getting (and they're mostly MW) I put effort into those ones. Then there are ones that don't require an actual application form just a CV. I try to tailor my CV as much as possible but I've been a SAHM for over 10 years so that's the thing that's going against me atm. My CV was done by the jobcentre after I went on a one day course with them. I also went on a 10 week course earlier this year with the jobcentre to get a recent qualification.

The thing is, I want a job. I would be quite happy to volunteer somewhere that I thought would be useful in gaining some experience and would lead to a job at the end. I was lead to believe by the jobcentre that I wasn't allowed to volunteer as it would effect my jobseeker's agreement (or something). But then just before my advisor put me on MWA she told me I should have been volunteering, even though I was told I couldn't. I'm doing shop work at the moment, I've done shop work before. All the things I'm apparently learning on my placement I can do with my eyes closed. I'm learning nothing new. The same on the course they sent me on, a retail course. For 10 weeks I was told all these wonderful things about retail, things I already know, because I used to work in retail. And at the end of it I didn't even get a qualification. hmm

andubelievedthat Mon 29-Apr-13 19:01:07

And as they do not employ you/anyone ,there is no N.I. >Tax ,so no ,it does not benefit this country one bit ,it merely makes the Daily snaill readers ,of which this site has more than its fair share off ,feel smug.

By recent qualification I can basically put on my CV that I went on a retail course, but there's no actual recognised qualification there.

BenjaminButton172 Mon 29-Apr-13 19:01:34

These types of threads annoy me.

The reason they annoy me is because people comment and dont have a clue what they are talking about.

The work program IS slave labour. If it was 'working for your benefits' u would only have to work roughly 10 hours a week for ur 71 pounds jsa at nmw.

For that 71 u have to pay ur childcare as the jobcentre dont pay for childcare, working tax credits do and u dont get them despite working 30 hours a week.

You get NOTHING at the end of it. No job, no thanks and probably no reference either.

I wish people would open their eyes to the work program.

Dawndonna Mon 29-Apr-13 19:01:36

erm, Wanna because of the reasons listed above. I understand that there are people out there who think those on benefits are 'entitled' etc. but slave labour doesn't help anyone other than the company 'employing'. That is not good. It means that in the long run we all lose. We lose the right to union representation, maternity/paternity leave, the right to a decent wage/work environment etc. It is a dangerous path to follow.

PregnantPain Mon 29-Apr-13 19:02:32

I'm childish and would refuse to wear anything that stated I was 'volunteering' when it was not the case.

Raum I think you'll find your the one with the piss poor attitude. hmm

ajandjjmum Mon 29-Apr-13 19:04:44

It's a charity shop - no shareholders benefitting!

ParsingFancy Mon 29-Apr-13 19:06:18

Who's making you wear the "JC volunteer" badge?

It's demonstrably untrue, and I wonder if it might constitute false advertising or fraud, or something.

BenjaminButton172 Mon 29-Apr-13 19:07:13

AJ yes OP may be working for a charity shop but its not only charity shops who do the work program.


Have u heard of them?

WannaBeANinja Mon 29-Apr-13 19:08:37

**The work program IS slave labour. If it was 'working for your benefits' u would only have to work roughly 10 hours a week for ur 71 pounds jsa at nmw.

For that 71 u have to pay ur childcare as the jobcentre dont pay for childcare, working tax credits do and u dont get them despite working 30 hours a week.**

if she was working 30 hours a week it wouldn't be £71 a week though would it??

I work,I pay my taxes & childcare & rent & so on and so on...

Why should I do this and yet others think they don't have too.

yet again-it's not unpaid work,she's working for her benefits!

Ledkr Mon 29-Apr-13 19:09:45

wannabe do you receive any benefits at all?
Even child benefit is a benefit.
How would you feel if you had to do a days work just to get it?
And we all pay tax not just you and the op and her husband have also so don't take it too personally eh.

ParsingFancy Mon 29-Apr-13 19:09:48

At less than the legal Minimum Wage, and in a job she has been mandated to do, rather than one she is free to leave.

AThingInYourLife Mon 29-Apr-13 19:10:48

You have committed a crime.

You are unem

ParsingFancy Mon 29-Apr-13 19:10:52

Name and shame "charity". They'll have nowt out of me.

ReluctantlyBeingYoniMassaged Mon 29-Apr-13 19:10:52

I'd feel a bit better working in a charity shop than the others mentioned.

WouldBeHarrietVane Mon 29-Apr-13 19:11:22

Sorry op I can see that is miserable for you, but I broadly agree with the policy. Benefits are not free, they are funded by our taxes and for too long some people have deliberately failed to find jobs and lived off benefits as a life choice.

However, I think the jobs jobseekers do should be public sector jobs - eg street sweeping, cleaning hospitals etc.

I vote labour, come from the north and DH was recently made redundant - before anyone tries to say I'm from Berkshire!

I employed somebody on an apprenticeship programme last year. They had applied for nearly 100 jobs before getting the interview. (That's really 100 btw, not the OP's blatent exaggeration). The job centre had placed them on a work experience programme in a charity shop. They enjoyed the work and carried on volunteering there one day a week when it finished. This gave them current experience and a bloody good reference from the shop manager. They worked for me for a year for apprentice wage before getting a decent paid job within the same organsisation. 6 months later they've got another job at even better pay. The experience in the charity shop was the pebble that rolled down the hill and is now a well paid boulder with a good career. Work experience programmes are not always a bad idea though I agree that for profit organisations are exploiting them.

Babyroobs Mon 29-Apr-13 19:12:51

Sorry to read what you are going through op, it sounds really tough . The job market at the moment is just awful especially when you have been a sahm for a number of years, you are up against so much competition. really hope things improve soon for you.

ParsingFancy Mon 29-Apr-13 19:14:18


And what will happen to the people currently being paid wages to sweep the streets and clean hospitals, HarrietVane?

Oh, they'll suddenly be "jobseekers". Seeking jobs that have been abolished and replaced with workfarers.

Wanna If you ever lose your job I take it you'll be happy to work for £1.50 an hour? And I take it you'll do it with a smile on your face and a spring in your step? FWIW I was also a taxpayer until I became a SAHM, DH has been a taxpayer for 22 years. This is the FIRST time he's ever had to claim unemployment benefit.

DH is also applying for numerous jobs a week, MW jobs too. He has recent experience and he also hasn't even had an interview in the past 8 months. One of us needs to be at home at least part time because dd1 is autistic. So we're both applying for full time jobs atm, and the plan is supposed to be the first one of us that manages to get a full time job takes it, and the other then starts to look for part time work.

My hospital could do with more cleaners. And people helping people to eat and get their meals whilst it's hot too.

AThingInYourLife Mon 29-Apr-13 19:16:29

You are unemployed and claiming benefits.

Misfortune is your own fault and you need to be punished to convince you not to continue on the path of hard luck.

It's important to make an example of you to keep the people who have low-paid jobs from being too uppity.

They're scroungers too and need to be kept in their place.

YoniOrNotYoni Mon 29-Apr-13 19:16:31

I mean this kindly op, but something is wrong if you're applying for that many jobs and not getting any interviews. I'm no enployment expert but I've never 'just sent a cv' for any application; I've always tailored the cv & covering letter very specifically for the job I want. I suspect you'd be better off applying for ten jobs a week but ensuring the application is spot on.

Northernlurker have one of these. biscuit

Convert Mon 29-Apr-13 19:18:57

My DH runs a pub and has had an advert in the job centre for three weeks now for chefs. He has had two applicants. One of them did a three hour trial shift and decided that he didn't want to come back. Yes it's hard work, yes it's minimum wage, but finding staff who actually want to work and don't turn up late every day and ring in sick once a week is a nightmare.
I think it's a great idea to make people do some work if they are able to. Might make people less picky about a job. Why should people get something for nothing when others are working their arses off?

Ledkr Mon 29-Apr-13 19:19:17

Arf at " our taxes"
The op has also paid tax.
Cameron's army are alive and well.

LEMisdisappointed Mon 29-Apr-13 19:19:37

Deadwomanwalking - i haven't read all the thread but i daresay there has been the stock of "entitled" comments on here.

I understand your frustration, but could you possibly try to find some positives? You are getting recent skills to put on your CV, if you are imaginative then you can make even the most generic work show off a useful skill set.

I am struggling to find work too so i sympathise, however I am probably going to do a stint of voluntary work to get back on the horse. I've done it before and i really enjoyed it. The difference for me is that it was on MY terms, it was for a friend not a charity but it was a project i enjoyed and geve me something recent for my CV. I don't think i would have been so positive if i were stacking shelves for £1.50 an hour.

Where abouts do you work?

The thing is like I said upthread if I'd known I was allowed to bloody well volunteer I would have been from the start. I wouldn't be volunteering for this charity though because I don't like the fact that they support workfare. I've been looking at volunteer jobs for when my MWA is finished, there are quite a few that would help me get a job. I most certainly won't be volunteering for AgeUK after being forced to work for them.

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 29-Apr-13 19:20:39

Is this the first work placement you've had to do OP? If so, maybe look at as 120 hours over the 8 months you've been unemployed.

£71 a week for 30 hours work is terrible, but if you've been receiving £71 a week over the last 8 months that's £2272 in benefits (rounding down to a 4 week month). If you divide that by the 120 hours you're working it actually works out as £18.93 per hour. Reasonable by anyones standard.

I agree with you that companies shouldn't be benefiting from free workers, but I think it's a good idea to have work placements in charity shops and the like that are normally staffed by volunteers.

Oh that's nice OP. Thanks a lot. You didn't appreciate my pointing out that your placement may have a positive effect on your situation then? hmm

You have NOT applied for 100 jobs a week for 8 months. You just haven't. I would have had a lot more sympathy for you without that absurdity.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 19:22:29

if she was working 30 hours a week it wouldn't be £71 a week though would it??

Yes it is,what else do you call working 30 hours and getting paid £71 for it?

YoniornotYoniyou're right I would be better off just applying for around 10 hours a week and putting loads of effort into it. Unfortunately the jobcentre expect me to show that I've taken over 56 steps a week to apply for jobs, I have to do this on top of MWA.

CuntAlors Mon 29-Apr-13 19:23:01

I can't believe some people on here. How can anyone possibly believe that forcing people to do unpaid work, therefore allowing companies to fill job spaces for free, be a good thing? Who would pay for a piece of cake when the stall next door is giving it away for free? This fucked up idea of shitness is cutting the amount of available jobs. Fucking stupid bastard notion.

WannaBeANinja Mon 29-Apr-13 19:23:13

*Wanna If you ever lose your job I take it you'll be happy to work for £1.50 an hour? And I take it you'll do it with a smile on your face and a spring in your step?*

yep, I'll also whistle smile

no I obv won't, like I've said in not trying to be horrible to you- I am very sorry that your in this position.

but it doesn't change that it's not unpaid work.
both you ad your DH must be applying for 200 jobs a day by your statement previously. And neither of you have had even a sniff of paid
work?? If I was in your position I would accept any job just so I was earning my own money again. Even a job that I may now think I wouldn't dream of doing- needs must. is this what you are doing or are happy to receive benefits untill your dream Job comes along??

Wanna I never said a day, I said a week.

WannaBeANinja Mon 29-Apr-13 19:29:05

200 a week then, is this what you are both applying for??

what about my other points?? Or are they correct so you are not going to pick up on them?

Yes Wanna that is what we're doing, from 6 hours a week cleaning jobs to factory jobs, admin jobs, retail jobs, civil service jobs, DH applying for driving jobs, I would but I can't drive, chugger jobs, street cleaning jobs, (they're actually quite well paid), night work, shift work, day work, etc etc etc.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 19:31:03

Perhaps she's choosing to ignore them because they are ignorant

BenjaminButton172 Mon 29-Apr-13 19:31:39

Can i just add that when you do the work program you do not get any extra money.

You get standard jsa which is 71 pound a week.

No one would work for a company For 30 hours a week and only getting paid 1.50 an hour and be happy about it.

Also childcare jobs, binmen jobs, hospital porter jobs, ward cleaner jobs, warehouse jobs, bar jobs, waitressing jobs, kitchen staff jobs...

YoniOrNotYoni Mon 29-Apr-13 19:32:02

Can those 56 steps include 'saw job advert', 'requested details', 'tailored cv', 'wrote covering letter', 'got covering letter proof read', 'sent application', 'followed up application', etc? (so 8 stages per job before you're invited for interview?) [Clueless emoticon]

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 19:32:36

Op look at the top of your screen next to your sign out button.

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 29-Apr-13 19:33:07

If this is the only placement in 8 months, it doesn't really work out at £71 a week does it? There were all the other weeks with no work. Average it out over the time spent unemployed and it seems much more reasonable.

NorthernLurker I apologise. I just saw the apparently in your post and saw red.

WannaBeANinja Mon 29-Apr-13 19:33:39

not ignorant-just enquiring about how op and her husband are applying for a huge amount of jobs a week and yet neither of them can get one?? I find it odd

mymatemax Mon 29-Apr-13 19:34:18

There are jobs if you are willing to do anything, work shit hours, split shifts, crappy work etc.
Unfortunately there is a difference between being able to find a job that you want to do and being able to find any job at all.
If this scheme makes people take a job that they would otherwise refuse then its worthwhile.
Local hotels struggle to find, pot wash people, chambermaids
The supermarket struggles to find people willing to work some shifts
A local industrial site has been advertising for ages for the contract cleaning company.
There are jobs, may not be ideal but its work & it pays money.

LEMisdisappointed Mon 29-Apr-13 19:34:40

What are you having to do for your job now?

Sock thanks I'll have a read.

WannaBeANinja Mon 29-Apr-13 19:35:49

I was on a training scheme, i worked 30 hours a week for £30 a week so £1 an hour.

I admit it was approx ten years ago and j had no dependants or rent to pay but I'm Just showing that people do do it


Loulybelle Mon 29-Apr-13 19:36:16

I've already done a MWA, 7 months on JSA no interviews, cant sign into my Universal jobmatch account, and had a missed called from the Jobcentre, now im on edge about what its about.

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 19:37:35

I disagree with you OP, wouldn't go as far to say YABU mind.

Doing work means you get some activity on you're CV, and shows employers your willing to work and put the hours in.

mymatemax I've applied for tonnes of those jobs. I applied for my local Asda, did the online tests, didn't get through and now I can't apply with them for next 6 months according to their website.

mymatemax Mon 29-Apr-13 19:39:07

sorry OP, see that you ahve said that you are willing to do anything. Just i find it so frustrating when i cant get staff yet there are loads claiming JSA locally

IneedAyoniNickname Mon 29-Apr-13 19:39:28

Ad I haven't managed to get into uni as planned, and will be joining the world of the job seeker when college finishes, I'm worried! sad

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 29-Apr-13 19:40:00

OP is this the only placement you've had in 8 months? Or have you had to do a previous workfare placement?

usualsuspect Mon 29-Apr-13 19:40:35

It is incredibly difficult to get a supermarket job. Over 200 people applied for a few jobs when tesco opened a store near me. Many retail jobs are short hour contracts.many hotel jobs are done by agency workers on zero hour contracts. I don't think you know what you are talking about.

Maxium12 Mon 29-Apr-13 19:41:56

Serious question, not just knocking the situation.

How is long someone on JSA before being asked to do this?

Once you have done your 120 hrs over 4 weeks, do you carry on getting the JSA and are not asked to do this again?

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 19:42:09

The resturant I work in supports job fare, they are not included in the staff rota, they are a working as a extra. They learn every aspect of the role, including management, we currently have two, one finished his placement about 4 months ago but comes in twice a week, and even weekends, to get more experience.

The other tbh is a waste of space, never turns in or is late by a few hours etc....

LEMisdisappointed Mon 29-Apr-13 19:42:50

"entitlement" - yawn

OP - just look for the positives, seriously, if its AgeUK and you are working weith the old folk you are at least interacting with people, gaining skills - yes, i'd feel taken the piss out of, but i'd rather be working for a charity like this than tesco or the likes, THAT indeed does take the piss.

I feel your pain with the loads of job interviews, it sounds like you are doing what i did and applying online for everything and anything - it really does pay to taylor CVs, but to be honest, its a bloody lottery. DP has just got work as a carpenter for an agency - he was called out of the blue because it was a "social housing" contract - He happened to have the words "social housing" on his CV that he had registered with a jobsite probably over a year ago and forgot about - they probably did a keyword search. Its worth printing out the person spec and matching keywords - i have done this in the past, sometime it work sometimes it doesn't. Ive also done the apply for everything thing too - its disheartenning, i hope you or you DH find something soon.

WannaBeANinja Mon 29-Apr-13 19:42:52

I'd rather be on short hour contracts than benefits. How about you op....

mercibucket Mon 29-Apr-13 19:44:02

And back to the ops original point

You claim benefits fraudulently. If, if, you get caught, you have to work for free for a bit. If you don't get caught, you have to work for free for a bit.

You claim benefits legitimately. You have to work for free for a bit

I'm not seeing the 'punishment' aspect of the benefit fraud. It kind of looks the same as what would have happened anyway.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 29-Apr-13 19:46:33

Two totally different scenarios OP. You are expected to take part in the work scheme as you have been claiming for x number of weeks. Given you have been a SAHM for 10 years then you need the experience for your CV. If you are submitting 100 applications and getting nowhere then you need all the extra help you can get.

Am surprised you actually qualify for JSA as you have not been pying tax for some years but presumably its a joint income based claim. Be thankful that we have a system in place, other countries have it far worse.

If neither of you are working then its not just JSA you will be claiming so not quite as low a rate per hour as you make out.

usualsuspect Mon 29-Apr-13 19:46:41

I'd rather the OP got paid a wage for doing a job and the companies didn't get free labour.

How about you..

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 19:47:17

With MWP they can send you on as many as they wish they can also send you to courses and the private companies that run the have the power to sanction someone with very limited recourse.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 29-Apr-13 19:48:13

I would suggest that if she has to work to earn her benefit the. She should get her NI contributions to date refunded. No? Well what are those for then?

Eight months out of work. Months, not years.
Mandatory slavery Work Experience erodes the employment market why big business is involved. Retail is loving it, what with automated tills and free staff their shareholders can really rake it in! Kerching!

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 19:48:30

Having MWP on a cv does not help. It can hinder future employment

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 29-Apr-13 19:48:48

AgeUK are staffed by volunteers (apart from management) though, so in this instance a company are not getting free labour where they would have normally employed someone.

Totally agree that Tesco, Homebase etc shouldn't be allowed to use free workers.

usualsuspect Mon 29-Apr-13 19:49:00

My DS did workfare over Xmas for poundland. They didn't have to employ any temp Xmas staff.

Win win for them.

WannaBeANinja Mon 29-Apr-13 19:49:15

do you get housing benefit op? Is this why you won't take a short hour contract??

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 29-Apr-13 19:49:31

Convert - if you are offering NMW for chef, that might be why you are struggling to fill the job. My Ex earns £17k+ working as a sous chef on the NHS. He certainly wouldn't apply for a NMW job, no matter how much he wants to get out if the job he's in!

NMW is not an appropriate wage for a chef with any sort of experience. So that will be why you are struggling to find decent applicants.

The only chefs that would be willing to work for NMW are those fresh out of Catering college or those that have been sacked from previous places for poor timekeeping or other stuff. Or are just rubbish at their jobs.

If you want to attract decent staff, offer a decent wage!

mymatemax Mon 29-Apr-13 19:50:45

Having spent many years as a hotel manager & now working in a large industrial site employing everyone from scientists to drain clearers, chefs, & toliet attendants I completely know what I am talking about.
We also contract out many services so have many people working on site who are on unequal terms and conditions.

We had 60 applicants for one Very well paid, Semi skilled, perm position employed directly by our organisation. Many did not meet the minimum requirements, application form not completed properly etc.
However they would perhaps of been suitable for one of 8 fixed term contract positions we had, lower paid (but still well over the min wage) & with some of the standard company benifits, unskilled, early start, hard graft.
We had 13 applications, of these 3 had been force to attend by the jobcentre (one was pissed).
One had such lengthy convictions he was not employable on our site
In the end we successfully recruited 5 & have re advertised.

One has left because & i quote "its fcking hard graft & cold, & I've got to pay my own fckign rent & got nothing left for meself"

landofsoapandglory Mon 29-Apr-13 19:51:40

Some people's attitudes are so disgusting it is unreal.

There are more unemployed people at the moment because of the state of the economy. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. Therefore, it makes no sense whatsoever to put people into vacancies for no money, just for the sake of "experience" and to appease the Daily Fail readers.

If this ridiculous scheme was scrapped, companies would all of a sudden have job vacancies again. People would be employed, paying taxes instead of claiming benefits.

I, also, don't want big companies like Tesco, Homebase and Poundland to be able to increase their profits further by using free workers.

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 19:51:41

Why does it hinder future employment?

The lad who works for us, doesn't think it does, he got the job he currently has (only 12 hrs a week) because of working through us. Next month he will be made a full time perement worker.

Wanna did you miss the bit were I said I was applying for 6 hour a week cleaning jobs?

usualsuspect are you talking about me not knowing what I'm talking about? I don't understand that part of your post.

HappyMummy you're right we should be grateful for what we get being feckless workshy scroungers. (Even though DH was a respectable taxpayer for 22 years). hmm

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 29-Apr-13 19:52:17

NorthernLurker - the problem with that is the fact that someone like the OP, who already has a family to support, including a DC with Autism, cannot 'do a year as an apprentice' as they won't be able to survive on an apprentice's wages.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 19:53:22

Because loads of employers ( the type who pay low wages) have no idea who gets sent on MWP they think it means either criminal or very long term bum.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 19:54:11

Wait a sec. The op is a Carer,

She should be protected from MWP looks like the dwp have fucked up her claim.

NoWayPedro Mon 29-Apr-13 19:54:31

Mandatory work activity is a terrible name though, sounds like something straight from Shawshank Redemption.

I personally think its a good thing assuming you actually get some decent experience/learn something new or keep up to date with a skill. I am annoyed some companies treat it like free labour though as they do with interns. GL OP - go to the employment boards and get some tips on your CV.

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 29-Apr-13 19:54:38

deadwoman is this the only placement you have been asked to do in 8 months?

Tortington Mon 29-Apr-13 19:55:03

that's done it for me wanna - telling someone to just get a job

i am truly disgusted

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 19:55:37

No they don't, not at all, expecially in this area, maybe for yours however.

However I wouldn't generalise, because simply it isn't true.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 29-Apr-13 19:55:46

Altinkum - someone with a family to support cannot do just 12 hours for X amount of time, because they would be unable to claim TC's in order to help support their family.

Do while what you have offered this 'lad' may be suitable for him, it is on no way suitable for someone looking for work that will support a family.

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 19:56:14

Also future employers don't have to know it was through the benefit workfare either.

EnlightenedOwl Mon 29-Apr-13 19:56:37

What about office work? Medical secretary, legal secretary. I know there are jobs in the legal secretarial field - if you haven't got the skills, look at training opportunities.

usualsuspect Mon 29-Apr-13 19:56:43

No I was talking to my matemax

inabeautifulplace Mon 29-Apr-13 19:57:39

"There are jobs if you are willing to do anything, work shit hours, split shifts, crappy work etc."

No there are not, not always and not for everyone. I'll point out the obvious; Between 2008 and 2009 the unemployment rate went from 5% to 8%, where it has remained ever since. Did we suddenly acquire lots more lazy people, or has it become more difficult to get a job? If it's more difficult, then it's exponentially so for those like SAHM who are less employable at face value (not right, but realistic) than someone with continuous employment.

Workfare has to be the most idiotic government policy I've seen for a long time. Again, I'll point out the obvious; Workfare means that all taxpayers have to contribute towards benefits for a given work position. Most of these work positions would otherwise have been paid for by the employer at NMW. The rest would be for voluntary positions. Can't see the reasoning behind forcing people at random to fill these positions either.

OP, you have my sympathy. Keep knocking on the door and something will come up. And this shower of bastards will be out of office soon enough ;)

landofsoapandglory Mon 29-Apr-13 19:58:05

I bet all those on this thread who are in employment and think this scheme is a good idea, will change their tune if they lose their job and get put on it!

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 19:58:48

Yes, but he's only a young lad and accepted any role that was offered to him. After working for them he was then told he was getting a fixed perm full time position.

However I was not talking about his hours, I was talking about getting experience on your CV, I just used him as a example, that he got another job, due to his experience of working with us.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 19:58:55

I'm going to shout now


She should also be exempt from active job seeking and should be claiming ESA in the not actively seeking group.

ubik Mon 29-Apr-13 19:59:19

according to April 2013 Labour Market survey there are 495,000 jobs available. there are 2,563,000 unemployed and 6,884,000 underemployed.

Tortington Mon 29-Apr-13 19:59:36

if there is a job

pay for a job

otherwise it is slavery

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 29-Apr-13 19:59:47

Have I missed the bit where she said she was a carer?

rainbowslollipops Mon 29-Apr-13 20:00:10

There's a lot of jobs in your area op than there is in mine. There wasn't even 100 advertised each week. I was on jsa for 6 months. Single parent. dd at school. Volunteered in a charity shop whilst looking for work. Became a dinner lady that doesn't pay during holidays and I only ended up with 200 a month from it. Found another job in care work (never worked with elderly before) and I start training tomorrow for the job. They were the only jobs I got interviews for. 2 out of I don't know how many. I kind of get what you're saying but surely if you're applying for over 100 a week for example there must be a interview in.there somewhere.

usualsuspect Mon 29-Apr-13 20:00:18

You can dress it up anyway you like.It's still free labour at the expense of real jobs.

mymatemax Mon 29-Apr-13 20:00:33

Usualsuspect - I totally know what i am talking about.. I dont know much but i do know about the job market & recruitment

Outraged yes this is the first placement I've been sent on.

Enlightened office work is actually what I want to do. I would love to be a legal secretary. The problem is training to be a legal secretary is a full time course, (I've looked) and if I go on a full time course I'll lose my JSA. It is something I'd like to get into though, and when I've (eventually) got a job I'm going to look into training to be a legal secretary possibly at night school.

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 29-Apr-13 20:01:04

Custardo if the OP was paid minimum wage it wouldn't be slavery would it?

Tortington Mon 29-Apr-13 20:01:33

http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=2414 boycott workfare]]
wo weeks ago, it emerged that Homebase is taking on tens of workfare placements in their Haringey store: 750 hours of unpaid work in just one week in just one of Homebase’s 342 shops.

A week later, a Homebase poster was leaked: it showed managers boasting about how they have been able to cut the wages bill with workfare. Then a staff member told us what it had meant for staff: overtime cut for everyone and some people’s hours reduced cut from 48 down to 8.

Sorry usualsuspect I've just realised that.

Tortington Mon 29-Apr-13 20:01:53
Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 20:02:06

I was going by the OP.

Hence why I said I wouldn't go as far to say she was being UR. If she is a Carer why is she being made to do this?

Tortington Mon 29-Apr-13 20:02:39

this is a policy to get poor people to make rich people a shit load richer without paying them

if there is a job of work to do

pay them a living fucking wage

NoWayPedro Mon 29-Apr-13 20:03:26

I was just going to suggest college or other training. So how does that work then if you lose JSA - why? Do you not get other bursaries or something instead?

Genuine question as I don't know. Hardly encourages anyone to retrain or develop their career.

mymatemax Mon 29-Apr-13 20:03:29

ALTHOUGH Usual supsect... what i didnt realise is that you could chose to be a SAHM for 10 yrs & then suddenly chose to sign on & claim JSA.

If every SAHM suddenly decided to claim JSA then the number of unemployed would be unimaginable

Tortington Mon 29-Apr-13 20:04:42

its not about giving people opportunities

its about making business owners richer - tory votes

Altinkum I've only just today got a letter saying I'm entitled to Carer's Allowance. Will be going to the jobcentre this week to see what they say.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 20:05:41

She has a child with autism previous threads surgest its significant enough to qualify dc as disabled and her OR her dh as a Carer

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 29-Apr-13 20:05:42

Thing is, the OP, despite being a Carer, HASN'T said that she expects not to work. What she HAS said is that both her and her DH are currently seeking FT work, then whoever is still unemployed will then look for PT work, so as to still be available to care for their DS with Autism.

That's NOT the actions of a scrounger, or someone not wanting to have employment. Those are the actions of a family that really wants to support themselves, whilst still being able to care for their DS with Autism.

Tortington Mon 29-Apr-13 20:06:27

well said couthy

BenjaminButton172 Mon 29-Apr-13 20:07:40

Mymatemax OP said her husband had also lost his job so maybe she was forced to claim JSA and look for a job. Maybe she didnt CHOOSE to just suddenly claim JSA.

fluffiphlox Mon 29-Apr-13 20:09:18

Keep your head down and do your time ( i know you're not a criminal). I've done my share of retail by the way, in the dim and distant, so I know of what I speak. Four weeks goes quickly. And if you really are applying for 100 jobs per week and not getting any where, you need to have a good look at your CV or get somebody who knows what they are doing to look at with you. (Not a job centre person probably, somebody unthread volunteered to have a look at it for you.) I think you need to be more targeted in your approach, either by sector or by type of job.
Is there anything you could do on a self-employed basis? what qualifications do you have? Can you get any? What do you do all day when you're not working? Can those activities be translated into skills or attributes for a CV? You know time management, organising a team, prioritising?

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 29-Apr-13 20:09:49

As long as they don't ask her and her DH to go on workfare at the same time then there is someone at home for their DD though?

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 20:10:33

Most people will go by the OP, I still think workfare is a good idea, they are not doing jobs for free, in my opinion, thy are gaining valuable experience, and to be that is worth a lot.

Doing my degree I worked for experience, a lot more than 30 hours a week too, I wish I got paid £70 odd pound. That way I wouldn't have need the night time job to house and feed me too.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 20:11:03

Op go to the job centre tomorrow and take the letter with you they will amend your claim, it may take a few weeks to sort out

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 29-Apr-13 20:11:05

Have you considered childminding OP?

archilles Mon 29-Apr-13 20:11:57

There's some smug comments here. Any of you ever been unemployed within the last few years?

I have noticed that the higher the earner, the easier they seem to think is to find a job. Would you be happy to be treated like this?

Thought not.

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 29-Apr-13 20:12:12

I still don't think it actually works out at £71 for 30 hours work when you factor in all the weeks when no work is required.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 20:12:16

No outraged.

One member of a couple will be exempt from seeking work at all. You cannot split it between 2 people

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 20:12:55

Do many employers get to do that?

Average out your hours so it suits them?

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 29-Apr-13 20:13:07

'Would you be happy to be treated like this?'

In a charity shop, yes.

For Poundland, Tesco, Homebase, no.

Tortington Mon 29-Apr-13 20:14:09

i have had people with masters degrees applying for admin or child supervisory roles.

try competing with that if you haven't got the work history

Smudging Mon 29-Apr-13 20:14:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

landofsoapandglory Mon 29-Apr-13 20:14:36

Altinkum, if they got rid of this ridiculous scheme the people on it wouldn't need benefits because there would jobs there for them to be employed in! You know, legitimate jobs that pay them a wage, that gives them a sense of self worth at the end of the day!

If there is a vacancy fill it and pay the person a legal wage for the work they do!

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 29-Apr-13 20:15:00

'Do many employers get to do that?

Average out your hours so it suits them?'

No, but it doesn't change the fact that when you compare total money paid out and total hours worked, it's much more than the £1.50 an hour being quoted here.

You would support it if they worked 10 hours a week, every week instead?

Smudging Mon 29-Apr-13 20:15:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 29-Apr-13 20:16:19

Fantastic, Altkin. So if you we're to lose that job, then be made to do it for benefits that would be ok with you?

Because that actually happened to one poundland employee. A same store she got made redundant from, too.

Oh, and anyone thought that maybe the OP is finding it hard to find work because of fitting it round her caring duties? Many careers cannot work at all because of them. Like me.

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 20:17:09

Achilles, yes, only 8 month ago to be exact.

I left my job as as a social worker (CPO) and became a cleaner, the sacked me because my son needed emergency surgery, (I won a unfair dismissal case) and was unemployed for 6 months, I couldn't face going my to my professional career, nor was my job open anymore.

Dh and I really struggled, didn't have enough to pay mortgage I applied for everything going, I took the first job I was offered. I've been there 8 months now.

HollyBerryBush Mon 29-Apr-13 20:18:29

& pages is too long to read and absorb all points.

Op - are you on benefits and fit for work?

If so, then I'm afraid I think you should earn them, in the same way the fraudster you linked to should work to pay them back.

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 20:18:39

Yes it would be ok with me, I currently volunteer now for unpaid work, I gain experience away from the catering industry, so me that is valuable,

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 29-Apr-13 20:19:45

Holly no, actually she's a Carer and shouldn't actually have to do mwp but hey ho.

raisah Mon 29-Apr-13 20:19:49

We are getting in temps at the moment to fill 6 positions, we are using Brook Street temping agency who are good at sending us temps who will eventually become permanent wirh us. Have a look at guardian careers for advice

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 29-Apr-13 20:20:30

So losing your paid job and then being made to return to the same place to do it for JSA is ok.

Are you sane?

edam Mon 29-Apr-13 20:20:45

The OP makes an entirely reasonable point, that the unemployed are being treated as if they are criminals. It's horrible. There are more than 2.5m unemployed. Does anyone seriously think there are jobs available for all of them?

And it is also true that people on the work programme are less likely to get a job than those who are job hunting under their own scheme. This scheme is costing us money, cutting jobs and keeping people out of work, not helping them into it. The only reason it exists is to punish the unemployed - picking on the victims of this government's failed economic policies.

Why should big business get free labour at the expense of taxpayers and the unemployed? At the expense of job opportunities? Because while the OP and people like her are working in shops, the companies need fewer workers, not more.

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 29-Apr-13 20:23:15

Would everyone support it if only charities and jobs normally done by volunteers were allowed to use workfare?

raisah Mon 29-Apr-13 20:23:47

On improving your c.v The open university has a free module site called open learn , you could complete a few of the skills unit to update your skills & c.v.

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 20:24:18

There is NO jobs as my work, if someone left tomorrow, the workfare lad would get the job in a instance.

I find it hard to believe that employers, would only want someone for 12 weeks at a time tbh, needing to train someone every 3 months and then wondering if they would turn up etc...

There isn't enough jobs, thats a fact! and I don't believe jobs are not available because of the workfare scheme either, I can't see why a potential employer would want to train someone every 3 months and worry if they would turn etc... It definitely isn't like that in my area, most workfare placements are a extra body gaining experience, not a member of staff.

inabeautifulplace Mon 29-Apr-13 20:24:18

"I still think workfare is a good idea, they are not doing jobs for free, in my opinion, thy are gaining valuable experience, and to be that is worth a lot."

If you put someone on Workfare, it means the employer can avoid paying for those hours. So the government pays JSA in order for a paid job to not exist.

The experience people generally get on workfare will equip them for similar roles. Only those paid positions are much less common. Because an employer can get people on Workfare to do them for free.

Does it make any sense now?

archilles Mon 29-Apr-13 20:24:52

If we are to make the unemployed work for their benefits, shall we work out how much tax we all pay and the services used and bill people for the deficit?

Otherwise they would be getting them for free and that wouldn't be fair now would it.

After all not many of us are net contributors.

Now who wants to go to tesco or pound land. Sorry you don't get to choose.

This resentment the fortunate feel when they perceive others getting something for nothing is sickening. Most of us do get out more than we put in and after all most of the welfare budget goes on pensioners. Shall we start on them next?

stubbornstains Mon 29-Apr-13 20:25:31

I think people pointing out that there are lots of jobs in their specific area or their specific field need to realise that there are some parts of the UK where there are quite a few job vacancies..........and some where there are hardly any.

Elementary, no?

katedan Mon 29-Apr-13 20:25:54

OP - I know it seems unfair but you are getting work experience which long-term will help you to get a job.

I am currently studying for a degree as I could not get a job despite 12 years with the civil service in a really good job. Part of my course involves placements which means over 3 years 200 days full time work which equates to 1600 hours! not only for no pay but I have to pay £7500 per year for the privilege of working for free and that doe not include the huge childcare bill I have to pay so I can work.

It is a tough job market and I have days where I really have to swallow my pride and not think about the 30k a year job I had 10 years ago.

Good luck and I am sure you will find a paid job soon.

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 20:26:42

Penelope what are you talking about, firstly I would not be able to go back to my job, I won't have a crb, or be registered!

Am I sane, what a pathetic low comment to make.

mymatemax I became a SAHM when my dd1 was born. She's now 10. She's Autistic, she's also Dyslexic, has the reading age of a 6 year old, still wets the bed at night. Her younger sister is already maturer and cleverer than her, she's 6. My DH has worked since he left school at the age of 16, he's now 38. He left with no GCSE's, did several YTS's, and then worked for £1 an hour to support his then girlfriend and new baby.

The first time he claimed unemployment benefit was 1st August 2012. On the 5th August 2012, we went to an interview at the jobcentre. We were told it would be in our best interests if I signed on because I had been out of the jobmarket for so long. That is why I am suddenly able to claim JSA aterbeing a SAHM for 10 years.

archilles Mon 29-Apr-13 20:27:31

And to state that they are getting the experience that benefits them is often rubbish. Often it is counter productive, especially if they held management or professional position and are placed in a menial role.

What the fuck is the point of that other than to make the smug fortunates feel better?

eccentrica Mon 29-Apr-13 20:27:39

hollyberry do you think she should earn those,benefits for 1/6 of the minimum wage?

landofsoapandglory Mon 29-Apr-13 20:30:11

<bangs head on desk>

Altinkum, they wouldn't take someone on, sack them, then retrain someone else every three months. They would take someone on permanently, like the old days, train them up and let them get on with their job. The only difference would be that they would get a wage at the end of the week!

There are less jobs because of workfare. Why would any of the hundreds of companies who use workfare bother to employ someone, when they can et 3 for free?

WannaBeANinja Mon 29-Apr-13 20:30:16

op-why not say all this in your first post? You were specifically saying that you felt it unfair that you had to work for free but really your benefits the same as the criminal?

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 29-Apr-13 20:31:07

Your. Restaurant. Job.
You effectively said you'd be happy to be made redundant from it, go on JSA and then be put on MWP doing that same job for your JSA.

Do you really not get that or are you being deliberately obtuse?
It actually happened to a poundland employee. Trying to find a link...

mymatemax Mon 29-Apr-13 20:33:47

Benjamin, I am not doubting the OP's eligibilty or need to claim but if all SAHM suddenly decided to claim I'm sure the system would collapse.
I just honestly didnt realise it was permitted having not earned or payed recent NI contributions.

& although I am fortunate enough to work for a good employer now it ahs not always been the case & I have done some real shit jobs over the years & dh STILL does

My DH was told he would have to go on a Mandatory Work Scheme at his first appointment, total bollocks. He challenged it with the manager of the JC and they stopped it. The adviser was known to put people on MWA for tenuous reasons to massage her figures, but most people are not savvy enough to know the correct procedures. Within three weeks he had a job. If he had been put on MWA it would have hindered not helped him.

usualsuspect Mon 29-Apr-13 20:34:43

Poundland don't even till train their workfare placements. They just shelf stack.

Couthy - nobody can 'survive' on an apprentice wage though. I agree it's not the ideal for the OP however. My point was that this kind of job experience CAN help not hinder. Especially when she'd otherwise have zero current workplace experience.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 29-Apr-13 20:36:09

It was on Panorama... Still looking for link

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 20:37:58

Where did I effectively say I would be happy go back to a job I had been made redundant from, ? No I didn't.

I said I'd happily go for a job that gives me experience, going back tons post I was made redundant from would not give me experience.

In agree with it, I've seen first hand it working, and I think it is beneficial to gain experience in jobs that you've no experience in.

I don't care if your opinion is different from mine or not tbh. I'm not smug etc... Or whatever useless and pointless dig you aim at me.

I see it working, and it does work.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 29-Apr-13 20:39:11

Not when it erodes the employment market.
If there is work to be done then someone should be employed to do it at a fair rate - that considered the minimum wage.

HollyBerryBush Mon 29-Apr-13 20:39:45

Op - are you on benefits and fit for work? If so, then I'm afraid I think you should earn them, in the same way the fraudster you linked to should work to pay them back.

A reply
actually she's a Carer

Getting carers allowance? If so, that is deemed a salary and you don't have to 'earn it'

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 20:42:00


she receive a letter TODAY saying she may be entitled to it.

mymatemax Mon 29-Apr-13 20:42:26

Deadwoman, as I said I am not doubting your eligibility or need to claim. I am just surprised.
My ds2 has ASD, cerebral palsy & learning difficulties so i would certainly enver question your role as a carer. I am just surprised thats all.
I also struggle to find people willing to do the crap jobs, working the crap hours. So like you i am just speaking from experience

GoshAnneGorilla Mon 29-Apr-13 20:42:38


A fair day's work for a fair day's pay. That is a basic human right.

The problem is that many on here do not know how hard it was to get any form workers rights in this country and how the rich and greedy opposed these rights at every turn.

I'm surprised you haven't had some Muppet on here yet, claiming we need to be like China and have a vast workforce living in factories in order to be "competitive".

Workfare is morally wrong and very bad for the job market, it's a populist punishment for an easy target.

You have my every sympathy OP.

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 20:44:45

"Altinkum I've only just today got a letter saying I'm entitled to Carer's Allowance. Will be going to the jobcentre this week to see what they say."

OP post to me, when I asked why she was being placed on the scheme if she is receiving careers allowance.

She is not receiving it.

LaGuardia Mon 29-Apr-13 20:46:17

You know OP that you can do voluntary work of your choosing in order not to have to do MWA? If you have a regular gig in a charity shop or a hospital, for example, they don't make you go elsewhere. Surely it is better to choose your own destiny?

inabeautifulplace Mon 29-Apr-13 20:50:35


"There is NO jobs as my work, if someone left tomorrow, the workfare lad would get the job in a instance."

The workfare lad is clearly doing some valuable work if he's nailed on for a potential job in the future. Unfortunately for him, the potential job may never materialise because it'd cost £10-15k to create it. You can get an infinite number a lot of people on workfare for that kind of money.

BenjaminButton172 Mon 29-Apr-13 20:51:55

LaGuardia is that true?

Because it wasnt the case for the girl who volunteered in the museum and was made to leave their to work in poundland.

Dawndonna Mon 29-Apr-13 20:54:03

Carer's Allowance deemed as a wage. Fuck me, I earn .46 pence an hour!

IfNotNowThenWhen Mon 29-Apr-13 20:54:33

Anyone on here who is claiming child benefit, and thinks that people "on benefits" had better work for those benefits should sign themselves up for workfare quicksmart. Or doesn't child benefit count?
God there are some vindictive tossers on MN lately.
OP, you need to start applying for jobs that are on a higher level. The hardest jobs to get right now are NMW ones. There is SO much competition.
Aim a bit higher.
An YANBU. It must feel utterly shit that after years of you and DH paying national insurance (yes folks, that's the insurance that one pays to pay for welfare benefits) you are essentially being treated the same as a criminal.

sunshine401 Mon 29-Apr-13 20:55:41

if she was working 30 hours a week it wouldn't be £71 a week though would it??

lol that is exactly what she would be working for.. grin she would get £71 for a 30 hour week. That's where the £1.50 p/h comes from.

flipping hell some people confused

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 21:01:37

Inbeautiful, I get what your saying, however in my work its different, we need 26 staff to run the place, huge turnover, extreamly popular with the OAP's average turn over is 3000 a day.

So if one of our staff left! He'd get the job.

He's getting his new full time job as another member of staff is leaving.

So I do see the scheme working. He is much grateful for it, he is only 22 through. Without it he wouldn't have got his new position, before that he worked for jjb sports as a Superviser. He got made redundant when it got bust.

I do get what people are saying, however I see it working. We don't add him as a employee, he gains experience from working for us. Their is no work for him to do at ours, one of us "buddy's" him while he does our job.

loobloo Mon 29-Apr-13 21:02:01

You only have to do 4 weeks of 30 hours a week, then you get the benefits then you can go back to watching daytime tv. Meanwhile, other people around here have to do a 50 hour week for 50 weeks to earn the same amount of money.
Get over yourself! You are not working for FREE. You are being paid very well for your 120 hours. Minimum wage of £25,000 a year divided by 120 hours is £208 pounds an hour. I'd swop with you!

givemeaclue Mon 29-Apr-13 21:06:01

Op he you are applying for 100. Jobs a week and havent had an interview then@ something is going wrong, have you had you cv reviewed, what jobs are you applying for, I am amazed there are so many available

HoneyStepMummy Mon 29-Apr-13 21:07:01

The problem with programs like this is that they actually take away jobs. The places that offer these positions no longer need to hire and pay employees. They are the ones that benefit from programs like this, not the jobseeker.
The concept of having unemployed jobseekers "volunteer" is great, but in reality it doesn't work. I'm all for somebody who has no job skills, qualifications, or experience do volunteer work to get some experience that might lead to a job. But I agree with the OP, how on earth does working unpaid at Poundland help her get a job??
I have done volunteer/charity work for years on the side while working a fulltime job. This has finally lead up to me being offered a position doing that type of work for the company I've been with for years. I think being able to add real volunteer experience to your resume is very valuable.
Can anyone explain to me that since it's the government that pays your benefits why aren't the "volunteer" slave laour jobs government positions confused

piratecat Mon 29-Apr-13 21:07:05

it would have been better had your dh signed on not you.

i think they were wrong to advise you otherwise.

I have friends who are in a similar situation, but as he is more experienced and employable he claims for them as a couple.

I heard of a certain borough offering easter eggs as prizes for hitting sanction targets.

One woman whose dd was sick and she couldn't get to a JSA meeting, lost her bens for a week!

Maybe the sanction maker got a Kinder surprise for that.

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 21:11:17

But they arent just receiving £71 per week tho are they, not if you add everything up. Housing, free school meals etc... And so forth...

JakeBullet Mon 29-Apr-13 21:11:26

Blimey...who would want to watch daytime TV...its shite.

I think workfare is wrong and does very little to benefit the claimant. Far better to find something yourself.

I get Carers Allowance so do not have to work but I still volunteer locally for an education charity. It keeps my brain active and gives me extra skills.

It's about finding the right thing to give experience.

sunshine401 Mon 29-Apr-13 21:12:22


Your post is so wrong it is quite scary. I would advice you no longer read the DM.

inabeautifulplace Mon 29-Apr-13 21:13:12

Altinkum, I did something similar when I left school. It was called an apprenticeship and I was paid by my employer. Not a great wage admittedly, but it was paid for by the company and not the government. The government provided some tax breaks to companies to encourage this kind of long term forward planning. These methods I support, workfare I do not since it's so clearly open to abuse.

loobloo Mon 29-Apr-13 21:13:36

If I don't go to work for a week I don't get paid either! I have to draft in grandparents or friends to care for my DC if they are too ill for school. They are never ill for more than 2 days, as I have to go to WORK.

picnicbasketcase Mon 29-Apr-13 21:13:42

It baffles me that anyone can think it's reasonable that a shop should have unpaid staff training up the next lot of unpaid staff. People hoping they will get taken on for actual wages at the end of their enforced MWA only to be replaced by a new lot of unpaid workers. What reason would these shops have to take anyone on when they have a constant influx of new people to exploit?

Believe it or not, the vast majority on JSA are not lazy work shy layabouts who want to sit around all day doing nothing, they want an actual job that they will get paid fairly for.

JakeBullet Mon 29-Apr-13 21:16:00

Oh its fabulous being on benefits hmm . Free housing, free school meals (I just wish DS would accept them), council tax mostly paid.

Of course the electricity and gas.bills still have to be paid. Ditto water, plus food. Trust me, £71 a week doesn't go far.

AThingInYourLife Mon 29-Apr-13 21:16:35

"I'd swop with you!"

What's stopping you?

Being unemployed is an option anyone can avail of at any time.

JakeBullet Mon 29-Apr-13 21:18:26

I think everyone should try living on benefits before having any green eyed hissy fits. It's not all it's cracked up to be.

loobloo Mon 29-Apr-13 21:18:43

Sadly I know it is true, as my next door neighbour is on benefits and receives the same as I do before tax. Taking into account housing benefit, child allowance, council tax. Etc. I know she gets more than I bring home each month. She was the one that could afford to go abroad with 3 DC's at Easter, not us. Oh and I have never read the DM. Just spoke to real people!

BenjaminButton172 Mon 29-Apr-13 21:20:33

Altinkum I work and I get housing benefit and free school meals. A lot of added benefits are not only for the unemployed.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 29-Apr-13 21:22:22

Loon loo someone always knows someone.

Cough bollocks cough

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 29-Apr-13 21:23:08

Autocorrect oops.

OttilieKnackered Mon 29-Apr-13 21:24:22

loobloo. NMW is NOT £25,000 a year.

40x52 = 2080

2080 x 6.19 = 12,875

Half what you suggest.

OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 29-Apr-13 21:25:36

Peace and love

BenjaminButton172 Mon 29-Apr-13 21:26:46

I have been both unemployed and now employed and i can tell you that I can no afford a holiday abroad on either amounts of money.

Do you know that the majority of people who can afford luxury things on benefits are probably on the fiddle.

needaholidaynow Mon 29-Apr-13 21:28:08

These companies who take on "freebies" are a disgrace. They're laughing! Why would they employ someone on full pay when they can get a bunch of benefit claimants from the local job centre to do the job for free?

BenjaminButton172 Mon 29-Apr-13 21:28:30

no = not. typo

ihateveggies Mon 29-Apr-13 21:29:33

Hi Deadwomanwalking, can I suggest that you post your cv and application letters here on mumsnet, removing all personal details and we will see what you are doing wrong?

I will never, ever forget reading an article talking about a girl who applied to hundreds of jobs, did not get any and committed suicide. Her final message was so sad.

Please, let's not judge. I hate work shy people, but the willingness is there, dead just needs a bit of help.

Please do so.

IfNotNowThenWhen Mon 29-Apr-13 21:30:55

But does she get a free goat loobloo?

IfNotNowThenWhen Mon 29-Apr-13 21:32:47

And...EVERYBODY has a "neighbour" who...
Do it. Jack in your job, go for the life of riley "on benefits" (ignoring the fact that you already are on beneifts if you recieve CB) and see what a lovely doss it is. Go on.

JakeBullet Mon 29-Apr-13 21:33:02

I wish I could afford to go on holiday sad .
Benefits means I cant. Dunno how your neighbour does it loobyloo. I'd say she was on the fiddle somewhere if she.brings.in that much.

Smudging Mon 29-Apr-13 21:34:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 21:37:48

Yes I know people on low wages receiving this also.

The point I'm making tho, she isn't just getting only £71, she will be getting FULL housing benefit, council tax, free prescriptions, free school meals, free eye tests and if needed glasses, water bills, dentists etc...

Your working, you won't be getting full housing benefit, you will have to pay a percentage, council tax, medical costs, water bills, etc.....

I'm not saying oh she's a scrounger, a lazy sod, or what ever vitriol people have aimed at her.... I've never once said any of those things, nor do I think she is being entirely unreasonable, if she gets a good company who promote workfare and give there placements a good experience, rather than a employee etc.... There are companies

Smudging Mon 29-Apr-13 21:38:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 21:39:54

Companies that do use this to what it was set up for.

I just think its hugely unjustified, saying I'm only getting £71, when in reality it isn't. Just because she's only getting £71 in cash, does not take away the fact that she's getting xxxx amount paid monthy tonhernin

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 21:41:02

Stoopid burned hands and iPhone angry

To her in other benefits.

loobloo where on earth do you get £25000 from? confused MW is £6.19 per hour. Working 40 hours a week that's £12875! I currently get £101 per week JSA for BOTH me and DH, plus £80 per week Housing Benefit, that's £9412 per year. confused Bloody hell I wish DH and I had ever earned £25000 a year, we didn't even earn that when we were both working full time.

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 29-Apr-13 21:52:17

I know someone who manages a shop who use workfare. They no longer take on temporary workers over busy periods because they use "the free workers" from the jobcenter instead. Ditto part timers. The only staff they employ are now managers and a few full time staff.

Workfare staff have a a less than miniscule chance of being offered a f/t position. Why would they employ staff they must pay for when they get "free staff"?

Also loobloo if your neighbour can afford to go on holiday in the school holidays then she's on either on the fiddle, or someone else is paying for it. I haven't been abroad since I was 15, when I went to Spain with my mum and grandparents. The last holiday we had was a 3 night caravan holiday in North Wales. That was in 2009. I haven't been further away from home than Manchester in the last 4 years.

Altinkum I don't get full HB my rent is £100pw I get £80pw. That pesky bedroom tax. And before anyone jumps on me because we've got an "extra bedroom". It only became an "extra bedroom" 3 months ago when DSD moved out and in with her boyfriend. I don't get full CTB because they've changed the way it's worked out now. I don't get full CTC because of an apparent overpayment from years ago.

usualsuspect Mon 29-Apr-13 22:04:36

Hahaha at the neighbour who goes abroad on her benefits. You couldn't make it up.

Oh wait...

WannaBeANinja Mon 29-Apr-13 22:07:10

So you pay £20 a week rent??

if you worked you would not receive HB no?

Are you sure you actually want to find work op?

pippitysqueakity Mon 29-Apr-13 22:10:13

OP, if you are still here...

This is rotten for you.
Your family is obviously going through a tough time.

I hope things improve for you soon.

littlemisssarcastic Mon 29-Apr-13 22:12:50

Imo, this country are punishing people who are unemployed if they are serving up the same treatment to an unemployed person as they are to a criminal. If a job needs doing, then pay a wage and give someone a proper job instead of getting the work done for nothing!!

The reason some people are happy for the unemployed to be treated as second class citizens is because worklessness is seen to be idle, and idleness is seen to be immoral, so unemployed people are seen to be immoral people and therefore apparently deserving of being treated like shit, because of course, they are all lazy feckers who cba to work and are living a life of complete riley on benefits.

How much do you earn Wannabe and how much is your rent?

Thanks pippitysqueakity.

littlemisssarcastic Mon 29-Apr-13 22:18:49

My friend is on JSA and has to pay bedroom tax and part of her council tax.

She gets a total of £193.70 a week in benefits.
If she were to go to work fulltime for NMW, she would take home £200.00 a week, after paying for travel expenses to get to and from work, but including WTC, HB and CTS, so she'd be better off financially by £6.30 a week.

Help in the form of WTCs is not very much at all if you are a healthy single adult.

Thewhingingdefective Mon 29-Apr-13 22:18:56

YANBU, OP. Not all of us think that JSA claimants are feckless layabouts. Workfare is doing nobody (aside from the businesses taking people on MWP) any good. All I can suggest is that you try, however you can, to find some positive in it.

I think perhaps it is a slight exaggeration to say you have been applying for 100 jobs a week, as there aren't that many jobs out there, but I believe that you are busting a gut to find work.

I have been out of work for 12 months after 12 years in employment. I always found it easy to get a job, but not now. This time last year I was working temporarily through an agency in a public sector job. When the job I was doing was advertised as a contracted post, there were over 100 applicants for it. There were 8 posts in total and over a thousand applicants. So those saying that you must be doing something wrong or that your CV must be weak, clearly don't get that there are just so few jobs and so many chasing them.

MurkyMinotaur Mon 29-Apr-13 22:29:55

If, in an ideal world, the government said, 'Ok, you're unemployed, so come and work for us, we'll pay you minimum wage and give you full employment rights and pay your NI'...I would say fair enough.

However...Unlike with employers, there's an uneasy feeling of being 'owned' by the government when you claim benefits.

Sure, when you are employed, your employers have control too - they can reallocate your department or even send you on a business trip, but...there is a certain dignity and respect - an acknowledgement of your choice to be there (even if you'd rather not be) in the form of contracts, holiday entitlement, minimum wage etc.

Although MWA seems reasonable in terms of 'we all work for our money', it lacks the dignity and basic (even primal?) satisfaction of having earned an income and provided for yourself. It's more of a disempowered sense of merely avoiding the loss of a life-line.

It's not actually employment and it's not empowering people to find employment. It's not the workhouse, but it's a slight slip down the spectrum, taking some dignity away from the job seekers. It seems to generate a, 'And so you should!' attitude from people who have never been there and creates (or widens) the 'them and us' gap. When in reality, the only difference is losing a job or not. It's not a different breed.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 22:31:38

You would support it if they worked 10 hours a week, every week instead?

Yes if the place they worked actually acted as an employer

OnTheNingNangNong Mon 29-Apr-13 22:35:00

Workfare doesn't help the individual at all.

Hope you can get things sorted at the JC tomorrow and the stress is lessened for you all.

Maybe those who think there's plenty of jobs for the OP could offer to find a job in her area and coach her through the process.

Or is it easier to kick someone when they're down?

littlemisssarcastic Mon 29-Apr-13 22:37:37

MurkyMinotaur Fantastic post!! The way you have put into words the uneasy feelings associated with unemployment, how the govt do literally own your waking hours and how that actually feels to live under that cloud constantly is spot on!!

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Mon 29-Apr-13 22:42:54

To the people on here posting about how they cannot find jobs; if you are in the Surrey/West Sussex area please PM me. I am trying desperately to find people to come and work as tutors/school shadow for my ds with ASD. I have had people come for interview, as soon as they find out it's not babysitting and requires some actual effort, they run a mile. I pay well above min wage just to train, and then more when you are qualified. You will acquire valuable skills which would be very useful in a career in education, psychology or childcare.
I don't doubt there are people on benefits who genuinely want work - it just gets a bit hard to believe this when you've had the experience I've had over the last few months ....

BlancheHunt Mon 29-Apr-13 22:44:48

OP. You mentioned earlier that you would like to do legal secretarial work. When I split with my exh seven years ago I was a SAHM. I needed a job and signed with a temp agency. Got a temping job at a solicitors and they offered me a full time job after a couple of weeks. I had no experience at all when I got the job. My previous employment had been at my local airport in a haulage company. Legal secretaries often have no formal experience and none of the secretaries in my firm have ever done a course. The wages aren't brilliant but the work is interesting.

You have probably applied to solicitors already so I'm sorry if I'm telling you something that you already know.

Good luck.

edam Mon 29-Apr-13 22:45:55

Last time I advertised a post in my department, we got more than 200 completed applications. Application form + three proposals + examples of previous work. I was hoping having to do all that would weed out anyone who really wasn't qualified/suitable. (It's not unsual in my line of work to have to supply that kind of info with an application, btw.)

Two hundred people spent time putting all that together. Many of them very well - there were probably several dozen that I would have happily interviewed pre-depression/recession/whatever you want to call the current malaise. Except of course back in those halcyon days not all of them would have applied.

Sadly I couldn't interview all of them. Saw 11, gave two people jobs. I know a couple of others are still looking for work, as they've approached me for freelance commissions. They are perfectly good at what they do, in normal times they'd be fully employed. But we aren't in normal times and good people are struggling.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 22:49:14


If your going to bang on about the riches someone on benefits gets at least get it right.

You only get full HB if you live in rented social housing.
Council tax benefit no longer exists most claimants no longer get all of it covered

And nobody in the history of the benefits system has ever received free water as a state benefit.

MurkyMinotaur you've captured exactly how I feel! I said to DH this morning that it just feels so soul destroying it is knowing that I HAVE to go there, do the work, and get nothing from it. I do feel like I'm being punished for something. There's so much more dignity and respect in getting up and going to work and knowing that you're actually being paid a (legal) wage for it. Even if you hate the job, at least your being paid.

It's the governments way of slowly grinding down the lower classes, so that we know our place. If it feel this soul destroying for me and I'm a fit and able person, how on earth must a disabled person feel when they're forced in MWA?

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 22:52:24

Oh sock do shut up, ingot a few wrong, my point still remains sensing just getting £71 is she!!! Just because she is getting £71 in hand, does not obliterate all the other finiacial help she is getting!

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Mon 29-Apr-13 22:53:11

I think it deepnds what line of work you are looking at. I know a number of parents in different areas looking for people to cover tutor roles and it's no easier now than it was back when I started ds's programme in 2009. Usually the serious applicants who seem to want the work, at the moment, are either Spanish or from Eastern Europe - who if their English is good enough, are great, they have a very strong work ethic and a desire to build a career. But I'm just not seeing any evidence of people desperate for work at all.

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 22:53:19

Oh sock do shut up, I got a few wrong, my point still remains she isnt just getting £71 is she!!! Just because she is getting £71 in hand, does not obliterate all the other finiacial help she is getting!

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 22:58:23

And for anybody who is interested you do not have to have CA in payment to be classed as a Carer you only have to have a under laying entitlement.

CA is also not classed as salary but it is deductable and you do have to earn it.

You have to be caring for a minimum of about 35 hours per week you cannot out source that care. And you qualify for it as soon as the dwp( CA dept) tells you your entitled to it.

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 22:59:40

Oh and I'm not banging on, not at all.

Its not correct that a person doing this scheme is getting £71, even that figure is incorrect as the OP is getting £101 for BOTH of them a week, so in reality its £50.50p pw, - her £10 bedroom tax is £40.50pw from her JSA.

Even then that does not obliterate the other finiacial help.

I do hope you get a job OP, and I personally would take the offer of someone on here looking at your CV, they may be able to make it stand out.

I think it's funny how some people are up in arms at the thought of the unemployed getting something for nothing and taking taxpayer's money and yet don't seem to have a problem with large, in profit, multinational companies getting taxpayer's to pay for their workers confused Double standards indeed!

IfNotNowThenWhen Mon 29-Apr-13 22:59:59

Oh God, the government have done a number on us havent they?
Sure, there are jobs, in certain areas, in certain fields.
But overall, there are not enough. Everytime a supermarket opens 2000 + people apply. I spent 6 months intensively job hunting, and interviewing, and often being 2nd choice (I was told) but no cigar.(Employed now, and happy for "my taxes" to go toward helping deadwoman walking and anyone who needs it).
Itr's just fucking rough out there, for most people.
I am just disgusted by the attitude of posters like Altinkum frankly.
If I was a viscious sort, I would say that I hope people like that DO get made redundant put on workfare. It would serve them right.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 23:00:45

No you didn't get a few things wrong, you actually believe crap like people on benefits get free water like many other daily fail readers or people who like to bang on about things they don't know enough about especially when its a good way to make it sound like those on benefits are better off than they actually are because its fits in with your nonsense.

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 23:04:42

Again as I said previously ingot new things wrong, I see making assumptions again. I'm not a daily fail reader, I at least can admit I'm wrong. Shockingly.

I will state again my point still stands she isn't only getting X amount, she is getting other financial help, not just her "cash in hand"

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 23:06:07

I don't believe it at all, of I'm wrong, I fully expect to be correct on it and will do so admit I am incorrect.

However being Scottish, living in England the whole English water system still confuses me to this day.

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 23:06:27


IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 23:09:14

Fair point.

inabeautifulplace Mon 29-Apr-13 23:15:24

Altinkum, I don't think it's helpful for anyone to perpetuate the myth that you are paid JSA to perform workfare. Workfare is entirely unpaid, the government have merely linked it to a cessation of benefits. Benefits are paid to people out of work to ensure a minimum standard of living. They are a cornerstone of civilised society and its a great tragedy that to be in receipt of them currently leaves you indebted to private enterprise. Not even to the government!

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 29-Apr-13 23:17:28

You'd think as a former social worker there would be more comprehension of what life on benefits really is.

Actually scrap that. I remember one I encountered last year that had no idea (and having 3 disabled kids and asking for help doesn't get you help by the way).

Tortington Mon 29-Apr-13 23:20:45

the point is that workfare is govt slavery to make business owners money
not to serve the interests of the people

the point is believing the evil tory rhetoric that is that the benefits system is evil, claimed by evil skivers.

and when it's gone, and when you have to work for free becuase the bankers fucked up the system and you're paying for it, i doubt there will be parties n the streets

when the tories have their drone workers to work for their fat cat friends for free. whilst they laugh at you believing this utter crap.

the crap where people are astonished one can't just re-train and get financial help

that one doesn't just get benefits for taking up a few hours work - i mean bless, they're trying

or the one that gets them free water.

concentrate on what the poorest in society are getting and ENVY them, you don't envy? hate? you dont hate? blame? you blame for sucking the country dry

You believe this tripe and refuse to look at the evidence of big banks, chief execs, big businesses, tory friends who are owners of big business

and link that to deliberate policy change and spin doctoring.

and then someone comes on ans says ' get a job'

the PCS stated that there are 6,884,000 UNDEREMPLOYED

THERE ARE 2, 563,000 UNEMPLOYED (that's registered - we all know that's not a true figure)



blame the poor - i can only believe it's because you cannot face the reality of what the rich are doing.

IfNotNowThenWhen Mon 29-Apr-13 23:22:42

Amen to that Custardo.

likeitorlumpit Mon 29-Apr-13 23:27:53

you are not doing unpaid work,you have been paid for the last 8 months,4 weeks work isnt that long is it ,especially if you carry on claiming, stop making a fuss or stop claiming and get over it ffs.

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 23:28:00

We aren't talking about what life on benefits is really like hmm we are however talking about a a benefit scheme. There is no compareiaion.

Oh I do love the generalisation of "all SW are the same"

Yes and that concession is giving the unemployed (if employers use t correctly, like mine do) working experience. To help them get more experiences in jobs they didn't have beforehand.

It does work whether you accept that or not is up to you, not all employers abuse the scheme.

I'm going by the OP/others, comment that she is only being paid x amount, if your going to put a figure in, make sure the figure is wholley accuracy and not just the "cash in hand"

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 23:35:06

Actually custards you make some exceptional points, I'm not looking at the bigger picture, I've seen this scheme working for 12 people in total, one of my colleagues was a workfare placement, the others have got jobs elsewhere, currently have two now, one is fab, the other a waste of space, just not intreasted in working.

I forgot to say my employer also gets these placements there stage 1 food and hygiene certificates, even then that's only a few.

I don't know anyone who abuses this system, so I've only got the one side. However I can give my opinion based on it working.

Tortington Mon 29-Apr-13 23:39:05

if there is a job, pay a wage

littlemisssarcastic Mon 29-Apr-13 23:42:53

Out of interest...when placed on workfare, do unemployed people receive help with travel to get to and from the place of workfare? Are they entitled to any financial assistance at all to enable them to carry out the workfare placement?
Lunch allowance? Travel allowance? Anything at all really, or do they have to pay for a weeks worth of travel or any other expenses incurred out of their JSA?

inabeautifulplace Mon 29-Apr-13 23:44:32

Academic analysis by the Department of Work and Pensions has cast doubt on the effectiveness of workfare policies. After surveying the international evidence the from America, Canada and Australia the report states:
"There is little evidence that workfare increases the likelihood of finding work. It can even reduce employment chances by limiting the time available for job search and by failing to provide the skills and experience valued by employers. Subsidised ('transitional') job schemes that pay a wage can be more effective in raising employment levels than 'work for benefit' programmes. Workfare is least effective in getting people into jobs in weak labour markets where unemployment is high."

From Wiki... Even the DWP know that Workfare is not an effective tool for reducing unemployment. So what is it? Simply a political tool, designed to win votes.

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 23:45:57

Custardo at our place there is no jobs, they placement does our job, while we supervise.

As I said my employer does not abuse this system.

Altinkum Mon 29-Apr-13 23:46:57

Littlemiss, no I believe they don't get anything.

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Mon 29-Apr-13 23:48:03

OP if you pm me, I'll look over your CV for you - you can take your personal details off...but a fresh pair of eyes on it might help.

I haven't read whole thread, so apologies if someone else has already offered.

littlemisssarcastic Mon 29-Apr-13 23:53:58

OMG!! How can an unemployed person afford to travel to a place of work, 5 days a week?, out of JSA?
I live miles away from any town or place of employment, apart from 1 pub and 1 small family run shop, and the weekly bus pass is £30.

My friend, who is currently claiming JSA, also pays bedroom tax and part of her council tax.
If she is put on a workfare scheme, she would be left with £21.50 a week to pay bills and buy food, after travel to and from workfare placement and her rent/CT is paid.

That is shocking!!!!!

How does anyone keep body and soul alive on £21.50 a week!!!??? shock

Tortington Mon 29-Apr-13 23:55:54

if the placement does a job
then they should be paid

how is there no jobs

if the plaement is doing a job?

are they sat ont heir arse all day?

or are they doing a job?

Tortington Mon 29-Apr-13 23:57:09

i think travel costs are paid

Havent read all 12 pages, but I am currently signing on (JSA contributions only and I don't actually get any money as I haven't paid enough Class 1 NI contribs in last 2 years (the 25 years before that don't count)). I am doing relevant voluntary work to support a career change. The Job Centre have advised me that I am expected to give up the relevant voluntary work to do their suggested work (in a charity shop) instead. Now that is crazy.

diaimchlo Tue 30-Apr-13 00:16:14

YANBU at all.... Workfare is only benefiting the companies that use it.

For those of you that think it is fair.... have you thought that these companies are raking in the profits and not passing them on to the consumer..... they are not reducing their prices... so they are ripping you "Get a Job", "Work for £1.50 an hour" DF readers off as well.

A fairer deal would be for jobseekers to be placed on these programs for £71 and the companies that use them make up the rest to match minimum wage. It would also be fairer if they actually offered permanent positions at the end of the program.

But hey we are talking about this Government's policies here sad

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 30-Apr-13 00:16:43

Travel costs are only reimbursed in certain circumstances but even then they are rarely actually paid.

Oh and custardo I think I love you grin

ExRatty Tue 30-Apr-13 00:23:09

This workfare stuff is the shittest shittest most bullshit plan I have ever heard.
Why do we think that it is okay to punish the unemployed?

If there are jobs then employ and pay people. Focus on all the decent hard working people who have lost their jobs and lets get them back to work. Do not force them to work as slaves.

Instead we batter on and on about the few who might not want to work <no I don't mean the OP> and making schemes supposedly forcing them to work for free.

Darkesteyes Tue 30-Apr-13 01:19:56

looblooMon 29-Apr-13 21:13:36

If I don't go to work for a week I don't get paid either! I have to draft in grandparents or friends to care for my DC if they are too ill for school. They are never ill for more than 2 days, as I have to go to WORK

With all due respect you are talking BOLLOCKS If you dont go into work for a week then you dont get paid for that week.
If someone cant get into their MWA placement due to their child being ill (or they themselves being ill because there are people on ESA being made to do workfare) they lose their money for SIX WEEKS because of not going in for one day. it is NOT the same so to keep on comparing the two you are just making yourself look like a laughing stock!

WafflyVersatile Tue 30-Apr-13 01:24:06

You are indeed being punished for being poor.

Meanwhile my taxes are paying whoever you are working for to have free labour. You and me are subsidising Tesco (or whoever) the fucking sponging cunts.

sashh Tue 30-Apr-13 04:45:50

What type of work Are you applying for? If your answering adverts for work that you are not qualified/experienced in then it's understandable that you are not getting replys.

If she doesn't apply for them she will be 'sanctioned' - lose benefits for weeks or months.

I'm in a voluntary scheme due to disability I don't have to sign on but job hunting now involves the internet.

You upload a CV to the 'jobmatch' site (you can have more than one) and apply for jobs by sending it to employers.

The jobcentre staff can also recommend jobs for you, if you don't apply for any they have suggested your need a bloody good reason not to, and not having experience in that area is not good enough.

They also log the hours you are job hunting on the website.

It is not difficult to apply for 100 jobs if you are looking for anything

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Tue 30-Apr-13 07:28:08

Free water?! grin

Yeah, right. That's why I pay £35 a month for it. And I'm incredibly tight with my water. Most if my friends with 4 DC's pay more like £50 a month!

We mostly sink wash because a sink of water is far less than a bath full. I have bought the most economical washing machine I could find. I never fill the sink more than halfway to wash up. I collect the water from my condenser tumble dryer to use in the iron. Not a drop is wasted.

Yet I still have to actually PAY for it.

It's not the same as in Scotland where your water is included in your rates.

When I was paying rateable value, I was paying £50 a month. Now I'm on a meter I've managed to drop that to £35 a month.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Tue 30-Apr-13 07:34:56

Sock - so does that mean that though I'm not yet getting CA, I am still an official Carer because DS3 gets DLA?

It is on the cards to apply for, but due to the reconsideration on my DLA, I'm already waiting for the DWP to add my own disability premiums back onto my IS, and I don't want to confuse them!

(Two changes at once does tend to mean that your payments arse up).

Once I have my backpay, and my disability premiums are in payment, I am going to claim CA. God knows how they will work it out, mind you.

If I get IS + disability premium + severe disability premium, then they - CA but add a bit on?!

I'm very confused as to what to do - tbh I think that claiming CA will be a massive headache when I get disability premiums for myself!

raspberryroop Tue 30-Apr-13 07:35:18

I disagree in principal with workfare and think that incentives in tax/ni to business would make sense to create real jobs.

However OP - 100 jobs a week is either a major exaggeration which is very counter productive to a reason argument or you are incredibly crap at job hunting - either way I think you have been given some great help on this thread if you choose to take it in a positive way

Also what jumped out at me was the fact you have been a sahm for 10 years and complain you have nothing to put on your CV - if nothing else this workfare solves that to a limited degree.

Personally I think ALL job seeckers should do voluntary work 10 hours a week - with things like charity shops, meals on wheels, feeding/reading/talking the elderly in hospitals and homes. But nothing for profit making organisations that we subsides enough with wtc.

raspberryroop Tue 30-Apr-13 07:36:25

And not as punishment or payment to the tax payer as they are tax payers but to keep people engaged in society.

Dawndonna Tue 30-Apr-13 08:40:04

"Personally I think ALL job seeckers should do voluntary work 10 hours a week - with things like charity shops, meals on wheels, feeding/reading/talking the elderly in hospitals and homes. But nothing for profit making organisations that we subsides enough with wtc."

I agree with Raspberryroop, who said this^^

There are lots of worthwhile "tasks" (rather than paid jobs) needing done in society. I think it's fair to ask people on benefits to spend a few hours a week doing these tasks.

babyiwantabump Tue 30-Apr-13 08:54:02

But it's not £1.50 an hour is it?

Because her rent , council tax etc is also paid in benefits ? It's not just the JSA that should be taken into account here .

expatinscotland Tue 30-Apr-13 08:55:46

'Personally I think ALL job seeckers should do voluntary work 10 hours a week - with things like charity shops, meals on wheels, feeding/reading/talking the elderly in hospitals and homes. But nothing for profit making organisations that we subsides enough with wtc.'

You'd be happy with those with criminal records going into hospitals or working with elderly and vulnerable people?

No, not those with criminal records. I'd expect the usual CRBS checks to apply. There are a lot of job seekers without criminal records - probably about 99% of them.

JakeBullet Tue 30-Apr-13 09:16:31

I am not a jobseeker as my son is autistic and as such I am exempt from seeking work. However, I do carry out some voluntary work as a parent supporter and I think many jobseekers who are parents could give valuable support to other newer families.....and it could go on a CV too. smile

Far better than benefiting a profit making business which could afford to pay a proper wage to someone rather than getting labour for free.

Eeeeeowwwfftz Tue 30-Apr-13 09:23:35

Sites like this can be enormously helpful in working out the financial consequences of government-subsidised work placements.

Slap £6.19 (the minimum wage) into the weekly earnings box, and you find that a full-time employee would be generating roughly £1650 of revenue per year for the government (taking into account income tax and NI contributions from both employer and employee). If such a worker is made redundant and replaced by someone on the MWP, that is the amount of our taxes that is being wasted. In fact, it would be more than that, because the existing worker would now be unemployed, so our taxes would have to pay their JSA as well. Assuming the basic rate of £56.80 per week, that's another ca £3000 a year of our taxes down the drain. So that's about £4650 per worker per annum net cost to the public purse, which - for comparison - is a few hundred quid short of a secondary school place. So, if you were minded to be deliberately disingenuous, in the manner of a Daily Mail headline writer, you could spin this as "each workfare placement depriving my child of an education".

On top of this, a company is getting a gift in kind of £11,600 (gross salary plus employer's NI contributions) per worker per annum by being permitted to allow people to work for free in this way. There are many good reasons for paying taxes, but subsidising companies that were already extremely profitable (Tesco: £2.8bn pre-tax profit in 2012; Homebase: £41.2m in 2010; Poundland: £12m in 2009) doesn't seem to be one of them. What makes these companies more in need of our taxes than the two million people who, even if all job vacancies were filled, would still be unemployed?

Either the work needs doing, in which case these companies should be paying for it, or it does not, in which case we're simply wasting peoples' time and depriving them from gaining experience for work they might actually want to do.

This policy makes no sense from either a financial perspective or from the perspective of helping people into employment.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 30-Apr-13 09:38:02


Sock - so does that mean that though I'm not yet getting CA, I am still an official Carer because DS3 gets DLA?

If your ds gets DLA care at the middle or higher rate and if you wrk less than 17 hours a week or not at all( and obviously provide more than the minimum hours care req) then CA is a formality as soon as the dwp (CA) send you a letter saying you are entitled to be classed as a Carer either via payment or underlying entitlement then yes.

CA is a separate dept from the other ones you are trying to sort out but they do feed info in to each other. Its in your interest to claim if you haven't and receiving payment or status protects you from many of the income related issues you and I have talked about in the past. CA is paid mon-mon and a eligible week has to start on a Monday so if you apply online today unless they backdate ( max of 3 months off the top of my head but mega reason needed) it will be granted from coming Monday.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 30-Apr-13 09:41:17

Oh and no you being disabled does not cause any problems being a formal dwp accepted Carer and if you are a Carer for a child then that child's money does not get reduced in any way.

Adults requiring a dwp accepted Carer do have there IS/ESA reduced but children do not even if that Carer is also receiving the same benefit or disability premium

raspberryroop Tue 30-Apr-13 09:58:59

Jakebullet - exactly the sort of thing I think people waiting for jobs could do brilliantly.
Love most of what you say Expat but don't like the implication that loads of people on JSA have criminal records or are unsuitable for voluntary/community jobs. may not have been what you meant.
If this Gov used some bloody imagination rather than whisperings from Big Business there are so many opportunities to increase quality of life for everyone that don't involve free labour for Tesco's. The conservative £3,000 that each workfare place costs on top of JSA etc , could be spent so much more creatively than subsidising BB. Stuff that really impacts on peoples lives rather than nice neat forward facing cans in date order.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 30-Apr-13 10:23:58

The reason why it is £1.50 an hour despite getting HB is because if she were a normal employee being paid the NMW she would still recive HB and due to the employment disregard and the current system with wtc it would not be much different.

So if you have a job going pay them the legal minimum wage ( or gosh a fair living wage) and actually increase someone's income above the absolute minimum that unemployment benefits provide let them be treated as a employee rather than expect them to act like one but not be respected like one.

ParsingFancy Tue 30-Apr-13 11:24:59

"Personally I think ALL job seeckers should do voluntary work 10 hours a week - with things like charity shops, meals on wheels, feeding/reading/talking the elderly in hospitals and homes."

Thanks for wanting to exploit me and my disability in your plans to improve the moral fibre of the unemployed, but actually when I'm vulnerable I don't particularly fancy being subjected to random strangers in my home.

Even if you reserve your plans for institutions, are you prepared to pay for someone to supervise these coerced randoms who don't actually want to be there while they wander round a building which is the home of dozens of vulnerable people?

This, and the impact on real, paid jobs, are the rocks upon which workfare-type schemes have foundered since time immemorial. The cost of supervision outweighs any benefit.

Hi OP. I work for a union and therefore, like lots of other people, think this whole workfare thing is rubbish. I'm a bit on the fence with parts of it-I like the idea of charity shops etc getting volunteers for a time in return for the volunteer getting some work experience and a reference. However, I know that doesn't happen! If the job centre was saying to you look, we feel maybe you need some recent work experience, here is a list of local suggestions, what do you think about doing something with them-and letting you either say no or say yes, I'll contact such and such-so your choice and voluntary then for me that's fine. Giving you a list of Tesco, pound land etc-not fine. If they need staff they should be bloody paying them at least NMW and giving them a job! Even if that's a 6 month contract.

Keep your chin up OP. as an aside, my mum did one of those job centre CV courses. The CV they made her is shit. It may be worth you starting a thread for people who work in HR and asking them to look at your CV (obviously name and address etc taken out) an critique it-they'll know what the people your CV goes to are looking for.

Sorry if you've already done similar and I'm preaching to the converted, but I know some people really struggle with CVs (generally some of the best people once IN a job too)

Good luck smile

LessMissAbs Tue 30-Apr-13 12:18:12

*Also what jumped out at me was the fact you have been a sahm for 10 years and complain you have nothing to put on your CV - if nothing else this workfare solves that to a limited degree.

And not as punishment or payment to the tax payer as they are tax payers but to keep people engaged in society*

I agree with this. Can you not see the positives OP, small though they are - you will get to meet people, engage, show yourself willing, make contacts - compare to a student who is paying for their degree and own living costs and often desperate to get unpaid work experience because of the contacts they make. Even at my level of experience in my profession, I sometimes take on work that isn't really worth my time doing - because it allows me to create a good impression, allows me to make contacts and can be a bit of a loss leader.

Alternatively, if you don't want to do the unpaid work, don't claim benefits? Problem solved.

NC78 Tue 30-Apr-13 12:21:15

YANBU it's just free labour. Britain 2013 has slavery!

raspberryroop Tue 30-Apr-13 12:35:15

ParsingFancy - I have a disability plus two kids with SN - I also till recently cared for my disabled mother and husband with long term PTSD but both died last year - so have a passing perspective on disability. I at no point suggested random strangers coming into your house or forcing things on people and once again have a real bad taste in my mouth at this disrespect for people waiting for jobs. MOST people on JSA I think would be pleased if a suitable volunteer job could be found or found for themselves and was 'allowed' and covered under the legation - many as the OP as told that its not permitted. And its not to improve their moral fibre I personally think that is condescending in the fucking extreme.
Unemployment is sole destroying and isolating for the bloody majority of people, 8/10 hours week would give people some social interactions and a sense of worth which some people seam to think is worth nothing. There is a minority of scum out thier sitting on their arses just waiting for dole day but most people want a job and want dignity and would see community volunteering as worthwhile if presented in the right way with good traing, expenses paid and some recognition they are contributing to society.
And so what if it costs more than sending them to Tescos?

MurkyMinotaur Tue 30-Apr-13 12:48:07

I want to suggest that whenever we're thinking of scenarios or solutions for other people, we're doing our thinking wrong if we're thinking of these for other people and not for ourselves. I'm guilty of this too.

It's very easy to see from our own perspective and easy to have an opinion. It's hopelessly disempowering to have your daily life decided by people with opinions and without your life experience.

Suggestions such as raspberryroop's seem reasonable in many ways:

'Personally I think ALL job seeckers should do voluntary work 10 hours a week - with things like charity shops, meals on wheels, feeding/reading/talking the elderly in hospitals and homes. But nothing for profit making organisations that we subsides enough with wtc...And not as punishment or payment to the tax payer as they are tax payers but to keep people engaged in society.'


I challenge you to replace words such as 'job seekers', 'people' and 'they' with words like 'me' and 'I':

Personally I think I should do voluntary work 10 hours a week - with things like charity shops, meals on wheels, feeding/reading/talking the elderly in hospitals and homes. But nothing for profit making organisations that I subsides enough with wtc...And not as punishment or payment to the tax payer as I am a tax payer but to keep me engaged in society.

It sounds different then. It sounds like you're talking about yourself.

diddl Tue 30-Apr-13 12:51:17

I don't see why people on JSA shouldn't do some sort of work as a part of receiving it.

But it's obviously too open to abuse.

It should be done on a basis of what is beneficial to the JSA claimant-a new skill being learnt for example.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 30-Apr-13 12:59:03

So if its beneficial and there is a job going then give it to the person pay them a legal wage and enable them to come off Jsa

raspberryroop Tue 30-Apr-13 13:00:26

Murky - I advocate for 2 disabled adults and have good connections with in a volunteering environment. I am lucky that I work for myself and have the flexibility to do this. We have enquires for lots of 'job seekers ' who have been told they are not allowed to have set times or dates for volunteering as they have to be immediately availed for work , others who cannot take part in extended training as it a contravenes whatever the word/policy of the week is at the job centre - many of which seam to be made up on the spot as they vary between advisors. Lots of thease 'people' are 50 + and may never work again if the Etonian posh boys, who couldn't spot a good economic policy if it was put up their bottoms, stay in power. They would be fantastic doing meals on wheels ( not domiciliary care) particularly in rural areas which would enable many older people to stay in their homes longer and would probably save money in the end.

I have no problem outing the word I or my children's names in anything I have written. I happen to believe if you live in a house you contribute to the house work , you live in community then the same applies.

ExRatty Tue 30-Apr-13 13:01:22

It feels as though it isn't really going to address the problems of middle and senior management who have been made redundant

I think if I had been made redundant and was looking for work being made to do a "workplacement" might drive me over the edge

MortifiedAdams Tue 30-Apr-13 13:04:56

Maybe the scheme would.and shold only work in what are already voluntary place. Charity Shops, Care, etc.

ParsingFancy Tue 30-Apr-13 13:09:36

Yes, Raspberry I completely agree that treating jobseekers as if they need to improve their moral fibre is condescending in the fucking extreme.

That's why I object to the narrative around workfare, which assumes precisely that.

And I agree about the value of genuine volunteering. Genuine voluntary activities have always been available. There are even coordinating organisations like CSV, and have been for years.

Nothing to do with workfare.

So we had a situation before workfare where the people who wanted to volunteer could already do so (unless some berk from the JobCentre stopped them). And those who didn't were much more likely to be the ones you didn't want in your house.

Good training in some valuable skill, expenses paid, even if it costs more than sending people to Tescos, sounds marvellous. Almost like the sort of thing people go to college for, no? (Although EMA's now been removed, of course.)

Again, been going on for decades, nothing whatever to do with workfare.

Workfare is simply not a part of these solutions.

raspberryroop Tue 30-Apr-13 13:10:55

Parsing - my 1st post was - I object to workfare !

ParsingFancy Tue 30-Apr-13 13:25:20

It's a problem, isn't it, as soon as one utters a sentence like, "All jobseekers should volunteer"?

Because what is one going to do if they don't?

As you so rightly say, raspberry, removing the artificial barriers to voluntary work which the JobCentre creates would be hugely beneficial to both the unemployed and the community. The fact that the JobCentre does create these barriers is a red flag that the intent is punitive rather than constructive.

creighton Tue 30-Apr-13 13:27:45

the cash people receive as jsa has already been earned by the claimant. if you have not worked and paid tax you do not get jsa. you may get some other benefit but not jsa. people therefore should not have to 'work/slave' again for the same money. is that clear?

ParsingFancy Tue 30-Apr-13 13:27:56

Oh dear god.

Today's news: "Jobseekers made to carry out bogus psychometric tests"

"Jobseekers are being made to complete bogus psychometric tests by the Department for Work and Pensions – and told that in some cases they risk losing their benefits if they do not complete the meaningless online questionnaire."

Plues more on the "test" here.

MurkyMinotaur Tue 30-Apr-13 13:32:48

Raspberryroop - Umm...I'm not sure how to write this without it sounding like sarcasm...but I'm not sure what you're saying. Sorry. Autistic. Implied meaning. Ahh. But I also agree that the job centre systems are complex and the government are people whose experience is upper-class and wealthy. I wish too that unemployed people could be offered employment in projects such as Meals on Wheels. It could be offered as volunteer work too. That's great. It's when unemployed people are effectively fined for opting out, by benefits being stopped, that I find the snag.

In theory I agree that everyone contributes to the household or the community. The experience of people when is put into practice, though, is scary. I want communicate the horrible weird twilightly world where people with opinions above your rights make decisions about where you spend your day and your energy.

I mean to communicate that sometimes people problem-solve and that can depersonalise the experience of the people it effects. I chose your post as an example of replacing 'they' and 'I' etc because it was on a convenient page, but I could have chosen others.

Phantomteadrinker Tue 30-Apr-13 14:04:05

We're all assuming that big companies use job seekers as cheaper labour and I'm sure there is some truth in that. But in reality many many people in this country go straight from school to claiming benefits so actually some work experience with some of the country's leading retailers is a good opportunity and can only help to improve employment prospects. I would expect from tescos point if view that training new recruits every 6 weeks ( or whatever) most of whom don't want to be there is a big of a pain so I'd like to think that these companies are actually trying to give something back.

The ops case is slightly different as she had obviously worked and contributed previously but there are an awful lot of people - my neighbour being one that have never worked, haven't got the first idea about working and who absolutely should learn that you get nothing for nothing.

edam Tue 30-Apr-13 14:44:47

WTF? Am astounded at the effrontery of the govt. threatening people into completing fake 'psychomentric' tests. Yet another downright lie about 'oh no, we don't threaten to withdraw benefits' I see - how long until there's a leaked email from a benefits advisor supervisor stating how many people the office has to chuck off benefits to meet their target?

The lack of respect this government has for anyone unfortunate enough to lose their job is disgusting. No human dignity, no awareness that these are people with the same rights as everyone else. And no understanding that not everyone has a computer + broadband at home - either that, or it's a deliberate ploy to attack the poorest and most vulnerable.

As for the idea that workfare might benefit young people who have never worked - if so, why is it being applied to everyone, not just those looking for their first job? And why workfare when the fact is anyone on workfare is LESS likely to get a job than someone not on workfare - the government's own statistics confirm this.

ParsingFancy Tue 30-Apr-13 15:02:01

You mean like this one, edam: "Jobcentre was set targets for benefit sanctions"

[Walthamstow jobcentre adviser manager, Ruth] King says in her email: ... "Guys, we really need to up the game here. The 5% target is one thing – the fact that we are seeing over 300 people a week and only submitting six of them for possible doubts is simply not quite credible."
She also discloses that the jobcentre customers manager is looking for about 25 referrals a week. "We made six last week and so far this week have made four. There is a shortfall here."

ParsingFancy Tue 30-Apr-13 15:08:13

And more whistleblowing from JobCentre staff in response to the above article: "Jobcentre 'scorecard' shows how areas are performing on stopping benefits".

"[A JobCentre advisor in the north east said] All advisers at my place of work and most in the district have been given mid-year review statements (on which performance-related pay is based) which include a target to achieve 6% DMA referrals, although again this has been widely denied."

Darkesteyes Tue 30-Apr-13 15:43:19

If it is to become standard that everyone should "Work" for their JSA then NI should be abolished. Because to pay in AND then have to do workfare for the same money is theft.
If you had a prang in your car and the insurance company wouldnt pay out unless you did six weeks unpaid work for them im assuming that would be ok
After all its simply the same principle.

edam Tue 30-Apr-13 16:10:35

Yes, parsing, that's the one I was thinking of - the fake 'psychometric' tests seem to be another example where the govt. denies people are being threatened with loss of benefits, even though people ARE being threatened with loss of benefits...

Darkesteyes Tue 30-Apr-13 16:29:30

And as for thinking that people on benefits get free water. Well bloody hell the stupidity and ignorance of that is astounding and its also worrying too.
Because these kinds of moronic statements are coming from people who are in responsible jobs and careers and i dont know about anyone else but i find that scary.

AThingInYourLife Tue 30-Apr-13 16:40:59

They get free air as well.

Fucking scroungers.

IfNotNowThenWhen Tue 30-Apr-13 16:42:50

The main reason that so many of our beloved "hard working tax payers" are behind these totally immoral measure is precisely what MurkyMinataur is pointing out.
For a long time now "jobseekers" and "unemployed" has carried with it an image of some kind of Vicky Pollard character, e.g Not Us.
Loads of people of in favour of people "working for their benefits", and "staying part of society" but imagine that's YOU. Imagine you get laid off. And then your husband gets laid off. After 3 months you have spent all your savings paying the mortgage, you try and try, but you cant find a job,and you become a jobseeker.

The whole notion of unemployed people being"Jobseekers" and having to "prove" they are looking for work (with the implication that they didn't really want a job)treats you like a less than trustworthy person.
ou are not allowed to volunteer in any helpful areas (like meals on wheels, reading to the elderly etc) because you are not then available for work.
And yet, if some bod at your local jobcentre feels like fucking with you, they can send you off stacking shelves at Poundland, and pretend it is to help your work ethic. Yes, you who worked as a financial adviser for 15 years.
The whole thing is set up to make you feel shit, supposedly in the hope that if it's awful to sign on, then people won't do it for long.
It is all punative and none of it is helpful.

If they really wanted to get people into work they would be encouraging people to sort out their own volunteering, and posting volunteering opportunities at the job centre. They would be helping people with adult literacy, and numeracy, and interview skills-that is OFFERING these things, not saying "do it or else".
There is nothing more draining to the confidence and spirit that feeling like you have no control over your own life, and Workfare is the worst for this.
And yes, Tesco and the like do not need to be subsidised by our taxes.
I just don't get how anyone can not see that in six months time, that could be them in OP's position. It could be any of us.

IfNotNowThenWhen Tue 30-Apr-13 16:48:38

Edam, as far as young people go, I did know a guy who benefitted greatly from the Future Job Fund (apprenticeship/training for young people) which ended in a real job.
The current government scrapped the scheme shortly afterwards.
So much for helping young people.
And, yes, darkesteyes, it is genuinely fucking terrifying the rubbish that seemingly normal people believe.

We're all assuming that big companies use job seekers as cheaper labour and I'm sure there is some truth in that. But in reality many many people in this country go straight from school to claiming benefits so actually some work experience with some of the country's leading retailers is a good opportunity

People used to be able to leave school and get a job or an apprenticeship they didn't need employer benefactors! If many many people are coming out of school and straight onto benefits then something is wrong with the labour market and the education system.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 30-Apr-13 17:01:31

I have two compleatly none verbal learning disabled and physically disabled clients who have been sanctioned for none compliance, this pretty much means did not communicate during the meetings.

Another learning disabled client who took a Carer to a dwp referred course this person needs a Carer to function out and about and understand what it required of them,the Carer was not permitted to attend with them due to apparently fire regs the client was unable to understand what was required of them so sanctioned.

Another one placed as a emergency in the middle of the night in a refuge with her children miles away from home missed her sign on even tho she was taken by refuge staff to attend the nearest centre with evidence of DV low and behold sanctioned.

When you see things like this try and remember that a couple of weeks ago legal aid for benefit issues was removed.

Dwp staff no longer have assist people to claim the benefits they are entitled to as part of their job description. Its now find ways to prevent claims.

raspberryroop Tue 30-Apr-13 17:03:12

I think I should qualify what I put - I meant all people on JSA should be able to volunteer and it should be seen as the norm and well facilitated - ''not all people on the dole should be made to volunteer'' as that is clearly not practical or enforceable. But a culture change could make a big difference how unemployment is viewed.

edam Tue 30-Apr-13 17:06:17

Sock, punishing learning disabled people/families fleeing violence in that way is appalling. The government should be ashamed.

edam Tue 30-Apr-13 17:07:31

And yes, people on JSA should be able to volunteer -properly and voluntarily! They used to be penalised for volunteering as they were accused of not being avaiable for work - I don't know whether that has changed.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 30-Apr-13 17:24:26

Edam well to be honest it started way before the sanction with them being found fit for work.

They should be ashamed they claim its a shocking error but it does not stop other org's reporting that it is still happening and having simerler examples.

Darkesteyes Tue 30-Apr-13 17:48:52

Raspberry tightening the laws on the discriminatory and inflammatory articles that are written about disabled people and the unemployed and stopping the rhetoric coming from politicians would do a lot to change the culture.Why do you think Cameron has been so soft with the press? It is so they can collude in producing this rhetoric.

Im going to pretend its 1933 and rewrite your sentence just changing one word just to flip this.

This could so easily have been written back then

"Not all Jews /disabled (because Hitler came for the disabled first) should be made to volunteer as that is clearly not practical or enforceable.
But a culture change could make a big difference to how the Jews/disabled/unemployed are viewed."

If we came across a historical document from the 1930s which included this statement we would be quite rightly horrified.

Darkesteyes Tue 30-Apr-13 18:00:43

Sock that is fucking appalling. Its sick. But unfortunately nothing these bastards do surprises me any more.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 30-Apr-13 18:15:48

Dark its called targeting people you believe not to have the skills or support to challenge it.

sunshinenanny Tue 30-Apr-13 18:29:24

Serving or helping in a charity shop is voluntary work, helping out at your local school is voluntry work, serving the community, helping to decorate a disabled or elderly persons house or clearing a local beauty spot counts as voluntary work.

swelling the coffers of a cheapskate store chain which should be employing people on the minimum wage or more DOES NOT!

itsblackoveryonderhill Tue 30-Apr-13 18:58:42

OP, I've not read all the thread, but I got up to the bit where you said you would like to retrain, but you would lose your JSA.

There are now grants available for age 24+ students in post compulsory education courses, so further education etc (I don't mean the grants that go to students studying degrees). I'm not sure if you would qualify for this to retrain as a legal secretary, and if you do, whether it would be enough in replacement for the other benefits you will presumably receive due to your DH also being out of work and with you having dependants.

It might be worth going to see somebody at your local further education college. Going by what we have at our college, we have a dedicated 'student finance and support' person who advises students on their fees/grants/loans etc.

Like I said, I'm not totally sure because I work in higher education in an further education college, so I just saw something in our weekly newsletter, but I didn't get anymore details because it's not applicable to me.

Either way, good luck with your search for work and I do hope that you get some positives from your 'slave work experience'.

Darkesteyes Tue 30-Apr-13 23:48:27

How did today go OP?

Misspixietrix Wed 01-May-13 11:12:25

Couthy is correct they are a bad thing on a cv AND most refuse to provide a reference.

And yes she is effectively working for free but at the same time she's reducing employment and allowing companies to exploit workers and costing the tax payer more and she has no choice about it.

This! What sock said on Page 2.

If it was a handful of Companies involved I would say the OP was being unreasonable but it's not and so she isn't. http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?page_id=16

Oh and do you know you can't find your own Work Placement? I'm a Single Parent who was offered Work Experience related to my Degree, The Jobcentre told me I couldn't do it because the Company isn't being paid to take me off the Unemployment Figures registered with the Jobcentre!

OP Good luck with your Jobsearch and I hope you and or your Dh find something soon ~

lydiajones Wed 01-May-13 11:21:32

Sounds awful - I thought we paid taxes so if we are unfortunate enough to be made redundant we get JSA. It is out of order IMO. Good luck.xxx

It went very well today Darkesteyes. grin I am now officially a carer, on income support, off JSA and no longer have to complete the rest of my MWA. The relief is immense.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 01-May-13 13:13:16

Told you so,womanwalking.

Glad you went down there

ParsingFancy Wed 01-May-13 13:34:37

grin Hope things improve for you from here, DeadWomanWalking.

Dawndonna Wed 01-May-13 14:18:48

Well done DeadWomanWalking glad things worked out well for you.

edam Wed 01-May-13 15:12:29

Hurrah to that, Deadwoman, what a relief!

I don't have a problem with requiring people who are able to work to work/retrain for at least some of their time in order to get benefits, but it is apparent to anyone that this is just not working the way it is set up. It has nothing to do with punishing people, I'm not interested in that in the slightest, I do think it is reasonable to ask people to work the number of hours a week that it would take them to earn that money if they were being paid NMW (or longer hours over a shorter time that come to the same number of hours). I do think that a certain amount of studying should also be allowed instead of this work if it means that a person can retrain for a needed career.

Perhaps businesses should only be able to take workers for two months a year (not including their busiest season) and perhaps they should not be allowed to take people if they have reduced their staffing levels. Perhaps as someone posted only work that would otherwise be done by volunteers would count. Do businesses have to prove that they have trained these people instead of just putting them on the most menial job they have?

I'm hoping the benefit fraud hours are a red herring...? That that person would be expected to work those hours on top of what the OP is expected to do, not instead of...?

OP best of luck to the both of you, I hope one of you finds a job soon. I have been in the position of wanting a job, any job and it can really be frustrating and miserable.

Just saw your latest post, thank goodness! Now hopefully your DH will get some good news soon too.

Darkesteyes Wed 01-May-13 20:33:46

Pleased for you DeadWomanWalking. I wish you and your DH the best of luck and hope he has some good news soon as well.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 01-May-13 20:36:56

That's really good OP. At least that isn't hanging over you anymore.You had some really good advice on here. Don't give up. Take advice on your CV, and all the best x