to think that this is economically stupid. Tories to announce full and permanent WORKFARE.

(297 Posts)
Darkesteyes Thu 26-Sep-13 23:09:36

next week according to the Mail.
So how is anybody going to afford to buy anything while working for benefits then.
Even less incentive for companies to take people in proper employment if the workfare workforce is going to increase.

Ezio Thu 26-Sep-13 23:19:00

Makes my job chances slightly more depressing than they already are.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Thu 26-Sep-13 23:28:28

Fanfuckingtastic. Only job I am qualified to do that will fit in with my partners crazy work hours is retail. Hell its the only job i know how to do. As I've been out of work for 2 years already (had DS got made redundant) I have even less chance of getting a job now. Because why pay someone like me minimum wage or more when you can pay slaves nothing?

So fucking pissed off. Even more so because thanks to the Tories shake up of the benefit system and getting people into the world employment there is now more even more people and even less jobs. Well done guys. You've really surpassed yourselves with this one.

Inertia Thu 26-Sep-13 23:30:24

Workfare is evil.

If there is a job available, pay people the NMW and give them employment rights. Workfare is just free labour for companies who do not go on to offer permanent jobs (why would they, when they have an endless turnover of free labour and they get paid by the government for it?)

NicholasTeakozy Thu 26-Sep-13 23:32:50

YANBU in the slightest. You have to remember that these tossers have, almost to a man, never had a proper job, and have never been poor. Their policies are going to make everybody who isn't already rich poorer, just like the USA.

But, it's great for their corporate overlords, they get free labour and we pay for it. Once again we see capitalism for the poor and socialism for the rich. Isn't neoliberalism wonderful? Actually, it's financial terrorism. We are being robbed.

WTF happened to the minimum wage?

How the hell are people going to get paying jobs when you can get staff for nothing?

Growlithe Thu 26-Sep-13 23:37:48

And to think, we all thought Thatcher was bad.

expatinscotland Thu 26-Sep-13 23:38:16

Community service, because being unemployed (6 months for 'older' workers? Do they realise how hard it is for a lot of over-50s who are made redundant to get another job?) is now a crime.

Darkesteyes Thu 26-Sep-13 23:38:56

Totally agree Terry Inertia and Nic. In fact Nic has hit the nail on the head. It is a version of the US model.


slightlysoupstained Thu 26-Sep-13 23:39:52

Great. So those of us in employment get to pay our taxes directly into the pockets of the large corporations who now won't need to bother with creating any jobs for those of us who are unemployed because they can get it for free.

So 99% of the country will be worse off, but the very rich will be wetting themselves laughing at getting even more from a population stupid enough to be manipulated by whipping up envy and resentment of anyone on benefits?

Darkesteyes Thu 26-Sep-13 23:40:09

YY expat Unemployed people are expected to do longer stints of it than people who actually commit a crime!!!!!!

Jinsei Thu 26-Sep-13 23:40:17

This is so depressing. Not surprising, we have a Tory government after all. But terribly depressing nonetheless.

All this "acting tough on welfare" is all very well, but the jobs just aren't out there. And if people are forced to work for nothing, I can't see that situation improving. sad

expatinscotland Thu 26-Sep-13 23:40:42

Excepting some cities such as NYC and LA, most of the US has a far, far lower cost of living than here, a strong and entrenched history of charity and volunteering, way more space and much different tenancy laws.


They really are cunts. I feel so defeated. There's basically no fucking hope.

AnaisHendricks Thu 26-Sep-13 23:53:24

One of the worst things about Workfare is how many "strivers", to borrow Dave's terminology, agree with this.

Tax-payers will be paying for the slave-wages of people on Workfare anyway, via JSA, but the profits will go to big business. If there is a job available, Tesco, pay a wage and let the employee pay tax.

The job market will shrink even further than it already has. I've spoken to former pupils (have lived in the same town all my life) who really were University material, graduated and are now on Workfare. It's shameful.

buss Thu 26-Sep-13 23:53:36

How long till the next election?

needaholidaynow Thu 26-Sep-13 23:54:59

The big bosses of these companies will be rubbing their hands with glee tonight.

Shame on them.

Fuck the election. Write to your MPs, boycott the shops and businesses that use Workfare and ask EVERY time you buy something or use a service, "do you use Workfare staff?". What else can be done?

Sorry buss that sounded rude to you. I just meant, don't wait until then. thanks

buss Thu 26-Sep-13 23:59:02

That's okay MrsTerry - you're absolutely right.
We should boycott shops and businesses that use workfare.

Darkesteyes Fri 27-Sep-13 00:03:32

I remember another Mner posting about how a couple of years ago their local tesco had no xmas temp jobs because they were using workfare. Last year Argos and Shoe Zone did it Xmas temp jobs and retail jobs are going to end up being a thing of the past angry

AnaisHendricks Fri 27-Sep-13 00:07:21

I see criminal offenders in my town doing things for the community every week or so.

But apparently just being unemployed in a time of economic crisis is considered to be a crime worthy of free labour these days.

Brother can you spare a dime

We are going backwards.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 27-Sep-13 00:09:23

If full time hours are available for workfare then they should also be available for an unemployed person who wants full time work so they can come off benefit

Darkesteyes Fri 27-Sep-13 00:12:33

My 18 year old DN is applying for retail work at the mo. Shes taken her CV everywhere , applied online and cant get anything despite having some experience.
Shes just started signing on and they have put her on Universal Jobmatch Will be interesting if a "work placement" in retail suddenly pops up in one of the places shes already applied to.

Monty27 Fri 27-Sep-13 00:14:42

I think they might find it's illegal. As said up thread MINIUM WAGE

Any conglomerate who buys into workfare should be boycotted.


Darkesteyes Fri 27-Sep-13 00:18:57

I dont think im going to be doing much Christmas shopping this year.

Morloth Fri 27-Sep-13 00:20:04

What are you going to DO about it?

No idea about these guys and whether they are any good but here you go.

Viviennemary Fri 27-Sep-13 00:28:10

I don't think a commercial enterprise should be employing people on workfare. But I think maybe charity work could be acceptable.

What about those of us, skilled, motivated, hard-working, qualified, talented, passionate people who have careers in the SS/charity sector? Replace us with people who don't want to be there?

By all means have volunteers, I started as one. Don't have slave labour, even in charities.

Viviennemary Fri 27-Sep-13 00:42:40

A lot of charities have people on probation doing work for them. I don't expect they want to be there either. But that's another thing altogether. The point is nobody needs to do work. They just won't get their benefit. Lots of people are toiling for low wages in work they don't particularly like. I don't think it's too much to expect people to contribute something in exchange for benefit.

Darkesteyes Fri 27-Sep-13 00:45:25

Vivienne what about the conflict of interest when it comes to sanctions. A lot of ppl on Esa are going to be on this "scheme". if they are too ill to go into their placement the placement reports them to the Job Centre who then sanctions them So placements like the Salvation Army can report someone for a sanction causing the very homelessness they are suppossed to be against Ditto someone with a heart condition who has ended up on placement at the British Heart Foundation. Can people really not see the MASSIVE conflicts of interest here.

Darkesteyes Fri 27-Sep-13 00:48:04

vivienne someone on jobseekers is NOT the same as someone on probation Being unemployed is NOT a crime.

Viviennemary Fri 27-Sep-13 00:51:53

If people are ill they get a doctor's note the same as working people have to. I am not in favour of sick people being made to work. If everybody is so against all these policies then I'm sure we'll have a different government next time.

Growlithe Fri 27-Sep-13 00:52:26

It's almost funny isn't it? So many of our manufacturing, IT, and other skilled jobs have gone offshore because it is so much cheaper than a UK workforce.

Now they have found a way to undercut the UK workforce where they can't offshore, with the UK unemployed. confused What is the emploYment status of these people? Do they have any employment rights in terms of H&S? Can these people strike?

What left for the bonafide UK workforce? Nothing.

Ezio Fri 27-Sep-13 00:56:32

I did a 4 week work placement in feb, i cant even get a reference to give to people for it, i got a certificate and thats it.

Ezio Fri 27-Sep-13 00:57:47

Vivienne, you do know only a doctors note goes so far right, if JC's doctors say the are fit, back to work they most go.

AnaisHendricks Fri 27-Sep-13 01:00:47

Vivienne - a Doctor's note?

That's all it takes, of course. Ever read the news heard of ATOS?

Darkesteyes Fri 27-Sep-13 01:14:45

People who are already on the ESA had the doctors note a while before Thats why they are on ESA in the first place confused

Darkesteyes Fri 27-Sep-13 01:16:13

vivienne ppl on these work for benefits schemes do not have the same rights as people who are employed and are actually working for wages.

YANBU. How the bloody hell are people meant to find and apply for jobs if they're working full time? And why the fuck is this government giving even more money to large corporations to cause more unemployment?

Viviennemary Fri 27-Sep-13 01:23:16

I don't know a single person who has had to work for benefits. And in any case nobody usually believes what the Daily Mail says. This work for benefits idea has been around for ages but has never got off the ground. And I don't expect it will this time either. So it's probably just a panic about nothing.

Darkesteyes Fri 27-Sep-13 01:26:48

vivienne i did workfare back in 2000. And there are plenty of experiences on the Boycott Workfare website. And a few MNers have posted about their sons daughters/brothers etc having to do it.

its notthe first time that something has been denied.

Darkesteyes Fri 27-Sep-13 01:27:14

Google Cait Reilly

Viviennemary Fri 27-Sep-13 01:37:15

I didn't feel very sympathetic toward Cait Reilly I'm afraid. I thought she was very entitled. And if people did workfare back in 2000 that must have been under a Labour government. I did vote Labour last time but probably won't again. A lot of people think the benefits system needs to be reformed.

poppingin1 Fri 27-Sep-13 02:01:19

So Vivienne, are you saying that you are in support of a system that will most probably lead to an increase in redundancies because large companies know that they will be getting free labour?

They will make people redundant and then take them back on as free labour, while those who are lucky enough to still be in employment and paying tax, will have their taxes being used to pay these people less than minimum wage. It will actually INCREASE the number of people on full time benefits!!!!!!!

Taxes will be used to pay for a labour workforce who will be subsisting on less than the pitiful minimum wage we have now. More people will become jobless as large companies see the opportunity to pay NOTHING, ZERO, ZILCH, NADA for workers while the taxpayer picks up the tab.


Sorry I know I have paraphrased myself over and over but I am astonished that this is not being understood shock

It is absolute madness!

Darkesteyes Fri 27-Sep-13 02:09:47

Vivienne said.
This work for benefits idea has been around for ages but has never got off the ground

And then said.

And if people did workfare back in 2000 that must have been under a Labour government.

Not doing very well are you? Contradict yourself much? I believe the terminology for what you are doing on this thread is called gaslighting.

Mimishimi Fri 27-Sep-13 03:06:06

This is nuts. Anyone working needs to be paid the minimum wage. Otherwise there is huge incentive for big business to lay us all off and have most of us on 'benefits'. They won't have to pay the workers except through their normal tax contributions.

mirai Fri 27-Sep-13 04:34:58

It does annoy me sometimes that MN is so lefty that anyone with a different view is shot down, often accused of trolling or gas lighting etc.

Some people think work fare is a terrible idea, others think it's a great idea, probably most people don't have a strong viewpoint either way.

But you'll never be able to have a balanced discussion about it on here.

diaimchlo Fri 27-Sep-13 05:17:55

Workfare would be part way acceptable if the people who are having to endure it are paid a living wage, but they are forced to work 30 hours for £56.80 for under 25s and £71.70 for over 25s. Where is the fairness in that? If the large corporations that use this scheme we made to make the shortfall up to at the very least minimum wage.

If this does come into effect it would not surprise me at all as this Government seem intent on the "I'm alright Jack sod the rest of you" attitude. Look at George Osbourne challenging the proposed bonus cap for bankers angry. Ask him or any of his Tory friends to challenge the problems that he and his cronies have caused to the poor, disabled and disadvantaged of this country and they decide to create more..

Gerbilectomy Fri 27-Sep-13 05:29:18

It's not 'lefty' to point out the flaws in this plan, mirai. It's common sense and human decency which many idiots think IS lefty

Personally, I'm glad MNers have the sense to call the Tories on this crap. Balances out the rest of the shit dog-whistle media in this godforsaken country.

mathanxiety Fri 27-Sep-13 05:32:02

This is Communism surely?

mathanxiety Fri 27-Sep-13 05:33:52

Mirai -- The people who love it are the people with shares in the companies whose bottom line is so greatly enhanced by not having to pay actual wages to people who work for them.

MisselthwaiteManor Fri 27-Sep-13 05:43:30

This is incredibly stupid and is only going to make the situation worse, why would these companies bother hiring anyone on a proper wage if they can get it for free?

I am stunned that anyone thinks it's right to force someone to work for as little as £1.89 per hour. Paid by taxes. It must be lovely to have no idea what it's like to be poor.

Charlesroi Fri 27-Sep-13 05:46:22

I can see the benefit of work placements to get people some experience to put on their cv. What I can't accept is people not getting paid a fair wage for doing this - it's slavery and deprives experienced (e.g. retail) staff of a job they are interested in.

JakeBullet Fri 27-Sep-13 06:31:36

I don't agree with Workfare at all.....why would a company pay even the NMW to someone on JSA if they can just use Workfare. Utterly stupid idea.

I would much rather see people being offered voluntary work in the community. We have lots of parents who might be out of work, what a valuable resource they might be to new parents who might be struggling. We have elderly people who need help with shopping or to get out.
We have a plethora of community projects which could benefit massively from voluntary help.

Then again none of those ideas benefits the Govt's friends.

AmberLeaf Fri 27-Sep-13 06:39:53

This work for benefits idea has been around for ages but has never got off the ground. And I don't expect it will this time either. So it's probably just a panic about nothing

Never got off the ground?

Its been happening already!

Look at the boycott workfare link that MrsTerryPrachett posted upthread.

Workfare stops companies giving real jobs to people. why pay a wage when you can get workers for free?

I really don't understand how anyone can be so chronically stupid to think this is a good idea.

NicholasTeakozy Fri 27-Sep-13 06:54:32

This policy guarantees more or less permanent austerity and recession, because:-

Artificially deflating wages in this manner keeps inflation low. But, the things we need more money for, housing and fuel, are going up by many more times the official rate of inflation but are not included in the figures, so the official rate of inflation is meaningless.

Those who are the lowest paid spend the most as a percentage of their income. As their fuel and housing costs rise so much higher than their income the less economically active these people are going to be, leading to a decrease in sales OR an increase in the use of payday loans, leading to them having less to spend etc etc. So it's a vicious circle.

It's yet another proof that the wealth is being transferred ever more upward. How to stop it? Impose capitalism on the rich. Stop bailing them out, stop quantitative easing and allow the markets to decide which businesses survive.


If you want proof that even the rich think the current economic model is theft, Google Stanley Druckenmiller.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 27-Sep-13 06:56:32

Lots of right wing people don't like workfare, it's bad for the job market and economy as well as unfair on the person doing it.

It's not a leftie issue.

Have any other papers reported on this?

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 27-Sep-13 07:08:26

list of companies not using workfare according to boycott.

LustyBusty Fri 27-Sep-13 07:09:40

I think workfare is a great idea IN THEORY. if there were enough jobs to go round, so that everyone who wanted a job had one, then making people work towards their benefits (if they can) is great. But. There aren't enough jobs. Therefore, as mentioned up thread, forcing people who would like to work into a placement solely to keep their benefits is crap.
As an aside, I've sort of assumed (and I've not seen any mention of it, so I have no idea if this is the case) that the companies who take on workfare staff don't have permanent vacancies available? If they can afford salaries of, say 5 people, they can't afford to recruit a 6th. But if they are not paying a wage, they can take on an extra staff member. I guess this isn't the case?

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 27-Sep-13 07:15:30

Hmm. Can't see anything about this in other papers.

BangOn Fri 27-Sep-13 07:23:02

Yes, financial terrorism is a good description.

I urge all of you who are incensed by the sheer criminality of this government's policies to ask yourselves who politics belongs to, or rather who it should belong to. if the answer is 'each & every sodding one of us!' rather than 'a bunch of rich, sadistic cunts' then please click on this link, answer the questions & then contact the local branch of whichever party your beliefs most closely echo, & say you'll offer them whatever time or skills you can, in order to help them become a credible political force & defeat these scumbags.

They will welcome you with open arms, believe me.

NicknameIncomplete Fri 27-Sep-13 07:25:08

YANBU workfare is awful.

My db has had to do it about 4 times with 3 different companies. Working 9-5 five days a week for 70 pounds is slave labour. How can people think this is a good idea?

5madthings Fri 27-Sep-13 07:29:42

Can we have a lost of companies that use workfare so we can boycott?

Yes to writing to MPs!

AmberLeaf Fri 27-Sep-13 07:31:50

As an aside, I've sort of assumed (and I've not seen any mention of it, so I have no idea if this is the case) that the companies who take on workfare staff don't have permanent vacancies available? If they can afford salaries of, say 5 people, they can't afford to recruit a 6th. But if they are not paying a wage, they can take on an extra staff member. I guess this isn't the case?

No it isn't.

Lots of high street names who would otherwise have been offering jobs using workfare.

They definitely can afford to pay a wage.

5madthings Fri 27-Sep-13 07:47:07

Thanks for the link tewi

Nerfmother Fri 27-Sep-13 07:47:51

I've made the same assumption as Amber. If it's only 4 weeks do companies really just use a conveyor belt of workfare people rather than hiring one person?

Nerfmother Fri 27-Sep-13 07:48:28

I'm going to read up on it before judging. Travel costs? Who pays those? Childcare?

littlemisssarcastic Fri 27-Sep-13 07:48:35

Workfare doesn't just affect the people on benefits being forced to do it. It affects the people who are employed too.
If you are fortunate enough to have an unskilled job, you'd better start worrying. You could easily have your job taken away only to be taken back on at the same company, doing the same job under Workfare.

Is there even a rule that limits how many Workfare placements a company can have?
Effectively, Workfare could replace almost every minimum wage job out there!!!
Why would a company give you employment rights and minimum wage when they can boot you out and replace you with a Workfare placement?

Be afraid if you have a minimum wage unskilled job. Be very afraid!!!

AmberLeaf Fri 27-Sep-13 07:51:47

If it's only 4 weeks do companies really just use a conveyor belt of workfare people rather than hiring one person?

Yes they do.

littlemisssarcastic is right.

AmberLeaf Fri 27-Sep-13 07:54:40

Read some peoples personal accounts of being on workfare here

BrokenSunglasses Fri 27-Sep-13 08:08:16

I don't have a problem with the public sector or charities using these programmes, but I do think big business should only be allowed to do it if they are going to provide relevant training or work experience.

If it were only the public sector and charity using unemployed people, then there wouldn't be a need to worry about it affecting job availability, which is the biggest problem with this, because it's not as if people would be used for free instead of jobs being created. Where a job doesn't exist and will never exist, there's not going to be a problem with workfare replacing a job.

Big companies shouldn't be benefitting from it though.

colleysmill Fri 27-Sep-13 08:10:38

Workfare seems to be one of those ideas that probably started off on some desk somewhere that looked ok on paper - hey let's give people experience who might have been out of work for a long time or never worked maybe! What a fab idea!

But as most sensible people know, sometimes things that look great on paper just don't work in practice and this seems to be so easily manipulated by big companies to their advantage. And the long term implications on job creation or lack of it make me shudder.

They should go back to the drawing board on this.

buss Fri 27-Sep-13 08:15:42

there's a list of companies known to have used workfare from the link above here... I don't know how reliable it is, but I just had a look and gasped at one of the stores on there using slave labour...

littlemisssarcastic Fri 27-Sep-13 08:16:17

Workfare is experience of working though. Still doesn't negate the fact that it is slave labour and a very real risk to all unskilled minimum wage jobs. There doesn't have to be a job available at the end of the Workfare placement.
It's a no brainer!! Why would an employer offer training to someone who's only going to be there for a very short time? That's bonkers!!
If there is a job available, pay NMW, train the staff and give them a genuine opportunity to work.

gordyslovesheep Fri 27-Sep-13 08:24:36

brilliant - who needs real sustainable employment opportunities

I though zero hours slavery contracts where bad - but look - they don't get a contract, or a wage or anything - just the benefits they are legally entitled to

I hate this government with a passion

fluffyraggies Fri 27-Sep-13 09:18:54

My daughter had to do ''Work Fair'' 3 weeks after signing on to job seekers immediately after completing her vetinary college course. This was 2 years ago.

The company she had to work for had her doing longer shifts than all the other staff members (who were getting MW) and she was required to do this work for 4 weeks. No consideration was given to her travel - (there were no buses running at the times the co. wanted her to do shifts) so many times i had to drive her in. She was told she would have to have the permission of the company to have time off for any interviews for a real job. She was told that she would not be allowed off work fair to persue voluntary work at a vetinary surgery (which would have given her relevant experience).

- The work? Sweeping floors in the stock room of a cheapy chemist.

- Was there an actual vacancy at the end of the 4 weeks? no.

- After her 4 weeks did the chemist then take on another school leaver for 4 weeks for free? Yes.

- Do they still do it now? Yes.

- Did my daughter get a job in the end? Yes - off her own back - a week after finishing the Work Fare job, when she finally had the time to persue a real job. The Job Centre, who week after week had just kept saying ''oh - there seems to be no jobs available on the system right now'' was all fired up to put her on work fair again ....'

What a wonderful idea Work Fair is hmm

Wannabestepfordwife Fri 27-Sep-13 09:20:00

Posted too soon

In a store I managed the company decided to take on workfare rather than actual staff.

2 of the workfare we actually took on as Xmas staff with a lot of persuading but the other 2 were off at least once a week, didn't know 2 50ps make a £1, had poor personal hygiene and a terrible attitude.

It was so frustrating having people with experience bringing their cv but being unable to offer them work

sashh Fri 27-Sep-13 09:39:28


I'm not sure if you are stupid, naive, misinformed or believe in slavery.

It's not enough to get a sick note if you are working, it's not enough to be seen by ATOS every few months. Apparently according to ATOS amputated legs can grow back and Cerebral Palsy improves.

Why should a company that makes millions of pounds be given free labour?

Did you know if you volunteer for a charity you can be sanctioned for not being available for work and then be sent to Tesco to work for your benefits.

What about childcare? If you are out of the house 10 hours a day you cannot look after your own child, but as you are not working you don't get any help with childcare.

At least if we went back to workhouses the large companies would not profit.

Oh and my local job centre has had to recruit 20 new staff (propper jobs) to deal with all the workfare claimants who didn't get a job at the end because companies take on more workfare 'clients'

Do you remember Thatcher when people were forced to take a job if it was offered, regardless of whether they had the skills, the training, whether the employer abided by health and safety. People were killed. We will soon be back to that, people risking their lives for benefits.

Viviennemary Fri 27-Sep-13 09:56:45

Just because I do not agree with the opinions on this thread does not mean I am stupid naive or uniformed. I hope I am none of these things. It gets a bit pathetic when people have to resort to insults to make their point. Why not vent your fury on Ian Duncan Smith and not me.

Dear fucking god.. they get worse and worse don't they?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

catsmother Fri 27-Sep-13 10:14:57

I could write reams about this but haven't the time ATM, so, in short - IT IS INHUMANE.

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 10:18:47

I have some great ideas on how to save money, and get this country back on its feet.

Lifetime disability benefits for lifetime conditions, because reassessment and the appeals process cost money. As sashh said, amputated legs don't grow back. People with permanent conditions that do not and could never remit without a god's intervention should not be pointlessly reassessed at public cost, to be either be granted their entitlement again or denied it.

Just leave the people in peace.

Workfare is not one of my ideas, because it can only damage our national economy. Workfare needs to go, because it is diminishing the numbers of jobs and the amount of money people have to spend!

BrokenSunglasses Fri 27-Sep-13 10:23:44

So people suffer a life changing illness or accident and we should write them off forever as being unable to provide for themselves? hmm

Things like that don't go away, but people don't automatically become unable to ever work again because they have been diagnosed with a life long condition or because they have a leg amputated. There are loads of amputees and disabled people in work.

Personally I'd rather that assessments continued, but that the outcome was help and support to get into work if at all possible.

internationallove985 Fri 27-Sep-13 10:23:56

If they want people to work for nothing, then why can't they turn them into real jobs with a living wage. Also how will they have time to look for work if they are working for nothing because unless they're super human they can't do both. Their vendeter against the unemployed is like an obsession and it's getting, well frankly boring and past a joke now. xx

internationallove985 Fri 27-Sep-13 10:25:48

Also how is this going to solve the unemployment crisis if a firm can get someone to work for nothing why are they going to hire someone they would have to pay. xx

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 10:28:05

BrokenSunglasses nice try at the "I care more about the disabled than you". Unfortunately, you're barking up the wrong tree. You really shouldn't have used that little passive-aggressive hmm face.

You see, disability benefits aren't out-of-work benefits. You're entitled to them, to defray the cost of your disability. In fact, receiving disability benefits can enable people to work. For example, people can exchange the mobility component for a mobility vehicle, enabling them to be actually able to drive to work.

Did you think disabled people didn't deserve to be helped with increased expenses from their disability if they'd managed to wrangle a minimum wage job somewhere?

Have a hmm

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 10:29:48

Recognising the reality of someone's disability and not dragging them in for reassessment and form-filling is "writing them off". Jeez louise...

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 10:31:21

"Personal Independence Payment (PIP) helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or a disability if you’re aged 16 to 64.

You could get between £21 to £134.40 a week to help with the extra costs caused by your condition. How much you get is not based on your condition, but how your condition affects you.

You’ll need an assessment to work out the level of help you get. Your award will be regularly reassessed to make sure you’re getting the right support."

AnaisHendricks Fri 27-Sep-13 10:31:53

Workfare is exactly how IDS is going to find something for the self-employed, part-timers and people on zero hours contracts who won't earn enough to quality for universal Credit to do.

Oh yes Anais, "the job you are working at isn't satisfactory, give it up now and work for our mates for free"

Dahlen Fri 27-Sep-13 10:39:36

Now is definitely the time to get views made public. This is not policy - it is an idea being mooted at the Conservative Party Conference. If it is well-received, it would require either the LibDems to get on board with it, or a majority Conservative government if it was to become policy.

YouTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 10:42:17

So does Broken think that someone with cerebal palsy's condition is going to improve? Because that's what ATOS think. 'Review in 6 months because condition may have improved' has actually been written on people with CP's assessments.

It is utter madness to keep reassessing people who are not going to get better.

And VivienneMary, you are being naive if you think that someone already getting ESA would be able to get a sicknote - they are already on the sick to start with and that fact is being ignored.

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 27-Sep-13 10:44:27

"This is Communism surely?"

Yes, mathanxiety, that's exactly right.

I hadn't thought of it in those terms before.

Tory Communists.

FlapJackFlossie Fri 27-Sep-13 10:50:36

If Workfare is 'slave labour' and 'stops people getting jobs' - can someone please explain to me how it works so well in USA ?

(Before you slate me........just asking !)

Does it work well in the USA?

madlynormal Fri 27-Sep-13 10:53:12

But if you are receiving money you are not working for nothing.
If done properly it would vastly improve society.
I have several friends who get benefits due to circumstances beyond their control who volunteer.
Maybe if you get yourself a volunteer position you should be exempt giving a little control to the person.
I would have no qualms about going in to my kids school every day or spending time picking up litter ( I and several neighbours do this anyway in our area in spite of having jobs) as long as I could have time off to attend interviews for work.
I do agree you should be topped up to minimum wage if not receiving payments and other assistance which equal it.
If the money paid out to the unemployed was stopped (not suggesting it should be) and given to a school or hospital they could then use it to employ someone to do all the jobs they can not afford at the moment.
Some one extra at meal times, someone to listen to the struggling children read or clean up the rubbish or graffiti. Repaint the scruffy buildings, clean public spaces better etc. etc.

YouTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 10:54:18

I don't think it does work well there. They have very high unemployment as well.

Workfare would be fine if it was just 4 weeks, at minimum wage, and you were given the option to get proper experience in a field you were trying to find a job in. But it's not like that.

YouTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 10:56:06

Oh yes, let people just listen to the struggling readers for next to nothing - that'd be my job out of the window then. Great idea. hmm

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 10:57:17


JSA is the minimum amount of money that the law says people need, in order to simply live. You are entitled to it, as long as you can show you are looking for work.

As the government is now saying, "actually, we're only going to give you your minimum living expenses if you work, and we will not reimburse you for the costs that you incur, because you are working" (such as childcare, travel expenses) then you're right. People aren't working for nothing.

They're paying to work!

Viviennemary Fri 27-Sep-13 11:03:49

ESA. Who is talking about people on ESA. That is a different benefit entirely. People won't be working for ESA. As somebody else pointed out ESA is not an unemployment benefit. Not posting on this thread any more. No point.

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 11:05:55

No-one's talking about ESA. I mentioned JSA- job-seeker's allowance, which is the benefit most/all of the workfare targets are on.

YouTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 11:09:08

OP mentioned ESA on page 2 (I think) and that some people on that benefit will also be included in the scheme, even if they are too sick to work. VivienneMary suggested they get a sicknote.

madlynormal Fri 27-Sep-13 11:09:53

If you have a minimum wage job you still have to pay your expenses.
I did say you should get topped up to minimum wage.
I do agree that help to keep a job should be given. Bus pass, free child care.
I have two members of my family who choose not to work as they are better off on benefit. That should not be.
They have all sorts of strategies to make sure they do not get jobs they are interviewed for.
Brothers who are fit and able with a good education.
They hate getting up and do not want to do something 40 hours a week when they could be enjoying themselves.
They are blatant about this.

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 11:11:00

Ah, now I understand. Sorry.

Sometimes these threads get confusing to me, especially after holier-than-thou posts about not "writing people off" by giving them their entitlement without demanding further hoop-jumping!

fluffyraggies Fri 27-Sep-13 11:11:39

madly you (like my mother actually) seem to be in support of something which isn't actually what what work fare is at all!

You would agree with it IF you could do volunteer work while on the scheme.
You cant though.

You would agree with it IF the work were to be benefiting children or the wider community.
But it doesn't.

You would agree with it IF you were allowed time off for interviews.
But you're not.

You would agree with it IF you got the equivalent to MW while on it.
But you don't.

Be honest and say 'i don't agree with work fare'.

AnaisHendricks Fri 27-Sep-13 11:11:52

God, yes, people will be paying to work what with travel expenses etc

I don't see how people on workfare can legally receive JSA. To qualify you have to be actively seeking work and have to spend x hours doing so. How can that be done when working for Tesco thirty hours a week? The DWP will be breaking their own conditions for qualifying for this benefit.

What if you get an interview by some miracle? Sanctioned because you took time off from workfare? Sanctioned for taking time off to sign on?

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 11:14:15

But that's the thing, madlynormal. There is no top up!

Even a full-time minimum wage job works out to be a hell of a lot more for than £56.80- £71.70 a week!

fluffyraggies Fri 27-Sep-13 11:16:44

Oh - and you would agree with it if help were being given to keep a job. But it isn't.

I think i agree with a scheme that did all the things that you propose, absolutely. But that isn't Work Fare as it stands right now. That's what we're all pissed off about.

Ezio Fri 27-Sep-13 11:19:19

I have to do workfare very soon, all i want is a damn job, i work damn hard and i learn fast, no one will give me a chance, and it took a year to get my first interview.

I need help practically, so employers will take notice of me.

fluffyraggies Fri 27-Sep-13 11:28:52

Well fear not Ezio, very soon you could be spending 7 hours of your day in a stockroom sweeping the floors. Just think! What an amazing thing that will be for you to put on your CV.

Oh and also, for the duration of that time, you will be spared the worry of searching and applying for other jobs because you wont have the time or money left, from your travel, to go to any interviews.

Oh and don't worry - you wont have to keep the job in the stockroom - because it doesn't really exist. The company wont want to actually pay anyone to do it.

I wish you all the best for your job hunt.

Ginocchio Fri 27-Sep-13 11:35:35

I've skipped through the thread so apologies if I've misssed any salient points.

If there was a scheme to get long term unemployed people working on community / voluntary projects, them I might support it, if the scheme provided an additional resource that wouldn't otherwise be paid for, and was designed around increasing the individual's skills & employability, and allowed the necessary flexibility for job interviews, and took appropriate account of the specific needs of people with physical / mental health issues.

However, the idea that private businesses should get free labour, for roles that they would otherwise still require but would have to pay a salary for - that's not acceptable.

bunchoffives Fri 27-Sep-13 11:38:56

Big Jessie Upthread you said you had some ideas on how to reform the benefit system. What are they?

Workfare sounded like a good idea but the minute you sanction people it is not a good idea, it is state-enforced slavery.

KenAdams Fri 27-Sep-13 11:40:12

Question for those on JSA and housing benefit - would giving you a job at NMW cover your housing costs etc too or is it better not to get paid and keep your housing benefit?

KenAdams Fri 27-Sep-13 11:41:35

Oh and I think the only way to solve this is to increase NMW. It's a fucking joke, especially in comparison to rent costs.

ParsingFancy Fri 27-Sep-13 11:46:20

KenAdams, people working full time can receive housing benefit. Many thousands do.

Housing prices are so out of control that even above-NMW jobs often do not cover basic accommodation.

ubik Fri 27-Sep-13 11:49:54

Well I suppose it's Aston Martin's all round at Tesco HQ - workfce paid by the taxpayer must only help the bottom line. Feel sorry for their suppliers though, especially those who try to pay a living wage and treat their staff decently.

limitedperiodonly Fri 27-Sep-13 11:50:41

I don't see how people on workfare can legally receive JSA. To qualify you have to be actively seeking work and have to spend x hours doing so. How can that be done when working for Tesco thirty hours a week? The DWP will be breaking their own conditions for qualifying for this benefit.

I wonder about this anaishendricks.

Whenever these threads pop up, I've spelled out to fans of Workfare how it costs taxpayers money, jeopardises existing jobs, doesn't provide growth and gives participant members of the scheme an unfair business advantage over competitors who aren't in it.

They never come back to me.

KenAdams Fri 27-Sep-13 11:55:26

Parsing I didn't realise that. Would people keep their housing benefit if they got these jobs at NMW then?

I think if they were asking people yo do a bit of community work it wouldn't be a problem. But to provide free labour to a multi million pound company is just disgusting.

NicholasTeakozy Fri 27-Sep-13 12:00:22

KenAdams, approximately 80% of housing benefit is paid to those in work. There's a simple remedy to cutting the benefit bill. Force employers to pay a living wage. Apparently I'm a socialist for wanting that. No more socialist than the banks when it comes to bailing their useless arses out.

ParsingFancy Fri 27-Sep-13 12:03:37

Yes yes, Ken, you'll be working with or talking to or walking past people today who have a full-time job but rely on housing benefit, either to pay their full rent or to top it up. Can't remember the figures, but IIRC the unemployed are actually a small minority of the people who receive HB.

And there have always been strict rules capping HB - only so many rooms for a family X size, rent only up to a set figure compared to median market rate, etc.

ubik Fri 27-Sep-13 12:03:43

This government really is a shower of bastards, isn't it.

poppingin1 Fri 27-Sep-13 12:15:47

It is so jarring when people are so bogged down in poor bashing rhetoric that pointing out the already proven to be serious flaws in something like workfare is seen as 'lefty'.

I read lots of on-line newspapers including the traditionally 'right' and many people on all sides are not happy about workfare.

Workfare has been proven to fail

It failed in the US in exactly the way it is being predicted to fail in the UK.

Quote from article:

"The development (or deterioration) in the labour market structure is the real issue. It's worth noting that in that structure, paid employment doesn't necessarily reduce a worker's need for some state support either. David Ward, from the Direct Care Alliance in New York, told me that careworkers his organisation represents are often paid so poorly that they rely on food stamps and medicaid and other support to make ends meet. That's the experience of many low-paid workers across the US. Their problem isn't laziness, or scrounging. Their problem is that their wages are so low they can't feed their families on their earnings.

Workfare simply gives companies and organisations another pool of very cheap, and disposable, workers. Unions certainly saw that point in New York. Several years into the city's workfare programme, District Council 37, a union which represented municipal employees, took Guiliani to court, saying that his workfare programme “had illegally replaced nearly 2000 unionised clerical workers with unpaid welfare recipients in three agencies."

poppingin1 Fri 27-Sep-13 12:19:17

There are far more people who work claiming HB than unemployed because the housing market has priced people out of even being able to afford to rent, let alone buy.

ParsingFancy Fri 27-Sep-13 12:30:08

It's ironic that Tory grandee Ken Clarke's big concern over plans to make prisoners work more, is that it would affect real jobs.

"It would be a very serious downside if we started replacing job opportunities for law abiding people, and we’ve been conscious of that all the way through.
"Although we don’t pay the prisoners the minimum wage, normally you can’t start undercutting British businesses outside. For that reason, however, we’ve just tried to ensure in our code of practice that we will not price on a basis that threatens honest businesses" The Independent, Jun 2012

Feck, why bother. Now companies don't have to bother with prisoners, they can just sack their competent, law-abiding staff and have the same people back paid for by taxpayer.

noisytoys Fri 27-Sep-13 12:32:39

Workfare is terrifying we are going back in time to Victorian Britain sad

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 12:45:06

I would reform the system, by getting rid of pointless expenditure like unnecessary ATOS assessments.

Thee money saved on that bureaucracy could be spent elsewhere. YThe job centre could actually set up workplace training courses for the unemployed. For example, I see adverts for warehouse forklift drivers locally. Now, due to my dodgy reflexes, that itself isn't suitable for me, even after training, but for other people it is.

Does my job centre provide forklift-training, or even tell you where you can find it? No. I looked for someone else, and I couldn't find even find any courses locally.

I would refuse to allow the benefits system to completely subsidise companies' labour costs. There was a little nugget of truth that people with gaps on their CVs could often do with work experience to demonstrate to employers that they're worth employing.

So I would severely limit and alter the workfare thing until it's almost unrecognisable. Employers would:
1) have severe limits on how many workfare placements they could do, (none of this "another 25 workers every four weeks", with none of them getting jobs")

2) They would be obliged to top up the benefits the person got until it reached minimum wage for the hours worked. I'd need some people to check through the loopholes to make sure there weren't exceptions where people could lose out, but it can be done.

It just needs the people in charge to think it's worth doing. The company would still be getting a cheap worker, so it would still be in their interest to offer placements. They just wouldn't be taking the piss at an individual's expense.
3) People on placements would have the same health and safety rights as contracted workers- this could be dealt with by, erm, contracts.
4) Companies who wanted JSA-claimants as cheap workers would be obliged to provide references, just like they do to previous paid employees. That would mean that people on a placement would actually have improved employment chances afterwards.

There's more, but I didn't make notes on all of it, so I can't remember what the details were, apart from one thing.

People whinge like mad about single parents getting back to work, and not even going on courses, etc. If you're a single-parent of young child(ren), and you don't have childcare, how can you attend evening courses, etc? There should be proper crèches, to enable the demonised single parents to train.

I have been working heavily on courses for my CV, in the absence of a job, and it's paying off, in that I'm getting more interviews to stutter my way through. That has only been possible, because my husband is willing and able to co-parent.

TotemPole Fri 27-Sep-13 12:51:44

Some one extra at meal times, someone to listen to the struggling children read or clean up the rubbish or graffiti. Repaint the scruffy buildings, clean public spaces better etc. etc.

Those are called jobs. Can you see the local councils keeping the same number of staff if they can get their streets cleaned up for free?

AnaisHendricks Fri 27-Sep-13 13:02:48

<votes for BigJessie>

TotemPole Fri 27-Sep-13 13:06:04

TBH, I'd be willing to do 4 weeks of workfare if I was being trained in something that made me more employable. But obviously that isn't likely to be the case. I wouldn't need 4 weeks training to stack shelves or sweep floors.

Alternatively, I'd also be willing to work 10 hours a week for my £71 JSA, as long it was walkable and in term time, school hours only. But if there were any local jobs like this, I'd have found them and applied for a real vacancy. I'd get to keep £20, so I'd be slightly better off.

StormyBrid Fri 27-Sep-13 13:20:02

I like the way you think, BigJessie, but find myself thinking of numerous ways in which the current government would manage to screw it up if given your post as a brief to work with. For example, if your work placement is topping up your benefits so you're receiving the equivalent of NMW, you've got money coming in. I'd be willing to bet that would mean a reduction in the benefits you'd get.

TotemPole Fri 27-Sep-13 13:21:50

People whinge like mad about single parents getting back to work, and not even going on courses, etc. If you're a single-parent of young child(ren), and you don't have childcare, how can you attend evening courses, etc? There should be proper crèches, to enable the demonised single parents to train.

You aren't forced to look for work until your youngest child reaches school age(5). Single parents with school aged children can do day time courses and while on JSA up to level 2 are usually free.

TotemPole Fri 27-Sep-13 13:27:41

If someone with children was working full time in a NMW job, they would normally be entitled to working tax credits. Working full time but still having a status of being on JSA, I can see the government using this as an excuse to not give them the top up WTC.

Maybe the company could fully employ the person so they can claim WTC too. Then the government give some sort of incentive of £71 for so many weeks to employers who take on a long term unemployed person?

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 13:28:28

<strangles government for nitwittery>- needless to say, if I was actually in charge, that would not happen, but then, I actually think the poor/unemployed are people.

Totem That's true. Nevertheless, the social disapproval is there. And what about single parents who are looking for work, or want to be prepared before the child turns five? There is very little support out there for the actual practical issues that keep people in the poverty trap. I think it's great the lone parents can claim Income Support until the child reaches school age, but they should be offered practical support with it, rather than flung on JSA and expected to find something after that. Mind, I say "offered", not "forced to attend" any crap going.

leylandii Fri 27-Sep-13 13:30:42

Not quite sure of all the details yet, but £71 per week would equate to around 11 hours a week on minimum wage. Is minimum wage £6.31?

YouTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 13:32:18

£6.58 I think.

AmberLeaf Fri 27-Sep-13 13:38:18

Single parents with school aged children can do day time courses and while on JSA up to level 2 are usually free

But they are also expected to be actively job seeking at the same time and are expected to 'be prepared' to leave their course if a job comes up.

leylandii Fri 27-Sep-13 13:38:24

that would equate to 10.7 hours per week.

Are they wanting people to work full-time for this?

YouTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 13:44:21

Yes they are.

TotemPole Fri 27-Sep-13 13:47:54

And what about single parents who are looking for work, or want to be prepared before the child turns five?

Yes, there is very little support. When DC was under 5, I was outside of the catchment area for the sure start creche, and even then it would have only been 2 hours.

TotemPole Fri 27-Sep-13 13:49:38

But they are also expected to be actively job seeking at the same time and are expected to 'be prepared' to leave their course if a job comes up.

That's true. I hadn't thought of that.

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 13:52:53

Ohyus. If you're forced to apply for some very temp crap, and get it, bugger your enrolment on the training that would actually get you full-time employment for something permanent.

Heard of that happening- near the actual end of courses, a couple of months away from an actual qualification. It's bizarre, as the jobcentre will have actually paid for the courses!

TotemPole Fri 27-Sep-13 13:57:01

Can they force you to take a temporary job? I'm actually getting worried about all of this. If I don't find something in the next few months, I have to go on the work programme.

AmberLeaf Fri 27-Sep-13 13:57:29

They may also be expected to do workfare and give up their course too if the jobcentre deems it necessary.

I was told by my advisor that they [she] would try to not make that happen, but that it was a possibility.

AmberLeaf Fri 27-Sep-13 13:58:52

I don't think they can force you, but they can impose sanctions if you don't [ie cut your JSA for a period of time]

StormyBrid Fri 27-Sep-13 13:59:00

I'm reminded of years back, when I was part time at college and signing on. My adviser wanted me to do a two week course, which clashed with an A Level exam. Wasn't allowed to attend the course later. Apparently a crappy two week course in how to turn a computer on was more likely to get me a job than passing my A Levels was.

TotemPole Fri 27-Sep-13 14:03:37

The government's timing of forcing single parents off IS onto JSA was just stupid. The move happened over the time thousands of people were being laid off with companies such as Woolies closing down. They continued with bringing down the age of children for IS eligibility. Stupid, stupid move.

TotemPole Fri 27-Sep-13 14:08:04

I don't think they can force you, but they can impose sanctions if you don't [ie cut your JSA for a period of time]

AmberLeaf, to me thats the same thing.

God I'm really worried now.

Ezio Fri 27-Sep-13 14:19:10

Totem, i was one of those people they booted off IS to JSA, I havent worked in 6 years after my DD was born and they are scratching their heads as to why its been a year on JSA.

I just want a bloody job.

TotemPole Fri 27-Sep-13 14:24:38

Ezio, I know, some of the staff just don't get it.

Are you on the work programme yet?

Ezio Fri 27-Sep-13 14:28:44

About to say my life away to them next week.

Can you feel my excitement.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Fri 27-Sep-13 14:28:46

I can't understand how anyone can think this is a good idea. As stated above: why will employers pay someone when they can get them to work for nothing. If there is a job that needs doing the employee should be paid for it; otherwise it all looks a lot like indentured servitude.

TotemPole Fri 27-Sep-13 14:28:46

Do you have a lone parent adviser?

The job centre I attend is huge. I'm astounded they don't have dedicated advisers for lone parents. You need someone who understands all the issues.

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 14:29:54

Minimum wage for over 25's was £6.19 when I checked earlier this year.

Totem Pole it's kind of a "perfect storm" situation, but it happens to people.

What happens is that someone applies for something, either because
1) the hours aren't clear on the advert, so they don't realise it's unsuitable, or;
2) Because they need to make up their job numbers for that week (some advisors give their clients really high targets- I've heard of 27 a week)
3)Or their advisor spotted an unsuitable vacancy, and told the client they had to apply for it or be sanctioned.

After that, of course, you're in a position to be sanctioned for actually turning down a job! Never mind the short-termist thinking involved.

I am lucky, because I have quite possibly a really nice bloke (nicest advisor in my town- I've heard his colleagues to my fellow unemployed), and he knows I'm genuinely looking for work, and he is really positive about my studies meanwhile.

Ezio Fri 27-Sep-13 14:30:05

I have an advisor, my previous was very understanding, my new one just couldnt really give a shit and shes my sodding neighbour.

TotemPole Fri 27-Sep-13 14:30:28

Ezio, fingers crossed you get someone helpful. The advice and help you get really does depend on how the person on the other side of the desk does their job.

Ezio Fri 27-Sep-13 14:32:24

I did the MWA back in Feb, i got a certifcate for that, i need decent references, i dont mind doing workfare, if it gets me the experience i need.

TotemPole Fri 27-Sep-13 14:38:40

TheBigJessie, that's the sort of thing I'm worried about. I'm already applying for jobs that I know I haven't hope in Hell of getting an interview for. There just aren't that many vacancies out there for me.

Realistically, I am going to end up on the work programme. The majority of vacancies around that time will be temporary as it's coming up to Christmas.

MadeOfStarDust Fri 27-Sep-13 14:41:09

Something does have to be done though - the system as it is stinks and needs changing....

Was a SAHM - I applied for a job (in retail) and got it.

6 others were invited for the same interview... I was the ONLY one who turned up - the others were all "required" to apply for so many jobs by their advisor...

would have made for a fun "joint activity task" at the interview....would have had to include myself, not be dismissive of myself, ask myself for ideas - etc... if the interviewer had not departed from the corporate script..

pigsDOfly Fri 27-Sep-13 14:41:31

How can this be legal?

Tbh I don't really have much to add to the debate as I'm just so amazed that it could possibly happen.

Someone near the beginning of the thread said you won't get a balanced discussion on here because there are too many lefties on here.

No. You won't get much of a discussion on here because no right minded person is going to agree that this scheme is fair.

If the large multinational corporations have jobs available for the unemployed they should be made to pay them the going rate, not be sanctioned by the government to get even fatter by exploitation.

YouTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 14:44:10

Made, if they didn't turn up then they get sanctioned though don't they - unless they have already managed to get a job.

Ezio Fri 27-Sep-13 14:45:26

I think that every company that has jobs should be made to put them on a massive job database, anyone can use it, you go on see a job you like, you apply, its not hard to do that.

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 14:45:31

Totem flowers It sucks, doesn't it?

I just wish they could have set up the workfare so it actually benefited us poor sods with a CV gap!

It would take care to formulate, but what are civil servants for?! In half an hour, MNers have refined my proposal with a bit of thought!

MadeOfStarDust Fri 27-Sep-13 14:47:28

YouTheCat.... Apparently not.... not if you know how to play the system....

TotemPole Fri 27-Sep-13 14:48:11

Aw thank you. I'll pop them in

Darkesteyes Fri 27-Sep-13 14:49:15

A lot of people are having to claim JSA after being booted off ESA by ATOS. Still experiencing health problems but having no choice but to claim to get some money coming in These people will end up being sanctioned when they are too ill to attend placement.
Ditto those on ESA in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG)
So people on both JSA and ESA are being affected.

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 14:50:31

made I have turned up for every single interview I have ever got (although I did once get threatened by a potential employer with being reported to the job centre for not being a genuine job-seeker, because I asked if I could have an earlier interview, due to prior commitments- another job interview). I can't imagine who wouldn't- you can lose your JSA for months for doing that!

YouTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 14:51:10

How can you avoid the sanction if you haven't turned up?

nickelbabe Fri 27-Sep-13 14:51:10

I don't know how they haven't worked out that people on benefits aren't paying tax and national insurance.
or that they don't have disposable income.

it makes no sense whatsoever.

government - people who have jobs pay tax and NI. That means that they earn money and put money back into the system. which pays for the stuff the country needs

YouTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 14:52:48

I know, Nickle. It is a really really simple concept but George doesn't quite seem to be able to grasp it.

YouTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 14:53:48

And also the fact that the benefit bill will go up because more people are having to claim because they cut so many jobs.

TotemPole Fri 27-Sep-13 14:55:26

I know, Nickle. It is a really really simple concept but George doesn't quite seem to be able to grasp it.

That made me lol!(sorry I know it's not a very MN term)

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 14:56:37

By the way, if you have childcare in place for awkward shifts (6am onwards or between 6pm and 10pm) and you're physically fit, consider checking Royal Mail's christmas jobs. They're recruiting now.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Fri 27-Sep-13 15:00:37

I admit to a lol too. I suspect George is the reason the DWP think unemployed people should apply for jobs they aren't qualified to do. After all, George is the chancellor, and he's doing soooo well.

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 15:08:46

Saskia rofl!

Ezio Fri 27-Sep-13 15:15:54

Saskia, you bang on the bloody money there.

Who the fuck thought George could look after a countries budget, fool cant even look after a piggy bank.

expatinscotland Fri 27-Sep-13 15:37:18

JSA is only about 3% of the entire benefits expenditure. The vast majority is: pensions and housing benefit, 80% of which is paid to those in work.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 27-Sep-13 16:50:33

"They continued with bringing down the age of children for IS eligibility. Stupid, stupid move."

Why, age five is stilll way to old. Most mums get 12 months for maternity so it should be in line with that so that everyone is treated the same. The longer on IS the less chance the person has of finding work or the desire to actually work.

Workfare done properly for long term claimants could be a good thing, its not just JSA is all the the other benefits that add up that are essentially handed to people for doing nothing. Would be better if linked to charities or work in the local community but it may be that large businesses already have the admin side and insurance in place so easy to slot them in.

Crinkle77 Fri 27-Sep-13 16:53:45

I think it is wrong because it works on the assumption that everyone is a scrounger.

Crinkle77 Fri 27-Sep-13 16:53:59

on benefits I mean

BlueSkySunnyDay Fri 27-Sep-13 17:04:51

I did "work experience" many years ago, neither of the companies I worked for offered me, anyone prior to me or anyone after me a job.

They had the work, we did it, they didn't have to employ anyone as they work was done by the "work experience girl"

I don't see how this helps the jobs market, it just helps the rich get richer - amazing how all these rich boys with their expensive educations are too f*cking stupid to see this.

I would make way more sense if you want people to work for benefit to get them working within the community on things that wouldn't get done otherwise.

As I have been saying all through the exporting of jobs to cheaper countries and the influx of cheap European labour - who will be buying products and services in the UK if a large percentage of the population don't have jobs/earn a reasonable wage.

YouTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 17:09:27

I really can't believe you, Happymummy. You have no idea. Do you think jobs grow on trees or something?

And why should women have to go back to work when their kids are 1 year? How about bringing up our kids instead of paying other people to do it, if that is how you wish to parent?

Not every job pays enough (even with child care element of working tax credits) to cover childcare. Do you think suitable jobs with a decent amount of pay are just going begging?

How ignorant!

AnaisHendricks Fri 27-Sep-13 17:15:48

Easier to return to work after a year if you happen to be married and have someone to share the childcare costs and holidays with though, don't you think? As well as having another adult to share the cooking, shopping, housework, laundry, cleaning and admin chores.

A married working mother returning from maternity leave is not being denied equality with a lone parent who has no support and one income. They are in completely different positions.

YouTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 17:20:27

If you are returning after maternity leave, then you already have a job as well.

8dayweek Fri 27-Sep-13 17:25:29

Can someone please explain what Workfare is exactly? Are people getting confused with Work Experience, Work Programme and Mandatory Work Activity? (All of which are different things).
The thing the newspaper article references is Community Action Programme, which was Piloted around the time the Work Programme went live in order to have a plan in place to deal with the claimants that "return" to the Jobcentre after 2yrs on Work Programme. It is charity-sector work for people who have spent on average a minimum of 3yrs claiming JSA.

JakeBullet Fri 27-Sep-13 17:31:59

I partly agree with Happymummy (there's a first!) in that Workfare would be better linked to community based stuff.

I'd like to see community charities and volunteering counted as "Workfare" if a claimant is long term unemployed. This would be more valuable than further reducing the amount of jobs out there by allowing Tesco et al to get slave labour.

Of course if someone WANTS to go into retail then Tesco might provide valuable experience but otherwise I cannot see the benefit of it. Much more productive and rewarding to volunteer for charities like food banks etc and help support the local community. Training could be given for example, to support nutrition in hospital so a volunteer would go in to help someone eat their food etc (not suitable for everyone I know), befriending an elderly person, helping in local clubs for the elderly, listening to children read in schools...lots and lots of schemes where people could help.

Then again this will not benefit Gideon's rich friends.

I see the benefits of doing some sort of work scheme if you have been unemployed for a long time. I also see a risk of exploitation which is concerning.

ParsingFancy Fri 27-Sep-13 17:37:31

Workfare is the generic term for "working in a role that would normally attract a wage, in return for state benefits instead of that wage".

So the Work Programme and Mandatory Work Activity both include workfare. The current Work Experience programmes run by the JobCentre may also be workfare.

It's possible to do work experience without it being workfare - I've supervised students on two-week placements in my office, but their role didn't look like that of an employee. They shadowed people in different departments during their time, and had the freedom to pick and choose what they took part in.

8dayweek Fri 27-Sep-13 17:41:36

It's a lovely idea Jake and HappyMummy, unfortunately it generally ends up massively restricted by the claimant. Most, not all, but certainly the majority, have serious criminal records (often including restrictions on what they can do, where they can go, access to computers etc), issues with basic hygiene, no basic literacy / numeracy skills (let alone IT or customer service skills) and a complete lack of routine and structure to their lives (as I said previously, it's after a minimum of 3yrs unemployed before this would be considered - alot of these people have actually been unemployed and claiming JSA for much much longer). It's a lovely idea, it just doesn't often pan out that way.

8dayweek Fri 27-Sep-13 17:44:27

Sorry, I meant "doesn't pan out" as in not into those community based projects that benefit others positively. It often ends up being charity shop work or similar.

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 17:44:37

I rather feel that comparing maternity leave and IS for lone parents and trying to make it "fair" is like saying that it's not fair that women get a mandatory bit of maternity leave for physical recovery (is it 2 or 6 weeks?) because men can never get it.

Practically speaking, there are job centres up and down the country that are physically impossible to get into with a pushchair.

Economically speaking, I think we might as well give lone parents IS, than mess about with JSA appointments (which cost money) so they can get a minimum wage job, so that they can be given money for childcare. Someone will say, "how do you know they'll only get a min wage job?"

Simple- if they could walk into a high-wage job, they'd have already done it rather than stay on IS! IS isn't that much, is it?

8dayweek Fri 27-Sep-13 17:46:33

Thanks Parsing, that's debunked it!

AnaisHendricks Fri 27-Sep-13 17:50:26

It's certainly cheaper for a lone parent to be on IS than to pay a high percentage of childcare costs, housing benefit top ups and working tax credit should they be working in a minimum or low-waged job.

limitedperiodonly Fri 27-Sep-13 17:51:00

What ParsingFancy said ^^

I cannot understand why people think this is a good idea.

It's not just not nice. It's economic suicide. When people don't get paid, the economy shrinks. When taxpayers are funding this scheme, it makes it even worse.

I understand why people might think it's a good idea for nebulous 'community' or 'charitable' projects.

But that's because I realise that lots of people don't really think things through.

As many other people have said, these community projects like picking up litter, reading to children or doing admin for a charity are jobs.

Pay people to do them.

MistressDeeCee Fri 27-Sep-13 17:53:07

Seems to me there must be work available, then. That being the case, why dont they just give people jobs? Its using people for cheap labour and I just bet theyre going to lie to the populace that its going to lead to longterm job prospects. I agree with Darkesteyes that xmas temp jobs etc are going to become a thing of the past.

littlemisssarcastic Fri 27-Sep-13 18:23:26

It seems there are endless amounts of roles that can be filled by someone participating in workfare.
Stacking shelves, sweeping floors, cleaning, filing, answering telephones, running errands, litter picking, scrubbing graffiti, helping at schools, simple gardening tasks, labouring, cold calling, some factory work, working on a till. There are many many more than this.
Basically, any work that is unskilled or doesn't require a lot of training.

I know there are endless roles that can be filled, because these are the roles that are given to workfare participants.

How about, instead of creating these roles for workfare, we create jobs doing exactly the same thing?
I don't understand what is so challenging for some people to understand. confused

Why does it have to be done under workfare?

How anyone can argue that workfare benefits anyone, whether by giving them work experience or skills or something to put on their CV, when they could gain the same skills/experience by taking the work on in a paid role is beyond me.

The only people who are benefitting from workfare are the companies, who are having the work done for nothing rather than paying for it to be done, which they should be doing.

Why the fucking fuck should anyone in this fucking country have to work for fuck all?? Worse still, they are paying to go to work and then not receiving a wage at the end of it!!!

To anyone who thinks workfare is a good you work? Would you continue to go to work if you were stripped of your employment rights, and your pay was reduced to just enough to cover your housing costs and travel to work + a few pounds?

If the answer is no, you wouldn't accept those conditions...why the fuckety fuck should anyone else???????

YouTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 18:27:38

I take exception to that! I work in school and there is a hell of a lot of training and it is dull dull dull. grin

But I agree. If there are placements for workfare, then there must be work that needs done so why can't they just pay a wage so that people aren't having to claim JS anyway? Makes sense.

MadeOfStarDust Fri 27-Sep-13 18:38:36

There ARE loads of these roles - filled by mainly
volunteers - litter picking/reading with kids in schools,
by community service - graffiti scrubbing/litter picking/gardening/labouring and
by people on minimum wage - or less - for example
by apprentices (£2.65 per hour min wage!!!!) filing/labouring/metal bashing factory work etc....

I don't think it is working on the assumption that everyone on benefits is a scrounger, I think it is trying to force the default position that everyone is TRYING to find a job....

Unable and unwilling to claim anything because I chose to be a SAHM, I now work 12 hours on minimum wage for my £70 odd a week...

soul2000 Fri 27-Sep-13 18:41:19

little miss sarcastic. It actually takes quite a bit of skill and training to
be succesful with cold calling. Most of these people would not last 5 minutes traisping on a cold wet day knocking on doors and being told to
F Off.

Answering telephones correctly is also a skill that will be far beyond many of these people.

As for these people working in schools that is ridiculous and dangerous,
as many of them will have many psychological problems.

YouTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 18:42:14

But Mad, that is a whole heap different to working 30 hours a week for the same amount.

And can people stop equating reading with children as not skilled please - with all the phonics training, plus the many hours spent achieving classroom assistant qualifications, I'd say there is a damn sight more to it.

Would you like your children taught to read by someone with no qualifications and no idea about phonic strategies? I doubt it.

soul2000 Fri 27-Sep-13 18:42:32

Traipsing on a cold wet day.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 27-Sep-13 18:46:01

I wasted 42 minutes of my day on the phone to a dwp staff member today,

He was checking up on people he told to apply to the job I had advertised he told 50 people to apply they did.

Not one person had the required qualifications or experience. He knew he was making them do a pointless exercise

MadeOfStarDust Fri 27-Sep-13 18:46:53

I read with children - I am untrained, I am a "volunteer parent helper" - it helps the teacher if parents can come in to listen to the kids read a couple of afternoons a week - and also to read aloud to groups so they get the idea of rhythms etc..

I don't have to be a TA to help with that - but it is unpaid....

YouTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 18:53:58

Yes, that is all well and good and I did a few hours a week myself while I was training but it is no way the same as doing a 30 hour week.

Should my job be scrapped because you seem to think any person on workfare could do as well with no training?

MadeOfStarDust Fri 27-Sep-13 19:01:20

ermm - I don't think you will find I am saying anyone could do a TAs job

but there are MANY untrained volunteers helping with reading in schools

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Fri 27-Sep-13 19:01:49


But people do community service because they have broken the law. It's not illegal to be disabled or unemployed.

Apprentices are learning genuinely useful skills, and also studying for qualifications. Once again, not comparable with doing unskilled working for far less than minimum wage. If there was a similar scheme for people on benefits I'd be all for it!

And volunteering for 12 hours week in a role is not the same as working full time for Tescos (or similar). I volunteer, (thanks to someone on MN who told me that my skills might be useful. Expat?) what I do is useful and I do it on top of working. I would not do the same for a large business for practically no gain either financially or in terms of career advancement.

YouTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 19:04:57

Made, workfare is 30 hours a week. Not a few hours spent meandering about in school, reading to a few groups.

littlemisssarcastic Fri 27-Sep-13 19:05:25

Sorry, I was referring to the posts about listening to children read, and with the greatest of respect YouTheCat, whilst I don't agree that someone with no training could work in a school teaching children to read, would the govt agree?

It is up to the govt what they consider a suitable workfare placement, not the general public. Would they consider yours or anyone elses job fair game for workfare participants? No one knows until workfare participants begin queuing up to do these jobs.

Soul2000 Whether workfare participants could cope with traipsing round cold calling or not is neither here nor there tbh. If the govt decide workfare includes cold calling, traipsing round in all weathers is what the participants will do, because if they don't stick at it, they will probably lose every single penny they are getting and wont even be able to afford a daily ration of gruel.

As for your comment 'Answering telephones correctly is also a skill that will be far beyond many of these people.', who do you think these people actually are? Most unemployed people are perfectly capable of answering a telephone and being polite and courteous to the caller. What on earth makes you think this would be beyond many of them?

YouTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 19:09:39

Actually, I'd be really awful at answering the phone or cold calling. I get horribly tongue-tied on the phone.

I can't really see 30 hour workfare places being offered in many schools tbh, as there are safe-guarding issues for a start and I don't think many heads would take workfare on.

ClaraOswald Fri 27-Sep-13 19:11:48

Minimum wage is going up to £6.31 an hour next month.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Fri 27-Sep-13 19:11:50

"It is up to the govt what they consider a suitable workfare placement, not the general public. "

Err. No. We live in a democracy. We are allowed to disagree with government policy. That's why we have elections.

LessMissAbs Fri 27-Sep-13 19:11:53

What next in the UK? I actually wonder if the Government will announce one day that everyone will work for the same wage, ie benefits, no matter what they do, how skilled or unskilled, qualified or not, and get housing benefit to rent a house commensurate with the size of their household.

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 19:12:58

Hmm. I think apprenticeships are another false comparison. I do actually think those wages are too low, just as, I also think under 25's should be able to claim HB.

But anyway, apprenticeships are supposed to be an alternative to university education (for which students now have to take out loans- sometimes loans that are too small to live on, because Student Finance looks at parental income alone). On an apprenticeship, you learn and are paid a small bit, instead of learning and paying. It is assumed, as with the housing benefit reforms, that you can live with your parents and that you don't have housing costs.

littlemisssarcastic Fri 27-Sep-13 19:21:47

The govt doesn't appear to be listening to a large proportion of the general public AFAI can see at the moment.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Fri 27-Sep-13 19:22:19


Agree about under-25s and HB!

I was thinking of apprenticeships along the lines of going to university too. I do agree that the pay levels aren't great, but it probably is comparable to what a lot students are living on.

Obviously, if something similar existed for older people the income they received couldn't be as low because they'd have much higher costs. But I do think the idea of apprenticeships is sound. They worked incredibly well in the past, and we have two successive generations who missed out on them - many of whom are now amongst the low skilled in insecure work, and the long term unemployed - who would benefit enormously.

Trigglesx Fri 27-Sep-13 19:26:25

I don't understand why for lone parents, they didn't keep them on IS until the youngest is 8yo, but then make loads of training opportunities, courses, etc to up their job skills available to them from when the youngest is 5yo and in fulltime schooling. That gives them time to really get some decent training under their belt. And plenty of time to look on their own for work after even a year or two of training before they're put on JSA. And childcare not as much an issue as the child is in school.

As someone said upthread, it's cheaper to put them on IS (and most likely to offer the training as well) than all the JSA stuff. And

MadeOfStarDust Fri 27-Sep-13 19:32:03

But in the real world a lot of "apprenticeships" consist of doing the work of say a waitress or chambermaid whilst "studying" for a "front of house certificate" or a "housekeepers certificate" - so effectively working as a waitress/chambermaid for under half the minimum wage and expected to be thankful for it because of the "training"....

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 19:32:06

I'm kind of neutral about apprenticeships for now, because I think it's a sound idea in theory, but I want to see whether the apprentices do actually go on to be employed by the original firm or another. (On the other hand, I feel a little wistful I missed out on them- but meh, the grass is always greener on the other side! envygrin

But in any case, the low wages for apprenticeships shouldn't be used to justify low wages when workers aren't getting qualifications out of it!

TheBigJessie Fri 27-Sep-13 19:35:03


So made if apprenticeships are exploitative, two forms of exploitation will make a right?

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Fri 27-Sep-13 19:36:17

MadeOfStarDust I can only speak from personal experience, but amongst my DS' friends who took an apprenticeship there is a plumber, an engineer and a soon to be electrician. My nephew has just started on an electrician's apprenticeship. To me, those sound like worthwhile jobs. Well paid too.

YouTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 19:41:51

Made, you wouldn't be able to do a few hours at school and have that count towards a workfare placement though and you don't get to choose. I like apprenticeships in theory. They are for young people and you get training and experience which is a good thing.

Say you get placed at Poundland working 11 till 5 five days a week, how will that work out for someone with 2 or 3 kids in school? You'd be expected to find and pay for childcare (about £10/£15 per day per child at an after school club) out of your benefits if you didn't have some nice relative to help out.

HarryStottle Fri 27-Sep-13 19:49:32

I may have missed something in 9 pages but us there a link to the OP's story that isn't the DM? Because unless I see it on a reputable news site I won't believe it.

MadeOfStarDust Fri 27-Sep-13 20:09:28

HarryS... I agree - I just read the article the OP shows - the whole gist of the piece is... ..

"In a report published today, it says the Government should pilot workfare schemes for specific groups of jobseekers, including those who leave the Work Programme without finding a job after at least two years of support, either through lack of effort or experience.

It also suggests that the scheme should cover under-25s with little or no work experience and older jobseekers who have been out of work for at least six months"

Words such as "should" and "suggests" mean they are once again putting a toe in the water and will bring out a watered down piece of crap of a policy which will be totally ineffective anyhow...

YouTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 20:15:46

Yes, I agree. It will be crap.

The current policy seems to be more about how many people they can sanction rather than how many they can help back into employment.

Maybe they should try creating some real jobs first?

HarryStottle Fri 27-Sep-13 20:31:47

MadeofStarDust - thanks for that, I couldn't bring myself to click the link. So it's just a general proposal then - let's hope it stays like that.

TotemPole Fri 27-Sep-13 21:09:38

HappyMummyOfOne, the timing was stupid.

They first set it so if the youngest child was 12 the claimant had to move from IS to JSA and be actively seeking work. This was around the time that Woolies and other high street names were closing. Thousands of people were being thrown onto the job market because of these closures. More people competing for fewer jobs.

The next stage they reduced the age of the youngest to 7. Then the next stage was 5.

I think they should have held back introducing the next 2 stages.

Darkesteyes Fri 27-Sep-13 21:31:27

The link is a screenshot not a link to their site.

TotemPole Fri 27-Sep-13 21:46:50

I like the way there's the ad for the blissfully calming music CDs just above the rage inducing headline.

Darkesteyes Fri 27-Sep-13 22:06:09

YY Totem A few ppl on twitter commented on that too.

AnaisHendricks Fri 27-Sep-13 22:06:44

Totem grin

expatinscotland Fri 27-Sep-13 22:29:29

A lot of the 'older workers' will be the ones who go on contribution-based JSA first, as they have paid NI for a number of years, so this is a way to cook the books, like zero hours contracts counting as being employed, to get the numbers of those on income-based JSA down. It can be very difficult for older workers to locate employment due to age discrimination and the fact that younger workers are paid a lower min. wage, so this penalises those who are made redundant in their 40s and 50s.

In the US, the min wage is the min wage as one is a minor until the age of 18. Some states allow work at 16 or work at younger ages in family business. But in general, there is no lower or graduated min wage to such a high age as there is here, but this part of the programme will surely not be implemented by this government. Apprenticeships and vocational education also has no age limit, as their retirement age is already higher than ours and it is very well accepted and common that people need to and can change careers successfully into their 40s and 50s.

It is far from uncommon for people, even those with former degrees, to train and become plumbers, sparks, air-conditioning and heating repair, mechanics, etc. in their 30s and 40s and even change within professions such as law and medicine.

That doesn't happen here so much, in large part because a lot of this is age-restricted.

If you want people to work longer, that needs to change.

But it won't under the Tories.

expatinscotland Fri 27-Sep-13 22:32:09

The US is also far more proactive at forcing non-resident parents to pay up for their children, with strict penalties, including jail, for those who refuse to or try not to.

AnaisHendricks Fri 27-Sep-13 22:35:32

DH talks to quite a few Americans on his on-line game and they are also reporting too many graduates and not enough skilled labourers as a problem.

inabeautifulplace Fri 27-Sep-13 22:35:38

I'm considering hibernating until late spring 2015. My only concern is that I'd wake up to either a desolate wasteland or a full blown fascist state.

expatinscotland Fri 27-Sep-13 22:38:28

Very much a problem indeed, Anais.

Trigglesx Fri 27-Sep-13 23:07:56

I don't think they are more proactive in forcing non-resident parents to pay child maintenance. Yes, there is jail time - but with my ex, it took 11 years before we reached that point - and that was only because I had to push it through myself with a solicitor rather than go through child support enforcement agency which was less than useless. And since child support is through state enforcement (unless it's changed recently), all they have to do is cross a state line (very easy) and you have to start all over again. EH did this repeatedly - as soon as we found him and got an order in place to have it taken from his wages, he quit his job, crossed the state line, and we had to start from square one again. Eleven years is a ridiculous amount of time to wait for child support.

Bearfrills Sat 28-Sep-13 00:24:39

Not one person had the required qualifications or experience. He knew he was making them do a pointless exercise

I remember when I was unemployed last year and the DWP told me I had to apply for a teaching position in a secondary school or I'd be sanctioned. I don't hold a teaching degree. "Never mind that. Just apply, tweak your application and then when you get to the interview let them know you haven't got the degree an you just need the interview in order to keep your JSA". I told them no, they reasoned it was fine as "it's exactly like a dinner lady position" hmm

Then they threatened to sanction me when it snowed badly enough to ensure there were no buses at all running from where I live and I couldn't walk seven miles in the snow with a baby and no pushchair (it was too deep to push it through). The advisor said I could get myself to the Jobcentre quick sharp as he had managed it so I blooming well could too. When I asked him where he lived he named an estate literally next door to the office.

Then they threatened to sanction me because I "didn't turn up for my signing on appointment". I did turn up, the woman at the desk forgot to tick me off her list so even though I was there and I signed, the computer reckoned I hadn't (and as we all know, the computers word is law).

They then suggested I apply for a full time job doing night shifts and only night shifts (again, on pain of sanctions) "because your children are asleep then so you won't need childcare". When I asked when I was supposed to sleep, having two children under four at that time who were awake all day when I would need to be asleep if I got the job, the answer was a blank stare and "weekends? How much sleep do you need?"

They did eventually sanction me. I got a Leyte explaining that it was because I failed to sign on for four weeks in a row. It also said they were investigating me for benefit fraud as they had evidence I was working. Yes I was working (in a job I found myself completely without their help) and the evidence they had was inadvertently supplied by me when I went into the job centre and signed off JSA four weeks prior to getting the letter.

So yes, the system needs an overhaul but work fair is not the answer. Sorting out the very basics of the benefits system and the body/bodies delivering those benefits is where the overhaul needs to take place.

expatinscotland Sat 28-Sep-13 01:31:38

v. FA here, Triggles?


I lived there 31 years, of course, all my family are still there and I spend time there.

And, as an American and naturalised Brit, I have a big problem with the UK copying US policies with zero understanding of the whole place because they are completely different.

'I'm 33 and want to become an electrician' is a non-starter here. That is warped and stupid.

It's down to a terrifying degree of cluelessness on the part of all these posh boys who have never had actual jobs and gone straight into politics. They are incapable of understanding that the poor are people. There's been some sort of leaked memo from IDS or the DWP along the lines of 'Dear big businesses, once we really get going on workfare you will have a huge pool of desperate available workers whenever you want them', for instance.
But when poverty is artificially created (by holding down wages and using slave labour) who is going to buy All The Things? If the only people who have disposable income are the CEOs and the bankers, they are not going to spend money in Topshop or Boots or Argos, let alone the ordinary little optician/locksmith/cupcake shop; they go shopping in Harrods. And poor people don't just stay in their box till someone wants to employ them; they need to feed their children. So they have to either lie to payday loan companies (not such a bad thing as payday loan companies are dishonest themselves) and take on debt they can't repay... or turn to crime. The best case scenario is that the 'unemployed' set up a load of cash-iin-hand businesses trading with each other, but the more likely scenario is people mugging and burgling each other just to have something to take to We Buy Anything pawnshops so they have a fiver to buy a week's worth of fishfingers and bogroll.

TotemPole Sat 28-Sep-13 02:34:46

Bearfrills, did you make a complaint about any of those incidents?

mathanxiety Sat 28-Sep-13 02:36:54

I agree with everything in your description Expatinscotland. I know several people who changed horses meidstream. It is a huge problem that adaptation is so hard in the UK, and also that UK graduates are not versatile the way a lot of American grads are, having embarked on an increasingly narrow course of studies once GCSEs are over.

I also agree with SGB that slavery holds wages down and creates poverty, which in turn creates a downward spiral in the economy, with only shareholders benefiting.

The important thing about work is not that people are doing 'something' as opposed to sitting home watching JK, and that is a point the Tories have not grasped (because they are still living in the Victorian age, the days of the 'deserving poor' vs the undeserving, and because they do not credit people with enough intelligence to figure out what works for them financially, work or try to get benefits). The important thing about work is that it produces sufficient income to encourage spending and saving, something Workfare is never going to accomplish.

The Tories seem to believe the same thing about the unemployed or the poor or the underqualified that the ruling class did back in the days of the Corn Laws and the workhouse (the 1840s basically) -- that people need to be cured of laziness by forcing them to work. Busyness is not the same thing at all as productive work. 'Productive work' produces a little surplus income and therein lies its importance.

mathanxiety Sat 28-Sep-13 02:47:16

Workfare done properly for long term claimants could be a good thing, its not just JSA is all the the other benefits that add up that are essentially handed to people for doing nothing. Would be better if linked to charities or work in the local community but it may be that large businesses already have the admin side and insurance in place so easy to slot them in.

I could not disagree more with this statement from Happymummyofone.

Companies 'employing' workfare participants are getting a workforce for less than they would have to pay if they had to go out and hire qualified workers, or experienced workers, or people looking for work who can't afford to live on what WF pays (people with families, mortgages, children to put through university, children who need some sort of private healthcare who can't wait for NHS services, etc). The only beneficiary of WF is the companies whose bottom line is enlarged by not having to pay actual real life wages to employees. Nobody else makes enough money to spend or to save, which is what makes the economic wheels go round.

As word gets out about this, I expect countries in competition with the UK to start complaining, and rightly so, about unfair labour practices (and unfair competition) just as many unions complain about Chinese companies using prisoners for labour. It's virtually the same thing.

Trigglesx Sat 28-Sep-13 07:02:46


<<<I lived there 31 years, of course, all my family are still there and I spend time there.

And, as an American and naturalised Brit, I have a big problem with the UK copying US policies with zero understanding of the whole place because they are completely different. >>>

Same here. American, moved here age 38, 10 years ago. I could just weep seeing the UK government use the American way on almost anything! I love being here because it's NOT America, despite the fact that I have family and friends still in America.

I don't think EITHER country has a good grasp on getting child support/maintenance. I will say, however, that at least here the mother can get benefits and housing benefit and such. My sister didn't get child support for years and years - she was denied numerous benefits because they added the child support she was SUPPOSED to be receiving to her "income"... even though she wasn't getting it. I was lucky - I had job skills that she didn't, so I was able to work in a surgery during the day, do the medical transcription at night at home for a general surgeon and a urologist, and then I cleaned the surgery for extra money as well. And I was allowed to bring my toddler along and put her in a playpen while I was cleaning the office, as it was after hours, so no extra childcare. I also played church organ for a local Catholic church for 5 masses every Sunday for $25 per mass (was a huge church, I will admit I loved playing that pipe organ grin).

Bearfrills Sat 28-Sep-13 07:54:57

Bearfrills, did you make a complaint about any of those incidents?

Yes, and each time all I got was a computer generated, unsigned letter with a generic "we will investigate/we take complaints very seriously" but nothing changed and nothing else came of it.

YY bearfrills, you can complain to the DWP until you are blue in the face but they'll never do anything.
I've filed so many complaints in the past two years because of the sheer number of cock-ups - frequently losing files and claiming we never handed them in, not ticking DP as being "in" for signing when he was, being completely incapable of understanding their own system and sanctioning DP for not using the website properly when they didn't know how to do it either ... I could keep going but you get the picture!

More on-topic, I went on workfare (billed as a "training provision" via a private firm, but it was just workfare with one day a week jobhunting at their centre) while I was pregnant with DS. They put me in a BHF furniture shop. At five months pregnant. That is testimony to how incompetent the companies running this crap are without even going into how immoral and stupid the whole system is.

Damnautocorrect Sat 28-Sep-13 08:30:54

How are they going to be able to afford the petrol or bus fare to get to work? Buy suitable clothes or lunch for their 'job'?
I get the sentiment 'look all those lazy people on jsa that can't be bothered to work, look at us the Tories getting them back to work'

No, just no it's not like that is it.

brettgirl2 Sat 28-Sep-13 08:37:30

So £70 per week, could be earned at minimum wage in 12-ish hours? So maybe workfare should be a longer placement of 12 hours per week. Same as others earn and plenty of time left for job seeking or taking a course.

We just don't know any details so to base it on previous schemes may not be fair.

needasilverlining Sat 28-Sep-13 08:47:13

There MUST be a MN campaign in this, surely? This bunch of craven cowards backed down once, it must be possible to make it happen again.

BTW given idea was comprehensively trashed last time, how has it been resurrected? Apols if I've missed explanation on thread, I am so angry I am shaking.

farrowandbawl Sat 28-Sep-13 08:48:41

I may be a thick here so I apologise.

Big companies get workers for free.
These free labourers, have less money to spend because of the costs of getting to work.
Big companies lay off more people because they can get them for free instead of paying a wage.
More people claim JSA
More people working for free
less money for these people
more mortgage repossesions and rent arrears
housing bill goes up further
jsa bill goes up further
price of food goes up to cover the loss of money coming in due to no-one having anything
energy bills increase because no-one can afford their heating.

I can't see how the shareholders will benefit from this in the long term. No one will be able to afford anything. Less money spent in the economy, that gets worse, the benefit bill increases on all sides, the NHS ends up under further strains thanks to depression, stress, illness brought from inadequate diet and lack of heat, crime rate goes up, policing bill goes up, council tax goes up, council tax benefit bill goes up.

I can not see how this will work. Can someone please explain it to me.

farrowandbawl Sat 28-Sep-13 08:50:53

Oh and who's going to pay for the welfare bill increases? If no-one has a wage, where's the NI contributions going to come from to pay for this?

The only ones left will be the high earners and millionaires, who won't want to pay for this.

AmberLeaf Sat 28-Sep-13 09:06:21

unfortunately it generally ends up massively restricted by the claimant. Most, not all, but certainly the majority, have serious criminal records (often including restrictions on what they can do, where they can go, access to computers etc), issues with basic hygiene, no basic literacy / numeracy skills (let alone IT or customer service skills) and a complete lack of routine and structure to their lives (as I said previously, it's after a minimum of 3yrs unemployed before this would be considered - alot of these people have actually been unemployed and claiming JSA for much much longer


*As for these people working in schools that is ridiculous and dangerous,
as many of them will have many psychological problems*

This is half the trouble, some people seem to have this idea about so called 'feckless' unemployed people.

There are some claimants that are like this, but it really isn't most of them.

The unemployed, even long term unemployed are just normal people, there are a few of us posting on this thread. do we fit that feckless category?

People seem to view JSA claimant as some sort of 'other' group, they are normal people, life can switch in an instant, unemployment can happen to anyone, you could have a good job then lose it via redundancy, suddenly you have no status and you're the wrong side of 40. Good luck if that happens to you at that age.

8dayweek Sat 28-Sep-13 09:35:34

Agreed AmberLeaf, but this initiative isn't for people who have suddenly been made redundant - it's for the very long-term unemployed. I'm sorry but in this category it IS the majority. Tell me where you would start with a 37yr old who has been unemployed for 25yrs, limited literacy & numeracy skills (but does not want to address this), criminal record / unspent convictions, lives with parents (so no real housing costs to fuss about). The hurdle that is setting an alarm, getting up, looking presentable, getting somewhere on time etc is often huge for people with these circumstances. It's not as simple as "they shouldn't be working for nothing".

creighton Sat 28-Sep-13 09:52:45

the people who will get caught up in this are the recently unemployed. if the jobcentre hasn't been able to make the 37 year old work until now, how will they suddenly make them get out of bed etc? these unemployed people will 'make their own arrangements' i.e. petty crime, getting money from family rather than work.

anyway, Tesco's et al do not want this 37 year old, they want to use the skilled, hard working people who have the habit of turning up for work and going the extra mile.

the employees of the jobcentre do not give a stuff as to who they force into 'jobs' or who they sanction. it will be as easy to sanction someone who has been unemployed for 6 months as 6 years. don't credit them with any care about the length of time someone has worked or contributed. they are not paid to consider trifles like that.

it is probably easier to sanction/hurt/intimidate someone who is used to working and obeying the rules rather than someone who has never made an effort to do anything as the newly unemployed will feel shame or fear at having no money to pay their bills

AmberLeaf Sat 28-Sep-13 09:56:14

It isn't just for the very long term unemployed though.

Even on this thread someone reference her young daughter being placed on workfare.

You are wrong in your assumptions.

limited literacy & numeracy skills (but does not want to address this

Doesn't want to? or, doesn't know how to? or doesn't get any good support to do so?

I will bet my life that I know more people that fall into that category [long term unemployed] than you do and believe me, the norm is not what you describe. Nor is workfare what they 'need'

8dayweek Sat 28-Sep-13 10:45:17

Ok, no recently unemployed people would be included in this proposed initiative as you would have to spend 104wks on Work Programme (which is preceded by between 39 & 52wks on JSA under the care of the Jobcentre). Tesco et al would not get a look in, it would be charity based work. This is the Pilot scheme >>> It was piloted 2yrs ago, in anticipation of claimants "returning" to the Jobcentre after 104wks on JSA. I see what you're all saying but by labelling everything "Work Fare" you're clouding the issue and making it about other initiatives. The lady upthread who said about her daughter, if it was Work Experience, it would have been entirely voluntary, no risk of sanction (unless dismissed for misconduct), travel expenses (& childcare, if applicable) would have been paid by the Jobcentre and she would have signed numerous forms explaining the voluntary aspect (as it's a "Get Britain Working" initiative) and giving consent.

farrowandbawl Sat 28-Sep-13 10:48:47

Childcare if applicable paid for?

Even if it were true, where would the claiments find the money to pay for it on the first place? - it's paid for, no, it's reimbursed at best. Eventually.

8dayweek Sat 28-Sep-13 10:54:48

It's not reimbursed, childcare is always paid directly to the childcare provider. The only stipulation is that the claimant must source it (Jobcentre can signpost to the Local Authority for registered childcare providers in the area, but that's it) and they must be Ofsted registered.

farrowandbawl Sat 28-Sep-13 10:56:29

Find the link and then I'll believe you.

8dayweek Sat 28-Sep-13 11:01:46

No manners or google. Hmmm...

AmberLeaf Sat 28-Sep-13 11:21:03

Yes it is paid directly, but it is not paid in a timely fashion.

A friend had her work placement stopped because the job centre didnt pay the nursery fees for 7 weeks. They refused to have her child any longer for 'nothing'

TheBigJessie Sat 28-Sep-13 12:02:05

I heard a very young man (who was evidently signing on for the first time) being snarled at for being unable to use the computer to job-seek, and being unable to go to an job-centre appointment in two days time, because he didn't have the money for a bus-fare in the first place.

He nearly got evicted by the watchful security guard, because he wasn't very good at handling the social interactions, and he got stroppy, in an obvious effort to hold back his tears, as he explained that he was dyslexic and couldn't read the screen*, and didn't have a car, and no, he couldn't get his parents to help him, because they were busy with his disabled little sister, etc.

The advisor did show some humanity and work out solutions that would work, but not before the boy nearly gave up on his claim then and there.

*Definitely not "mild" dyslexia from what I heard, and I don't know what will happen to him.

Darkesteyes Sat 28-Sep-13 17:05:04

We just don't know any details so to base it on previous schemes may not be fair

Brett i was on workfare a couple of times. I was told each time "dont worry we have ironed out the teething problems and its better this time."
Total bollocks.
In fact i wrote something on the thread in the comments section of a paper a few years back If i can find it i will c and p it here.

Darkesteyes Sat 28-Sep-13 17:13:36

8day week i will try to explain this as simply as i can because i obviously need to.

There will be more long term unemployed because they are unable to get jobs due to companies getting workfarers for free.
And then those long term unemployed will end up on workfare Then more will be made redundant because of companies being able to get free workers. be unable to find work because of companies being able to get free workers and then they become long term unemployed and become subjected to this.
<face palm>

Darkesteyes Sat 28-Sep-13 17:18:47

Found it.
My last experience of this.

Carers and New Deal
I am a carer for my husband who has heart disease and arthritis and have always been ineligible for Carers Allowance. Because of this I was having to claim Jobseekers Allowance three years ago. I had no choice but to do this if I wanted any money at all.During this time I was placed on New Deal with no thought for my caring responsibilities.I tried to explain the situation several times at fortnightly interviews but it always fell on deaf ears.In fact I distinctly remember the New Deal Advisor greeting me with the phrase “Got a job yet “ on a couple of occasions which is nothing but insulting to a full time carer.
The same advisor told me my training could not be done in my home town of Braintree and would have to be done at Seetec in Chelmsford They were the providers of the New Deal programme.He then proceeded to tell me that my travel expenses would be paid back at the end of every day.He was lying. They paid back travel expenses every Friday.So I hoped and prayed that my husband didn’t get admitted to hospital yet again during this time as we simply couldn’t afford it!
So I began the course with much trepidation. I was right to be worried. Occasionally I had to sort out my husbands prescriptions which meant taking them to the doctors and picking them up but when going to Chelmsford it wasn’t possible. I could only go by public transport as I don’t drive. The surgery didn’t open until 8.30 am They wanted me in Chelmsford by 9.30 at the latest. I had to be there all day till 4.30pm so I also had trouble getting back to pick it up before the surgery closed. I tried explaining the situation to them.I also tried doing the prescriptions anyway and just going in late. Their answer to both scenarios was to get there on time or be sanctioned and kicked off the course and lose your benefits.
This isn’t the worst thing that happened while I was there. My husbands heart attack left him with memory loss. One day he had to phone Seetec in Chelmsford where I was because he had taken an accidental overdose.They were fine about letting me go straight home From leaving the Seetec building in Chelmsford to entering my flat in Braintree took two hours. I had to get the bus as travel expenses wernt paid back till Friday This was a Tuesday.No way could I afford a taxi.At home my husband couldn’t move. He was nauseous and sick and in pain. The following day I went into Seetec (didn’t want to risk losing benefits) to find they had already put me down as late. They had obviously assumed I was coming in despite what happened the day before.They knew I had no choice.I had constant IBS attacks while I was at Seetec and a particularly nasty bout of impetigo.I couldn’t take it any more It was making me ill. The GP agreed and signed me off.
Thankyou very much for showing your support for carers unlike other media who only seem to be interested in benefit bashing.

Bearfrills Sat 28-Sep-13 17:20:47

Jobcentre are typically rubbish at reimbursing expenses.

I tried to claim interview expenses and was told I had to go in to collect them. It cost me £5.50 in bus fare to get to the Jobcentre, they reimbursed me for £4 "because the computer says this is what it costs for bus fare to your interview". It actually cost me £9.50 to get to the interview as it was two buses across two different bus districts so each bus needed its own return ticket, plus the £5.50 to get to the Jobcentre. Claiming my expenses actually left me £11 out of pocket hmm

Then there was my dad, wrong side of 50, looking for work and applying for everything in his field of qualification. He began looking further afield thinking they could move to where the jobs are (something the Tories keep spouting on about). The Jobcentre refused to pay travelling expenses for an interview some 200 miles away because, in their own words, "you're going to too many interviews"!!!!

Some people end up stuck between a rock and a hard place because certain aspects of the job market are shit and the very department that's supposed to help them get back to work is shit.

Darkesteyes Sat 28-Sep-13 17:21:11

Bearfrills that is disgusting treatment Fucking appalling.

Darkesteyes Sat 28-Sep-13 17:24:54

Just wanted to make it clear that my long post is copied and pasted from elsewhere.
The incidents described happened in 2007.

TheBigJessie Sat 28-Sep-13 17:35:48

They reimburse you for interview expenses? <Feels a fool for not knowing>

This is me my whole life- I've almost always underclaimed...

mirai Sat 28-Sep-13 18:35:17

2007? So not during the current administration.

Bearfrills Sat 28-Sep-13 18:46:04

All of my examples were 2012, very much in the current administration.

cooeeyonlyme Sat 28-Sep-13 18:49:58

They made my sister work at a drop in centre cafe for drug addicts. My sister is quiet vulnerable and this wasn't the place for her. She didn't feel safe but the job centre didn't care.

Then they stuck her in a chicken factory. She's bloody veggie!

Darkesteyes Sat 28-Sep-13 21:53:31

Workfare has been around since before then. YTS in the early 80s Training For Work in the 90s. (very much under the Tories) but i hate both them and Labour for this.

It is all relevant because with every "change" implemented it just metamorphosizes into an even bigger monster.

It is ALL the same thing just under different names Several young people died while doing YTS in the early 80s Should we say its no longer relevant then just because it happened over 30 years ago? And with Grayling wanting to relax H and S laws we could be staring the same thing in the face again.
So you see the past is very relevant to the future.
Its where the phrase "a warning from history" comes from So that we learn from the past so as not to make the same mistakes in the future.

Darkesteyes Sat 28-Sep-13 21:58:53

Coo they tried to stick me in a soup factory in early 2001 after i had already done workfare in a charity shop (where i was refused gloves even though i clearly remember having to deal with soiled bedding that someone had sent in) and the council.
That lasted for 3 months.
Then they wanted me to do ANOTHER 3 months in a soup factory for JSA
Luckily i was offred a job in a sex chatline office so i took it.

Ezio Sat 28-Sep-13 22:13:55

Hearing all these stories has increased my anxiety, i just know im gonna have a IBS attack.

Custardo Sat 28-Sep-13 22:32:10

im at the point now, where i'm glad. I'm glad the country is going to shit and poor people are getting shat on from a great height on a grand scale. I'm glad that this is affecting lots of people, i'm glad that this lunacy has broken through the door of the hard working unskilled poor and that their jobs are threatened.

I'm glad that the tories have taken away legal aid, pretty much chopped the cock and balls off the everymans unions.

Unlike any other fucking country in the fucking world do we take shit. shit after shit, politicians from all parties just crouch, open their arse cheeks and shit all over everyone who doesn't increase their friends profit margin. And we take it.

at some point, individuals are going to stop setting themselves on fire in job centres and cutting their own wrists. People like these, dying individually in relation to the utter shame that is welfare reform.

at some point i hope, we will have to come together and just say NO MORE.

if this affects you and you don't vote. register. for gods sake register to vote. and when you have, help and encourage others to register to vote.

YOU DO NOT MATTER to them unless you can affect their control on power.

So - why the fuck don't we start doing something ourselves?

<Waves to Custardo - you always talk sense>

We are - informed, opinionated, seriously articulate, experienced, jaded, and fucking middle aged smart women. Why are our voices unheard? Why are we being kicked back into the 19th Century and not doing Jack Shite to do anything or protest about this?

mathanxiety Sun 29-Sep-13 04:29:40

How about someone pledging to accept as salary whatever JSA would be, and running for election against some smug MP who supports Workfare. It might be instructive for someone working in a job for which there are apparently no qualifications or experience of real life required to see someone come out of nowhere to take your job and work for less...

Custardo Sun 29-Sep-13 11:00:21

waves to Lapsedpacifist <fucking love that name> i'm thinking we should do a mumsnet march - with obligatory piss up after and invite owen jones - fucjing love that man

QueenStromba Sun 29-Sep-13 13:22:37

Instead of turning the unemployed into slave labour they should do something like they do in Ireland if you've been unemployed for a while. They send you on a Fas course which teaches you actual skills that will make it easier to get a job - I think you even get to pick what you want to do. You can even get apprenticeships through Fas.

mathanxiety Sun 29-Sep-13 16:03:43

An aunt of mine recently retired as a Fas instructor after about 15 years of training people and in many cases acting as a mentor and life coach too. She knew the course offerings of the regional technical colleges off by heart, having steered so many young people into vocational ed after their stint in Fas, and also had local adult literacy instructors on her speed dial plus employers wiling to give someone a chance who trusted her judgement as to who might work well in their business. I don't think she was the only really dedicated Fas trainer going the extra mile.

QueenStromba Sun 29-Sep-13 16:14:10

I'm sure she's not whereas people sending an endless stream of JSA claimants to work in Tesco have every right to be jaded.
I was on the dole in Ireland for nearly a year while I resat my exams so I could go to a good university. When I first signed on I told them that I was going to university in a year and they actually left me alone other than having to come in to sign once a fortnight since they realised that hassling me to apply for x number of jobs a week or go on a Fas course was a waste of everyone's time and effort. I'm sure that if I'd still been signing on come October they'd have come down on me like a tonne of bricks though.

TotemPole Sun 29-Sep-13 17:20:23

QueenStromba, you can do courses while on JSA, up to 15 hours a week. The problem is they don't register this as a valid step to finding work and, as pointed out to me up thread, you could be made to stop the course.

JakeBullet Mon 30-Sep-13 06:33:17 service will count as Workfare. If they are going to bring this in then allow people to do stuff which they might well enjoy and will support the local community and not big businesses. And they will offer literacy courses etc too......which they need to do right at the start as they are lots of long term unemployed with literacy issues.

I am still pretty anti workfare but this is better than I hoped it would be.

ParsingFancy Mon 30-Sep-13 10:37:47

BBC today: "To still qualify for jobseeker's allowance they will have three options - work placements, such as cleaning up litter; daily visits to a job centre; or taking part in compulsory training, for example, to improve their literacy."

Jake, I don't think your idea of community service and Gideon's are quite the same.

The current workfare programmes are also billed as community service - politicians always say picking up litter and helping the elderly.

These are the same programmes putting people in Tesco.

So I don't think there's much new there - apart from the massive expansion and increase in intensity.

fluffyraggies Mon 30-Sep-13 13:32:52

About 20 posts late but i might be the 'lady talking about her daughter' mentioned up thread a bit.

To reiterate: DD was 18 two years ago and was sent to do sweeping in a stockroom after being on JSA for 3 weeks, having just finished her course in animal management. She'd only just received her certificates through the post from college!

Her aim was to find a job in a vet surgery and/or get some voluntary work in while to gain experience. But no - sweeping from 8 till 4, for 4 weeks was a much better apparently hmm

It was Work Fare - not Work Experience. She didn't have a choice and was threatened with sanctions if she didn't accept the post. There was no actual public transport for two of the shifts the co. expected her to do (rural here), and they said if she 'refused' to do these shifts they would ring the JC, tell them she was refusing to work, and take a new work fare worker on instead. ie: not JSA for my DD for 3 weeks. DD queried this and her key worker at the JC kept saying in a passive agessive way ''Yeeees but you aaaare actually refusing work by not turning up for the shifts no? Hmmmm?'' :head tilt:

I had to drive her in in the end! Supposing i had no car, or was unwilling or unavailable? angry

Darkesteyes Mon 30-Sep-13 13:51:23

And what about your petrol costs fluffy. Dh got me a copy of todays Daily Mirror They are also wanting the unemployed to cook for OAPs.

Quote from Mirrors Voice section
Dont senior citizens and others deserve the care of trained motivated staff instead of a a cheap press gang of the coerced unemployed?

Wannabestepfordwife Mon 30-Sep-13 14:27:18

I know I'm going to sound like a bit of an tin foil hat wearer but these proposals of people having to pay to get to their job fare when they are already struggling to live and then working or doing manual labour like cleaning graffiti reminds me of the benefits Britain 1949 where the government gave pensioners less then they could live on so they didn't last long.

It seems to me the government are trying to make survival for the poorest as hard as they can

beepoff Mon 30-Sep-13 14:34:50

Daily visits to the job centre sounds like the worst proposal ever.

Seriously, what will that achieve?

Maybe the job centres will employ JSA claimants through Workfare to manage all the people doing their daily visits...

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 30-Sep-13 14:39:03

As I have just said on another thread.

They already have the power to make you go to the job centre every day but they tend to only use it for under 25's or those with learning difficulties or disabilities

limitedperiodonly Mon 30-Sep-13 17:16:20

Work with me here, but do you think Gideon hasn't really thought this through?

It strikes me as the kind of knee-jerk reaction he and Dave would come up with in response to the Labour conference.

'Oh fuck! Ed Miliband's had a go at the energy companies and property speculators.

'The Mail trashed it and had a gazillion red arrows. And the Telegraph is telling everyone to vote UKIP.

'Come on chaps. What are we going to say for our conference? 'Who else do people hate? Obviously not the bankers.

I know: the unemployed.'

I only surprised the vinyl-skinned little mutant didn't suggest grinding them up for fertiliser.

Doesn't mean to say he won't.

fluffyraggies Mon 30-Sep-13 17:18:52

vinyl-skinned little mutant grin

<belly laugh>

Trigglesx Mon 30-Sep-13 17:26:09

daily visits to the job centre? are they mad?? How will people afford that?!?!?! !

When we lived in Devon, the bus into town and back was a fiver. That's £25 a week out of the £70-odd someone gets for IS? Not to mention trying to plan it around school runs and such. And possibly interviews if they have them.

Oh my god, I'm a genius!

How does one go about getting someone for workfare to work for them? I could take a few people to generally help out around the house so they're "volunteering" without having to actually take jobs off people, as could millions of people all over the country!!

Because, its the volunteer work thats the important bit isnt it Dave, not the fact that it's working for big businesses....?

mathanxiety Tue 01-Oct-13 16:26:03

TotemPole that is incredibly short sighted (to discount ongoing education, restrict the class hours per week allowed, and call a halt to attendance). It is gobsmackingly stupid in fact, to effectively make sure you have a workforce with limited education and verifiable skills. How do you attract business with so little to offer by way of employee quality? It reinforces my suspicion that what the Tories feel about workfare and those it targets is that they are trying to punish fecklessness/the undeserving poor/spongers -- allowing unexamined prejudice to govern policy instead of looking rationally at lack of skills and lack of opportunity.

I really think Ireland has a much better idea, and has been doing things better since the start of the old regional techs, (now institutes of technology), along with the reshuffling of the Leaving Cert offerings. Making technical/vocational education accessible (which means supporting people trying to get ahead) is so important. The regional techs were supposed to turn out people with qualifications in areas such as lab technology, IT, quantity surveying, quality control, business specialisations like marketing, etc., with the aim of producing a well qualified workforce spread throughout the country, and located in places that never had a third level college before - Tralee, Carlow, Donegal, Athlone, etc. and many other county towns. Braun located a factory in Carlow a few years after the tech there had been up and running.

I used to volunteer teaching adult literacy. People who were referred by courts (this sometimes happened) were harder to reach/teach than people who came voluntarily. Adult literacy is a tricky area, whether the adults are completely illiterate or have minimum literacy skills. There are often complicated reasons for adults to end up illiterate or sub literate, including physical (eyesight, dyslexia) and psychological/emotional issues (childhood spent being bounced around in care, no continuity to educational experience, childhood abuse or neglect, experience of failure and harsh treatment in school, family constantly moving, eg from Ireland to England, etc). You can't just force adults to go and get their literacy sorted out. It is not as simple as that, and there are not enough volunteers to manage this task (and I think there is the assumption that these are people who ungratefully thumbed their noses at school when they had the chance, and the Tories are not going to let them get away with it).

TotemPole Tue 01-Oct-13 17:08:21

mathanxiety, I think the basic courses are the sort of things the job centre might recommend people to do, but I'm not sure about that.

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