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Voluntary work or lose benefits

(765 Posts)
Marjoriew Sun 07-Nov-10 07:43:30

Government intend to cut benefits of claimants on JSA who refuse to do voluntary work of 30 hours a week over a 4-week period.
Benefits could be stopped for up to 3 months if claimants refuse to comply.

waterlooroadisadocumentary Sun 07-Nov-10 07:50:00

I always did voluntary work when I claimed benefits to pay ack for what I ws taking. I can't see a problem except it may cause more unemployment as they will be doing someone's job for almost nothing.

SparklePffftBANG Sun 07-Nov-10 07:52:28

surely money for work = employment??
They're justsaving on admin costs

LIZS Sun 07-Nov-10 07:53:59

In principle a good idea as it might help upskill potential workforce and introduce people to the routines of working life makign it less daunting. But not sure where all these positions will come from and how suitability will be determined. If it is as part of a crisis management system - clearing snow and getting groceries for those who cannot go out, helping post floods for example then that can only be a good thing too, surely ?

monkeyfacegrace Sun 07-Nov-10 07:59:35

How can it be a bad thing? No-one deserves a hand out, so working for your money is great. If you are job seeking, here is a job. Get on with it and stop fucking moaning.
<disclaimer, been up for hours with a sick toddler so paitence is wearing thin!>

misdee Sun 07-Nov-10 08:01:58

dh did volentry work for the british heart foundation after his heart transplant. Just a few hopurs a week, but got him bak into routines, meeting people and increasing his confidence which had taken a massivbe knock.

Constance39 Sun 07-Nov-10 08:07:34

Ah yes Monkey, everyone on JSA is moaning, have you considered that maybe some of thme cannot FIND a job...and to be handed one that may or may not be totally appropriate to their skills and experience is not necessarily a great idea?

it will be demeaning and stigmatising for many people - they may be on JSA not through being a 'lazy moaner' but through a genuine lack of available or suitable work.

just a thought.

chibi Sun 07-Nov-10 08:11:51

where is this work coming from?

is it work that others already get paid for? how will this affect those people's employment?

when will these 'volunteers' have time to look for work/attend interviews whilst working 30 hours a week? will they be excused from their work to go to interviews?

in what sense is the work voluntary if it must be done in order to continue recieving benefits?

LIZS Sun 07-Nov-10 08:13:59

That's true constance but also some people have a very rigid view of what they want to do and how their skills and experience can be used. This is a way of broadening experience and perhaps outlook while getting work done which is of benefit to others. It will not look bad on a cv and as misdee's dh found helps with self confidence, contacts and prepare for when they can find a job perhaps more suited.

Constance39 Sun 07-Nov-10 08:14:47

I would be interested to see how 'workfare' 'works' in the states where they already do this.

What are the issues there?

Constance39 Sun 07-Nov-10 08:17:15

Yes but Lizs it's enforced under threat of benefits being removed, so a very heavy handed offer of 'help'

I don't like it - it assumes everyone on JSA is scared of work, or needs this intervention when maybe they just can't find a job.

It's horrible, degrading, presumptuous. It's like telling people what they can buy with their welfare payments.

EldonAve Sun 07-Nov-10 08:21:39

is it designed to weed out those who are claiming JSA and working?

Constance39 Sun 07-Nov-10 08:26:23

I doubt it though good point I suppose.

I think it;'s designed to cheer up the people who think all benefit claimants are worthless scum, personally.

It is just not possible for everyone to have a job in this country. So the tories like to laugh at and deride those who haven't, because it's clearly their own fault. And force them to do things they don't really want to do.

It makes the country as a whole feel better to kick the ones on the bottom of thr heap.

AnnoyingOrange Sun 07-Nov-10 08:29:31

according to the BBC, the scheme is aimed at the long-term unemployed

"The Work Activity scheme is said to be designed to flush out claimants who have opted for a life on benefits or are doing undeclared jobs on the side.

Reports suggest it will target people believed to be sabotaging efforts to get them back into work."


DuelingFanjo Sun 07-Nov-10 08:30:30

They could make them wear a scarlet 'S' for scrounger so that we all know what scum they are... or something.

Stupid Tories.

MumInBeds Sun 07-Nov-10 08:31:55

Sounds like it won't be everyone on JSA:

"Under the plan, claimants thought to need 'experience of the habits and routines of working life' could be put on the month long, 30-hour a week placements."

How they will decide who might 'need' this will be the most interesting part as it says "Reports suggest it will target people believed to be sabotaging efforts to get them back into work".

Yes EldonAve, the same article says "The Work Activity scheme is said to be designed to flush out claimants who have opted for a life on benefits or are doing undeclared jobs on the side."

SumfingNew Sun 07-Nov-10 08:36:42

Also, in that same article, it says,

"Under the plan, claimants thought to need 'experience of the habits and routines of working life' could be put on the month long, 30-hour a week placements."

So it doesn't sound like it's assuming everyone needs this, just those that would benefit from regaining some externally-imposed routine, something that anyone in work knows about but those that are out of work lose - I recall the hours of "nothingness" ahead of me when I was out of work and it was not much fun...and I'm motivated, qualified and in good health. For those who have lost interest, have little on the CV and/or are unwell/down, this might just be what is needed to give them some structure and regain their sense of worth.

I think it's a good idea.

Georgimama Sun 07-Nov-10 08:38:12

I don't see what is degrading about having to do something useful in return for your money.

spidookly Sun 07-Nov-10 08:48:46

Forcing people to work for less than the minimum wage is probably illegal, so we'll see how this works out in reality.

Having taught long-term unemployed adults in the past, I think IDS is onto something here though.

The people I taught were bright and very nice but completely unemployable.

The "school" day had become a de facto 2 hours of classes they were prepared to attend because they considered it unreasonable to have to attend the first or second class of the day. Or the last or second last class. Or the classes either side of lunch.

They also didn't think they should have to show up every day. If there was ANYTHING else they wanted (or "needed" as they saw it) to do they would not show up.

It was interesting because there was no intention to be lazy or difficult, but as a group they were approaching impossible to teach because despite all their talk about how much they wanted to learn they were not prepared to organise their lives in such a way that their learning was prioritised.

Georgimama Sun 07-Nov-10 09:02:51

It can probably be organised in such a way that the number of hours work they do means for each hour they are receiving the equivalent of minimum wage in JSA, which for an individual over 25 would be 10 hours work per week.

ilovemydogandMrObama Sun 07-Nov-10 09:08:11

I'm opposed to enforced labor/working. Either it's voluntary or it isn't.

However the plan sounds more like work placement than anything else.

onimolap Sun 07-Nov-10 09:22:31

I think the title of this thread is mildly misleading: it's not exactly "voluntary work" they're proposing, but community service. BBC is using the phrase "manual labour" a lot, so it doesn't look as if it's going to teach much about desk-based jobs, customer-facing roles; nor provide opportunities to reskill anyone.

spidookly Sun 07-Nov-10 09:30:24

I think the skills they are trying to teach are things like

*getting up early in the morning
*having things to do all day
*organising your life around something other than what you fancy doing at any particular moment
*accepting responsibility for yourself
*showing up somewhere every day

There are people for whom those are things they genuinely struggle with.

You can't even start with "reskilling" until they are able to organise themselves in the most basic of ways.

usualsuspect Sun 07-Nov-10 09:30:57

The tories are a bunch of cunts .thats all I have to say on the matter

ISNT Sun 07-Nov-10 09:32:50

Is this where the army of volunteers for the "big society" is going to come from?

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