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AIBU?

To ask what you think about ‘work for dole’ idea?

518 replies

WakeUpAndBe · 04/10/2022 10:24

Is it reasonable or unreasonable?

Pros: on the surface it sounds reasonable. Means the public won’t view it as “free money” if people are working 30 hours a week for a lot less than the national living wage.

Cons: risks of exploitation and returning to Charles Dickens’ style workhouses for the poor.

Chris Philp said UC claimants should be forced to ‘work for dole’

In his paper, Philp suggested those claiming universal credit should, after a certain time, have to work for their benefits if they were employed for less than 30 hours a week. He suggested those claiming benefits for a disability should be given work that they were physically able to do.
^^
“Philp said they could be asked to complete community work such as cleaning graffiti or clearing parks, charity work, supervised job searching or recognised training to top up their hours to 30 a week. He said a referral to the “work for the dole” scheme would be triggered between three months and two years after first claiming depending on previous national insurance contributions.
^^
“If anyone is not compliant with work for the dole activity requirements, they should automatically have all their universal credit payments suspended as long as the person is not working for the dole,” he wrote at the time. “Although the complete suspension of universal credit benefit payments may seem an extreme sanction, the evidence from the US suggests that this is required to make the scheme fully effective.”

Number crunching

The National Living Wage is currently £9.50 x 30 hours x 4 weeks = £1,140 for 4 weeks

According to the website, monthly UC is £265.31 for single and under 25,
£334.91 for single over 25,
£416.45 for couples under 25
and
£525.72 for couples over 25.

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

576 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
72%
You are NOT being unreasonable
28%
Thesearmsofmine · 04/10/2022 11:24

Bzzz · 04/10/2022 11:21

I completely agree with it and have been saying that it should happen.
It benefits the claimant as they get work experience, a reference, aren't out of thr workforce for years, whilst also benefiting the uk as whole (less litter, more support in local communities etc).

Or they could pay someone a fair wage to do these jobs with a contract etc instead of forcing someone to do it for what would essentially work out to be pennies per hour.

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Getoff · 04/10/2022 11:24

Octomore · 04/10/2022 11:12

What's to stop companies from gaming this system?

Claiming that they would happily run on a reduced workforce without this incentive, whereas in reality they would be recruiting anyway?

Time and again, companies exploit this kind of system. There should never be any kind of state subsidy for employers to create jobs IMO.

I posted some ideas on this a little further on. I agree that a job subsidy scheme is only worthwhile if it's designed to be mostly immune from gaming.

Bear in mind that in most of the country and for most of the time there would be no subsidies. History has shown that unemployment can be kept down without them, they are only for exceptional circumstances.

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CapMarvel · 04/10/2022 11:24

Bzzz · 04/10/2022 11:21

I completely agree with it and have been saying that it should happen.
It benefits the claimant as they get work experience, a reference, aren't out of thr workforce for years, whilst also benefiting the uk as whole (less litter, more support in local communities etc).

It doesn't benefit the claimer at all.

It benefits companies/government as it means they get free labour.

If there is a job that needs doing, pay a fair wage for it.

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Musti · 04/10/2022 11:24

What would work is having those jobs available for a reasonable wage so people actually wanted to do them. People aren’t on benefits because they’re lazy and don’t want to work.

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Biscuitandacuppa · 04/10/2022 11:24

What about the thousands of people on zero hour contracts? Many of them claim UC and cannot guarantee a minimum number of hours worked a week.

I work in a school so although I work 28hrs a week (I’m also disabled and a single parent) I’m actually paid less than the minimum wage because the support staff salaries are so low and spread out over 12 months to cover the holidays.

Employers should be made to pay a living wage. I am not shocked that the conservatives are considering this though. They’ve forgotten the point of history is to stop making the same mistakes over and over again.

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WakeUpAndBe · 04/10/2022 11:25

SarahSissions · 04/10/2022 11:16

@WakeUpAndBe animals expend energy and toil in order to survive so whilst they don’t use cash they do pay. Poor example.

I specifically think it should be work that benefits the state or society- so no an employer wouldn’t get commercial gain

Do you not think humans are animals too?

Look up ‘Homo sapiens’.

That was a trick. You failed to notice the trick…

OP posts:
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Octomore · 04/10/2022 11:25

Bzzz · 04/10/2022 11:21

I completely agree with it and have been saying that it should happen.
It benefits the claimant as they get work experience, a reference, aren't out of thr workforce for years, whilst also benefiting the uk as whole (less litter, more support in local communities etc).

Christ almighty. You think the government directly subsidising large corporates "benefits the UK as a whole"?

Have you informed yourself about how this scheme has been abused in the past.

Large companies will sack existing NMW employees and replace them with the taxpayer funded ones on benefits. That's what happens. It's not exaggeration or hyperbole - it is what actually happens when schemes like this run.

Unemployment actually goes up. Shareholder profits in large companies go up. Disposable income in the pockets of NMW workers goes down (because NMW is replaced by unemployment benefit).

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OneTC · 04/10/2022 11:25

I specifically think it should be work that benefits the state or society- so no an employer wouldn’t get commercial gain.

Who's job are they getting? What's happening to that existing state employee who's just been costed out of existence?

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54isanopendoor · 04/10/2022 11:28

It is a morally 'unreasonable' suggestion yes.
Many folk on UC are already in work (just being paid subsistence wages)
Many folk are Carers so cannot work.
Many folk are disabled & cannot work.

It would also prove an expensive, unworkable nightmare to try to implement.
Peoples lives are complex, & changeable, and the system is not.
The cost would outweigh the gains economically.

We can apparantly afford to 'spaff' £65bn on 3 days of poor policies yet we cannot afford to pay benefits bills for a relatively small number of citizens?
It's ideological & doesnt even make financial sense.

But Yes, I imagine Truss' goon show will try to implement a version of it soon.

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caringcarer · 04/10/2022 11:28

I think the idea of searching for real jobs at a job centre or doing training, which should be free of charge, to help progress into work are very sensible. If a person is claiming they are looking for work for X number of hours they can easily demonstrate that at a job centre with free internet, specialist advice on hand and in the warm. They should be reimbursed for bus fares or paid milage for traveling to job centre. I think a lot of people would move into work or admit they don't really want to work and be removed from benefits. There are many jobs available at the moment up and down the country. To grow our economy we need to fill these jobs.

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Survey99 · 04/10/2022 11:29

Ridiculous,

How would they manage the costs incurred by those already living in poverty to travel to work, lunch, work clothing, childcare etc?

The costs incurred to manage attendance, sick leave, leave to apply for "real" jobs. Costs incurred to manage people who don't show up.

It is another media attracting, public distraction technique to divert focus away from real issues and other polices they are sneaking through while everyone is getting their knickers in a twist about something that will come to nothing.

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OneTC · 04/10/2022 11:29

I mean could they work for serco as long as serco was subcontracting to a govt agency at the time? Are there even enough low skilled directly employed people that if you booted all of them and gave their jobs to doleys, would that even create enough jobs (ignoring the obvious rise in unemployment it goes hand in hand with)

The reality is, private companies will profit

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FarmerRefuted · 04/10/2022 11:29

Where people are unemployed long term or are working a minimal number of hours, there is almost always a reason.

  • age
  • health, both physical and mental
  • chaotic lifestyle to the point that the chaos itself is a barrier
  • disability
  • caring responsibilities
  • lack of childcare, availability and/or affordability
  • lack of transport, including public transport
  • poor education
  • domestic abuse
  • childhood abuse
  • addiction and substance abuse
  • lack of opportunities and investment in the area leading to reduced employment opportunities


There are probably reasons I've missed.

The government need to address the root causes and invest in those. For example:

  • health
  • education
  • Sure Start
  • childcare
  • housing
  • disability and carer support
  • transport
  • intervention services


You can't build a house on a crumbling foundation, why on earth do they think they can build a workforce on one?
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Getofftheladder · 04/10/2022 11:31

Crazy. People on the dole presumably should fall into 3 basic categories:
not able to work
able to work and looking therefore need actual jobs
working but poorly paid

This scheme benefits none of them.

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AnnPerkins · 04/10/2022 11:32

Ah I've heard of this sort of thing. When you work and receive payment in return for working that is what is known as a 'job'. And if you are clearing verges or working in a local authority care home or whatever, it is known as a 'public sector job'. And if you have one of these 'jobs' you are entitled to at least the minimum wage and benefits, such as paid holiday, sick pay, pension contributions etc.

Hope that helps Mr Philp Smile

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AirFryerNinja · 04/10/2022 11:32

@SleepingStandingUp If you're a resident parent, it usually takes place during term time.
You have to remember that mothers are paid generously by the state there to stay at home with their children until their children are five.
Most single mothers have a very generous maintenance paid by the children's father, and unlike the UK, he can't get out of paying. If he is out of work, then the state will pay that amount.
There is no excuse for not participating in the scheme. It works because most people would rather be in work because others look down on you as not providing for your family if you don't.
Therefore, participating means that you will find permanent work.
Participants aren't sent to factories to do forty hour weeks, it's usually work in the community such as litter picking etc.
It's something that I agree with.

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Octomore · 04/10/2022 11:33

OneTC · 04/10/2022 11:25

I specifically think it should be work that benefits the state or society- so no an employer wouldn’t get commercial gain.

Who's job are they getting? What's happening to that existing state employee who's just been costed out of existence?

Yes, the idea that there can be some genuine work that needs doing, but somehow this isn't an existing job, is a fantasy.

If there is work that needs doing, then either the relevant private sector employer will employ someone to do it, or the public sector should. Roadsweeping, keeping public spaces clear and tidy etc. are legitimate public sector jobs, which should be fairly paid. Making an employed roadsweeper redundant in order to make someone on benefits do the work would be appalling.

And it would definitely not benefit the economy - we need people to be employed In jobs that are fairly paid so they can go out and spend money on goods and services, and benefits aren't sufficient to do that.

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Maverickess · 04/10/2022 11:33

Sounds like a way to pay even less to people doing the low valued jobs tbh, can see people getting laid off and then sent back to do the same job for benefits while the employer pockets the difference, it'll be the likes of care companies that do this, essential, paid for at least in part by the tax payer, pays a pittance and makes a profit. They'll get rid of their staff and replace them with jobseekers funded by the government and they'll get to keep the wage bill they used to pay out. Great idea to ensure the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and ensure further exploitation of low paid workers.

All so some people can feel even more superior about where their tax goes. Straight into the pockets of those who already have plenty seems fine, info the pockets of those who struggle, goodness me no.

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FlorettaB · 04/10/2022 11:33

The Department of Work and Pensions is unfit for purpose. People are refused PIP because of incompetence. Around 7 out of 10 people who appeal this refusal are then awarded PIP. Of those that win their appeal, around 59% win it because the tribunal looks at the same facts given previously and makes a different decision.

’This indicates that tribunals – which consistently uphold about 70% of Pip appeals – concluded that the DWP had made the wrong decisions based on the information it already had.’

www.theguardian.com/society/2022/oct/01/unforgivable-uk-government-errors-denied-thousands-disability-benefits

During the time it takes to apply for PIP and then appeal the decision, those people don’t get the benefits they’re entitled to and their bills don’t stop coming in. They don’t stop needing to eat and heat their homes. This pushes people into debt and as many applying for PIP have mental health issues you can imagine the impact the stress of going through this drawn out process has on them. I believe that the rate of successful appeals should be higher but some people simply can’t face going through the appeals process.

Universal credit and the sanctions that come with it - stopping payment as punishment - has a horrendous impact on people. It’s the money to feed themselves and their children and it can be stopped arbitrarily. Given the proven rate of incompetence (shown above) when it comes to making evidence based decisions, it’s even more cruel. As KitchiHuritAngeni posted, there is often little logic or sense to how the system operates.

From a personal viewpoint, my uncle was threatened with sanctions for not attending a meeting while he was in hospital in a coma, despite the fact that they’d been informed he was admitted in a critical condition two weeks earlier. I don’t know if they followed through with it as he died a few days later.

These are the kind of people that would be overseeing any ‘welfare for work scheme.’ Obviously, they wouldn’t be government employees. The DWP would outsource the contract to their donors sorry the private sector.

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FarmerRefuted · 04/10/2022 11:34

caringcarer · 04/10/2022 11:28

I think the idea of searching for real jobs at a job centre or doing training, which should be free of charge, to help progress into work are very sensible. If a person is claiming they are looking for work for X number of hours they can easily demonstrate that at a job centre with free internet, specialist advice on hand and in the warm. They should be reimbursed for bus fares or paid milage for traveling to job centre. I think a lot of people would move into work or admit they don't really want to work and be removed from benefits. There are many jobs available at the moment up and down the country. To grow our economy we need to fill these jobs.

Where do they put their child(ren) while they're at the Jobcentre for 35hrs a week? Or the disabled family member they care for? Is money going to be spent on expanding Jobcentres to make room for everyone? And local public transport capacity will be increased at peak hours for them travelling there/back? I have more questions about how everyine attending the Jobcentre for 7 hours a day, five days a week will work in practice but they're the main ones.

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OriginalUsername3 · 04/10/2022 11:35

It will just allow councils to exploit disabled and vulnerable people to do cheap labour.

I'm all for giving people on benefits jobs they can do. But they need paying a proper wage.

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Octomore · 04/10/2022 11:35

Participants aren't sent to factories to do forty hour weeks, it's usually work in the community such as litter picking etc.

Can you explain why litter picking, keeping public spaces clean, roadsweeping etc should not be a proper job that pays at least NMW?

It's a necessary task, makes the environment nicer for everyone, good for public health etc. Councils should be sufficiently funded that this work can be carried out by paying employees a fair wage to do it.

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OneTC · 04/10/2022 11:36

Imagine a companies welfare being more important to you than a person.

Imagine thinking you'd rather subsidise a hugely profitable, multi billion pound business to get some free work in case you accidentally buy some matey an eighth

I struggle to not be rude on discussions like this, it's like the death penalty, such a palpably bad idea that is quite hard to respect it's proponents

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Redqueenheart · 04/10/2022 11:37

if a job needs to be done then you need to pay people properly for doing it and give them annual leave and sick leave and employee rights and protection.

I don't see the point of exploiting people as cheap and unregulated labour just because they are looking for work and receive benefits.

I pay for a welfare safety net every month through NI contributions and tax and I would fully expect to be able to use it if I lose my job or am too unwell to work without bizarre strings attached to it.

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onmywayamarillo · 04/10/2022 11:38

It's almost a full time job looking for a new job! So absolutely fucking stupid idea

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