Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Companies get £2500 to employ Jobseekers

with 8 comments

The Government has announced a scheme that will give businesses of any size up to a £2,500 grant to employ unemployed persons who have been claiming Jobseekers Allowance for over 6 months.  This will relieve the businesses in the current economic climate and give Jobseekers a break – in fact it is a better idea then New Deal full stop.

However, … it is only an idea that hasn’t been fully thought through. Any company which has employed someone claiming Jobseekers Allowance will get £500 for employing someone and another £500 if they are still in the job for over 6 months. Up to £1,500 allowance for training is also included in the deal… so what is the problem?

Recruitment Concerns

There are many ways of increasing the chance of employing someone who has been claiming Jobseekers Allowance, a couple of suggestions is advertising job positions at the Jobcentre (website, job points etc.) and vetting applications forms highlighting and presuming that gaps in employment history is a point of unemployment – and assuming that unemployed person was claiming  Jobseekers Allowance.

The problem with this system is that at some point before the Jobseekers is employed, the Employer has to ask if the person has been claiming Jobseekers Allowance, this will probably happen at an interview.

The concern is (and I know you are reading this and shouting it out!) it is illegal to request such information.

You are not allowed to ask questions such as “Are you planning to start a family soon?“, “How old are you?“, “What race are you?“, “What political party do you support?” and “Are you in receipt of any benefits?“. I know employers get away with discrimination all the time at the recruitment stage however no legit business asks such questions (they just request them as a mandatory Equal Opportunities/Recruitment Monitoring form).

Jobseekers’ have to have a Recruitment Voucher signed by the Jobseeker for them to take advantage of the offer.

The “scam” Loop

The terms of this Grant enables recruitment agencies to claim. The position of employment is “expected” to last at least 6 months therefore regardless if someone is dismissed in probationary period the employer is entitled to the £500 grant per person, therefore the job has to be advertised as a permanent position or for a term of 6 months or more regardless if the person even lasts just one week.

It must have an average minimum hours of 16 hours per week. This means any clever scammer can plan a predicted 12 month contract even though has no intention of honouring it where the hours may be as little as 4 hours a week first few weeks then increasing to 40 hours towards the end of the 12 months. So what if the ex-Jobseeker only done 4 weeks at 4 hours a week with an actual average minimum hours a week of 4?

The employer is “expected” (why don’t they say “must” as it is the law?) to comply with the National Minimum Wage. Employee must have a job contract. Employer must pay the employee wages. Not to be used with any other Government offers. Subject to available funding.

You just know the Government are clowns when #2 of the Terms states:

The job must be a genuine vacancy and employers must not dismiss existing employees in order to claim the subsidy.

Considering they have had to been receiving Jobseekers Allowance for 6 months I doubt this will happen. Actually, ironically the Terms doesn’t mention anything about the person having to have claimed Jobseekers and doesn’t state any period of time… So if any fraud happens at Jobcentre this is why: totally left open to abuse!

Flexible New Deal

I was thinking… why are they offering this scheme? The Government has promised to guarantee every 18-24 year old Jobseeker a job or “training” if they have been out of work for 12 months.  You may have recalled me saying that the Flexible New Deal can be fast tracked after 6 months instead of the normal 12 months. Is it a coincidence? I think not!

For example, the £1,500 training allowance per a Jobseeker is available to be used at one of their “partners” (In other words: Prime Contractor, (Sub-contractor), training provider etc.).

Basically this scheme (seems to me anyway) is a wrapper to get work placements for those on the Flexible New Deal scheme and is open to abuse.

You can’t reclaim £1,500 to get in house training or to order courses and qualifications to whom you choose – it is explicitly available to what is offered by their partners (Flexible New Deal contractors are their partners).

How are you going to complete a Recruitment Voucher when you have been offered employment and signed off? These vouchers you sign at the Jobcentre. If you are signed off, why would you attend an appointment there solely to sign a  piece of paper to bag your employer £2,500? – there is nothing in it for you!

Flexible New Deal prime contractors and their sub contractors CAN even claim for this £2,500 in addition to what they get on their contract anyway there are no restrictions and you couldn’t refuse to sign that voucher without getting your benefit stopped anyway.

But dont worry, they wont employ you… they will rather force you into community service for free!

The idea is to get more employers interested in the scheme of free labour and an incentive to actually get people into jobs at the end of the “intensive” course to reduce the current high numbers of people reattending the courses.

Written by Universal Jobmatch

May 22, 2009 at 8:15 am

8 Responses

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  1. […] £2500 golden handshake option is ineffective. Reasons for this is because it costs while doesn’t guarantee results. […]

  2. […] A lot of jobseekers might not be requiring them especially those who have regular interviews. The £2500 Recruitment “golden handshake” Subsidy scheme is not available to those on Flexible New Deal so fastracked “customers” are not able […]

  3. thankfully the “£500 self marketing voucher” has seem to have disappeared,a limited time offer.

    i love the job centre’s description on sunday working “various shifts available”,on further investigation those who are happy to work the other six days’ and not sundays have the “interview” terminated at that point.
    on top of this the money is pence more then what someone earned more then a decade ago.

    this is grossly unfair that job centre plus is little more then home for the minimum wage. it constantly advertises and expects jobseekers in this day of constantly rising prices to work for this monkey snack.

    the term “we shall never be slaves” obviously doesn’t consider job centre plus.in times of cut backs the abolition of this advertised poor house would be beneficial to us all.

    perhaps then work will pay.


    September 15, 2010 at 4:31 pm

  4. Too Right Ken, I’ve tried running this crappy sceme past a couple of potential employers and their verdict was what a pile of shit it was, for a start they said we just haven’t got the work for our existing employees and we’ve already had to lay several experianced staff of who will obviosly be first in line when we take people on again so whats it going to look like if we replace them with somebody on a sceme? the employers also said as they haven’t got the work what’s the point of taking on somebody as their wages and NI will cost far more than the £48 tops they can get per week with this sceme? They also said its pointless as the money isn’t enough and only a government of clowns with no idea of buisness would dream up an idea as useless as this….which I thought was a fair suming up of Neo Labour.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 15, 2010 at 8:38 pm

  5. they are out of touch with the outside world,this has now been extended to those sick and disabled with the same results’.a massive overhaul of accountability fairness and realism is needed,vast amounts have been spent that requires vastly more when unworkable chaos needs to be rectified.
    while this culture continues the cloud will never lift from this department.


    September 16, 2010 at 1:45 am

  6. Does anyone know how to go about claiming the golden handshake?? We have a small business and have recruited a few ex job centre claimers!


    November 25, 2010 at 11:14 am

  7. ..as above..

    Is this scheme still in existence? I was taken on full-time by a small private ambulance service, still employed today. We are wondering if there is any form of funding or grants that we may be elegible for.


    Josh G

    October 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm

  8. We have a small run family business in Rotherham, does any know how you apply for this £2500 for any company who employs a job seeker ?

    Denise Zaccaria

    February 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm

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