Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Workfare and the General Election.

with 18 comments

Workfare’s Model Workers.

All the parties now stand for workfare.

This goes from Labour’s plans for compulsory ‘placements’ (and so on), Tory’s “Community Work Programme”, to the wilder shores of UKIP and the BNP (the latter say the ” benefit recipient must complete a certain number of hours of work per week “(here). If I could be arsed I’d probably find the Liberal Demcorats have something – nicer worded – in this line.

We at Ipswich Unemployed Action have made the case that Workfare is time-wasting, exploitative, pointless, and completely useless.

There is no real ‘training’. It drags wages down and does nothing to get rid of unemployment.

Except for those lucky to be living off the public purse in providing these schemes (Reed International, a4e and pals).


Who no doubt have a greater say in what has got in Parties’ Manifestos than the views of the out-of-work.



Written by Andrew Coates

April 14, 2010 at 9:24 am

18 Responses

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  1. I shall be making a protest vote on May 6 by voting for The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

    Funny A4e Photos

    April 14, 2010 at 10:07 pm

  2. There is of course the Green Party which opposed Welfare ‘reform’

    Anne Gray btw is a long-standing campaigning friend of the unemployed.

    Their Manifesto today talks of a Citizen’s Income for all, and you assume this means no more Flexible New Deal A4E etc.

    Andrew Coates

    April 15, 2010 at 9:20 am

    • A good party sadly have no hopes of getting into power or making a significant coalition (even unofficial) attempt at welfare.

      This said I really appreciate their efforts and every single person with the same aims who can be elected into Westminster is of course a great help… workfare pilot could be a timebomb… however, the other issues such as increased sanctions etc. will never change I dont think (I am welcome to surprises though).

      Flexible New Deal

      April 15, 2010 at 10:13 am

  3. Election Poll

    With the election frenzy of the media in the past week, just where do you stand?

    Whichever TV channel you watch the media frenzy to capture your attention is unavoidable, so just where do you stand on the Big Election Question being asked?

    Resources over at the Unemployment Movement website are being made available which are a unique opportunity for the Ipswich Unemployed Action website members to get involved to either vote on or if not satisfied with the question to submit a poll yourself (moderated just in case of spam).

    Our newest Poll asks;

    Which Party will best represent Benefits Claimants?

    (Benefits claimants are faced with a tough choice, do any of the Parties here offer us the Respect & Dignity afforded to the workingman.)




    April 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm

  4. as usual i will not be voting,what for?.

    workfare is an exploiters’dream come true,while the individual signing has to endure constant scrutiny the dwp are not interested when a complaint is made as regards unfair behaviour,the worst has to be feared as it is likely to happen and those being forced to work over weekends/christmas periods high days’ and holidays for meager benefits,supermarkets particular will be rubbing their hands and poverty strickened claiments’ are forced to work and watch as those fortunate are able to pay live while they can only just survive.

    terry leahy of tesco complains about education standards and the ability to find suitable candidates but the reality on the ground is somewhat different,locally they cannot find people who want to work there because of the conditions’ and hours’ this is the type of individual workfare will attract.


    April 16, 2010 at 12:10 pm

  5. Tesco have already got “form” on this:

    Jobseekers forced to do worktrial over Christmas for major supermarket



    Raw Deal

    April 16, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    • thanks for the post,it confirms my suspicions’ appear to be confirmed.

      there was tones of this when on new deal when the placement shop manager made the proud boast”if i had my way i would have had you in” referring to the christmas period.at the time they had to stop placements for the providers christmas shutdown.

      there is a mention of every little helps,in there case it certainly does and its totally wrong to place individuals in an exploitative situation leaving them completely open to abuse and corporate bullying.


      April 16, 2010 at 11:19 pm

  6. BTw Raw Deal in case you wonder why there is a delay in getting the posts up it’s because when you add more than one link it sends it to moderation.

    Andrew Coates

    April 16, 2010 at 4:16 pm

  7. Hi, I just found this news article on AOL News, it just about says everything you need to know about the governments helping the sick back to work policey:

    Anorexic deemed unfit to work
    Last Updated: Friday, 16 April 2010, 11:41 GMT

    A recovering anorexic who was deemed unfit for a job she applied for was then told she was not eligible for benefits as she was too healthy, it was revealed.

    Nicola Hobbs, 19, from Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex, failed a routine health check needed to work at a council-run children’s centre.

    Without any source of income, she applied for employment support allowance only to be told she would not be able to get it as she had been assessed as being fit enough to work.

    She said she was shocked to then find out the same healthcare company was contracted by the county council and the Department for Work and Pensions to carry out both health assessments.

    She told the Daily Mail: “It’s ridiculous that the same company can say two completely different things about the same person.

    “I really wanted to get back to work – the last thing I wanted was to be sitting around at home claiming benefits, and I thought a job like this would help to build my confidence.”

    A spokeswoman for Atos Healthcare, which carried out the two assessments, said the two tests had different criteria.

    She said: “We have a contract with the Department for Work and Pensions to conduct the medical assessments for people applying for the employment support allowance.

    “The assessment was carried out in line with Government policy to assess whether a person is fit for work at all. The other assessment was a completely separate contract with West Sussex County Council for occupational health.

    “It was done in line with protocol laid down by the council for that specific job. The two tests have different criteria.”

    Lowestoft's Finest

    April 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    • Why don’t she apply for Jobseekers Allowance?

      Not being funny but JSA comes before disability benefits. If you can’t get JSA because you are deemed “unable to work” you get paid more for the other type of benefit…

      Being turned down for a job including failing a medical doesn’t deem you under Social Security legislation as a person who can’t work.

      Take a bizarre example: if I turned up to work drunk… my employer would turn me away and say I was too drunk for work… this doesn’t mean I am unable to work. Just I am unable to work with those circumstances for H&S reasons.

      Another example: Someone applies for a job at the same Childrens’ centre… has a criminal record, is deemed unsuitable for the position… this doesn’t make the person unable to work… only unable to work in that industry.

      I have been turned down for jobs at many interviews… this has no basis for any other calculations.

      Most long term unemployed persons are deemed to have too much of a period of unemployment… they aren’t able to then claim disability benefit.

      People with a genuine disability which cannot work should not be forced into work – DWP have been doing this.

      In this situation, (and I don’t know too much of the details) the situation is the Government think she is good enough to work.

      To fail a medical doesn’t necessary give you a disability.

      Sorry, I think this woman (who deserves respect for where she is today in regards to battling anorexia) is a pathetic bitch, spiteful that she has failed a medical and with a little knowledge that the same company (who happens to be wankers, I admit!) does both tests and didn’t get that specific job.

      It is just one job… look for another… find a job which doesn’t require a medical ffs.

      Stop bitching about not wanting to live on benefits and just take JSA while you look for another job.

      Those people make me sick. At the end of the day, being denied one job coupled with the failed alternative of highly paid benefits… sorry, life is a bitch… this year I have had over 200 rejections for jobs or no replies… I didn’t stop at the first 5 and run to the press.

      I know in this example it was about she had a disability (if its recognised as one) and sadly got turned down for a job she was really passionate about and also got turned down for the benefit as an alternative option.

      But the disability benefit as far as I am aware is designed for those who are not Actively Seeking Employment due to being unable to do so… so turning round saying you really want to get into work doesn’t do people and clearly didn’t do her any favours.

      Atos are a nightmare (see http://dwpexamination.wordpress.com/ for example) I dislike them but as far as the individual case on whether this person should be entitled to leech from taxpayers’ money by claiming disability benefit… sorry, I am supporting the DWP on this one.

      To summarise… if you claim JSA make it clear that you wish to look for work. if you want to claim disability benefits make it clear that you are unable to work.

      If you have a disability and you make it clear that you think you are able to work… you will be denied such benefits and forced to claim JSA. Fair enough.

      Flexible New Deal

      April 16, 2010 at 7:48 pm

      • Flexi I see your point but my problem is the same company can find the same person both unfit and fit for work at the same time. I have a friend who has developed a condition causing rapid deteriation of the spine, he is now hobbling around with a stick and can’t even turn his head or bend. He is 58 and has only done driving jobs the main one was forklift driver but as things stand he can’t drive any more as can’t turn his head to look in mirrors.The jobcentre sent him to his doctor who signed him on the sick, he now has to have an ATOS medical and has been told they will find him fit for work regardless, so now he will have to go back on JSA unable to do any of the work he is experianced at in his old JSA agrement becouse of his spinal condition which is only getting worse.No longer able to do the trades he has done all his life he has no relevant job experiance left and a serious disability what job options has he? all the remaining unskilled jobs available seem to involve some form of manual work, eg. waiter, cleaner , barman none of which he can physicly do, it seems to me if ATOS can pronounce someone fit for work its not the same as passing a medical to get in the army, you can pass an ATOS medical and yet still be too unfit for your actual job,so you are stuck in no man’s land, ATOS should be forced to state exactly what jobs they are fit for.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        April 17, 2010 at 9:45 am

      • Nice rant, Flexi.


        April 17, 2010 at 12:11 pm

      • Hi Lowestoft… that is seriously wrong but I like to treat cases on individual merits… I don’t believe in a general complaint, with floodgates opening with everyone making claims from it regardless if they have a case or not.

        Hi Spanner, thanks! Hope you agree with the points made.

        I don’t side against Jobcentre Plus and New Deal/Flexible New Deal providers… many people who visit my sites and this blog thinks its a person who simply hates them for some reason or not.

        Some people also get upset that thinking this is the case and thinking I would take their case up with open arms when I disagree with it.

        Its like: I think the UK has an immigration problem, but no way am I voting B.N.P …

        In life there isn’t just an alternative option, you can mix solutions – life is pretty much about “balance” – justice, food (whats healthy and whats not) etc.

        I will stop before another rant lol.

        Flexible New Deal

        April 19, 2010 at 11:03 am

  8. Flexy, web sites are not the same as Benefits advisers anyway.

    If we were we would offer the best advice we could give to clients based on a lot of detail you can’t get just by the Web.

    The general problem anyway, comes here from the way the DWP sets down criteria about being fit for work.

    We know there are more and more cases at the moment where people are being judged by the needs of a ‘crack down’ on DLA etc and the new system.

    One problem is that to get the fine level of benefits we all so much enjoy (at any level) you have to pass through so many hoops and jump so many hurdles that actually spending time to get a job is harder and harder.

    That is, well if there are any jobs just ‘out there’ waiting to be snapped up.

    Andrew Coates

    April 19, 2010 at 1:02 pm

  9. a british job for a british worker,volcanic ash spoken in words’.


    April 21, 2010 at 9:31 pm

  10. According to an article in the Birmingham Post there are guys “sweeping the streets”, you know typical workfare “activity” coining in £32,000 (after you add in bonuses).

    The tribunal heard how a female cleaner on Grade 1 received £11,577 – the same grade as a street sweeper. But the sweeper actually earned £32,000 because of bonuses and overtime.

    For a Grade 2 worker, such as a school crossing patrol, lunchtime supervisor or kitchen assistant, the salary was £11,737. But the highest paid refuse collector, also a Grade 2, took home £46,000.

    A Grade 4 worker – which included a care assistant and refuse driver – should have earned just £12,291, but the highest-paid driver took home £50,000.


    Mr Savage said: “Bonuses alone accounted for £15,000 of the street cleaner’s salary, £19,000 for the refuse collector, and £20,000 for the refuse driver. Part of the bonus was an attendance allowance just for turning up”


    April 28, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    • Well they’ll be taking a pay cut once the workfare slaves hit the streets.


      April 28, 2010 at 2:40 pm

      • Thanks to the “dignity bestowing powers” of Workfare those same present workers could be back two years down the line doing the same job for dole money.

        lowestoft's finest

        April 28, 2010 at 3:02 pm

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