Work For the Dole.
The Daily Mirror leads with this story today,
Forced labour: Conservative party to force the jobless to work for nothing or lose their dole
The long-term unemployed are to be sent out to cook for OAPs or pick up litter in the meanest welfare shake-up ever.
Now we know what the “shake up” cited on this Blog is.
“Under tough new conditions attached to welfare payments, hundreds of thousands of claimants will be required to carry out community work such as collecting litter, cooking meals for the elderly or cleaning graffiti.
Announcing the US-style Help to Work scheme in his keynote speech to the Conservative Party conference in Manchester today, Mr Osborne will say the change will end the “something-for-nothing culture”.
Claimants who have been out of work for three years and fail to find a job through the Coalition’s flagship Work Programme will be required either to do 30 hours a week of community work, report to a job centre daily, or undergo intensive treatment to tackle problems such as illiteracy or mental illness, he will say.
Those who break the rules, for example by failing to turn up for duties without a good reason, could lose their benefit for four weeks. A second offence would see them lose out for three months.
The Chancellor rejected critics’ claims that the Government is exploiting or punishing the long-term unemployed, insisting that the new schemes will help them develop the skills and attitudes they need to find paid employment.
He told ITV1’s Daybreak: “We are saying there is no option of doing nothing for your benefits, no something for nothing any more. People are going to have to do things to get their dole and that is going to help them into work.
“That’s the crucial point. This is all activity that is going to help them get ready for the real world of work.
“In order to make sure that people are ready for jobs, they have got to have the right skills and the right work talents, the right work attitudes, and this programme is going to deliver that. It is going to create a culture where people are ready for work.”
Potentially, around 200,000 long-term Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants could be eligible for the new initiative, which comes into force in April next year.”
We note (see previous post),
Statistics released by the DWP today show that the performance of the Work Programme – which was already achieving less than doing nothing at all – is steadily getting worse.
By June 2013 a lower percentage of people who had been on the scheme for one full year had found a job which lasted at least 6 months – known as a sustained job outcome – than in the previous two months. In April 2013 14% of claimants who had been on the scheme for one year had found sustained jobs, by June this had dropped to 13%.
Boycott Workfare says,
Unemployed people and campaigners have condemned George Osborne’s announcement that long-term unemployed people will be forced to work unpaid or face losing their social security as a criminalisation of unemployed people.
The maximum community sentence that a judge can hand out is for 300 hours, but claimants on six-month workfare schemes are already being forced to work without pay for 780 hours. The four-week Mandatory Work Activity scheme is already the equivalent of a medium level community service order that a person might receive if they were found guilty of drink driving or assault.
When a similar scheme was introduced in the US, thousands of jobs in the Parks Department were lost in New York alone – to be replaced with forced unpaid workers. Similar case studies have emerged in the UK, where workfare placements are already taking place in hospitals, council offices, charities and businesses.
What is the record previous workfare schemes?
A pilot has already been tried,
Boycott Workfare commented on the results,
The preliminary results are from the trailblazer pilot, which tested CAP along with Ongoing Case Management (OCM) – “a more intensive a more intensive offer of flexible and personalised adviser-based support, as well as a set of mandatory activities, delivered by Jobcentre Plus through increased adviser interventions for six months”. These two schemes were tested with a control group continuing on standard job centre plus, and participants randomly assigned to the schemes.
Fifteen to 18 per cent in each programme strand had entered paid employment, become self-employed or were waiting to start work at the time of the survey, six to seven months after starting on the trailblazer. These job outcomes did not vary significantly between programme strands, nor did the types of jobs entered, take-home pay and hours worked.
For participants on OCM, those who reported receiving more personalised support to their individual needs were significantly more likely to be in work at the end of the programme. However, for CAP participants, neither attending a placement nor receiving jobsearch support were significantly associated with a job outcome around the end of the programme.
The majority of participants reported being in receipt of JSA at the time of the survey. DWP statistics published alongside this report found statistically significantly lower levels of benefit receipt for both CAP and OCM participants compared to the control group about six months after starting the programme.