Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Sanctions Go Mad as DWP Orders Man to Work for Free for Company that Sacked him.

with 75 comments

Iain Duncan Smith’s grilling this week in the House of Commons should take this case of “you couldn’t make it: sanctions gone mad”.

The Guardian reports.

A man who was let go at the end of a temporary job has been ordered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to work for the same firm for six months without pay.

Electronics specialist John McArthur, now unemployed, says he is living off 16p tins of spaghetti and without heating after being sanctioned by a jobcentre for refusing to work unpaid for LAMH Recycle in Motherwell, a Scottish social enterprise.

He says he was happy to work for LAMH under the now-defunct future jobs fund for the minimum wage in 2010-2011, but refuses on principle to do the same job unpaid.

And this,

McArthur, 59, says he is surviving on a monthly pension of £149 after the DWP stopped his unemployment benefit until January as punishment for his refusal to go on the 26-week community work placement (CWP).

For almost three months, McArthur has spent two hours each weekday morning parading outside the plant wearing a placard reading: “Say no to slave labour”.

“It was simply a case of: ‘Go here, work for nothing and if you don’t we’ll stop your subsistence level benefit,’” he said.

McArthur, who says he has been applying for 50 jobs a week without joy, said the CWP programme was “entirely exploitative” and came at the “expense of poor people who’ve got absolutely no choice”. He added: “They [the government] deny it’s forced labour, that you can say no, but forced doesn’t always mean physical, it can be psychological or economic.

John McArthur has been protesting about a Government work programme.

The Mothwerwell Times covers the story.

Mr McArthur (59), of Dalziel Tower, has been standing outside LAMH Recyling in Range Road with placards and leaflets for two hours every weekday morning for nearly three months.

He said his jobseeker’s allowance was stopped after he refused to take up an upaid six-month ‘community work placement’ at LAMH. Previously he worked there and was paid the minimum wage.

Mr McArthur is angry that the registered charity, which employs people to repair computers and recycle paper and cans, has signed up for the Government scheme.

And this which will concern the readers of Ipswich Unemployed Action very directly.

Last Wednesday, the DWP continued to battle the information commissioner and hostile court judgments ordering it to reveal where possibly hundreds of thousands of people are being sent to work without pay, sometimes for months at a time.

At the tribunal, the DWP argued that if the public knew exactly where people were being sent on placements political protests would increase, which was likely to lead to the collapse of several employment schemes and undermine the government’s economic interests.

The DWP confirmed some of the UK’s biggest charities, including the British Heart Foundation, Scope, Banardo’s, Sue Ryder, and Marie Curie had withdrawn from the CWP scheme, causing a significant loss of placements.

Giving evidence, senior civil servant Jennifer Bradley confirmed that numerous charities and businesses were receiving cash payments as an incentive to take on the unemployed.

She said several DWP schemes used mandatory unpaid work as a tool to help people but stressed that it was written into the terms that charities and businesses could not use people out of work to replace their paid workforce.

The DWP said it could not comment on individual cases but added that community work placements “help long-term unemployed people to gain work experience which increases their confidence, helps them to gain vital skills and crucially, improves their chances of getting a job.

We are not naming the charities and community groups involved in the scheme in order to protect them from those who seem intent on stopping us helping people into work.”

At least some people are around to try to unearth these scandals.

We hear individual reports of people on these schemes.

People are often very reluctant to make their experiences public.

Let’s end the secrecy!

Advertisements

Written by Andrew Coates

November 4, 2014 at 10:56 am

75 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. “Helping people into work” of course for either £1.25 or £2 per hour, which is slave labour.

    enigma

    November 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm

  2. I really don’t know what to say. You just couldn’t make it up.

    jj joop

    November 4, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    • That will be happening all over, the world. it’s nothing unusual.

      enigma

      November 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      • “Improves their chances of getting a job”. Mr McArthur and many others, had a job, be it on min wage, so this is a warning to everyone who is in paid employed. but then those in full time employment will not think it will happen to them.

        enigma

        November 4, 2014 at 2:25 pm

  3. Mr McArthur has a strong case here.

    In the report from the Guardian, a senior Civil Servant said: “several DWP schemes used mandatory unpaid work as a tool to help people, but stressed that it was written into the terms that charities and businesses could not use people out of work to replace their paid workforce”.

    It’s about time these breaches of the rules are seriously challenged in the press and the Courts.

    And don’t forget the “no contract” defence, or the legislation which makes forced or compulsory labour a criminal. And remember, it is not a normal civic duty to work for nothing.

    Tobanem

    November 4, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    • Note, in my post above, the word “offence” should follow the word “criminal”.

      Tobanem

      November 4, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      • As it should.

        enigma

        November 4, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    • I also think that he like others have a very strong case, “could not use people”, which does mean he will no doubt win his case.

      enigma

      November 4, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    • Good point Tobanem. If I was him I’d be appealing the sanction on the grounds that they have used his (Mcarthur’s) free labour to replace his own paid labour.

      KJ

      November 5, 2014 at 2:55 am

  4. My first thought when this was pointed out to me was that it is simply humiliating.

    Andrew Coates

    November 4, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    • It sure would be very humiliating.

      There are still a lot of people working full time for their benefits, a lot of those need to do the same as Mr McArthur. .

      enigma

      November 4, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      • At the tribunal, the DWP argued that if the public knew exactly where people were being sent on placements political protests would increase, which was likely to lead to the collapse of several employment schemes and undermine the government’s economic interests.

        They know it, of course they do.

        enigma

        November 4, 2014 at 4:58 pm

  5. McArthur really is a hero.

    He has a lot of bottle as you say Enigma.

    His courage in fighting is fighting for us all!

    Andrew Coates

    November 4, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    • Yes, it just needs “one” to turn things around.

      enigma

      November 4, 2014 at 5:22 pm

  6. 4 November. – The New Statesman.

    Indefensible defence.

    The DWP won’t tell us exactly where it sends people on placements for fear of protests.

    A big hat-tip – or, more appropriately for this story, a cap in hand – to @TheMediaTweets for noticing the Department for Work and Pensions’ extraordinary defence of its actions at a tribunal.

    The Guardian’s report of an outrageous story, in which a man who was let go at the end of a temporary job was ordered by the department to work for the same firm for six months unpaid, yesterday included details of DWP’s actions at a tribunal where it is battling the information commissioner and court judgments ordering it to reveal where it is sending potentially thousands of people to work without pay.

    Its defence at the tribunal was essentially, “if people knew what we were doing then they would protest”:

    The DWP is basically acknowledging its approach of “forced employment” regarding jobseekers is so bad it’s worth protesting against, which suggests its schemes such as the Community Work Placement are being implemented for the wrong reasons.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/11/dwp-wont-tell-us-exactly-where-it-sends-people-placements-fear-protests

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 4, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    • “Government economic interest’s” meaning £1.25 or £2 per hour for millions.

      enigma

      November 4, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    • Obviously the British gov don’t want the rest of the world to know of “millions of slaves in the UK”

      enigma

      November 4, 2014 at 6:24 pm

  7. LAMH Recycle Ltd

    On their site:

    Reviews
    Reviews

    Exploiting the unemployed, sick and disabled

    16/08/2014 by JohnMcArthur

    I would certainly not recommend this “charity” to anyone. In association with agents of the DWP they are forcing unemployed people to work against the will for six months with no wages. They of course are getting fat fees as well as slave labour. Please remember that when you buy products from this company you may be taking part in the exploitation of your fellow human beings. “The launch of Community Work Placements has also been met with significant opposition from the voluntary sector: in six weeks, 377 organisations have pledged not to take part, by signing up to the “Keep Volunteering Voluntary” campaign [8]. These organisations point to the devastating impact that the benefit stoppages (sanctions) these schemes involve have on hunger, debt and homelessness. They see workfare as undermining both the values and mission of many voluntary sector organisations, and point to the risk of job replacement when thousands of unemployed people are made to work without pay for six months at a time. Over 15 councils have also pledged to avoid the schemes.”http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=3612 It seems incredible that a mental health “charity” should be forcing people to work for free. It doesn’t exactly promote self-esteem or sound mental health does it? Please note I began work in 1971 and have no criminal convictions but Lamh & Co are treating me worse than a criminal because I cannot get a job. “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.

    More here:

    http://www.yell.com/biz/lamh-recycle-ltd-motherwell-2428389/

    Andrew Coates

    November 4, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    • Good find Andy.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      November 4, 2014 at 5:55 pm

  8. LAMH Recycle Ltd is a large Motherwell Based Social Enterprise with charitable status
    which provides workplace opportunities within a supportive environment for individuals who are long-term unemployed generally through long-standing health issues, family/personal circumstances and/or no previous or recent work history

    http://www.lamhrecycle.co.uk/

    You can contact them and make some friendly comments at:

    Email: info@lamhrecycle.co.uk

    http://www.lamhrecycle.co.uk/contact/

    Andrew Coates

    November 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm

  9. Why the hell would anyone work for no wage? It’s Capitalism GONE MAD!

    Landless Peasant

    November 4, 2014 at 6:34 pm

  10. Green Skips and Chairs & Spares Telford
    They Just can’t help themselves it’s too good to be true in their eyes.

    It’s a sad world we live in Money could be better spent retraining us for real jobs.
    My adviser went red in the face when telling me of my ill-fated days ahead four weeks of bliss.
    There should be billboards put alongside of the roads so everyone can see them shame them and have them shut down. These people need rehabilitating six months of it.

    What next home visits.
    Same old Answer, Just Following Orders

    DWP-Victim

    November 4, 2014 at 6:48 pm

  11. enigma

    November 4, 2014 at 6:49 pm

  12. “Former aide turns on IDS: effectively accuses him of lying to parliament over Universal Credit”

    http://politicalscrapbook.net/2014/11/stephen-brien-undermines-duncan-smith-on-universal-credit/

    Annos

    November 4, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    • I don’t think UC will be rolled out everywhere, we know it isn’t working. it’s just another pilot scheme that will fail.

      enigma

      November 4, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    • Obi Wan Kenobi

      November 5, 2014 at 8:57 am

      • IDS – No wonder your pants are on fire:

        You’re a confirmed LIAR – LIES TO THE TAXPAYER, LIES TO BENEFIT CLAIMANTS AND WORST OF ALL LIES TO PARLIAMENT – OH AND LET’S NOT FORGET THAT YOU EVEN WROTE LIES ON YOUR OWN C.V.

        YOUR THE EMBELISHMENT OF A PATHOLOGICAL LIAR.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        November 5, 2014 at 9:03 am

  13. Well at least Vertegen don’t have that problem – they never employ anybody!!

    Ex-Vertegen Slave

    November 4, 2014 at 10:41 pm

  14. BBC Parliament Channel 9:30am – Today.

    IDS in front of the Work and Pensions Select Committee.

    Time to roast the twat!

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 5, 2014 at 8:51 am

    • Chuck him on a bonfire!

      Landless Peasant

      November 5, 2014 at 1:18 pm

  15. National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005

    Targeting poverty through employment generation using rural works has had a long history in India that began in the 1960s.

    The statute is hailed by the government as “the largest and most ambitious social security and public works programme in the world”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Rural_Employment_Guarantee_Act_2005

    enigma

    November 5, 2014 at 8:54 am

  16. Caldwell had had drug and mental health problems, and was now “once again back in the revolving door”. He said his benefits had been suspended, and he was stealing alcohol to sell, to raise money to buy food. but he has been at it for so many years.

    http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/crime/norwich_shoplifter_notches_up_100th_theft_conviction_but_avoids_prison_1_3833645

    enigma

    November 5, 2014 at 9:41 am

  17. Back to the Workfare case in Motherwell. Earlier on, I said that Mr McArthur has a strong case because being a former employee he should not have been sent back to the same company as a Workfare candidate. That is against the DWP rules. Workfare placements are meant to be “genuinely additional” to existing jobs in any workplace in order to protect the employment conditions of existing (paid) workers.

    Mind you, even if Mr McArthur wins his case on that basis, the Jobcentre will send him on another Workfare scheme elsewhere!

    Mr McArthur will then have to use the “no contract” defence, or he will need to report the case to the police as an occurrence of “Forced or Compulsory Labour” under Section 47 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.

    Let me repeat here that it is not a normal civic duty to work for nothing – especially for a private company!

    Tobanem

    November 5, 2014 at 9:49 am

    • So he wouldn’t be sent to another workfare scheme.

      enigma

      November 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      • enigma

        What?

        Tobanem

        November 6, 2014 at 8:23 am

      • Mr Mcarther shouldn’t be sent to another workfare if he wins his case, because of the win the jobcentre wouldn’t send him to another knowing that he could then get the police involved. as you said,

        enigma

        November 6, 2014 at 8:27 am

      • enigma

        Yes, that’s what should happen if enough people take that kind of action. In the Motherwell case, we don’t know if the man involved will take the further action I have suggested. The DWP get away with it because most people don’t raise any defence.

        It’s good that a number of charities and businesses have pulled out of Workfare already. If only enough cases were brought to the public attention, and even into the courts as civil or criminal cases, Workfare could then be knocked into oblivion where it belongs.

        Tobanem

        November 6, 2014 at 8:44 am

      • Since Mr Mcarther has started taking action, by doing what he’s done, lets hope he doesn’t stop there and goes all the way.

        enigma

        November 6, 2014 at 9:17 am

      • Taking action as we all know is the best thing to do for all but again we all know, if one can afford to, depending on how long their benefits are suspended for.

        enigma

        November 6, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    • McArthur has a cast-iron case, guaranteed to win at a Tribunal.

      Dice

      November 6, 2014 at 1:26 pm

  18. Work and Pensions Committee Live:

    Duncan Smith says the work experience programme had a “dramatic effect” on unemployment. Now people can do work experience for two months. Previously people could not get jobs because they had no experience. Now half of people on the programme get work.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2014/nov/05/iain-duncan-smith-questioned-by-mps-about-welfare-reforms-politics-live-blog

    MORE LIES.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 5, 2014 at 10:22 am

    • Q: But the DWP’s own evaluation said its impact had been relatively minor. And what happened to the early cohorts who came off it?

      Duncan Smith says this process does not end if people come off the work programme. They are not left alone. They then get more intensive help.

      Q: Doesn’t that show the work programme has failed them?

      No, says Duncan Smith. The work programme has helped get people into work. It helps them get into work for six months.

      The programme is becoming more effective, he says. The DWP is getting better at working out who the good providers are.

      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2014/nov/05/iain-duncan-smith-questioned-by-mps-about-welfare-reforms-politics-live-blog

      On what planet is IDS living on?

      He hasn’t got a clue what’s actually happening on the Work Programme.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      November 5, 2014 at 10:37 am

      • Q: Isn’t it a worry that people being sanctioned are just disappearing? We don’t know if they are going into work.

        Duncan Smith says he does not agree. The sanctions system is fair.

        Q: People are dying after being sanctioned?

        Duncan Smith says he does not accept that. There have to be good reasons for someone to be sanctioned. And this is a contract; people have a duty to look for work.

        The number of people being sanctioned is only 66,000 a month, out of a caseload of 1.27m.

        He says Abrahams is “almost being ludicrous” on this. She seems to think that the whole idea of sanctions is wrong.

        http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2014/nov/05/iain-duncan-smith-questioned-by-mps-about-welfare-reforms-politics-live-blog

        IDS when trying to answer Abrahams looked lost and almost at the point of panicking.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        November 5, 2014 at 11:40 am

  19. Dame Anne Begg says the committee will be holding its own inquiry into the sanctions regime. It will publish terms of reference soon.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2014/nov/05/iain-duncan-smith-questioned-by-mps-about-welfare-reforms-politics-live-blog

    About time, they need to expose what happening over sanctions, and sack the JCP advisers that have issued silly and nonsense sanctions, that have stopped peoples benefits.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 5, 2014 at 11:48 am

  20. White Dee is not complaining,

    “Fans of Channel 4 ‘poverty porn’ series Benefits Street might be surprised to learn about where it’s biggest star, Deirdre ‘White Dee’ Kelly, stands on the issue of government welfare cuts.

    “I’ve always kind of supported it,” the former Celebrity Big told Total Politics magazine when asked about what she thought of the Coalition’s £18billion cuts on benefits spending.

    “It’s been made very comfortable for people to sit at home.”

    She went on to tell the magazine that she was given £220 every week when she was on benefits, having been able to claim welfare because she suffers from debilitating depression that made it difficult for her to work.

    “I know people who work 40-plus hours a week who probably haven’t got £200 a month cash to spend, but is that my fault?” she continued.

    “People on benefits shouldn’t have more to live on than someone who is at work 40 hours a week. But again, that’s not my fault.”

    Her comments follow an appearance at the Tory Fringe conference in September.

    During her address, White Dee said she had not seen Chancellor George Osbourne’s announcement of three million apprenticeships for young people, but urged the government to continue to “concentrate more on the kids” and “stop them going into the system and getting stuck there for years and years”.

    “Not everyone wants to work in an office or build a wall.”
    “You have to look at the individual,” she says. “What if there is nothing there for them at the end of the training scheme?”

    Elsewhere during the conference, she praised Iain Duncan Smith’s announcement of a plan to give pre-paid cards to benefit claimants with drug and alcohol problems.

    However, she questioned: “How would you keep control over every single person on benefits and try and control what they actually spend their money on?”

    Ultimately, though, her guest spot ended in a revelation that the Conservative party would have been far from ecstatic about.

    White Dee, a life-long Labour voted hadn’t joined the Tories – she’d defected to Ukip.

    “I like to speak for myself but Mr Farage doesn’t seem to be doing a bad job. He has had a few extra members joining recently, hasn’t he?”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/white-dee-backs-government-benefit-cuts-ive-always-kind-of-supported-it-9837936.html

    Andrew Coates

    November 5, 2014 at 11:59 am

    • Just wait until she’s spent all her media-money, she’ll be the lining of chips.

      jj joop

      November 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      • Then on JSA, then sanctioned. starve, homeless.

        enigma

        November 5, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    • In her case: good! It’s no more than she deserves. She’s a traitor.

      jj joop

      November 5, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      • Because of greed. the more they get, the more they want.

        enigma

        November 5, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      • I wouldn’t worry. White Dee could achieve financial security and be set up for life. But she won’t, low-life like her and her hangers-on will make sure that the silly cow burns through every penny on a load of crap. Her repulsive, fat arse will be back in the jobcentre before you can say “sanction”.

        BB4

        November 5, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    • BB4:

      Then she’ll have to go back to the Jobcentre with her tail between her legs and sign on like the rest of us. I hope she’s set upon by a goodly mob of jobseekers. There’s no justice like angry mob justice.

      jj joop

      November 6, 2014 at 11:55 am

  21. It has been well reported that the Work Programme did no better at getting people back to work than would have happened if the Work Programme did not exist in the first place.

    It has been a colossal waste of taxpayers money.

    As if that is not bad enough, more people were sanctioned when on the Work Programme than those who got a job.

    Tobanem

    November 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm

  22. Embedded image permalink

    Andrew Coates

    November 5, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    • Andrew

      FOOL CIRCLE!

      You beat me to it!! I remembered that comic strip where the paid worker is made redundant and then seeks work unsuccessfully (because there is no proper work) only to be be forced onto Workfare where he does the same type of work – only this time, for nothing!!!

      The Motherwell case is only too real, though. It appears it is a product of “comic book” politics. A bit frightening in real life for the victims!

      Tobanem

      November 5, 2014 at 12:28 pm

  23. Wednesday 5 November 2014.

    Work Programme adviser: ‘Almost every day one of my clients mentioned feeling suicidal’

    Whistleblower says her job was box ticking, sanctioning sick people who had little chance of employment, and she wasn’t able to treat clients as human beings.

    A scandalous picture of suffering, trauma and destitution is painted by a former Work Programme adviser who was tasked with getting claimants off the employment and support allowance (ESA) sickness benefit.

    Speaking to the press for the first time since she quit the job last year, Anna Shaw (not her real name) says: “Some of my clients were homeless, and very many of them had had their money stopped and were literally starving and extremely stressed. Many had extreme mental health conditions, including paranoid schizophrenia, psychosis, bipolar disorder and autism. One guy [diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic and homeless] came to see me for the first appointment and mentioned that he had not eaten for five days. I offered him my lunch, thinking he would refuse it out of pride, and he fell upon it like a wild animal. I’ve not seen a human being eat like that before.”

    Shaw can only speak out anonymously, because when she resigned, after just a few months in the job, her employer made her sign a confidentiality clause. She believed that the majority of her ESA caseload of about 100 clients were not well enough to have been on the government’s welfare-to-work Work Programme, but should instead have been signposted to charities that could support them with their multiple problems. “Almost every day one of my clients mentioned feelings of suicide to me,” she says. Shaw says she received no training in working with people with mental health issues or physical disabilities.

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/05/work-programme-adviser-box-ticking-sanctioning-sick-people

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 5, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    • There is no place in civilised society for the abomination known as the work programme! It should be shut down with immediate effect.

      Shut Down the work programme

      November 5, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    • Signed

      enigma

      November 5, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    • 38 Degrees.com

      Petition – Investigate IDS For Lies.

      please re-blog and sign.

      IDS – Time to STOP The LIES.

      To: Kathryn Hudson Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

      Use the full Powers of the Commission and investigate Iain Duncan Smith Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for his regular use of untruths and the persistent deception misleading of The House of Commons, Select Committees and the Media.

      https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/investigate-ids-for-lies

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      November 5, 2014 at 2:56 pm

  24. HOW INCOME TAX IS SPENT

    In case you’ve all forgotten about the dubious pie chart from the government showing how taxpayers money is spent, here is an article which should clear things up:

    http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2014/11/05/this-is-how-the-annual-tax-statement-should-have-appeared/

    Tobanem

    November 5, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    • Yes, the tax pie chart is also a big lie!

      Tobanem

      November 5, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      • …the government’s version, that is!!

        Tobanem

        November 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      • And that is why I call it and refer to it as “political nonsense” and I always will do.

        enigma

        November 5, 2014 at 3:40 pm

  25. the collapse of several employment schemes and undermine the government’s economic interests.

    what interests are they? work for nothing,people starving.

    the conservatives have driven the economy into the ground,sell offs,self interest,where lies and fiddling is a everyday occurrence. the whole thing is totally corrupt and rotten to the core.

    ken

    November 5, 2014 at 3:30 pm

  26. Masked protesters fire fireworks at Houses of Parliament

    Million Mask March protesters wearing Guy Fawkes masks bring central London to standstill in march attended by Vivienne Westwood and Russell Brand

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11211981/Masked-protestors-fire-fireworks-at-the-Houses-of-Parliament.html

    enigma

    November 6, 2014 at 8:16 am

  27. ON THE SUBJECT OF PETITIONS

    The government has already been trying to undermine the legal aid system and judicial reviews.

    Now Mr Hague is backing a move to make it harder to start up a petition. At present, only one person is needed to start a petition; the new move would mean 5 people would be needed.

    Report here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29918774

    Tobanem

    November 6, 2014 at 8:47 am

    • They are making it more difficult but it can still be done.

      enigma

      November 6, 2014 at 8:53 am

  28. IDS AND HIS GRASP OF THINGS

    “Mr Duncan Smith said that pilots being carried out in the North-West of England had found that employers were more ready to take on UC claimants than those on the old-style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) because it was easier to extend their hours as more work became available”.

    What about the several million people already in part-time work who want to work full-time but can’t get it because not enough full-time jobs exist?

    Correct me if my grasp of things is wildly wrong.

    http://www.shropshirestar.com/shropshire-business/money/uk-money/2014/11/05/in-work-benefits-sanctions-trialled/

    Tobanem

    November 6, 2014 at 10:05 am

    • As before, the employers, them all, will take advantage of the unemployed, meanwhile the paid employees should be careful.

      enigma

      November 6, 2014 at 12:08 pm

  29. I have just stumbled accross this article and would like to relate my knowledge and experience with LAMH Ltd back in 2009.
    They claim to be a Mental Health charity but the biggest majority of the “workers” are the long term unemployed with no mental health issues (as such) because the Government money boosts their profits.
    The have additional Award scheme funding every year from corporations like Lloyds Bank and Government incentives etc, in fact in 2013 they got yet another award of 500k from the Big Lottery alone !
    They call themselves a “Recycling” charity but they only fully recycle tin cans, the computers that they get from Local Authorities, NHS and businesses are not recycled but re-sold at profit.
    Unless their policy has changed, they don’t even give discounts to other Charities who need computers.
    When I worked it was very dusty and there were bits of computers and all sorts that people were tripping over and the heating was non-existent.
    I asked about the training programme and was told “we don’t have time for that these days”

    As I have COPD (Chronic Lung Damage) it wasn’t unreasonable for me to ask for a face mask to keep out the dust from the old computers that were refurbished.
    This was met by derisive laughter and I was labelled as a trouble maker.

    Anyone like me who complained were shipped of by the work provider to another place in Motherwell where they were put into an empty “training” room with 4 computers to use between 20 people for job searches, but no other activities – you remained there for the duration of the remainder of your “sentence”.

    You were given £15 a week travel expenses from the Jobcentre, bought your £15 weekly ticket but on Friday LAMH would give you only £10 because they said that this was how it was done.

    I certainly hope things have changed since

    Disgruntled

    December 20, 2014 at 2:22 am

    • Hello Disgruntled

      Good comment. Why don’t you contact a reporter called “Mike Mcquaid” at the Motherwell Times and tell him about your experiences with LAMH – it will help balance-up the apparently “favourable” views which were already reported by some of the participants on Community Work Placements!

      There is nothing favourable about willingly working for a nice charity for the benefit of the community, when the work is made MANDATORY!

      You can contact Mike by email: Mmcquaid@jpress.co.uk

      On The Spot

      December 20, 2014 at 10:09 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: