Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

‘Unpaid Work Experience” – Workfare – “contradicted the European Convention on Human Rights” say Judges..

with 52 comments

Tips to Jim and I was a JSA Claimant.

Brits punished for refusing ‘slave labour’ due compensation after landmark court case.

Reports the Mirror this evening.

Brits who had their benefits stopped after refusing to do unpaid work experience are closer to compensation after the Government lost a crucial legal battle.

Three Court of Appeal judges in London have dismissed its challenge against an earlier High Court ruling.

The Government had appealed in a bid to prevent thousands of individuals who had jobseeker payments stopped from clawing back millions of pounds in lost benefits .

The scheme – dubbed workfare – was introduced in the wake of the financial crash, when jobs were scarce.

But critics said it was pointless and the work experience offered was of little value. Dr Simon Duffy of the Centre for Welfare Reform dubbed it “modernised slavery” .

In one case, university graduate Cait Reilly was forced to give up her voluntary position at a museum to work for free in Poundland instead.

But while thousands were affected by the scheme, only a fraction are likely to receive a pay out.

Dr Lynne Friedli, who campaigned against the scheme, described the ruling as “a partial victory”.

She added: “The money was unlawfully taken and must be returned.”

But Professor Paul Spicker from Robert Gordon University warned: “It is not at all certain that this judgment will help claimants directly.

“The Act that has been challenged is still the law. There is also an ‘anti-test-case’ rule which means that other people who suffer injustice cannot get redress. The Supreme Court needs to revisit the rules that make this possible.”

Social media activist I Was a JSA Claimant said: “For people like me who have been campaigning against benefit sanctions and workfare this judgement reinforces what we have been saying for a long time.

“Sanctions are an unfair punitive punishment which does nothing to help people back into work.

“The individuals and families affected will hopefully get the money that was stopped back, but that will not properly compensate for the hardship they had to endure during their sanction.”

The judges reached their conclusion on the basis that workfare contradicted the European Convention on Human Rights.

The article explains the background:

Friday’s decision is the latest in litigation over back-to-work schemes following a Supreme Court ruling in October 2013.

Five justices at the highest court in the land ruled, in what became known as the Poundland case, that the Government’s flagship back-to-work schemes were flawed .

They said that sufficient information had not been given to claimants to enable them to make representations before benefits were stopped.

The Government brought in emergency retrospective legislation, the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013, to “protect the public purse” and stop the payouts.

It was argued the sanctions had been justified and the claimants would be receiving “undeserved windfall payments”.

But a High Court judge, Mrs Justice Lang, declared the 2013 Act “incompatible” with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to fair hearings.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decided not to make any payouts pending the Court of Appeal bid to overturn Mrs Justice Lang’s decision.

Appeal judges ruled on Friday that when Parliament enacted the 2013 Act in order to retrospectively “validate those sanctions” it was “successful in doing so as a matter of English law”.

But Lord Justice Underhill, announcing the ruling of the court, said: “But we have also held – upholding the decision of the High Court – that in the cases of those claimants who had already appealed against their sanctions the Act was incompatible with their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.”

He added: “Under the Human Rights Act that ‘declaration of incompatibility’ does not mean that the 2013 Act ceases to be effective as regards those claimants; it is up to the Government, subject to any further appeal, to decide what action to take in response.”

More in the Independent: Benefit sanctions handed out to thousands of people ‘unlawful’. The Court of Appeal dismissed a legal challenge by the Government. The Guardian: Appeal court rejects challenge in Poundland case. Three judges uphold high court ruling that emergency measures introduced in 2013 were incompatible with human rights law

Hats off to all those who stood up against the thieving Workfare Exploiters and the DWP!

The fight continues…..


Written by Andrew Coates

April 29, 2016 at 4:38 pm

52 Responses

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  1. Like Asses with their heads buried in the sand. Will they Appeal? Yep, because they’re like Asses with their heads…

    Oh, and it saves money [though I’d like to know how much their legal fees are so far].


    April 29, 2016 at 5:57 pm

  2. Rupert Murdoch has now put a gagging order on all UK nation press. the Guardian has now gone right wing & deletes any comments that are freedom of speech. Since I have Web Archived the Deleted comments, you can not delete history.

    A Dictatorship that supresses & calls a racist if you have a mind of your own. The desperate tactics to hind death by contract which was a contract under duress makes the contract null & void. The disability war to kill off ALL disabled people running into hundreds of thousands is the policy of dictators running a rogue state of Human Rights.

    Rupert Murdoch & Dodgy Dave are heading for disability war crimes & illegal actions against the poor & disabled. Death policy for power.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    April 29, 2016 at 6:10 pm

  3. Jeremy needs to reinstate Ken to defeat the Nazi Tories. Or Jeremy will be overthrown by the labour Blairites that are really Tories that love ATOS & MAXIMUS.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    April 29, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    • Ken is a narcissistic fool – thus speaks a person who has been active on the left, notably the Labour left, for longer than I care to recall.

      Andrew Coates

      April 30, 2016 at 11:04 am

  4. Reblogged this on sdbast.


    April 29, 2016 at 6:19 pm

  5. OT : Maybe, Maybe Not – New Form of Workfare coming to a low paying Job Near You!

    National Living Wage: ‘We are losing out’

    His employer is about to impose new terms and conditions and the workers aren’t happy.
    “The workforce are up in arms about it. Everybody is really really annoyed with the company the way they’ve done things… we feel as though they’re robbing us,” he says.

    Compulsory overtime
    Seachill relies on overtime to keep its conveyor belts running. It’s a requirement written into staff contracts.
    On top of a 40-hour week, Tom says workers can end up doing another 20 hours, especially when there’s a big order to complete.
    His employer wants to increase the basic rate of pay to £7.35 an hour but cut overtime payments..
    Tom reckons he will earn up to £80 a month less than he was expecting.
    Workers have to decide whether to accept the new contracts or risk losing their jobs.
    “Even with the new rate they’ve offered us at £7.35 an hour, at time and a quarter, it’s less than what they would’ve been paying us at £7.20 an hour and time and a half and double time.
    “We are losing out big style,” he says.


    Changing pay
    Seachill is not the only company that’s been reviewing its pay arrangements.
    At Pennine Foods in Sheffield, owned by the huge food group, 2 Sisters, workers have voted for strike action after the company announced it would cut Sunday and bank holiday pay as part of plans to standardise payments to staff.

    And so it begins…


    April 29, 2016 at 9:13 pm

  6. The brutality of the UK government operating under Jobcentreplus demands full condemnation.These temples of abuse have gone on for far to long they serve no purpose only to attack and humiliate and much worse,operated by renegades without care or consideration for damage they have caused justified by contempt they hold.

    EU law is non discrimatory and covers many areas’,our rights’ would be torn to shreads under the Tories if they got their way.

    UK must leave European convention on human rights, says Theresa May



    April 29, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    • We don’t need fucking ‘jobcentres’. Close down the fucking abusecentres plus humilation and pay benefits like a pension with no horseshit attached.

      Bollox to fucking jobcentres

      April 30, 2016 at 4:13 pm

  7. […] Heute hat die britische Kampagne “boycott workfare” gigantisch gegen die dortigen Sanktionen punkten können. Der britische supreme court (das oberste Gericht) entschied, daß die britischen Sanktionen gegen die europäische Menschenrechtskonvention verstoßen. […]

    • Good luck to all those in Germany & every other country.


      April 30, 2016 at 8:42 am

      • Yes, there are similar schemes and punishments elsewhere in Europe.

        Holland had a scandal recently about a chap who’s blind and was sanctioned for not going for a job as a bus driver – tried to find an English language link when a Facebook friend posted it but couldn’t.

        Andrew Coates

        April 30, 2016 at 11:03 am

      • Thank you! And congratulations to the UK for this court decision!


        April 30, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      • Unlikely that he would have got a job driving a bus at least in the UK. Blind people have a very acute sense of hearing so maybe Dutch bus drivers are allowed to ‘drive by ear’.

        Standards of vision for driving

        You must be able to read (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres.

        You must also meet the minimum eyesight standard for driving by having a visual acuity of at least decimal 0.5 (6/12) measured on the Snellen scale (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) using both eyes together or, if you have sight in one eye only, in that eye.

        You must also have an adequate field of vision – your optician can tell you about this and do a test.
        Lorry and bus drivers

        You must have a visual acuity at least 0.8 (6/7.5) measured on the Snellen scale in your best eye and at least 0.1 (6/60) on the Snellen scale in the other eye.

        You can reach this standard using glasses with a corrective power not more than (+) 8 dioptres, or with contact lenses. There’s no specific limit for the corrective power of contact lenses.

        You must have a horizontal visual field of at least 160 degrees, the extension should be at least 70 degrees left and right and 30 degrees up and down. No defects should be present within a radius of the central 30 degrees.

        You must tell DVLA if you’ve got any problem with your eyesight that affects either eye.

        You may still be able to renew your lorry or bus licence if you can’t meet these standards but held your licence before 1 January 1997.
        The practical driving test eyesight test

        At the start of your practical driving test you have to correctly read a number plate on a parked vehicle.

        If you can’t, you’ll fail your driving test and the test won’t continue. DVLA will be told and your licence will be revoked.

        When you reapply for your driving licence, DVLA will ask you to have an eyesight test with DVSA. This will be at a driving test centre. If you’re successful, you’ll still have to pass the DVSA standard eyesight test at your next practical driving test.

        Driving eyesight rules

        The Bat

        April 30, 2016 at 4:24 pm

  8. OT


    April 30, 2016 at 8:44 am

  9. Homeless in America’s tent cities.

    Life is not without its tests, though. The roughly 60 residents of Tent City must work unpaid shifts doing security and clean-up, attend weekly meetings, live without heat, and abstain from liquor, drugs and violence.

    Despite the benefits tent cities often provide occupants, and although American cities are grappling with a chronic shortage of affordable housing for the poor and budget constraints on social programs, many municipalities across the United States are clamping down on homeless encampments.



    April 30, 2016 at 9:08 am

  10. The sickening campaign to silence Corbyn and the Left by exploiting victims of the Holocaust.

    It is time to speak out against the concerted and, loosely, coordinated effort to silence Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and critics of Israel, by smearing them as anti-semites. As a journalist who has been engaged in the Israel-Palestinian conflict since I was 20 years old, this tactic is nothing new to me. But I have never witnessed (in the UK at least) the kind of sustained and widespread attacks that have happened in recent weeks. For this reason, it’s time to put forward a powerful statement on why our team at The Canary refuse to be censored by this hypocritical and cynical smear campaign.



    April 30, 2016 at 3:18 pm

  11. More robots less human employees.

    Amazon’s robot revolution lands in Britain.



    April 30, 2016 at 3:25 pm

  12. Everything IDS did was legal.


    April 30, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    • Well, almost everything – apart from these court decisions which say otherwise!


      April 30, 2016 at 5:17 pm

  13. ken

    April 30, 2016 at 6:13 pm

  14. This is useful too.

    The right of appeal against certain benefit decisions is set out in the law, under the Social Security Act 1998, (Section 12), and is also enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights Article 6, which says ‘in the determination of civil rights and obligations…,everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.’


    The Tories are determined to undermine such rights,they have shown clearly their contempt for the law rights’ by Duncan Smith’s retroactive unlawful actions’.Shockingly this was allowed to happen and also continue under Labour at that time were racing each other to the bottom with attacks on benefit claiments.Was Duncan Smiths resignation linked with this? he was clearly boxed in. Somehing was clearly wrong when challenged as it was termed”we’d rather put that to one side” when clearly it was Unlawful.

    This is the type of thing that a unified Europe was set up to stop happening again since the second world war,extreamists’ such as Theresa May are a real threat, such people undemine divide and threaten as Thatcher did. The effects are never recovered from.


    May 1, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    • Thanks for that Ken, useful for many people.


      May 1, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    • Theresa May wants to take the UK out of European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR); incidentally absolutely nothing to do with the European Union and was in fact the brainchild of Winston Churchill. How dangerous is Theresa May!?

      Wolf Creek

      May 2, 2016 at 5:33 am

  15. Universal jpobsearch – how can the dwp save jobs to it my account if I never granted them access to it nor gave them any details beyond the fct I had created one as told to by my advisor? I find this worryoing as I odnt use that site and so I may be sanctioned for missing jobs.

    Is this not a violation of the data protection act?


    May 1, 2016 at 5:39 pm

  16. ken

    May 1, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    • 🙂

      Dismiss 'provider' paperwork

      May 2, 2016 at 5:25 am

      • 😀 😀

        Do NOT Tick!

        May 3, 2016 at 10:59 pm

  17. Dismiss 'provider' paperwork

    May 2, 2016 at 5:24 am

    • Thanks for that somone’s looking over me,Its not the Jobcentre!


      May 2, 2016 at 11:42 pm

      • You are all aware who the DATA CONTROLLER is for UJM aren’t you ?

        While you may indeed prevent your local advisor from peeking, it all means absolutely nothing when you consider WHO’s actually in charge of said personal data and how its processed.

        A data controller is a designated person/s whom processes personal and or sensitive data within the confines of the ICO regulation. So like a policeman, if an advisor raises suspicion with them of fraud, the DATA SUBJECT (you) instantly loses rights under the data protection act even if the allegation proves incorrect/false.

        This means advisors can still deliberate even without access to ones UJM account.

        If claimants don’t use email addresses different to what they supply DWP if indeed they do as it isn’t compulsory under law, their still traceable. A claimants real name also cements this.

        Luckily 90% off all jobs on UJM come from other websites like total jobs for instance through a company called adview so theirs no compulsion for claimants to actually apply through UJM but to instead use as a means of locating the original website that hosted the vacancy via listings that don’t require one to sign in.

        If we take ADVIEW as an example, they basically graph every single job on totaljobs to adview, then graphed it to UJM. This means one could quite easily apply only through totaljobs but still claim they looked on UJM for them.

        DWP CAN’T make a claimant apply through UJM, DWP CAN’T make a claimant use personal and or sensitive data while registering or their after so including applying for work via a CV. You could quite literally invent a character like say Robin Hood and DWP cant do anything about it as it under law requires ones LEGAL CONSENT.

        The very fact a claimant cant negotiate these data control terms while registering is enough within itself for a claimant to put a halt to any proceeding of opening an account under threat of sanction while the matter remains unresolved. One of a civil servants duties/codes is to uphold and enforce the laws of the land, one being any person/s asking for or looking to process a data subjects data (you) must first seek legal consent from said data subject and only where exemptions apply, can a person/s intent on processing such data ignore said ruling (crime and taxation for example).

        With claimants on mass demonstrating they know these jobs are elsewhere, that they will apply only on the original website, will send a very clear shot across DWP’s bow that UJM is surplus to requirement.

        What matters is do you apply for work and not how you go about it as DWP again legally cant dictate this so even though say a said vacancy is highlighted on totaljobs and you apply for it, if its on UJM as well then it still counts.


        May 3, 2016 at 9:37 am

    • 😀

      Do NOT Tick!

      May 3, 2016 at 10:58 pm

  18. Thousands of people joined a May Day rally in London on Sunday where Jeremy Corbyn sought to placate concerns that the Labour Party has an anti-Semitism problem.



    May 2, 2016 at 11:12 am

  19. Restaurant staff ‘should keep their tips’

    It follows claims that some restaurant chains were regularly holding back some or all of the tips meant for staff.

    Unite had been campaigning for action after complaining that some firms were counting tips as part of a worker’s pay.

    Dave Turnbull, Unite’s officer for the hospitality sector, said any change would need backing in law to make it effective.



    May 2, 2016 at 12:26 pm

  20. Another Appeal Another Defeat for the DWP to Go With the Collapse of Workfare

    The failing project of mass workfare and mass ‘sanctioning’ reveals its deeply ideological nature in the ridiculous supposed reasons for ‘sanctions’: being a couple of minutes late to the Job Centre being one of the less jaw-dropping. The punitive Victorian workhouse ideology of Duncan Smith and now his replacement, Stephen Crabb holds the unemployed responsible for unemployment and seeks to discipline and punish accordingly.

    The most recent court ruling against the DWP and in favour of JSA claimants, underlines the failing attempts of the incumbent Tory government to individualize social problems, the collapse of two of its flagship workfare programmes further bringing this out in stark relief.

    Bogus ‘volunteers’ for charities or ‘social enterprises’ Thats exactly what it was.


    ‘Cruel’ government policies blamed for depression and stress levels at Department for Work and Pensions

    More sick days are lost to depression and anxiety than any other illness at the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), new figures show, amid claims they highlight the pressure on staff forced to implement “cruel policies”.



    May 2, 2016 at 11:52 pm

  21. Universal credit reduced to cost-cutting exercise by Treasury, say experts

    Flagship benefit reform has been watered down so much that it risks failing to achieve its original purpose, warns Resolution thinktank



    May 3, 2016 at 9:13 am

    • That’s because it is.

      This in work conditionality is a sham, has been from the get go so why oh why does it exist. Well as the observant have noted, housing benefit and tax/child tax credit claimants have grown in the last 5 years meaning although government has placed caps and ceilings that the welfare bill is still growing when we consider all benefits.

      With the image of a growing number of state dependent workers, the governments claim of better of in work lays in tatters, its bold claims of job creation left by the wayside as employers cull in work incentives and employees to stave attacks to their respective profits that it appears will for this year at least remain untouched. Government wont admit it but employers by far and large consider say for example a cleaner to not be worthy of the £7.20 rise in min wages and infact insist they are not even worth the original £6.70.

      With the way employers are remodeling their companies already, the word interesting will be an understatement by 2020 when they have to folk out £9.00 an hour.

      Employers like consistency so are often predisposed to ignore an applicant who they know will once offered the job, will have also begun immediately to look for another at the request of DWP. Employers also don’t like applicants who are in search of more money, especially at a time when the employer is cutting back to balance books so see them as just looking to be employed as a stop gap for something better and we all know employers don’t like to play second fiddle to no one.

      I get DWP are trying to create an employees market but at a time of low export, little investment and cheaper foreign labour, government is actually playing into the employers hands.

      If you make a claimant take a job knowing they will now have to look for another that’s short termism which while in the short term presents what appears to be a reduction in benefits is infact over the long term is just stretching it to go further.

      Brace yourself as soon employers while one applies for a vacancy will start asking do you intend to claim tax credits and housing benefit while working for them as like landlords, claimants even when working are now seen by employers as a financial risk.


      May 3, 2016 at 10:18 am

      • Government believes as do we that anyone can work in a warehouse,serve a pint or sweep a floor but employers believe something else,they believe that a person will be born who will say sweep like no other has before or at least that’s the crap they all peddle these days,each feeling not just anyone can do this.

        Government ticks boxes,employers tick boxes but ultimately both types of boxes disagree meaning your lovely government has just this year become a new barrier to work or should i say claiming any benefit does.


        May 3, 2016 at 10:38 am


    To Gazza,Superted,ken,Doug,and all you other sufferers out there

    Going to the dreaded JCP soon and they have put me on universal credit, first meeting with a new coachy for an HOUR, what I really need to ask is should I keep on doing what I have been doing i.e. printouts, and do they keep you waiting 5 weeks for any cash?

    Feel like throwing up just thinking about it !!!!

    PS keep up the good work.


    May 3, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    • Carry on doing what your doing, – continue with your printouts of jobs applied for, I wouldn’t advise anyone to go to that first UC interview without any,

      The usual wait for that first UC benefit is 6 weeks, sorry for the bad news,


      May 3, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    • Blimey have you transfered to UC from another benefit?


      May 3, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    • If your transferring it shouldn’t take 5 or 6 weeks.


      May 3, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    • blimey2016,

      as all others have advised – Follow closely.

      Read up on unemploymentmovment thread about UC

      DO NOT – REPEAT DO NOT Agree/sign anything which you think is wrong.
      Act dumb “I’m confused….” “Please print off the regulation about that… I need to get someone else to explain to me as this is so confusing” “Oh you want me to sign right away? Can you print off the regulation specfying that as I’ll have to get advice about that as well” “Yes, I’ll wait…. Oh it’ll take a hour? All right then, I’ll just sit over there then”


      May 3, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      • Can’t your post Gazza. Need to get my glasses……. later….. I am kind of confused as to what you are saying… what’s a regulation? Is that something to do with the leccy meter…. I will have to take your post into my solicitor… see what they say…


        May 3, 2016 at 10:49 pm

  23. carry on as normal tho ask them if you got a job how would you pay to get there with no money for 6 weeks?

    they still can not dictate how you provide job search proof 🙂


    May 3, 2016 at 5:09 pm

  24. The printouts work in your favour also always keep them in case of appeals.By demanding these its a breach of confidentiality between employer and applicant they cannot attempt a sanction for not carrying out work related activity,this builds their own stress levels having to pay someone.

    That looks good advice above.Here should be an interest also use the citizens advice bureau phone instead.



    May 3, 2016 at 11:42 pm

  25. Informative analysis – Speaking of which , if anyone has been searching for a a form , my boss filled a template document here “http://goo.gl/H705oo”.

    Tashina Bartholomew

    July 27, 2016 at 2:26 pm

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