Is Poundland’s Workfare Scheme Illegal?

poundland-workfareIn a bungled response to this week’s workfare ruling, broken toy retailers Poundland have attempted to brush off criticism of their use of forced labour, by admitting to employing a huge number of unpaid workers!

Poundland  (@poundland) claim to have unpaid staff members at 71 of their stores in a revealing admission which is only like to re-invigorate the campaign by Solidarity Federation and others against their exploitative practices.  Until now campaigners have been unsure about the true extent of workfare at the company.

In a major embarrassment for the DWP, the company are quick to distance themselves from any involvement with the current government workfare programmes stating: “This programme replaces any involvement with the Department of Work and Pensions prime providers and their work experience schemes.”

Sol Fed point out that their scheme sounds very similar to the Work Experience programme – the scheme that first hit the headlines early last year.  This programme is at least notionally now voluntary after several major retailers including Waterstones and TX Maxx pulled out due to public outrage at the use of benefit sanctions to force people to work unpaid.

However – and this is key – with the ever increasing use of sanctions by Jobcentres, and both claimants and Jobcentre staff unsure about the rules due to endless DWP meddling, almost nothing can be said to be a ‘voluntary’ programme anymore.  Claimants who refuse workfare at Poundland could just be sent on Mandatory Work Activity on one of the other schemes.  Until benefit sanctions are removed completely as an attempt to police the benefits system, then all welfare to work schemes can be considered mandatory, in practice if not necessarily officially.

And even without sanctions, mutli-million pound companies thinking they can get away with employing young people for free should be fiercely resisted.  How long before young people are expected to slave away for six months before they see a penny of wages, or a year?  And what happens to existing workers when private companies start taking on hordes of unpaid staff with no workplace rights and use them to drive down wages and working conditions for everyone?

Poundland are not a charity.  In no sense of the word can their participants be considered volunteers. Every worker deserves a wage – and if they don’t get one, it’s workfare.

It is unclear however what exactly Poundland’s involvement with the DWP is under this new contrived arrangement.  If this is not a formal government scheme, then by the DWP’s own admission, it may be illegal.

The Work Programme provider guidelines clearly state:  As a general rule, persons participating in a relevant Government Scheme – which includes the Work Programme – designed to provide training, work experience or temporary work, or to assist in seeking or obtaining work, do not qualify for the National Minimum Wage (NMW) in respect of work done for an employer as part of that scheme.”

Helped by campaigns from the NUJ and Internaware, many interns have won backdated wages after being expected to work for free.  If Poundland are not part of a formal Government scheme then they may be in for a shock as a wage bill lands on their doorstep, along with a bill from the tax office for backdated National Insurance payments.

If the DWP are correct (and even they don’t seem sure whether workfare workers should be paid the minimum wage or not), then even if Poundland’s scheme has some official status it could still be illegal.

Poundland boast on their website that a meagre 20% of unpaid workers are offered a job at the end of their provision.  This appears to be a confirmation that for some candidate, successful completion of workfare at their stores could lead to employment.  According to the DWP:

“Even if they are not paid by the employer, participants will qualify for the NMW (National Minimum Wage) if they are regarded as employees of the employer AND are participating in a trial period of work with that employer, in which the employer has agreed to offer a job to the participant if they successfully complete the trial, in cases where the trial is in excess of six weeks.”

If Poundland intend to offer 20% of workfare participants a job, then it sounds an awful lot like a trial period of employment.  In any future workfare case brought under minimum wage regulations, it will be employers who could face a huge bill, not the DWP.  Workfare could prove to be an expensive mistake for the cheap bastards at Poundland.

Join Sol Fed in South London for anti-workfare action tomorrow (Saturday 16th February) .  Meet at the Poundland branch of the Aylesham Centre, Rye Lane, from noon, full details at: https://www.facebook.com/events/398008846962583/

Join the Week of Action Against Workfare beginning from March 18th – 24th: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=1996

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

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165 responses to “Is Poundland’s Workfare Scheme Illegal?

  1. 💀The ID⚡⚡ Gang are scaring me, mummy....

    Is Poundland’s Workfare Scheme Illegal?
    ” Yes ”
    It’s called forced labour.
    ” Arbeit Macht Frei ”
    Citizens died in a war to stop this

  2. 💀The ID⚡⚡ Gang are scaring me, mummy....

    Follow Julia  @JulesSunbeam
    Here to enjoy!! RAF/Army mum. Interested in politics. Occasionally inappropriate. Tory.
    >>>>>>>
    From previous thread.
    This is what we’re up against. ‘Home Counties’ type old brittle bootle-blonde boot lookin’ to be inapproptiate….probably adores The IDS Gang.
    🐎🐎🐎🐎🐎

  3. It’s still Workfare, but carefully reworded by Poundland with a little help from the DWP, as you still have to go through JCP to get put on it.

    The DWP have reworded their new legislation to make it sound like it was all legal, roll on the supreme court decision and hope the DWP lose their case and it’s thrown out.

  4. “Voluntary”, my arse!: “If you don’t “volunteer” to take up the Poundland “opportunity” then I will have no other option than to refer you to Mandatory Work Activity”

  5. The impression that I get with my advisers is that I am to do as I’m told and if I do not or am difficult in anyway, I’ll get punished – one way or another!
    I am not “workshy” and want to work. I am actually not averse to doing some work experience that would give me relevant experience. I have technical skills and need something that is relevant and worthwhile to my skills/education. I’m afraid working in Poundland..or any similar type of retail, serves no useful purpose for me. I do not need motivating, I do need either a real job, or real (relevant) work experience that will help me achieve that real job. Only I can decide what is relevant to me so it has to be voluntary. Possibly, for an unmotivated and/or unskilled/uneducated youth, fresh out of school, any type of work experience ‘might’ help them in motivational terms, but, adults – particularly motivated and skilled ones, and graduates, will not benefit from Pondland type exploitation. What they will gain is a sense of sheer annoyance at this exploitation together with much less chance of finding long-term, valuable work. I for one make a point of removing my custom from all such exploitative companies and have blacklisted any charity donations to charities involved – permanently. I make a point of educating everyone that I know and asking them to do the same. I urge others to do this. Close them down!

    • Steven2011@lavabit.com

      Wellsaid. My mum donates to the Salvation Army but I am trying my hardest to convince her to stop doing so. I know the Salvation Army do some good work but if they don’t know the difference between genuine voluntering and compulsion under threat of benefits removal (a subsistence payment after all) then they aren’t much of a charity to my mind. I have urged her to write to them and say she will stop donating to them unless they scrap their engagement with the government’s Workfare nonsense or at least such time as the government makes workfare entirely voluntary.

  6. the dwp even admitted workfare does not help people into proper full time jobs (back in june 2012).
    also a senior government official early this week blundered it was used as a short sharp shock treatment to make people look for work (so as a punishment).
    soon hopefully the house of cards will fall.
    and this statement from poundland could be a ticking timebomb.

  7. I do not mind doing volunteer work that I find myself (so that I am doing volunteer work that bolsters my skillset I have now), I also would not mind proper work experience (again to help to improve my skillset I have now), but would be very unimpressed being forced to do someone which does not help in any way in getting a job at all.

  8. Landless Peasant

    Since the High Court ruling in Cait Reilley’s favour, NO ONE IS LEGALLY OBLIGED TO ATTEND THE WORK PROGRAMME until new Regulations have been passed & implemented. YOU CANNOT BE SANCTIONED for non-attendance at the moment. I have it confirmed in writing from my Work Programme provider, but they are not making this widely known, only to those who ask ! SPREAD THE WORD. DON’T ATTEND. DO NOT COMPLY. THEY CAN’T TOUCH YOU.

    Excerpt from letter:

    “You are correct, you are not legally required to attend in the interim period, however I can advise you that ESE Regulations will be re-written at the soonest available opportunity.

    As recent as today the High Courts have made a decision regarding the mandation issues to programmes, in favour of DWP, So I’m sure normal business will resume very soon and I will keep you updated on this as far as attending appointments…

    I would suggest that anyone genuinely interested in securing employment would utilise every opportunity available to do this, and if this involved visiting a Work Coach/Employment Advisor they would take this opportunity.

    Those who don’t, who choose to avoid being proactive ,as you rightly say will not have their JSA sanctioned but may struggle to secure sustainable employment.

    The DWP are currently notifying all relevant parties as to their current and future situations, but I am happy to answer any queries from anyone concerned about recent developments if asked.

    We will be happy to see you again once the new regulations are in place.”

    ********************************

    NOW Please contact your MP ASAP and ask him/her to sign Early Day Motion 1072 tabled by John McDonnell (LAB) to nullify the Government’s Workfare Regulations.

    http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/1072

    • in response to comments saying that you’re not legally obliged to attend the work programme (or other schemes) until new regulations were passed, they were passed on Tuesday: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/276/made

      Also the schemes are no longer claiming to be voluntary, the new regulations state simply: “The Secretary of State may select a claimant for participation in a scheme described in regulation 3.”

      see solfed’s quick write-up http://www.solfed.org.uk/unwaged-workers/the-secretary-of-state-may-select-a-claimant-for-participation-in-a-scheme

      • But if you didn’t attend the “work programme” on Tuesday afternoon (because no “regulations” were “in force” then) your back is covered….. :-)

      • Landless Peasant

        M :
        I don’t think the new Regs. have actually been fully passed yet.

        It says “…it appears to the Secretary of State that by reason of the urgency of the matter it is inexpedient to refer the proposals in respect of these Regulations to the Social Security Advisory Committee.”

        Note the word “proposals”.

        It was on the 13th (Wed.) that I received confirmation from my Work Programme Provider that I am not legally required to attend and that I cannot currently be sanctioned for non-attendance. So, until I receive further instruction I shall not be attending, and I would urge others to do likewise.

    • i contacted my MP Ms Esther McVey, Under Secretary of State, DWP.
      She responded “”members of government do not, by convention sign any EDMs as it is likely to breach the ministerial codes rules on collective responsibility””””””
      can you imagine her signing it,
      NO FUCKING WAY

  9. The only time I’ve ever been into Poundland I bought a loo brush and holder which, typically, broke within days. Hardly surprising since all of the shoddy crap they sell is probably manufactured by child-labour in the Far East.

    This is a company which thrives on exploitation – both from its unpaid workfare “staff” and the slave-like conditions endured by workers in the sweat shops of its Third World suppliers.

    A store best avoided.

  10. There are a lot of unemployed out there who do want to work, but the government’s reward for trying is punishment. Universal credit is set up in such a way that it will punish part-time workers who will be told to find more hours or be sanctioned, not exactly rewarding those who wish to find employment is it.

    Cam-moron’s Big Society is all about working for free and unpaid to fill the pockets of his multi-national corporate chums and those who have shares in these corporations ie: namely Tory MP’s.

    Work Programme is still mandatory, i was told my JCP adviser that i still must attend or lose benefits for non-attendance. So nothing has changed there.

    • Steven2011@lavabit.com

      The vast majority of unemployed people WANT to work as you say but getting the Tories and Labour to end their childish, prejudiced and severely bigoted ASSUMPTION that the vast majority don’t is proving elusive. I stopped going to the job centre in 2003 when that cretin David Blunkett put me on his ridiculous so-called ‘New Deal’ which was basically a glorified job club and haven’t been back since since the attitude of government has got even worse and the programmes have become even more punitive and restrictive. The fact is these employment programmes won’t work UNLESS the work is out there in sufficient quantities and this is something both Tory and Labour don’t recognise and no doubt this is because they would have acknowledge the fact that their economic approach for the past thirty odd years has been an utter failure.

    • Steven2011@lavabit.com

      Of all the utterly stupid policies Iain Dumbo-Smith has presided over that must be the most inane of them all. One of the best routes into the world of work for the long term unemployed in particular is through part-time work so he shouldn’t be potentially deterring those people from applying. IDS must be one of the most cretinous ministers Britain has ever had (not that he doesn’t have a lot of competition on that score)

      • It is almost as if the cretinous cunt doesn’t actually want anyone to escape his evil clutches; a bit like JCP and the WP, all designed to keep their victims down where they are so that their “masters” can keep kicking them!

  11. Susan Kramer’s disgusting tory voiced excuse for this form of modern slavery on last night’s QT was utterly repellant. Sadly Galloway’s response was uncharacteristically muted in the face of double tory penetration from Kramer and Killer Miller.

    Yellow in colour, tory in tooth and claw.

  12. Hi, just came across your blog while I was researching info on the Cait Reilly case for this:
    “Cameron bested by a mere girl of the plebs…”

    http://wp.me/p32mQ3-c4

    Cheers

  13. But this govt knew full well that workfare had little or no effect on getting jobs .the study of thd effect of workfare in united states canada and australia showed them that. It did show that workfare resulted in getting people to sign off the dole. thus saving them money and that using quotas of benefit sanctions helped too.
    I will post the relevant extracts in a while.

  14. Following the advice of the Poundland web site I asked this afternoon about this new scheme. They already know I am involved with a number of complaints which in part relate to the prime provider of the WP in my area and am not attending mandatory interviews with them. Maybe they were just being ignorant (not entirely unkown with some JCP staff), maybe they were just trying to wind me up more, or maybe the lady was just a liar but anyway she denied that what I had reported was actually stated on the Poundland site and that I must use the prime provider in my area and not JCP plus for any information on the scheme. After checking with Poundland site at the library I find the text is still the same as yesterday. I would be interested if anyone else is asking for information from their local Job Centre and what they are being told.

  15. When people signed off the dole after being threatened with workfare it was because people wouldn’t work for nothing but it was used to depict them as lazy and workshy. The absurdity of this claim is that people were willing to forego benefits by signing off. So these lazy types are willing to starve ?

  16. @Johnny Void and all…here is the DWP review they did.
    A COMPARATIVE REVIEW OF WORKFARE PROGRAMMES IN UNITED STATES CANADA AND AUSTRALIA

    http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rports2007-2008/rrep533.pdf

  17. “Summary1 (From a comparative study of workfare programmes in united states canada and australia)

    Summary
    This report examines the impact of workfare schemes that mandate participation
    in unpaid work activities as a condition of receiving social assistance (work
    for benets). It reviews the evidence from three countries that operate workfare
    schemes: the United States (US), Canada and Australia. The report nds that
    there are few systematic evaluations that isolate the impact of workfare
    from other elements of welfare-to-work programmes such as compulsory
    job search activities. The limited evidence that does exist on workfare indicates
    that:
    “Effectiveness in reducing welfare caseloads
    - Dramatic reductions in welfare caseloads in the US and Canada cannot
    be attributed to workfare alone. Other elements of welfare reform such as
    intensive job search requirements and time limits on claiming have contributed
    to falling caseloads whilst economic growth has also enabled recipients to
    nd work.
    - Workfare has a deterrent effect which stops people claiming or encourages
    them to leave welfare before the workfare phase. This makes it harder to
    measure the tangible outcomes of welfare.
    - The proportion of welfare recipients engaged in workfare is low in all
    three countries studied, even in the US which has the most extensive and
    well-established workfare programme.
    ” Effectiveness¬in¬improving¬employment¬outcomes
    - There is little evidence that workfare increases the likelihood of nding
    work. It can even reduce employment chances by limiting the time available
    for job search and by failing to provide the skills and experience valued by
    employers.
    - Subsidised (transitional) job schemes that pay a wage can be more
    effective in raising employment levels than work for benet programmes.
    - Workfare is least effective in getting people into jobs in weak labour
    markets where unemployment is high.
    - Levels of non-participation in mandatory activities are high in some
    workfare programmes.”

  18. ” Workfare has a deterrent effect which stops people claiming or encourages
    them to leave welfare before the workfare phase. This makes it harder to
    measure the tangible outcomes of welfare.”
    - The proportion of welfare recipients engaged in workfare is low in all
    three countries studied, even in the US which has the most extensive and
    well-established workfare programme.”

  19. “There is little evidence that workfare increases the likelihood of nding
    work. It can even reduce employment chances by limiting the time available
    for job search and by failing to provide the skills and experience valued by
    employers.
    - Subsidised (transitional) job schemes that pay a wage can be more
    effective in raising employment levels than work for benet programmes.
    - Workfare is least effective in getting people into jobs in weak labour
    markets where unemployment is high.
    - Levels of non-participation in mandatory activities are high in some
    workfare programmes.”

  20. “About four million customers a week were served in the chain’s 389 stores in the year to April — up from 3.5 million in the previous 12 months.

    Poundland’s plan for expansion includes opening more of its DEALZ stores in Ireland. The company will also open a new distribution centre next month in Hoddesdon, Herts.
    Mad about

    Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/money/4407005/Were-quids-in-at-Poundland.html#ixzz2KzIxYZVZ

  21. The retailer, where every product costs £1, has been an huge success of the high street in recent years, winning over not just hard-pressed customers keen to keep their weekly shopping bills to a minimum, but also budget-conscious middle classes enjoying the cut-price chocolate, toys and stationery. Its (Euronext: ALITS.NX – news) best selling items include a pack of 11 Kodak AA batteries, a box of Maltesers, a nine pack of two-finger KitKats and a two-litre bottle of milk.

    It is owned by Warburg Pincus, the private equity group, which bought it two years ago for £200m from Advent, a rival firm, who had itself bought it from the founders for just £50m back in 2002.

    Most city analysts believe that Poundland could be worth at least £500m. Clive Black, at Shore Capital, said: “The market likes well-run, growth stories. Its shares would expect to trade on a decent premium to the retail sector. About half a billion would be less than 1.5 times sales, so it could be worth more than that.”

  22. sense of irony here as Tesco were taking on UNPAID workfare ppl to work for them ..
    and poundland appoints ex bod from Tesco..

  23. ” Mr Higginson was a long-standing finance director at Tesco who also ran Tesco’s banking operation. He was a key part of the executive team, along with Sir Terry Leahy, which transformed the supermarket group from making less than £1bn profit a year to well over £3bn.

    He admitted that his “City connections” were one of the reasons that Poundland has hired him as its new chairman, a phrase that has immediately piqued analysts’ interest and suggested that the company is laying the foundations for a possibly initial public offering. “

  24. “He said he hoped his experience of strategy and running international businesses would help Poundland.

    Mr Higginson, who would not disclose how much slice of the company he was being given as payment, replaces Colin Smith, the former head of Safeway (NYSE: SWY – news) supermarkets, who has been Poundland’s chairman for the last decade.”

  25. Q. How are you managing the ongoing wage and raw materials inflation where your products are imported from emerging markets?

    A. The key is to maintain or improve the value differential. So we reduce costs by managing volume and the opportunities for suppliers to sell us more. We manage foreign exchange (FX) and freight rates very carefully. We have very skilful traders who will source globally, so if we can’t get it in China, we will look elsewhere to see if we can do that more cheaply. We will re-engineer product and we continue to take cost out.

    We also have an office with about 20 people in the Far East so they are very aware of local conditions and where the best factories and the best deals are. Also we have similar arrangements in places like India, which actually is becoming more important to us as it isn’t subject to the vagaries of foreign exchange because we pay in sterling when we deal with India.

  26. POUNDLAND EMPLOYEE reviews..

    http://www.indeed.com/cmp/Poundland/reviews

    “sales assistant (Former Employee), Aberdeen – January 26, 2013
    Pros: gained experience
    Cons: unstable working hours
    it was a great place to learn how to work as a sales assistant, learned how to work in a team, co-workers were friendly, unlike the management. hardest part of the job was keeping up with my studies, because work timetable wasn’t good at all, and it changed a lot.”

    “stock room assistant (Former Employee), nottingham – January 16, 2013
    Pros: part time
    Cons: early mornings
    a typical day involved me getting the morning delivery in from the truck.
    once in the building i had to put the correct boxes by the products so that another team can fill the shelf’s.”

    “part time sales assistant (Current Employee), brighton – December 31, 2012
    Pros: co-workers many of the staff have become good friends
    Cons: wage, amount of work given, managment, lack of communication
    a typical day at work would depend upon what hours you work for example at the moment i am working 16 hours reduced right down from 30 to 39 hours with a wage of 5.36 depending on your age. how can anyone survive. theres a serious lack of communication between managment and staff and conflicts can be caused from this and a lack of confidentiality as – more… managment discussions have been held infront of staff members. there is a rediculous amount of work given out with too much high expectations”

  27. Poundland boss Jim McCarthy: ‘We survived on beans on toast’
    Poundland boss Jim McCarthy tells us why he is still careful with money.

    By Natalie Graham

    12:02PM GMT 05 Mar 2012

    Last week Poundland courted controversy by becoming another company to withdraw from the Government’s back-to-work scheme as concerns rose over the use of unpaid benefits claimants in some of Britain’s biggest companies.

    Mr McCarthy attended grammar school in Birmingham, leaving at 17 to become a junior trainee at Dillons Newsagents. His retailing experience spans 39 years, including eight years as the head of T & S Stores.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/fameandfortune/9123444/Poundland-boss-Jim-McCarthy-We-survived-on-beans-on-toast.html

  28. Anybody on this forced labour scheme should when starting this unpaid work use sabotage at the places where they are dispatched to. I would also use it where possible at work providers and other dwp sites.

    • @karl winnett it stands to reason that it is the work program providers including the ‘hidden’ workfare eg ‘EOS work in a shed’ pretend jobs’ should be exposed too.

    • A good practice is to remove the tags on any fire extinguishers you see; it means they have to call the service technician out to “re-charge” them.. ‘elf and safety :-)

  29. SILLY STORIES…POSH TART WORKED IN POUNDLAND..

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1116591/Adventures-posh-girl-Poundland-How-Harvey-Nicks-fan-cope-cheapest-shop-town.html

    ” The shop assistant in Poundland is becoming increasingly dyspeptic. In fact, I’m concerned he might just turn round and hit me. I am in the store’s Enfield branch in North London and I have just asked him to show me where the Chanel shoes are.

    ‘We don’t stock anything from the Channel Islands,’ he says irately. ‘But we’ve got some mints from Indonesia.’ I protest I can’t wear a mint.

    ‘All right then,’ he replies, his face becoming rosier. ‘We’ve got a feather boa section over there.’

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1116591/Adventures-posh-girl-Poundland-How-Harvey-Nicks-fan-cope-cheapest-shop-town.html#ixzz2KzSeCti3
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  30. EX POUNDLAND EMPLOYEE : ABOUT MY JOB.

    http://www.aboutmyjob.com/3016/ex-poundland-eployee/

    “For my first ever job I worked in a Poundland store, the pay was bad, but I figured it was a cheap store so easy to get a job at, I was right. Once you got your job you relised your mistake. You were given a hundred and one jobs to do and if you even mentioned you did’nt have tie you were told to just get on with it and stop complaining. As for your own uniform, forget it you were lucky to get a clean second hand one, I had to wash mine and never got a jumper.”

    • something survived...

      Weird thing tonight.
      I was in Morrisons and a PAID member of staff was in the bakery section putting out reduced items. The front of his white uniform was grey and grimy and grubby – had not been washed in ages if ever. YUCK! He was not workfare…

  31. Utter madness: Iain Duncan Smith condemns Poundland benefits ruling that opens a £40million floodgate

    ” A court ruling that a jobless graduate was unlawfully forced to do work experience at Poundland could lead to benefit claimants demanding compensation totalling more than £40million, it emerged today.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2277426/Iain-Duncan-Smith-condemns-Poundland-benefits-ruling-opens-40m-floodgate.html#ixzz2KzW7wXOq
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    WHAT £40 MILLION FLOODGATE?

    based on what pray tell..some figure they just made up?

  32. rainbowwarriorlizzie
  33. sectret shopper in POUNDLAND..

    http://www.maryportas.com/secretshopper/poundland/

    “Nuneaton.Always big queues.Only 2 tills open. They used to have severall tills. Probably cutting back on staff.”

    Mixed reviews a lot of customers complain shops are untidy and staff are rude…
    i wonder why..

  34. “Bosses at the bargain chain conducted 120 interviews after receiving 25 applications for each of the sales assistant vacancies available – including two from graduates.

    An analyst said the deluge of candidates for the low-paid, unskilled roles showed that, in some areas of the country, jobs are ‘like water in the desert’.

    Poundland did not reveal details of the pay packets offered to the successful candidates, who will work in Walsall, but adverts for sales assistant positions at other stores list the salary as ‘meeting’ or ‘exceeding’ the national minimum wage of £6.08p for someone over 21.”

  35. “All the statistics introduced regarding the Work Programme show execrable results, but we’ve heard nothing regarding penalties, or remaking the contracts, or rethinking the program. There is a creeping sense which this really is turning into a cash cow for the private sector, a get-out-clause for the government (“we’ve invested all of this revenue, when folks can’t receive jobs despite the aid, it’s considering they are inadequate”), plus unemployed individuals is left at the bottom, ceaselessly harassed with a totally specious narrative inside that their laziness beggars a try-hard management.”

    http://www.business2day.info/money/this-poundland-ruling-is-a-welcome-blow-to-the-work-programme-zoe-williams.html

    • The ONLY reason the Work Programme exists is to KICK CLAIMANTS OFF BENEFITS!! that is its SOLE purpose. It is all just one big-stitch-you-up-for-a-sanction-machine. And anyone who works for these providers is pure and utter evil. No excuses, they know EXACTLY what they are doing. They don’t deserve to live these fuckers. May they die screaming and Rot in Hell!!

      • @WP SUCKS well exactly…and the fact that this Govt knew that..thats why i posted the USA Canada Australia findings that DWP commisioned..its clear in that report..it has zilch to do with job finding but a lot to do with kicking people off benefits plus the ‘benefit scroungers’ rhetoric was having the effect of people not wanting to be stigmatised so they wouldnt claim,,not even for things they were entitled for…

      • Provider Cunts BURN IN HELL!!!!

        Too fucking right, BURN IN FUCKING HELL!! you evil, fucking evil fucking provider CUNTS!!!!!!!!!

  36. A scheme supposedly for people wanting a career in retail, but the DWP won’t discriminate. So there will be more Cait Reilly’s rotting away in a role they don’t want taking up placements that others might have wanted.

  37. ” ‘We are determined to protect the interests of companies ”

    Of course they are… after all these corporate companies will be tory party donors, protect them and they will donate.

  38. here we go back to non posting again ..how long do i have to wait to avoid the spam filter…..

    • Bob please try keep on topic and stop posting streams of links – it kills discussion mate and I don’t have time to wade through the spam filter.

      • well ok..me posting on poundland and stuff to do with them i thought was on topic..and the DWP commisioned report on workfare i thought was on topic..plus stuff about councils taking unpaid leave to save money which seems to be a growing trend..and NHS staff not getting paid might be of interest to people..

      • Johnny yot blogpage suddenly turned into junk characters….why wtf is going on here..and police van outside..

  39. why has your blogpage suddenly turned into crap characters making it unreadable??

    • Something not right, its all gone haywire bob… just seen a couple of coppers walking past my front door… think someone is onto us, Bob….

  40. things are getting weird …i thought i was was posting on topic..stuff about pound land…and posting from DWP own reports into workfare..and council staff taking unpaid leave to save money and NHS staff not being paid..

    • when there’s a long string of posts by the same person it makes it difficult to have a conversation, the research is great just can be a bit overwhelming at times, so try keep as strictly on topic as possible eh

      • ok johnny but for some reason your site and toms went weird the text went into junk..and tom doesnt have that many subscribers or posts…same with other wordpress sites…

        • strange, seems ok this end, sure its not a problem with your PC?

          • am i net cafe johhny and others on your blog had it too

            • Bob,
              Good material you are posting but taking up Johnny’s point, it would help if you could give a short summary of the info with a link for further details and try to do it within one message rather than multiple ones. That way we get the benefit of your research but the conversation is kept going as well.

              • @john fair comment. Trouble is some things won’t post no matter what I do. The workaround is to post extracts when the links won’t post. The other day was bad as the whole blogsite turned into junk characters. i guess i tend to work in scatterlogical way. I post then somethong else catches my eye and I notice connection so post again. Perhaps if i.notice the connections first then maybe as you say a brief intro then post the multiple links that back that thesis up. Will consider that but as you know one is constantly updating. Johhnys complaint was that I went off topic. My point was that the subject matter was poundland and ppl not getting paid. So I posted some background info on the.company but also noticed stuff to do with ppl not getting paid eg nhs workers not being paid and council staff taking unpaid leave and posed the question if it was a worrying trend as i saw more evidence of workers not being paid.

  41. 💀The ID⚡⚡ Gang are scaring me, mummy....

    SMASH THE SYSTEM!!!

  42. @wirey there was a police van outside here just now…went nest door just buggered off….

  43. BTW fascistic tory propaganda like that was tweeted before this:

  44. Anyone know what happens if the work programme places a doubt on your claim after Tuesday 12 February for an “activity” (allegedly) not carried out but notified under the since quashed 2011 ESE regulations and notified to you before Tuesday 12 February. i.e you are notified of an “activity” to be carried out on 10 February, you attend work programme on 12 February and they place a doubt for allegedly not carrying out said “activity”.

    • Same here, had a doubt placed on the 14 February, last appointment was on 31 January and mandatory activity threatogram was issued on 31 January quoting the ESE 2011 regs which have since been quashed and deemed illegal. Is is possible for a wp provider to legitimately place a doubt in these circumstances? Can I argue that the doubt is not valid since the regulations unpinning it were deemed to be illegal? Grrr… don’t you just HATE the work programme!

    • sounds like a kind of no-man’s-land that, Lindsey… hopefully someone else has better advice..

    • yeah, and you too WP Victim 100… thing is the whole “mandation” thing to the wp was bs, and the sanctions imposed were illegal. So, the question is can the wp scum raise a doubt under the new 2013 regs for an activity “mandated” under the old 2011 regs? You would probably need to seek legal advice for that, it is so tricky. Sorry, I couldn’t be of more help. Good luck!

  45. Should read: you attend work programme on 14 February and they place a doubt for allegedly not carrying out said “activity”.

  46. when career claimants earn as much as career politicians who do less in their day to day activities than benefit claimants, who are constantly on holiday as george galloway stated on qt when they are accountable for their time wasting, when staff at JOB CENTRES not those running the wp start finding jobs for the unemployed,only then can anyone justify the need for vindictive,punitive mandatory work activity. It should be oulawed as much as the work programme.

  47. 💀The ID⚡⚡ Gang are scaring me, mummy....

    Idiot brittle fascist tory cunts with rich husbands sitting at home slagging off the poor.
    Fillthy frustated bags getting their rocks off thinking about the destitute dying.
    We really have a Nazi ConDemNation.

  48. 💀The ID⚡⚡ Gang are scaring me, mummy....

    Tweeting twats wetting themselves at the thought of the mounting dead.

  49. Anyone reading this doing workfare ought to do a bad job, why does it matter there not paying you.

    • Because one bad word about you from the employer to the Jobcentre and you’re guaranteed a sanction. They own you and control you. That’s why.

      • And that’s the worst they got?
        At least one thing i learned in the homeless hostel, how to claim Zero income Housing Benefit when IB got stopped after leaving the looney bin..
        It might be tough times but you aint gonna lose your house…

        yet

  50. work programme "advisors" are CUNTS!!!!

    BURN IN HELL YOU EVIL CUNTS!! MAY YOU ALL DIE SCREAMING YOU FUCKING EVIL CUNTS!!

  51. DIE, DIE FUCKING DIE...

    YOU FUCKING EVIL “WORK PROGRAMME” “ADVISERS!! DIE, DIE, FUCKING DIE YOU FUCKING SCUM!!

  52. DEATH TO WORK PROGRAMME "ADVISERS"

    BURN IN HELL YOU EVIL FUCKING CUNTS!!!!

  53. WORK PROGRAMME "ADVISERS" MUST DEATH

    DIE, FUCKING DIE YOU EVIL FUCKING SCUM!! ROAST IN HELL YOU FUCKING CUNTS!!

  54. Just remember the shear misery and suffering someone inflicts on vulnerable human beings when they tell you they work as an “Employment Advisor”, “Consultant” or whatever bullshit title they have “helping the unemployed” for one of these thoroughly evil organisations. All decent members of society should shun these abominations. If any of them are lurking in your circle of friends or family tell how utterly ruthless and evil they are then cast them aside. These people are not human they are nothing but EVIL personified!

      • Don’t waste any tears on these cunts, Bob :-) … the sooner these evil bastards go under the better.

        • @A4e are cnuts oh dont worry. I won’t shed tests I only posted this item to show how fucked up the system is. Of you would read my other posts and links that’s pretty much what I am on about

      • sanctions for benefit claimants have never made any sense as you are cutting money so you cannot afford to look for a job or go for interviews.

        • Benefit sanctions actually make claimants UNEMPLOYABLE for LIFE; sanctions destroy their victims financially, physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. Sanctions actually kill their victims. Sanctions are EVIL! And the sub-human species that inflict sanctions are nothing but PURE EVIL!

          • that’s the whole point of sanctions, Fiona……. one of me mates was sanctioned once, she slowly wasted away both physically and mentally and died of a heart attack brought about by an abnormal heart rhythm before the sanction had even ended, doc I spoke to about it said it was all down to malnutrition that killed her because if you don’t eat properly your heart is like the first organ of the body to go, it’s nutrient balance gets upset or something… so the next time you hear someone dying of a “heart attack” when they are slowly being starved to death by the DWP/Providers/ATOS say a prayer and remember who killed them. Best Alfie

        • @dzwasp in all the studies. and reports i have looked at they pretty much come to the conclusion they dont work. However there is this stupid belief in carrot stick theory . There was one I read which was so stupid it claimed that using some financial encpuragement was bad and that sanctions forced ppl onto jobs as if the jobs suddenly appeared out of thin air .

          • Steven2011@lavabit.com

            It just goes to show how utterly thick and plain evil they are, doesn’t it? If they had any understanding of human nature they would realise that incentives work best. One of the main reasons workfare is such a total failure is because it puts up the back of any unemployed person sent to do it. Now, if the government PAID people to do it then the unemployed may not be so resentful and not perceive it as the punishment it is clearly intended to be.

          • Bob, You are working on the assumption that the purpose of the programme is to get people into work however, they knew from the start that there was never enough jobs to go around in the first place. The programme is useful if you wish to scapegoat a sector of society for the economic ills of the country and take the heat away from those who have not only escaped from the debts of the banking system they blew up but have been compensated and then paid even more in a massive transferrence of wealth from the less well off to the rich, i.e the people that Cameron, Osborne & co represent. It’s also useful for rewarding people in “the loop” by public funding of “charities” that are only there to serve their executives and political friends. It also gives satisfaction to those with certain psychological issues who like to punish innocent people and control them.

            • @john no. I am not. Because if you look at my posts govt own documents case studies abroad came to the conclusion that workfare had little or no effect on employment but it did reduce the benefit bill which is what its true purpose was. That and benefit sanctions quotas.

      • so reading through that it shows the system is going to fail unless the system is made fairer to people claiming?
        or have I read it all wrong?

        • @dzwasp well sort of. The point being is that these were warnings given before it was rolled out. Same with universal credit which will be a nightmare to manage..that’s mentioned in this post too.
          That’s the thing about welfare so called reform. It’s not reform because its not made better its made worse and ill thought out.

    • Well you could work for the Tory run trussel trust. The so called charity food bank lot who profit from poverty. you could work as unpaid volunteer in their ‘charity shops’

      http://www.trusselltrust.org/volunteer

    • I can’t believe people can produce books like this.
      Make poverty business.
      How to make profits by engaging with the poor.

      “Make Poverty Business’ sees the poor as more than mere consumers at C K Prahalad’s “bottom of the pyramid” and instead takes a strategic view of all the ways in which a multinational company can interact with and influence the lives of the poor. The poor face poverty traps when they seek to deal with an international company. Based on sound economic theory and emerging good business practice the book recommends low-cost ways to overcome these traps and gain access to a larger and cheaper pool of employees and suppliers”

      • Well look at the mess privatisation has brought to the lives of people trying to use the services.
        All ok for the fat cats to cream the money off the profits (energy companies and the rail companies are 2 examples) and then ‘donating’ thousands to the tories.

    • Exactly, it has to become “socially unacceptable” to be working for these evil companies. Talking money for inflicting abject misery on your fellow citizens is just not on. But, I wouldn’t worry these scum will get their comeuppance!

    • My work programme advisor was killed in a car crash last week :-) Ha, fucking, ha :-) I am going to dance on your grave you evil fucking bitch :-) Enjoy Burning in Hell lol :-)

      • “A van load of welfare-to-workfare “advisors” returning from a works night out have been killed in a collision as the mini-bus they were travelling in careered of the road and hut a tree. Luckily, the driver who was on a workfare “placement” for the same company escaped unscathed. A spokeperson for their unemployed victims said “Ha, ha, burn in Hell you evil bastards :-)

        • It would have been even better if they had collided with a van load of DWP “decision makers” with Iain Duncan Smith at the wheel :-)

      • Steven2011@lavabit.com

        The only person I have EVER truely hated in my life was my ‘New Deal’ advisor when I used to sign-on in 2003 when that moronic Labour Party cretin David Blunkett was the Secretary of State. Infact, I can’t stand watching Mary Berry even now because she is a spitting image of the evil Scottish bitch Margaret who I had. There were a few decent types in my local job centre but, of course, they wern’t choseN to be advisors, were they?

      • Take a shit on that grave in my name, too, ta! :D

    • On that note, does ANYONE have any of these career scumbags among their friends?
      Serious question.
      I think they must just orbit around other scumbags of similar career ilk

  55. There’s a disgusting pseudo-reflective piece on Poundland in today’s Independent, saying among other things ‘Poundland entered a government scheme in good faith, then pulled out of it more than a year ago’. Whatever scheme it’s using, Poundland has unpaid workers and protests against it must continue. The government, and companies, are deliberately causing confusion through the proliferation of different schemes and different rules.

    So what must always be said is — regardless whether it’s for a private company or a charity; regardless of whether the work matches one’s skills and experience; regardless of whether it claims to get you into a paid job in the sweet by-and-by — all work must be PAID. The only exception is when the person is NOT on benefits and genuinely volunteers out of interest in the activity concerned. Any connection with the DWP should be assumed to constitute compulsion.

    There used to be such a thing as ‘on-the-job training’ for which people were paid, although at a lower rate than what they would get when the training was finished. To guard against indefinite unpaid work on the excuse of ‘getting people back to work’, this practice must be restored, with the rule being that, as soon as someone walks in the door of the organization s/he’s working for, the wage rate must apply.

    • Poundland Manager

      but, Katherine Perlo, it takes me at least 6 months to train a shelf-stacker… this is a massive investment in company resources…. until they are fully-trained they are a burden on the company… these “un-paid” workers are more hassle than they are all work…. they only reason we take them on is through our “Corporate Citizen” policy whereby we help the local community.

      • Ha Ha, but then again it wouldn’t surprise me that Poundland used such an excuse or that one of their manager was so thick and corrupt that they actually thought this. It was interesting that the DWP and Poundland seemed already to know what the appeal court judgment was going to be before it was announced since the DWP had the legal regulations ammended within hours and the new Poundlands/DWP scheme was announced right away. Strange.

        • @john yes very strange good avenueue to explore. Just using speculation john what would your conclusions be? The courts in cahoots with govt and breifed them on verdict? Is that legal?
          Or did govt have contingcy plan waiting in the wings as it was pretty quick to draft new regulations. Were they able to drop in stuff they thought up previous.? That 35 hour a week jobsearch makes it impossible to do workfare but it could tie jobseekers to UJM. If they make it mandatory.

  56. I think we need to change the perception of the public (as really we are all preaching to the converted on these blogs, we all know the workfare and work program schemes are not there to get people back into work, but just to make the public think the benefit scroungers are not just being idle and watching jeremy kyle or planning a holiday to spain every week of the year).
    When even the DWP can admit that workfare does not get people back into work & when a senior government official says it is used as a short sharp punishment to stop idleness and the public lap this up and think this is a good thing, we need to get those opinions changed.
    I am not sure how though?
    Marching does not seem to do anything to change public opinion (most think it is a nuisance & the government ignores it).
    I think more proof is needed on the ground level (videos of workfare placements and work program placements, recordings of vile things advisers have said and also what they threaten), get these out into the public eye (via youtube, twitter, facebook and other large social media systems), also copies to local mp’s, unions etc.
    Just need to get the public aware of how corrupt and toxic these schemes are.

  57. PCS Union:

    Cait Reilly ruling should mean end of workfare
    12 February 2013

    We believe a ruling by appeal court judges should mean the end of the government’s workfare schemes.

    The details of today’s (Tuesday 12) judgement in the Cait Reilly and Jamie Wilson cases are still being studied.

    But we welcome the fact the judges overturned the original verdict and agreed the pair were unlawfully forced to work for no wages.

    We represent almost 80,000 of the Department for Work and Pensions’ 100,000 staff.

    We successfully steered a motion through last year’s TUC congress calling for all work to be optional and paid and for back-to-work schemes to be brought back in-house.

    Our members in jobcentres and advice centres will offer guidance and support to all those affected by the ruling, including those who have been unjustly sanctioned.

    We also reaffirm our support for campaign groups, including Boycott Workfare, opposed to schemes, some of which now appear to be unlawful.

    The judgement comes on the day we publish our ‘Britain needs a pay rise’ report, highlighting the effect of low wages on our economy.

    Far from offering sustainable employment, workfare schemes are ineffective and exacerbate a low-wage economy.

    Responding to the judgement PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This is a very significant ruling that we believe supports what we have said all along, that no one should be forced to work without pay.

    “The government can not continue to help private companies and charities to exploit people who are out of work, and these schemes must surely now be scrapped and the work brought back in-house.”

    http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/news_and_events/news_centre/recent-news.cfm/id/9089D191-C03C-4672-B44EC39EA0A92D96

  58. RFLMAO – don’t laugh too soon!!

  59. “Our members in jobcentres …. will offer guidance and support to all those affected by the ruling, including those who have been unjustly sanctioned.”

    Not all JCP workers are with the PCS Union.

  60. Off Topic – Me and Katy Perry are kickin’ it tonight – my god she has big booby’s.

  61. Adios Amigo’s, bonky time!

  62. another top name who are using workfare, and also are keeping very wiuet about it, are Primark ! i have done voluntary twice over the last two years, no thanks and no job at the end it them, just kicked out and let them get the next guy in for a month. they even decided to show one fella around showing him what was to be done (exactly what i was doing) three hours before i had even finished on my last day. Bastards !

  63. Here’s a link to the new lettter the DWP are sending out to people on the Work Programme. It quotes the new 2013 legislation – and no mention of the old 2011 regs. Remember, the new legislation can’t be backdated!

    If you were sanctioned on one of the schemes affected by last weeks Cait Reilly ruling (not MWA) suggest you contact Public Interest Lawyers for advice on getting your money reimbursed. The new letter makes no mention of previous sanctions.

    http://www.publicinterestlawyers.co.uk/

  64. Pingback: The Case of the Disappearing Workfare Scheme | the void

  65. Pingback: Is Poundland’s Workfare Scheme Illegal? « paul8ar

  66. Pingback: Time to finish off workfare… | The Thurrock Heckler

  67. Hey excellent website! Does running a blog similar to this take a massive amount work?

    I’ve absolutely no expertise in coding however I was hoping to start my own blog in the near future. Anyway, if you have any ideas or tips for new blog owners please share. I know this is off topic however I simply wanted to ask. Thank you!

  68. Poundland launches enquiry into boy aged 7 paid 7p per hour in Indian sweatshop supplying goods to their stores.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1293881/Poundland-launches-inquiry-boy-SEVEN-paid-7p-hour.html

  69. yeah, these cunts totally destroy human beings, these cunts KILL human beings by throwing them into destitution and they sit laughing in their offices as they couldn’t give a fuck. ANYONE who work in the welfare-to-work industry and I mean ANYONE cos you all know what you are doing are pure fucking evil. You think you are smart you think you will get away with it but – mark my words – you wont, life does not work like that because one day you will be struck down with, for instance CANCER and you will DIE in FUCKING agony and that will be YOUR PAYBACK and you will get EVERYTHING you fucking deserve. That is is you don’t meet with a nasty accident. And may you suffer for all Eternity. May all the ILL-WILL in the world fall on YOU and YOURS because you really, really are pure and utter evil scum!!

  70. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”

    – Galatians 6: 7-9

    Life plays some queer tricks but one of them isn’t letting us get away with it.

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