The Real Face of Mandatory Work Activity – Shocking Videos Emerge

Two videos have emerged on youtube which appear to represent the reality of the Mandatory Work Activity scheme which Chris Grayling this week announced is to be extended to tens of thousands more unemployed people.

In the two part video diary, the claimant films aspects of the work he has been sent to take part in by the Welfare to Work company Working Links, who are currently mired in fraud investigations.  The work involves tree brashing, a laborious task which involves stripping lower branches from trees in heavy forest growth.

Astonishingly, according to the video, the person concerned was provided with no protective clothing or equipment and was even required to provide his own saw.  He was also left to work alone and completely unsupervised, despite the potentially dangerous nature of the work.  It also highlights the fact that his transport costs to the job had not been met in full and that Working Links suggested he take a 90 minute bus journey followed by a five mile walk to his place of work each day in order to keep his costs down.

On Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) claimants are sent to work for 30 hours on a range of ‘community’ projects for no pay for four weeks at a time.  The scheme is used as Community Service for unemployed people deemed not trying hard enough to find work by Jobcentre advisors.  Failure to attend MWA leads to punitive benefit sanctions which leave people in dire poverty and facing possible homelessness.

There is nothing in the videos which suggests they may be inauthentic, but even if they were to be an elaborate hoax, they represent far from the worst case scenario that some benefit claimants now face.

All of the allegations made in the videos are perfectly consistent with the rules of Mandatory Work Activity.  In some cases the scheme could be even more punitive.  The person who made the videos appears relatively young, healthy and able-bodied.  Due to the brutal assessment regime for sickness benefits,  huge numbers of sick and disabled people have now been bullied onto Jobseekers Allowance.  Jobcentre staff, most of whom have no training in sickness or disability issues, can now send sick and disabled people on this scheme where they too could be sent to work in the forests of Scotland,  carrying out hard manual labour for the pittance of £67.50 a week.

As noted on the Black Triangle Campaign’s website this week, the Social Security Advisory Committee warned that people with  ‘invisible’ disabilities such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, autistic spectrum disorders or those with mental health conditions are particularly vulnerable to being referred to Mandatory Work due to the nature of their conditions.

Previous workfare schemes have usually come with a small top up to benefit payments to help meet the costs of being in full time, unpaid employment.  These payments have all been scrapped by the current Government.  As the videos point out, substantial costs can be incurred when carrying out physical work, including the simple fact you need to eat more and take more baths.

This is the stark reality of this Government’s welfare reforms.  People with serious and life threatening conditions can now be sent to carry out hard physical labour whilst they are barely given enough to pay for food.  If the video is to be believed, and there’s no reason not to, they may not even be granted safety clothing, equipment or adequate supervision.

Tragically an increasing number of people have taken their own lives due to the brutality of the current welfare reforms.  With Mandatory Work about to be increased on an industrial scale, it is only a matter of time before there are even more deaths due to unscrupulous employers – many of whom are charities – forcing people into unsafe and unhealthy working conditions under threat of benefit sanctions.

The first of the two videos is below, the second can be watched on youtube.

The maker of the video diary recommends those facing unpaid labour find out their rights by visiting the Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty website or


56 responses to “The Real Face of Mandatory Work Activity – Shocking Videos Emerge

  1. Eric Greenwood

    I wish i could say i was surprised, But i am not. I think there should be more people who will record the exact type of work on these schemes. If only to protect themselves..Of course he must be a scrounger you know as he is on the work programme, the fact he is on the work programme must mean he is lazy and doesnt want to work… This is the sickening attitude of these dangerous people in charge as well as the scheme creators.

  2. There you have it…open air death camp. They can’t touch me for now…but I kid you not,if I was forced to work in conditions like that,with my illnesses I would end up DEAD. I am not exaggerating. Wet,cold,dark…no suitable clothing and/or tools.
    This is breaking the law on so many fronts. Health & Safety should be getting involved immediately.
    Will anything be done? Somehow I doubt it. UKplc has morphed into a eugenics nightmare.
    Coffins R Us will be a real company any day now.
    The ConDem cocksuckers.
    Meanwhile,the celebrity jamboree rolls on.

  3. They want us to be slaves. We are expendable. They want us to die. Then they’ll just wheel in the next tranche of cannon fodder.
    When do the barricades go up?

  4. Working Links are SCUM!!

    Working Links! This is the same shower of shit who sent one of their victims to a dockyard – he was DECAPITATED!

    • something survived...

      Atos medical advisor for Lurking Winks, taking the following advice from ‘Nursie’ (authority on the subject!) from Blackadder:
      “When your sister Mary had her head cut off, I said, ‘There, there, dear. Never mind. Have some of this ointment and your head will soon grow back’.”

      Working Links – Murder by numbers.

  5. Working Links’ victim at the dockyard – that was in the early days of Employment Zones, wasn’t it? It seems so long ago now… Working Links started out as scum and are still scum now. Common trick in their Welsh operations is to take their victims’ perfectly good CVs and re-write them in the Working Links house style – bad spelling, layout and grammar, lots of typos, factual errors, you name it – most Working Links staff are at best only semi-literate. People keep using their own CVs, as they know there’s no chance of a job using the feeble documents that Working Links provide, then get sanctioned as, apparently, failing to use a CV that looks like it was written by a 5 year old “proves” that they are not actively seeking work! Needless to say any sanction doubt raised by Working Links is simply and immediately rubberstamped by the DM, usually the claimant gets no chance to comment at all before the sanction is applied.

  6. That is shocking if people are being made to do forestry work without protective clothing and proper training, people could be killed or seriously injured. What the fuck are you playing at grayling? It won’t improve the countries workforce at all if they loose their fingers trying to operate chainsaws without proper training you dick head! And he was asked to provide his own saw, where’s he supposed to get that from, his ass?!

  7. The people who sent him to slog away in this forest (Working Links); have probably never done a proper days work in their lives: and they get a nice salary .

  8. There was somebody on Facebook the other day praising Workfare and the proposed extension of it. They worked for Working Links, they ended up deleting their own comments after they were lambasted for their atrocious spelling and grammar. Nice work if you can get it!

    • something survived...

      Chainsaw Training: This is a chainsaw. End of training.

      Working Links should be renamed, Any Working Limbs Left?

      • He wasn’t given a chainsaw, Anybody that is, should refuse, you need chainsaw Certification by attending a college, it’s costs about £1200,
        As for working links, they are just another bunch of Scum with their fingers in the pie, like a4e And all the others.

        • something survived...

          Was using irony there. Was not talking about that case.

          However in my area Workfare schemes ARE as a matter of fact (though I wasn’t referring to it at the time) forcing people on workfare to use chainsaws and other power tools, without training or PPE or supervision. There are several workfare companies involved in this. They are even sending older men and disabled people.

  9. Fascism comes to Britain.

  10. a common mistake is dyslexia is a learning difficulty not a learning disability.however you do need to stand up and not be frightened,anyone who has a disability has a case in law of unfair treatment.anyone with a mental health problem who failed to attend should have this taken into account by decision makers.

    always appeal

  11. Why on earth is he doing it? Or he has seemingly already completed it now? If the video is genuine and it’s not some hoax, then fair enough for exposing it,
    He could tell them (have told them) to stick the mandatory work activity up their arse! Straight off the bat he needs eye protection. Gloves, the lot!
    No sanction could be applied, If this is genuine then they are bang out of order, The guy should have been complaining, not doing that crap for JSA.

    But when you have that threat of potential homelessness and struggling to eat then you cannot really blame people for complying, even if it is reluctantly. But that guy would be perfectly justified in refusing with good cause. And be given more options in the first place of what he could do with regard to MWRA.

  12. you could sit in the woods smoking all day and do sod all basically as no ones checking up

  13. which is what we did on the same schemes in the 80s, its exactly like the manpower services labouring for next to nowt scheme from 1985

  14. then again if this was me id sit there, ring the local gypsies I know to meet me there and we could nick all the wood and flog it and id get free fuel for my fire

    • something survived...

      From a Catholic joke book:

      A man goes to confession and the priest says what is your sin?
      “I’ve been pinching timber.”
      That’s very bad, says the priest, but say three Hail Marys.
      Some weeks later the same man is back in confession. What is your sin?
      “I’ve been pinching timber, Father.”
      Again? Well, say six Hail Mary’s, go away and don’t do it again.
      A couple of months go by and the man comes into confession a third time.
      How have you sinned?
      “….Pinching timber.”
      There is a long silence from the priest. Then he speaks. “I told you not to do it any more and you carried on anyway. Your soul is in danger but I can see a way out, but it’s got serious this time. I want you to make a novena for me.”
      Cheerfully the man responds:
      “Sure Father, you get me the plans and I’ll pinch the timber!”

  15. Why is agreeing to this? This is unbelievable!
    No supervision, no safety equipment – despite being explicitly promised?

    I don’t get this at all. But nothing surprises me anymore with Working Links.

  16. There is a legal case to answer here, surely?
    I’ve been going on about this for some time – who is responsible for public and personal liability insurance? If you’re not employed, it’s not the employer; the programme provider is a go-between; the DWP isn’t responsible for the “work” just the benefits and sanctions. So who ensures the participants are safe?
    I’ve trawled through as much of the guidance as I can stand, and I can’t find this anywhere. If the able-bodied are being treated this way, what chance has someone in the WRAG got, having already been declared incapable of work but only able to do “work related activity” whatever that is.
    What happens if a claimant is injured, or seriously believes that the “work” puts them at risk? Are these placements checked beforehand? If not, why not? What the video shows is working practice that is illegal, and no insurer would pay out for injury sustained in those circumstances.
    I can’t find any guidance on people who turn up to a placement, decide it isn’t safe, and refuse to do it – beyond the usual refusal sanctions. I suspect there’s a Service Level Agreement between the DWP and the provider which assumes the placements are safe, but it’s not clear in the DWP guidance.
    I’m also concerned about the offices where the providers do the CV’s etc. as it seems to me they are overcrowded and probably not compliant with fire regulations, let alone with reasonable access and adjustment for disabled people.
    Even if this video is a spoof, the concerns it raises are ones that some of us have been worried about for some time.
    It’s all very dodgy, if not dangerous, generally – never mind this example if it’s true.
    If it is, I think the worker/claimant should take this to a lawyer – there are a few doing pro-bono challenges, and the more we get the better.
    Does anyone know how the Cait Reilly case is going?

  17. An FOI response just published suggests the employer is responsible (on work experience at least):

  18. Michael Perry

    I am a Degree qualified PE teacher, with 6 years higher academic education. I have worked in johnlewis twice, sportsdirect and for G4S security. I undertake voluntary work once a week. I have been sent on the mandatory work activity and have been claiming JSA for near 6 months..

  19. Basically this millionaires’ government has spunked a whole load of our money by awarding a contract to some of their mates who then apply the stick of doing pointless work to maintain discipline among the unemployed when there are no REAL jobs. I wonder if Working Links also receive payment from the companies and organisations that benefit from this slave labour.

    In collusion are the DWP job centre staff, but I hope we don’t find that they have a quota to fill to force people to go on these 4 week programmes. Jacky Bafoot remembers the same thing happening in the 80s. Our present day out-of-touch toffs are showing the same Slitherin-like contempt for the 99% as their ancestors did in the First World War when the generals obstinately tried to make trench warfare work, no matter the cost in human terms.

    I’m not suggesting that everyone who’s been to Eton/other is trying to turn our country back into a feudal society, but look at the evidence of the first 2 years of this coalition. There’s a discernible attitude, aloofness, call it what you will amongst the cabinet that ONLY they have the answers. They have no effective ideas for rebalancing society or the economy and are backtracking/U-turning/abandoning many of their ideas when they’re proven to be ridiculous. Clearly they are too incompetent to solve the nation’s problems therefore we need a new government that can do this.

    The Labour party does not have sufficient credibility so now is the time to think outside the box (or outside the Westminster bubble): “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” – Albert Einstein

    Vote For Yourself is a campaign to introduce an Internet system for the public to use to debate policy (as we’re already doing piecemeal) and then to vote in new laws based on the collective experience of millions of real people dealing with real problems in real life. Given the opportunity to vote on measures to reduce unemployment, I expect the public would see the sense in letting people retire at 60 and giving young people a start in life. It costs about the same, if not more, to keep a young person on the dole than to pay someone’s pension.

    What is the coalition’s next “initiative” on this vitally important issue going to be – bring back chain gangs?

    • “What is the coalition’s next “initiative” on this vitally important issue going to be – bring back chain gangs?”


      “40,000 ‘problem job-seekers’ will be told to work for their dole in new benefits crackdown

      The scheme’s placements include painting schools, cleaning up parks, working in charity shops or picking up litter”.

      • Hi, the chains won’t be real of course. In principle I have nothing against efforts to get everyone to make a contribution, but paying the private sector to “beast” people isn’t the answer when the very rich avoid paying taxes and are treated with kid gloves. One law for them, one law for us.

      • Hi, yes no chains…yet. If something needs contributing to society it’s up to society to create a job from that need and pay a fair living wage to do it, but of course these Tory fascists don’t want to do that. It makes them feel sick to their stomachs to pay employees a fair living wage for the work they do, they’d rather institute slavery.

      • If you own slaves then you need to feed, house and look after them a bit. Far easier to give them the barest pittance to survive upon and then threaten to remove it if you don’t do what you’re told. We could keep this up for ages, I think we’re on the same verse on the same page of the proverbial hymn book, friend me on Facebook – there’s only one DvG!

  20. Andrew Healey

    I went on something similar in the 70s, I was sent to Sharp St in Walkden Gt Manchester. My dole money for the week was around £19.00 for myself my missus and a couple of young sprogs, the same money I got for traveling 14 miles a day there and back 5 days a week. Anyway myself and a few other layabouts were forced to this work camp where we had to make things with wood Welsh Dressers, Picnic Tables, Sideboards etc. I trained as a Mechanic for 5 years. We found out they were selling the goods to Habitat We took to nailing them to the benches with six inch nails and signs attached saying sell these you bastards. My previous employer was an out and out Tory bastard who thought £22.00 a week was a fair wage for the thousand pound a week he made off me. I started work at his garage fresh from school with a good mechanical knowledge he taught me nothing. Apart from how to hate Tories

    • My parents worked in HR and training and later set up a firm in the early 80s that won the YTS contract in Bournemouth, but they did actually find real jobs for lots of people over the years. I can testify to this because many of them became friendly with the staff and would come to events like barbecues and I would find out from them what help they’d actually received (I was just as “bolshie” then as I am now). Thing is, the south has lots more jobs. Up north (and in this specific case Scotland) it’s much harder to find any decent jobs. I was watching Alex Salmond earlier answering questions and it contrasted with Westminster being on holiday again after a few days back at “work” following the Easter break. Meanwhile the Tories are encouraging everyone to work harder. I’ve reached the point where I’m no longer collecting evidence of corruption, incompetence etc. It’s obvious to everyone that our political system is no longer working. As explained above, Vote For Yourself is my alternative suggestion and if we all used the Internet to vote on X Factor etc we’d understand it straightaway. Best bit is that whichever country does it first will effectively get rid of its political class, the rest of the world will follow and we need a global revolution to introduce a new banking system.

  21. Eric Greenwood

    People scared about losing their benefits, thats why they accept dangerous positions, Its the black box system that they have. The provider can do anything to you to “help” you get a job.. If you refuse then sanction time.. There should be a reason about health and safety, but they will no doubt find a reason thats not H&S

  22. this wouldn’t surprise me – I’ve heard similar-ish horror stories in the 80’s & 90’s only people were working cash in hand £1/2 ph + benefits

  23. Just call an ambulance. Say you fell and bumped your head making you feel dizzy. Do it EVERY day. Complain about headaches you recieved from your fall. Then SUE the bastards !!! They are CLEARLY breaking health and safety rules

    • Workfare Claims Direct

      Have you been the victim of an accident while on a workfare placement? Then call Workfare Claims Direct? J. Void recieved £1 million in compensation. Call Workfare Claims Direct today!

  24. I commented on this vid on youtube, but worth reproducing here:
    Probably not much use now, or immediately in any case, but there is one way you can fight back, long term, against being lumbered – excuse the pun – with forestry work. Take a bag of nails and a hammer with you… bang a few random trees full of nails, when they are eventually harvested and sent to the mill it buggers all the saw blades up and the grower of the timber doesn’t get paid anything 😉

    • something survived...

      I used to spike trees etc when with ELF but don’t any more. Bits (when tree is cut) can fly out (metal) and hit you in the eye, neck, chest…. they can kill or blind you. And the people killed/maimed could now be workfare slaves as well.

      When people used to bang nails into trees as a magic spell, sometimes they banged in so many it killed the poor tree. Plus sticking things into trees causes a route of infection and the tree could be affected.

      Scientific experiment: To test the hypothesis that trees are more intelligent than Jobcentre staff or those of Workfare companies.

      Previous experiment: Investigating whether mammalian individuals of the genus Ursus exhibit a preference for defecating in forested areas.

  25. Thanks for this post. Truly shocking. Sent UTube link to papers.

  26. Lumber jacking (what this victim of mandatory work activity was doing) is recognised as THE most dangerous job.

  27. The system is broken

    It is clear to me that the problems with the benefits system need to be looked at from a service users point of view. I have recently come off JSA, I claimed for 6 and a half months. During that time I had to apply 3 times. I twice had my claim closed because they claim I had missed appointments, I had not. However I still had to follow the process of re claiming, as if I had not attended an interview or refused a job. Each time I lost two week benefit, was forced to claim crisis loans (of which there were many! because of how that system works, also serious problems that should be addressed) and spend hours on the phone calling one dept using another depts phone! attend 3 appointments and have my claim processed by another dept oh and then have the loan deducted by another dept! How much does this cost each time? Lets just say I did miss the appointment….could they not spend 10p in the 15 mins they are sitting waiting for me and pick up the phone and say ‘ Hi, have you forgotten your appointment? 3 strikes and your out!’ Common sense! Please?

  28. The Holy Bible

    “Woe unto them that buildeth their house by unrighteousness, and their chambers by wrong; that useth their neighbour’s service without wages, and giveth them not for their work”.
    – Jeremiah 22:13

  29. something survived...

    Hi to Stig of the Skips, Just watched your videos.
    I’m 4’8″ tall and weigh around 37kg. Also I have ME/CFS, and epilepsy, and
    a number of other disabilities. In 2009 the Work Scheme sent me on a very similar thing. Despite the fact I have no upper body strength they felt I should go to work at a farm and outdoor centre for a month. I was in bad health when I started and worse when I finished. The centre had previously refused me as a volunteer saying it was against health and safety to employ me. But when they joined the scheme they seemed happy to take me on. Unfortunately I was not on my own. I had to get up at 5am each morning and leave around 6am for a 7am bus. To arrive at work there was a walk, more of a yomp, of miles along roads and basically mud. A yomp/run, with all the stuff I had to carry. On even a good day my ME makes me tired all the time, all these were bad days and so when I ARRIVED at work I was completely shattered but then had to get straight into hours of hard labour. The trip back was the same except that because the bus left early, we were expected to sprint carrying all our stuff. And because we were on a work scheme the bus drivers often refused to take us home. I have a pass saying I’m too disabled to drive, but the others bought tickets. About twice I had to walk about 10-12 miles home along the motorway, illegally but the bus had refused to take me even though I beat the others to the stop, the villagers treated us like a chain gang and spat at us. My co-workers were one of the worst aspects of the job, They had just got out of prison and one had stabbed somebody. As well as being around them all day I had to endure them on the trips there and back. The knife guy kept talking about stabbing, and another guy was a total racist who constantly went on about his hatred of P-i’s and n-rs. He also said rape was cool, and on his politer days made endless misogynistic comments. Also they hated ‘queers’. So I was in constant danger of assault. They turned up drunk and high to work. And called me a lot of size related things, which the Working Stinks lot told me I had to put up with. We also got sent together to Group Therapy and asked personal stuff. As well as being nobody’s business I was certainly not about to share my private life with those guys. There wasn’t a toilet, at the farmhouse the accessible toilet turned out to be totally inaccessible for me. I was allowed 1 or 2 trips a day to the bosses’ toilet but wasn’t really meant to use it, and got in trouble as it was a half hour trip. Because I have a compressed spinal cord and numbness and kidney problems, I need access to a decent toilet. And could not drink, regardless of how hot it got. Also I couldn’t eat, my budget for a month of minimum rations was £10 and after that I’d owe myself money. I now had a budget of £0 to buy a week’s worth of extra food, needed for the hard labour, but Working Links wouldn’t help. They sent me on a long bus ride and longer
    walk to the one place in the region that sells PPE. Each item cost more than a week of my dole. Working Stinks paid for it but it was pointless.
    There was a sort of rubberised 2-piece suit, very heavy. The smallest size was too large, and I had to sew it to adjust it, so it was no longer waterproof. In cold weather it is frozen and clings, in hot weather it is boiling and sweaty, if in a polytunnel under direct sun it burns you unless you take it off. The arms and legs were still too long. The whole thing was so unwieldy and large it made work harder as it got in the way and tripped me up. The boots were not only baking hot and didn’t stay on, they were too large. They were the smallest available in the UK. The steel toe caps dug into my feet. I got blisters and bleeding feet every day. When I tried to bandage my feet I couldn’t get the boots on. I added a hi-vis jacket I had to buy, to stop myself getting run over or hit by machines/diggers. The gloves were so large I couldn’t move my hands, so had to work with bare hands which then froze. The only weather was either cold and raining, or scorching hot. A boss said ‘go to the toilet against the wall’, which my co-workers did. They got sent to extra tasks, one job was using power tools in a woodwork factory, the other was pulling up bracken on a mountain. Apart from not wanting to listen to more ‘let’s kill a jungle bunny or a faggot’ talk, I saw how dangerous both these tasks were. The former, I was excused from as I’m too light to control power tools and have epilepsy. The latter, I refused to do as there was no toilet and the bracken rips up your hands and I’m multiple-allergic. The others got made to throw trees and branches 8-12ft in the air into a chipping truck, it was obvious I wouldn’t be able to do it. I couldn’t lift the smallest branch. So I got the ‘lighter’ (!) job of being sent to climb around half a dozen 20m-high mounds of ‘waste’. That is a euphemism as it turned out. There were all sorts of things in there, condoms and needles. Most was from council gardens. Also there was excrement and dead animals. But mainly there was rubbish. I had to climb using two digging-sticks as pitons, and dig in the muck all day with my hands. Because of my fits I fell off the top loads of times, I got cut on broken glass etc. Any junk had to go down again in sacks and buckets. When I got to the end of doing all 4 sides of hill 6, I had to start over at hill 1.The junk also had to be separated into recyclable and otherwise.
    Once I got sent to sort out a tree nursery, picking up trees knocked over. This would have been tolerable except that the day I got sent to do this it was raining and a gale. I had a job in the polytunnels which was sorting out endless crates of plantpots, boring but not too bad, except too hot and I kept passing out. A few times I got to guard the polytunnel and sell plants, but wasn’t allowed to plant plants till the last week, when there was also digging etc. for new/old crops. It was this time I had a bad injury, I had a seizure while pushing a barrow, and fell down, and the sharp edge of a Raised Bed (wood) was what my leg came down onto. The bosses didn’t care. Other times I loaded and unloaded and pushed and tipped, wheelbarrows for hours. The ‘best’ point of the work scheme was the day I came into work (one guy had been skiving off) and asked where the skiving co-worker was. (Oh by the way he was also bragging about the fact he had a girlfriend about to have their next baby, within days, and she didn’t know he had a secret other girlfriend he was having an affair with. Girlfriend 2 may have been unaware of Girlfriend 1. At the same time he and his ex-con friend were making remarks about wanting other women; and were actually coming onto and harrassing a young woman I know who works at the farm. She is a lesbian and her girlfriend works there too. They called her available because she didn’t have a boyfriend, I dropped enough hints to put them off. When the penny dropped, they were actually discussing raping her, so it would cure her of being a lesbian.) It turned out he had been SACKED, because he called an older female boss ‘ugly dyke’, though she is straight. Also for taking drugs. Of course, it is impossible to sack a slave. So he was just banned from the farm, and they got the work scheme involved, and the work scheme had the DWP stop his dole.
    A problem is that months later the ex-con guys were following me round
    like stalkers. They never, either during the time of the work scheme or when stalking me later, called me by my name. They called me something to do with my size, let’s just say they addressed me (hundreds of times a day) as Midget. They made ‘midget jokes’ a lot.
    They barely had 2 brain cells to rub together between them. They called the boss of the polytunnel a queer (he is straight). And said enough nasty things about ‘spazzes’ and ‘crips’. It might have been marginally more bearable without having to work with these people, but… The government didn’t say how they deal with issues like their chain gang bullying eachother or not getting on, or harm by/to third parties. People could attack you on the street if you were ‘litter picking’ for example, or follow you and attack you later when off duty. The things get conflated: the stigma is there as if the poor have committed a crime. When I was leaving I saw the next batch of us were now working alongside a gang of
    convicted criminals with Community Payback on orange jumpsuits. At our short ‘lunch’ break where I could not eat or drink even if I had food, I was expected to share a tiny dirty caravan with the others, while they smoked inside it. I soon refused to, and went first to the farmhouse and later to the polytunnel, to shelter. Because of the waste heaps and having nothing but a coldwater sink at home, I constantly stank. My cuts got infected, and I risked tetanus as the booster I was meant to have in 2000 got denied due to NHS funding cuts. None of the tools I was given were small enough to use properly/safely, and my hands got cut and bruised trying. This is even before I get onto the Digging. I was in trouble for refusing to discuss my disabilities with the co-workers at Group Therapy, they sat us round a table and asked us our medical information. (Once at A4E the nasty bitch grilling me was so smug about how she has a job and I don’t, making her a better person and me a failure, I just lost it. I said really quietly, that she assumes it’s not the other way around. She said what do you mean, and I said ‘well you work for A4E’. And of course for saying that, she stopped my benefit.)
    The Digging. [There is a book and film called Holes, I have not read or seen it. It may have been based on Tank Girl the graphic novel, which has a scene with the same thing. I think the work scheme had seen these sources and instead of thinking ‘how fascist’, thought ‘what a good idea’.] What we were spending most of our time doing. We got given a 6ft spade or shovel, and a patch of ground. And we spent days each week being forced to just DIG HOLES and fill them in again. In the last week or so we had to load barrows from a giant sack of earth. While I struggled on, the yobs did stuff like stealing my shovel and barrow.
    And I got reports on me saying I was not trying hard enough! Um any harder and I’ll die?! I hoped we didn’t see any animals on the way to work, if one turned up my co-workers invariably tried to kill it. I’m pacifist and vegetarian, and got a lot of stick for this from ‘the yobs’. Every night I got back late and knackered and aching all over, couldn’t get the energy to cook, so my one daily meal could be cancelled 3 or 4 days in a row and I’d go to work hungry. I dropped to about 30kg in a month. In
    the metalwork factory I was thinking of making a sign with old nails and stuff welded together, the sign was going to go above the work scheme,
    the sign was going to say ‘ARBEIT MACHT FREI’. Some nights I would step through the door and pass out in my work clothes and boots, and wake up at 5am to start the next day. People in most ‘proper’ jobs don’t work so hard but they are still wearing themselves out till they die, stuck in jobs with no interest, skill, advancement. Just for something called ‘Profit’, none of which ever goes to you. After a month I was in terrible physical shape on top of my existing disabilities. I’d seen all kinds of things when at A4E (one of the worst) – a man with one leg told to go up ladders and stairs; men with terminal cancer being sent to be bricklayers
    and hodcarriers. Working Links sent people with agoraphobia and anxiety disorder to work in callcentres and busy offices. Scout Enterprises stuck me in a Group Therapy with an enemy I used to live with, and asked personal questions during this. Working Links exempted
    me at first but made me sit in a kitchen for 2 hours doing nothing, then sent me home (though it was 1 hour on the bus). They wouldn’t let me read or write instead of just doing nothing. Jobcentre PUS (!), it’s actually called that – gold medal to whoever nicked the L!- tried so many stupid things over the years that if they hadn’t happened to me, I wouldn’t believe it. In 1998 they told me to do a job which was permanent, 7-day, fulltime, teaching English. I’m not a teacher. The job was in South Korea. I suppose this is what Tebbit/Cameron/Moseley
    (it’s so easy to confuse them) meant by ‘get on your bike’. 2 weeks ago they wanted me to be a lorry driver (never allowed to drive), or work at an abattoir. Also they did enough attempts at construction work, I don’t have a card and can’t lift stuff or do ladders/heights. Many were sent with no training or PPE in 2011 to demolish a building. Because they were never official employees the foreman decided they didn’t need PPE or training. It was full of asbestos, yum… In the last two years the
    Jobcentre forced me to apply for a job at a military academy, as a recruiter to get young people to enlist. I asked how this was appropriate and pointed out the young people of the city keep trying to attack me or put me in skips. Though I applied, Jobcentre called it a refusal and stopped my dole. They keep saying I did benefit fraud but each time are unable to explain what I’m meant to have done, or produce evidence. They stopped my dole for ‘refusing to apply’ at their own call centre a few miles away, though in fact I’d applied, done the exam, got to the interview, and had been told there somebody with no transport should not be interviewed. It was a job to be on the phone and kick people off benefits. Also I refused ONCE, it was ages ago and was to be in a meat packing plant. They said vegetarians can’t legally object to meat jobs. The other year A4E tried to send me to clear all the vegetation and scrub off a disused church. The local papers praised it and called A4E etc. heroes, and called the workers volunteers. I was so angry, the papers didn’t say it was a slave labour force. Many were old, many disabled, and several had cancer. And there were no toilets for miles. I did refuse to go, on health grounds. Scout Enterprises denied they were the Scouts, but online I saw they were. UK Scouts may have changed a bit, still demand oaths to the Queen and Country and God. I can come up with oaths ABOUT the Queen and country and God… In the USA the Scouts ban atheist kids, kids of atheist parents, pagans, people seen as unpatriotic. But mostly it bans gay people. I’d been refusing for years to go, but was then forced to go. When I first saw them there was no disabled access. When I officially started there was a ramp to get in, but
    there are stairs to all the toilets, no disabled toilet, no disabled access to the kitchen or sink. They never accepted that there’s a case to answer, where their parent organisation actively discriminates. All of the schemes ordered me not to talk to anyone about what goes on there .
    Once, at my 2nd or 3rd time at Working Links (my first was right after leaving hospital, and it badly messed up my recovery, I tore stitches walking there. I wasn’t meant to leave bed!), the woman there ordered me to lie that my blackouts had miraculously stopped and apply for a driving licence, and they would pay for the licence and lessons and tests. She couldn’t stretch to a car, fuel, road tax, insurance etc. In other words I was a forced participant in a government work scheme, and a member of staff in the subcontractors asked me openly to break the law.
    I said this was illegal. She said by telling the truth about my seizures, I was ‘making myself unemployable’. And guess what? She stopped my benefit! Though I was STILL recovering from hospital. And they were asking me to be a hodcarrier. The other month Jobcentre told me to carry frozen animal carcases and I said a) No b) They are bigger and heavier than me. c) When I worked in a cheese factory I was in a deepfreeze in PPE and nearly froze to death, I nearly lost fingers and toes. The closest Jobcentre come to specific charges, they have repeatedly accused me of having a paid job. But they refuse to tell me what they are alleging that job is. I got my dole stopped once when I went to a job interview and the people refused to hire me because I’m a dwarf. The dole people said I deliberately messed up the interview. Actually I was trying though the boss said some really homophobic things
    and was racist and ablist, but at the time I needed the money to pay my living costs. I didn’t get a job though. I got to a job interview for a department store and they said they won’t hire disabled people. I work now in 2 main places as a volunteer, but one is with a boss who is Christian and rants all day how much she hates ‘homosexuals’. The other year an employment agency got me a job. It was landscaping and gardening at a new shopping centre being built. I turned up for work and they said the agency didn’t say I was a dwarf. Before I signed in or touched a tool, I was sacked on the spot. At my first time with Working Links the man there told all the other staff and service users (many of them dangerous) stuff from my medical records I’d not even told him. Plus stuff about my health. Working Stinks, aka Wanking Links, told me in 2011 to do a forced labour job digging up the roads. With no PPE or training. I refused. Would I even be able to control/lift a pneumatic drill?
    I could have a tic or a fit and drill right through my foot. Or the circular saw they cut slabs with: I could have a seizure or blackout and fall on it and cut off my leg. Of course OUR bodies, the poor, aren’t worth anything except as fertiliser. People like ‘justice’ (????!!!!) secretary Ken Clarke should be forced to do these schemes for themselves and see how they like it. Kenneth Clarke looks like a pig. Oh I’m sorry that is so offensive….to pigs. I unreservedly apologise to every porcine mammalian quadruped. (A sentence which, according to the stereotypes about the poor, I could never produce) When it is thirdhand I actually read….the Guardian. Just thinking about that forest: you could get lost, or stuck and die. Branches can fall on you. And somebody could freak out in the dark. If a work party is mixed-sex, unsupervised: when will there be the first reported case of a male slave on Cameron’s chain gang raping a female slave? (This is also a risk in urban settings, people cleaning graffiti in a Community Payback group could use all the
    stairwells and other hiding places to rape or beat up somebody else.)
    Another ‘job’ they wanted me to do involved climbing into skips, I could
    not even get up there to get in it. What if somebody picking litter gets a hernia, needlestick injury etc? Or is it fine if poor people get HIV as they only sleep with other poor people?

    If anyone should get a proper job, it is the staff of the jobcentres and work programmes. The other week they never bothered checking the forms I’d spent days filling in. Because they were understaffed. Because they were on strike. How the hell could I support the strike? They get paid, a lot, to sit there and insult us and stop our benefits. They don’t even know us. They don’t even provide anything remotely resembling ‘service’ or ‘help’. Today they believed that just because I am poor, I am unable to fill in a form. I’m the one blamed for not getting a single one of the 7,000+ jobs I’ve applied for in the last 14 years. Many were the same job, most were McJobs, a few were decent jobs I could do in my sleep. People on the dole can’t go on strike. Years ago I tried to start a National Union of Unemployed, and got in big trouble. When you are forced to apply for unsuitable jobs the forms ask things like ‘Why do you want this job?’ The shortest answer would be to say ‘I don’t’, but now they check, you have to be more subtle than that. Ironically you then have to pretend you want the job, so the jobcentre make you lie, (they make you lie you’re fit and able to work, but only because most disabled people get shoved onto JSA not ESA/DLA., and there’s no other benefit).
    Often the best thing in your arsenal is the truth, you tell the employer in detail exactly how many adjustments they will need to cope with your disabilities, and how much time you need off work. Try doing all the above and being a student as well, funded only by your dole; and you start to crack. (In my case I had to combine major hospital stays and everyday disability, with the jobcentres and work programmes, and being a student.)

  30. During my encounters with Working Links all office staff at my local branch seem pre occupied with turning uplate clocking off early and ensuring that their end of year office xmas party arangements are in place. Futhermore and as a specific point of health and safety little regard is paid to who enteres the offices (Possible anti governmental terrorists) The daily fire/attendance log is not administered adequateley in any way shape or form. Were a potentiol terrorist to seek an opportunity to conduct his activities he/she could do so without challenge. IE He /She could remain within the building either uninvited or remain behind later within the WC to activate any potential threat of their choosing. I am sure that this scenario is not unique to the local Working Link Office I attend which is run by low calibre disenchanted lazy public servants. Frequently the office has been closed whithout notice which represents a lattitude that is not extended to people/clients who do not attend without immediate sanction. One law for one and another for another! Equaly so often Working Links employees alienate their clients by dressing as if they have dragged themselves to work after a night out and smell of overpowering expensive perfume which meerley seeks to highlight how out of touch and un empathetic they are regarding the plight of those seeking work. Futhermore recently when I was starving due to financial difficylties I arrived at my local office to find a birthday party in full swing with an abindance of buffet food paid fot by youir guess is as good as mine! Group 4 regularily attend to replenish petty cash but are nor recieved by any nominated person which may invite the interest of hard up and desperate third parties who are in attendance at the Offices. I believe that Working Links Employees treat thetir clients with contempt, take the money and run and are of a lower calibre of intelect than county borough employees which is saying something. if half of the money spent on this ineffective organisation was re directed in to supporting small buisnesses there would be no need for the same.

    Kind regards

    • something survived...

      Ours is the same. You might not have eaten anything for 3 or 4 days then at Work Programme they are partying. The food is only for staff, not the ‘Dole Scum’ and others sent there. In fact they (though being paid for you being there) resent your presence and want you gone as quickly as possible. So how are you to do the 40 hours jobsearch on bust computers at an often shut WPP, with about 20 minutes given to use the computers WHEN they can be bothered to be open/turn up, WHEN there is a free computer that works? Got told quite often to leave as soon as I arrived. Once the other week I went there (1 hour walk in cold and rain each way), made it up the fire escape to where the ‘classroom’ is. Nobody there. Deserted and dark.

      BUT. This is where it gets interesting.

      Fortunately for them I’m an ethical nondriver and disabled. BUT: If I had been a driving car/van owner (with phone and accomplices), the word ‘windfall’ springs to mind.
      The WPP staff had gone home and forgot to lock the ‘classroom’.
      An office with 20+ computers, several printers, photocopier, fax, chairs, tables, other office equipment and furniture. If one were so minded and suitably assisted and equipped, it would not be hard to strip the entire wing of that building of everything worth anything. With gloves etc. the identification of the criminals would be problematic, and every user’s fingerprints are already there from their sessions at jobsearch. So the suspect pool would be ‘all users’.
      I later told WPP.,they were shocked the place was left unlocked for that long. Nobody had found out, as nothing was taken. It was left at least one night or up to 4 nights.

      Incidentally: Bank that refused me a job, in part due to dyscalculia (number dyslexia), and memory problems from head injury (assaulted for being disabled), gave a job to somebody who cannot add up £17.00 and £2.75 (= £19.75),
      and who cannot work out how to find what is 2% of something. Was there yesterday and noticed the irony… She was also not sure how many days are in November (31st November!!! -LOL). She also did not know the basic terms of the bank’s accounts. And could not say when things clear by (important to know in order to avoid bank charges!).

  31. the ironic thing was a probation officer commenting in The Daily Heil Hitler re workfare ….for Community Punishment …he had to do risk assessments , provide PPE , reasonable expenses had to be reimbursed , as well as intervening in arguments and stopping fights amongst the miscreants that had been up in front of the beak …………….and believe or not he got plenty of green arrows in The Daily Mail ….there is some ! morality …play ball with us and we’ll play ball with you …rehabilitation …but there’s absolutely nothing of the sort with the shysters and cowboys …IDS and the Grayling have hired

    The Tory Lord was very shaky and stumbled her way through her TV interview re Jubilee Stewards and Molly Prince’s glorified back street bouncer agency CPUK ….she eventually hired Max Clifford after coming under criticism for those sham faux ” apprenticeships ” …people can draw their own conclusions ! …I do wonder who paid for all this ….for some reason

  32. Do voluntteer work once a week, they cannot send you on to MWA if you do it.

    • something survived...

      I’ve been kicked out of voluntary work (and out of college) several times by the jobcentre and sent on MWA/MWRA.

  33. I know of people who work for a Recruitment Agency (read Slave Trader) who had a lot of workers ‘leased’ out as cleaners. They had an overtime scheme that many took advantage of, proabably because they were skint.

    The agency then signed an agreement with a goverment company to ship out unemployed JSA claimants to do the cleaning (as though they were agency workers) and then the agency cancelled all overtime for their regular workers. The DWP and Avanta or Working Links or whatever now pay the agency to take people on the scheme replacing paid workers overtime hours with forced labour.

    It is truely a disgusting situation.

  34. Actual text of a compliant letter sent to Beverley Mitchell at Hendon Jobcentre Plus in London. This is what it has come to.

    “You and your staff are slowly killing me, literally, and no matter how much I beg and plead of you to stop bullying and harassing me, I am constantly harassed to the point of taking my own life because I cannot cope with this constant bullying any more.
    This morning, after weeks of bullying, Sherri stuck the knife in by referring me to a MWA, for the sole purpose of punishing me, which she is not allowed to do. She refuses to speak with me, engage in any dialogue, or have any regard for my situation or personal circumstances. When I ask her a question, she does not respond. I’m sorry if she’s miserable doing this job, but don’t take it out on me. Do you think I enjoy living on £72 a week? Do you think this is my life’s ambition? I spend day after day, week after week, applying for jobs, paid and otherwise. I attend networking groups and seminars and anything else I can to meet people so I can develop my interviewing skills and get into contact with people who are actually in a position to offer me work. But this is not good enough for you and your incompetent staff. You won’t be happy until I’m dead, well, I can make that happen. One less person “scrounging” off the state . . . people claiming benefits going down, pat yourself on the back, you murderess.
    All of this stems from my accidentally, a few weeks ago, being forced to see a completely hostile person called Tahera, who claimed that I had not given JCP staff permission to view my jobsearch. It turns out that this was completely untrue and I was sent to Tahera for the sole purpose of being sanctioned. When she realised that she was unable to sanction me, she was visibly upset because she couldn’t “get me.” The following week, I once again was referred to Tahera and she accused me of the same thing. And once again, when she was proved to be wrong, she said that she was going to put me on MWA. Clearly this was designed as a punishment as she was not able to sanction me in any other way. Her supposed rationale was that I had a “gap” on my resume and I was “long term unemployed” both of which are untrue. As it happens, no referral was made at that time, but the only reason she was unable to make the referral at this stage was that I was already on another program (a 6 week job search session at A4e) and the rules prohibit being on two at the same time. This supports the spiteful and vindictive nature of Tahera, because if she was actually doing her job properly, she would have seen that I was ineligible for the MWA. Therefore, Tahera is to have no access to my job search or any future contact with my file.
    This morning was my first day back at JCP since completing my 6 week job search session at A4e. Sherri immediately y stated she had made the referral for MWA. There was no discussion as to how or why I was selected for this, or whether I am even eligible. Like Tahera, she stated that I was “long term unemployed”, had a “gap” on my resume, because of “lack of recent employment.” When I pointed out that this was not true and that the rules do not permit an Advisor to make a referral in situations like mine, she refused to listen. In fact, she printed out the letter, ignored me, and just went about typing for the rest of the appointment. I do not wish to see her again. She is unhelpful and vindictive and you will remove her immediately from my case. I have made this request in the past but you have ignored it. It is now damaging to my physical and mental health, and if you knowingly persist in this cause of conduct, it is I who shall call the police.
    Now, in case you’re interested, might I take this opportunity to inform you—because you clearly are unaware— on the DWP ‘s position of MWA, stated thusly:
    “Jobcentre Plus advisers have the flexibility to use mandatory work activity, where they feel it is appropriate, as part of a wider range of support options. The decision to refer a claimant to mandatory work activity is taken on a case-by-case basis and claimants are only referred to the scheme where it is appropriate in their individual circumstances.”
    How is this relevant to me? It’s not, so it’s purely punishment as it will in no way offer any meaningful experience to me or assist me in finding work. Yet, nobody seems to want to acknowledge this. Oh that’s right, I have a “gap” on my resume and have no “recent work experience.”
    However, paragraph 20 of the MWA guidelines states that:
    “20. If a lack of recent work experience is proving to be a barrier to finding work for an otherwise well-focused claimant, Advisory Teams must seek to address this through appropriate measures e.g. Work Together; MWA is not an appropriate measure in such cases.”
    So the reason given to me is that I have “no recent work experience” but that is specifically excluded as a reason to refer somebody to MWA. But if your staff actually read the guidelines, instead of just persecuting people, they would know this.
    The only thing I’ve heard from both Tahera and Sherri is that I’m “long term unemployed” which is absolutely not true. Furthermore, I do not have a gap on my resume, and therefore this cannot be a “barrier to work.” Moreover, even if it was, that is specifically not a reason to make a MWA under your own guidelines. Again, nobody seems interested in following the rules. Perhaps you can you identify what reason Sherri is using to make the referral, because she refuses to tell me, because she doesn’t have one.
    So this morning when I stated to you that some of the advisors are incompetent, that’s absolutely true and I stand by it. In response you mentioned that some of the advisors were unemployed themselves, to which I say, they’re obviously not very bright if they couldn’t find a proper job and are having to work at JCP. This would explain why they resent having to do this job and they punish people like me, the most vulnerable and destitute people in the country. And you allow it. You make me sick. You are a truly despicable person and should be subjected to the hostile treatment you sanction for use on vulnerable people like me, on daily basis for the rest of your life.
    But until then, you’re supposedly still in charge (though from the way things are going, not for long), so can you answer the following questions:
    1) How is “working” (for free) in a charity shop or stacking shelves in a supermarket actually going to get me a job?
    2) This “experience” is not going on my resume because it will highlight the fact that I am unemployed and unemployed people do not get jobs. You of course live in a fantasy world and are so detached from reality, that there’s no point explaining this concept to you, because you don’t have the capacity to understand it, deluded as you are.
    3) I am destitute and completely broke. I do not have ANY money, none, not a penny to my name. So even if MWA was appropriate (which it is not), I cannot afford it. I have BEGGED for a discount Travelcard, but you have ignored my requests. JCP does not even pay for interviews so finding paid work is almost impossible and travelling to some undetermined place in the country is just not going to happen. I cannot afford it. End of story. If you want to buy me a month Travelcard, in advance, covering all the zones I need to travel to this MWA, then you can defeat this point, but until then, it’s not possible to do. And please do not say something stupid like “they will reimburse you” as I do not have ANY money to pay for travel, so that will not work. Is this clear enough for you, or are you going to ignore this as well?
    4) It’s not just travel costs, but the hidden cost of this MWA. For example, I’ll need to eat, and I can’t afford to buy food. And then there are the costs clothes and toiletries and usage of items I cannot afford to clean or replace.
    5) This is extremely damaging to my physical and mental health. The police have already been here and are in the process of arranging a psychiatric evaluation. What does that tell you about the treatment I’ve suffered at the hands of your staff? It tells me I’m certainly in no fit state to do this and you cannot make me. If this is not rescinded immediately, will come to your office, slit my wrists and bleed to death on your floor. And there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.
    So, before you act like you actually give a shit (by calling the police to cover your lazy, incompetent ass), think about the harm you are doing and the pain your staff are causing. You want to save my life, back the fuck off. I’ve had enough of this persecution from you and your staff. If you don’t end it, I will.
    In closing, I demand the following:
    1) Immediate rescinding of the MWA referral;
    2) Reassignment to another Advisor (not Sherri or Tahera);
    3) Only to be called in to the JCP on sign on days ONLY. There is no need for weekly meetings as they cost me too much money and prevent me from seeking employment. This is even more so as Sherri doesn’t speak to me at all and sits there. She can sit there on her own. There’s no need for me to be there.
    You have 24 hours to confirm points one to three of the above. If I do not hear from you, I shall take that as meaning you’ve seen sense, agree with me, and shall consider the matter settled. For the record, I will NOT attend a meeting with Sherri on October 1, I shall not attend a meeting with Sherri EVER again. And I will NOT attend a MWA. And you will NOT dare to sanction me.”

  35. This is absolutely shocking. Every day something else comes out regarding these shocking programmes of which the DWP and IDS are at the helm. I have been contacted by a young woman who was referred for mandatory work and who despite collapsing on the job on day two was sanctioned for failing to turn up on day three.

  36. I was put on a Work placement by working links in a factory, I had no protective clothing and out of a nine hour shift only thirty minute break a day, for two weeks and a deal had been done with the employer that I would work for thirteen weeks and then go back unemployed. And I only found this out the last day of my placement.

  37. I myself have been bulled by my JCP. In response to yesterday’s missive from the JCP, I wrote the following response. Let’s see what these worthless scabs have to say about that. (N.B., I record all my conversations so this should be fun to play in court!)

    I acknowledge receipt of an unsigned letter dated 13/12/2013, purporting to be from your office at _______ JCP which was received today.

    To be clear, the contents of the letter are disputed in their entirety.

    I must say that I am shocked, but not surprised at the levels to which _________ JCP will sink to prevent disclosure of staff wrongdoing and this latest attempt to threaten and cause injury to me is another example of the treatment I have received from many members of your staff. This has been well documented and yet no reply has ever actually addressed this, nor have any corrective measures been taken.

    In light of this persistent course of conduct, I have had to spend a good deal of last week (which could have been better spent searching for work) drafting Particulars for my action against DWP. No doubt you will be receiving this in due course.

    I will endeavour to attend __________ JCP tomorrow at _____ but I do not wish to be bullied, shouted at, harassed, touched, or intimated by any of your staff. If any such action occurs, I will immediately walk out and file a report with the police. I will not stand for being bullied by your staff any longer.

    _________ knows it is virtually impossible for me to make this journey to the JCP at this time, and this deliberate exploitation and oppression must cease. I’m not sure whether you job extends to actually haranguing someone until they take their life, because that’s seemingly the only way this situation will end. It is deplorable that after repeated requests for help, you have allowed your staff to continue to bully and illegally use the threat of sanctions to coerce and intimidate me. Perhaps another attempt on my life might be successful. I hope you are proud of your achievement.

    If, prior to taking this to court, you would like to know what is actually happening at __________ JCP, you may speak with me, but please do not send me harassing and threatening letters as this will not be tolerated and will immediately be reported to the police.

    Finally, if we’ve learned anything from the recent events surrounding the Andrew Mitchell affair, it is that whilst those in a position of power may frequently lie with impunity; the facts reveal a different story and the truth will always come out in the end, no matter how much people try to distort it. I would urge your staff to be mindful of this when conducting business in the future.

  38. Wish I thought of recording my MWA experience. I had been signing on for four months when i was told to sign a bit of paper that meant i would be forced to work for no pay. I was dismissed from my work placement for losing 3 donkeys near a main road. I can confirm that I was given no health and safety instructions (despite working for a charity that looks after animals with behavior issues, including large horses), i was not given any safety clothing or training whilst at the job, they told me i was not allowed to bring in a lunch of my choice and any lunch that i do bring in would have to be strictly vegan (despite myself holding contrary views), my average commute time was just over 2 hours including a dangerous walk along a main road and now I am facing the possibility of homelessness and extreme poverty and i can’t even afford to phone the 0845 numbers that I have to phone to find out. But hey ho, at least if i get sanctioned I will be counted as ’employed’ in the next government statistics.

  39. on the 24 of august i was sent to do Mandatory Work Activity by the Jobcentre
    set up by Interserve Learning & Employment
    the same folks that ran the work programme that I was on and spent most of the time trying to sanction me (3 times)

    they sent me to the salvation army in Outwood Wakefield (2 busses @ £8.10)

    I was happy to do the activity but I was not going to sign up as a volunteer
    (Mandatory Work Activity, it’s in the name)
    The manager, (Sam ex English teacher) invented a story claiming that I refused to do the activity and I gave up my place = one new sanction

    I recorded and transcribed the 10 minute conversation and now were waiting for a tribunal date

    If your sent on Mandatory Work Activity never sign anything to say that you are volunteering


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