Flagship Youth Contract Scheme To Cut Unemployment Might Be Illegal Admit DWP

youth-contract-illegalA document buried on the DWP’s website suggests that the flagship Wage Incentive scheme used to bribe employer’s into taking on younger staff, may be illegal.

The Wage Incentive is part of the Youth Contract and pays out a tidy £2,275 to employers for every full time staff member they recruit aged between 18 and 24.  Unlike most welfare-to-work schemes, employees recruited under the Wage Incentive must be paid at least minimum wage.  The document addressing the legality of the programme reveals however that employers who who take up the offer of free money from the DWP may find themselves in the courts.

Concerns are raised about whether this scheme breaches age discrimination laws.  The DWP’s answers seems to be little more than “we hope not”.

It would usually be illegal to only make a position available to a younger person unless it is: “a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”.  This is similar to other anti-discrimination laws relating to employment which are usually used in social care or the entertainment industry.  This means for example that a white actor can’t sue a company for not letting him play Martin Luther King, or that a women’s refuge can legally only recruit female staff.

The DWP are crossing their fingers and claiming that bringing down youth unemployment is a legitimate aim.  But they don’t seem that confident as the document reveals:

“It is possible that a legal challenge could be brought against DWP. If this happened, we would strongly argue that the Youth Contract, including the wage incentive scheme, was justified”

They recently strongly argued in court that their workfare schemes were legal.  They lost.

But it is employers themselves who might find themselves in the dock.  The DWP warn:

“It is also possible that employers could face a legal challenge. If this happened, an employment tribunal would wish to consider the employer’s reasons for participating in the scheme. Each case will turn on its merits.”

It seems that Iain Duncan Smith is only to happy to risk other people’s money by tricking them into schemes of dubious legality.  The latest research reveals that the larger companies, who have legal departments, have by and large shunned the scheme.  This document, hidden away on the DWP’s website, may be one of the reasons why.

The document is available at: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wi-more-info.pdf

There’s more to come on this shabby scheme after the weekend tomorrow, I couldn’t wait.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

60 responses to “Flagship Youth Contract Scheme To Cut Unemployment Might Be Illegal Admit DWP

  1. I have noticed there has been a big increase in youth opportunities since this scheme but at a cost of dwindling “adult” opportunities. Employers should pay the correct wage and not sponge on the state.

  2. Insane Duncan Smith.
    What was wrong with the 2 week Work Trials?
    They just want free labour and their pay off.

    Everything is corrupt, and rotten.

  3. I do hope that document is in a cache somewhere before it inevitably gets ‘disappeared’.

    • Hi Luco – good to see that you haven’t been “disappeared” from here, unlike the UM site!

      • Hi gissajob. Old TT and his abortive attempts at stirring up popular rebellion were wearing me down anyway. I’m better off out of it. Are you banned too?

        • Old TT's Little Helper

          “Old TT” reads the Void too, so be careful what you are saying or you just might find yourself on the end of another banning order 🙂 PS Anyone know how “old” “Old TT” is?

          • How’s he going to ban me when I’m not there any more? Or do you mean I’ll get banned from this place too?

            Either way, don’t really give a crap.

      • Hey, good to see both you and Luco on here. How have you been!!

  4. I understand the point made and I think it’s valid, but sadly in reality how likely is it going to be that an applicatn is going to launch a claim against an agist prospective employer?

  5. Maybe when civil servants give advice based on law which the ideologue minister ignores, and they fear they will be scapegoated, they cover their backs by some kind of evidence buried in the public record. I don’t know if this is an example.

  6. “It is also possible that employers could face a legal challenge. If this happened, an employment tribunal would wish to consider the employer’s reasons for participating in the scheme.”

    I don’t think that jumping on the gravy train to get their filthy hands on tax payers money courtesy of their corrupt mates in government would count as a legitimate reason.

    • Although on second thoughts who’s to say the Employment Tribunal will be any less corrupt than the rest of this nest of vipers?

    • Legal Aid is being pared to the bone as well so the cost of any legal action is going to be prohibitive

  7. Obi Wan Kenobi

    Hopefully all of the DWP’s other back to work schemes will be found illegal and challenged in court.

  8. this government will do anything to fiddle employment figures whilst giving backhanders to their voting paymasters.

  9. yeah, me mate was given a 3-month contract doing sort of support work, supposed to be extended lol , worked her socks off for 3 months, but now has been told she is leaving, anyway she is 25 at the end of next month so me thinks she is going to find it a lot harder to get another job now an employer won’t be able to claim this “subsidy”.

  10. Would not the challenge to an employer come from a rejected applicant who considered him more suited to the job that the young (heavily subsidised) person who got it?

    • something survived...

      they just sack older workers so they can hire younger people because the hourly rate of pay is lowest.

  11. So is the DWP refunding the unlawfully sanctioned money? It would appear that some of the more vociferous and persistent people who have been wrongly (unlawfully) sanctioned are being refunded without explanation.
    See this thread:
    Little or no explanation is provided by the DWP but it may be that they are hoping that they will only have to refund those who have complained/appealed. I think we need to know what’s happening.

  12. It seems that this government is very concerned about the numbers of unemployed – and is even desperate enough to try to use schemes that are possibly even illegal/unlawful. It also seems that they are prepared to consider both the sublime and the ridiculous. I went to sign on earlier today, usually pretty much a non-event. In July last year I was supposed to be fodder for the Work Programme, but a letter in Welsh based on information from consent.me saw that put on hold, and my case passed up the line…

    I was informed that they’d get back to me within 28 days. Eight months later I’m still waiting, though they did take some notice, and I do get to see a Welsh-speaking advisor nowadays. He is very professional, but isn’t the type who seems overly eager to sanction, and hasn’t even stressed UJM very much though he does ‘promote’ it (but seemingly in terms of ‘faint praise’, even suggesting at one point that I set up a fake account) but has suggested a few bizarre things to me.. a few weeks ago it was taking up voluntary work, (not sure if that would get me off the unemployment register).

    So, I goes in to sign-on this morning, usual rigmarole, ‘Any changes?’
    I answer, ‘Nope’, present my job search, he asks a few questions about my applications, and then makes a seemingly crazy suggestion: had I considered early retirement? Sharp intake of breath from me, and I reply that I hadn’t… I’m not yet quite 56 years old. But it seems that if you have 30+ years of NI contributions then it’s a possibility. I’m sure there is a catch, even if it means a reduced amount of money to live on, but he did say that if I was eligible, then I wouldn’t have to sign on… and thus I would no longer be counted as unemployed. Evidently you can even check on the GOV.UK site, as there is a pension forecast gizmo there. I may well look into it, once I’ve recovered from the fits of giggling I’m getting from thinking about how desperate the DWP must be about the whole issue of unemployment to even have their advisors suggest such a scheme.

  13. This incentive is so obviously flawed that only political eyes couldn’t see it.
    Is it mandatory to abandon common sense when you take up parliamentary membership?

    No employer should ever need to be incentivised to hire a particular demographic. You can claim equality exceptions where appropriate, so this is purely a coercive measure, and pointlessly so when you have equal responsibility to support ALL unemployed people.

  14. Pingback: Flagship Youth Contract Scheme To Cut Unemployment Might Be Illegal Admit DWP | Welfare, Disability, Politics and People's Right's | Scoop.it

  15. Obi Wan Kenobi

    Frank Zola FOI:

    Universal Jobmatch Toolkit Chapters 1, 2, 3 and all others.

    Update 8th March 2013:

    Actively Seeking Employment – in Chapter 3.

    82. We cannot specify to a JSA claimant how they provide us with records of
    their jobsearch activity and Universal Jobmatch will not change this.



    Does point 82 negate any Jobseekers Direction to use Universal Jobmatch?

    • From the above document:

      “If the claimant attends on their allocated day and time to carry out the
      Direction but subsequently cannot complete their profile and public CV
      within the time allowed on the IAD, then you must tell them to save their
      public CV in UJ by clicking on the ‘Save for later’ link at the bottom of the
      web page they have completed.”

      PUBLIC CV WFT, the JC must be seriously fucking joking!! Surely a jobseeker can’t be directed to make their private information and personal data PUBLIC What the fuck is going on here??

    • Universal Jobmatch and benefit conditionality
      81. Universal Jobmatch will be a key performance enabler in terms of making
      sure benefit is only paid to claimants who are entitled to receive it.

    • 10. They must also agree to complete the mandatory EIQ (Equality Impact
      although if they do not wish to disclose any information
      they can select the ‘Prefer not to say’ option throughout the questionnaire.

      So if you tick prefer not say to the “sexual preference” question the fucking jc will assume you are gay. How the fuck can this be allowed. I am sooo fucking ANGRY!!!!

      • “Equality Impact Questionnaire” = a cover for probing into and asking jobseekers questions about their personal and private lives which are NONE OF THE JOBCENTRE’S FUCKING BUSINESS!! And no doubt this information will be shared with the private provider cunts!! Wake up folks – this is BAD!!

        • Will Smith (Enemy of the State)

          Try asking your JC advisor if they ever have homosexual/lesbian thoughts or jerk off in the shower… they will be quick to tell you it is NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS!!

    • something survived...

      Point 82. So it is okay to write your job diary on their face with your arse using your shit? (Helps to prove whan they claim you have no continence issues)

  16. Pingback: The Mass Corporate Benefit Fraud Being Shrugged Off By The DWP | the void

  17. I think there is a good case for helping young people into employment. It’s grounded, so I believe, in reality. It’s not the government way but it would have a significant impact on youth unemployment in the absence of a coherent regeneration policy.

  18. something survived...

    I was 3. My reasoning for joining in the chanting:
    Mrs Thatcher likes nukes, nukes kill people, so I hate Thatcher. It was my FIRST demo.

  19. Pingback: Fuck the Courts, Fuck the Law, We’re Stealing Your Money Say DWP | the void

  20. Pingback: How The DWP Bribed Employers To Break Age Discrimination Laws With A ‘Golden Ticket’ Worth £2,275 | the void

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