Victory For Cait Reilly – Workfare Was Illegal Says Supreme Court

poundland-workfareA unanimous verdict at the Supreme Court has judged that the workfare schemes in the Cait Reilly case were illegal.

This follows the DWP’s appeal after a lower court had found that the almost all the  Government’s workfare schemes were illegal.  Iain Duncan Smith was forced to rewrite the law after this judgement retrospectively making these schemes legal.

That will not be overturned by today’s judgement, although a Judicial Review has been launched by lawyers questioning the legality of this decision.

The judgement can be read at:

When Iain Duncan Smith rewrote the law on workfare he did not include the Community Action Programme.  This was the six month period of workfare on which George Osborne’s mass workfare scheme announced at the Tory Party conference is based.  It is hard to see how this scheme, which is due to begin in April next year, is now legal unless it is placed before Parliament.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

111 responses to “Victory For Cait Reilly – Workfare Was Illegal Says Supreme Court

  1. funny none of msm seem to be covering this.

  2. Pingback: Victory For Cait Reilly - Workfare Was Illegal ...

  3. only happened about ten minutes ago

  4. IDS is like the EU referendum in Ireland,we will keep going until I get the “Right” answer regardless of cost,Human or Monetary!

    • That is a symptom of psychosis. just saying…

      • Look at the definition of sociopath… one of which is “They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims. “

  5. Great stuff. I have started reading through the judgement now.

    In the run up to this I got quite hopeful what this meant with regard to my own 6 month sanction under the old regulations.
    There was talk of all people who got sanctioned on these schemes – including the work programme – would get there sanctioned benefit back.

    But I’m not so sure. For me at least
    What does it mean for an individual who was not forced into workfare? But got sanctioned incorrectly whilst on the work programme?
    The Court of Appeal judges ruled sanctions illegal. Just for workfare? Or all ESE schemes?
    In my stressed out state I am not thinking too clearly.

    I guess there will be many people like me out there who got heavily sanctioned under the old regs who weren’t involved in workfare activity
    And perhaps some like me are hoping for backdated benefits now that IDS has had his appeal dismissed.

    Even though the work programme qualifies for an ESE scheme will all who got sanctioned get paid back even if it’s not specifically workfare related? I don’t suppose there are any quick and definitive answers though at the moment.

    I am not building my hopes up, but 130 million is a lot of money to be paid back. For about a minute I got rather excited, but then thought that it will only be those on workfare related sanctions.

    Though i am so very pleased for all those who hopefully will be getting their sanctioned benefit backdated and paid out.

    Sorry if that is not too clear. Just trying to work out the implications now that the verdict is in. All sanctions under the old regs, or just some?

    Actually, will anyone be getting reimbursed anytime soon?

    At the very least, even if there’s no backdated money heading my way, due to not being on workfare, it means that my tribunal can now proceed. And I have a fair chance at success.
    Just typing thoughts, maybe others have thought similarly?

    Great verdict though.

    Stay strong people.

    • Sorry for the long post, After a cuppa I have decided that this will not apply to me. It will only be workfare related sanctions I guess.

      But at least my tribunal will no longer be stayed and I can continue my appeal.

      • Mr No.

        This does apply to you.

        The old regs are unlawful!

        “After the ruling, which also found that the government had a duty of fairness to provide “sufficient information”, PIL said it would seek further legal action, and called on jobseekers to make claims against previous sanctions.

        “We know that, like Jamie and Cait, hundreds of thousands of other jobseekers have not been, and continue not to be, provided with adequate information about the dizzying array of schemes,” the lawyers said.

        “Following today’s judgment, any such jobseekers can object to sanctions that have been imposed and seek the repayment of their benefits.

        “It is truly staggering that Duncan Smith has found himself in this position even after fast-tracking emergency retrospective legislation through parliament.

        “We intend to work with advice organisations to ensure that, following this ruling, affected individuals have the right information and assistance.”

  6. Squawker McVey is strangely hailing this as a ‘victory'(!)
    Hate that bitch.

    • McVey has form for lying,as does IDS,and they could never admit the truth about what they are doing,the scumbags.

    • Arrr good old Fester McVile… a voice like broken glass and a face that wouldnt go amiss being slammed into aforementioned glass.

      • Actually I think we should start a grass roots movement… when ever McVile is questioned in a public place everyone should start humming and clicking their fingers to the munsters theme tune while the cameras and mic’s are recording, heck you could also do this at home… kind of a variation on the drinking game.

        Doodly do.. click click, doodly do.. click click.


        Yes, she is an ugly bitch both on the outside and especially on the inside. Personally, I hope she dies a painful death along with all the other evil cunts that comprise this unelected shower of shit.

        • McVey is a crawl arse,giving spin on an interview earlier. nothing was mentioned about ian duncan smith’s conduct or why the decision was made to counter claim or the costs.only to catch on to the supermarket and try and spin that too.

          that proves she wasnt the job snob labeled by ian duncan smith.

  7. Retrospective law change by IDS regarding Workfare now to be challenged in court.

    • Landless Peasant

      I should bloody well think so too. About time. They can’t be allowed to get away with it.

    • Don’t worry, I’m implementing a Retrospective law change to prevent the challenge of my Retrospective law change. Fuck the law.

      • Groovy.

      • Iain Duncan Smith

        The law is not for you but for us, to keep us in our place? Is that what you are saying?

        Seems that you ignore/class as invalid judgments you don’t agree with but accept as correct, final and justification of your righteous policies that which you do.

        You are a disgrace, a fool and, you are, thankfully, securing the demise of the Tory party. I would like therefore to thank you and ask you to carry on with the good work!


  8. “In the judgment, Burnton said parliament was “entitled to encourage participation in such schemes by imposing sanctions”

    Great, and these judges are supposed to be our heroes?

  9. Will Osborne’s mass workfare programme still go ahead as planned?

  10. This government loses and still claim victory..the public are laughing at them now. Incompetent, dangerous and 2015 cannot come fast enough.

    Workfare is not slave labour in that the option for non participation is death by starvation if you have no other help/means. That seems to be the logic of this government or not as the case may be.

  11. Really, IDS ought to be slinking away with his tail between his legs about now … even he must have noticed that not everything is going exactly according to plan (whatever his cronies say to support him). They’ll have their contingency plans in place already i suppose, but really hope it sets them back to whatever extent – & at least a judicial review (for what it’s worth?) looking into whether the rewriting of the law retroactively was/is lawful is set to happen.

  12. I feel so sorry for Cait Reilly, who bravely offered herself to the public interest lawyers to mount a test case against workfare. She suffered so much personal abuse and vilification from the government – particularly wretched Iain Duncan Smith – and in the media when she made a stand against forced unpaid labour.

    What a shame that the Labour Party, shit scared of appearing to be too much on the side of benefit claimants, sat on their hands while IDS rewrote history to spare his blushes. It will be interesting to see what Labour does if Osborne tries to drive the long-term unemployed onto workfare as a part of his risibly named Help-to-Work scheme. Obviously the Lib Dems will support Osborne in the future as they have in the past but will Labour finally have the courage to stand up and make at least a token protest? Or just sit on its hands again like last time and let ill nature take its course?

    Brave Cait should be remembered though.

    What a pity more of us are not so courageous.

  13. Meanwhile at the DWP IDS & his acolytes are busily re-writing the rules yet again…

  14. Iain Duncan Smith

    Well fuck the supreme court and fuck that little shit cait reilly. Cait, if you ever even so much as even think about setting foot inside one of my jobcentres in your wretched life I will personally see to it that your life is made a fucking misery. I will have you on on Mandatory Workfare before you can squeal: “Poundland” you fucking little cunt. So for the avoidance of doubt let me make myself perfectly clear, I couldn’t give a flying fuck what the supreme court thinks. I will continue to ignore their rulings if expedient and re-write the law if necessary and indeed retrospectively if it needs be to suit my agenda.

    We are working for you

    Iain Duncan Smith MP

    • Is this what they call the ‘Something for Nothing’ culture, yer honour? Government supplies a steady stream of free labour to private, profit-making companies?

    • Sod you, you fat, baldy twat, you go stack shelves at poundland then for nothing if it’s so fucking wonderful. The exercise would shift some of your flab.

    • I’ll pretend you are I.D.S.’is it necessary to use the language you used “I.D.S.”,could you have not got your message through by the normal means of communication,it would carry more weight.
      If you reply to this,lets see if you can string a sentence together with out using foul language. Try it,and surprise yourself.

      • George, it’s called humour. It wouldn’t be funny if it was put in words or phraseology that we might expect him to use. It IS funny cos, contrary to what we’re used to, it says pretty much what he’s thinking inside. If you’re offended by the language, you can’t be too used to Void threads. You should read what some people put on here. In deadly earnest, not in jest. Makes “IDS” read like Shakespeare!

    • I’m going to fucking have you up in the dock for Defamation of character, cunt.

      • go die a slow,painful death you fat bald cunt! and please do put us in the dock! show the country how petty and pathetic you are.

        • something survived...

          Dock: A plant (Rumex crispus) suggested as a diet for workfare slaves.
          Petty: Small or lesser, as in petty larceny (as in Esther McVey). Not to be confused with ‘pretty’.
          Slow: Old word for a slowworm, a cute legless lizard still found in parts of the British Isles. A worthwhile creature, with every right to live. Not to be confused with with Grant Shapps, an entity which is precisely the opposite.
          Bald: The Anglo-Saxon writer of one of the first surviving herbal medicine textbooks in Britain. Possibly named after Baldur, the Norse/Teutonic god of beauty, light and youth.
          Fucking: A worthwhile and hopefully consensual and pleasurable activity, performed by one, two, three or more adult persons of any combination of sexes, colours, religions, sizes, ages, classes, nationalities, and football teams. A more useful and productive means of spending your time, than the so-called ‘jobseeking activity’. Can be done in a range of positions, locations, contexts, and for free or for love or for money, or for no particular reason at all other than the two or three of you were bored and decided to fuck.
          Die: An object made of plastic, wood or bone, with a cubed shape and 6 sides. Bears one to six dots on each face. Thrown in games. When a die meets another die they can breed and have lots of baby dice, which turn up randomly all over the house forever.
          Go: A game popular in Japan and around Asia.
          IDS: Nobody has been able to satisfactorily explain this one, however, a working definition of this sinister patch of antimatter, could be: A senseless waste of carbon.

  15. Reblogged this on Benefit tales and commented:
    This contains a link to the actual judgement

  16. So from now on, if a JCP adviser refers you to an MWA or any Workfare Scheme, they have to give you a detailed letter explaining exactly what will be required of you whist on the Scheme, if they don’t give you such a letter it will be illegal and you MUST call the floor manager over at once.

  17. By the way PMQ’s has just started.

  18. The court never ruled these schemes illegal, only the way they were handled – ie telling people they were not voluntary when they were.

    It’s not over yet.

  19. Slightly off topic…

    Regarding wordings on letters. My first ever WP provider letter (mandatory activity notice) told me in bold red type that my housing benefit may be stopped if I didn’t comply.

    Not telling me that if i went to the council I could prevent that.
    That must be wrong to state that in a letter. That’s coercive. Nasty.
    It’s all corrupt and draconian, All of it!
    Good thing I wasn’t in receipt of housing benefit. Hence i eventually told them to stick it.

    • It’s not what they tell you, luv… it’s what they DON’T tell you that’s important!!

      • Betty: you know it! I sppend a lot of time looking at FOI requests to the DWP because those buggers at the Jobcentre won’t tell me a damn thing. All they do is remind me of my responsibilties while I’m on JSA, and that’s it.

        • something survived...

          I didn’t think the knobcentre’s budget stretched to red ink. After all they can’t afford chairs, tables, a working disability lift, proper phones, enough staff, a water-cooler/fountain, toilets, functioning Jobpoints and computers…. paper bags to put over the securithugs’ faces so we don’t have to look at them…

  20. Pingback: Victory For Cait Reilly – Workfare Was Il...

  21. bedroom tax next to be abolished!

  22. Miliband should not fucking well have demoted me! I made the right call about the Jobseeker’s Bill!


    Once upon a time there were three little pigs, who became unemployed.
    Soon they had no food in the house, and being pigs, they didn’t like it.
    They decided that one of them would have to go and sign-on at the Jobcentre.
    None of them was very keen on this idea, for the Jobcentre had a bad reputation. It was known as a place where unpleasant things happened to people known as ‘the unemployed’.

    So reluctantly, the first little pig went into town, and called at the Jobcentre
    to sign-on.
    At the desk was a wolf, called Advisor, who smiled when he saw the little pig.
    ” Hello little piggy, I’m here to help you get a job ”, he said.
    And the little pig signed all the papers that Advisor asked him to.
    And foolishly, he allowed full access to his Universal Jobmatch Account.
    He didn’t really understand this, but it seemed a good idea, and Mr.Wolf was so nice and friendly.
    But the first time that the little pig didn’t apply for a job, even though it was only part-time and very far away, he was sanctioned, and lost his Jobseekers Allowance for a month. And so the little pig ran crying all the way home, and as he now had no money, and there was no social security thanks to an evil gang called Tories, he starved to death before the end of the month.

    Now the second little pig saw what had happened to his friend, but he had no choice, and so he went down to the Jobcentre and signed-on.
    He saw the wolf, called Advisor, who tried to persuade him to allow full access to his Universal Jobmatch Account.
    But the second little pig was wiser, or thought he was, and so he declined DWP access to his UJ account.

    The wolf didn’t like this, and tried to persuade the second little pig to give him access to the UJ account. But the second little pig would not . This was awkward for the wolf, because now he couldn’t snoop on the jobseeking activities of the second little pig. He couldn’t for example see if the little pig had refused a job, or what he was applying for. He couldn’t see if he had refused to apply for a recommended job. And he couldn’t get into the account to put lots of jobs on the list for the little pig to apply for, which the wolf liked doing.

    This won’t do thought the wolf, I’ll have to try a trick to get into the UJ account. And so the wolf pretended that there was a special rule which meant that when the little pig came to sign-on he would have to let the wolf see his UJ account, and provide screen prints from it. Even though the little pig had officially declined DWP access.This wasn’t really true of course, because the little pig was protected by EU privacy law, and no access meant no viewing, and no screen prints either.

    But the second little piggy didn’t know this, and he didn’t want to annoy Mr.Wolf or lose his Jobseeker’s Allowance. So next time he visited the Jobcentre, he let the wolf see his UJ account, and provided screen prints.

    Now these screen prints showed that the second little pig had not been doing enough in his Job Activity List, and worse, that he had not applied for a job at the local bacon factory. And so the second little pig was sanctioned, and lost all his money. He would have starved to death too, but fortunately he was hit by a bus instead while crossing the road, which just goes to show.

    The third little pig was the wisest of the three, and he went down to the Jobcentre and signed-on. He saw the evil wolf Advisor, and refused to provide
    DWP access to his account. The little piggy didn’t listen to the wolf when he tried to persuade him, nor did he believe the trick about the special rule.
    And the evil wolf huffed and puffed, and threatened the little piggy.
    But the third little pig stood firm, for he knew that EU privacy law protected him. And the third little pig was able to keep his jobsearch private, away from the wolf. He didn’t have to explain why he hadn’t applied for a particular job.
    The wolf couldn’t check his jobsearch activity, or jobsearch time.
    He couldn’t put extra jobs into the account to be applied for.
    All because the little piggy had declined access and kept his privacy. In fact the third little pig didn’t use the UJ account at all, for it was a stupid thing really, and full of things to trap an unwary pig.

    So the third little pig just did what he had to do, and no more.
    He posted a public CV on the UJ account, and he provided a single print out of this, the only print out he legally had to make. He gave this to the wolf, Advisor. He logged in to the UJ account from time to time to check if any employers had offered him a job. Of course they never did, but this was part of a strange game that was played at the Jobcentre, so he didn’t mind.

    Most importantly, the third little pig did not use the UJ account at all for any jobsearching, nor put any of his applications into the online Jobsearch Activity List.
    He just ignored the whole nasty thing. He did his jobsearch using other online search engines. These were much better anyway than Universal Jobmatch, which had been designed by a monster employed by the evil Tories.

    The third little piggy wrote all of his jobsearch details down on a form that Mr. Wolf had to provide for him, even though he didn’t like this much, called a Fortnightly Jobsearch Record. He carefully filled this in every day, and came to his fortnightly sign-on with printed evidence of his jobsearch. This included Application Confirmations, which he could easily get from internet job search sites, and which were very useful for this purpose.
    So this little piggy claimed his Jobseekers Allowance and lived happily ever after. Or at least as happily as you could do, bearing in mind the continual cutbacks in the benefit system.
    And the moral of this story is, when you go down to the Jobcentre to sign-on, which little pig are you going to be ?

  24. Yet IDS is saying completely the opposite

    We are very pleased that the Supreme Court today unanimously upheld our right to require those claiming jobseeker’s allowance to take part in programmes which will help get them into work.

    We have always said that it was ridiculous to say that our schemes amounted to forced labour, and yet again we have won this argument.

    Ultimately this judgment confirms that it is right that we expect people to take getting into work seriously if they want to claim benefits.

    – Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

  25. Landless Peasant

    How the fuck can the Judges say that mandatory unpaid menial work does not constitute slavery?

  26. we were thought today at a CV writing course that people were properties of businesses and that you should kick poor homeless people out on the street.

  27. Rosemarie Harris

    Judges don’t have to live in our world but have friends in Government so whatever we feel ,the judges are told what to do!Just think back to the riots and how the courts gave such stupid prison time , for in one instance Stealing a bottle of water! It’s bad enough trying to beat the Government at it’s own game without the courts at it!

    • I suppose if someone stole water at knifepoint for example, they would indeed deserve prison time, but for doing it non-violently, prison would be way over the top.

  28. i think ive pissed of my wolf as he dont wanna see me any more jcp wont pay the full bus fair for going every day so thats my day out every day up in smoke and a 45 min argument every day with my wolf cant take the stress of it and geting my poor wolf told off 3 times buy his floor manager cos he was taking the piss with my jsa and telling me to walk 10 miles to sign on as i had no money left for bus fair.

  29. I think it is time for me to once again change the law retroactively, to make decisions of The Supreme Court null and void. I don’t break the law, I AM THE FUCKING LAW.

  30. Oo Betty, them Public Interest Lawyers have been giving me a lot of harassments lately, and now those claimants have done a whoopsie on my Work Programme.

  31. It is sector based work academy BTW

  32. Workfare = total exploitation.

  33. “Internal JCP memos confirm what we already know. They go out of their way to make things difficult and deliberately withold the best advice.”

  34. The wright stuff now on 5plus 1 tv is saying the courts think workfare is correct and is at this moment asking the panel.

  35. What a load of crap from channel 5 only two phoned in one a supposedly employer who was in favour of people working for her for nothing and one was another woman saying she went on a government scheme working 40 hours for £25 and it did her no harm. Absolute disgraceful misrepresentation of the truth or evenly balanced phone in.

  36. Workfare: Jolly good idea! And about bloody time too!

  37. Thanks for that overbudenddonkey,

    Thank goodness for jv reports and the guardian, I must be watching the wrong tv programmes at times too.

    • something survived...

      Can you post on this site that he is a complete cunt? Or is it moderated?

      • something survived...

        No, why not go on porn sites catering for men that like bald older men. Post a link to his site all over them. He will be swamped with sexts and rude emails from every country within hours. It’s just a case of selecting the right sites.

  38. Another Fine Mess

    Ultimate Chaos.
    Universal credit: £120m could be written off to rescue welfare reform

    What does he have to do to be sacked?

  39. at signing today,i encountered something that took me completely back,while suffering ADD over a lifetime so far,the signing clerk said “i dont think you have a learning difficulty”,you sound normal.

    this is the sort of thing disabled people have to face from these people,

    galileo galilei

    I have never met a man so ignorant i couldn’t learn from him.

    • Ken,
      They’ve recently ‘diagnosed’ me as ‘passive/aggressive’ (for speaking quietly and not appearing angry while trying to clarify something they were “insisting upon” … Separately, when I mentioned that I’ve had some restrictions put onto my jSAG in the past due to stress-related

      symptoms (which have only really become an issue over the time i’ve been signing on) the ‘Adviser’ that time wanted to start going through a list of pre-written symptoms on her computer to be better-able to ‘label’ me a ‘disorder’ (declined to engage with this as politely as i could).

      Lastly, mid-way through a recent discussion/disagreement surrounding ‘ways of presenting job search evidence’ i made the mistake of saying that i can type better than i can hand-write & without missing a beat, the reply came back “So, you have difficulty with writing …” & were about to input this into their computer by the looks of things.

      *(tried to read up a bit on ‘passive/aggressive’ behaviours (as this comment stayed with me for days & caused me to wonder if it could be true) & found that most of what was described as that form of behaviour could more realisticallly be what had been directed at me from across the desk in the lead-up to the comment being made – smiling outwardly while saying antagonistic things less than directly …

      • something survived...

        They are not doctors, and as such, can’t diagnose shit! They could be reported for hate speech. For example if they say you are not disabled.

        • something survived...

          If they insist they can diagnose, they are guilty of fraud and practicing medicine/psychiatry/therapy without a licence. You could have them arrested. They are guilty of slander if they say you are ablebodied, and libel if they write or print it.

  40. trouble a’t mill

    universsal credit in the shit

    • something survived...

      This would be hard to tell or notice if you had not brought it to our attention, as Universal Credit is constructed entirely of shit, and as such, is indistinguishable from its birthplace and surroundings.

      The same is true of Ian Duncan Smith.

  41. So Iain Duncan Smith has wasted another £120 million of taxpayers money on the fiasco that is Universal Credit – this idiot should be given a mention in the Guiness World Records Book.

    I wonder if the JCP advisers have seen the part of the report that states:

    “The proposals would create a much more web-based system, reducing the need for jobcentre staff, but putting the whole scheme back to “phase one”.

    • something survived...

      I would like to see him in the world records too –

      Most suspects in a global homicide investigation
      Most participants in a flashmob political assassination
      Most times stabbed without completely disintegrating
      Most items found within the human colon
      Most times survived half-hanging
      Most times repeatedly run over
      Most urinated-on murder subject in recorded history
      Least mourners at a funeral (0)
      Most and largest street parties held to celebrate a death
      Most popular grave-based latrine
      Most complained-about resident of hell (from other inmates)
      Least tears shed at a death (0)
      Cheapest state/public funeral of all time

  42. There are elements of the Reilly judgment that strongly suggest to me that the Mandatory Reconsideration regulations are similarly legally flawed.

    See my blog post:

  43. Pingback: Part Time Workers And Volunteers To Be Hit By Osborne’s Mass Workfare | the void

  44. Those fuckheads tried to force me to work in a tatty poundland shop just to keep my meagre benefits. I will fight them again in the European Courts and hope they fucking lose.

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