Tag Archives: Cait Reilly

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: http://www.supremecourt.gov.uk/decided-cases/docs/UKSC_2013_0064_PressSummary.pdf

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


Fuck the Courts, Fuck the Law, We’re Stealing Your Money Say DWP

Iain-Duncan-Smith-workfareIn a shocking abuse of state power – which could have a chilling impact on the independence of the courts – Iain Duncan Smith is attempting to reverse the impact of a recent Appeal Court judgement by re-writing history.

In the recent workfare case brought by Cait Reilly and Jamieson Wilson, the DWP were found to have unlawfully sanctioned thousands of benefit claims.  The court ruled that the legislation upon which forced unpaid work was based was not legal and the information given to claimants did not fully inform them of what would happen it they failed to attend workfare.  Which was that benefits could be stopped, for up to six months.

In other words, the DWP’s bodged information meant many claimants lost significant sums of money through no fault of their own.  The Court of Appeal  ruling meant that unemployed people who had benefit claims stopped or reduced illegally by the DWP could claim that money back.

Or at least it did mean that.  Now the DWP is basically saying tough shit, we’re keeping your money.

The Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Bill is being rushed into law without scrutiny and will have both its second and third readings before Parliament on Tuesday 19th March.  This bill will mean that the law will be retrospectively changed and that sanctions which have been ruled by the appeal court as unlawful will now be legal.

The DWP themselves admit the new bill might be illegal under human rights legislation which provides protection for access to the courts.  The explanatory notes for the new bill concede a claimant might argue:  “that legislation which removes their right to a a refund of sanctioned benefits, or allows the Secretary of State to impose a sanction, notwithstanding the Court of Appeal’s decision, is a breach of their right of access to court under ECHR Article 6.”

So desperate is Iain Duncan Smith to rescue his pride however,these concerns are brushed aside until the next inevitable court case.  The bill also concedes that the Mandatory Work Activity scheme, which was not affected by the recent court judgement, may also have been illegal.

It appears that the DWP have decided they are no longer accountable to the laws of the land.  This is hardly surprising as it is not just their workfare schemes which are legally questionable.  But what will be the point of taking the Government to court if they can simply change the law on a whim to avoid facing any legal consequences?

Join the Week of Action Against Workfare beginning on March 18th.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

Workfare Is Broken! New Court Ruling and Charity Exodus Are Death Knell For Forced Labour!

boycott-workfare-weekThe latest news from the High Court workfare appeal is that Cait Reilly was forced to work unlawfully in a huge blow to Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms.  According to @shivmalik1 all workfare schemes could be  unlawful except Mandatory Work Activity.

UPDATE: Latest statement from Public Interest Lawyers reveals that sanctioned claimants may be able to claim back benefits: http://www.publicinterestlawyers.co.uk/news_details.php?id=298

Visit consent.me.uk for the full ruling: http://consent.me.uk/2013/02/12/ruling/

The great charity workfare exodus means even this looks in doubt.  The Children’s Society announced this week they would no longer take part in the Mandatory Work Activity scheme.  This follows the decision of SENSE to pull out whilst the YMCA are believed to be considering their position.

They join Scope, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Shelter, Oxfam, Age UK and Marie Curie, who have all made announcement rejecting forced unpaid work.

Sadly some charities are not so ethical.  Whilst Marie Curie were one of the first charities to abandon workfare, the similar charity, Sue Ryder are unrepentant.  This is despite the announcement that sick and disabled claimants can now be sent on workfare.

The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) have amended their statement to claim they will not force people on sickness or disability benefits to work unpaid.  However the shocking truth is that many sick and disabled claimants are now on mainstream unemployment benefits due to the ruthless re-assessments.  With no health checks or medical advice prior to starting workfare, it will possibly take a tragedy before TCV wake up to what they are involved in.

Others charities still using workfare include The Salvation Army, despite a string of misleading and contradictory statements intended to hide their use of forced work.  The RSPCA, who are opposed to animals being forced to work in the Circus, have no such scruples when it comes to human beings and also happily take unpaid staff on workfare schemes.

The great workfare charity exodus will only lead to even more pressure on those remaining organisations still happy to exploit unemployed, sick and disabled claimants.  Why not start now by telling them what you think: @RSPCA_official, @TCVtweets, @PDSA_HQ, @salvationarmyuk, @Sue_Ryder

And join the National Week of Action Against Workfare beginning on 18th March and let’s finish off what’s left of Iain Duncan Smith’s workfare obsession: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=1996

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

Workfare in the Docks

Workfare in the Docks – show support for the two claimants challenging workfare!

9.30am – 26/06/12

The Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, WC2A 2LL London – nearest tube:  Holborn

Called by Boycott Workfare

This Tuesday and Wednesday, two claimants will take the fight against workfare to the High Court. Cait Reilly and an unnamed claimant will be challenging two of the government’s workfare schemes – the sector based work academies and the community action programme respectively. The Public Interest Lawyers who are representing the claimants state that ‘If it succeeds the court will quash the regulations under which the schemes are made and Iain Duncan Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, will be sent back to the drawing board.’

The court case will commence at 10.30am on Tuesday 26th June. Cait Reilly and her solicitor will be giving a statement on the steps of the Royal Courts of Justice at approximately 9.45am. Boycott Workfare campaigners will be outside the Royal Courts of Justice from 9.30am. Dressed as judges and holding a banner declaring ‘the real crime is workfare’ the campaigners will show their support for the two claimants in their legal challenge against workfare.


Also taking place tomorrow – Communications blockade – A4e Liverpool

“The aim is to shut down their phone lines as much as possible on this day in order to cause them disruption. They may not listen to individual complaints, but they will take notice when they can’t do their day-to-day activities for the sheer volume of calls coming in!

Tel: 0151 243 3670″