Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • September 28, 2016, 08:39:04 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Mandatory Work Activity (UK) - Stupidity Beyond Belief. [DEBATE]  (Read 3062 times)

Stephen66515

  • Animated Giffer in Chief
  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2010
  • **
  • Posts: 3,111
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Mandatory Work Activity (UK) - Stupidity Beyond Belief. [DEBATE]
« on: November 17, 2014, 12:43:17 PM »
Quote
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) is a workfare programme in the United Kingdom that started in May 2011, whereby individuals must work for their benefits or risk being 'sanctioned' and losing them. An academic analysis by the Department of Work and Pensions cast doubt on the effectiveness of MWA, and despite finding "little evidence" that workfare improved claimants gaining paid employment, the DWP ignored the findings of the study, and in June 2012, the scheme received a £5m expansion. A similar but little-known scheme 'Jobseeker Mandatory Activity' (JMA), was piloted by New Labour in 2006, but did not last beyond 2008. JMA targeted those claimants 25 and over, who had been unemployed for 6 months or more and made claimants liable to 'sanction' for non-compliance.

Legal challenge to the scheme, and retrospective legalisation
The legality of the scheme was indirectly challenged in the case Caitlin Reilly and Jamieson Wilson v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. The High Court partially found in the claimants' favour; they then appealed to the Court of Appeal, which ruled in February 2013 that the 2011 Regulations 'were unlawful and that the Secretary of State had acted beyond the powers given to him by Parliament by failing to provide any detail about the various “Back to Work” schemes in the Regulations'.

The Department for Work and Pensions appealed to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, it also drafted new regulations to ensure the continuance of the work placements. During the period of the scheme which had been ruled unlawful, perhaps 300,000 people had had benefits of an average of around £530-70 withheld, totalling around £130m which the DWP was potentially obliged to repay if Reilly and Wilson won their case in the Supreme Court. The Government sought to avoid having to make these repayments by retrospecively changing the law through the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Bill, which became law on 26 March 2013.

However, Mandatory Work Activity was created under its own set of regulations so though the ruling touched on many of the same issues and the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act amended the regulatory foundation of the scheme, it was not directly affected by the outcome of the Appeal Court ruling.

The law firm acting for Reilly and Wilson, Public Interest Lawyers, reportedly lodged submissions to the supreme court, arguing that 'the actions of the secretary of state … represent a clear violation of article 6 [of the European convention on human rights] and the rule of law, as an interference in the judicial process by the legislature'.

Legal challenge to non-disclosure of participating organisations
The Department for Work and Pensions has worked to keep secret the list of organisations participating in the MWP scheme. A freedom of information request submitted around March 2012 resulted in a first-tier tribunal ruling in May 2013 that the DWP must reveal these names. The deadline for appeals expired in October 2013, but no list has been forthcoming, as of December 2013. A provisional list of organisations using workfare has been collected by the Boycott Workfare campaign.

The above is from: http://en.wikipedia....datory_Work_Activity

Now, That being said...this still happens here in the UK...People are FORCED to work, in order to keep their benefits.  Some of you may say "Well, they are still getting money" ... yes...they are...less than 1/4 of the National Minimum Wage.  These people are not forced to work for charitable organisations, or small companies who would otherwise not be able to hire staff...Instead they are forced to work for huge companies worth BILLIONS in yearly revenue.  Comanies such as BooHoo.com, Tesco, ASDA and many others.

My question is this:  How can this be reasonable...or even legal?

I ask how it can be reasonable, because it stops those huge companies from being bothered about hiring anybody, because the government is basically saying: "If you don't want to pay people, we will send you some and WE WILL pay them slave wages....so you get FREE staff who have NO other choice".

The Job Center staff are the ones responsible for  sending people on these mandatory placements and will send you to whatever company they want...regardless of if it is something you even seem remotely capable of doing...oh...and if you get fired, don't turn up, or simply are not suitable for the job so are asked to leave....your benefits will be stopped for up to 3 years.

There is no benefit for people to do these work placements other than to quite literally live on a slave wage, and barely be able to survive.  I agree for SOME that it may help them get full time work, but for the vast majority...this is pointless to them.  Why can this "scheme" "stupidity" not be voluntary?  If it is supposed to help people like they claim...then why not just help those who want to be helped...in a way that REALLY helps them?



I am more than open for a debate on this with anybody who has anything to add!
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 01:08:41 PM by Stephen66515, Reason: Fixed my typos. »

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,548
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Mandatory Work Activity (UK) - Stupidity Beyond Belief. [DEBATE]
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2014, 01:00:00 PM »

Hmm. Here in NYC I know informally that some of those mandatory work programs are going on here, but I don't know any answers to smart questions like this. It's the kind of thing a really sharp news source could dig into if they wanted, but one systemic flaw about news is once it's published, it's "out there", but an article someone did in 2012 doesn't do us any good if you don't know where to find it. (Curse of SEO'ing search engines!)


tomos

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,249
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Mandatory Work Activity (UK) - Stupidity Beyond Belief. [DEBATE]
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2014, 01:28:01 PM »
Sounds about par for the course for the UK? (Not trying to be offensive - but looking at successive UK governments' records does not inspire.)
Prime basement material, this is Stephen ;-)
Tom

Stephen66515

  • Animated Giffer in Chief
  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2010
  • **
  • Posts: 3,111
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Mandatory Work Activity (UK) - Stupidity Beyond Belief. [DEBATE]
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2014, 01:32:56 PM »
Sounds about par for the course for the UK? (Not trying to be offensive - but looking at successive UK governments' records does not inspire.)
Prime basement material, this is Stephen ;-)

The reason I didn't post this in the Basement is because I didn't intend for it to boil down to the political aspects...more of the moral aspects and the implications that such a scheme causes (Taking away actual paying jobs and such).

I can see how it could turn into Basement material though and if it does...then it shall be moved :P

Stephen66515

  • Animated Giffer in Chief
  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2010
  • **
  • Posts: 3,111
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Mandatory Work Activity (UK) - Stupidity Beyond Belief. [DEBATE]
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2014, 01:35:26 PM »
Sounds about par for the course for the UK? (Not trying to be offensive - but looking at successive UK governments' records does not inspire.)

Whoops, completely skipped over this:

No offense taken (From me anyway) on that...it is a perfectly reasonable thing to say as far as I am concerned.

The thing is though...after looking a little more into it...It seems that this happens in way more countries than I first suspected...it is quite literally a world-wide happening  :o

tomos

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,249
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Mandatory Work Activity (UK) - Stupidity Beyond Belief. [DEBATE]
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2014, 01:58:49 PM »
Yes, in fairness it also goes on here (Germany). I have come across people working 'ein-euro-jobs' (€1 per hour) for a 'social' project (good cause etc.) but apparently there is a lot of abuse - basically gettting them to do work that would otherwise be paid at a 'normal' rate.
Germany does have low enemployment but an ever increasing amount of 'working poor':
2005 - 4.8% of workers "likely to experience poverty"
2010 - 7.8%
(source: Reuters) Insight: The dark side of Germany's jobs miracle
There's a lot of people here working multiple part-time jobs to survive. And survive you can - you have to have health insurance here, but if you're on a low wage you pay less. They are restricting this insurance though e.g. I am unable to get on that type health insurance myself (no matter how much or little I might earn). Food prices are the amongst the cheapest in Europe. (Yaay Lidl Aldi etc :-\ - it's a vicious circle of cheaper stuff > lower wages > cheaper stuff > - and for a lot of people it's going downwards).
Tom

Stephen66515

  • Animated Giffer in Chief
  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2010
  • **
  • Posts: 3,111
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Mandatory Work Activity (UK) - Stupidity Beyond Belief. [DEBATE]
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2014, 02:23:22 PM »
We have Lidl and ALDI here as well..and in my town we have the largest "Free Site" in the UK...People are actually surviving by people literally swapping items with each other (Very basic things like Washing Machines, Kettles, Fridge/Freezers) - This is how bad it has got.

I do often wonder...when I heard on the radio recently that the UK is down to "Only 2Million Unemployed"...what is the real truth?  Are they counting the "Legalized Slavery" jobs?  If so...then that number would be significantly higher than they are claiming it to be...is it really just a complete cover up to make the UK seem like it is way more prosperous than it is?  Seriously...Don't be fooled by reports saying the UKs economy is rapidly rising and getting stronger...as somebody living in the thick of it...it REALLY ISN'T.

By the way, for the sake of openness and honesty...The reason I am so aware of this Slavery Scheme, is because I receive government benefits (I live in a craphole town with no jobs at all) so I have to sustain our living costs somehow...I asked my Advisor at the Job Center for a careers advise appointment of sorts (Basically to try talk it out and figure out what is the best University courses for the paths I want to go down), and the person I was talking to, ignored everything I said and decided that me working as a Warehouse Operative for Boohoo.com (Yes I WILL name and shame them) - In a town 8 miles from here...would be the best thing for me (Bearing in mind I suggested that my 2 career paths are [Working within the Technology Industry] and [Flying Instructor]...2 completely different paths I know, but both things that I want to do more than anything).  Oh...and my travel costs.....they have to be paid by me...so...I get to work...AT MY FINANCIAL LOSS, for a company valued at over £600MILLION GBP.


The only 4 words I plan to say to the "Adviser" (I use that term very loosely here), are as follows:
"Not a fucking chance"


tomos

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,249
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Mandatory Work Activity (UK) - Stupidity Beyond Belief. [DEBATE]
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2014, 03:18:22 PM »
Best of luck with the whole thing Stephen
Tom

Stephen66515

  • Animated Giffer in Chief
  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2010
  • **
  • Posts: 3,111
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Mandatory Work Activity (UK) - Stupidity Beyond Belief. [DEBATE]
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2014, 03:29:12 PM »
Best of luck with the whole thing Stephen

Honestly...If the work was remotely connected to anything I wanted to do...or failing that, supported a charity or small local business...I wouldn't have as much of an issue....but would still disagree with the whole thing.

tomos

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,249
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Mandatory Work Activity (UK) - Stupidity Beyond Belief. [DEBATE]
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2014, 03:37:21 PM »
Yeah, sounds like BS, the whole thing
Tom

Stephen66515

  • Animated Giffer in Chief
  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2010
  • **
  • Posts: 3,111
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Mandatory Work Activity (UK) - Stupidity Beyond Belief. [DEBATE]
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2014, 03:41:01 PM »
Yeah, sounds like BS, the whole thing

More than it would be possible to imagine :(

MilesAhead

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2009
  • **
  • Posts: 7,161
    • View Profile
    • Miles Ahead Software
    • Donate to Member
Re: Mandatory Work Activity (UK) - Stupidity Beyond Belief. [DEBATE]
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2014, 04:32:24 PM »
It had a familiar ring to it:

http://en.wikipedia....neither_shall_he_eat

And for taking jobs away I've heard in the US there are a lot of "customer service" phone banks being run out of private prisons.  Tough to compete with a prisoner who has room and meals provided by the taxpayer but is only getting a paltry hourly stipend.

I'd be surprised if there wasn't a 60 Minutes story on it.  People talking to a "customer service representative" are likely unaware the person was incarcerated.  I'd wager con men make the best reps.  :)

app103

  • That scary taskbar girl
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2006
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,650
    • View Profile
    • App's Apps
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Mandatory Work Activity (UK) - Stupidity Beyond Belief. [DEBATE]
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2014, 07:05:31 PM »
In my home state of NJ (USA). We have a similar "Welfare to Work" program. But it requires recipients, and every unemployed member of their household over the age of 16 and not a full time student or disabled, to spend at least 30 hours per week looking for work (and documenting it), until they find some. And if they still remain unemployed after 6 months, the state sends them to school to gain some job skills (at the state's expense), and then helps them to find a job.

They do not require you to work for less than minimum wage. The job you end up with is a real job, with real wages being paid by your employer...full wages, like they would pay to any other employee. The state would actually prefer if you were being paid more than minimum wage, since almost everyone on welfare has children to support.

What they do is start cutting your benefits, if you earn over a certain amount. But you do not lose your food stamps, medicaid, childcare benefits, rent, utility, or phone subsidies right away. Those are figured separately, and one can continue to collect under those programs indefinitely, if they still need it.

The goal is to get you off of the reliance on welfare's cash benefits by the end of 2 years time, because there is a lifetime cap of 5 years on receiving cash benefits, and they don't want you to hit that cap on your first shot (you might need the help again some day).

And there are exemptions for disabled people that can not work, and full time students that do not have the time to take on a job along with school. They would rather teen mothers finish school, enter a job training program, and end up with a good paying job that comes with benefits and a pension plan, than to quit and take on a minimum wage job that keeps them collecting benefits from some part of the system for the rest of their life.

They will even help mothers go after deadbeat dads for child support, if they are not already collecting it. In fact, they require you to cooperate with them, as they go after the father of your kids for child support, as a condition for collecting welfare benefits. If you refuse to supply a father's name, they can cut your benefits until you do.

The goal of our state's program is to turn as many recipients as possible into self sufficient tax payers that raise kids that also become self sufficient tax payers, because under the old system (that didn't work), people ended up trapped into poverty that extended for generations, with the state picking up the tab for supporting them all, for their entire lives.

And how it works with unemployment benefits, everyone pays into the system through their employer. It's an obligatory insurance plan that pays off should you become unemployed. You collect an amount based on what you earned at your last job and for up to a specified length of time. When your benefits run out, if you have not found a job yet, good luck...you are on your own.

This is not to say that our system is perfect and doesn't have any issues, because believe me, it does. But it is much fairer and far better than the system that you describe in the UK.

My husband maxed out his unemployment benefits when he was laid off from his last job, and was on his own (with no income) for about 4 months longer, before he was finally able to find a job. That was one very rough time in our lives that we are still recovering from.

I asked my Advisor at the Job Center for a careers advise appointment of sorts (Basically to try talk it out and figure out what is the best University courses for the paths I want to go down), and the person I was talking to, ignored everything I said and decided that me working as a Warehouse Operative for Boohoo.com (Yes I WILL name and shame them) - In a town 8 miles from here...would be the best thing for me (Bearing in mind I suggested that my 2 career paths are [Working within the Technology Industry] and [Flying Instructor]...2 completely different paths I know, but both things that I want to do more than anything). 

Some years back, when we were collecting food stamps, I had to meet with one of the state's job counselors. I brought along a burned disk containing my artwork, software, and static copies of websites I had built. He took one look at the disk, wouldn't even bother to see what was on it, and replied "Oh, you like using computers? Maybe we can get you into a class to learn how to use MS Word." To which I replied "I already know how to use MS Word. I taught myself by reading the help file. What I want to learn is maybe how to write the next version of MS Word, which you would know if you bothered to look at what is on this disk."

The end result of that meeting was for him to claim I never showed up to keep my appointment with him, for which my whole family was kicked off food stamps a month later.  :(

That dude reminded me so much of the patronizing high school guidance counselor that told me programming was for boys, and then shoved me in a secretarial typing class, because I showed a desire to "play with a keyboard".  >:(

I often wonder what I could have accomplished with my life if so many people didn't insist on getting in my way and shitting on my dreams.

Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,214
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
Re: Mandatory Work Activity (UK) - Stupidity Beyond Belief. [DEBATE]
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2014, 09:40:23 PM »
@Stephen - Look at it this way... Imagine you run a large chain of stores and some employment minister comes to you and wants you to hire people so that they get work experience and can then get a job somewhere else. Your first reaction will be, "No. Sorry. I don't need inexperienced people. I already have people working, and they're doing fine. Good luck finding another sucker." There's no reason for you to hire anyone, and especially people who aren't readily employable. So, the minister says, "Ok. But how about if you only need to pay them 1/4 what you pay others?" Then... All of a sudden you can probably afford to have these unemployable people doing "something" for you, even if it's just menial upkeep and extra stuff like cleaning signs or scraping gum off the parking lot pavement. At that rate, they can add some value for you, but not at a full rate.

So, the low wages do make sense in a way. (Don't crap on me for this - I'm not agreeing with it, but just explaining a bit of logic for it.)

But none of any of that work program/welfare/blah blah/whatever addresses any of the root causes of the problems that they purport to solve. If anything, they make it worse.

Here's a quick & dirty example based on some actual figures...

Say you can get back 1,200 pounds of taxes that you are already paying, but then you need to shell out 300 pounds to pay for some things yourself, e.g. garbage removal, etc. Would you do it? You'd have an extra 900 pounds in your pocket every year, or 75 pounds a month. While not the exact scenario I outlined, the 25% figure comes from Sandy Springs when they outsourced most city services. They got more services for much less.

Poverty is only increased by taxes, and property taxes are an existential tax that force you to pay merely to exist, merely to be, merely to occupy space. In fact, there's a special word for people that don't pay property taxes: HOMELESS.

Taxes on things like petrol asymmetrically, adversely affect those with lower incomes. Same goes for most other taxes. e.g. A and B both drive 10 km a day, but B's income is 100x A's income. A ends up being affected by prices swings and tax increases on petrol much more than B.

Here's another example...

Imagine a magic genie pops out of a bottle and says, "I can give you 4~6 months of your income every year, but that's all I can do." Would that 4~6 months of additional income make a difference in your life? Would you be willing to give up anything for it? Would you be willing to forgo some things, and pay for others that you had to give up but still wanted? Could you put up with a few minor inconveniences? Because 4~6 months of your life is what governments take from you in taxes.

People with money can spend money.

When people spend money, businesses hire more people.

When businesses hire more people, there is less unemployment.

Less unemployment means higher production and better allocation of resources.

Better allocation of resources makes room for greater innovation and competition.

Innovation and competition raise the quality of people's lives.

The state creates artificially high unemployment by taxing people into subsistence-level existences, which reduces the velocity of money which drags on the overall economy.

Taxes destroy wealth and create poverty. Just look at the current state of the UK and what's been happening for the last few decades. If taxes and Keynesian economic and monetary policies actually worked, the UK would be crazy, awesome paradise. They don't work. The UK is flushing it's people to drown in the sewers.

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,763
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Mandatory Work Activity (UK) - Stupidity Beyond Belief. [DEBATE]
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2014, 10:50:33 AM »
And for taking jobs away I've heard in the US there are a lot of "customer service" phone banks being run out of private prisons.  Tough to compete with a prisoner who has room and meals provided by the taxpayer but is only getting a paltry hourly stipend.

It's more widespread than that. I understand California has more recently been using some inmates for hazardous duties like fighting forest fires. I don't know how 'voluntary' the participation was or if there were special 'incentives' offered to participating inmates. I suspect it was "completely voluntary" and there were likely some incentives given considering this was a program ripe for Watergating if there ever was one.