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Mandatory Work Activity (UK) - Stupidity Beyond Belief. [DEBATE]

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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.
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The above is from:

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, 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 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 a way that REALLY helps them?

I am more than open for a debate on this with anybody who has anything to add!


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!)

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 ;-)

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 ;-)
-tomos (November 17, 2014, 01:28 PM)
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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

Sounds about par for the course for the UK? (Not trying to be offensive - but looking at successive UK governments' records does not inspire.)
-tomos (November 17, 2014, 01:28 PM)
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Whoops, completely skipped over this:

No offense taken (From me anyway) on 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 is quite literally a world-wide happening  :o


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