Tories blew £100k of public money hiding list of firms using conscripted jobseekers onto forced unpaid work

“Taxpayers had to fund both sides of the Tory government’s legal battle in a farce “worthy of a movie plot”
The Tory government blew £100,000 of public money trying to hide a huge list of firms that used jobseekers for unpaid work. Tesco and Asda were among household names on a list of 500 companies, charities and councils named as taking part in ‘Mandatory Work Activity'”
Source: Mirror 17/11/16

royal_courts_of_justice
Royal Courts of Justice

The DWP’s latest tactic is to just totally ignore a similar FOI request for the DWP to name all of the employer’s who have used the Community Work Placement scheme. This scheme conscripts benefit claimants onto 6 month full-time forced unpaid workfare labour and if refused they face sanctions and losing their meagre subsistence benefits for up to 3 years. A complaint has been lodged with the  Information Commissioner, which has said it can issue a decision notice if the DWP does not issue a response by close of business on Friday November 18th.

Ref – FS50649293: “Thank you for your correspondence of 4 October 2016…If you do not receive any response within 10 working days, that is, by the close of business on 18 November 2016,  please contact us and the Commissioner will consider progression to a decision notice”
Source: ICO email – 6 November 2016

This is all in the week when the government’s social mobility commission calls for unpaid work placements to be outlawed,  after Conservative MP Alec Shelbrooke introduced a private members bill to restrict unpaid internships to 4 weeks or be paid the minimum wage. This bill would have no effect on the workfare conscription clause under Universal Credit’s, Welfare Reform Act (2012)  mandatory work placement obligations for people in-work on low income or the unemployed. Let alone plans to limit benefits to young people to 6 months and be mandated to workfare thereafter.

“…firms have continued to be able to advertise positions that do not offer a wage.”
Source: Guardian – 4 November 2016

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