Mandatory work scheme expanded
Tuesday 12 June 2012
The Government today announced a £5 million expansion of a
mandatory work scheme, including tougher sanctions which could see
people lose their benefits for three years.
Employment minister Chris Grayling published new figures showing that almost half of the first group of jobseekers referred to the Mandatory Work Activity scheme either signed off jobseekers allowance (JSA) or failed to turn up.
The scheme will be expanded to allow for up to 70,000 referrals a year, requiring jobseekers to do a month's full-time activity while receiving their benefit.
Claimants failing to complete a placement already face losing JSA for three months for a first offence, and six months for a second offence, with a tougher sanctions regime starting later in the year which includes losing benefits for three years for a third offence.
Mr Grayling said: "People need to be aware that for those who are fit enough to work it is simply not an option to sit on benefits and do nothing.
"We've found that a month's full-time activity can be a real deterrent for some people who are either not trying or who are gaming the system. But we're also fighting a battle to stop claimants slipping back into the benefits system by the back door.
"That's why for the extended roll out of Mandatory Work Activity we will toughen up the sanctions regime and make sure that anyone re-claiming JSA will have to complete a full placement or face a further sanction."
The new funding will allow for 9,000 extra places a year in England, Wales and Scotland.
The scheme was launched a year ago, involving four week placements of up to 30 hours a week, involving community and charity work and environmental projects.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Forcing people without paid jobs to work for free won't tackle the UK's unemployment crisis.
"Instead of punishing people without jobs, the Government should focus on getting our economy out of recession and providing good quality employment support for the 2.6 million unemployed people across the country who are desperate to move into paid work."
- 1 If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 Idris Elba is ‘too street’ to play 007, says James Bond author
- 4 Pansexual: What is it - and when did the term gain popularity?
- 5 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Auschwitz museum defends mist showers installed during heat wave after visitor complains they are reminiscent of gas chambers
More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
Nazi 'gold train': Fire engulfs suspected location of vehicle in Poland
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
UN investigating British Government over human rights abuses caused by IDS welfare reforms
£26000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...
£20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...
£20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...
£30000 - £250000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker/ Trainee FX, Stoc...