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."
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...