Tag Archives: workfare

#IDS – Still Evil or Incompetent. Or Both.

Would you like to annoy this person? See below!

It’s over a year since I posted about the bogus jobs on Universal Jobmatch (and I wasn’t the first to notice even then), and the mainstream media have at last noticed the problems too, at least some of them. Even the BBC are reporting the story.
When it was pointed out that some of the “jobs” advertised weren’t compliant with the DWP’s own rules, the response was not, as we have a right to expect, to tighten up enforcement of those rules nor, as we’ve come to expect from IDS, to change the rules. The rules were simply hidden, as if pretending there wasn’t a problem at all would make it go away. Yet catalogue jobs still infest the site. Just one page contains a block of Avon “jobs”:
Avon UJ
If you narrow the search to local jobs it is often worse. I’ve seen several pages in a row filled with “jobs” advertised by Avon, Kleeneze and others.

Bullying young people into working in the sex industry seems to be OK with the DWP too. Although their now invisible* rules say otherwise, it seems to be acceptable to advertise “escort” services, at least until there’s an outcry. Then the advert is taken down, and assurances are given that the DWP “regularly monitor the site and remove jobs that don’t meet our rules, such as duplicate advertisements or jobs for franchises.”

Such assurances ring more hollow every time.



*Correction: The relevant rules are visible again, but numbered differently. Who knows how long they’ll stay this time, so I’ve taken a screenshot and highlighted the one that refers to catalogue “jobs”.



Voluntary Slavery?


I really thought that the Salvation Army in the UK did a lot of good, on balance, despite my antipathy to religion and religious organisations. Their involvement with workfare has finished off any residual respect I had for them.
The government doesn’t like the word “workfare”, and neither does the Sally Ann, They always talk about the people who are forced onto these schemes, with a withdrawal of benefits as punishment for not complying, as volunteers, which is adding insult to injury when the only alternative is “volunteering” to starve, or freeze, or go homeless. Or all three.
All this is bad enough for people who have just left school, many of whom may have families to support them, but it’s often older people, who have worked for decades and don’t need “work experience”, who are placed on these schemes, and the government have extended the scope of workfare to include disabled people, with the added sting that their placement can be indefinite. If the “volunteer” doesn’t turn up for any reason, such as a vital hospital appointment, they can lose all their benefits.
Even workfare for younger, fitter people is detrimental to society though, as it depresses wages. Why would an employer pay decent wages, when they can use free labour? In fact, why pay wages at all?
An organisation that claims to work for the greater good should not have any involvement with workfare, and quibbling about the name won’t persuade your opponents.

#IDS – “Respect My Authoritah!”


Not content with labelling appeal judges that disagree with him as “foolish“, Iain Duncan Smith has decided that he will undermine the courts by introducing new law that nullifies any judgement he doesn’t like.

The regulations about what is commonly known as “workfare” were deemed illegal last month, so he hurriedly introduced new ones. People who were, therefore, wrongly sanctioned by the DWP for not complying with the illegal regulations should have expected to get the money that was wrongly stopped, but IDS has other ideas. He’s planning a new law to make his bad regulations good in retrospect, so his illegal decisions in the past weren’t illegal after all.

Meanwhile, his lackey at the DWP, Mark Hoban, is doing a bit of undermining of his own, this time of the democratic process. It is normal for interested parties to be allowed to meet ministers when there are controversial changes to law and, to this end, Michael Meacher MP arranged for the Spartacus group to send a delegation to meet Hoban. Hoban has, however, declined to meet them, and even refused to speak to Meacher.

Another DWP lackey, Esther McVey, refuses to apologise for misleading the House of Commons over supposed exemptions to the notorious “bedroom tax”.

#IDS – Evil or Incompetent? Or Both?


Iain Duncan Smith is so determined to force his reforms through that he loses his temper whenever he is contradicted. He appeared on television on Sunday to declare that he wouldn’t back down over workfare, and that the appeal judges decision in the Cait Reilly case was “foolish”. He also repeated several slurs about Cait herself, slurs which might damage her job prospects. So much for “helping people into work”.

An important element of his plans is the “Universal Jobmatch” website, that jobseekers may “choose” to use (at risk of losing their benefits if they decline) to search for a job.

Ther have already been problems with UJ, with jobs in the sex industry being advertised, contrary to the site’s own terms & conditions*:

10.3 You agree not to advertise the following types of jobs on this site:

10.3.1 jobs for sexual services or seeking employees for jobs of a sexual nature. Any jobs placed within the adult entertainment industry must only be for the purposes of a) selling, manufacturing and distributing of adult entertainment products b) Ancillary staff e.g. cleaners and bar staff and c) jobs must display the age requirement of 18 or over. No other adult entertainment jobs will be accepted;

There is another clause, straight after that one:

10.3.2 jobs for franchise, pyramid scheme, “club membership”, distributorship, or multi-level marketing opportunities, or sales representative agency arrangements;

This covers, among others, the likes of Avon and Kleeneze, companies that use agents, self-employed, to distribute catalogues and place and deliver orders for customers. Yet UJ is accepting job adverts from them (if the writing is too small, click the image to see it enlarged):

Directgov jobs and skills search   Job details

Not only are these companies advertising on UJ when they shouldn’t be, but those adverts are being promoted by Job Centres on Twitter. Here’s one such tweet, which links (at the time of witing) to the page shown above:

1  Twitter   Search   universal jobmatch

This is either incompetence, or yet another trap for the underprivileged, like the advice by government ministers to sublet a room in a council house to make up the shortfall caused by the bedroom tax, despite the same government passing a law to make it a criminal offence to do so (in addition to it being in contravention of the tenancy agreement).

*For more examples, it’s well worth following the diligent @davesmith40uk who, since I first posted this, has noted that “Late on 18/02/13 T&C on Universal Jobmatch Site were changed to a shortened form only relevant to jobseekers

So the parts I quoted above are no longer there. I wonder why?


Now Chris Grayling Attacks the Foundations of Democracy!

 Reblogged from johnnyvoid


There are few ways for the people to claw back some degree of power in this sham democracy. The right to peaceful protest and the ability to boycott companies and institutions we object to, for now, remain inside the law. And whilst the state attempts to cover up it’s gravest secrets, we still have some right to know what those in power are actually doing via the Freedom of Information act. But the recent actions of employment minister Chris Grayling reveal even these small freedoms are held in contempt by this toff Government.


Read more of this excellent, but shocking, article: Click here.