Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Change The Work
A geology graduate has gone to the Appeal Court because she was taken away from her voluntary work in a museum in order to work in Poundland. The court ruled that it was illegal to force her to work without pay and she thinks it is forced labour and of course it is. The door may now be open for other claimants to bring cases against the Job Centre but the principle is fine. Get people to work because it is good for them to work and may help them get paid employment - but this person was working already.
How can it be to anybody's advantage (apart from Poundland) to take someone from their voluntary work which they find interesting and relevant and move them to a scheme which is not relevant and provided no training? The amazing thing is that the Employment Minister Mark Hoban tells us he was "disappointed and surprised at the court's decision on our regulations. There needed to be flexibility, so we could give people the right support to meet their needs and get them into a job". Well it should be fairly obvious that flexibility was not there. This person should have been able to continue at the museum whilst they concerned themselves with looking for paid employment.
This person was doing the Job Centre's job for them. They had used their initiative and then some inflexible decision was imposed to make their use of initiative irrelevant. To add insult to injury the Minister can't see it and if this sort of thing goes on then it is quite clear that the Government's programme should not continue in its current form. As for whether the Minister should go on in his current form...
Change the work