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Slavery legalised in the UK...

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Young jobseekers told to work without pay or lose unemployment benefits



Britain's young unemployed are being sent to work for supermarkets and budget stores for up to two months for no pay and no guarantee of a job, the Guardian can reveal.


Under the government's work experience programme young jobseekers are exempted from national minimum wage laws for up to eight weeks and are being offered placements in Tesco, Poundland, Argos, Sainsbury's and a multitude of other big name businesses.


The Department for Work and Pensions says that if jobseekers "express an interest" in an offer of work experience they must continue to work without pay, after a one-week cooling-off period, or face having their benefits docked.


Young people have told the Guardian that they are doing up to 30 hours a week of unpaid labour and have to be available from 9am to 10pm.


In three such cases jobseekers also claim they were not told about the week's cooling-off period, and that once they showed a willingness to take part in the scheme they were told by their case manager they would be stripped of their £53 a week jobseekers allowance (JSA) if they backed out.


Twenty-two-year-old Cait Reilly is currently completing three weeks at Poundland, working five hours a day.


Last week, Reilly, who graduated last year with a BSc in geology from Birmingham University, found herself with five other JSA claimants stacking and cleaning shelves at Poundland in south Birmingham.


Reilly says there are around 15 other staff at the store but unlike them she will receive no remuneration for her work.

"It seems we're being used as some free labour especially in the runup to Christmas," she said.


Reilly says she told her local jobcentre in King's Heath, Birmingham, that she did not need the experience in the store as she had done plenty of prior retail work.


Despite DWP rules, Reilly says she was told by the jobcentre she would lose her benefits if she didn't take the Poundland placement. The DWP says jobseekers should be told about the cooling-off period but was unable to comment on individual cases without being given personal details.


"I was told [the work experience placement] was mandatory after I'd attended the [retail] open day," said Reilly.


She said she felt she had to do it because, "without my JSA, I would literally have nothing".


The work experience programme, which is separate from a multitude of other programmes designed to get people back into work, was advertised in January as voluntary after the time spent volunteering was increased from two to eight weeks.


However, the DWP has clarified that there is a clause which allows jobcentre case workers around the country to force the unemployed into placements.


Corporate UK in all it's glory...Such a f*cked up place, where exploitation is rife!

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What's wrong with that? it's not free is it as they will be getting their benefits, problem in the UK is everyone thinks they have a right for everything for free if they are not working so what is the incentive to work? I work and have always worked yet I know people who are better off than me on the dole simply becuase they have kids! winds me up! There is work out there trouble is youths today are to choosy

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problem in the UK is
The asshole that run the country more like, it's a joke why should they be made to work for a massive company, what good will it do them? Someone needs to challenge it in the courts they would win without a doubt, after all they are working so why not pay them min wage? Min wage is ok for you yet not someone on the dole, I mean why not change the whole system and say min wage only applies to Whites or people born in the UK, there would be uproar and rightly so, if there made to work that's fine but pay them min wage that has to be fair.



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Divvy, you may have had a slight point if the work people are required to do benefited society as a whole - but just greasing the palms of the already rich?...


And what jobs that you talk about are actually out there?


So who do you think actually runs this country?


Big corporations have a word in the governmental ear, and hey presto - free labour!


And who benefits?...Big corporations of course!


The UK is on track to become the new sweatshop economy, and it won't be long before the Chinese are getting us to manufacture for them!


Some benefit claimants are indeed scroungers, but most need benefits to survive and have paid (or their families have) into the system so there is some form of entitlement there...


And how much money have we tax payers poured into the banking system in order that they carry on making profits and paying ludicrous bonuses?


Anyone who actually believes that an 'elected' government actually decides what happens in a capitalist society is deluded in the extreme!

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Try giving English Jobs to English people! virtually every place I go wether it be a hotel, bar or restuarant it's non English people...Now I am certainly not a racists but this is where all the jobs have gone in my opinion

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And you are right to a certain extent Divvy - but that is the result of globalisation!


Driving down wages in order to increase profits is a corporate mantra!


And when some are happy to accept lower wages, then why pay more?...we have been doing that for years by exporting our jobs to China!


Now we can no longer afford to import so much, companies/government are eroding our earning power in order to keep their gravy train going...


Lets hope that enough people will understand that in time, so the 'occupy' protests become a revolutionary movement!




I see that they have occupied an empty building owned by UBS....


I'd like to see a certain useless building in westminster occupied !

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