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Cheap-work conservatives: arbeit macht frei

Today, people who are sick or disabled become eligible for mandatory workfare placements.

Mark Hoban, Minister for Employment
, says that forcing people to work for no pay is “a very good way to increase someone’s confidence” and claimed that

“People on sickness benefits who do all they can to improve their chances of moving back into a job have nothing to worry about.

“They will get their benefits and we will do all we can to help. But in the small number of cases where people refuse to stick to their part of the bargain, it’s only right there are consequences.”

The consequences are an open-ended sanction – benefits-cut – for someone who, from the perspective of the Work Programme, has been declared fit for work but refuses to do a “work placement”. The open-ended period during which a “fit for work” client must do without benefits will end when “the claimant meets the requirements” – agrees to go work for their benefits, but the open-ended sanction is followed by “a short fixed period of 1, 2 or 4 weeks”.

So for the first week (or first four weeks) of the unpaid and indefinite work placement, the client will still have their benefits cut. After they’ve worked for a week or more for no money, they can get their benefits back – assuming they’re still alive.
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Filed under Benefits, Poverty