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From Work and Benefits:
‘ MANDATORY WORK SCHEMES TO CLOSE
The government is axing mandatory work activity and community work placements. The announcement comes after years of protests and court action by claimants forced into unpaid work with no prospect of a job at the end.
The not so good news, however, is that a new scheme called the Work and Health Programme is to be introduced.
As one commentator has already suggested, this might be the beginning of attempts to force claimants into compulsory treatment programmes such as CBT or help to combat drug or alcohol misuse.’
SCHEMES DUE TO END MARCH/APRIL 2016. BUT JSA/ESA/Universal Credit claimants will still be under pressure to take ‘reasonable’ offers of work or training under threat of sanctions.
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The first national conference of this kind for many years was held at the TUC last month.The day was well-attended by trades unionists both employed and unemployed from all over the country. Key points of consensus emerged from the day about the basic elements of a National Welfare Charter. These included:
- An end to the current sanctions regime
- No more Work Capability Assessments
- An unconditional Citizens Income for all
- Trades union rights and representation for the unemployed
- Campaign for a minimum wage of at least £10 per hour to include apprenticeships and other types of training
- Scrap Workfare – voluntary work should be completely voluntary and not substitute for jobs that should be paid at least the minimum wage
These and other demands arising from the Conference will be developed into a Charter, to be promoted through trades unions, the Labour Party, mass media and other means in the run-up to the General Election. The next open organising committee will be at the Unite Holborn HQ on 25th March at 1.00 pm.