“I’m not your slave” is a phrase that parents of teenagers across the land come to hear on a daily basis for at least five of their little darlings’ “difficult years”. In a recent case before the High Court two individuals, who were taking part in the Government’s programmes intended to return individuals on state benefits to work, brought a number of claims that the removal of benefits, if they did not take part in the scheme, was unfair. Part of the Government’s plan to get more people back to work is to require eligible participants to take part in unpaid employment for a specified period of time (although their benefits continue) and, if they fail to complete this, their job seekers benefits may be stopped for up to 26 weeks.
Both Claimants claimed the scheme violated Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights in that it required the performance of “forced or compulsory labour” or, in simple terms, they were being treated like slaves. To our mind, this is an odd claim as slaves do not usually receive state benefits and allowances for carrying out work in reputable and safe establishments; however, the Court listened to the arguments made.
The Court took an eminently sensible approach to these claims and found that, no matter whether an individual felt that such schemes were effective or not, characterising them as involving or being analogous to “slavery” or “forced labour” would be a long way from contemporary thinking.
These Government programmes, often referred to as “welfare to work programmes”, have received a lot of bad press; however, we hope that this judgment encourages more employers to give individuals, who have not had experience of the work place for some time, the opportunity of gaining the skills and confidence to be able to smoothly return to employment.
Don’t force it It’s easy to assume that a Christmas party is welcomed by all, but some people actually dread the thought of socialising with their work associates! It can lead to peer pressure over what to wear, how much to drink, who to kiss under the mistletoe, are you a scrooge for not wanting[…..]
Who can remember life before Google?! Once upon a time, if you were looking for a job in Basingstoke you’d go to the yell.com website to search for a phone number…or maybe even scour the Basingstoke Gazette, community noticeboard, Thomson directory or Yellow Pages. These days, Google is so ubiquitous it’s basically become a verb.[…..]
Once the butt of many a joke, these days Basingstoke has shaken its ‘Boringstoke’ image of old and it’s thriving. A steady stream of development over the past decade has put the Hampshire town firmly on the map for many big businesses and retailers. The impact on employment in the region has been hugely positive[…..]
Unless you’ve been living on Mars, you’ll be aware that gender bias is a hot topic right now. Equality in the workplace is under greater scrutiny than ever before, industry-wide. The spotlight is shining on businesses to change how they recognise gender and to improve opportunities – for everybody. Implicit gender bias within the recruitment[…..]
October 10th, 2018 marks World Mental Health Day, providing another opportunity for all of us to tackle the stigma around mental health at work; opening the discussion around what more can be done to make mental health and wellbeing a higher priority for employers of full-time and part-time jobs in Basingstoke. The theme of this[…..]