“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.
As Enterprise Coordinator at Enterprise M3 LEP, Shirley Ducker helps schools and colleges improve their careers and enterprise activities to engage with the world of employment. But it’s through her own personal journey that she’s learned the most about the power of networking. Shirley’s here as a guest blogger to share her experience with you…[…..]
As we’re all living – and working – for longer, the age range in most workplaces is becoming broader. In some cases, there can be an age gap of 50 years or more between staff. All diversity enriches the work culture, but it can require some education to manage it effectively. ACAS recently published a[…..]
There are countless reasons why recruiting a person under the age of 25 could be beneficial to the success and growth of your business. As a job agency in Basingstoke, we’ve recently been reminded of the benefits of this yet again. Spring is a time for new beginnings and you’ll not only be opening a[…..]
As a recruitment agency that’s also heavily involved in the community, we can’t stop talking about the many benefits of apprenticeships. These positions give young people and career-changers the opportunity to study for a work-based qualification that is often the first stepping stone in a bright career. Our apprentice, Kyra Wallace, recently completed her time[…..]
In recruitment, as in life, things rarely work out as expected. The news reminds us daily that it’s actually wise to expect the unexpected. For example, you’ve got to wonder if there’s a teeny weeny bit of Theresa May’s brain that wishes she had pre-prepared a plan B for how Brexit is unfolding… We[…..]