A man was told by DWP to go back to the same company that laid him off, this time on a 6 month unpaid work placement. When he refused his Jobseekers benefit was stopped.
Reading the article, it seems the organisation is getting more than half its staff from the unpaid workfare scheme. They also say some of the paid workforce started on MWA. No organisation should be using such a high proportion of workfare – it’s clearly going to impact paid work opportunities.
Secondly, what are Jobcentre staff thinking? MWA is supposed to be for people who lack work skills. You can’t really lack the skills to work somewhere you’ve already worked. Secondly, claimants are permitted to refuse a placement on ethical grounds and apply elsewhere (there has to be some flexibility on ethics, imagine trying to send a Vegetarian to work in a slaughterhouse). He clearly has a good ethical reason to refuse that particular placement, and should have been allowed to do so.
I can only conclude that the Jobcentre Adviser thought that, because he’ll have some remaining income (his pension), he’d just give up on JSA for an easy life and that would be that – an off-flow for the statistics. Looks like they messed with the wrong guy.