In the name of providing valuable “work experience” to young people, British supermarkets and department stores—one of which makes the equivalent of more than 5½ billion U.S. dollars annually—are holding job seekers’ unemployment benefits hostage to squeeze them of weeks of free labor without any promise of a permanent position. The program is sponsored by the British government. —ARK
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says that if jobseekers “express an interest” in an offer of work experience they must continue to work without pay, after a one-week cooling-off period or face having their benefits docked.
Young people have told the Guardian that they are doing up to 30 hours a week of unpaid labour and have to be available from 9am to 10pm.
In three such cases jobseekers also claim they were not told about the week’s cooling-off period, and that once they showed a willingness to take part in the scheme they were told by their case manager they would be stripped of their £53- a-week jobseekers allowance (JSA) if they backed out.