Britain Flirts With Slavery
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
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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.
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