People on job seekers allowance who refuse a job should lose their benefits
Under the new system proposed by the Conservatives, people on Jobseeker's who refuse a job or training programme will have their benefits stopped for a certain period of time. The long term unemployed will also be required to attend compulsory work skills programmes and those claiming for over 2 years will have to do community service. Is this an effective way of encouraging people to get back into work or is it punishing the poorest members of the community?
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Deters people from deliberately staying on benefits
If there are sanctions for those who turn down jobs, together with compulsory training programmes for the long term unemployed and community service for those claiming Jobseeker’s for over two years, claiming Jobseeker’s will no longer be an easy option and it will become more difficult the longer you stay on benefits.
There is something very wrong if people actually want to be on benefits. Being on benefits makes you the lowest social class in the country and the constant scapegoat of the media. It is major cause of depression. Furthermore, benefits is not enough to live comfortably on, it is only just enough to live a normal life if you live cheaply, as long as you can claim maximum benefits, which many can’t because it is a minefield of aggressive bureaucracy for the rest of your life, unless you genuinely need that much support.
How will the new measures stop people from languishing on Income Support?
Makes fraud more difficult.
If people who claim Jobseeker’s are not only required to turn up at the Job Centre every so often and produce occasional evidence that they are working, but also to Back To Work Centres, it will be easier to track who is doing what and make sure people are genuinely looking for work when they say they are. It will also afford them less time to secretly take cash-in-hand illegal work.
Major fraud is unlikely to be affected as it is conducted by professionals via a network of false identities. They will know how to handle the changes and will find loopholes to get around them.
Forces people to go on work training courses.
Many people are unemployed because they don’t have the skills necessary in a workplace. They may not even know how to look for work properly and there might be skills they need to have but don’t realise they need, and so can’t ask for. To actively require them to boost their employability with training programmes will help them to find work.
This could be counterproductive if the work training programmes aren’t that good, as the current work placement/new deal schemes aren’t - one of the reasons why Jobseeker’s Allowance isn’t working. If the training programmes aren’t that good, they will simply waste the jobseeker’s time. Actually applying for work takes up a great deal of time already and jobseekers are entitled to at least a rudimentary life outside looking for work - they may want to pursue activities such as voluntary work and hobbies that can be potentially done for money that will probably be more worthwhile than a work scheme that they only attend to satisfy bureaucrats.
Forces people to rush and go for jobs they genuinely can’t do.
The reason people turn jobs down isn’t always due to laziness or fraud. Sometimes the job genuinely isn’t suitable or even possible for them - it is in a location they can’t travel to, it involves a type of work they can’t do because of a health condition etc. Many job adverts are unclear and if you don’t have all the information you need when applying for a job, you might apply for a job without realising it is impossible for you to take it. People’s situations can also change and if you change address while you apply for a job and are no longer close enough to travel there, you shouldn’t be penalised.
This is especially a worry when combined with the current Jobseeker’s Agreements where one has to apply for a set number of jobs per week. When there genuinely isn’t enough work, people are pushed into applying for unsuitable jobs in order to meet quota.
These relevant circumstances can all be taken into account when deciding whether or not to penalise. The compulsory training can also teach people how to tell if a job is suitable.
Treats the long term unemployed like criminals.
The talk of compulsory programmes, sanctions, community service and uniforms sounds like a prison sentence! Unemployment isn’t a crime. Not every long term unemployed person is doing it on purpose - many are in very desperate circumstances. They may be disabled, illiterate, underage or single parents without proper support. They are already going to be heavily stigmatised and live in shame and persecution. Giving people the impression that they are criminals and can be treated as such will make the situation worse for them. They are a vulnerable group that need protecting, not punishing. If it is made more and more difficult for people to stay on benefits when they genuinely can’t find work, they may turn to actual crime so that they can make enough money to live on while avoiding the hassle of benefits.
Yes go and earn it until something more suitable turns up. Work is good for the soul. I know who I would employ, the one willing to work instead of waiting for the right job. Work for your living, its costing us taxpayers too much carrying you..
Undermines graduates and other potentially skilled employees.
Many people who are highly intelligent and skilled, suitable for higher-up jobs such as in the civil service, cannot get jobs because of specific circumstances such as disability, lack of employability skills or unpopular degree choice. If they are forced to take any job considered within their capacity and pressured into finding work fast, they will end up with a job far below them. The environment of unskilled work will be oppressive for them and they will be victimised, as well as being highly demoralised and humiliated.
Yes they can work if they want to. Do anything to get started.
People should be matched to the jobs they are most fitted for, not just anything they can do.
If people are given any job they can conceivably be capable of, then everyone will probably have a job. However, it won’t be an optimal workforce because people still won’t be doing the right jobs. They will be doing jobs unsuited to their personalities and individual skill sets. They will not be as motivated and capable as people who are truly destined to do that job and enjoy it.
Doesn’t tackle the root causes of unemployment.
Unemployment isn’t caused by lazy people on benefits. They do exist and contribute to unemployment. However, there are other far greater factors, such as the economic climate, lack of good vocational skills programmes and the poor recruitment skills of employers. Punishing people on Jobseeker's is probably the least effective way to deal with unemployment overall as a problem.
What do you think?