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Mandatory work schemes for benefits to be scrapped – but replacement to be announced

The government is quietly abolishing mandatory work activity and community work placements. The announcement comes after years of protests and court action by jobseeker’s allowance and employment and support allowance claimants forced into unpaid work placements with no prospect of a job at the end of them. However, a new scheme is to be introduced, about which no details have yet been announced.

According to the Treasury’s Autumn statement:

“Total spending on employment will be reduced, including not renewing Mandatory Work Activity and Community Work Placements, but introducing a Work and Health Programme for the longer term unemployed and those with health conditions.”

The ending of the current schemes will be widely welcomed and is almost certainly due to years of protest and direct action against companies and charities that used forced claimant labour.

But many sick and disabled claimants will be waiting until they know what the Work and Health Programme consists of, before they breathe a sigh of relief.

You can download the Autumn statement from this link.

Comments  

#5 Asbo 2015-12-02 20:05
The Work and Health Programme is very worrying for sick and disabled people. The government have already made noises about the lack of sick and disabled people being 'offered help' into work and IDS has mentioned about sick and disabled people 'working their way out of poverty'. If you look at the health and work policy unit you will see a lot on there about older people with chronic and fluctuating illnesses so we'll be targeted next. Worse, Dame Carol Black is heavily involved :(
#4 Idonia 2015-12-02 02:49
What about people with mental illnesses for whom counselling/CBT actually exacerbates symptoms leading to a worsening in their condition? I've had CBT-style therapy twice now - with a qualified psychologist from my local MH team - and both times it caused me a huge amount of lasting psychological distress, which has made it even harder for me to consider seeking work. I'm in the SG at the moment, though being reassessed next summer so that will probably change...
#3 Camly91 2015-12-01 20:26
Quoting carruthers:
Quote:
a Work and Health Programme for the longer term unemployed and those with health conditions


Prediction No 1: This will see a further move to making those currently in the WRAG as effectively the same as those on JSA - they will get the same amount of money and will now be subject to the same "work and health" conditions. This reflects a continuing drip of information from the DWP that "most" people who are "on the sick" are actually capable of work now - just "with support".

Prediction No 2: The Work and Health conditions will include mandatory counselling and/or CBT. This will put the DWP in breach of rules that people cannot be forced to undergo medical treatment, but they won't care.

Prediction No 3: Said health programmes will include mandatory drug testing for claimants and then mandatory "programmes" for drug (including prescription drug) and alcohol misuse. If we're unlucky it might also include programmes to force people to give up smoking or lose weight or take exercise.

Prediction No 4: Decisions about all such matters on an individual basis will be made by civil servants or junior staff at Capita et al with no reference to your (or any other) doctors.

If you don't want to follow any of those programmes, then you can always give up your benefit.
Yes I'm afraid I agree, it sounds sinister to me.

I think it will definitely include mandatory counselling/CBT & probably some kind of NLP/Positive Mental attitude stuff too. The CBT therapists will have had about 3wks training & have a 'certificate' saying they are fully qualified to treat anyone & everything.
+1 #2 carruthers 2015-12-01 15:23
Quote:
a Work and Health Programme for the longer term unemployed and those with health conditions
Prediction No 1: This will see a further move to making those currently in the WRAG as effectively the same as those on JSA - they will get the same amount of money and will now be subject to the same "work and health" conditions. This reflects a continuing drip of information from the DWP that "most" people who are "on the sick" are actually capable of work now - just "with support".

Prediction No 2: The Work and Health conditions will include mandatory counselling and/or CBT. This will put the DWP in breach of rules that people cannot be forced to undergo medical treatment, but they won't care.

Prediction No 3: Said health programmes will include mandatory drug testing for claimants and then mandatory "programmes" for drug (including prescription drug) and alcohol misuse. If we're unlucky it might also include programmes to force people to give up smoking or lose weight or take exercise.

Prediction No 4: Decisions about all such matters on an individual basis will be made by civil servants or junior staff at Capita et al with no reference to your (or any other) doctors.

If you don't want to follow any of those programmes, then you can always give up your benefit.
+1 #1 David 2015-11-30 18:58
Whatever replaces it, will be as bad or worse than the Mandatory Work Activity. The Tory government loves the thought of slave labour and that unemployment and sick/disabled people might be getting "something for nothing".

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