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After my brothers fight back against the job centre advisors yesterday on his treatment, he this morning receives a phone call saying they are putting him onto this mandatory work program working in charity shops etc.

 

lets keep the politics out of this and concentrate on the real issues.

 

There was that case last month where this work program was ruled unlawful in the high court, and the government were bringing in secondary legislation to address the issues raised by the law lords.

 

What is the legality of this mandatory work system as it stands now, that is as of todays date

 

WHAT I WILL SAY IS THAT IF THEY FORCE HIM INTO ONE OF THESE PLACEMENTS BY THREAT OF SANCTION, I WILL BE OUTSIDE THE CHARITY SHOP DEMONSTRATING MYSELF WITH A PLACARD

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That is a very good link ellie posted, read it and use it.

 

Forced labour is a breach of your human rights.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Any news on what the government has or has not done in regards to the decision in the high court on work fare. It was ruled unlawfull i believe until correct procedures were put into place

 

have any procedures now been put into place by the government to allow this workfare to continue

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I've spent the last five years working in the Third Sector and loved it and am still applying for full-time jobs. Instead of being mandated into work - could your brother find a local charity for which he may have some empathy and VOLUNTEER to work with them instead? He would learn far more and his experience would be so much more useful than being forced to work in a charity shop - with little or no training and no expectation of being offered paid employment? I would personally boycott all forms of work programmes for forced labour.

 

I used lots of volunteers in the past and trained them in research and intelligence gathering, data input and general admin. I also provided a structured training package and a reference for future employers, plus travel and out of pocket expenses.

 

If your brother shows initiative and willingness to find his own voluntary work, then I think he realistically argue his point and decline mandated work.

 

 

Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) is a 4 week 30 hour compulsory work placement (or 75% of time you are available for work) for people the job centre decides are:

“lacking, or failing to demonstrate, the focus and discipline that is necessary to effectively: seek out and pursue job opportunities or secure and retain employment.” (MWA Guidance pt 15)

 

So, if you find your own placement, there is no reason for them forcing you to work in a charity shop - unless your brother really doesn't mind doing this. It's always better to do something by choice, rather than being forced.

 

Besides, can't imagine charity shop volunteers being happy working with disgruntled, unhappy W2W clients.

 

What does everyone else think??

 

Impecunious! :-)

Edited by impecunious
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Me and my brother disagree on most things, but on one subject we are in agreement

 

That is the directors and underlings of these charities being paid more than our scrounging members of parliament in wages and bonus payments. These by definition are charities and its public donations paying for their life style. Allmost all these directors have directorships of other companies and do not need these over inflated wages and interest free mortgages.

 

there is only one charity i have respect for and that is the PDSA

 

MIGHT THESE CHARITIES LEAD BY EXAMPLE FROM THE TOP

 

sorry rant over, i do not see why he has to work for free by compulsion to line the pockets of a fat cat

Edited by squaddie
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Me and my brother disagree on most things, but on one subject we are in agreement

 

That is the directors and underlings of these charities being paid more than our scrounging members of parliament in wages and bonus payments. These by definition are charities and its public donations paying for their life style. Allmost all these directors have directorships of other companies and do not need these over inflated wages and interest free mortages.

 

there is only one charity i have respect for and that is the PDSA

 

MIGHT THESE CHARITIES LEAD BY EXAMPLE AT THE TOP

 

sorry rant over, i do not see why he has to work for free by compulsion to line the pockets of a fat cat

 

 

My salary at the charity was only half of what I was earning 20 yrs ago in London BUT I loved the job. None of the trustees were paid a salary nor did they ever ask for their expenses to be paid - it was purely voluntary = they took annual leave to attend quarterly trustee meetings from all over the country. The CEO took a substantial paycut to run the charity and one of the fundraisers was only working for a third of her previous salary. Every single penny at the charity was accounted for, you were either fundraisers or cost savers. I can assure you, we were very conscious that every penny was donated by the public and we never spent a penny on anything that was surplus to immediate requirement.

 

Please don't judge all charities the same. I'm currently undertaking voluntary consultancy work with a small disabled children's charity ...... they need all the voluntary help they can get to raise vital funds to improve the lives of disabled children with life-limiting conditions and offer support to their families.

 

Championing the cause of the charitable sector and the many hundreds of thousands of lives they touch each and every day. Volunteering isn't "unpaid" work, it gives a sense of worth, of contributing, of belonging, of community and giving back ...... it's very different from forced free labour.

 

 

Impecunious! :-)

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Me and my brother disagree on most things, but on one subject we are in agreement

 

That is the directors and underlings of these charities being paid more than our scrounging members of parliament in wages and bonus payments. These by definition are charities and its public donations paying for their life style. Allmost all these directors have directorships of other companies and do not need these over inflated wages and interest free mortages.

 

there is only one charity i have respect for and that is the PDSA

 

MIGHT THESE CHARITIES LEAD BY EXAMPLE AT THE TOP

 

sorry rant over, i do not see why he has to work for free by compulsion to line the pockets of a fat cat

 

I worked for a small, local charity and no one had large paypackets. The person running the place was on less than 50k a year. We took in jobseekers under the old work scheme for young people, which was voluntary and they got £20 a week more in benefits. The young people were then trained in admin and general office duties by our paid admin staff. several of the jobseekers stayed on to volunteer after their 12 weeks, several others got paying jobs with our charity, and some more used the skills and reference they got from their work with us to secure employment that they could now show they had the skills for. Sadly, I think most of the placements nowadays are about providing free labour, rather than any focus on training. There should be a reason for the placement - the people we worked with were young and had never had a job before. Other placements could be to get valuable training and experience in a specific area - for instance in a residential home if the aim is to go into care work. But many of the placements appear more punitive and 'stick' than anything else.

 

Some charities are good - particularly the smaller ones and make a great contribution to the local community.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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I worked for a small, local charity and no one had large paypackets. The person running the place was on less than 50k a year. We took in jobseekers under the old work scheme for young people, which was voluntary and they got £20 a week more in benefits. The young people were then trained in admin and general office duties by our paid admin staff. several of the jobseekers stayed on to volunteer after their 12 weeks, several others got paying jobs with our charity, and some more used the skills and reference they got from their work with us to secure employment that they could now show they had the skills for. Sadly, I think most of the placements nowadays are about providing free labour, rather than any focus on training. There should be a reason for the placement - the people we worked with were young and had never had a job before. Other placements could be to get valuable training and experience in a specific area - for instance in a residential home if the aim is to go into care work. But many of the placements appear more punitive and 'stick' than anything else.

 

Some charities are good - particularly the smaller ones and make a great contribution to the local community.

 

 

 

I'm so pleased to see that your experience of small charities totally mirrors my own ....... Personally, I can't wait to get into the Sector -- interview is on Monday, so fingers crossed.

 

Impecunious! :-)

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The best way to judge a charity is to find out what its total income is for a 12 month period, then find out what its "administration costs" and salary bill amounts to each year, considering most front line staff are volunteers , you will be shocked how little goes into helping people direct that the charity stands for

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If that training and some extra money were paid now estellyn I cant see an issue with it, to be fair, being even £20 per week better off, working locally with no or little bus fare, and being trained while doing something for the community or deserved charity, where the person is fit enough to do so, no argument from me. Keeping dwp off my back into the bargain. Many people facing the council tax charge etc would be grateful to get that extra money, I know I would...thing is as far as I have heard there is no such extra payment offered now? or useful training?....methinks logic and common sense have no place with this govt.

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and the young lady who stood her ground with the poundland fiasco...hadn't she already found herself voluntary work in a museum or somewhere similar? doing work related to her qualifications? ....this govt has lost the plot entirely. They want to force and bully those who cannot fight back, and help the poor become more poor, whilst feathering their own already luxurious nests....no time for any of them. Quality of my life is my priority, which is just as well as its definitely not my MP's or this shameless example of a govt.

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Methinks some of these people arranging these things are deliberately contrary. Which is where one problem leads to another. Why cant they grow up and be realistic and fair. If you volunteer for a charity shop, there are loads around and am sure could be arranged easily, why the hell Sainsburys, unless its for a training course with financial benefits. Then of course begins the warranted argument that if such a vacancy exists then why isn't a fully paid job. I volunteered for a charity shop last year, I only lasted two mornings, I was given the job of pricing and hanging up garments, it was the twist and turn of pricing and then turning to hang then on the rail behind me that caused so much pain, I couldn't move let alone walk for the next 3 days, from rib pain, due to knotted muscles, one symptom of my fibromyalgia, and the back and leg pain from same, was when we realised I couldn't sit or stand for very long before being in discomfort that led to pain. There wasn't enough room there for me to have a chair and face the rail, and accommodate the other volunteers and staff, one of the part time managers had little sympathy and thought for anyone, a face like a bulldog chewing wasp came to mind. She certainly wasn't very charitable. I didn't feel able to explain to her, so I made my excuses and didn't go back. Shame all round really.

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The best way to judge a charity is to find out what its total income is for a 12 month period, then find out what its "administration costs" and salary bill amounts to each year, considering most front line staff are volunteers , you will be shocked how little goes into helping people direct that the charity stands for

 

 

With respect, that is a very simplistic view. Most charities rely on public donations and don't receive any kind of statutory or government funding. Administration costs is just a catch-all term ..... charities still have to pay overheads; rent, electricity, gas, water rates, lighing, office equipment, IT equipment, licences, HR advice, advertising, website, hygiene facitlies, H&S, insurance,telephony, servers, bank charges, accountancy charges, drinking water, cleaning products, cleaners, refuse collection, printing, marketing materials, stationery, printer consumables, postage, franking machines, photocopiers, furniture, salaries, staff training etc. etc.

 

Fundraising costs money -- you really don't believe that donations just miraculously appear?? Donors have to be informed, advised, educated - nurtured, thanked .... this has to be paid for! Events have to be organised, venues hired, permits and licences granted, H&S, equipment, banners, stewards. Fundraising strategy has to be planned and developed.

 

Pennies will not buy specialised equipment for disabled children --- each item may cost thousands and thousands of pounds for each child -- it won't last forever -- children grow and their needs change and they may need more than just one piece of equipment .....

 

You need educated, highly skilled and experienced people to deliver all these services ... deal with distraught, emotional, frustrated parents whose children desperately need equipment to help them walk, to talk, to learn. These parents are usually lone parents, on low wages/benefits with several children - one or more may be disabled and the parent may also be disabled too ..... they have to trawl through endless charities and hate asking for help! We have to be empathetic, patient. professional - and have a good listening ear .... help them or signpost them. It's not all about fundraising but without the fundraising, there is NO-ONE to help these families ..... We need to be media savvy, have great writing and communication skills, IT literate, understand HMRC regulations, follow DPA guidlelines, abide by fundraising standards and be able to work professionally, CRB checked, enhanced disclosure ...... being educated to degree standard is usually essential. You have to be patient and resilient -- and keep on asking for money! You try it! Staff benefits: hmmmmm, nothing special -- I've never received a great salary, no pension contributions or any pay rises ... but I've worked with fabulous people who get a huge kick out of helping the most vulnerable in our society - from cradle to grave ... and who want to make a real difference.

 

 

Even volunteers need to be trained regularly, attend meetings with perhaps overnight stays, supplied with uniforms, receive expenses - rewards, recognition - tea, coffee and biscuits! Without dedicated, permanent employees, it would be impossible to properly recruit and maintain the volunteers that are needed to service our charities.

 

If it wasn't for our charitable activities, this country would grind to a halt!

 

It really is impossible to judge a charity just by "reading" their accounts without having a full and thorough understanding of exactly how each individual charity operates. So, please don't tar all charities with the same brush.

 

Impecunious! :-)

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yes agreeing with you Impecunious, there is a lot of work behind the scenes that we don't see or are aware of. without MIND as one example, I would have been in extreme dire straits in the past, before I got a referral and an assessment for CBT, it was a scary time for me, it was MIND that took the time to explain what CBT was and supported me with emails etc, which was better for me than on the phone or face to face at that time. I do support them now in little ways that I can but would love to do more, as you say its costs of training etc and lack of funding.

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yes agreeing with you Impecunious, there is a lot of work behind the scenes that we don't see or are aware of. without MIND as one example, I would have been in extreme dire straits in the past, before I got a referral and an assessment for CBT, it was a scary time for me, it was MIND that took the time to explain what CBT was and supported me with emails etc, which was better for me than on the phone or face to face at that time. I do support them now in little ways that I can but would love to do more, as you say its costs of training etc and lack of funding.

 

Thank you! Quite literally, every penny counts - but they needs hundreds and thousands of pennies from all of us to make a real difference.

 

As I mentioned before, I have/had two children with disabilities and know how difficult it is to get help. I've worked for a small national children's charity and for a large UK charity supporting older, vulnerable people. I have also been on the other side, volunteering when my children were growing up -- for good neighbour charities, befriending groups and supporting mums with children under 5 yrs of age.

 

You never know when you'll need help ...... I'm glad MIND were able to offer such a great service ..... I support RETHINK .... and the former children's charity I worked for. They always need your time, your talent and your pennies! :-)

 

Impecunious! :-)

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yes I have been looking on the RETHINK website lately strangely enough, am limited in what I can do but am always looking to see whats needed etc.

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Our main charity cost was the workforce as our work was casework in community law - so helping people with benefits problems, debt issues, housing issues, employment issues etc. Our funding came from multiple sources, though a main funder was a legal aid contract which will now be lost and possibly cause the service to close if alternate funding isn't found. Our workforce was advisers and admin staff and one manager and a cleaner and some volunteers. But yes we needed a building to deliver the service in, travel costs for outreach workers, and all of the supplies required for an office and building. Trustees were volunteer positions. There was little advertising budget, but word of mouth meant we were always swamped. The senior advisers did most of the day to day service management and the manager dealt with escalated issues and securing funding which was his speciality. The local community relies on the service provided, and without it would have nowhere else to turn as the local cab was also swamped.

 

Like Impecunious, I was very proud to work for a charity, and as a paid employee, I didn't do it for the money, and no one there did. Most employees worked well in excess of their contracted hours (unpaid), and we were all involved in training new staff and volunteers.

 

The best way to judge a charity is to see how valued they are in the community they serve, and at the quality of volunteer training. We could have had the jobseeker volunteers making the coffee or doing really useless grunt work - like private companies do now (shelfstacking and cleaning in a supermarket rather than teaching tillwork which is a more valuable skill to shop employers), but there was a training programme in admin work for them which helped them get a job.

 

Good schemes can be very helpful for appropriate jobseekers, but most of the current scheme is awful and of little use to most jobseekers.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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