If someone is claiming unemployment benefits should the government be able to make them work a full-time jobs to remain eligible for benefits?
You could argue that if someone is receiving unemployment benefits, offering them ‘job experience’ may have certain benefits.
Benefits of Unemployed having to Work
- It makes sure people are not claiming benefits whilst doing another job. But, are actively seeking work.
- It sounds fair that people who receive benefits give something back to the community in return.
- The ‘job experience’ may be helpful in giving the unemployed skills and on the job training. Firms may be more willing to employ someone who has job experience and evidence of being willing to work hard.
- Having a job to do may increase the sense of self-worth and avoid the boredom of being unemployed.
However, problems with making the Unemployed work for benefits
- If someone is working full-time for benefits, they have less time to look for other jobs.
- If they are doing a full-time job, should they not be paid a full-time wage rather than the very low unemployment benefit of £53 a week?
- It is not necessary to make a job seeker do a full-time job to make sure they aren’t ‘scrounging’. Checks are already quite rigorous. With 3 million unemployed because of the recession, finding a job is increasingly difficult and it is wrong to label people as ‘benefit scroungers’
- Companies may use it as an opportunity to get workers at very low cost, paid for by the government. There is even a danger that the ‘unemployed on benefits’ take the place of those on proper jobs. Therefore, it does nothing to solve the unemployment problem.
- If the job is unskilled such as shelf-stacking the unemployed will not be learning any worthwhile skills.
- People may feel demeaned to do a 40 hour week for £53 a week benefits.
- It depends on the type of ‘job experience’ on offer. If the unemployed were given a chance to do work which enabled a useful improvement in their CV, then it may be worthwhile.
- It depends whether the job experience leads onto a firm job offer at the end of the two week trial.
- It depends on whether firms see it as an opportunity to get free labour or an opportunity to offer training and experience to the unemployed.
- It depends whether the unemployed still have time to apply for jobs
- Why Government was wrong to make me work for benefits – Cait Reilly at Guardian.
- Living Wage arguments
3 thoughts on “Should the Unemployed Work for Benefits?”
“If someone is working full-time for benefits, they have less time to look for other jobs.” On the other hand, the evidence is that the actual time the unemployed in the UK spend looking for work is about 3 hours a week. Strikes me that is no more of an excuse for not doing some work than is the fact that it’s customary to take an hour off work every day to eat lunch.
“If they are doing a full-time job, should they not be paid a full-time wage rather than the very low unemployment benefit of £53 a week?”
I think the way round that is have gross weekly pay about equal to benefits, and have the number of working hours such that the HOURLY rate equals the minimum wage.
“If the job is unskilled such as shelf-stacking the unemployed will not be learning any worthwhile skills.” The reality is that we have an excess supply of people with fancy university degrees. Many of these people are just going to have to start at the bottom, and if they really do have talent, work their way up.
Many people earn benefits. Some people have jobs and still claim benefits which is more than can be said for the lazy, do nothing scumbags who practically steal benefits when they could be out earning. They make up some unbelievable, pathetic excuse why they can’t work. However, some people do deserve benefits. People who have babies to gain benefits are nasty, horrible and vile. Their children should be taken off them for a while to see if they learn the meaning of the word ‘benefit.’ More jobs need to be made available. Training and learning schemes need to be put into place to allow the majority to attempt to get a job. Some need to be moved off their seats and made to work, others deserve it. 🙂
Its very well saying all that but the main problem here is the jobs market, in the best part of 2005 the economy was strong and unemployment rates were as low as 4.6% compared to today’s 8.4% and rising, I don’t see why the focus appears to be on the benefit system when the job market is failing, the government needs to start investing in the jobs market again, raise the minimum wage, lower benefits through assessment only and give people an incentive to find work, blaming the unemployed of this country is a government excuse for its own deficit problems, who in gods name wants to be living off £53 a week ?, I have never met anyone in my life with those aspirations, minimum wage does not suit every unskilled person in the country, I know there are a small amount of scroungers out there (most of them have probably been highlighted on the Jeremy Kyle show) and I would really like to see those type of people work for there benefits but there are also people with kids and family commitments, who must feel that after paying for child care they are earning less working than claiming benefits, the bottom line is when there are less jobs there are more looking for £53 a week and its the governments job to create more employment.