Saturday, 14 January 2012

U K renamed ‘Poundland’
Cait Reilly had been working on a voluntary basis at a museum. She was an unemployed graduate who was working in a museum for work experience and to increase her employability. The government did not agree. They have worked out a cosy little deal with their business chums which on the surface looks like a good idea. 
“Geology graduate Cait Reilly is suing the Government for forcing her to sweep floors and stack shelves in Poundland for no extra salary or lose her benefits. There is nothing wrong with stacking shelves. There is everything wrong with stacking shelves for a wage that would amount, for a 22-year-old, to £1.33 an hour for an average working week, with no security, benefits or expectation of promotion: Ms Reilly was not even offered an interview after her placement.
The Department for Work and Pension's claim that the practice of requiring people on benefits to work menial jobs for substantially less than the minimum wage is somehow about "support" and "help[ing] people off benefits and into work"  Laurie Penny, Independent
A reader commenting on the article wrote the following, “My son was offered work experience for 4 weeks and he,  an 18 year old with limited experience of work, jumped at the chance. After 1 week working for 30 hours as a member of staff not an extra, they asked him if he would like a job. He was delighted, and of course said yes.
But they continued to keep him on a work experience basis  for the following 3 weeks.
After his 4 weeks were up, they decided to keep him on - but not as an employed member of staff, but still on work experience, for another 4 weeks, taking him to the limit allowed for work experience.
THEN they gave him a job, working 25 hours a week, but on an 8 hour a week contract (this obviously works out better for the business - less holiday and sickness allowance for them to pay out. It appears to be standard procedure these days).
So YOU, the taxpayer, funded this business for 7 weeks longer than you should have, giving them a free employee for those seven weeks, and giving the business all the extra allowances they are given by the government for being kind enough to take on people on the work experience scheme.
Businesses (with millions of profit every year) and taking advantage of us, and also reducing the hours of employed staff whilst taking on these 'free employees'.
The system stinks.”
Another added, “If there's work to do then the employee should receive minimum wage, regardless of whether they work in a business or in the community. Every job an unemployed person does results in a paying job being lost.” (my emphasis)
There is a move to identify these ‘helpful’ companies who are exploiting the situation to make even more millions - and boycott the bastards.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, the negative response to Cait Reilly was always going to happen. But nothing about her makes me think that she's just a scrounger with a sense of entitlement, as she is accused of being. She isn't turning up her nose at a job at Poundland, she isn't taking the stance that it's graduate jobs or nothing at all. You can tell that she genuinely wants to work.

    That's where I have a problem with how she's being treated. She has a dream job, there's nothing wrong in that, and she had a placement that was relevant to that dream job.

    She didn't turn down a placement when she had made no arrangements of her own. She didn't turn down paid work. She didn't turn down a placement that would have led to paid work. She didn't turn down the chance of gaining any new experience, as she already had retail experience. In essence, she stood to gain nothing from this placement.

    And I don't think it's too much for graduates to ask for if they expect to gain something useful from a placement. I don't think that suing is going to solve anything, sadly I think it's only going to harm her in the long run. But I have a lot of sympathy with her.