Most of the employers still involved in the government’s discredited workfare schemes continue to keep up the pretence that they are helping the unemployed to find a job. Some even claim that those who do well are offered real paid work at the end of it.
A few weeks ago this charade was blown wide open. News that Homebase in Haringey was taking on tens of workfare placements was quickly followed by the revelation of this poster circulated internally to Homebase managers, showing a batch of workfare recruits above the slogan:
How the work experience program can benefit your store.
Would 750 hours with no pay roll costs help YOUR store?
This is having a massive impact on the paid work available for their regular staff. Overtime has been cut, in some cases work hours reduced from 48 to 8, well below the threshold for Working Tax Credits. Haringey Homebase is no longer advertising for paid workers, & of course there will be no jobs at the end of the workfare placements.
Every week, Homebase in Haringey profits from 750 hours of unpaid work, with over 20 workfare placements in the store. All paid for out of tax payers’ money. It is no wonder they want their other 342 stores across the country to do the same.
Workfare is a massive state handout to bosses. People such as the CEO of Home Retail Group – which also owns workfare exploiters Argos – who last year was paid £1.1 million.
The public response to this story has been immense and Homebase now say they are ‘reviewing’ their local arrangements, but people are still being exploited in their Haringey store & possibly elsewhere. We need to show Homebase that they can’t get away with workfare exploitation and we won’t go away until everyone working in their stores is paid.
The Work Experience Program benefits only the bosses. Ending this job destruction scheme would help all of us – in work or out of work!
Thanks to Lewes Stop the Cuts who joined us for a very successful picket, after we had joined theirs outside Age UK. Solidarity!