Cait Reilly ruling should mean end of workfare

12 February 2013

We believe a ruling by appeal court judges should mean the end of the government's workfare schemes.

The details of today's (Tuesday 12) judgement in the Cait Reilly and Jamie Wilson cases are still being studied.

But we welcome the fact the judges overturned the original verdict and agreed the pair were unlawfully forced to work for no wages.

We represent almost 80,000 of the Department for Work and Pensions’ 100,000 staff.

We successfully steered a motion through last year’s TUC congress calling for all work to be optional and paid and for back-to-work schemes to be brought back in-house.

Our members in jobcentres and advice centres will offer guidance and support to all those affected by the ruling, including those who have been unjustly sanctioned.

We also reaffirm our support for campaign groups, including Boycott Workfare, opposed to schemes, some of which now appear to be unlawful.

The judgement comes on the day we publish our ‘Britain needs a pay rise’ report, highlighting the effect of low wages on our economy.

Far from offering sustainable employment, workfare schemes are ineffective and exacerbate a low-wage economy.

Responding to the judgement PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This is a very significant ruling that we believe supports what we have said all along, that no one should be forced to work without pay.

“The government can not continue to help private companies and charities to exploit people who are out of work, and these schemes must surely now be scrapped and the work brought back in-house.” 


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