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Back-to-work scheme 'unlawful'

Back-to-work scheme 'unlawful'

The Government will rewrite regulations around the Work Programme after the Court of Appeal ruled they were unlawful.

The ruling came after graduate Cait Reilly brought legal action over being told she had to work for free for a fortnight at retailer Poundland.

Minister for Employment Mark Hoban said he was "disappointed and surprised" by the decision, which the Government is appealing.

"It’s ridiculous to say this is forced labour," he said.

The court found that although the Work Programme itself did not breach human rights law, the regulations around the scheme do not properly describe what is involved.

In November 2011, Ms Reilly was told she would lose her Jobseeker's Allowance if she did not leave her voluntary work at a museum to work unpaid at a Poundland store in Birmingham.

TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said it had blown a "a big hole" through the Government's workfare policies.

Cait Reilly's solicitor Tessa Gregory said: "In a carefully reasoned judgement the court found that the Secretary of State Iain Duncan-Smith had acted beyond the powers given to him by Parliament by failing to provide any details of the various Back-to work scheme in the regulations.

"The case has revealed the chaos and confusion at the heart of the DWP who have set up a  web of schemes and sanctions so complex that their own job centre advisers are failing to implement them correctly."

Green Box: Back-to-work scheme 'unlawful'Click to open

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