Jobseekers could be referred to 'mandatory' work activity by Jobcentre Plus staff
David Woods, March 15, 2011
Jobseekers that need additional support to get back to work could be referred onto Mandatory Work Activity placements under new welfare rules.
According to minister for employment Chris Grayling, Jobcentre Plus advisers will be able to refer jobseekers to the new Mandatory Work Activity.
Where advisers believe a jobseeker will benefit from experiencing the habits and routines of working life, they will have the power to refer them to a four-week mandatory placement.
Every work placement will offer the jobseeker the opportunity to gain fundamental work disciplines and will be of benefit to the local community. Participants will be expected to spend up to 30 hours a week, for four weeks, on their Work Activity placement and will be required to continue to look for work.
Grayling said: "I've been really worried by some of the job search interviews I've sat through where people are clearly losing their focus and just aren't getting any closer to a job. This new approach is designed to give people that extra push to make sure they are really keeping active and focused on what it takes to get into work.
"If a claimant does not attend or complete the placement then a significant financial sanction will be imposed, such as withholding Jobseeker's Allowance for at least three months."