Is unpaid work really unpaid?



This has been a lot of talk in recent weeks about the government’s work experience scheme and a lot of accusations that it is wrong to force people on benefit to work and that it is in fact slavery. But is this the case.


I am firstly happy to acknowledge the scheme is not perfect and I feel the difficulties will be sorted as this government is more dynamic and willing to make changes than people give it credit for. However, I can not get over the fact that people who being paid in terms of their benefit in exchange for the work they are doing, which people who has real jobs are not entitled to. Are people really saying this is completely fair that people who perfectly able to work should receive monies from taxpayers, people who do work, to do nothing?


There is much concern about big firms getting what is seem as free labour from the government but that example this. Companies are volunteering to take us young people who often have no skills, no experiences and probably an uncooperative attitude. Rather than getting solid useful work from them, companies need to provide intensive supervision to people of the scheme with less expectations than paid staff. It is only big companies which can in this economy afford to soak up the costs of ‘looking after’ people on the scheme.


What also interests me in that many organisations, especially disabled organisations, who are crying foul about slave labour often depend on forcing disabled people to do truly unpaid slave labour for the benefit of their paid staff. Moreover, these organisations forced disabled people to give their expertise for free to any company that wants is and so they are denying many disabled people the opportunity to be paid what they are worth!

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