Court rules government 'back-to-work' scheme is unlawful

The government's initiative for getting more people into work - by effectively forcing them to work for companies for free to earn their welfare payments - has been largely ruled unlawful.

by Michael Northcott
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

Ministers have found their policy in a bit of a mess today, after university graduate Cait Reilly won a Court of Appeal claim that the government’s requirement that she work without pay at Poundland was unlawful.

Reilly originally took the government to court after she was informed that she would not be entitled to her jobseeker’s allowance if she did not work for free in a placement at the discount store.

Her solicitor said that the ruling will mean: ‘All those people who have been sanctioned by having their jobseekers’ allowance withdrawn for non-compliance with the back-to-work schemes affected will be entitled to reclaim their benefits.’

The ruling also essentially means that any semblance of a ‘welfare to work’ type scheme will be extremely difficult for the government to implement. 

Employment minister Mark Hoban said: ‘We are…disappointed and surprised at the court's decision on our regulations. There needed to be flexibility so we could give people the right support to meet their needs and get them into a job.

We do not agree with the court's judgment and are seeking permission to appeal, but new regulations will be tabled to avoid any uncertainty.

‘Ultimately the judgment confirms that it is right that we expect people to take getting into work seriously if they want to claim benefits.’ Not sure how you worked that one out, minister…

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Upcoming Events

Latest on MT

Meet the entrepreneur who keeps skyscrapers in shape

Meet the entrepreneur who keeps skyscrapers in shape

Niel Bethell's building maintenance business High Access has just raised £3.3m.

What are the ingredients of the perfect C-suite?

What are the ingredients of the perfect C-suite?

Harmonious dissonance in the boardroom can be a good thing, says Dean Stamoulis.

The business of golf has landed in the rough

The business of golf has landed in the rough

EDITOR'S BLOG: Adidas and Nike are getting out after conditions turned sub-par.

5 point guide to safeguarding your business

5 point guide to safeguarding your business

SPONSORED: Beef up your data security with these top tips.

Cheat sheet: restore your company's good name

Cheat sheet: restore your company's good name

The much maligned Sports Direct is opening its doors to the public. How else can you regain your reputation?

Uber drivers and cabbies are both set for the scrapheap

Uber drivers and cabbies are both set for the scrapheap

One day the fierce rivalry on London's roads will be consigned to history by self-driving cabs.