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The latest news on unemployment, employment, benefits and the economy. Find out who’s hiring, who’s firing, changes to benefits, the unemployment rate and everything that’s new in our world.

G4S government contract ban ends even while SFO investigation continues

Thu, 10/04/2014 - 13:26 -- nick

Work programme provider G4S is to have its ban on applying for new government contracts ended - after just one year.

The company was pulled up after it was found to have overcharged the state by £109 million for the electronic tagging and monitoring of prisoners.

But the Cabinet Office has backtracked on this ban, saying G4S had taken "positive steps" to change its practices and engaged "constructively" with the government. Read more about G4S government contract ban ends even while SFO investigation continues

Government's benefit cuts force food bank use - report

Wed, 09/04/2014 - 12:52 -- nick

The government's benefit reforms are forcing some of Britain's poorest people to use food banks - despite all official denials.

According to a report by Sheffield University researcher Hannah Lambie-Mumford cited in today's Guardian, the link is now proven, despite a recent official government report reiterating that an increase in food bank use was not due to its welfare cuts. Read more about Government's benefit cuts force food bank use - report

Still fewer full time workers than before recession as fake self-employment takes over

Thu, 03/04/2014 - 13:06 -- nick

There are still fewer full time workers in the UK than there were before the recession in 2008.

The government has trumpeted its successes in the employment market, boasting of "a million new jobs" in the UK economy, but the reality is hugely different.

The economy runs on full time work, and most people need this level of income to be able to afford to live.

But there are actually 148,000 fewer working full time, while 251,000 more work part time and 510,000 have registered as self-employed. Read more about Still fewer full time workers than before recession as fake self-employment takes over

Atos pays off government to escape disability assessment contract early

Thu, 27/03/2014 - 12:54 -- nick

Hated work capability assessment (WCA) company Atos has had to pay off the government to be allowed to escape its contract a year before it was due to end.

The French firm's contract had been due to end in August 2015, but it has paid a "substantial" amount of money to be allowed out of it early.

Mike Penning, the minister for disabled people, said:

"Today we are announcing that we are seeking a new provider to replace Atos, with the view to increasing the number of assessments and reducing waiting times. Read more about Atos pays off government to escape disability assessment contract early

DWP letter: Universal Jobmatch fake jobs issue is real

Wed, 26/03/2014 - 14:29 -- nick

The Department for Work and Pensions press office has today contacted UnemployedNet in response to an article we published on 6th March. This carried allegations made by Labour MP Frank Field that the government's Universal Jobmatch site was hosting fake jobs, duplicates and jobs that did not meet legal requirements, including not being for an "actual job or work opportunity", companies using premium rate phone numbers to make money, not paying the minimum wage and charging applicants to apply or start work. Read more about DWP letter: Universal Jobmatch fake jobs issue is real

Price of privatisation: 1,600 jobs to go at Royal Mail

Tue, 25/03/2014 - 13:13 -- nick

The Royal Mail has announced it is cutting 1,600 jobs just five months after its privatisation.

Unions are considering strike action in response, with management positions facing the chop.

Brian Scott, Unite's officer for Royal Mail, said: "First the government sells off Royal Mail on the cheap and now the newly privatised service is ruthlessly sacrificing jobs. Read more about Price of privatisation: 1,600 jobs to go at Royal Mail

DWP heading for 'meltdown' on delivery of projects say MPs

Fri, 14/03/2014 - 13:37 -- nick

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is heading for 'meltdown' as it fails to deliver its biggest reform projects.

The shock finding is included in a report to be published next week by the public accounts committee of MPs, which covers the government's relationship with its private sector contractors.

More than half of public spending now goes through private companies, but they are not subject to freedom of information (FoI) laws meaning failures are never properly explained. Read more about DWP heading for 'meltdown' on delivery of projects say MPs

Minimum wage should be £6.94, says enquiry - but government won't act

Thu, 13/03/2014 - 14:17 -- nick

The national minimum wage needs to be raised to £6.94 per hour, according to a government enquiry.

Yesterday business secretary Vince Cable announced an increase in the rate to £6.50 from October, 3% higher than the current £6.31. Read more about Minimum wage should be £6.94, says enquiry - but government won't act

Minimum wage to rise 3% to £6.50

Wed, 12/03/2014 - 14:04 -- nick

The national minimum wage is to go up to £6.50 per hour in October.

With inflation currently around 2%, the rate will gain value, and this will be a small step towards making work pay for unemployed people.

The level is set by the independent low pay commission, and business secretary Vince Cable has indicated that he will accept its recommendation.

It is currently £6.31, and has been losing value for years as inflation has outstripped the tiny cash rises in its value. Read more about Minimum wage to rise 3% to £6.50

Jobcentres make official referrals to food banks despite government denials

Wed, 12/03/2014 - 12:54 -- nick

Jobcentres are using an official process for referring unemployed people to food banks - despite the government's denials that these facilities form part of the welfare state.

A freedom of information request by The Guardian has uncovered a six part flowchart called 'Food Bank Referral Service - High Level Process', an official Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) document that leaves Iain Duncan Smith with huge questions to answer. Read more about Jobcentres make official referrals to food banks despite government denials

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