By Gerri Peev
Workshy benefit claimants will be forced to do compulsory work in exchange for welfare under radical rules imposed in Parliament today.
The unemployed could be instructed to do ‘Mandatory Work Activity’ under a controversial new programme outlined by Work and Pensions Minister Chris Grayling.
Candidates will only be referred for a compulsory work placement if a Jobcentre Plus adviser believes they are deliberately avoiding trying to get a job or would benefit from getting into the ‘habits and routines’ of getting up every morning.
The Department for Work and Pensions said every work placement would give jobseekers the chance to acquire ‘fundamental work-related disciplines’ and be of benefit to local communities.
It is thought that they will have to pick up litter, mend fences or help repaint care homes.
Jobseekers would have to spend up to 30 hours a week, for a month, on their work placement and would still have to look for work in between.
They will have to do up to four stints of work to continue getting their benefit.
If they fail to turn up or complete the work, then they could be stripped of their benefit for at least three months.
Almost five million people are stuck on out of work benefits in the UK, with 1.4 million getting hand-outs for nine out of the last ten years.
Nearly one million youngsters are also unemployed and not taking part in further education or training.
Youths aged 18 to 21 will have the chance to take up two months of paid work experience without losing their benefit under a separate scheme.