Should the unemployed in the UK be made to do voluntary work while they receive Job Seekers Allowance and continue their search for a job instead of sitting at home doing nothing?

Asked by: andyjfraser
Should the unemployed in the UK be made to do voluntary work while they receive Job Seekers Allowance and continue their search for a job instead of sitting at home doing nothing?
  • And in the United States

    It's easy, it's not asking for much. And charity work is easy to get involved in. Unless they really can't find a charity that needs their help they should have to. We should do this in the United States too.
    To no- you're right it wouldn't be voluntary. That's my one objection. Call it "charity work".

  • They should contribute to society

    There are two reasons for this: It gives them experience to put on their CV to show that they have some commitment an more importantly it gives something back to the tax payer who is paying for them to live.
    One reason people struggle to find a job is that they lack experience, even if it's not directly relevant to the field in which they are searching for a job in this would show them what it's like to have responsibilities.
    It would force them to actually earn their living and therefore would be an incentive to go on to get a real job that pays more than the JSA they would get if they were unemployed.
    The tax payer who is paying for the job seeker to live deserves something back from society, such as clean streets etc.

  • Yes they should

    Current rules dictate that and individual in receipt of JSA must be actively seeking work and be able to show evidence that they have been doing so, therefore showing enough evidence that they meet criteria to receive the benefit.

    The question asked regarding the rules for getting the benefit is should we go further than that and expect recipients to do volunteer work that benefits them and their local community.

    You have to recognise and accept that there is no such thing as a free lunch, or something for nothing. JSA costs money which comes from taxes collected by Government and paid by the people of the Country who are working. It is therefore right that the people of the Country expect something back for giving the assistance.

    Is asking a JSA recipient to do voluntary work nothing more than slavery, no, indeed doing some voluntary work would mean that there is a reciprocal arrangement that benefits both the individual and the Community.

    I am not suggesting that individuals should be given degrading activities to do, many charities and not for profit organisations need volunteers and would fold without them, and I am suggesting that a JSA recipient do x amount of hours helping such organisations which means they will also be supporting their local community.

    I mentioned in an earlier paragraph reciprocal arrangement, meaning that the individual would benefit too, how?

    1. Having regular meaningful activity and a reason to get out of bed
    2. Valuable Work experience
    3. Learn new skills
    4. Being better placed in the Jobs market, as prospective employers are far more likely to employ an unemployed person who has been actively doing things to make themselves more employable, than some that has done nothing but stay in bed watching daytime TV.
    5. May even get employed by the very organisation he/she is volunteering with. I can speak first hand on that, as this is how I got back to work following a spell of long term unemployment.
    6. Giving support to the local community can lead to better self esteem and purpose.
    7. Its also good for physical and mental well-being.

  • Voluntary means Voluntary

    If you are forcing an unemployed person to do voluntary work, this means that is not voluntary but complusery.
    If unemployed people are being told to work voluntary, then there should be some criteria, such as length of time they have been unemployed, if they have been unemployed fir a number of years, then yes maybe it would get them back into the dork place, but a person being unemployed for a matter of weeks, as a friend of mine has, after being made redundant, then no, they should be given time to find a paying job

  • Jobseekers Allowance is an entitlement, not a privilege.

    If you ask unemployed people to do voluntary work that’s fine but you cannot oblige them to: the work would then, by definition, no longer be voluntary. If work needs doing in the community then the local authority responsible should employ someone to do the job and pay them a proper wage.

    Let’s not forget, most unemployed people are out of work through no fault of their own and, furthermore, many will have paid into the system through income tax and National Insurance contributions for many years before they were made unemployed.

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