Employment Minister Esther McVey has stated that jobseekers risk losing their benefits if they turn down certain zero-hours contracts without good reason.
Until now, people on Jobseeker’s Allowance could refuse to accept such jobs without facing penalties. But the new universal credit system demands that people take up the casual contracts – even though they do not always guarantee work.
A Government spokesman explained that when workers do not get the hours they need, their universal credit payments would adjust automatically to ensure they are financially supported.
However, how successful has the introduction of Universal Credit been? There have been numerous IT problems and Universal Credit is still a long way behind schedule. I cannot help but worry that universal credit payments will not adjust automatically to take into account a claimant who has not been offered any hours of work within certain weeks. After all, with the history of different government’s policies which have not succeeded because of IT problems, the idea of universal credit automatically adjusting does not bode well. How will these families cope if there is a failure within the Universal Credit IT system?
What is your view on Zero Hour Contracts and Universal Credit?
The very next blog on workplace bullying will be looking at the reasons why certain politicians have argued against the Dignity at Work Bill.
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