Tuesday, 7 August 2012
Courts says 'work for your benefit' scheme not slave labour
R (on behalf of Reilly & Wilson) v Department of Work and Pensions saw Article 4 ECHR and the following question considered: Is it slave labour and therefore unlawful to force an individual in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance to participate in a 'work for your benefit' scheme?
Miss Reilly was a geology graduate who was required to work in Poundland for two weeks and Mr Wilson was a HGV driver who was required to work for an organisation delivering refurbished furniture to the needy in the community for 30 hours per week for a period of 26 weeks.. Both were required to do this if they were to receive their benefits.
Both Claimants claimed this amounted to a breach of Article 4. The outcome was that such schemes could not be said to amount to 'slavery' or 'forced labour'.