A graduate’s appeal against a government back to work scheme has sparked a debate that could result in the end of unpaid work.
Cait Reilly was sent to work without pay at a Poundland store while claiming jobseekers’ benefits. She had to give up voluntary work she was undertaking at a museum in order to work for Poundland as part of the ‘sector-based work academy’.
Cait took her case to the Appeal Court, which ruled today that the scheme was legally flawed.
The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union said the case could spell the end for unpaid work schemes.
PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said “This is a very significant ruling that we believe supports what we have said all along, that no one should be forced to work without pay. The government can not continue to help private companies and charities to exploit people who are out of work, and these schemes must surely now be scrapped and the work brought back in-house.”