The government’s back-to-work scheme breached laws

The government has been hit with a serious setback, after an Appeal Court judge agreed with a university graduate’s claim that the unpaid back-to-work schemes were legally flawed. Cait Reilly was forced to give up her voluntary work at a local museum and told that she had to work in a Poundland store under a scheme known as the “sector-based work academy”. Refusing to accept the role would have resulted in Cait losing her Jobseeker’s Allowance. However, the placement came with no pay, very little training and consisted of stacking shelves and cleaning floors which she argued had very little benefit in helping her get a job in the future. After carrying out the role, Cait claimed that working for nothing breached laws on forced labour. The judges’ decision could now stop the government from continuing the back-to-work scheme in its current form. However, the government has already brought in new rules allowing these unpaid schemes to continue while it appeals. The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with employment solicitors in Bath and across the country.