Where are the sanctions for employers failing to offer additional hours?

'Daftie' Duncan Smith before a previous hearing of the Work and Pensions committee.

‘Daftie’ Duncan Smith before a previous hearing of the Work and Pensions committee.

It’s a valid question.

More than a year ago, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith told us “In work conditionality” within the Universal Credit system could encourage part-time workers and the low-paid to seek additional hours.

But it seems nothing is being done to “encourage” employers to provide the extra work.

So what, exactly, did Duncan Smith think he was playing at?

It seems we may soon find out, because Disability Studies specialist and disability activist Samuel Miller has written to the Secretary-in-a-State and his employment minister, Priti Patel, to find out whether employers will face sanctions for refusing  to offer part-time and low-paid workers additional hours.

“My field of interest is disability,” wrote Mr Miller. “If the British government is truly interested in increasing employment opportunities for the disabled, why doesn’t it follow the U.S. example and compel businesses to significantly increase the number of people with disabilities that they employ?

“The U.S. rule requires most federal contractors to ensure that people with disabilities account for at least 7 percent of workers within each job group in their workforce.

“While officials at the U.S. Department of Labor say they are not establishing a firm hiring quota for contractors, they do expect that businesses servicing the government will work toward achieving the target. Contractors that fail to meet the goal and do not show sufficient effort toward reaching the 7 percent threshold could lose their contracts under the new rule.

“Disability advocates say the added pressure on federal contractors will go a long way—and, in my opinion, Britain should follow suit.”

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8 thoughts on “Where are the sanctions for employers failing to offer additional hours?

  1. Jeffery Davies

    Hum we forget they were also helped along by jcp to go self employed and helped with claiming tax credits but whot they didnt tell was if one survived on those very low wages hours they didnt provide then the taxman will cometh wanting his bit back has you didnt get to work many hours jeff3

  2. Neilth

    There used to be a requirement for big employers to hire a certain number of people who have disabilities. I think it was post WWII and had something to do with supporting veterans who had been injured but it applied to all with disabilities.

    It’s time public procurement policy required suppliers to be inclusive. If even the Yanks can try this then why are we abdicating responsibility once again?

  3. fathomie

    There will of course be no sanctions on employers for failing to provide additional hours. First, rightly, it will be argued by the business World that they don’t have the hours to give (which makes Sanctions for ‘failing to get more hours’ look as ludicrous as it sounds), second that it simply isn’t up to govt to tell employers who they should employ and for how many hours, and third the govt is cutting back on Public Sector jobs (unlike the USA) and has a recruitment freeze on, so the govt is hardly likely to employ disabled people when they aren’t recruiting anyone.

    What surprises me is why people like Mike aren’t making even more of this policy? It’s a defining moment in the Tories attack on the Welfare state. They have successfully dubbed the unemployed and Disabled collectively as ‘scroungers’, but now they are attacking working people. By definition, how can you be working and a scrounger? Yet somehow the Tories are trying to make that connection. It shouldn’t be possible though, with well thought out counter rhetoric. Yes, the Daily Mail brigade will buy it, but then the Tories literally could start gassing the disabled and the zombie Tory army would find a way not only to defend it. but go on the attack.

    However, attacking working people as ‘feckless’ simply because they either can’t afford childcare, hence they can’t take the extra hours, or can’t get more hours because their employer won’t give them, or local employers aren’t offering work that fits in with their existing job, is not as easy to sell.

    It’s time to expose, with this much easier to challenge piece of poor bashing, just what IDS is really up too.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I can’t do everything for everybody else, you know.
      Why aren’t people EVERYWHERE rising up against this policy? Has the Daily Mail got them beaten into submission before they’ve even started? I don’t think it’s that powerful.
      So what’s the problem?
      Why leave it all to people like me?

  4. James

    Will every part-time worker earning less than 35 hours on the minimum wage end up treated like a fully unemployed person then? Will they have to troop to their local Jobcentre fortnightly and prove that they’ve spent a certain number of hours, presumably 35 – number of hours worked that week, actively seeking work? And suppose they’re happy in their part-time job but end up offered another part-time job with a few more hours a week but much further away so that they end up worse off by taking it because their travelling costs have gone up? Is that the kind of lunatic thing that will happen? Or will people end up juggling several part-time positions and running from workplace to workplace like headless chickens? Won’t this destroy part-time work? Won’t unemployed people do their best to hold out for full-time work rather than work part-time and continue to be hassled to death by the Jobcentre?


    Iain Duncan Smith really is a broken toy isn’t he?

  5. mrmarcpc

    Thanks for the link Mike. Typical of the tories, will gladly hammer us for not working enough hours but won’t hammer the businesses for not providing the hours that some of us might want to work, as usual, the tories look after the businesses and not giving a toss about the workers, nothing’s ever changed and never will!

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