Poundland ‘breached forced labour laws’


A university graduate who claimed that the work she did at a Poundland store amounted to slavery has today won her case at the Court of Appeal.

poundlandJudges ruled that the regulations governing the government’s back-to-work schemes  are unlawful and quashed them.

Cait Reilly, 24, from Birmingham, and Jamieson Wilson, a 40-year-old unemployed HGV driver from Nottingham, both won their claims that the unpaid work placements they went on were legally flawed.

They had lost their original case, but part of this decision has now been reversed by the Appeal Court.

The government will now have to look at fresh regulations governing work placements which are fair and comply with the court’s ruling.

Responding to the court ruling, the minister for employment, Mark Hoban, said:

“The court has backed our right to require people to take part in programmes which will help get them into work. It’s ridiculous to say this is forced labour. This ruling ensures we can continue with these important schemes.

“We are, however, disappointed and surprised at the court’s decision on our regulations. There needed to be flexibility so we could give people the right support to meet their needs and get them into a job. We do not agree with the court’s judgment and are seeking permission to appeal, but new regulations will be tabled to avoid any uncertainty.

“Ultimately the judgment confirms that it is right that we expect people to take getting into work seriously if they want to claim benefits.”

Unison assistant general secretary, Karen Jennings, said it was time for the government to “ditch these unlawful policies which force people to work without pay or lose their benefits”.

“Multi-million pound companies receiving free labour are the only winners of the Tory back to work programmes. The losers are those who are forced into jobs that, in many cases, have nothing to do with their qualifications, or the jobs they are looking for,” she said.

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  • Mr Reasonable

    Just waiting for the ‘true blue’ trolls to defend ‘flexibility’ in the labour market and this government’s heroic job creation crusade on behalf of the ‘strivers’… (Do those Tory apparatchiks ever sleep?)

  • Gill

    What an excellent Judgement! How can you force a person into work or stop their benefits and force them to starve? Many of the people this has happened to are Sick and Disabled and have been unable to turn up due to illness and have been sanctioned. If there are work vacancies then take someone on off the Unemployment list and give them a job!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Vitaly-Klitschko/100003020592266 Vitaly Klitschko

    For those on the genuine radical Right, slavery to the state and corporations though workfare is a great evil. This enslavement strikes at the heart of the Volk’s autonomy. The family is the natural enemy of the state. The state attacks the family by depriving families, especially indigenous families, of income and proper job opportunities.. The 1933 election campaign in Germany was a direct result of the misery of ordinary Germans.

  • Newsbot9

    Who are the “genuine radical Right”, for reference?

    You’re talking up good stateist moralistic protectionism of families and xenophobic, which are standard right wing policies. So it sounds to me like you’re trying to score cheap points.

    And yes, and what did it lead to? Why are you trying to take us there?

  • Newsbot9

    Excellent. A win in the fight against slavery.

  • Mike

    Saying that people are being made to work for nothing is not exactly true as they still recieve benefits, however being forced to work full time for £71 per week is nothing more than slave labour as the rate of pay to hours worked falls way below minimum wage regardless of age or experience.

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