Get Britain Working

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Get Britain Working is an initiative of the British Liberal-Conservative coalition government.[1] As part of this scheme, young people on state benefits are offered unpaid work placement in companies. If they drop out after the first week on the scheme, they may have their benefits removed.


Critics of the scheme have described it as a form of unpaid forced labour, with some critics describing it as "slave labour",[2][3] and the negative publicity generated has caused a number of companies, including Sainsbury's, Waterstones, TK Maxx, Maplins, Mind and Burger King, to drop out of the scheme.[2][3][4] Tesco has announced that it will be voluntarily paying young people on the scheme.[3] Other employers such as Argos and Superdrug are reviewing their position and seeking talks with the government.[5]

In response to these developments, Conservative MP George Eustice told the BBC in February 2012 that firms involved in the scheme should "show more backbone" and resist pressure to leave the scheme.[6] On 29 February, the government announced that they would be dropping the threat of removing benefits from participants in the scheme.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Get Britain Working". Department of Work and Pensions. Retrieved 2012-02-25. 
  2. ^ a b "Burger King pulls out of 'slave labour' job scheme". The Sun. 2012-02-25. Retrieved 2012-02-25. 
  3. ^ a b c Daniel Martin (22 February 2012). "Tesco makes dramatic U-turn over 'slave labour' scheme offering paid placements and jobs after Twitter outrage". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2012-02-25. 
  4. ^ "Matalan reviews role in Get Britain Working scheme". BBC News. 18 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-25. 
  5. ^ Alex Lawson (22 February 2012). "Retailers to meet with government over Get Britain Working scheme". RetailWeek. Retrieved 2012-02-25. 
  6. ^ "Jobless scheme firms 'should show more backbone'". BBC News. 2012-02-25. Retrieved 2012-02-25. 
  7. ^ "Government backs down on work experience sanctions". Channel 4 News. 29 Feb 2012.