Should unemployed do community work to get benefits?

Tracey - posted on 01/21/2011 ( 20 moms have responded )

1,094

2

58

Should those who claim unemployment benefits be made to complete community work to get their benefits?
Some argue that doing this work benefits the community and gives the unemployed work experience and sense of pride. Others argue that this slave labour as in UK the Job Seekers Allowance is much less than minimum wage.
Single mums could put their babies in childcare (which would provide more jobs) and some, obviously not all disabled could do jobs that they were able to.
I can't work as I am my son's carer but when he is at school I do 3 days a week voluntary work, and I don't claim any benefits for myself except #50 a week Carers Allowance.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Krista - posted on 01/21/2011

12,562

16

847

I don't think they should be made to complete community work, no. Job hunting is enough of a job in and of itself, I found.

However, it would be nice, perhaps, with each cheque sent to the individual, to include a list of community work opportunities that are available. Some people might decide to partake, especially if it offers them a chance to learn some new marketable skills.

Jenn - posted on 01/22/2011

2,683

36

96

Oh - also - if you have kids and they are making you do a class or something, they will cover the cost of childcare. Also, if you are a single parent or even a family and are working but have a very low income, you qualify for subsidized daycare - you may end up paying nothing! And if there are no spots available at an actual daycare centre, they will cut a cheque to your babysitter - she just has to sign the paper stating the hours worked etc. So to me there is NO excuse to not work if you are able to.

Jenn - posted on 01/22/2011

2,683

36

96

Well, I don't know about anywhere else, but in Canada you pay into employment insurance and have to meet the minimum number of hours to even make a claim in the first place. You also have to be laid off - you can't just quit a job and then get EI benefits. And while you're on EI they DO make you do job searching and/or take courses and/or go to job search counselling. If you don't go, you can and do get cut off. And your benefits only last for so long (not 100% sure but I think it's a year?) Welfare (Ontario Works) is entirely different. They do have things like job placements, job search counselling, etc. as well, but many times people find ways around it. There is no time limit on Ontario Works benefits.

[deleted account]

In Australia we have a program called "work for the dole" ( i don't think that is exactly what it's called). People who are receiving unemployment benefits if they have not found work after 12ish months have to do some sort of community work each week to receive their payments. I think it works most of the time. I had to do it once but i think i would have benefited from more help with study.

Bexterwhite - posted on 01/21/2011

187

10

11

Mothers who stay at home and raise their children are not unemployed, society historically has always supported the mother and done so gladly as they are raising the next generation. there are many layabout's that should do community service but mothers should mother, if we spent less time putting stay at home mums down and less time trying to work out how the can offload their babies there would be more time to spend on the lazy shits who have nothing to do all day.

20 Comments

View replies by

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/22/2011

21,273

9

3058

Nope. I think that is adding insult to injury. My husband lost his job, and was out of work for 3 months. He worked on his resumes, was constantly on the phone with employment agencies. It was completely stressful and time consuming. We pay taxes to help us in the time of need. We were in the time of need. I had just had my daughter, she was 1 month old when he lost his job...yeah...he didn't need to do any community work...he was working his ass off at home trying to get back to work. He found a job, that in itself is gratifying...I am glad he was not forced to do any community service work...that would have taken away time from his job hunt, and getting to know his brand new daughter.

Lady Heather - posted on 01/22/2011

2,448

17

91

I generally thought that when people were on EI (as we call it here), the whole goal was to treat looking for work as a full time job. If someone wants to volunteer with some of their time to feel better there are already ways to do that. Required community service would just eat into time that would be better spent looking for work so they can get off the benefits.

Carolyn - posted on 01/22/2011

898

19

140

yeah, i pay into to my EI while working so that if I lose my job, i still have money to cover my expenses while i find another one. Having to commit to community service will only hinder the job finding process. I have 52 weeks or less if my claim is approved for less to find work while living off 55 % of my income. Which is a pretty hefty hit for my wage. my goal is to get back to work as soon as possible.

You also have to prove you are job searching to continue to receive your benefit after a certain length of time. It is far from free money.

If we were talking about welfare, I would totally agree. On welfare you should have to be completing some type of educational upgrades , or community service for enhancing your employability / skills.

Tara - posted on 01/22/2011

2,567

14

114

As well in Ontario when you are OW, after the first 3 months you are on assistance, when you do work they will only take 50% of your benefits, and that is after you deduct child care costs (which if you're on OW you can have subsidized no problem), gas and other work related expenses such as clothing, work boots, transportation, meals etc.
There are a lot of programs available to those who want to better their situation. Learning marketable skills that increase your chance of being employable is the most important thing one can do to get off the system.
EI is different than OW in a lot of ways, for one you have paid into it through working.

Jenn - posted on 01/22/2011

2,683

36

96

@Deanna - I'm not sure if I'm just tired and confused - but did you just say that your husband took off two years and lived off of "free" money? HUH?!? So just because he didn't feel like working, you guys collected unemployment or welfare? WOW!

Bexterwhite - posted on 01/22/2011

187

10

11

Tracey do you know these mums? do you know how they came to be single parents? or even if they are single parents? do you go to their houses and see them playing video games?
How do you know that they are layabouts?
It seems to me that its just to easy to blame young mums for societies problems.

Tracey - posted on 01/22/2011

1,094

2

58

I don't mean stay at home mums who look after their babies, I mean the girls who get pregnant at 16 get free accommodation & benefits, and then have more babies so they get more benefits and never go out to work, or the layabouts - most of whom seem to live in my area who have no intention of getting a job and spend the day at each others houses playing video games. As for childcare & petrol costs, I believe jobseekers can already claim travel expenses for going to interviews so I would extend that scheme and re childcare - this is free for children of a certain age for a set amount of hours a week if you use an approved nursery or childminder.

[deleted account]

I love this idea. MY DH got his free money and enjoyed a nice break from working for 2 yrs. In that time he helped more around the house and he even helped the community more. (more from boredom but hey he helped)

I really think this is a great idea if they decide to keep the free money rolling then make people do at least 20 hours of community service a week. (or more)

Tara - posted on 01/21/2011

2,567

14

114

No if you are claiming unemployment insurance you should have to be looking for a job and/or participating in a job finding workshops, cover letter and resume workshops, interview workshops etc. etc.

Welfare is a different story altogether. In order to get benefits I believe that any able bodied adult who is not caring for small children should have to put in a certain number of hours doing some form of community work, not cleaning garbage on the side of the road (leave that to criminals) but working at the library, a local food bank, etc. etc would be good experience and good for self satisfaction.

Shauna - posted on 01/21/2011

1,015

19

35

No ... kinda silly i think. I dont see unemployment as taking money really, b/c when you are working part of your check goes to unemployment. And there are so many regulations to unemployment benifits. You had to have worked at company for x amount of time, the benifts are not that much, and it doesnt last longer than 6 mo. IN Nebraska anyways.. and if the person had a job to begin with obviously they are capable of working and to GET unemployment you had to have been let go due to a reason beyond your control and not b/c of your wrong doing.
So no ... this is just crazy. and stupid.

Sharon - posted on 01/21/2011

11,585

12

1315

I think a little.

Keep in mind, the unemployed don't have spare money for gas expenditure that won't replace itself via an earned income.

When you collect unemployment - its quite a paltry amount - generally used up paying bills and some going towards gas and job hunting.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms