“Poundland slavery” graduate finds work…in Morrison’s

Posted on February 2, 2013

Cait Reilly, the geology graduate who claimed being asked to work a placement in Poundland in return for her benefits was a form of slavery, must be celebrating today after winning her ludicrous case on a technicality in the Court of Appeal.

The back-to-work scheme, she claimed, was “forced labour”, unpaid work and therefore in contravention of her human rights. Worse, “the experience did not help [her] get a job”.

Let’s ignore the fact that there was no force involved, in that she could choose to take part or to refuse to do anything. Let’s ignore that it was emphatically not “unpaid”, in that she was paid benefits in return for taking part.

Let’s focus on her other claim:

“those two weeks were a complete waste of my time as the experience did not help me get a job”

Really? Happily, Ms Reilly has now found work – as a supermarket worker in Morrison’s.

It seems the Poundland work experience did the trick after all. Or was it her geology degree the supermarket hired her for?

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Categories: Opinion, Politics, Westminster

15 Responses

  1. Andyvan:

    Going by the last french loaf I bought from Morrisons I’d say geology was what they hired her for and she’s probably now head baker.

    12.02.2013 16:36 Reply

  2. jEREMY hUNT:

    If Poundland has a job then they should be employing somebody at a decent wage to do it. All this does is KEEP somebody on Jobseekers Allowence while Poundland get away with Free Labour!!!

    12.02.2013 17:21 Reply

    • Prime Mentalist, Mk.2:

      The purpose is to give someone the work experience credentials they lack on their C.Vs., thereby tackling the conundrum: ‘can’t get a job because I don’t have the work experience; can’t get any work experience, until I find a job’.

      You can’t expect businesses to stump-up for the cost of training a new employee, who will only be there for a few weeks.

      12.02.2013 22:54 Reply

  3. Barumowl:

    “No force involved” ? Really?

    Being told either do this unpaid work or lose all benefits seems to me to be a pretty forceful choice. Especially as others on jobseekers do not have the same threat given to them.

    12.02.2013 17:44 Reply

  4. John:

    I’m glad to hear she is now using that Degree and off JSA

    12.02.2013 20:41 Reply

  5. tyler dueden:

    what an ignorant tory wanker you are. if people are doing workfare companies aren’t employing people. they made her leave an unpaid position that was relevant to her degree. you don’t need experience in a shop to get a job in a shop. inbred. the conservatives are destroying people’s lives.

    12.02.2013 21:58 Reply

  6. DavetheScot:

    She had the option not to do the work – if she could live without any money coming in. And benefits are not pay for work; they’re there to give you something to live on while you try to find work. If they were pay, they’d be minimum wage.

    13.02.2013 01:01 Reply

  7. HJ777:

    Morrisons only pay her £400/month, so clearly she just has a part time job there.

    I think that this young woman was entirely correct. She was wrongly told that the scheme was compulsory and in any case she had already arranged voluntary work (so was hardly avoiding work experience) in an effort to gain relevant experience. It was daft to try to make her do non-relvant work experience when she had already organised relevant work experience for herself.

    13.02.2013 08:27 Reply

  8. anon:

    You do realise she had worked in a supermarket before her time in Poundland?

    There is nothing wrong working in a supermarket as long as you are paid at least the minimum wage.

    13.02.2013 08:53 Reply

  9. Experience is good for you:

    But if Poundland were going to employ someone at a decent wage they would probably want someone with more experience and young people who had never had an opportunity to show they could be relied upon to turn up on time would never get the job. Work experience is exactly that.
    What about all the school kids who spend a week out in year 10 getting work experience. Are they “slaves” too, or do you think it might be useful for some of them?

    13.02.2013 09:17 Reply

  10. Ian Speight:

    If £land has vacancy’s why don’t they advertise them? & pay someone the going rate? or are they to fond of free labour? fare work not work fare !

    14.02.2013 16:10 Reply

  11. Doubting Rich:

    Geology graduate? Unemployed? She must be refusing work! With the price of oil today employment opportunities must be great: it was about US$20 a barrel and I got a job – it’s triple that in real terms now.

    14.02.2013 22:33 Reply

  12. Stavros:

    Are you all seriously trying to imply that Poundland are doing the country a good turn here? They should be employing people, paying NI and not trying to find cheap labour.

    I do believe that work experience should be provided for the long term unemployed but someone that is volunteering (and I assume / hope) still job seeking a decent amount of time a week should not help line the coffers of the Poundland owners at the country’s expense. Someone needs to take a long hard look at this scheme and ensure it isn’t used to provide cheap labour and reduce jobs.

    14.02.2013 23:38 Reply

  13. Be realistic:

    “Are they “slaves” too, or do you think it might be useful for some of them?”

    Right, because Year 10s are living on their own and have bills to pay.

    16.02.2013 17:43 Reply

  14. sackcloth and ashes:

    IIRC, Cait Reilly wasn’t complaining about working at Poundland. It was about the fact that she was doing unpaid work, and that the ‘training’ she received was non-existent.

    The ‘snotty graduate who thinks its beneath her to do menial work’ story is a straw man. How many people here would be prepared to stack shelves for no cash?

    18.02.2013 11:03 Reply

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