work and welfare

Welfare reform – what do employers want?

Luke Raikes  |  15 July 2015

The unemployment figures are finally heading in the right direction – but beneath the headlines there is an inconvenient truth: long-term unemployment is here to stay. It may have fallen as the economy has recovered, but whether in growth or recession there remains a stubborn and damaging structural long-term unemployment problem. There are 574,000 people …

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Winning over the self-employed

Duncan O'Leary  |  25 November 2014

The announcement last week that the government had appointed its first ever ‘self-employment tsar’ reflects an important change in the way Britain works. One in seven of the workforce is now self-employed. On current trends, the self-employed are set to outnumber the public sector workforce by 2020. With an election approaching, the political courtship of …

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Taking self-employment to the mainstream

Benedict Dellot  |  25 November 2014

Self-employment is growing rapidly. Since the turn of the century there has been a 30 per cent increase in the number of people working for themselves, with an extra 100,000 more people choosing to start up in business this year alone. The result is that one in seven of the labour force are now self-employed …

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When the living wage is not enough

Graeme Atherton  |  21 November 2014

The very need for ‘Living Wage Week’ at the beginning of November highlighted the distorted nature of a labour market allegedly ‘on the up’. The best-paid group are on 3.7 times the pay of the bottom 10 per cent. This compares with a ratio of 3.5 in 2000 and equates to a five per cent …

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In conversation with … Rachel Reeves

Kerrie Gilbert  |  13 November 2014

Nobody can deny that Rachel Reeves knows her brief. With a background in financial services she is comfortable in the world of statistics that underpins the current discourse around welfare. This week, however, I began to fully appreciate how radical her vision for the welfare state is. When Stephen Bush cut to the chase and …

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Good Times – Bad Times: The Welfare Myth of Them and Us

Sheila Gilmore  |  12 November 2014

The next Labour government needs to make sure that the costs of reducing the deficit are spread more fairly. We also need to forward a plan for the additional cost of our ageing population. But how do we win support for this if people see welfare spending as for ‘them’ not ‘us’? John Hills’ book …

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New ‘fit for work’ contract will not be fit for purpose

Sheila Gilmore  |  29 October 2014

Today the government announced that American firm Maximus have been awarded the contract to carry out medical assessments to determine whether people who claim they are unable to work due to ill health or disability should be entitled to benefits. When this work was first outsourced to the French firm Atos Healthcare in 1998, this …

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The problem with sanctions

Matthew Downie  |  15 August 2014

This week figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions confirmed some of Crisis’ worst fears – that benefit sanctions punishing some of the most vulnerable in our society are on the increase. Between January and March of this year, 16,000 sanctions were handed down to ill and disabled people on employment and support …

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Trades Unions Congress

A fairer deal for workers

Frances O'Grady  |  11 July 2014

Exploitation, not immigration, is the problem —The European elections – and the performance of the United Kingdom Independence party – returned migration to the top of the political agenda. And not in a good way. People’s living standards are under great strain. Public services are being stretched to breaking point. The housing bubble and the …

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Tackling migration myths

Atul Hatwal  |  10 April 2014

Getting tone and message right is essential for discussing immigration, advises Atul Hatwal That is the toughest subject for Labour on the doorstep? It is a fair bet you have just answered ‘immigration,’ the one topic where various Labour politicians have fallen over themselves to say ‘sorry.’ Yet if some have expressed regret for the scale of migration …

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