The Green Party is calling for a cross-party commitment to guaranteeing at least a living wage and safe working conditions to people seeking employment, instead of continuing benefit sanctions.
“We should be aiming to eliminate hardship for people on benefits as well as supporting people seeking employment into decent work,” says Ricardo Menéndez March, Green Party spokesperson for social development.
“Tailored support should help people find work that they can build a career out of rather than bouncing between low paid, low security jobs and unemployment
“Right now, people on the benefit are pressured into any job, no matter how unsuitable, and threatened with losing their benefit through sanctions. The welfare system also does not recognise that many people on a Jobseeker benefit are doing unpaid work in the form of caregiving or volunteer work in the community.
“MSD needs to introduce a decent work framework into their employment services. This means ensuring the employers they are working with can guarantee safe working conditions, a living wage as a starting rate, guaranteed hours, and a family-friendly approach to hours and location of work.
“Instead of scapegoating young people we need to focus on their strengths. The communities we serve deserve more than a tit for tat by politicians over Jobseeker numbers.
“We have a responsibility to eradicate poverty and ensure that everybody has the ability to fully participate in their communities.”