The Department of Work and Pension broke the law, now they want to retroactively change the law so that they didn't break the law in order to keep £130m out of the pockets of some of the poorest people in the country.
The DWP has introduced emergency legislation to reverse the outcome of a court of appeal decision and "protect the national economy" from a £130m payout to jobseekers deemed to have been unlawfully punished.
The retroactive legislation, published on Thursday 14th March is expected to be rushed through parliament on Tuesday. It will effectively strike down a decision by three senior judges and deny benefit claimants an average payout of between £530 and £570 each.
Last month the court of appeal ruled that science graduate Cait Reillyand fellow complainant and unemployed lorry driver Jamieson Wilsonhad been unlawfully made to work unpaid for organisations including Poundland because the DWP had not given jobseekers enough legal information about what they were being made to do.
The ruling meant that hundreds of thousands of jobseekers who had been financially penalised for falling foul of half a dozen employment schemes, including the government's flagship Work Programme, would have been entitled to a full rebate if a final government appeal was rejected by the supreme court.
However, the government has instead published a seven-pagejobseekers (back to work schemes) bill to head off a potential multimillion-pound payout and "protect the national economy".
The new bill would also put a stop to any potential claims for the national minimum wage, which could otherwise be due to those who spent weeks working for no pay at high street chains such as Tesco, Matalan and Argos.
The proposed legislation affects some of the poorest members of our society, and in being retroactive, is contrary to the rule of law.
For more background see the Guardian Article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/mar/15/dwp-law-change-jobseekers-poundland
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