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Back-to-work scheme sees partial setback

Back-to-work scheme sees partial setback

The government's flagship back-to-work scheme has seen a partial legal setback.

Five judges at the Supreme Court upheld a previous decision by the Court of Appeal that the programme, which sees some jobseekers pushed to do unpaid work to earn their allowance, did not describe what is expected of participants and is therefore unlawful.

However, previous complaints that the back-to-work scheme constituted 'slave labour' were not recognised by the court and this has provided a boost for the coalition.

Much of the campaign against the back-to-work programme was led by Cait Reilly, a 24-year-old university graduate who was told to stop working in a local museum as a volunteer and told to work for Poundland without pay.

Speaking outside the court, Ms Reilly said: "I brought these proceedings because I knew that there was something wrong when I was stopped from doing voluntary work."

The government will now have to amend the scheme to better outline the responsibilities of participants.

By Francesca Witney