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GMB calls on government to end “disgraceful situation”

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JobsThe GMB, today called upon the government to “take urgent steps to end the disgraceful situation” whereby term-time only workers, such as school dinner ladies and cleaners, are unable to claim jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) during those periods when they are laid-off without pay.

Responding to a decision in the House of Lords yesterday afternoon that term-time workers cannot claim benefit, Mick Graham, National Secretary for the Public Services, said:

“This government has consistently demanded that workers be flexible. But who could be more flexible than the thousands of dedicated school dinner ladies and cleaners, many of them women with caring responsibilities. They work when they are needed – for low pay, but when there is no work and no pay where is the State support? Nowhere! The GMB asks why should bureaucracy be allowed to deny these flexible workers benefit when its needed the most?

“The GMB says that JSA should be equally flexible to reflect modern working patterns. The Queen Speech announced a Welfare Bill and this union believes that legislation should be included to protect these workers. Term-time only workers must be allowed to claim this benefit.”

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