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Is it acceptable for someone on benefits to consider a job as being beneath them?

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    Let's assume a particular person who is struggling or has come upon hard times is on benefits. That's fair enough. Let's also assume that this particular person is healthy and able bodied. Suppose that they do actively want to work. However, they have certain expectations as to the kind of work they are suited for and the amount of pay they deserve. I would consider this attitude to be a reasonable one to take early on. I would certainly do the same.

    What about 6 months without a "suitable" job though? What about a year? At some point I think a person is morally obligated to take absolutely any job that that does not compromise their moral beliefs or personal safety. That point is probably somewhere between the 6 month and one year time frame. It is not unreasonable to suggest that a person who has allowed their community to support them for half a year is not entitled to reject a job as being beneath their worth or dignity.

    I find it hard to believe when I hear a healthy person state that they have not been able to find any job for a year or more. Don't they mean a job that they are willing to do? If not then what is wrong with them? I truly believe I could fly to London tomorrow, and have a job washing dishes by the end of the week. I I would interview for every menial job available. I would wear a tie. I would make eye contact and be respectful, and I would be willing to do anything. I would get hired. Who can't do that?

    I realize that unemployment is at near 10%. My argument is that if they are not disabled or ill then they are the 10% that are unwilling to do anything. I know I am going to get lot's of love for this post but I want to make one last point.

    I just spent several weeks working in some of the poorest areas of Honduras. There are 5 and six year old kids there selling homemade bread on the streets for pocket change. Those kids are ones who truly can't find any job. Try telling them that cleaning toilets for minimum wage is beneath your dignity.
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    No.


    If you're on benefits you should be applying for every job that you could possibly do. And if offered that job you should take it.


    You can always continue looking for something more appropriate after you're in employment, but the number one priority should be to find a way into work.
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    (Original post by Mr Dangermouse)
    No.


    If you're on benefits you should be applying for every job that you could possibly do. And if offered that job you should take it.


    You can always continue looking for something more appropriate after you're in employment, but the number one priority should be to find a way into work.
    This

    I notice OP has an American Flag, which im assuming means you're american? Either way you might have heard of the Workfare program, which I think would be a good idea in this country in addition to making people accept jobs.
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    No.

    People need to grow up and learn something about having a work ethic.
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    I think there was some sort of guideline by the job centre, that if one rejects a job, they become illegible for jobseekers allowance or something within those lines. Not awfully sure how it works.

    If this isn't true, and I just made it up, I'm crowning myself a self-proclaimed genius and ultimate sociological problem solver.
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    Umm yeah, course it's acceptable, what if they have a PhD and they have to clean toilets?....doesn't mean they won't take it and reject the offer! What you need to get past is this awful modern way of thinking that we can never force ourselves to do things that are unpleasant. People do things that don't necessarily challenge them you know.

    My dad is overqualified for his job. He still does it and enjoys it and earns some nice money. Doesn't mean that, just because without it we'd be lost, he can't think it's a bit below him.
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    We need to get back to the point where claiming benefits was something to be ashamed of. Something that was looked at by everyone as an embarrassing. To the extent people would do anything, any job, so they didn't have to collect their UB40. For most people it still is but for a portion of our society its seen as acceptable.

    I think a lot of people are stuck in the gap where if they work, they lose certain benefits, and end up earning less. Although job seeker do have to prove they have applied and taken up work offered.

    The main problem is people with housing benefit, where there aren't enough council houses so you end up with stories of recent immigrants living in £800k houses in London when hard working Brits can't get on the property ladder. I think that makes people more angry, and is certainly more costly per person.
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    What if you would be financially better off on benefits than doing a menial job?
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    I completely agree that people on benefits should not be picky about what jobs they choose. Hell, I'd even argue that it's not just people on benefits who should be picky. For instance, if you're in college or university and want a part-time job, don't expect to get something which pays loads and which is 100% fulfilling. It'll probably be bar work or McDonalds or something. I've got friends who want jobs yet see most jobs as "beneath them". At the end of the day, if you want money you can't just ignore loads of availible jobs until you find one job which pays loads and which basically gives you everything you want out of a job. Even if it's just working in Tesco until you get a good job, a job is a job.

    However, I don't think getting a job is anywhere near as easy as you state.
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    I don't think it's much of an issue. Low skilled jobs have among the highest app: place ratios of anything.
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    (Original post by tamimi)
    I think there was some sort of guideline by the job centre, that if one rejects a job, they become illegible for jobseekers allowance or something within those lines. Not awfully sure how it works.

    If this isn't true, and I just made it up, I'm crowning myself a self-proclaimed genius and ultimate sociological problem solver.
    Lol. Hilarious.
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    We do have this problem in Australia aswell. So many people who are able to work, simply choose not to and instead just accept welfare payments. Imagine how much more efficient a society could be if everyone actually contributed.
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    I think "beggars can't be choosers is the accepted expression here"
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    (Original post by Nephilim)
    We do have this problem in Australia aswell. So many people who are able to work, simply choose not to and instead just accept welfare payments. Imagine how much more efficient a society could be, if everyone actually contributed.
    Yank down under huh? I am as well. I'm living in Perth.
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    (Original post by ckingalt)
    Yank down under huh? I am as well. I'm living in Perth.
    I'm not actually an American, I just like your country
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    (Original post by Mr Dangermouse)
    No.


    If you're on benefits you should be applying for every job that you could possibly do. And if offered that job you should take it.


    You can always continue looking for something more appropriate after you're in employment, but the number one priority should be to find a way into work.
    So unemployed Physics PhDs should be flipping burgers at the first opportunity?
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    (Original post by Nephilim)
    I'm not actually an American, I just like your country
    I love your country.
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    It is unacceptable. You can;t expect the state to pay you if you refuse to take a job that pays. The role of benefits is to stop the most vunerable people falling through the cracks in society, not as a source of income for those waiting for the perfect career choice, PHD or not.
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    (Original post by JoeLatics)
    So unemployed Physics PhDs should be flipping burgers at the first opportunity?
    Well yes. They should apply for other jobs outside of their working hours, you can't expect them to get free money from the state to wait around waiting for the perfect job opportunity if they are being offered a job elsewhere that is less than perfect. If you don;t like it then don;t take the benefits, a lot of people in the UK between jobs choose not to
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    It's a difficult one because it obviously makes absolutely no sense (indeed it would actually be economically damaging) to force highly qualified individuals into the first open position regardless of its suitability, but at the same time long-term unemployment waiting for the perfect job isn't productive for either the benefits agency or the job-seeker. So it seems like you're looking to find a balance.

    To those who think that any unemployed individual seeking benefits should always accept a job no matter how overqualified they are - presumably you're worried about wasting more taxpayer money on their benefits than is strictly necessary. But in that case, what is your view on the often considerable amount of taxpayer money that was spent on educating these people? In terms of the health of the economy as a whole, I don't think it makes a great deal of sense to ignore the investment that we make in education.

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Updated: April 5, 2012
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