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Employers' perspectives on benefit conditionality in the UK and Denmark

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-03-01, 00:00 authored by Jo IngoldJo Ingold
This article examines the under‐explored demand‐side of active labour market policies (ALMPs). Based on interview data from a comparative study of the UK and Denmark, the paper analyses employers' perspectives and experiences of ALMPs. In both countries, employers were favourably disposed towards employing unemployed jobseekers but held negative views on conditionality. First, benefit conditionality led to employers receiving large numbers of unsuitable and unfiltered job applications, with associated negative resource impacts. Second, employers perceived this as a product of ‘box ticking' and compliance targets. Finally, employers criticised policy and media rhetoric for focusing solely on the supply‐side and for problematizing unemployed candidates. The paper argues that these crucial, but neglected, employer perspectives demonstrate that the current benefit conditionality regime in the UK risks irrevocably ‘tarnishing' candidates, which undermines, rather than enhances, their chances of securing employment through ALMPs. This unique dataset provides further evidence that the current direction of policy requires urgent and radical re‐thinking.

History

Journal

Social Policy and Administration

Volume

54

Issue

2

Pagination

236 - 249

Publisher

Wiley

Location

Hoboken, N.J.

ISSN

0144-5596

eISSN

1467-9515

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2020, The Author