Tesco changes wording of ‘workfare’ advert

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Supermarket chain Tesco has amended a job advertisement looking for permanent workers in exchange for expenses and jobseeker’s allowance, saying it was a mistake.

Twitter and Facebook users had highlighted the advertisement for a night shift worker at a store in west Suffolk on the Jobseekers’ Plus website.

The job was offered under the Government’s “workfare scheme” which is linked to payment of benefits but Tesco said the impression that it was seeking to replace full-time workers was mistaken.

The error came after unions called for high street chains to withdraw from Government programmes that require the unemployed to work for up to six months or face losing their benefits.

A statement from the supermarket chain said: “The advert is a mistake caused by an IT error by Jobcentre Plus and is being rectified. It is an advert for work experience with a guaranteed job interview at the end of it as part of a Government-led work experience scheme. We take our responsibility as Britain’s biggest private sector employer seriously.”

The company defended its involvement in the scheme, saying work experience could be valuable.

Such placements were not “a replacement or substitute for our permanent staff”.