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Learning about Work Trial and Employment on Trial

Work Trial and Employment on Trial are great schemes for job seekers willing to prove their worth

If you are looking for work through the Jobcentre Plus, you may have heard about some of the services they offer to help you get a job that is appropriate for you. Work Trial and Employment on Trial are two such services and they offer additional help to get work and help if you cannot stay at your new job respectively.

Work Trial

This is a voluntary service in which you provide your prospective employer with more than just an application form and a CV. With Work Trial you actually work for the employer for a while to prove that you can do the job or to get training, whilst still getting your benefits. In addition to your benefits, if you qualify you also get financial help to get to and from the work place and for other expenses. First of all you need to find out if you are eligible for the Work Trial service - your JobCentre Plus advisor will be able to tell you if this is a case.

Organise an interview with your advisor, find out if you qualify and then ask for a few of the leaflets called Work Trials: Try it for yourself. This leaflet explains how the scheme works, not only to you but to any prospective employers as well. It is useful to have some of these leaflets in your work portfolio, so you have them to hand when you go to job interviews.

If it seems like the employer is hesitant about employing you for any reason, you can give them the leaflet to show them a non-risk way of finding out whether you would be good at the job or not. For example, suppose you are looking to return to work after an absence to raise a family or due to unemployment. Your interviewer may be concerned that even if you have the relevant skills, qualifications and experience, these may be slightly out of date.

With Work Trial, you could offer to start the job on the Work Trial have a period where you are trained up to the current systems without the employer having to either pay to train you or pay for hours while you are not quite up to the job. The employer can then see during this period whether you can adapt without hiring you and paying you before he/she is happy to do so.

By the same token during this period you can see if you like the workplace and are happy with the work before you decide to take the job. If it turns out that you do not like the job, or that the gap between your experience and the new standards is too high, there is no obligation for either the employer to hire you or for you to take the job. If you decide not to take the job you do not lose any benefits and you can continue to use the work trial experience on other jobs until you find the one you can be happy in.

You do not have to just use Work Trials on jobs from the JobCentre Plus either, if you have a potential employer that you may like to work for it is okay for you to organise your own Work Trial experience. Again in this situation if you give the possible employers a copy of the Work Trials leaflet and they can contact the Jobcentre Plus to organise the Work Trial experience.

Employment on Trial

Employment on Trial is similar to Work Trial but applies to work you are already in under certain circumstances. Under typical circumstances you can lose all entitlement to benefits if you leave a work placement voluntarily. Unless you can prove that the company forced you to leave through unreasonable behaviour (which you would have to do through a tribunal) you would not get any benefits if you just get fed up with a job and walk out.

Under the Employment on Trial scheme however, this may not be the case and you could still be entitled to your benefits even if you leave a job just because you do not like it. There are pretty rigid rules about Employment on Trial for you to still qualify for benefits should you leave, for example you must have been working for a least 16 hours a week. You also have to have had the job for more than four weeks and a day but for less than 12 weeks.

This scheme does not apply for people in long time employment, but is more a way of finding out if you are compatible with a particular work placement without risk. Even though there is such a big drive towards getting people into employment, it is understood that in the long run it is better for everyone if you are happy where you work. No one expects you to stay in a job that you hate and the process of finding a job can be so complicated and risky. Schemes like this help to minimise the risk so that you have the opportunity to find a great job that you really enjoy without the possibility of losing your benefit if that does not happen first try. It is believed that you need to have been at the job for at least four weeks and a day to give it a fair try, but that by 12 weeks you should be really certain if this is not a job that you can tolerate.

You can find information about Employment on Trial at your local Jobcentre Plus and it would really benefit you to do so, especially if you are about to start a new job that will take you off benefits. Knowing that if the new job is really awful for you and you have to leave, that you will still get the benefits that you are entitled to can be a big relief. At the end of the day the ideal situation for the entire employment sector is that jobs are filled with people who will enjoy them, commit to them and therefore put the maximum effort in for them. If the job you go for proves to not be the right one for you, it is better if you leave and open up the place for someone who will enjoy it. At the same time it will be much better for you to be in a job you really enjoy.