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Avoid workfare

1. Don’t volunteer for “Work experience”!

Once you volunteer for job centre ‘work experience’ it becomes mandatory. Then if you stop doing this work experience, your benefits can be stopped.

Make sure this doesn’t happen to you:

  • Do not agree to volunteer for the job centre’s “work experience”: It quickly becomes forced unpaid labour.
  • If you want to do work experience, find something that is really voluntary.
  • If you are sent on the scheme, you must turn up on the first day- but you do not face sanctions if you leave within the first week (unless this is due to misconduct).

2. Avoid Mandatory Work Activity!

We have seen people referred for ‘Mandatory Work Activity’ simply because they have challenged their advisor. But there are strict guidelines for who can be referred. You can use the job centre internal guidance below to challenge referral! You do not have to go on this scheme if:

  • you are currently working (paid or voluntary)
  • you are undertaking employment related study / training
  • you are taking part in or recently completed another “employment measure”
  • the reason given is you have a lack of recent work experience
  • you are being referred because your advisor thinks you haven’t been meeting your jobseeker’s agreement.

3. Also, watch out for the “Work Programme”

Multi-million pound companies like A4E and Reed profit from making our lives miserable on the Work Programme. They have been given freedom to make anything they want mandatory, and this can include workfare.

Advice adapted from the excellent folks at Boycott Workfare.



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Solidarity Federation