Workfare means unemployed people being forced to do unpaid work for their benefits. Workfare is a state subsidy to private businesses, providing free labour and undercutting the minimum wage. We say end unpaid work. Use the tabs for more background information, or see below for the latest.
Myth #1: The unemployed are lazy so they need to be forced to work - if they tried, they could get jobs
In reality, the vast majority of the unemployed can't get work, because there's no work for them to go to! There are now more than 2.6 million unemployed people in the UK, chasing around 450,000 jobs. The unemployment total is at its highest in nearly 20 years and will rise even further because of the government's austerity programme.
What is workfare?
Unemployed people being forced to work for free for up to 6 months with no guarantee of a job afterwards, many of them for major high street companies.
Does workfare help the unemployed?
The government’s own research found that in countries that introduced workfare it could actually lower a jobseeker’s chances of finding a job. Where previously these roles would have been filled by paid staff, employers get to take advantage of a growing pool of jobseekers they won’t have to pay.
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:
Courtesy of our friends at the Brighton Benefits Campaign, what follows is a list of companies in Kent, Surrey and Sussex that have taken advantage of mandatory work placements through the Government’s Work Programme in which unemployed people are forced to work without pay. The placements are arranged by a private company called Avanta Enterprise Limited: