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Boycott Workfare 

Boycott Workfare, a coalition of unemployed people, anti-cuts campaigners, charity workers, trade unionists and allies, accuses the government of ignoring the evidence that the Work Programme undermines opportunities for paid employment and does not help people find work.

By ignoring the SSAC report’s damning conclusions, the government in its implementation of the Mandatory Work Programme and Activity schemes appears set on writing the failure of those it proposes to help. Audaciously referred to as an ‘opportunity’ the Work Programme dramatically reduces the hours available for searching and applying for paid work (a valuable commodity to the unemployed), and, counter to the notion of providing a ‘voluntary experience’, presents the reverse problem of having to explain to an employer four weeks’ work appended twelve plus months’ unemployment -  an ‘opportunity’ best omitted from the CV for any jobseeker not wishing to appear badly, or as the ‘naughty unemployed’ to his/her next employer. These are just two troubling points of countless many other raised in the report…

The coalition, which has been mapping the experiences of people forced to work for their benefits under the Flexible New Deal, has exposed in its model a scheme by employers to create sole, unpaid job roles: claimants mandated to work without pay (receiving benefits equivalent to only £2.25 per hour worked) for companies including Primark and Poundland are simply replaced by other unpaid workers at the end of their placement.

Boycott Workfare vehemently opposes the Work Programme as a reproduction of this practice!

The coalition believes that volunteering should remain just this, rejecting dehumanising, work-for-your-benefit schemes, it calls on organisations to refuse to accept non-voluntary unpaid labour via the Work Programme.

If you wish to promote and/or join the campaign, get involved in events, share information on the Work Programme (or Flexible New Deal), or wish to find out more then visit the link below, or get in touch.

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