Councils and charities to boycott workfare programme

2 June 2014

Around 350 organisations have signed up to boycott the community work placement part of the government’s workfare programme, including 13 councils and a selection of homelessness charities.

The scheme is part of the government’s help to work programme under which participants must either sign on at a Jobcentre every day, take up a training course or carry out a six-month, 30-hour-a-week placement.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said that “Referrals to the placements have begun and the placements will begin shortly. There has been no delay. Charities are under no obligation to be in the scheme, but those who are recognise the benefits of it.”

However, the Keep Volunteering Voluntary campaign said that opposition to the scheme may have led to the community work placement element being delayed: as placements should have already begun, but the councils that signed up have agreed not to take on such placements and they have encouraged their contractors to do the same.