Make sure Cancer Research keep to their word

Cancer Research have told the Guardian they are pulling out of Mandatory Work Activity - but what about the other schemes?

After numerous workfare placements in their stores, Cancer Research now say they will cancel any placements they hear of

Despite having formally pulled out of workfare in 2012, we recently heard of two people who were referred to undertake six month long Community Work Placements at Cancer Research shops in London. One of the persons concerned complained. She was informed by the Head of Retail Operations:

  • Cancer Research UK do not have and never has had a national relationship with a mandated scheme which affects people’s benefits as these do… we have had local arrangements, however these were brought to a close almost two years ago.
  • When this is brought to our attention we make sure all details are thoroughly investigated and appropriate action is taken to stop this from happening.
  • All shops shops nationally received… a communication once again clarifying our policy not to accept, however underhand some of the agencies have approached shop managers, individuals on a placements scheme.
  • There have been some challenges and confusion at local level where shop teams may have missed reminders or their initial training or where the agency hasn’t been clear as to the nature of the scheme someone is joining us on. However, following this complaint, 10 placements were withdrawn.

Anyone out there in the world of Community Work Placements or facing workfare on another scheme, please ensure Cancer Research UK stay true to this commitment.

However if you do find yourself in the position of being mandated to attend one of their retail outlets do contact Julie Byard, Head of Retail Operations. Please bring to her attention that a workfare placement has been mandated, and request it be rescinded immediately.

Bypass the Work Placement Provider and approach Cancer Research UK, Head Office, Angel Building, 407 St John Street, London EC1V 4AD. Phone No. 0300 123 1022.

And if you’re passing a local Cancer Research store, why not pop in and check they are sticking to a workfare-free policy too?

Let Boycott Workfare know how you got on. Good luck!


Comments (3)

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Lee Brown

Thanks for this interesting update. A reminder that individuals can chase up workfare providers and have good results. I think the main problem (as the government knows full well which is why they are fighting to keep the details secret) is that the general public are not sure who the companies using forced labour actually are. Boycotts and demonstrations ruin reputations of businesses and charities,often carefully built up over decades. I doubt if the profit from employing unpaid workers cancels out that. I wrote to a large supermarket chain recently reminding them that I have a choice where I shop and they might do well to think harder about their adaption of government policies relating to forced mandated unpaid work. Others should do the same.


The slave workfair company's have been able too treat the lower class like there pets i don't see them keeping there word for long. The so-called non voted government will just offer them more money and more powers too stop people money. The people have done a great job so far forcing the slave company's in to a corner but money is the power to the slave company's not honor.


Cancer Research lying through their teeth eh? I help out at a job club for the over 50's and two clients are waiting to start 'at a placement of their choice'. This will almost certainly be the local British Heart Foundation shop, since to my knowledge no other business here participates in Workfare. When they give their word make sure they keep it, if not publish a list of those who have deceived the unemployed.