Get your organisation to Boycott Workfare
Can you get your organisation to sign the Boycott Workfare pledge?
We the undersigned commit to refusing to participate in compulsory work-for-benefits placements. We want volunteering to remain just that!
Are you a union member? Approach your employer to sign the pledge with support from your trade union branch! Please download the template motion to bring to your trade union branch and a leaflet to bring to meetings and events.
More than 650 charities and voluntary sector organisations have signed up to the Keep Volunteering Voluntary agreement:
As charities and voluntary organisations we know the value of volunteering. Volunteering means people independently choosing to give their time freely to help others and make the world a better place. Workfare schemes force unemployed people to carry out unpaid work or face benefit sanctions that can cause hardship and destitution. We believe in keeping volunteering voluntary and will not participate in government workfare schemes.
If you support charity or are involved in one, please encourage them to sign up. Or if you know of a charity that takes part in workfare, use this template letter/email to challenge them about their involvement
And over 20 councils have pledged to avoid workfare too. It’s important that other sectors also firmly turn their back on workfare.
Why organisations should sign:
- There is huge public opposition to workfare schemes, with thousands boycotting those involved. Signing the pledge will reassure people that your organisation is not taking part.
- Workfare schemes are backed by a punitive regime of benefit stoppages, known as sanctions, which have driven the need for foodbanks in the UK and put people at risk of destitution for up to three years. (Delays and changes in benefits, including sanctions, accounted for 42% of all referrals to foodbanks in 2015-16.)
- Replacing motivated and decently paid workers with people facing destitution from often arbitrary sanctions will not be of benefit to your organisation or the claimant.
- Evidence shows workfare does not help people find work. And a report commissioned by the DWP themselves back in 2008 concluded that ‘there is little evidence that workfare increases the likelihood of finding work’ (p. 1)
- Signing the pledge will make it clear in advance that your project won’t participate in or police any of these schemes.