Week of Action to Stop Workfare and Sanctions: 2nd – 8th December

week of action poster

In January this year, 110,000 people had their benefits stopped – ‘sanctioned’ – in a social security system that now leaves people with nothing for up to three years.

The government has not revealed how many thousands of people have been sanctioned since then, but it looks clear that more than a million people will have faced sanctions – and the hunger, pressure on families and stress they cause – by the end of the year.

Workfare, which forces people to work without pay and pushes those in work out of their jobs, is still the government’s ‘flagship’ solution for the unemployed. Osborne’s latest workfare proposal is more than twice the length of a maximum community service sentence.

But people’s action is pushing back their plans:

  • Wetherspoons, Argos, Shoezone, The Red Cross, and Superdrug have all dropped out since the start of the year. Homebase has scaled back significantly and Homes for Haringey has started paying people.
  • Despite a court ruling, the government is still refusing to publish the list of organisations exploiting people on workfare. It argued “disclosure [of names] would have been likely to have led to the collapse of the MWA [Mandatory Work Activity] scheme”!
  • The government’s plan to send people leaving the Work Programme from June this year on an automatic six month workfare placement could not be rolled out.
  • The government has had to double the amount of money it pays to workfare contractors like Seetec to find Mandatory Work Activity placements because they say it’s got so difficult since organisations started pulling out.

 This is your actions making a real difference.

The chances are you probably know someone who has faced the hardship and stress of sanctions – which means you’ll know that these devastating decisions are handed out for the pettiest of reasons.

It’s time to take action, and to push back against sanctions as we have against workfare. Whether you’re on your own or in a group, take part in the week of action

And let us know what you plan so we can help spread the word!

Join our facebook event for the week of action here


Comments (8)

Leave a Reply

NUWM Revival Wanted

ShoeZone hasn't dropped out

I was on their "work experience" for a certain period and certain time after January.


What is needed is a way for people who either have been sanctioned or forced into modern 'free-at-point-of-use 'slavery to be able to be properly accounted. Slaves could simply post the names of their current owners via an anonymous website. If such a list is against the govts. ideals of slave ownership, then it has to be in the public interest, surely? B&M by the way seem to be loving having slaves and they appear to have no vacancies to offer as a policy.

Boycott Workfare » Blog Archive » Workfare at the Supreme Court: What’s Changed?

[...] To do all this, take part in the Boycott Workfare week of action! [...]

bob archer

cannot take part due to disability and age,but wish you all the best in your endeavours to get the truth out there and shame this evil mob.


I cannot believe how easily and speedily This (unelected ) Government has hatefully brutalised the lower classes.
Workfare (slavery) is only a part of it. To think these mere men believe themselves allowed to do it and have excuses (all of which time again proven as lies / extended truths / omitted facts).

I honestly do not understand how they are getting away with it? other than a mass conspiracy with the law.

Lorna Carr

This evil practice, along with its twin, the "Claimant Commitment" that powers it, are diabolical. Will it ever end??? My son has to spend 35 hours a week job searching...and he has to prove it! how?? if not, he will be sanctioned. For pity's sake, is there no legal way to stop this blackmail???

outside the box

If you want to mass protest and cause as much problems as you possibly can, you should all write to the jobcentre and request "all information held on me since (insert date you turned 16) until (insert today's date) under my access rights as per the Data Protection Act 2003".

They have to send you all the information they hold on you (which will probably be thousand of papers, boxes full!). They can charge you £10, but you can ask them to waive the fee (and being on benefits seems a fair reason to waive it!).

Don't say you are asking for it for "protest" reasons, or they won't be obliged to give it to you.

But if enough people did it, it would give your local JC+ something to do for a while! Hey, it might even lead to creating new jobs. Congratulations on your utilitarian action!

Martin Langley

Trying to find solicitor or Law Centre which will provide procedural guidance for my Injunction application against the DWP.

They have persistently applied wrongful sanctions and then obstructed appeals. I am confident a judge will grant the injunction restraining them from further wrongful sanctions but need to know:
1. Which court to go to
2. Which form to fill in

Any help much appreciated