The pressure group, Boycott Workfare are calling for charities to stop participating in Workfare placements.

A spokesperson for the organisations, Joanna Long explained to Third Sector that a number of large charities are still taking part in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Mandatory Work Activity programme which forces unemployed people to work or lose their benefit. She said “It’s been a real focus for us to encourage charities not to take part in the scheme”. She pointed out that “charities should have a really big stake in defending volunteering” but that participation in Workfare is “changing volunteering by making it not voluntary.”

Scope and the British Heart Foundation are identified as two of the organisations still participating in the scheme. Andrew Adair, director of retail at Scope said he was “extremely disappointed” that people were still campaigning against the Workfare programme, and stated “We believe that the chance to volunteer in our charity shops offers an opportunity for people to learn retail and customer service skills, build confidence and establish working routines.”


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