Responding to Workfare: challenges for the voluntary sector

Short notice plug for a meeting a friend is involved with:

Responding to Workfare

A meeting for voluntary sector workers and benefits claimants to develop a shared response to government plans to make ‘voluntary’ work compulsory. Speakers from:

London Coalition Against Poverty|Unite (Not-for-Profit Sector)

Time: 7pm|Date: Wednesday 9th February|Venue: Hackney City Farm, Goldsmith’s Row, E2

The government is currently planning an expanded, compulsory, workfare programme for benefit claimants. We have serious concerns about the effect that these plans will have on benefit claimants, workers in the voluntary sector and the voluntary sector as a whole. This meeting aims to provide an opportunity for claimants rights groups and representatives of the voluntary sector to work together to meet these challenges.

To contact us:

If you can’t make the meeting but want to get involved then your organisation or union branch can sign a pledge to resist workfare.

Welfare Action Hackney

As my friend says:

Many voluntary sector organisations now receive regular phone calls offering us placements of people on “work-for-your-benefits” schemes (the Flexible New Deal). This is a deeply worrying trend as claimants are increasingly becoming compulsory “volunteers”. Beyond the voluntary sector, the effects of work-for-your-benefits are even more stark: hospital porter jobs are being replaced with unpaid labour; TESCO is able to get expensive night shift workers for free etc.