Our leaflets

Abolish workfare - the Solidarity Federation's guide to the government's unpaid work schemes
Workfare is a term used to describe a range of schemes in which people are forced to work without wages in order to receive their benefits. (pdf), (pdf)
Know your rights: failing a Work Capability Assessment
What to do if you 'fail' your work capability assessment
The Stuff Your New Deal Office doesn't want you to know
Download as a pdf here.
Claimants - today is a strike day (UWN J30 leaflet)
Download the pdf here.

posts by SolFed members that are low-paid claimant workers, unemployed, unwaged, students, retired and stay-home parents/carers

"The Secretary of State may select a claimant for participation in a scheme"

The title of this post is the sole criterion set down in the new workfare regulations regarding whom and under what conditions a person might be required to undertake one of the Government’s forced labour schemes (with the exception of MWA). Gone is the much vaunted ‘voluntary’ aspect that was used to defend the schemes for the last year; now, if you are a claimant it is now completely arbitrary whether you're forced to chose between wageless employement or the loss of your benefits. 'The benefits system has entered the State of Exception.'

These are schemes that are specifically aimed at providing free labour to parts of the private sector whose profits are hit by crisis. 

Workfare sanctions extended from today

The governement has today significantly increased the sanctions for non-compliance with the benefits regime, including the controversial unpaid, forced work 'workfare' schemes. Under a 'three strikes' policy, benefits will be stopped for three months, six months, and then three years for failing to meet a series of conditions, many of which relate to workfare. According to a notiification letter given to all JSA claimants, this includes:

The Youth Contract: Rescuing the Work Programme

The Youth Contact was launched at the beginning of April amidst much fanfare and empty talk about helping young unemployed people, whose numbers now stand at record levels. The initiative includes not only the expansion of workfare but also the much anticipated means by which the government will seek to salvage its flagship employment scheme, The Work Programme, from the consequences of its unsustainable funding model.

Don't forget the Work Programme

Workfare is a catch-all term that refers to a range of state sponsored wage-less work schemes. Recent withdrawals by high-street firms that had been involved in  the Jobcentre’s nominally voluntary ‘work experience’ scheme has put politicians on the defensive forcing them to emphasise the (dubious) voluntary nature of the scheme. However the same defence cannot be made of the coalition’s flagship Work Programme, a compulsory scheme with a ‘mandatory work related activity’ component. But aside from the recent controversies surrounding workfare provider A4E relatively little has been said with regard to the Work Programme, which forces jobseekers as well as many sick and disabled Employment Support Allowance claimants into mandatory unpaid work through a number of private companies.

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