It’s a dark cold night, just turned 12am December 15th 2016 and a cold biting wind is blowing and the busy bodies at the DWP are stirring in their slumber. Today they have to decide whether to keep a promise to expose the employers who exploited forced unpaid workfare labour, on the DWP’s 6 month full-time ‘Community‘ Work Programme.
What will they do?
Then keep an eye on this FOI request, as the DWP recently said they would release the workfare exploiters name today Thursday. But then again, maybe not! They did take 4.5 years and spent £100,000 in a failed attempt to block the release of very similar information.
Don’t forget workfare has not ended, it is embedded into Section 16 (3)(e) of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 for Universal Credit. Mandatory workfare placements are also a part of the Work Programme (WP) scheme. WP referrals end 2017, but referred conscripts can then be on the scheme till 2019. From 2017 the WP will be replaced by the ‘Work and Health‘ scheme and there is no reason not to believe this will not include workfare. The Gov’s ‘Youth Obligation’ from April 2017 proposes to limit benefits to 6 months and thereafter, mandatory workfare is planned.
More background on the future of workfare in England.