Claimants in the WRAG group, who have been judged by the shabby Atos testing regime as possibly able to work at some point in the future, will from next month be mandated to unpaid community work or face losing benefits.
In a new low for the third sector, charities such as Scope, MIND, Mencap, the Salvation Army, RNIB and the Leonard Chesire Foundation will now be able to force disabled people into unpaid work or report them to the DWP for benefit sanctions.
Astonishingly these charities will also be able to use workfare workers in their own businesses, meaning that charity shops could soon be staffed by sick and disabled claimants forced to work without pay under threat of poverty and possible homelessness.
The memo (spotted by the ever vigilant consent.me.uk) can be read at: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/work-programme-memo-082.pdf
This appears to be a brutally flawed measure to toughen up the Work Programme after yesterday’s disastrous performance figures (more on these later by the way).
Workfare for sick and disabled claimants, some of whom may have cancer, serious disabilities or severe mental health conditions, has long been floated by the DWP as part of the war on welfare claimants.
The work must be ‘community based’, meaning that claimants will be sent to work for charities and voluntary sector organisations. Under the ‘black box’ approach on the Work Programme, which means providers can mandate participants to whatever they see fit, there is no time limit for workfare on the two year scheme.
Charities will both administer and benefit from this vicious new attack on disabled people and those who are too unwell to find work. They can also stop it in its tracks.
A new militancy is required and these charities need to know that we will not accept their greedy money grabbing activities on the Work Programme or any other workfare scheme. And they will no longer receive a penny of our money. If they exploit us we will shut them down. Start by telling them what you think of their connivance with the Work Programme and join the Boycott Workfare Week of Action Against Workfare Charities beginning on December 8th: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=1741
Charitable Work Programme sub-contractors include @scope, @MindCharity, @mencap_charity, @RNIB, @LCDisability, @salvationarmyuk, @AddactionUK
Charities who exploit workfare staff include @thebhf, @barnardos, @age_uk, @CR_UK
If you donate to a charity contact them today and demand a written assurance they will not use workfare staff or carry out government contracts to force anyone into unpaid work or sanction benefits.