Government statistics on the number of claimants forced to work for charities without pay reveal just over 12,000 disabled people have faced mandatory referrals to unpaid work since the workfare scheme was launched.
The statistics cover the Mandatory Work Activity scheme which is used by Jobcentre staff to punish people who they believe are not trying hard enough to find work. Claimants of Jobseekers Allowance can be sent on four weeks unpaid and full time workfare even from the first day of their claim. DWP research shows the scheme has no impact on whether people actually find a job after attending.
Usually claimants are sent to work for charity shops such as The Salvation Army or environmental organisations like Groundwork and The Conservation Volunteers. Claimants who refuse can now have benefits stopped for up to three years. Most decent charities, including Oxfam, Scope and Marie Curie have pulled out the…
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