The government is quietly abolishing mandatory work activity and community work placements. The announcement comes after years of protests and court action by jobseeker’s allowance and employment and support allowance claimants forced into unpaid work placements with no prospect of a job at the end of them. However, a new scheme is to be introduced, about which no details have yet been announced.
According to the Treasury’s Autumn statement:
“Total spending on employment will be reduced, including not renewing Mandatory Work Activity and Community Work Placements, but introducing a Work and Health Programme for the longer term unemployed and those with health conditions.”
The ending of the current schemes will be widely welcomed and is almost certainly due to years of protest and direct action against companies and charities that used forced claimant labour.
But many sick and disabled claimants will be waiting until they know what the Work and Health Programme consists of, before they breathe a sigh of relief.