People’s Agenda profile 16 : Boycott Workfare

Boycott Workfare have been taking on those profiting from workfare exploitation since 2010, they explain in this sixteenth People's Agenda profile

April 28, 2015 · 2 min read

boycottworkfare peoples agenda ‘We want an end to all sanctions and workfare. The campaign is powerful when it enables individuals, groups and organisations to stop workfare, while defending claimants’ rights to social security, fair pay, and peace of mind.’

Boycott Workfare is a UK-wide grassroots campaign to end forced unpaid work for people receiving welfare. It was formed in 2010 by people with experience of workfare and those concerned about its impact.

‘Workfare’ refers to the unpaid work placements that welfare claimants have to participate in to continue to receive social security. Refusing to take part leads to sanctions: withdrawal of welfare payments for up to three years. Workfare benefits the rich who control companies accepting placements of unpaid, coerced labour. It creates a claimant workforce without the legal status and rights of workers, thereby undermining the pay and conditions of all workers.

Boycott Workfare use social media and direct action to expose those profiting from workfare and to disrupt the government’s ‘wage free, welfare withdrawal’ agenda, working in solidarity with unemployed workers’ groups, claimants unions and others in the UK and internationally. We aim to challenge welfare conditionality and the imposition of unpaid work by supporting people to challenge workfare and sanctions.

We want an end to all sanctions and workfare. The campaign is powerful when it enables individuals, groups and organisations to stop workfare, while defending claimants’ rights to social security, fair pay, and peace of mind.

To find out more: @boycottworkfare

Red Pepper are running the People’s Agenda series in the run up to the General Election, demonstrating the breadth of exciting grassroots political activity in the UK.



Hungary: Europe’s creeping fascism

Luke Cooper reports on his recent visit to Hungary, an EU member state where democratic freedoms are no longer taken for granted

The reactionary rebellion

Neo-fascism is on the rise across Europe. It may have taken on a different form but its essence is the same, writes Walter Baier

They shall not pass: feminists on the front line

Across the world, feminists are fighting the far right and fascism. We hear from activists in seven countries.


Foul play in Qatar

Marzena Zukowska reviews a documentary film that examines the labour behind the 2022 World Cup

Power beyond borders

The climate crisis is the greatest act of systemic racism in human history, argues Cameron Joshi

Stop the scan: turning police into border guards

A police trial is linking street fingerprint scanning to immigration enforcement, writes Remi Joseph-Salisbury