The standard workfare letters being sent out by Department of Work and Pensions cast the scheme as compulsory and do not explain that claimants can leave their placements without sanction in the first week, a Channel 4 News investigation has confirmed.
Backing up what workfare campaigners have been saying for some time, the programme had obtained multiple documents threatening claimants with losing benefit if they do not undertake a placement they have “volunteered” for. DWP have confirmed this is a standard letter wording:
“Please not that if, without a good reason, you fail to start, fail to go when expected, or stop going to the [placement] … any future payments of Jobseeker’s Allowance could cease to be payable”
The film also nailed the suggestion that opponents of workfare are “militants” and/or SWP:
The claimant in Jackie Long’s film said he voted Conservative at the last election.