In most circumstances it is entirely up to the individual whether they wish to partake in a work placement. However, there are some situations when sanctions are applied if an individual does not take up a work placement opportunity.

ERSA’s stance

ERSA believes that mandated work placements can be appropriate in some cases but must only be used to improve the employability of jobseekers and should not be used in a punitive way. Work placements can be of immense value in helping people into paid employment and government should ensure the conditions are right so that providers can work with employers in developing high-quality placements.

“Workfare” mythbuster

ERSA has produced a “Workfare” mythbuster to inject some balance into the debate about the use of mandated work placements (sometimes called “workfare”) in the UK.  This aims to challenge some of the following myths that are sometimes propagated by campaigners:

  • Myth one: “Workfare” schemes are frequently used in the UK
  • Myth two: Work placements do not help people into work
  • Myth three: There is a strong objection from participants to mandatory work placements
  • Myth four: There is public outcry over the use of “workfare”
  • Myth five: Work experience placements replace jobs and undermine wages
  • Myth six:  Welfare to work is “state-sponsored slavery”

For further information please consult our “Workfare” mythbuster.