Press release

Grayling: Community work for the long term unemployed

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

People who have been unemployed for more than two years could be referred onto compulsory community work placements.

People who have been unemployed for more than two years and haven’t secured sustainable employment could be referred onto compulsory community work placements under plans being considered by the Government.

Under the proposals people who have been supported intensively through the Work Programme for two years yet have still not entered sustainable employment, may have to do community work or ultimately they could lose their benefit entitlement.

Ministers believe a minority of jobseekers struggle to engage with the system fully, are unable to hold down a job and therefore require a greater level of support. 

The Government is to test compulsory community work coupled with more intensive support through Jobcentre Plus in four key areas ahead of rolling out the scheme nationwide in 2013.

The proposals send a clear message to jobseekers that they will be supported until they get into sustainable employment. If they refuse to engage with the system they may no longer be entitled to financial support from the State.

Chris Grayling said:

We want a welfare state which is a ladder up which people climb not a place in which they live.

If people who are fit for employment, still haven’t managed to find a job after the intensive support provided by the Work Programme, we want them to do community work and get into the habit and routine of work. No one should expect to be able to sit at home doing nothing.