From Work and Benefits:

The government is axing mandatory work activity and community work placements. The announcement comes after years of protests and court action by claimants forced into unpaid work with no prospect of a job at the end.

The not so good news, however, is that a new scheme called the Work and Health Programme is to be introduced.

As one commentator has already suggested, this might be the beginning of attempts to force claimants into compulsory treatment programmes such as CBT or help to combat drug or alcohol misuse.’

SCHEMES DUE TO END MARCH/APRIL 2016. BUT JSA/ESA/Universal Credit claimants will still be under pressure to take ‘reasonable’ offers of work or training under threat of sanctions.

See our factsheets on this website for more advice and to get more involved with LUS contact us on nickplus007@gmail.com


A demonstration of Southwark claimants took place on Thursday 19th March outside Peckham Jobcentre Plus.
It was organised by London Unemployed Strategies (LUS) as part of the Unite Community National Day of Action Against Sanctions. The Southern and Eastern region of the TUC (SERTUC) were also out in force to support.
Many claimants and passers-by signed the national petition against sanctions and signed up for the ‘Stand Up For Your Rights’ sessions being organised by LUS.
Nick Phillips, LUS organiser, said: ‘We are delivering training sessions called ‘Stand Up For Your Rights’ for local claimants. Many of them feel they are being punished and having their benefits stopped, or ‘sanctioned’ as the Jobcentre calls it, for not being able to find the work they genuinely crave. Peckham Jobcentre Plus according to official DWP statistics is one of the worst in the whole country for sanctioning people and there is no good reason for this. We at LUS are trying to work cooperatively with the JCP and DWP staff unions, management and claimants in the borough to resolve this issue. So if there has not been a dramatic fall in the sanctions rate by the time the next stats come out, we will want to know why.’
One claimant said: ‘I have been screwed by this Jobcentre. In one week I was rejected for three different jobs I applied for. That very same week I was sanctioned for nine months for not looking hard enough for work. I have only just been allowed to sign on again and may never recover from the debt this has put me in.’
Later on, LUS took part in the London demonstration outside the DWP HQ in Westminster where the national petition was handed in.

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Claimants wishing to sign up for the ‘Stand Up For Your Rights’ sessions organised by London Unemployed Strategies can contact Nick Phillips at the TUC on 020 7467 1283 or on nickplus007@gmail.com





The first national conference of this kind for many years was held at the TUC last month.The day was well-attended by trades unionists both employed and unemployed from all over the country. Key points of consensus emerged from the day about the basic elements of a National Welfare Charter. These included:

  • An end to the current sanctions regime
  • No more Work Capability Assessments
  • An unconditional Citizens Income for all
  • Trades union rights and representation for the unemployed
  • Campaign for a minimum wage of at least £10 per hour to include apprenticeships and other types of training
  • Scrap Workfare – voluntary work should be completely voluntary and not substitute for jobs that should be paid at least the minimum wage

These and other demands arising from the Conference will be developed into a Charter, to be promoted through trades unions, the Labour Party, mass media and other means in the run-up to the General Election. The next open organising committee will be at the Unite Holborn HQ on 25th March at 1.00 pm.