Community Work Placements are now being implemented by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for many of their customers. Community Work Placements are mandatory and not volunteering.
EVOC’s Board has considered our response to the mandatory element of these placements. We are firmly committed to the principles of volunteering – time offered by individuals of their own free will and without coercion – and understand the very positive impact volunteers make to individuals and organisations.
EVOC is a membership organisation and we decided to directly survey the sector to gauge the feeling within the Third Sector. 84% of respondents said they did not agree with mandatory Community Work Placements. In summary, the survey showed the Sector’s:
- Strong commitment to principle that voluntary work should be truly voluntary
- That 3rd Sector prioritises needs of the workforce/benefits claimants over their own
- Majority did not support mandatory work placements
- Some minor support there nevertheless
As a result of the Board discussion and the analysis of the survey, EVOC will not participate in Mandatory Community Work Placements and will not advertise these placements on our website. We will also sign up to the campaign to keep volunteering voluntary, available here.
Our colleagues at Voluntary Action Scotland (VAS) have also released a statement outlining their position on Community Work Placements and have written to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith MP. The statement can be read on their website here alongside a full press release which can be found here.