This week, the government launched a new scheme that treats unemployment as a crime and unemployed people as criminals. Many people out of work for two years will be forced to carry out unpaid work full-time for six months for a charity, faith group or other voluntary group. This is more than twice as many hours as the maximum community service sentence. Their benefits will be slashed if they fail to take part.
For this scheme to work it requires the participation of the voluntary sector. Over 100 charities, unions, faith groups and other voluntary organisations have already signed up to Keep Volunteering Voluntary, condemning forced labour and saying they will take no part in it.
Please sign up your charity, church or other group to this simple principle. From national organisations to small local churches, all signatories are sending an important message. Thank you.