Welfare changes could restrict volunteering, warns Volunteering England

The membership body says it has received calls from charities concerned about the new regulations

Volunteering England
Volunteering England

Volunteering England has voiced concern that changes to the welfare system could have a negative impact on volunteering.

In a briefing document on universal credit, the organisation warns that the new single payment for jobseekers and low-income earners – which comes into force next year – will restrict the amount of time people on benefits can volunteer.

Dan Sumners, senior policy and communications officer at Volunteering England, said the membership body had already received calls from charities worried about the new regulations.

Under universal credit, claimants will be expected to spend up to 35 hours a week looking for or preparing for work. But the new rules state that volunteering by people in receipt of the payment will be restricted to "up to 50 per cent of their expected hours of work search". Currently, there are no specified restrictions.

The document prepared by Volunteering England on universal credit said: "There is likely to be some concern, among volunteers and the organisations that involve them, that the introduction of a mandatory level of work search also introduces a regulatory restriction on volunteering."

A spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: "We recognise the value of volunteering and the contribution it can make towards helping a claimant into work.

"Under universal credit, people looking for work will be able to spend half their jobseeking time volunteering – but it’s only right that claimants do all they can to move into work or take up more or better-paid work."

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

Latest Jobs

Forthcoming Events

CHASE 2016

  • Tue 16 Feb 2016 - Wed 17 Feb 2016
  • Business Design Centre, London, N1 0QH

Fundraising Week 2016

  • Tue 19 Apr 2016 - Thu 21 Apr 2016
  • London, South Bank
RSS Feed

Third Sector Insight

Sponsored webcasts, surveys and expert reports from Third Sector partners

Markel

Expert Hub

Insurance advice from Markel

In the media spotlight - How would your charity react to a major crisis?

In this article, Robin Swinbank, a crisis management specialist from communications consultancy The Counsel House, explains the skills a chief executive will need to call on in a crisis

mydonate

Expert Hub

Fundraising advice from BT MyDonate

Five low cost tips for creating compelling video content that thrives

No matter what size your budget, there are some simple tips that can help keep costs down