The Department of Work and Pensions is challenging a Freedom of Information ruling that it should disclose the businesses and charities involved in the ‘workfare’ schemes in the UK. 

The schemes see those on jobseekers allowance made to work for 30 hours a week at participating charities and businesses to receive their benefits.

The Guardian, who put in the FOI request, report:

In a battle with the information commissioner, the DWP has said that the government’s mandatory work programme would “collapse” if the names were made public due to the likelihood of protests against the organisations involved.

In August the commissioner ruled that the names should be released. However, in a 14-page appeal document leaked to the Guardian, DWP lawyers have argued that the details of companies and charities involved in the mandatory work activity scheme – which compels unemployed people to do 30 hours of unpaid labour a week in order to retain their jobseeker’s allowance – must remain secret.

You can read the full story here. 


I am a journalist and author. I am a journalist at the UK edition of WIRED magazine. In 2015, my first book Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. My second book Reed Hastings: Building Netflix, was published in March 2020. I created FOI Directory in 2012 and have maintained it in my spare time ever since.