'You had to be the detective': implementing workfare in British employment services

REDMAN, Jamie, FLETCHER, Del, WHITE, Richard and MCCARTHY, Lindsey (2022). 'You had to be the detective': implementing workfare in British employment services. Journal of Social Policy.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047279422000733


British employment service delivery has shifted towards a model primed on core ‘workfare’ objectives – that is, enforcing behavioural compliance to work-related duties and expanding participation in work. Nevertheless, significant gaps remain in current knowledge about how workfare is implemented daily by frontline staff. The existing international street-level research on employment service delivery reveals how workers use a range of discretionary practices to achieve workfare objectives. Yet this research largely ignores how, in practice, a key aspect of enforcing behavioural compliance and encouraging work participation is through contending with its opposite – behavioural non-compliance. Analysing 13 interviews with frontline staff, this article contributes to street-level knowledge by revealing the ways managers and workers in British employment services are encouraged to detect and correct variations of claimant non-compliance.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science & Public Administration; 1605 Policy and Administration; 1607 Social Work; 2203 Philosophy
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047279422000733
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2022 15:49
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 08:32
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/30702

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