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Social policies and social controlNew perspectives on the ‘not-so-big society’$
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Malcolm Harrison and Teela Sanders

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447310747

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447310747.001.0001

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Welfare Reform and the Valorisation of Work: is Work Really the best form of Welfare?

Welfare Reform and the Valorisation of Work: is Work Really the best form of Welfare?

Chapter:
(p.55) Four Welfare Reform and the Valorisation of Work: is Work Really the best form of Welfare?
Source:
Social policies and social control
Author(s):

Ruth Patrick

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447310747.003.0004

With clear links to this collection's exploration of the possible emergence of a 'new behaviourism', this chapter considers the Coalition's welfareto-work strategy and explores the valorisation of work in which much of the policy agenda and related discourse is rooted. Welfare-to-work measures encompass a wide range of policies intended to encourage, enable and even compel benefit claimants to seek paid employment. In most recent years, welfareto-work policies have centred on efforts to ensure that claimants are taking all reasonable steps to return to work, with a notable increase in the use of both incentives and sanctions to promote working behaviour. Indeed, activation measures which utilise welfare conditionality (attaching behavioural conditions to benefit receipt) have been employed with increasing vigour in the UK since Thatcher's social security reforms in the mid 1980s, and are today in evidence across the OECD region.

Keywords:   Welfare to work, Benefits, Welfare conditionality, Social security, Sanctions

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