Welfare-to-work policy under the coalition

Stephen James Williams, Peter John Scott

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter scrutinizes the UK coalition government’s welfare-to-work reforms between 2010 and 2015. The coalition shared with its New Labour predecessor a concern with using active labour market policies to tackle long-term unemployment. However, it took a distinctly more punitive approach when it came to ‘making work pay’, based upon an unpalatable distinction between so-called ‘strivers’ and ‘shirkers’ designed to demonize those not in paid work. The performance of the coalition’s Work Programme was notably poor. By accentuating labour commodification, the coalition’s welfare-to-work reforms helped to reproduce and normalize a precarious, low-wage labour market.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmployment relations under coalition government
Subtitle of host publicationThe UK experience, 2010-2015
EditorsSteve Williams, Peter Scott
Place of PublicationLondon and New York
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781138887008
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Employment Relations


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