The DWP’s new Guide to Volunteering while on Benefits says that reimbursement for lunch and other meals counts as earnings, not legitimate expenses. This is unjust (rich people can get reimbursed, someone on income support can’t), could have a serious impact on volunteering especially by young and/or unemployed people, and contradicts other DWP policy statements.
Volunteering England and other organisations are campaigning against this change in DWP policy and practice. If the change will affect your volunteers–or even if you won’t, but you are concerned–please adapt the attached letter as appropriate and send it to DWP, Ed Miliband (Minister for the Third Sector) and your MP. Addresses are in the attachment. The letter was written by Kate Bowgett of Off the Streets and into Work (OSW). The letter and explanatory notes are also at www.sandy-a.co.uk/volslunch.htm.
The legal update website item is at www.sandy-a.co.uk/employment.htm#volslunch.
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