Meaning of workfare in English:



mass noun
  • A welfare system which requires some work or attendance for training from those receiving benefits.

    • ‘The plan laid out in 1996 to change welfare to workfare recognized and provided for the critical role child care would play in transitioning from government dependency to personal responsibility.’
    • ‘Furthermore, forcing welfare recipients onto workfare has forced many young people to drop out of school or training programs.’
    • ‘Has the Minister seen any of the research on the outcomes of American workfare and time-limited benefit programmes over the last 10 years, and can he confirm that a Labour Government will not move towards such initiatives?’
    • ‘If there is no effective screening to determine who requires workfare, those who do not need assistance may end up being the ones getting it.’
    • ‘It carried out enormous cuts to public services, attacked the collective bargaining rights of public sector workers, levied tax increases on working people, and even touted workfare as a replacement for the welfare system.’
    • ‘The steep cuts the Liberals have made to unemployment insurance benefits and eligibility have been complemented at the provincial level by reductions in welfare benefits and the implementation of workfare.’
    • ‘They abruptly slashed welfare rates by 22 percent, used workfare and other regulatory changes to drive people off benefits, froze minimum wages and stopped building social housing.’
    • ‘The New York City Workfare Media Initiative teaches welfare recipients and union workers how to use documentaries about workfare and welfare reform as organizing tools.’
    • ‘This was no surprise, since workfare is central to the government's drive to reduce welfare rolls and expenditure and create a ‘flexible’ labor market.’
    • ‘That approach involves attracting investment by reducing a host of environmental, labour and social regulations, reducing taxes, freezing minimum wage rates and introducing workfare for welfare recipients.’
    • ‘If workfare replaces welfare, wages will become more flexible enabling EU labor markets to absorb immigrants more efficiently.’
    • ‘Mandatory workfare was not part of the Alberta reforms.’
    • ‘In functional terms, workfare naturalizes and normalizes such job market conditions.’
    • ‘Therefore, he argues, it is a disguised form of workfare as it will require people to work before they get welfare benefits.’
    • ‘The welfare/workfare transition thus represents an example of qualitative restructuring in state institutions and regulatory settlements.’
    • ‘Welfare recipients are to face new coercive measures to force them into workfare or to accept cheap labor jobs.’
    • ‘Despite the threat workfare poses to public-sector unions, Williams says the labor movement has been sluggish in responding to the issue.’
    • ‘Modelled along the lines of US workfare programmes, the New Deal was initially targeted at the young unemployed aged 18 to 24 years and the long-term jobless.’


1960s from work + a shortened form of welfare.