Jobseekers must sign on every day or work for free

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The government has introduced rules meaning that long-term unemployed people will only receive benefits if they visit a job centre every day or take on six months of voluntary work.

Jobseekers that disobey the new rules will have their benefits stopped for four weeks for a first offence and 13 weeks for a second.

Until now, those signing on only had to turn up at a jobcentre once a fortnight.

Announcing the new rules, pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith insisted that there is work for the jobless if they can be encouraged to come off of welfare.

The government claims the new steps apply to around 200,000 people who have been out of work for three years or more.

However, a group of charities have decided to boycott the new mandatory work placement scheme because they believe that the long-term unemployed should be not forced into voluntary work while being threatened to have their benefits cut.

The charities, including Oxfam, the Salvation Army and the YMCA, have launched a campaign to 'keep volunteering voluntary'.

A spokesperson for the Salvation Army said: “We feel that a 26-week work experience placement is too long and would not be beneficial.”

The Tories believe doing unpaid community work will help discipline the long-term jobless into observing office hours.