Work has been pivotal to social policy in the UK for centuries. The Poor Law system was constructed around work. For the ‘able bodied’ (fit adults) to receive assistance from the Poor Law, there was the requirement to enter the workhouse. The modern social security system is designed to promote incentives to work symbolised in Beveridge’s depiction of ‘idleness’ as one of the giants that had to be slain. Since its election in 1997, the New Labour government has introduced its ‘welfare to work’ policy designed to enable young people and single parents to enter work and leave the benefits system.