The government scheme to get the unemployed back to work by working without pay has suffered a further setback as Poundland became the latest firm to demand that ministers rethink the programme.
The discount store joins a long list of firms and charities which has left the scheme or suspended their participation. Tesco dropped out when its stores were picketed by protesters.
Sainsbury's and TK Maxx withdrew amid concerns of customer backlash. High street charities Shelter, Marie Curie and Mind have also pulled out of the scheme.
Participants in workfare are only paid expenses for 25-30 hours work a week.
Should they pull out of the placement after more than a week has elapsed, for whatever reason, they can lose their benefits. The severity of the sanction has caused a significant number of companies to reconsider their involvement.