In our country, there is an institute within the social system that forces the unemployed persons to work about 20 hours in a month in order to get social benefits. It is a work as sweeping up the streets and so on. Is there in English a particular term for this work. The literal translation from our language is Public Service but it means something different.

  • What do you mean by "English" :) And do you want the English term for your country's practice? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 23 '18 at 22:16
  • I mean the English language. Maybe there is no such a practice in the UK or USA. I do not know if there will be sufficient in this case just to translate the term in my native language into the English language. – bart-leby Jan 23 '18 at 22:38
  • I've never heard such a term used, and in the UK we don't have anything exactly comparable, but I would call work of that kind as "token work", or "token hours". – WS2 Jan 23 '18 at 22:57
  • Hard to say if this is a language question or one about the nomenclature used by various gov't services. – user3169 Jan 24 '18 at 4:30

In the US it is called "Community Service", although this term is also applied to volunteer work in general that benefits the community.

The situation itself is called workfare.

This is kind of old but the basic system is still around - CalWORKs Community Service

  • I usually think of "community service" as a sentence imposed by the court on people who have committed petty crimes. Workfare might be a good term for what the OP wanted, but it doesn't sound to me like we have any truly equivalent programs in the U.S., currently. – joiedevivre Jan 24 '18 at 1:55
  • @joiedevivre I added a link as an example. "community service" is a rather general term for volunteer work (or more simply work-for-free) which could appear in judicial sentences. – user3169 Jan 24 '18 at 3:17
  • Interesting, although I wonder whether other states have any equivalent programs. I know I've never heard "community service" used in the context of "work required to obtain social assistance," although the "volunteer work" meaning is common. Attempting to directly translate the names of government programs by using names of similar programs in other countries seems like it could go drastically awry, but I'll throw you an upvote for interesting information and leave it to the OP to decide! :) – joiedevivre Jan 24 '18 at 3:25

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