Unpaid Work

Unpaid Work is for the benefit of the Community

What is a Community Payback Order with an Unpaid Work requirement ?

A Community Payback Order is designed to ensure that individuals convicted of offending behaviour payback to society, and to particular communities, in two ways:

  • by requiring individuals convicted of offending behaviour to make reparation, often in the form of unpaid work
  • by requiring them to address and change their offending behaviours, thereby improving the safety of local communities and providing opportunities for their reintegration as law abiding citizens.

The Unpaid Work requirement gives individuals convicted of offending behaviour the opportunity to contribute in a positive way to local communities. Work undertaken as part of Unpaid Work does not replace paid employment but enhances work carried out by the local authority and community groups throughout Inverclyde.

Benefits from the Unpaid Work Requirement

Individuals convicted of offending behaviour who undertake unpaid work have an opportunity to repay their local community for the harm caused by their offending. Individuals pay in time and hard work whilst developing new skills and confronting their offending behaviour.

Unpaid work also allows individuals convicted of offending behaviour the opportunity to develop and improve their social skills by generating the opportunities to make positive connections with people and communities.

The Unpaid Work requirement also allows for “other activity” which will help the individual reintegrate into the community by addressing any underlying issues which are influencing their offending behaviour.

What are the aims of Unpaid Work?

  • To allow individuals convicted of offending behaviour the opportunity to repay communities by way of Unpaid Work
  • To reduce crime and reoffending within local communities
  • To improve local environments
  • To support local projects
  • To improve individuals skills and employment opportunities
  • To allow individuals to understand the impact of their offence
  • To undertake work which would not ordinarily be carried out by the local authority

Who manages Unpaid Work?

The Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) is a partnership between Inverclyde Council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, within this partnership the Criminal Justice Social Work Department has a dedicated staff group who manage the day to day running of the Unpaid Work Service. Charities and other Community Groups also offer individual Unpaid Work placements.

Who will be working in your communities?

All individuals convicted of offending behaviour are carefully risk assessed before being deemed suitable to work in local communities. Whilst undertaking unpaid work, individuals are closely monitored by our work supervisors or the organisation they are working for.

What type of tasks are undertaken on Unpaid Work?

We can assist voluntary and not-for-profit organisations, or individuals in need. While we like to take on projects where there is a wider benefit to the community we are also happy to receive requests for small  projects. We are able to consider work within the following three broad based skill categories:

  • Gardening/Landscaping
  • Joinery/Carpentry
  • Painting and decorating

Please note that although we can provide a workforce and some tooling, costs for materials will be the responsibility of the service recipient.
We need to make sure we carry out the work:

  • To a good standard
  • Safely, we will tell you if we have the skills to carry out your project safely by performing a risk assessment before commencement of any work

Some examples of work undertaken in the past:

Improving the local environment

  • Maintaining walkways
  • Community garden projects
  • Working with local communities on community projects
  • Improving gap sites

Voluntary Organisations / Church Groups

  • Supporting local voluntary organisations in their day to day work
  • Providing some furniture to charitable organisations
  • Maintenance and groundwork of local church establishments
  • Minor repairs to properties/garden areas

Painting and Decorating

  • Painting and decorating for vulnerable individuals within the community
  • Support for charitable organisations and school projects


If you feel you, your organisation or community would benefit from the support of Unpaid Work, it is necessary to complete and submit the referral form under Documents on this page.  We will give you an approximate timescale for getting in touch with you to discuss your project further. However, please note that we have a schedule of tasks and projects to carry out which may extend for several months ahead; although we cannot guarantee to be able to start work immediately we will keep you informed about likely start dates.

We will ask you, at the end of a piece of work, to give us information about how we have performed, this feedback will enable us to make improvements and to run the service more effectively. We have by law to report annually on the work that we have carried out in the community, and this information will help form the content of this report; we will not use information identifying any individual recipient without consent.

Page last updated: 1 November 2016