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A generic term for many government assistance programs. In general, it refers to programs in which the government pays money to indigent and unemployed persons. However, it may include non-cash payments such as food stamps. It may or may not include a requirement that able-bodied persons on welfare attempt to find work. Welfare is very controversial. Proponents argue that it helps the persons least able to help themselves, while critics contend it encourages people not to work. See also: TANF, Dole.


that aspect of management concerned with the wellbeing, both physical and emotional, of employees. It is an umbrella term for a range of services and activities. HEALTH AND SAFETY (the regulation of working conditions) is probably the most important but is often managed separately from other welfare functions. Other welfare activities include the provision of canteens and social clubs, sports facilities, medical officers etc. Some organizations also provide counselling services to help individuals cope with, for instance, work-related stress.

The reasoning behind employer concern with welfare suggests that a contented workforce is likely to be more productive. Some employers also feel that it is a social obligation to their employees. Welfare activities usually come under the remit of the PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT function. In fact, in the UK the origins of personnel management lie in the concern to improve employee welfare felt by certain employers in the early years of the 20th century. See FRINGE BENEFIT, HUMAN RELATIONS. See also SOCIAL SECURITY.

References in classic literature ?
Dick, and very solicitous for his welfare, my fears favoured this supposition; and for a long time his Wednesday hardly ever came round, without my entertaining a misgiving that he would not be on the coach-box as usual.
He dared not do anything that would imply a stronger interest in a poor man's adopted child than could be expected from the kindliness of the young Squire, when a chance meeting suggested a little present to a simple old fellow whom others noticed with goodwill; but he told himself that the time would come when he might do something towards furthering the welfare of his daughter without incurring suspicion.
And you, my captains, you little guessed how great a king the Heavens have set to rule over you, nor how deep is the mind of the king that watches ever over his people's welfare.
And now, Sir Cedric,'' he said, ``my ears are chiming vespers with the strength of your good wine permit us another pledge to the welfare of the Lady Rowena, and indulge us with liberty to pass to our repose.
Meanwhile, man, having fought and won his fight for this personal liberty, only to find himself a more abject slave than before, is turning with loathing from his egotist's dream of independence to the collective interests of society, with the welfare of which he now perceives his own happiness to be inextricably bound up.
After my care of his eternal welfare had met with such success, I could not forbear attempting something for his temporal, and by my endeavours matters were so accommodated that the relations were willing to grant his life on condition he paid a certain number of cows, or the value.
The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the most interesting in the world.
It has been urged and echoed, that the power "to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States," amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare.
I have written this without any definite aim in my mind, but solely to assure you of my welfare.
She respected, she esteemed, he was grateful to him, she felt a real interest in his welfare; and she only wanted to know how far she wished that welfare to depend upon herself, and how far it would be for the happiness of both that she should employ the power, which her fancy told her she still possessed, of bringing on her the renewal of his addresses.
The king's request had undoubtedly been acceded to by an affirmative sign, for in firm, sonorous accents, which vibrated in the depths of Athos's heart, the king began his speech, explaining his conduct and counseling the welfare of the kingdom.
A brilliant frigate captain, a man of sound judgment, of dashing bravery and of serene mind, scrupulously concerned for the welfare and honour of the navy, he missed a larger fame only by the chances of the service.