Remploy

House of Lords written question – answered on 16th January 2008.

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Photo of Lord Mason of Barnsley Lord Mason of Barnsley Labour

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the final outcome of the changes announced by Remploy, particularly on its workplaces, on its manpower, and on its activities in South Yorkshire.

Photo of Lord McKenzie of Luton Lord McKenzie of Luton Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions) (also in the Department for Communities and Local Government)

The Secretary of State announced the Remploy modernisation plan on 29 November. Remploy will continue with 55 factories, 15 more than originally proposed by the company in May 2007. The modernisation plan will see 17 factories close and a further 11 factories merge with other Remploy factories. The company will also quadruple the number of disabled people it supports into mainstream employment, through its Employment Services business. This will be some 20,000 people by 2013.

In South Yorkshire, the Barnsley factory will close and the 38 disabled employees at the factory will be given a range of options, including the opportunity to transfer to Remploy's Sheffield factory, which will continue. The company's Employment Services business will also open a city centre branch in Sheffield, as part of the company's plan to support more disabled people into mainstream work.

The Secretary of State has given a guarantee that no disabled employee will be made compulsorily redundant. They will also be able to remain on their current Remploy salary, including membership of the pension scheme.

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Annotations

Elizabeth Lancaster
Posted on 4 Feb 2008 8:16 pm (Report this annotation)

The way the disabled employees at the Redruth Remploy site are being treated is despicable!
The "jobs" being put up on the board are of absolutely no use to the people with their level of disabilities or they are downright degrading! Driving jobs in Plymouth?? Er, Redruth is 60 miles away! Cleaning in old folks homes? Dirty, hard work, which able bodied people find difficult to cope with! Pushing trollies around supermarkets? Again, extremely physical work that is no good for bad backs, false legs, stroke victims, dodgy hearts? The list is endless. Remploy Penzance is 20 miles away from Redruth, Half the workers do not have transport. Remploy will NOT provide transport and are talking about Access to Work paying for taxis- £90 per day!
Now, we go into the factory this morning to find a dirty great FOR SALE sign stuck on the factory! How the hell do they think that makes already very depressed people feel? We aren't due to vacate until mid March-April!!
Me? I'm being forced to find alternative work through Interwork as I cannot do the long journey to Penzance and back, but they are not going to pay me my disruption fee!! How is that fair?? I'm still being forced to move when I don't want to!
All we can say is that the attitude of a so called caring for the disabled Company and Government--- YOUR ATTITUDE STINKS and don't expect our votes in the next election!

Howard Lawton
Posted on 4 Feb 2008 9:24 pm (Report this annotation)

Elizabeth unfortunately politicians seem to be emphasising the thatcherite notion that there is no such thing as disabilty (unless it offends you) and that we are all just lazy and workshy.Seems incredible then that such a long standing successful company and government is complicit in this . The government however wants create a new structure privatising the process of disability assessment with companies (sorry agencies) who will be judged and enumerated based on how many people they get off benefit and into training programs or employment. The government therefore is quite happy to disengage with schemes such as Remploy.
This new model has been used in the USA and Australia with an outcome of increased poverty.