Thursday, 5 April 2012

REMPLOY – The future for the disabled and disadvantaged in work

Liz Sayce’s report has given the green light to the UK Government to remove its subsidy to REMPLOY. It has been reported that this will result in the closure of 36 of 54 factories and put 1500 disabled persons out of work.

The subsidy of £25,000 per person per year could be better targeted to schemes encouraging disabled and disadvantaged workers into mainstream employment. Those involved could be better off in the long term. This change could break down prejudice. However, history is not on Liz’s side. It is reported that many of those made redundant when the last government reduced its support are, four years later, still unemployed.

With UK unemployment at more than 2.67m and many businesses facing an uncertain economic future, is this the time to experiment on recruiters?

Did I wake up this morning to a new world of benevolent shareholders who might sacrifice a fraction of a penny of their dividend to ensure workplace adjustments? Will HR officers be pushing at an open door as managers seek to hire ex-REMPLOY staff? Will colleagues support the transition of the disabled into the mainstream market?

There is no perfect time to make any change, but surely Liz Sayce’s new world should be given a chance if the Government helps to keep the factories open until everyone has been re-deployed.

UK Department of Work and Pensions March 2012 report,”Disability employment support: fulfilling potential”

“It is unacceptable that while many disabled people want to work, too few achieve this ambition, and that the life outcomes of young disabled people and those with special educational needs (SEN) are disproportionately poor.”

Liz Sayce’s Review to Government in June 2011, “Getting in, staying in and getting on”

“developing more equitable ways to:
– ‘get in’ – more disabled people doing apprenticeships, work experience, work placements, and on-the-job learning;
– ‘stay in’ – better promotion of Access to Work for retention; and
– ‘get on’ – whether setting up your own business or mutual, or gaining skills for career development.”

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