Happy International Day for People with Disabilities or Is It?
DWP will have an announcement today on International Disabled Peoples Day on how they are now going to "Improve disabled peoples chances of getting work by mandatory employment" sounds good eh well let me tell you it's not. I mean can you just imagine having a mental health problem s where you suffer from bipolar and borderline personality disorder, which in fact means that the majority of days you can't go out of the house or even talk to people as your stress levels are through the roof you can read more about bipolar here http://www.bipolaruk.org.uk/
then imagine also having borderline personality disorder as well, this condition can mean feeling confident one day then feeling despair another, difficulty in maintaining relationship's, risk of or do things without thinking of consequences, your harm or think about harming yourself the list goes on for more information on this condition see the link below http://www.mind.org.uk/help/diagnoses_and_conditions/borderline_personality_disorder#whatisborderline but along with this condition people can also suffer from anxiety, depression eating disorders or substance misuse.
So how would someone with the above conditions cope with being forced into mandatory work, what about if it was your granny age 63 with a disability but because of the extension of working age she could be forced to work, now what is her disability and how will it affect her, people with heart conditions, MS, ME, Fibromyalgia, CANCER, Leukaemia, the list is endless, so many still undergoing chemo and other treatments, there have been no consideration of this just people in glass houses making decisions on people's lives they know nothing about and what about the employers who have signed up to "workfare" how will they look at supporting someone like this.
Will the people being put into a mandatory workplace be entitled to claim Access to Work? This is a government initiative to help people with disabilities by allowing for money for accessible taxis, a support worker or driver to help, the minister for Disabled people Esther McVey explains here on a written ministerial statement issued on 19th of November http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-vote-office/November_2012/19-11-12/9-DWP-AccesstoWork.pdf
As you will notice one of her quotes specifically states that "I would like to emphasise that these changes are aimed at making Access to Work more responsive and easier to use, especially for small businesses. Under the Equality Act, employers are under a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people." "Well done" and the reasonable adjustments that she is talking about is what was introduced by my court case Archibald v Fife Council in The House of Lords in 2004 after a five and a half year battle with my employer you can read more about it here http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200304/ldjudgmt/jd040701/arch-1.htm
And let me just say, I never went through five and a half years of hell losing an Appeal, Tribunal, Court of session before winning my case in The House of Lords so this or any other government can use my outcome to penalise the very people it was set up to support as if they do not provide Access to Work for their new policies for mandatory work then they themselves will be breaching the Equality Act 2010 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents so the government will be bound by the duty of the Equality Act on implementation.
I also have to raise the fact that on implementation of mandatory employment for people with disabilities today this actually makes the government breach article 27/2 of the Un Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which the last government signed up to in 2007
Article 27 - Work and employment
1. States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to work, on an equal basis with others; this includes the right to the opportunity to gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted in a labour market and work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities. States Parties shall safeguard and promote the realization of the right to work, including for those who acquire a disability during the course of employment, by taking appropriate steps, including through legislation, to, inter alia:
2. States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities are not held in slavery or in servitude, and are protected, on an equal basis with others, from forced or compulsory labour. http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml
Now am quite sure if we raise enough awareness of what the government are doing that other countries will question our government on the Illegalities they will be breaching.
This also has to be said of EVERY employer that is involved in the process as they will also be duty bound by the Equality Act 2010 and have to realise that they can't discriminate against people with disabilities and from the minute disabled people are introduced to "workfare" they become entitled to specific rights that have been built up over the years to protect disabled workers from discrimination.
I am the first person to help people with disabilities to find and maintain work but trust me I will NOT sit back and allow this or any other government to breach their rights and neither should anyone else, so I am now calling upon the EHRC to step up and hold this government to account as this has to be redressed ASAP and if it is not We have to unite and gather outside every single business that sign up for it, so let me just send a STERN message to every business or CHARITY out there who are already exploiting people through the scheme of "workfare" which takes away the very chances of our young people to gain and remain in paid employment, already being forced to work or have their benefits removed, not one bit of consideration or incentive for the young person to gain paid employment and all the businesses like A4e creaming of the profits yet barely getting any into paid work.
Now I do believe that a bit work experience is a good thing as it can be very difficult for young people in the first place to get a job as the employers will not give them a chance if they have no experience but the whole point there is no time limit on this merely exploits the person and affords them no opportunity or hope of paid employment and let me not forget about the businesses and bad employers that are also creaming of free staff and slowing reducing the hours of the paid staff in their employment. We should be enhancing opportunities and the visions of young people not putting them into a situation where there is no hope of a future of paid work so I hope we can all unite around the country and challenge this harder than ever as if we sit back and let this next stage be implemented we are just as bad as the government that are doing it, disabled or able we should not be bearing the brunt of these cuts and have to unite and stand together use any source we can and stand outside every organisation, business and Charity that dare to implement it.
We have seen so many over the last 2 years dying within days of being assessed as fit for work we had Colin Traynor 29, http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/09/26/atos-disability-benefits-colin-traynor-epilepsy-_n_1917042.html who suffered from epilepsy but was found fit for work his parents still blame his death on being stripped of his benefits and the stress the assessments caused, we had Steven Hill who was found fit for work despite being diagnosed with heart failure and after winning an appeal he was once again passed as fit for work and died 39 days later of a heart attack while waiting for surgery http://old.24dash.com/news/housing/2012-07-30-Man-died-39-days-after-being-declared-fit-for-work-by-Government-assessors Paul Turner 52 died from a serious heart condition weeks after loosing his benefits and being declared fit for work http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/birmingham-dad-dies-of-heart-condition-187961 now Paul had also been medically discharged from his previous employment but no he was still put through the process people have no ideas how much stress not just the person but all their family go through throughout the process. I could go on and on but to date there have been over 1100 people dying since last year read guardian article surrounding the anger of families of the people who died at the hands of decisions that Atos made and who were particularly upset that the company was allowed to sponsor the Olympics http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/aug/28/atos-3bn-government-contracts-paralympics I think I have said enough so the rest is up to all of us to STOP any more from dying we have to challenge harder than ever to fight for our peers, their carer's and their families who are suffering desperately at the hands of this government.
We never caused this the bankers and the Tax dodgers caused the mess we have today and we sit with a government of rich cats who make themselves richer and penalise the most vulnerable in our society well NO more.
It is time now for more direct action but we need more to help us as so many who are sick and disabled can't take to the streets to fight so I call upon their carer's, their family and friends to join us in this fight for equality I ask for the support for every charity that works for disabled people every disabled peoples organisation to stop there squabbling and stand united with me in the fight to STOP this and work with me to set up protests, demos like we have never seen before to support our peers against the nightmares this will cause.
We have to be the change, we are no longer the minority the government are the minority as if all the people in the UK take to the streets and support us they will have to listen so get up get ready get on the phones let start making our voices heard as together we have a stronger voice and to the streets we have to go. We need the unions support as if they take the money from the unemployed they have to support them so I call upon every union to help and back me in the fight to stop this now. I need support from all parties who are against what the government are doing we need you NOW not next week or next year you are the opposition so join us in our fight for fairness. You can contact me here firstname.lastname@example.org please, please, please act NOW
Until the next time Susanas
You can also contact me through twitter @susanas4321