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Remploy Closure

The Government has finally wielded the axe and it has landed heavily at the door of Remploy. Remploy were one of the quangos identified by the government in their review in 2010 to receive an under consideration status. The Sayce Review which ended in 2011 recommended that the government do not subsidise specific organisations but offer support for disabled people in other ways.

So without further ado Remploy factories are being set free from Government control. To the lay person, this ministerial speak means that in 2012 36 of Remploy's 54 factories will close with the loss of 1,752 jobs. The factories being closed are those which make a loss each year and are therefore not considered economically viable. DWP will then work with Remploy to ascertain how the remaining factories and CCTV contracts can be freed from government control, which basically means being taken over as commercial businesses (whether as social enterprise or private).

Maria Miller MP was keen to point out that Remploy employees will receive a £8 million comprehensive personalised package of support and that any one of the 1,518 disabled members of staff who are made redundant will receive an offer of individualised support for up to 18 months, including access to a personal budget.  The government are also establishing a CommunitySupport Fund to provide grants to local disability organisations to support Remploy employees.  Access to Work funding is also set to increase by £15 million. This is all a far cry from the sheltered employment offered by Remploy and we can but hope the government realises its ambition of helping more disabled people into work as a result.

Remploy are conducting themselves with grace and professionalism at what is an awful situation for everyone involved.  Their website offers detail on the factories affected and confirms their position.

Click here for Maria Miller's statement.


7 March 2012

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