How can a company that has discriminated against the disabled be ‘DisabilityConfident’?

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Here’s a mixed message:

The Conservative-led Coalition government wants us all to believe that the number of disabled people getting support to get or keep a job is rocketing.

But the businessman it is using to front its PR campaign founded a company that has been convicted of discrimination against the disabled in the recent past.

According to the government’s press release, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of Easyjet, said: “Already over 100,000 disabled entrepreneurs employ an equivalent number of people in their business start-ups.

“I encourage disabled people out there who have a germ of an idea for a business, but are unsure of how to go about it, to take advantage of the support the government has on offer to help you make your business fly.”

But in 2011, EasyJet told a boy with muscular dystrophy that he could not fly – because his electric wheelchair was too heavy for baggage handlers.

And in 2012, Paralympics presenter Sophie Morgan received similar treatment.

It seems, if you are disabled, EasyJet’s business has been to keep you on the ground.

The government reckons the number of people using its Access to Work scheme has risen by more than 10 per cent, to 31,230 – and has claimed that disabled people are moving into jobs, training or work placements at a rate of more than 100 every working day.

But the press release does not elaborate on how many of these jobs are permanent, how many are merely temporary placements, how many are self-employment start-ups that will receive funding for a short period and will fold when the grants run out, and so on.

Apparently it is all part of a campaign launched by David Cameron last year, called DisabilityConfident.

From what’s on show here, it seems disabled people have precious little reason to be confident.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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13 thoughts on “How can a company that has discriminated against the disabled be ‘DisabilityConfident’?

  1. jray

    Jobs,Training or Work Placements,that covers a multitude of sins,is it really about getting a person a paid position or fiddling the figures and getting them off the books on a temporary basis regardless of the long term outcome? It reminds me of the old Pea under the Cup game,keep moving them around and guess where they are.

      1. jray

        @Mike,a little off subject,but similar BS,I have received a letter directing me to attend JCP+ to discuss “Jobs and Training” I received a similar letter 2 Months ago,attended and was informed that their was “No training” and “You need to find a Job” after being berated that I am not trying hard enough for an hour and the 217 applications I had applied for on the UJM were meaningless,I was released, at this meeting I will refuse to talk about anything but Training or Job opportunities,am I pushing the line? after all that is what the letter that they sent and this meeting is supposed to directly be about those two subjects…….Their rules not mine!

  2. Martha

    “Already over 100,000 disabled entrepreneurs employ an equivalent number of people in their business start-ups. That’s going to be quite a loss to the economy then when the ILF is closed and 100,000 disabled people can’t get to work any more

    1. vomsters

      Add in the 20% who will lose their DLA in the changeover to PIP as well (though there will be significant crossover, I would imagine).

  3. jaypot2012

    I’d like to have a full list of these “disabled entrepreneurs” and their businesses – there wouldn’t be one of course as the numbers are lies – if they can’t prove it then it isn’t the truth!

  4. Mrs Smith

    DWP HATE the disabled and are aggressively putting them of entering a Job Centre! Job Centre – has a disabled door opening button but has it switched off (security guard told a claimant that the button did work, but was kept turned off). Two storey Job Centre – disabled person told to ‘go upstairs’ for interview and they have no lift. Job Centre – the customer became aggressive, this probably indicated they have a disability (the customer has a physical disability)! Staff at the DWP welcome desk at the Job Centre shout at disabled person reducing them to tears and making them too frightened to go back. Now what was that ‘Disability Confident’ part again?!

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