Over 200 disabled employees are at risk of losing their jobs after it was announced today that Remploy are set to close a further nine of its factories.
Remploy is one of the UK’s leading providers of employment to people experiencing complex barriers to work and enable individuals to identify, develop and make the most of their abilities. They work with many leading employers to support disabled people into jobs in mainstream employment and by directly employing disabled people into their Enterprise Businesses.
The sites reported to be closing are in Sunderland, Leven, Cowdenbeath, Stirling, Dundee, Clydebank, Norwich, Portsmouth and Burnley affecting a total of 284 employees, including 234 disabled workers.
Many have expressed their anger at the news, with the Scottish government admitting this was “another blow” for the workers who had been facing the threat of redundancy for over a year.
Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Throughout the last year I have urged UK ministers to think again about the process they had undertaken and to consider the impact on the employees, many of whom have worked in Remploy all their adult lives”.
Esther McVey, who is the minister for the disabled, said jobs for about 70 per cent of the remaining disabled employees could be saved after Remploy attracted bids to take over the businesses. On 6 December 2012 Remploy announced their aim to transfer the remaining Enterprise Businesses and associated 18 factories to new owners outside Government wherever possible.
In an attempt to reduce the number of potential job losses Remploy invited bids from individuals and organisations interested in buying all or parts of the remaining Enterprise Businesses and 18 sites proposed for closure, or the assets associated with them. Employees affected by possible redundancy will be supported by an £8m package of support to help them move into mainstream work, McVey told MPs.
This is just one in a series of impending changes, resulting from the Government’s decision to implement the recommendations that funding should be used to maximise employment for disabled people through individual support rather than financially supporting organisations such as Remploy.