Posted: 01/11/2016 at 11:18
On my way home from school, the second bus stop, the people who worked at REMPLOY in Mansfield got on. They all had a job and some dignity, even if it was subsidised. A lot of them were injured in the war, and had bits missing. I know of a man, who worked in a factory all his life, sweeping the floor and doing basic tasks. George was only capable of doing simple tasks, and only following one instruction at a time. However he always wanted to be busy. He was paid less than the skilled workforce, but living with his brother , it was better than income support. After he retired and his brother died, he had to go into an old peoples sheltered housing, but he still needed to work. The warden used to send him up to us for one thing, we used to tell him to take it back to Wendy. Then Wendy would send him to another shop for one thing, and they would instruct him to go back. Now with minimum wage, a factory cannot employ someone to do half a skilled persons job and pay them full rate. So people like George sit at home with the telly getting bored, living on income support.
I see this from both points of view. A disabled person wants a job, reasonable adjustments need to be made by the employer. But from an employers point of view, if they can only do half a job, or it is going to cost huge amounts for "reasonable adjustments", with all the will in the world, they cannot afford to employ a disabled person.
For instance, many places I work could employ someone in a wheelchair on the till. But they could not use the toilets, which are up a flight of stairs, in a Victorian building. How much to put a lift in, and is it even possible? New builds are better, they all seem to have a wheelchair friendly toilet on the ground floor.