The boss of Britain’s largest welfare to work provider believes that claimants are better off in low paid, insecure temporary work “rather than sat at home watching Jeremy Kyle” according to the Telegraph newspaper.
He also argues that the government have to get the “people who are technically unfit to work, back to work” and believes that the appointment of Maximus to carry out medical assessments will lead to a surge in work for his company.
Andy Hogarth runs Staffline ,which bought out A4E last month in order to become Britain’s largest provider of welfare to work services. He believes that if the government is to succeed in its aim of cutting £12 billion from the benefits budget it will have to get people off employment and support allowance and back into work.
“For a government looking to save £12bn from welfare one of the things they have to do is get the people who are technically unfit to work, back to work, which sounds a bit brutal on the face of it, and that is exactly what a lot of welfare groups are saying, but in reality they can work.”
According to the Telegraph, Hogarth believes that his company will get an extra 2.5 million people referred to his company over the coming years as a result of Maximus taking over the work capability assessment from Atos.
Hogarth appears to believe he is particularly suited to working with the sick and disabled claimants because of his own life experiences.
When he was in his thirties, Hogarth sold a successful business for an undisclosed sum of money and then spent a year at home with “deep depression”, finding it difficult to leave the house and splitting up with his girlfriend.
He overcame his depression by going back to studying and retraining in his mid thirties.
According to the Telegraph, Staffline has grown rapidly with turnover increasing from £100 million ten years ago, to £503 million last year and aiming to hit £1bn within two years.
Much of its income comes from placing “up to 35,000 workers each week in temporary jobs, such as food processing, factory assembly lines, and picking items in warehouses.”
Hogarth believes that jobcentres only work “if you are a well motivated guy”. And while some local authorities don’t approve of his company putting people in minimum wage temporary jobs, Hogarth thinks they are mistaken, explaining:
“I personally think they are totally wrong, I think a temporary job, even if it is just for a week, is better because it then gives you a step to better pay, rather than sat at home watching Jeremy Kyle.”
Hogarth expects to have to deal with “kicking and screaming” from claimants and from pressure groups and admits that “It is hard to justify to welfare groups the profits we make . . .” .
But he claims that only 20p in every pound they make is paid as dividends to shareholders.
Rather than simply being there to make money, Hogarth assures Telegraph readers his staff “are genuinely here to help people”. And, in a gesture that would delight Norman Tebbit, they generously “buy a lot of bikes so that people can get to work”.
In separate news ERSA, the umbrella body for welfare to work providers, says that the “backdrop of continued austerity and welfare reform” looks like offering their members a great opportunity.
The leases on many Jobcentre plus offices come up for renewal in this parliament and ERSA hope that the government will take the opportunity to privatise the whole jobcentre network and its services.
Which would, of course, mean many more Andy Hogarth’s having the opportunity to drag claimants “kicking and screaming” into a better life.
See the Telegraph for the full story.
Source – Benefits & Work, 26 May 2015
Over 30 towns and cities held protests yesterday against the involvement of sinister US based outsourcing company Maximus in the despised Work Capability Assessments.
Maximus take over from Atos this week carrying out the tests used to strip benefits from sick and disabled people by finding them ‘fit for work’. Atos were chased out of their lucrative contract with the DWP after a string of protests destroyed their carefully crafted corporate identity and campaigners have vowed to do the same to Maximus.
In London up to a hundred disabled people and supporters descended on their non-descript London offices where a noisy and determined protest took place outside their front door. Protesters then took to the streets and occupied a roundabout where a Work Capability Assessment circus was held with events including a jumping through hoops display and a box lifting competition –…
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Durham and Sunderland Unite Community branch members joined together today to support DPAC’s day of action against Maximus- the new Work Capability assessors. Maximus is an American company so yet again, British taxpayers’ money will be winging its way abroad to boost a foreign economy, to the detriment of our own.
So far, almost 4.8 million (yes, you read it correctly) WCA’s have been carried out, with many disabled people forced on to schemes like the Work Programme, where only 26 000 have found any kind of paid employment. Meanwhile, support streams which actually support disabled people to find and stay in work, such as DLA (Disability Living Allowance) , Access to Work & ILF (Independent Living Fund) continue to be decimated by cuts or abolished altogether.
In Australia Maximus have been hit by a series of scandals including claimants having their benefits stopped for no reason, signatures on paperwork were…
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Maximus claimed that they would not face protests due to their involvement with the Work Capability Assessment. They couldn’t have been more wrong. 14 towns and cities have already called events as part of the National Day of Action Against Maximus on March 2nd.
Please help spread the word about events near you and join in, as organisers Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) say: “If there isn’t a protest where you live – why not organise one? – we can help you with advice, leaflet designs, placard designs and put you in contact with local groups near to you, if you are interested email us on firstname.lastname@example.org”
Have you been sanctioned by Maximus? DPAC have also asked for people to contact them if with their experiences of attending the Work Programme or other forced work schemes with the company.
For all the latest details on the day of action visit:
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Following its signing of disability campaigner Sue Marsh earlier this month, Maximus – the company taking over the Work Capability Assessment contract from Atos in March – have now signed up a leading disability charity as well.
Disability Rights UK (DRUK) have announced that they have agreed a contract to deliver training in disability equality to Maximus health professionals.
DRUK has over 300 member organisations, including many national charities, and aims to ‘Break the link between disability and poverty’. Maximus, which is being paid more than double the amount that Atos was being paid to carry out WCA’s seems keen to prevent potential opponents from slipping into poverty by sharing some of its taxpayer funded profits with them.
DRUK are also advertising for people to take part in what looks very much like a promotional campaign for income protection insurance – the sort of thing that Unum provide as an alternative to state support – though there is no suggestion that Unum are involved on this occasion.
Members of the public who have had a serious illness and are trying to return to work are offered the amounts of money and support they would have had if they had been wealthy enough to afford to take out income protection insurance cover. They are filmed as they make the return to work and these films can then be used to encourage people to take out income protection insurance.
Of course, the worse the level of state benefits and state support, the more easily people can be persuaded to take out such insurance, giving insurance companies a vested interest in maintaining the link between disability and poverty.
Source – Benefits & Work, 28 Jan 2015
As you will be already aware we are planning a National Day of Action Against Sanctions on March the 19th We are hoping to achieve 100 actions across the country, Its up to the Groups and Branch’s in each town and City where and at what time they will protest, (Job Centres and Town Centre locations at Lunch Time being the most popular so far).
Durham Unite Community will be demonstrating outside Sunderland Job Centre on both March 2nd – to offer support to DPAC'[s protest against Maximus and also March 19th.
Here are a list of links containing useful information;
National Anti Sanctions Facebook Page (over 1000 members-please share and invite your friends!)
Maximus have managed their first work capability assessment blunder before even starting the contract in March.
Maximus are not keen on having their name associated with claimant deaths in the way that Atos’ now is in so many people’s minds.
So, appointment letters for work capability assessments won’t come from Maximus. Instead, they will come from a fig leaf company called The Centre for Health and Disability Assessments Limited.
The new company was set up back in June 2014, long before Maximus were officially awarded the contract. Unfortunately, Leslie Wolfe – division president of Maximus- and her fellow director William Smith aren’t so hot on UK spelling, hailing as they do from the US.
So the company they created to hide behind was actually called The Center for Health and Disability Assessments Limited.
Thus, five weeks after incorporating the company, their first act was to change the name so that at least it looks like it is a UK run organisation.
With this level of accuracy and attention to detail, what could possibly go wrong as they take over the assessment of millions of sick and disabled claimants?
Source – Benefits & Work, 22 Jan 2015
Maximus – the US based firm brought in to replace Atos to carry out benefit assessments – will hide their corporate identity behind a hastily erected front company in an attempt to avoid damage to their brand The Guardian revealed yesterday.
According to the paper, the company will not use its logo on letters sent to claimants facing the notorious Work Capability Assessment, instead using a neutral name such as “The Centre for Health and Disability Assessment”. In fact this company has been up and running since June 2014, suspiciously several months before it was announced that Maximus would be taking over the contract from Atos. The Guardian should probably have known this, because they are currently running an advertisement for a Social Media Manager for the new company on the recruitment part…
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Shadow Minister for Disabled People Kate Green has pledged to return the despised Work Capability Assessment (WCA) back to its “original purpose” raising fears that gains made by capaigners over the last few years could be lost as Labour attempt to rehabilitate the despised tests for sickness or disability benefits.
Her comments were made at a union meeting late last year and were filmed by Kate Belgrave who has made the video available to Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC). According to Green, Labour will: “make sure that the work capability assessment is returned to its original purpose of being the first step in the process to diagnose and identify what sort of support somebody who could work at some point would need to have in order to enable them work, and so we will give every single person who goes through the work capability assessment, at the end…
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Believe it or not the above tweet referring to the NUS as student wankers was posted by Mario Dunn, the Communications & Marketing Director for Maximus – the company taking over from Atos to carry out the despised assessments for sickness and disability benefits.
Dunn is a former special advisor to the Labour Party who worked at the Department of Health between 2005-2010. Now he is responsible for “all aspects of communications, stakeholder engagement, marketing and brand management” for Maximus but still has the time to have tantrums on twitter – usually in defence of the crimes of the Israeli government. He is also passionate in his support of Tony Blair, calling a piece which mildy criticised the former Prime Minister ‘cretinous’. His choice of language perhaps reveals the truth about attitudes towards disabled people at Maximus.
Dunn will be working with Bill Gunnyeon the former DWP chief medical…
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