Jim McGovern MP : Government’s Remploy Policy in Disarray

24 May 2013

Jim McGovern MP for Dundee West last week raised the issue of Remploy during Prime Minister’s questions, highlighting the fact that members of the Dundee workforce stand to lose their severance package should they leave the troubled factory.

Mr. McGovern has since received correspondence from Esther McVey, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Disabled People, in which Remploy’s behaviour is praised as being “reasonable and fair”.

Mr. McGovern said:

“Initially it was Remploy policy to regard who wanted to leave for another job as having resigned, but following last Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions I have been made aware that the policy at Remploy has now changed, and that employees who had been turned down for early release should make a further application which will be looked at in a new light.

“I have however been informed that, despite this policy u-turn, Dundee Remploy workers are still being unfairly denied the right to leave Remploy with their severance package intact. “

 Mr. McGovern continued:

“Today I received information from a plant worker in Sunderland which suggests that white collar management have been able to leave Remploy receiving full severance while those on the shop floor received just 50% what they are owed.

“While I would hope there is not a pattern emerging between the two outcomes, it puts in plain sight that the Governments policy on Remploy is in complete and utter disarray.

 “This is a policy which the Minister for Disabled People Esther McVey only just last week called ‘reasonable and fair’. 

“While workers doing more or less the same job in Dundee are being denied the right to leave their work, after they successfully secured alternative employment, their colleagues in Sunderland and elsewhere in Scotland have been granted permission to leave with full redundancy.

“This most certainly is neither reasonable nor fair but shambolic and unjust. “

 Mr McGovern concluded:

“What is happening to Remploy is a very sorry state of affairs.

“The Tory-led coalition has failed to show an understanding and respect for the workforce while the Scottish Government has chosen not to use the power that the Scottish Parliament holds which could have kept Remploy running in Scotland and completely avoided this situation.”

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