Please see below recent statement by Maria Miller MP, on the progress that the Remploy Board has made….
Remploy Stakeholder Bulletin
As promised in the Stakeholder Bulletin I sent on 22 June 2012, this is a further update on the progress that the Remploy Board has made with its commercial process.
You will know that the Remploy Board considered the outcome of its collective consultation; the views of its sub-Committee and the recommendations of its Independent Panel on the Business Plans it received by the 25 June deadline. There were 65 Expressions of Interest (EOI) received by the Board.The Board’s Assessment Panel asked some of these bidders to work their EOI’s into a business plan as part of the commercial process.
Detailed bids are now being developed in respect of the 9 sites and one business that have had business plans accepted. Whilst the Board is hopeful that this can safeguard jobs through the transfer of these businesses, it is still possible that some of these will not succeed or will be withdrawn.
The Remploy Board expects to be able to let its employees at these 9 sites know about the outcome of its assessment of the detailed bids by the end of September 2012.
The Remploy Board has decided to close 27 sites and one business for which of the business plans have either not been provided or have not been accepted. The employees affected were informed of the Board’s decision this afternoon. These employees are now at risk of redundancy and have been informed of this. Remploy will now begin individual consultation with them. Certain employees in Remploy’s central support services are also at risk of redundancy and have also been informed of this.
During the individual consultation period, employees at risk of redundancy will benefit from access to, and support from, Remploy factory Senior Managers, HR Managers, Transitional Advisers, DWP Rapid Response Service and PACE (in Scotland).
There will also be a range of support from DWP including support available from Work Choice and Access to Work.
My previous Stakeholder Bulletin set out the extensive support that will be made available through a People Help and Support Package available to all disabled Remploy employees who are made redundant from a Remploy factory.
Through this package, every affected member of staff will be allocated a Personal Case Worker, who will manage the future delivery of support for these individuals. The Personal Case Worker is the heart of the support offer for disabled staff. They will hold meetings with affected employees to help identify suitable support and opportunities, and signpost or refer them to appropriate provision.
We will use the knowledge and expertise of the Remploy Employment Services. In the past two years these services have successfully found jobs for 35,000 disabled and disadvantaged people, many with similar disabilities to those working in Remploy factories.
I am pleased to tell you that part of the package will also include targeted opportunities for Remploy employees under the Employers Forum on Disability’s First Shot programme. The businesses that are First Shot participants will work with Remploy to explore offering a range of opportunities to support ex-Remploy staff. to obtain alternative employment. This will include; guaranteed interviews, job trials, work experience and a range of training for individuals and their new employers.
Last week I released a Statement about the Access to Work programme. Under the Disability Discrimination Act employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people in work. Access to Work is an important supplement, providing support for transport to work, support workers for employees and specialist adaptations and equipment. It can provide essential support, not only for people with physical impairments, but also for people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions.
We know that certain groups of disabled people, such as those with mental health conditions and those aged 16-24 do not benefit from the programme as much as they could. I want us to ensure we reach the people that need this support and said in my Statement that we would be exploring how to further increase the effectiveness of the programme.
We will be in touch throughout the summer with bulletins that aim to keep you and other interested parties updated about progress with Remploy’s commercial process for Stage 1 factory sites.
Maria Miller MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Disabled People