Re: ATOS – An occupational hindrance?
« Reply #3 on Sept 22, 2012, 1:03pm »
Atos are earning millions out of finding thousands of disabled ‘fit for work’
– whilst they put in place all the obstacles to stop them getting a job!
This is outrageous…..
Atos the private healthcare contractor engaged by the DWP to assess thousands of incapacitated & disabled benefit claimants in controversial ‘Work Capability Assessments’ in an effort to find them ‘fit for work’ is exposed as making it very difficult – if not impossible – for them to find work.
ATOS may well be in breach of the Equality Act if information found on an NHS website is correct.
We have already established that Atos are carrying out ‘pre-employment’ checks aimed at making sure the difficulties facing a disabled job applicant are made well known to the NHS before deciding whether to or not take them on.
The number of questions Atos ask as part of their ‘pre-employment’ screening is truly staggering.
You can read the long string of questions they ask in the questionnaire used to ‘pre-select’ potential job applicants for a job with the NHS in Southwark.
The questionnaire is bound to make it very difficult – if not impossible – for an employer to even consider offering a disabled applicant a job.
The pre-screening questionnaire used by Atos in selecting applicants asks them to provide details of all manner of health complaints.
It shows every sign of being geared towards selection of those who are fit rather than catering for the disabled.
The Atos website maintains their assessments are compliant with the Equality Act 2010:
“Pre-employment screening gives a potential employee and their new employer the opportunity to ensure that the employee’s health and fitness meet the demands and risks of the job. It’s also good practice because recruiting the wrong person can be costly both in financial terms and in disruption to your business.”
“Our pre-employment health screening is in compliance with the 2010 Employment Act to assist employers in determining candidate’s ability to undergo an assessment for work capability or whether reasonable adjustments are required to for potential employees to can carry out tasks which are an intrinsic part of their job.”
Read the questionnaire and make up your own mind as to whether the questions are aimed at making sure the ‘wrong person’ isn’t selected.
It strikes me that Atos seem more concerned about making sure their employer customers don’t end up with employees who are ‘costly’ and ‘disruptive’.
The Government website sets out how pre-employment screening should be used in the recruitment process.
It recognises that there are limitations on the extent of screening:
“When people are recruiting staff, there are limits on the health or disability-related enquiries they can make during the recruitment process. These limits apply up to the point where you are offered a job or placed in a pool of people to be offered a job.”
Has Atos crossed the line?
The NHS website doesn’t like what they’re seeing:
We are, however, disappointed that NHS Employers recommends the continued use of a form of pre-employment health questionnaire (PEHQ), albeit with only 2 questions. New staff will still be required to ‘respond’ to the questions.
If the NHS think two questions are two too many then they would be astounded to see how many are being asked by Atos in the recruitment of staff at NHS in Southwark!
Surely this in clear breach of the Equality Act?
You can find out more about NHS and their range of occupational health services here.
It may be of interest to stray across the English Channel where you can take a look at what a harsh line Atos take in France when it comes to assessing the efficiency of their workforce, it’s alarming.
Noteworthy is the key headline:
“Atos: Thierry Breton home, 20% of employees must be bad”
Why should we be alarmed?
Because the French IT firm Atos seems to be assessing people in a cyber-like manner which makes no allowances for the problems experienced by individuals within the workplace.
It’s survival of the fittest and a streamlining of the workforce all in the interests of ‘efficiency’.
Atos isn’t just reassessing thousands of disability benefit claimants, it’s ‘occupationally cleansing’ thousands of prospective and existing employees within the public sector.
Atos has a number of occupational health related contracts, check out just some of them here..
We should all be deeply concerned about Atos.
We all saw what happened with private outsourcing A4E, Atos well and truly puts them in the shade when it comes to the extent of the contracts they hold with central government.
Their role in the assessment of thousands of Incapacitated claimants is to say the least ‘questionable’ given their recent and well earned exposure on Panorama and Dispatches.
It’s set to get worse as Atos moves on to yet another £400 million contract to assess millions more disabled claimants.
We shouldn’t be talking about a ‘bloated public sector’ when the reality is public services are outsourced to huge numbers of private sector firms who certainly know how to make a profit, but at what price?
Is Atos and its close links with government putting fundamentally important commodities such as justice at risk?
Yes I think it is, Atos are up to their eyes in £3 billion pounds worth of contracts with Government.
I think its nothing short of scandalous that Government allows Atos to go on assessing so many incapacity claimants incorrectly and yet cuts off all support to those who want some help in contesting these injustices.
Thousands of benefit appeals are being appealed against the dastardly Atos assessment.
Legally aided benefit claimants are achieving success rates of around 80% in showing up Atos and the DWP as being in the ones in the wrong.
Isn’t it strange how legal aid costing around £20 million for this work is being withdrawn from next April?
You can read of the success rates in article which exposes how advice agencies are ‘buckling under the strain’ in dealing with these appeals.
How can it be right that claimants are being disabled from proving that they are in fact disabled?
Someone has to put a stop to this.
Atos are not only wrongly finding thousands of disabled claimants ‘fit for work’ but also streamlining the workforce in such a way that the disabled and less than ‘efficient’ are effectively being weeded out so that only the fittest remain.
Where will all the disabled and ‘inefficient’ end up?
I’ll tell you:
At the Jobcentre where they’ll be labelled ‘feckless and jobless’!
Here’s someone who won’t be too bothered….
French Atos boss Breton won’t be complaining…..