Fury as boss of Atos gets £280k pay rise while thousands of Scots are plunged into poverty by their benefits assessment tests

Daily Record Lion


By Keith McLeod 

CAMPAIGNERS and former Atos employees spoke out at their “disgust” over the rise which takes chief exec Thierry Breton’s total package of pay, bonuses and perks is now £2,329,250.

Thierry Breton of Atos Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images
Thierry Breton of Atos
Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images


THE BOSS of Atos has been awarded a £280,000 pay rise after his firm helped to heap misery on thousands of disabled people who are deemed fit for work.

The huge pay hike for Thierry Breton is in stark contrast to the thousands of Scots plunged into poverty after Atos assessed them as able to work under stringent government rules.

Atos – which earns £1.6billion in Government contracts – has been hired by the Department of Work and Pensions to assess disabled claimants.

In one case highlighted by the Record, Alexander Mackie, 26, from Stirling, who is registered blind and walks with a white stick, was graded fit to work.

Breton – chief executive and chairman of the French company – saw his 2012 pay soar by £279,992.

His total package of pay, bonuses and perks is now £2,329,250. For the same period in 2011, Breton received £2,049,250.

Last night, Tom Greatrex, Labour MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, who has campaigned for reform of the Work Capability Assessment, said: “Many who have been through the indignity of the failing Atos test will be sickened to see that the chief executive was rewarded with a hike in his pay and bonus.

“It is high time the Tory Minister for Atos, Mark Hoban, got a grip and fundamentally reformed the assessment so it helps those who can work, not hounds those who can’t.”

Meanwhile, a former Atos nurse has told of her “disgust” at the rise.

Joyce Drummond from Glasgow said she was forced to “trick sick people out of their benefits”.

She added: “Atos went by the philosophy that if you had a finger and could push a button, then you could work. For this to happen when so many more people are now suffering greater hardship is hard to take.”

Record View: Atos chief’s £280k pay rise adds insult to injury for disabled people tricked out of their benefits 

36 thoughts on “Fury as boss of Atos gets £280k pay rise while thousands of Scots are plunged into poverty by their benefits assessment tests

  1. Margaret says:

    All I need is £100 a week. That’s what I used to get and that’s what they won’t give me back.
    I don’t want millions, I just want to be able to survive.
    Please can someone do something for those of us who can’t?

  2. miss carole frost says:

    i am totally disgusted at thierry,s pay rise while disabled and sick people have to go through countless assessments then losing all vital support whilst sick and disabled claiments cannot work due to deteriorating health..mark hoban should be ashamed of himself .. there are a lot of sick and disabled people like myself are not FIT to work.. these people hired by this government know nothing of a persons health conditions or of capabilities..this company ATOS health whatever they keep calling themselves are just an I.T company raking in millions every day ..consultants and doctors whom know there patient and there health conditions are more qualified as to a person health..many people have died through this company via through this government.

    1. Karen M says:

      Thierry is being rewarded by the shareholders for the lucrative contracts Atos Origin and its subsidiaries gain. In that respect he is very successful. However what goes around comes around: one day Atos may end up paying millions in costs in lawsuits. Then mud will stick and Thierry will lose big time.

    1. Sam says:

      What failure? He’s achieving exactly what the 1% and the Daily Beobachter demand. And, costing us mere £80 or so per untermensch terminally removed from any future benefits or pension due to their wholly voluntary self-culling (potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds each in some cases saved so that taxes can be further cut), the man is a bargain! Surely!

  3. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    Atos for world corporate politics leaderships. The world is safe in healthcare hands.

  4. JEFFREY says:

    there are people on the streets but the media are not reporting it watch RT on digital tv,very different than the beeb
    jeff lph

    1. Sam says:

      I posted the following on another site (Atos Victims) the other day as part of a conversation:

      A phone call to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy informed me that since physiotherapist, as HCP for Atos, was investigating my mental illness, and not acting as a physiotherapist, this is outside their competence, so I can’t complain about her to them. I’m certain this is wrong, but I’m too ill and tired to pursue it on top of being given the runaround by both Atos and DWP.

  5. Karin says:

    Same old, same old, same old. typical injustice. Nothing will change unless we force it-and for that to happen, the UK needs to wake up.

    1. Sam says:

      The 10% need to organise. The unemployed, the mentally ill, the disabled,, the low paid, all the people least able to organise, have to organise, in a BIG way. Almost insurmountable, but if anything is to change, it has to happen,

  6. Annos says:

    “Transcripts released this week by the Irish Independent record conversations in 2008 between leading Irish bank executives, joking about how they had scammed billions of euros to bail out the now-defunct Anglo-Irish Bank.”


    The Tory party is to the left of New Labour…

    “However, Labour has one caveat: in alliance with the most vociferous sections of the ruling elite, it also wants pensions to be included in the future cap on welfare spending.”


  7. Annos says:

    “Transcripts released this week by the Irish Independent record conversations in 2008 between leading Irish bank executives, joking about how they had scammed billions of euros to bail out the now-defunct Anglo-Irish Bank.”


    The Tory party is to the left of New Labour…

    “However, Labour has one caveat: in alliance with the most vociferous sections of the ruling elite, it also wants pensions to be included in the future cap on welfare spending.”


  8. Sam says:

    Further to my ‘need to organise’ post (the post before last on this page):

    Like plenty of other people, I spend time wondering what I/we can do to fight back – because if one thing is certain, it is that the poorest in our society are not achieving anything at the moment to counter the assault against us.

    I am clear that the only option is to organise on quite a different scale from what has been done do far.

    I roughed out a sort of proposal/constitution for such an organisation a few weeks ago, in a mood of angry depression… I don’t for one minute suggest that it’s any good, but at least I’ve made the effort, and it might just start some discussion…

    I have no idea where I could post/publish my draft, but maybe here would be as good as anywhere. The only trouble is that it runs to a couple of pages…

    So I make this suggestion; if a few posts appear here encouraging me to post my proposal, I’ll take that as permission to do so.

    I’d just like to get this conversation going. Please encourage me – I feel very alone!

  9. Sam says:

    Okay, here goes:

    If we know now that we have been wholly abandoned by the political classes, then it’s time to move…

    Founding Document of the 10% League!

    Despite the title, this is just a hesitant proposal. I’m not even throwing my hat into any ring – yet, at least. I just want to see if anyone will take any notice.


    The Constitution of the 10% League.

    The league is formed to advance the common interests of those in society least able to defend themselves – the disabled, the disenfranchised, the unemployed and the poorly paid.

    Membership is open to all. The membership fee shall be a suggested £1 per month at June 2013 prices. Any person who feels themself unable to afford the membership fee shall be admitted to membership free without any explanation being required, without sanction, and without any impact on their privileges as members.

    As a priority, means shall be devised whereby the league can demonstrate the majority will of the membership in all dealings with government, media, corporations and other entities; in order to refute inevitable accusations of fringism, extremism, unrepresentatialism, etc. A more sensible wording shall be found for this paragraph.

    A permanent canvas of the membership shall be maintained to provide the league with the necessary moral force, and such other measures shall be taken as may be necessary to prevent small groups, cadres, cliques etc from hijacking the activities of the league.

    The aims of the league shall be:

    1. To promote the interests of the membership by lobbying, confronting misinformation, educating the public… (etc)

    2. To bring together those members who seek association;

    3. To provide research and educational resources to the membership;

    4. To facilitate access to the means by which members may control their own lives, including promoting access to legal services;

    5. To promote legal and other protections for the membership, including the promotion of class action suits.


    6. To make sure that nobody is alone.

    There shall be no political affiliation, although the league may promote the election of candidates or groups who actively demonstrate their commitment to the aims of the league.

    Access shall be promoted for all members at all times, preferentially including those who do not have full access to usual means of social engagement.

    Space shall in particularly be created for those who by reason of health or inclination are not ‘joiners’.

    Everything shall be kept simple and straightforward – I’m ill and easily tired and confused.

    Preparatory Considerations.

    The potential membership is very disparate. The problems of organisation are going to be a nightmare: how the will of membership is to be established, and how the force of that will is to be brought to bear in the league’s dealings, will obviously be high on that agenda, since the membership must be involved at the earliest opportunity in the development of the league.

    The interests of the membership, and of groups within the membership, will be very wide ranging: an early consideration must be given to how the need for action can be reconciled with the need for every member to be involved, allowing individual skills to be most effectively employed but without individuals gaining inappropriate influence or power. Etc.

    Another very early consideration will be the question of data gathering and keeping. Membership lists… will they be needed, wanted, necessary??? Contact information??? In the nature of things, the potential membership may well be particularly sensitive in this respect. Financial management??? Etc. Etc. Etc.

    I have avoided using the terms ‘Union’ or ‘Association’ so far because I think – at this stage – that those words have nuances even less useful than ‘League’. Am I right?

    Jottings on a table napkin.

    That’s all this is, literally. And it doesn’t claim to be anything other than naive – I’m not an organiser and I certainly don’t have the necessary resources to start a league myself.

    It may even be that there have been dozens or hundreds of proposals, and that there are plenty of up-and-running-successful associations already. But there isn’t a great body to represent us. Or if there is, I haven’re been told about it… and, in the situation I’m in, I ought to have been…

    This document is the result of couple of hours of thought. If someone wants to take this ball and run, please do. If a few people ask me to develop my thoughts, I can’t promise, but I will try to chip at it over the coming period. And if someone is willing to provide a place on the internet where I can purvey this document and receive comment, criticism, etc., I’ll be delighted.

    If I don’t get any feedback, I won’t bother to carry on. But, in a few years, if I’m still alive, I’ll be saying ‘I told you so’, because if you think that the current assault on the 10% – on benefits, pensions and whatever they think of in the future – is going magically to die away, you are living in cloud-cuckoo land.

    What we’re seeing now is only the beginning. As the leader of the opposition confirmed last week.

      1. sam yes sam says:

        This is the trouble me old mate the people you are trying to help are pretty much unable to help themselves i would love to join it seems a great idea but i just dont have any fight in me im so vunreable and most of time unable to speak fluently or even sensibly im struggling writing this but you are so passionate and sound like you genuinely want to help.We the disabled in a nutshell are being picked on bullied because we are not able to defend ourselves you included sam i guess. We need an able bodies body of people to fight in our corner for us so cmon able bodies we need your help a top lawyer needs to take this on his shoulders and help us through the law minefield im sure if one came forward and set out his plans to help we would pretty much all be happy to pay his expenses if we are able to. But maybe just maybe theres still a human being out there with some room in his soul and no more room in his wallet.

      2. Karen M says:

        Sorry Sam, I’ve been mulling over your post. I am speaking as an individual here. Black Triangle Campaign is part of a valuable network where our voices can be heard. We are too dissimilar to be an association and you can guarantee it would be prohibitively expensive. However, your voice is being heard. If you go to Michael Meacher’s blog you will be able to put your points across there as well. He is old style Labour and has proved it in the Commons.

        1. sam yes sam says:

          i dont understand you can you explain your comment sory sometimes im a bit slow you start off by saying sorry what are you sory for is it that you dont feel my comment is admissable please explain why not thanks sam

          1. Karen M says:

            The “sorry” is in response to “anybody there?”and I really meant I had to think about your post. Plus to be honest I was surprised and sorry that nobody else replied to your post. You made valid points so yes for me your comment was admissable. In fact carry on chipping away, your idea of an association is sound, and you are right it does need legally trained people at the forefront. I would suggest that associations are better if user led- like The People’s Parliament. I’m just worried at the cost and where the money would come from.

          2. Karen M says:

            Just realised I should have replied to “Sam” rather than “sam yes sam”. My apologies to you both for the mix up.

            1. sam yes sam says:

              ha ha its our fault for having the same name no problem understandable confusion regards sam yes sam

  10. Nigel says:

    The average pay of a trained soldier is £14000 per annum .The pay of an MP is going to rise to £75000 with extra benefits on Child Expenses and Pensions .Where is the Justification in such a grotesque difference .Since when are MP’s subject to Post Traumatic Stress and serious injury, culminating in some cases to Suicide .More squaddies have committed suicide than have been killed by the Taliban .The only similarities in the work they do is that they both work to implement Government Policies here and abroad .Soldiers having lost limbs fighting for lost causes created by Government are treated to the same draconian measures as to fitness for work as other disabled people ,with contempt and deemed fit for Work by not fit for purpose ATOS .To ID Smith being an Ex Arms Dealer this is just part of a game .Wilberforce abolished manual slavery but we are still subjected to it Psychologically .http://brokenbritishpolitics.simplesite.com

  11. James G. Chadwick says:

    Blood money and one day I hope him and his masters are put before a court and held to account for all the Deaths they have caused. One day the Disabled people will get justice, one day the evil LibDems will be judged. if not by us then by God. Never give in and never stop fighting.

  12. Annos says:

    “Even this tactic underplays DisabilityCare’s long-term function: to reclassify as many disabled people as possible as capable of employment. Those deemed able to work will no longer receive the disability support pension (DSP), but will be pushed onto far-lower Newstart unemployment benefits and pressured to take low-paid jobs.”


    1. Karen M says:

      Brilliant link. It makes me sick how the new “austerity” world targets the vulnerable and poor. Another common theme is the acknowledged lack of provision for worthwhile training. Training is a necessity: a country has to build up its future skills base. Yet again a British political party has fallen for a ‘cheap’ sticking plaster idea that will let the real wound fester and get deeper. Even the words ‘AustraliaCare’ seem dodgy- a bit Atos-lite, definitely made in the of the biopsychosocial mould and therefore disability denial. We must fight it.

      1. Karen M says:

        Sorry that was supposed to be Australia’s “DisabilityCare”…Nothing said about Aborigines and other indigenous peoples. I think this could be a political hot potato for Oz.

        1. Nigel simmons says:

          All have the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. Mothers & childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection Cameron bleating about “we must opt out of the HRA because of Abu Qatada” utter BS.Miliband jumping on the Band Wagon exploring the idea when its already in Place.http://brokenbritishpolitics.simplesite.com

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