Work Makes You Free
Are we all asleep ? I ask. What do the words ‘ Work Makes You free’ mean ? Did you know that these same words are written above the Concentration Camp Gates in Auschwitz.. “Arbeit Macht Frei !”.
Similar words “Work As A Health Outcome” (which also relate to the words on the Auschwitz Camp gates) are now being used by The U.K. ‘s Department for Work and Pensions and by The Department for Health.
Supporting more people in Work, supporting more Disabled people into Work sounds good. But at what price to Health ? This paper is mostly magical thinking, guess work, bad stats, bad science, and lots of Nudging. Is this really an evidenced-based policy? What is the real truth behind this? What is the history behind this paper, who is behind it and Who will it be beneficial for ?
Today ( 15th February, 2007 ) in Bristol, the local council is discussing it’s final ‘solution’ for it’s entry into the DWP Green Paper Consultation, at it’s Health & Wellbeing Board meeting, which is open to the public.
Public forum - must be about reports on the agendademocracy.bristol.gov.uk
This is my research and statement about the DWP Green Paper, which I have submitted to the Health & Wellbeing board. It will be read out by me at the meeting.
— Statement —
Agenda 8. Work, Health and Disability Green Paper
According to the U.K. Government, 4.6 million people with Disabilities and long-term conditions/Disabilities are out of work.
The U.K. Government has said it aims to put at least 1 million of these people into work, through the ‘strategies’ proposed in its Green Paper, also called ‘Work, Health and Disability — Improving Lives’, devised by The DWP (Department for Work and Pensions). See these two links for further information:
But. There is currently no funding in place to make this happen. It’s currently ‘hype’ with no substance.
The Department for Work and Pensions, and the Department of Health worked together to produce the green paper.
It covers a number of issues to do with unemployment, including sick pay, fit notes and the WCA (the Work Capability Assessment),
offering plans to improve these.
People think that the WCA (the Work Capability Assessment) only affects people with a disability.
When in fact NOW it affect’s everyone who is an employee, as it’s also to do with Sick Pay (which is not a benefit, as it’s payed via Tax from the HMRC),
and Fit Notes which have recently been introduced and are carried out not by your GP, but by a ‘Health Professional’ at Maximus
the same discredited company who does PIP and ESA assessments.
First, let me remind councillors, the mayor and staff about the Health and Safety Act that is regulated by The Health and Safety Executive. All businesses and companies in the U.K. come under the regulations of this organisation for Health and Safety and come under scrutiny of the Health and Safety Act.
The Department for Work and Pensions secretary, Damian Green, said recently:
We must be bold in our ambition to help disabled people and those with health conditions. This green paper marks the start of our action to confront the attitudes, prejudices and misunderstandings that… have become ingrained within the welfare state, within the minds of employers and across wider society.
But the question is, How do we change attitudes and prejudices ? when for example Disability Hate Crimes have increased at a steady pace since 2010and more so very recently in 2016. The Police have now increased their awareness on the increase of Disability Hate Crimes, and the trigger for Article 50 will make things worse. The Green Paper doesn’t mention how to tackle Disability Hate Crime or Abuse.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt, who also signed the DWP Green Paper (and most GP’s and Medics don’t know this fact), also said:
This green paper launches a wide-ranging debate about recognising the value of work as a health outcome. The value of work for wellbeing is becoming clearer, and that this paper is an opportunity to improve people’s health.
There’s a problem with using the sentence “ work as a health outcome “, since, when was Work as a Health Outcome ?
NHS Doctors don’t say this to Cancer patients or to people with a Neurological Brain problem, they don’t say to patients..
hay.. Work will Cure you of your ills !
But, the history of “ work as a health outcome “ goes deeper, and it was something that Conservative MP Ian Duncan Smith liked, upon a visit to a well known Concentration Camp Auschwitz Camp in Germany, as this ‘slogan’ was listed on the gates to the camp, and this is where he got his inspiration from in 2009/2010 upon devising the new ‘work’ regime for unemployed and especially Disabled people.
Sounds Scary right !? But it’s happening now in the U.K.
However, the publishing of this DWP Green Paper hasn’t set a timeframe for its goal of halving the disability unemployment gap. And, it also lacks milestones and evidence to assess it’s effectiveness.
GP Fit Note
The plans in the DWP Green Paper include a review of the Statutory Sick Pay (paid by the HMRC), aiming to help boost supportive conversations and gradual returns to work. The government will also consider extending Fit Notes from GPs to other healthcare professionals, to help people receive more tailored support.
However, these FIT NOTES are a cover. They were written by an insurance company, UNUM Insurance.
And of course FIT NOTES, wasn’t written or consulted by patients, nor people with a long term disability. Or for the matter even GPs, Hospital Consultants and their bodies such as the GMC (General Medical Council) or the BMA (British Medial Association), didn’t have any input into the new FIT NOTE. The fact is, both the GMC (General Medical Council) and the BMA (British Medial Association) do NOT support the FIT NOTE and are asking it’s members (GP’s etc) not to support it as it will do more health damage than is good to patients and it will also break up the trust between Patients and GP’s/Doctors.
Plus, GP’s could become struck off due to the guidance on this document for GP’s.
The guidance to GP’s about the FIT NOTE and what it is, can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/465918/fit-note-gps-guidance.pdf
This guidance includes this phrase at the bottom of the first page:
If you refer a working patient to the Fit for Work programme, legislation allows employers to accept the Return to Work Plan as evidence of sickness absence for your patient in exactly the same way as a Fit Note. Your patient won’t need to obtain further fit notes from you.
This is totally inaccurate, there is no legislation that does this !
There are a lot of errors on this document, and it excludes the 28 weeks allowed for Sick absence, which is also known as Statutory Sick Pay (paid by the HMRC).
This new Fit Note by the DWP distracts employers and GP’s/Doctors, and gets patients to sign up to the Fit Note Service, run by Maximus who are a well known discredited company, with the end result of the patient ending up with nothing and no help whilst being sick.
This is also the same treatment that disabled people are receiving now with PIP and ESA assessments.
Further investigation is now underway on the Fit Note.
News > I also heard a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary will be done on this.
It looks like the GP Fit Note will not only destroy Disabled and ill employees but it will also destroy the livelihood of GP’s by getting them struck off !
And now on to, What the H*ll is.. #DisabilityConfident ?
The DWP Green Paper has also set out plans to create a Disability Confident Business Leaders Group, to help more employers get involved and engaged with disabled employment.
Links to What the DWP say on employing Disabled People and Why (but, it doesn’t talk about Health, or Why it helps)
The DWP Green paper has faults and errors in it already and is being investigated by Liberty Human Rights and Action Fraud (the police). Even Shadow MP’s in the U.K. parliament have now become aware of these fraud claims, as it has been identified that it uses 3 forms of Scams types.
Questions such as, is this Green Paper legally binding ? have now arisen.
There is a lot of talk about the validity of the #DisabilityConfident scheme, which is part of the DWP Green Paper, and this has now been bought into doubt, into how this will really help people with a Disability and get them (or shall I say, FORCE them into work).
The scheme itself and it’s awards badges / images are not protected/copyrighted under the Intellectual Property Act in the U.K., this has been raised as a ‘trust issue’ as there hasn’t been a recognised organisation to certify the process of certification of using these images.
Right now anyone can use the #DisabilityConfident logo badges on their own website for example, without being policed and checked, even the DWP doesn’t police the scheme, since they have called it a ‘Marketing scheme”on their own website. What businesses don’t realise is that it’s a Marketing Scheme that is NOT Mandatory to sign up to.
Another point that’s been picked up in #DisabilityConfident is that once an organisation / a council has set up on the scheme, via the U.K. Government gateway, one of the many things it asks, is to submit how many Disabled people that the council / organisation employs already, who are they, what is their address and their age?
This has been identified by lawyers as a way of Data Collection without Consent to the Disabled Person. Lawyers have also identified that this usage is to monitor Disabled people in and out of work, to ‘snoop’ on them.
This research has been picked up by Liberty Human Rights and their lawyers as they think that the DWP and the organisations that sign up to #DisabilityConfident are now in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998,
Also The ICO has also been informed and they are now investigating #DisabilityConfident .
The #DisabilityConfident scheme talks about the Equality Act, but fails to mention other acts of Law in the U.K. such as, the the Autism Act, the Employment Act, the Health and Safety Act, the Human Rights Act.
Promoting ‘Equality in the Workplace’ isn’t mentioned either.
The #DisabilityConfident scheme isn’t Ethical for people with a Disability, nor their families. And the #DisabilityConfident scheme fails itself by being Discriminating to support people with Downs Syndrome, Autism as well as ‘hidden disabilities’ such as Epilepsy and ADHD — there are no mentions of these disabilities by the DWP.
The fact is, that most of what is talked about in #DisabilityConfident , is covered already within Business Law in the U.K., and all businesses / companies have to adhere to them by Law, to employ people with a disability, since it’s a Statutory Requirement.
The Labour Party will soon be dropping support for #DisabilityConfident, as they think it’s a CON to businesses. The Green Party don’t support it either.
Theres no mention of #DisabilityConfident on any of the major political party’s websites because they know that this is a policy of The Conservatives that they don’t want to support. Oh and of course The Conservatives don’t mention #DisabilityConfident on their own website.
If they aren’t confident in supporting people with disabilities themselfs, then why are they ignoring the DWP. There seems to be lots of mis-communication going on here, perhaps, it might also be loads of BullSh*t and tones of Smoke & Mirrors.
ESA, WCA and the Jobcentre
The DWP Green Paper discusses developing trials to find ways in which health-led services can help to get people with disabilities and long-term conditions back into work. It also wants to work with healthcare organisations to highlight the benefits of work.
This sounds good, but will distract healthcare staff (including staff from the NHS) from doing medical care. The DWP wants to push patients into work no matter if they have a broken leg, can’t walk and need a wheel chair, to a long-term health condition or even Downs Syndrome, or have Parkinsons and Dementia, these are indeed people who cannot work and nor would employers employ them due to their conditions.
The government plans to consult on the Work Capability Assessment (yet again, it’s been doing this 4 times now and has made very little changes).
The WCA remember has previously been criticised for its harshness and being unethical, breaches laws, oh and the United Nations have investigated it and found that the U.K. has indeed broken laws in Disability !
It will also consult on the process for assessing Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and the ability to work of people claiming Universal Credit. The aim is to end the black-and-white ‘can work’ and ‘can’t work’ groups, the green paper says.
But again this too will become dangerous for people who are in the “ can’t work group “, this will indeed put them and also the public at risk.
A new Personal Support Package has also been highlighted in the green paper (sounds good, but there’s no cost to it right now). Through this package, the government wants to encourage more positive rather than negative conversations between people on ESA and their work coaches (the DWP want claiments to be more polite and not to challenge them!) .
It also wants to improve the Jobcentre Plus services through recruiting more Community Partners, extending ‘Journey to Employment’ job clubs and trialling a voluntary work programme for young people. This has all be done before under other governments, most have failed and most spent a lot of money on things that didn’t help or work.
I hope that Bristol City Council think again on the DWP Green Paper and won’t accept the Green Paper as it is. I hope it will carry out it’s own investigations, with help, into the errors and fraud within it, before it causes grave health risks to the public, and the citizens of Bristol (and beyond).
— — Statement Ends — -
Bio: Sam Downie is frequently seen and heard on national radio and television on programmes including BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC World Service, BBC 6 Music and Radio 2. He writes for The Guardian’s Comment is Free and is a regular newspaper reviewer for BBC Radio Bristol. He’s also a regular contributor to TWiT TV’s Macbreak Weekly and This Week in Tech. Sam Downie is now also producing VR content especially in the area of 360VR Video and Short Films, devising training films. Sam also applies his skills in Awareness running talks on Epilepsy that includes First Aid, he also talks openly about living with a rare genetic Epilepsy syndrome called Dravet which affects 1:19,000 in the U.K.