Julie Rehmeyer's 'Through the Shadowlands'
Writer Never Give Up talks about Julie Rehmeyer's new book "Through the Shadowlands: A Science Writer's Odyssey into an Illness Science Doesn't Understand" and shares an interview with Julie ...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Huffington Post: Disability Benefits: Why the UK has to reinvent the workplace

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Firestormm, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Firestormm

    Firestormm

    Messages:
    5,022
    Likes:
    4,826
    Cornwall England
    Written by Jason Reed who looks at fluctuating conditions and specifically ME and the difficulties faced with trying - even when able - to fit in with the workplace:

     
    taniaaust1 and Simon like this.
  2. Valentijn

    Valentijn WE ARE KINA

    Messages:
    14,283
    Likes:
    45,787
    A good article, in that it talks about the near non-existence of benefits fraud, and the lack of flexibility in the system when it comes to fluctuating chronic conditions.

    But I also agree with with some of the critical comments - unless there's a huge excess of jobs, no one wants to deal with or invest in setting up a system for unreliable employees. There's absolutely no incentive for private companies to do it, and if they government did it, jobs for the chronically ill would displace healthy workers.

    Speaking as one of the sickies, I'd rather be on benefits than struggling to work part-time, if I knew my job was partially responsible for putting someone else out of work. And really, the only way it would ever make economic sense is if the ill workers were being paid less than able-bodied reliable workers.

    So I think he does a good job in talking about the problems, but the solution isn't at all realistic or even sensible in the current economic climate.
     
    Firestormm likes this.
  3. Firestormm

    Firestormm

    Messages:
    5,022
    Likes:
    4,826
    Cornwall England
    I don't know the solution either Val. I think in part a greater recognition of the problem facing those of us with fluctuating symptoms and with a condition that to some extent can 'flare' due to exertion; that opens us up to more infections etc. A welfare system that better recognises this dilemma would be a bonus also.

    Even those of us who are able to work part-time often face the double-whammy of losing benefit but being unable to earn enough to replace what has been lost.

    The UK Government did promise to address this particular problem but as I'm not yet in the position to consider part-time working, I don't know if they've honoured a commitment to phasing out benefits as a person becomes more able to reliably stay in work.

    Reliability is a key concern of my own. This led to me losing my last job - although in part I think I might have stood a better chance of retaining the position had it been part and not full-time. The trouble I have found when I did try to work (aside from a physical and mental ability to complete the tasks efficiently) was that I needed to work full-time to cover my costs.

    There has been some effort (I think it was in Scotland) to open a business that would employ people with ME on whatever (I presume) terms were most compatible to them. Gods know what the actual business was or what the jobs were - I can't remember; but I wouldn't have much faith in the business model.

    I think in recent months - and today I've noticed this especially as the coalition here 're-brand' themselves - the Goverment are being increasingly criticised for their stance of benefit stigmatisation. The chancellor's oft-cited meme of working people leaving their out of work neighbours asleep behind drawn curtains whilst they struggle off to work in order to support them - is now being called out. People are slamming this meme - it was addressed to e.g. Danny Alexander just now on PM on BBC Radio 4 - he was asked whether he cringed every time he heard the Chancellor or other Tories come out with such nonsense. The answer was a fudge of course.

    I am wholly in agreement with the notion that being in work (should you choose to be e.g. and not choose to stay home to raise the kids etc.) is preferable to not working. I have always enjoyed working. I never felt it was simply to earn money. It was always more than that for me. So, I want to work - but what can I offer an employer?
     
    Valentijn likes this.
  4. Valentijn

    Valentijn WE ARE KINA

    Messages:
    14,283
    Likes:
    45,787
    There's one job I had, 10 or 15 years ago, long before I got sick, which I think would somewhat work. It was working from home (and not a scam!), for a company that would have us use image recognition software to translate the scanned images of bills, etc, into text. The software would often do most of the work, but we had to check it and fix it.

    But there was flexibility on how much we wanted to do on a regular basis, and if someone called in sick, extra work could be distributed to other people that wanted the extra. Something similar could work on a large scale basis for people with ME, etc, if they could say how much work they wanted each day, rather than a usual amount wanted.

    But how much of that sort of work is there for people to do at home? Probably not nearly enough to keep all of the people busy that want to work that way, and consistently healthy workers are still much easier to plan around. Plus it was paid per piece rather than per hour (though technically there was an hourly minimum wage), so not good money, especially for people that aren't fast at visually scanning forms and typing text. So really only suitable for people with a certain skill set - what would everyone else be doing, if not suited to that sort of job?

    Lots of questions that the article doesn't answer, and that I don't think there really are answers for.
     
  5. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,387
    Likes:
    34,665
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Hi, on even that low rate of "fraud" in disability claims, its been pointed out in various places that I find from time to time that a good percentage of this is from forms that were not properly filled in. Keep in mind that many of these people have cognitive or mental disorders and very poor support. Is it a surprise that forms get filled in wrongly? Bye, Alex
     
    Jarod and Valentijn like this.
  6. DaiWelsh

    DaiWelsh

    Messages:
    57
    Likes:
    70
    No disrespect meant but I really cannot fathom that logic. Surely the same would apply to anyone taking a job - you're potentially displacing someone else. It also is not how I believe economics works - what is best for everyone is that the system has maximum efficiency. If I displace another potential employee because I am better able to do the job that is required, that is surely a good thing?

    If you are talking about the government paying people to work outside of the private sector and hence displacing private sector employees, then I could at least understand your point, though possibly not agree with it. However you seem to be suggesting that this applies even if I get a private sector job on my own merits?

    Sorry if I misunderstood :)
     
  7. Firestormm

    Firestormm

    Messages:
    5,022
    Likes:
    4,826
    Cornwall England
    Guardian 7 January 2013: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jan/07/nick-clegg-protests-shirkers

     
    alex3619 likes this.
  8. Valentijn

    Valentijn WE ARE KINA

    Messages:
    14,283
    Likes:
    45,787
    As someone that has very limited energy and gets sick when doing more, it's more sensible for me to not be working and receive disability benefits, than it is for a healthy person to not be working and receiving unemployment benefits. The government is still paying benefits to someone in either situation, but at least I'm not using up all of my energy on work and/or risking making myself worse. Also, as much as I would dislike being on benefits, it would likely hurt my pride a lot less than it would someone who is in much better health.
     

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page