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Disabled getting National Minimum Wage

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
An MP, Philip Davies, has argued 'cos people with a learning disability or mental illness if they get a job are less reliable and less productive, should be excluded fron laws like getting a minimum wage. He sees that if people declare a disability when competing in the open job market an employer will more likely recruit them if they can be paid less than required by law

Sounds like exploitation of people who already are at the receiving end of widespread discrimination in society

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think the official downing street line that was directed towards this man, kindly reminded him that the national minimum wage is there to protect those vulnerable people in society.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    He's an idiot. A few years ago he said there's nothing offensive about blacking up.

    Thankfully almost the entire country is outraged. That restores my faith in humanity.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Possibly worth noting that was not his argument. His argument was that employers are unwilling to employ people with learning difficulties, which, whilst I haven't seen the figures for about 2-3 years, seems an accurate view of the current position. However, he argues that instead of just accepting this as the Government and the previous Government had done (and basically throw people with learnning difficulties onto the scrap-heap of benefits for life), we should actively incentivise employers to take them on by reducing the employment costs.

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/7034023/dont-dismiss-davies-out-of-hand.thtml
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    piccolo wrote: »
    He's an idiot. A few years ago he said there's nothing offensive about blacking up.

    Thankfully almost the entire country is outraged. That restores my faith in humanity.

    Hope he gets deselected comes to standing for MP at the next general election
    Possibly worth noting that was not his argument. His argument was that employers are unwilling to employ people with learning difficulties, which, whilst I haven't seen the figures for about 2-3 years, seems an accurate view of the current position. However, he argues that instead of just accepting this as the Government and the previous Government had done (and basically throw people with learnning difficulties onto the scrap-heap of benefits for life), we should actively incentivise employers to take them on by reducing the employment costs.

    In practical terms, disabled people getting paid less may help them get work, but in moral and legal terms its condeming them as less human and makes a nonsense of concept of equal pay. Next women could be legally paid less when already this is happening unofficially in the job market
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    KiwiFruit wrote: »
    In practical terms, disabled people getting paid less may help them get work, but in moral and legal terms its condeming them as less human and makes a nonsense of concept of equal pay. Next women could be legally paid less when already this is happening unofficially in the job market

    The thin end of the wedge argument means we should do nothing about anything because it 'might' (very unlikely) lead to an extreme example. It's a straw man that by allowing a small group of people to under some circumstances work for below minimum wage would lead to women being able to be paid legally less, especially as he wasn't even talking about all disabled - he was making a specific proposal to deal with the specific issue of those disabled with severe learning difficulties.

    I actually think condemming them to a life on welfare is condeming them as less than human and that this is an idea to help people with severe learning difficulties interact with wider society. Interestingly it's been tried in Ohio and whilst various 'rights' groups seem to disagree the mother of a disabled son (ie someone who is actually impacted on) says
    Norma Williams says her autistic son's low-wage job in Columbus allows him to have a purpose in life.

    "He has a place to go and a reason to get up in the morning," she said. "I don't care about the money."

    Now, its a complex argument with lots of economic modelling needed to see whether it works as intended, as well as carefully defined legislation to stop their being further adverse consequences. However, we're never going to tackle some of the deep-rooted social and economic problems that are faced if whenever someone puts up a proposal its dismissed as something it's not.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    KiwiFruit wrote: »
    In practical terms, disabled people getting paid less may help them get work, but in moral and legal terms its condeming them as less human and makes a nonsense of concept of equal pay.

    Whereas being ruled out of the job market completely is acceptable?

    The point Davies was trying to make was that he'd rather see people working than not working, and that lower pay might be an option to achieve this.

    I don't agree with him, mainly because there is already support for businesses which makes employing disabled people economical. However you cannot just dismiss his argument as immoral when insisting on equal pay leaves them with a lower income than being paid less than minimum wage would. Both arguments smell of immorality.

    It really isn't a black and white issue.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What he's suggesting is illegal, under disability discrimination act / equalities act and minimum wage act.

    Let'd get this straight then:
    He wants companies to pay disabled people less because they're less productive. Having a disability doesn't make you less productive. If you pay people less than minimum wage, then the government would have to pay them benefits, which would cost them more money.
    Norma Williams says her autistic son's low-wage job in Columbus allows him to have a purpose in life.

    "He has a place to go and a reason to get up in the morning," she said. "I don't care about the money."

    You don't; but many others do. Given that not all disabled people can work full-time, how exactly are they meant to live?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    What he's suggesting is illegal, under disability discrimination act / equalities act and minimum wage act.?

    That's why he wants the law changed - he's not suggesting companies act illegally
    Let'd get this straight then:
    He wants companies to pay disabled people less because they're less productive. Having a disability doesn't make you less productive. If you pay people less than minimum wage, then the government would have to pay them benefits, which would cost them more money.

    And if they don't work at all you need to pay them even more benefits. The worst case analysis is that the pay is so small the Governmment pays out exactly the same as it does now, but even if there is no benefit to the exhequer there is an obvious benefit (not just or even neccessarily financial) to those who are working when otherwise they wouldn't be,
    You don't; but many others do. Given that not all disabled people can work full-time, how exactly are they meant to live

    What's your comment got to do with the argument at all. The argument is that in certain cases firms can be incentivised into employing people who they wouldn't otherwise do; it is not an argument that disability benefits be cut or that disabled people should be forced into working if they are unable to do
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    And if they don't work at all you need to pay them even more benefits.

    Not actually true:
    I receive around £160 every 2 weeks in income based benefits. If I work, I could get up to £102 every week in benefits.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm not sure of your point which seems to be not working gets you £160 in benefits and working gets you £102, ie not working costs the state more

    Now I'm not an expert on benefit payments, so there could well be anomalies, but as a principal it seems to be you should be better off working than not working and that includes people with severe learning difficulties on less than minimum wage
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No, read my post again. I get £160 every two weeks or if working, could get up to £102 every week.

    Me working will cost the state more.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Good, so the state is putting in an incentive to help you work. Cutting the minimum wage would provide an incentive to employers if you have severe learning difficulties.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Philip Davies is against the minimum wage in general, never mind asking for disabled people to pander to employer prejudices by becoming cheaper labour.

    I don't see where he mentions 'severe learning difficulties' in specific, but disabilities and mental health, which could cover a spectrum of disabilities. Of course, this isn't challenging employer prejudice, it is punishing people for being disabled.

    I wonder what his stance is on the closure of Remploy factories.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    Philip Davies is against the minimum wage in general, never mind asking for disabled people to pander to employer prejudices by becoming cheaper labour.

    I don't see where he mentions 'severe learning difficulties' in specific, but disabilities and mental health, which could cover a spectrum of disabilities. Of course, this isn't challenging employer prejudice, it is punishing people for being disabled.

    Most disabled people in work are employed in sheltered workshops. Those who brave it in the competitive mainstream job market should be paid equally- as you say its punishing on their disability to say 'you're in' but legally will get paid less
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whereas being ruled out of the job market completely is acceptable?

    The point Davies was trying to make was that he'd rather see people working than not working, and that lower pay might be an option to achieve this.
    ..................................

    It really isn't a black and white issue.

    I agree Philip Davies is seeking a practical solution. But its the negative moral and emotional impact on disabled people who break into the mainstream job market- we're dealing with humans here who demand respect and exist in a culture of equality

    And yes, its not straightforward but the arguments for and against paying less can go on and on
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'mn not sure it's always as 100% black and white as some people might think (not that I'm agreeing with the guy).

    One of the clubs I'm a member of used to have a group of adults with learning disabilities come in with their carers and do our cleaning and gardening. It was a nice clubhouse, with plenty of open space and a very sheltered environment. We kept the tea and biscuit cupboard stocked for them, the group brought a packed lunch and had a pretty good day out. We 'paid' them what we would have paid a contract cleaner & gardener to do the equivalent work. Obviously that's nothing like the minimum wage, but the arrangement suited everyone really well.

    Then the a busy body kicked up a fuss about minimum wage, so that group doesn't get anything any more.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    SM, I agree with you to an extent.

    The difference is that I would argue they weren't being employed. It was an opportunity for them to learn skills in almost a voluntary way but the club took the decision that it wasn't right to take it for free - is that about right? You didn't take on an individual to do a job but decide that they weren't going to be paid the same as someone else because they weren't somehow 'worth' that, which (whether it was his intention or not) is what Mr. Davies heavily implied.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah, there's a strong arguement that they weren't employed. But not strong enough - which is where a little more flexibility would be useful.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i see both sides of it.

    it sounds at first reading as though theyre saying minimum wage is ok for one group, but not for all, and disabled people should be prepared to work for less, but in actual fact, its just complaining that minimum wage, which was brought in to protect people from exploitation, is actually just making certain groups unemployable. As it stands, the only work a lot of disabled people are able to aquire, is voluntary work. So people are allowed by law, to work for absolutely free, or for £5.85, and nothing inbetween, which is putting a lot of people at a disadvantage in an employers market
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    KiwiFruit wrote: »
    I agree Philip Davies is seeking a practical solution. But its the negative moral and emotional impact on disabled people who break into the mainstream job market- we're dealing with humans here who demand respect and exist in a culture of equality

    I think his point is about the negative moral and emotional impact by ruling this group out of the market completely.

    As I said, I don't agree with the guy, but the only way you win the argument is by addressing the points he actually raised and proving them to be incorrect, rather than arguing about the morals (or otherwise) of not paying minimum wage.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think his point is about the negative moral and emotional impact by ruling this group out of the market completely
    see the point

    As I said, I don't agree with the guy, but the only way you win the argument is by addressing the points he actually raised and proving them to be incorrect, rather than arguing about the morals (or otherwise) of not paying minimum wage.

    I will research more abour Philip Davies speeches and put my thinking caps on
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I disagree with his argument because I disagree with the idea that the minimum wage should be got rid of in any form... If anything, it should be higher. The responsibility of a business should be to provide sustainable employment and positive community benefits, not as much profit as possible to its shareholders and management and to drive down wages so people are "lucky" to have a job.

    Unemployment benefits big business, so they can offer the lowest wages and crappy contracts because people are desperate for a job. Some employers are even sacking people and employing them again on worse contracts, or effectively cutting pay by removing their paid lunch breaks... The list could go on.

    This is just another attack on workers' rights. I hate this idea that people should be "lucky to have a job"... In the past year, the richest people have seen an 18% increase in their assets, whilst some councils have seen the number of people approaching them as homeless has risen 23% in the past year... The Department of Work and Pensions now has people stacking shelves for Asda, or working in Primark as "work experience" to earn their JSA. Really, if as a business, you are getting free labour to do these jobs, how much incentive is there to create new jobs? :confused:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    The responsibility of a business should be to provide sustainable employment and positive community benefits, not as much profit as possible to its shareholders and management and to drive down wages so people are "lucky" to have a job.

    If you mean morally then you are possibly correct. Sadly Utopia hasn't arrived.

    however, from a legal p.o.v. their responsibility is to their shareholders.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you mean morally then you are possibly correct. Sadly Utopia hasn't arrived.

    however, from a legal p.o.v. their responsibility is to their shareholders.
    So there is a law which says that a company is legally obliged to deliver X amount to shareholders?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    So there is a law which says that a company is legally obliged to deliver X amount to shareholders?

    Sorry, not a law (to my knowledge) and certainly not about "X" amount. They have an obligation to maximise shareholder income. It's only community interest companies which are obliged to do something for the community.

    It's not unheard of companies (like Nike, Coke etc) to do something for a community. However, this is usually purely about increasing their market share and often comes with a binding contract which excludes their competition from the area - see coke sponsorship of college, nike providing basketball courts - there have been cases with students being suspended for wearing the logo of the competitor...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's not unheard of companies (like Nike, Coke etc) to do something for a community. However, this is usually purely about increasing their market share and often comes with a binding contract which excludes their competition from the area - see coke sponsorship of college, nike providing basketball courts - there have been cases with students being suspended for wearing the logo of the competitor...

    I think this sounds like a concession rather than involvement in the community. I've also not heard of any cases where students have been suspended for wearing logos - I'm not saying it hasn't happenend, but that it is extremely rare (and if it does the person who wrote the contract from the public sector side had either better have made millions or should be sacked!).

    More common is like a local engineering firm which has just donated a couple of £hundred to my daughters' school for some gym equipment or Waterstone's £10,000 contrinbution to literacy

    http://www.thebookseller.com/news/waterstones-backs-evening-standard-literacy-campaign.html

    However, in reality these are the biggest way the private sector helps the wider community - they're icing on the cake compared to it providing goods and services we want to buy, employment and wages and providing Government with tax take (both indirect and direct)
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