Atos 'told woman with Crohn's disease to wear nappy to work'

Private company hired to check out welfare claimants attacked by MPs for 'degrading and crass' attitude

LAST UPDATED AT 11:52 ON Fri 18 Jan 2013

ATOS, the French-owned private company employed by the government to expose benefit fraudsters, faces renewed criticism for its "degrading and crass" attitude towards welfare claimants. It follows the revelation by a Labour MP said Atos asked a constituent with Crohn's disease to "wear a nappy for work".

Iain Wright, the member for Hartlepool, made the allegation during yesterday's parliamentary debate about Atos, which is contracted by the Department for Work and Pensions to assess if those receiving incapacity benefits are fit for work.

Wright complained his constituent 'Mrs M' was one of several treated like "dirt" by the company when she was told to wear the nappy.

"Her assessment and appeal were degrading, insensitive and unprofessional," said Wright. "She was described throughout her appeal notes as a man. Incorrect dates and fictitious telephone calls were placed on her files—in other words, lies."

The Independent reports that fellow Labour MP and former minister Michael Meacher, who opened the debate, said 1,300 people had died after being placed by Atos in a category of people expected to begin preparing for employment – the so-called "work related activity group".

Conservative MP and former Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan raised concerns about how claimants with autism were treated while Robert Halfon, the Tory MP for Harlow, said Atos had "not covered itself in glory".

Writing on Twitter following the debate, Meacher said he had "never seen such unanimity" among MPs that Atos had failed. He promised not to let the issue go after what The Guardian described as an "emotional" discussion.

Responding to criticism, Atos has said that during the "difficult process" of discovering whether benefit claimants are fit for work their employees follow "strict guidelines" and they "continually ask for feedback". · 

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eh lets be honest here, no one in their right mind if they can get away with, so anyone working with food, are not going to hire someone who has to wear a nappy to work.

I think in some places that actually a requirement before you go school that you stop wearing Nappies.
Not that I have anything with the poor lady but that why we have benefits

Atos are simply in the business of throwing disabled and sick people off benefits. If, through the actions of Atos one is stamped as 'fit for work', you can't even go and sign on at the jobcentre because in many cases they refuse to let you sign on because even THEY say you are not fit for work!

It's probably costing the taxpayers of our country more to pay this French company to do this than it costs in benefits and they themselves should find a proper job and leave our disabled alone! Disgusting!

Question Why a French company Surly if they used a British company Jobs could be created?

abs disgusting. why are they treating people with disabilitys like this, just take them too a slaughter house and be done with them, DISGUSTING

Atos works to a quota system. The more people they turn down, the more they are rewarded. And if the same people are turned down on appeal, Atos is paid yet again. It is a disgrace and something must be done.

Atos reckon I'm not incontinent because I dont wear pads all the time so the above re the nappy does not surprise me. How would they like to work alongside someone with this condition?

Have we really stooped so low? These MP's that sit in parliament were elected by the people yet look at what they are doing. Shame on them for not bringing this government down with a vote of no confidence. It's on a par with the Nazis ethnic cleansing just cleverer. Force them off benefits by saying they are fit for work when they have no chance of supporting themselves and let them starve or die of hypothermia because they can't pay bills.

Atos, should be struck off and evicted from this country, they are simply money grabbing as they get paid by results i.e more told to work = more money ! .
and the Lies too , I have it all documented ! , and their twisted reply . I am willing to supply to any MP or Media so that we can expose this for what it is .another dig at the ones that cant fight back , it's time the people of this country fight back , and that means everyone ! .

I cant even make it to my garden gate , yet I am fit to work !

0 points like everyone else , out of over 400 cases I am aware of not a single one scored any points at all .. even a 4 year old can do the maths ...

they even refused to accept my Doctors letter in support
this fiasco needs to be sorted . I also put it fair and square at Mr Camerons door , it's all about cutting money , not getting you back to work , even if you could ..

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