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Monday, 8 December 2014

Jobcentres and access requirements of people with diabetes

By Dude Swheatie of the KUWG

Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group Honorary Member Kate Belgrave has written:
.... [G4S security guards in jobcentres] tell people off for eating – a problem for Eddie, who is diabetic and sometimes needs to eat the biscuits he always carries with him.....
And I note that the problem of no reasonable adjustments for disabled people at jobcentres indicated in Kate's blog piece is made more persistent by the regime of daily signing on at jobcentres that is becoming far more prevalent. That increased prevalence is according to the findings of KUWG members leafleting and talking to jobcentre 'customers' exiting jobcentres after their poverty parole sessions, as sampled at various jobcentres near Kilburn.

I am also aware from previous First Aid training I received in 2005/2006 as a care worker, that hypoglycaemia can lead to behavioural problems. Thus aside from likely 'knee jerk reaction' by jobcentre 'customers' to the impact of the general vindictiveness inflicted upon them under 'welfare reform' measures, G4S' institutional ignorance of diabetic access requirements makes 'powder keg' situations far more likely. 
And of the hundreds of Londoners put on JSA sanctions each day, perhaps at least a few are sanctioned on account of behaviour resulting at least partially from hypoglycaemia — if indeed those who give the sanctions need any justifiable reason to inflict a sanction. (Most JSA sanctions are overturned.)

Further still, when people are sanctioned out of food money for weeks upon weeks — whether they have diabetes or not — their blood sugar is likely to run low, limiting their available blood sugar and thus producing irritability. Thus sanctions and low blood sugar are likely to have an impact upon whether a person is inclined to do damage to jobcentre property and thus be banned from attending the jobcentre and being further compromised regarding accessing 'the help [they] need, when [they] need it', wouldn't you say?


  1. Another inhumane condition is the removal of toilets for the public. This forces those suffering from incontinence to risk having "accidents" whilst waiting their turn.

    Leaving the Jobcentre for a quick toilet visit elsewhere is not optional since you get sanctioned if your name is called out in your absence.

    It didn't use to be this way. Toilets were always open to the public before - so why not now? Given the increase of security staff, toilet vandalism is hardly the reason for removing this facility.

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