Disabled man sacked from £30 a week council job told he can work for nothing as volunteer

Ronnie Hawthorn, who has Down’s syndrome, worked at a leisure centre for 17 years before bosses said they couldn’t afford to keep him on.

A disabled man lost his job at a leisure centre after 17 years – then was told he could return as an unpaid volunteer. Bosses told Ronnie Hawthorn, who has Down’s syndrome, they couldn’t afford his modest £30 a week wages.

To add insult to injury, he was then told he could still work on a voluntary basis and go to staff nights out. Ronnie, 47, said: “I feel a bit sad. I worked there for a long time.” His treatment triggered outrage from disability campaigners.

Ronnie worked for eight hours a week over two days and was paid for approximately 3.7 hours. The rest was voluntary. His parents were invited for a meeting with leisure centre chiefs. His dad Ronald, 69, said: “I couldn’t believe it. He explained to me that it was down to cutbacks but that Ronnie could still come in on a voluntary basis and nights out at Christmas.”

Later, Ronald and his wife Anne were told that there would be no redundancy or ­compensation. Ronald added: “Ronnie was told it was due to cutbacks but then he saw a thing in the paper about councillors going on a trip to Korea. There is penny pinching going on but it seems they can find money for some things.”

Anne, 68, a former secretary and administrator for Barnardo’s, said: “I think it’s a disgrace. He’s been doing that job perfectly for 17 years. “It works out at about £30 a week, and that’s what got to me more than anything else. We’ve been feeling bad about it. I feel it’s the vulnerable who are being pushed out.”

Kamran Mallick, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “This a shocking case. It’s a prime example of how disabled people are treated differently. The lack of equality is astonishing. “I can’t imagine the employer behaving this way to other non- ­disabled staff. There has been no due process, no consultation, no effort to redeploy this member of staff.” Anne added: “It’s not about the money. It’s the lack of respect.”

Inverclyde Leisure said: “We are disappointed Ronnie’s parents now feel this way after an agreement had been reached and we are meeting again to discuss this matter.

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Source : https://newshoundsnewsround.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/disabled-man-sacked-from-30-a-week-council-job-told-he-can-work-for-nothing-as-volunteer/
Source : https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/outrage-disabled-man-loses-30-12669876

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