Thursday, 26 September 2013

Disability Confident my arse!!!

To The Right Honourable Theresa May MP
Dear Theresa,
Following Esther McVey's triumphal announcement of the Disability Confident Scheme I have contacted employers that are obviously very keen to be associated with it and applied for jobs with them. As a highly qualified and experienced accountant/ consultant, I have contacted KPMG and Ernst and Young.
My experiences of this have been disappointing as it appears to be treated similarly to "Positive About Disabilties" as companies appear to be happy to sign up to it for the PR gain associated whilst offering no obvious benefit to disabled jobseekers. I find it difficult to comprehend why intelligent people in Government and Industry are failing to grasp the fact that Disabled People are different to their current workforce and that it is not enough to offer equality of treatment but they must offer equality of opportunity. Below this e-mail is one I have sent to KPMG outlining my concerns with their process.
With this in mind would you please ask or arrange to be asked on behalf of your constituent to David Cameron MP at the next available Prime Ministers question Time.
"Does the Prime Minister agree that had his son, Ivan, survived the future for him would be very bleak as, for example,  companies that sign up to his flagship Disability Confident scheme appear to have no intention of honouring their commitment to enable talented disabled people. Can he also please explain how disabled people thrown off benefits, after being judged fit for work, are meant to thrive and survive when so many of the available job paths are not available to them, presumably because the companies believe the "Disabled Benefit Scrounger" rhetoric peddled by the Minister for Work and Pensions?"
I trust you are able to do this for me but await your affirmative response keenly.
Yours sincerely,
Ian M Jones

Begin forwarded message:
From: "Ian Jones" 
Date: September 26, 2013 3:41:02 PM
To: "Gardner, Angela"
Subject: Re: Application Update

Dear Angela,
It gives me no pleasure to contact you like this but as you are by now aware I was told via a message left on my mobile phone that I would not be taken forward for this role because I had no Consulting or Blue Chip experience. If you look at my cv you will plainly see this is not the case and I suspect that the recruiter did not look past the section that explained I was disabled.
I have just spoken to Gemma who had changed her reasoning from that left on my mobile phone, which I have saved to my computer. Her new reasoning is that although I had the required experience it was not current. I refer you to the job advertisement which I have saved and attached. Please note nowhere does it say current experience required nor define what it means by "current experience". How can you hope to have an open, fair and transparent recruitment process if you change the rules mid-process and I would be interested to know how this decision was being implemented to ensure it does not discriminate against any group with a protected characteristic.
Also, can you please let me know what the Business Requirement for experience to be current is and why it is felt necessary enough to allow protected characteristics to be ignored? 
I request again to be contacted by the Partner responsible for Diversity and Inclusion within KPMG. The phone conversations I have just had imply to me that KPMG did not take Diversity and Inclusion seriously enough for a partner to be in overall charge of this policy. Perhaps you would like to comment!
Yours sincerely,
Ian M Jones

On Sep 24, 2013, at 09:42 AM, "Gardner, Angela"  wrote:
Dear Ian

I just wanted you to know that I am following up with our Recruitment team in the first instance and will respond to you as soon as possible.

Kind regards

Angela Gardner
Senior Manager, KPMG LLP
Diversity & Inclusion

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Jones
Sent: 23 September 2013 11:22
To: Gardner, Angela
Subject: Re: Application Update

Dear Angela,

I hope you don't mind me contacting you again but I would have thought the point of being disability confident would be to be open and transparent about hiring decisions.

I contend that is not apparent in this case and request you send me full details if how all applications for this position were ranked.

Being disability confident is about more than treating disabled people equally in my opinion. It us about giving them equal opportunities?

I would be grateful if you could put me in touch with the partner responsible for this initiative to allow me to understand how KPMG has interpreted this scheme as it seems to me it is not addressing the barriers to work faced by mentally impaired people such as myself! Perhaps you might like to tell me what jobs you feel I would be suitable for.

Apologies for any confusion but I accidentally sent this communication before it was completed so I am re-sending this as a complete version!

With kind regards

Ian M Jones

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