Wages incentive for Remploy buyers
10:10am Sunday 20th May 2012 in News
REMPLOY workers have been given a new ray of hope after the Government offered subsidised wages to attract buyers and save their jobs.
Remploy’s electronics factory in Manchester Road employs 42 disabled people but is due to close after the Government announced it was axing subsi- dies for 36 of Remploy’s 54 fac- tories.
The new offer from the Gov- ernment came as Remploy workers were on there way to a protest rally in Manchester yesterday.
Bolton workers joined about 250 others for a trade union rally against the closures which was supported by MPs including Bolton South East Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi.
Bill Hardman, who works at the Manchester Road site, and is a trade union representative said: “We’ll have to take a close look at the Government offer. It has only just been announced. There are some fears that the wage subsidy would be reduced over three years — in contrast to some other subsidised schemes which stay at the same level.
“But this offer is a start and I am hopeful that there will be more developments. We will look at any ideas put forward to keep the factories in busi- ness.”
A potential rescue package for the Bolton factory is being put together by a Macclesfield technology firm Oerlikon Fibrevision, and the Big Life Group, a social enterprise behind the Big Issue magazine. Ms Qureshi recently led a delegation from the two parties to meet Maria Miller, the min- ister for disabled people, who has responsibility for Remploy at Westminster.
Under the new offer, the Gov- ernment has announced extra financial support for disabled workers’ wages to strengthen interested business groups’ bids for the factories and to encourage new bidders.
The wage subsidy will be up to £6,400 for each eligible dis- abled employee and will help ease the transition from the current operating models to new businesses.
Mrs Miller aid: “We have always said we wanted to safe- guard as many jobs as possible and we have listened to those who have already come for- ward and put in a bid for the factories.
“That is why we are offering this extra support which will add to the variety of innovative and enterprising bids.”