Remploy Closures: Hundreds More Jobs At Risk
Hundreds more disabled workers at Remploy factories are at risk of losing their jobs under fresh closure plans.
A further 875 employees, including 682 disabled people, have been told they face compulsory redundancy.
Ministers announced earlier this year that a number of Remploy factories would close, arguing that the budget for disabled employment services could be spent more effectively.
Thirty-four factories have ceased operations since then and are in the process of closing, with the loss of 1,752 jobs.
The future of a further 18 sites remained unclear, but on Thursday ministers said some will close, while others have the potential to move out of Government-funded support.
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "From today, Remploy will invite expressions of interest to take over the running of the remaining factories.
"Our priority throughout this process is to safeguard jobs, which is why we are offering a wage subsidy of up to £6,400 per disabled employee to encourage interested parties to come forward.
"We have also been clear from the start that we have protected the £320m budget for disability employment services
"But we are following the advice of disability expert Liz Sayce to use the money more effectively to get more disabled people into mainstream jobs - the same as everyone else.
"All disabled employees affected by the changes will be guaranteed tailored support from an £8m package, including a personal case worker, to help with the transition into mainstream employment."
Phil Davies of the GMB union said: "This is devastating news for the disabled workers in Remploy and gives the lie to the Chancellor's claim in his Autumn Statement that the vulnerable would be taken care of by the Government."
Workers at risk of redundancy are in 15 Remploy factories, with three automotive businesses not included.
Remploy said it had considered the viability of the remaining businesses and how they might move out of Government control.