Remploy was originally established under the terms of the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act 1944, to directly employ disabled persons in specialised factories. It opened its first factory in Bridgend, Wales, in 1946.
Remploy is an organisation in Britain, which provides employment placement services for disabled people.
In the later years of the Blair ministry, at the start of the 21st century, Remploy underwent a major change to its operation, and branched out into providing general employment assistance for disabled people, and others with barriers to employment. After the closure of most Remploy factories, the provision of these assistance services became Remploy’s principal purpose.
At the turn of the millenium, Remploy workers saw the writing on the wall. They attended a conference in Birmingham organised by the Campaign Against Euro Federalism (CAEF) a left Trade Union based anti-EU organisation.Remploy workers said that the EU was actively working against disabled workers by following an agenda that wanted to privatise it. Disabled workers were said to be working against competition laws and that they should be regulated.The EU does not operate very much in favour of disabled person’s rights. Remploy would be tackled on the basis of efficiency and rationalisation. The reality was that workers’ and disabled rights maintained in workplaces was detrimental to capitalist maximisation of profit.
In 2006, Remploy Employment Services opened its first high street branch in Newhall Street, Birmingham. Companies like Joseph Lucas actively built whole factories for Remploy, employing thousands of workers in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
In 2007 Remploy management announced proposals to close 42 Remploy factories, later reduced to 28 after heated debates at TUC and Labour conferences, with then Work and Pensions minister, Peter Hain, requiring proposed factory closures to have ministerial approval. 29 factories were eventually closed in 2008.
Thirty-three factories were eventually closed in 2012, with the loss of 1,752 jobs.
In July 2014, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced that it was looking for Remploy Employment Services to leave government control, by way of a joint venture between a private company and Remploy’s employees. In March 2015 it was confirmed that Remploy would become owned by US service provider Maximus (70%) and an employee trust (30%). The transfer of ownership was completed on 7 April 2015.
The capitalists in the United States did not take long to convert Remploy into a profit making organisation.
Maximus Inc., trademarked as MAXIMUS, is an American, for-profit, privatising company that provides business process services to government health and human services agencies in the United States, Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. MAXIMUS focuses on administering government-sponsored programs, such as Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), health care reform, welfare-to-work, Medicare, child support enforcement, and other government programs.In 1997- The Hartford Courant reported that MAXIMUS “gets minimal results” when it was hired by the State of Connecticut to manage a child care program for recipients of welfare.
The company is based in Reston, Virginia, has 13,000 employees and a reported annual revenue of $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2014.
In 1998- The Sarasota Herald Tribune reported that the State of Florida had paid MAXIMUS $4.5 Million for a Child Support Recovery contract. MAXIMUS was only able to collect $162,000. “On average taxpayers paid MAXIMUS $25 for every 3 cents collected.”