ESA is a dead parrot

ESA (Employment and Support Allowance ) has destroyed the covenant between sick and disabled people and the state. It has to go.

Pat’s Petition and CarerWatch working with other campaigners suggest the following basis for reform:

The replacement for ESA should be paid, without conditionality, to anyone who cannot find work because of reduced productivity.

The current labour market is ruthless. It will take people who can do the most work for the least money. People with reduced productivity, even after all reasonable adjustments have been made, will be rejected by this market. They need unconditional support.

The bar for entry into the Support Group is set far too high, leaving people whose productivity cannot be equalised with reasonable adjustments with no viable social security support.

The government could address this by intervening, in ESA criteria, employment & equalities law and the market, but it chooses not to.

Until this changes, people whose productivity is reduced won’t be able to gain employment and so need a safe secure income without threats and conditionality.

Statement issued February 28th 2016, by Pat’s Petition and CarerWatch.


Please tell us in the comments if you would like to support this campaign.
Come and talk about how to take the campaign forward on our  Facebook page
Use the hashtag #ESAdeadparrot

Time to accept labour market realities for sick and disabled people by Bernadette Meaden on Ekklesia
New campaign ruffles feathers as it takes aim at ESA ‘dead parrot’ by John Pring on Disability New Service

BREAKING NEWS…  (1st March 2016) – ESA WRAG to be cut to JSA rate – even more urgent to lower the bar for the Support Group to the level at which people can actually work.

Further updates will be posted on our News pages tagged ESAdeadparrot.


Professor Peter Beresford
Professor Alan Roulstone
Professor  Jamie Hacker Hughes
Dr Simon Duffy –  Director, Centre for Welfare Reform
Gail Ward  – Cross Border Alliance
Stef Bensted – Disability Researcher
Rosemary Trustam – Community Living Magazine
Ian Hodson – National President, Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union
Sean McGovern – TUC General Councillor for Disabled Members
Rick Burgess
Caroline Richardson
Michelle Maher  – WOW

30 thoughts on “ESA is a dead parrot

  1. I would love to support this campaign as I am one of the people on esa and have to attend a work program I have mental and physical issues and no one would give me a job

  2. I have a son who is in receipt of E S A he has autism and was lucky enough to get a job through school, (i know how lucky he is) he works for 8 hours a week he has never had a day off in 6 years because (my opinion) his routine is Saturday work it would be a melt down if he was ever ill on a Saturday (touch wood this does not happen ) we did try to get him to do a extra day but he could not handle this the government and the media try to make everything cut and dry every person disabled or with a disability are different and just because 1 person with that disability can do something it does not mean all people with that disability can do the same. I support your campaign to help people that need help.

  3. I’m stuck in the work related group and have been for years but I’m too scared to ruffle the feathers and appeal. Thing is, I go to mandatory job centre appointments which last no longer than 5 mins. I have a degenerative back condition and several mental health problems (try getting that treated on the nhs!) so each appointment consists of, “well, you’re not getting any better, and we can’t offer you any help whatsoever.” To which I reply, “see you next time then”.

    Even the poor job centre guy sees its all a sad brutal joke but can say nothing about it.

  4. I would support this campaign , i am on ESA i was found fit for work on my second assessment which was overturned at appeal about 2 years ago , i now await my next assessment with dread , i have a degenerative lower back problem which is never getting better but i am stuck in this merry go round of dealing with DWP for no reason.

  5. How would decreased productivity Be measured and assessed? Otherwise I agree entirely. Also there should be an allowance so if people can do a little business of their own, much like permitted work.

  6. Yes, you have my full support. I have struggled for years with degenerating health so the Job centre made me go self employed, after being on esa. I continued to look for other work as well but the minute you tell an employer you are less than perfect and over 50, forget it. (did you know that not disclosing your health issues to a potential or current employer can leave you bared from claiming esa if you then lose your job through those issues?) Now self employment is being taken away too because they have introduced draconian new rules. I did my best but facing the job centre telling me I am unemployable. Again.

  7. I fully support Pat’s Petition that calls for an end to the inherently unfair conditionality attached to ESA. People who as a result of disability and or illness should not be forced to compete in a job market which militates against them. Despite legislation that is supposed to protect disabled people from discrimination in the workplace discrimination continues unabated. Employers given the opportunity will opt for a non-disabled person over a disabled in most recruitment scenarios.

    Stop penalizing one section of our society for the shortcomings of both employers and central government. Until employers fully comply with statutes such as the Equality Act and public sector equality duties; and until central government starts to properly punish bosses that transgress against disabled people, then government has a duty to ensure all those unable to work due to barriers constructed by employers are paid enough to live on.

  8. I too am on esa and dla I have yet to have my assessments but I live in fear I have mental health problems and physical problems but it seems noone is safe I would support you on this x ☺

  9. I support this as my partner has mental health problems and has already been forced in to employment that his consultant was not happy with and his mental health is now worse and can not work Due to more medication this has now given him the symptoms of Parkinson’s and dementia So all this carp about work being good is not always right and as I am now his carer going in to my sixties I wish People could live in Are lives to see that this is the corect way to treat people with physical and mental health disabilities

  10. Both Cameron and Pritti Patel claim no one with cancer should be in WRAG group. Also claimed MS and Parkinson’s shouldn’t be in WRAG group we know they are so they all, according to Toriesunderstanding should be in support group.

  11. I support your idea, I have a reservation though. People who are too ill or disabled to work should be in the support group and not put through the ridiculous process of reassessment. Something needs to be done about this torture of innocent people not to mention the obscene waste of public money!

  12. I support your campaign 100%. I have tried day after day to find suitable home-based employment as I have hydrocephalus, my walking and balance are very poor, I have no transport. Applying for job after job is demoralizing. My condition will never improve, no one will employ me no matter what I say.

  13. Good luck. It may be worthwhile if more people were made aware of the possibilities that are available and not just honestly and somewhat blindly respond yes or no to the DWP’s questions on abilities. Despite the government’s statements, there is little chance of a good job for people in many parts, never mind help for the ill and disabled. Most of the UK population is not in London yet comments are made relative to being in that part of the UK.

  14. We support the campaign. Daily we see the mess that has been created by ESA. The fear, the loss of income, health being made worse, hunger, homelessness and being suicidal – all caused by a brutal regime that looks upon sick and disabled people as ‘takers’ and a burden on the State.

    The DWP workers and the Maximus ESA assessors who are disabled have been sacked. The system itself doesn’t want disabled workers yet we’re supposed to miraculously believe the private sector will give us a chance.

  15. I would definitely support this change. I have disabilities which I strongly believe have prevented me from being offered a job 😦

  16. I fully support this change. The truth emerges, IDS has been saying for the last few years it was not about saving money but about getting sick and disabled people into work regarding the WCA. The WCA is a farce in it self and its no good Mr Cameron stating in the House of Commons a couple of years ago it worked well under Labour in response to a question on how a person was found fit for work who was seriously ill. Their has not been enough legal actions taken against Atos and the DWP for not having a duty of care. We need a legal brains trust to pursue the DWP for all the cases where there has been a suicide or people having to fight the DWP for ESA while dying from cancer like Cecilia Byrne.

  17. Interesting I would support the notion that because of the capitalist society that there will be some disabled people even if you provided all the reasonable adjustments and A2W will not be deemed productive enough for a company to make a profit – unfortunately this has now included social enterprises, non profit making organisations and even volunteering! It is unfortunate that there is two separate ESA campaigns whereby DPAC focuses on cuts to A2W and support – really the barriers for DP access to work includes both strands – an acknowledgement that DP may well be less productive than the norm set by the capitalist society. Can we really argue that DP with dementia even with all the A2W support in the world will be able to produce at levels expected by non disabled people when the person’s cognition and physical abilities will reduce over time. I think the problem with current campaigns on A2W is that maybe there is not an acknowledgmeent that DP need a secure income if they are unable to work (with RA) in a way that maximises profits for a organisation.

  18. The first hurdle which needs to be overcome is assessment. Maybe we need independent specialist boards broadly dealing with different category of disability: mental health problems, learning difficulties, chronic conditions such as MS, diabetes, RA etc, age related conditions such as heart disease, Parkinson and Alzheimer. At present there seems to be two main difficulties: less ‘in your face’ conditions such as mental health and those conditions that are not going to improve. People living with these conditions need to be assessed by someone who understands the nature of the disease. Not an easy to achieve board but I can’t see a way of safeguarding vulnerable people in any other way.

  19. Pingback: Cutting PIP in the Budget is dangerous – PIP keeps the lights on for sick and disabled people | Pat's Petition

  20. Pingback: WCA should have been a ‘can’t do’ test | Pat's Petition

  21. Pingback: ESA is a dead parrot | Britain Isn't Eating

  22. Pingback: Pontrobert woman being ‘punished’ for not being able to work | Pat's Petition

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