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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Equalities and human rights  →  Thread

DWP and reasonable adjustments

 

ClairemHodgson
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Solicitor, SC Law, Harrow

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Atherton v DWP

https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2019/395.html

the individual claimant lost; but court very critical of DWP on their total inability to make reasonable adjustments in the way they communicate with people ....

     
Elliot Kent
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This is a decision worth reading I think.

What I find most interesting is paragraph 51 - which reveals that perhaps the real reason why the DWP won’t communicate by email is nothing to do with the Data Protection Act but is actually because their outdated computer systems would be unable to handle it.

     
Jeremy Barker
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The judgment certainly shows that the DWP can come with no end of excuses for not doing something even what it has a policy that it should do it.

One of the main objections the DWP had to using email is that it is not secure. In most cases that is more a theoretical than real risk - the biggest risk is using the wrong address and that risk is really no worse than wrongly addressing postal mail. On that point it’s interesting to note that government is phasing out the “government secure intranet” (the source of email addresses ending gsi.gov.uk) and is using alternatives which I understand include commercial email services.

     
shawn mach
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A summary of the judgment is also available from our welfare rights case law section:

DWP’s ‘workaround’ to provide email communications to disabled claimant was sufficient to meet its duties under the Equality Act 2010

     
Mike Hughes
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Check out GMWRAGs recent FOI requests.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_documentation_in_al

     
ClairemHodgson
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Mike Hughes - 11 March 2019 04:55 PM

Check out GMWRAGs recent FOI requests.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/provision_of_documentation_in_al

maybe they were waiting for judgement in this case before deciding what the answer should be?

     
Mike Hughes
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It would appear that DWP and HMCTS commit to reasonable adjustments and especially alternate formats right up until the point you actually ask for one.