Benefits and Work has obtained documents via the Freedom of Information Act that may undermine claims by Atos that its staff were the subject of nearly two thousand episodes of assault or abuse, including death threats, by claimants in 2013 alone. Atos used the claim to justify wanting to exit early from the contract to carry out work capability assessments (WCAs).
This was, by any standards, a very serious accusation.
Characterising thousands of sick and disabled claimants as violent thugs that Atos could no longer expose its staff to is likely to have increased the level of prejudice against benefits claimants. It may even have contributed to a rise in the number of violent hate-crimes committed against disabled people.
Benefits and Work, however, has now obtained a month-by-month breakdown of all the incidents of violence and abuse reported by Atos to the DWP throughout the whole of 2013…
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