Mitcham Jobcentre

A woman with cerebral palsy and a weak bladder was forced to wet herself in the middle of a packed Jobcentre — because the facility does not have a disabled toilet and staff refused to use their discretion to allow her to use restricted on-site facilities.

Rebecca Weston told the Wimbledon Guardian how she pleaded with an adviser at the facility in Mitcham, south west London:

“‘Well, that’s not my problem.’ he said to me. I’m standing in the middle of the job centre, 35 years-old, and I wet myself in front of a room full of people. I have never been so frustrated and humiliated.”

A DWP spinner later claimed that staff “will always try to accommodate people’s individual needs where possible” and that Ms Weston was “offered an alternative”: a cafe down the road that is presumably in the dark about the free toilet facilities it is providing for the Department of Work and Pensions.

Ms Weston wet herself on her way towards the exit.

  1. The jc in our town, eltham is upstairs. How does it get away with having no disabled access? Disabled people forced to travel to next convenient jc?

  2. David Richards says:

    The staff of that JC should be tied into chairs in public areas until they wet themselves. Perhaps they will be more sympathetic in future.

  3. This culture of neglect and belittling comes from the very top and is constantly reinforced on its way down the line. It is an utterly disgraceful instance of ‘caring Conservatism’ and gives the obvious lie to the use of terms like ‘our clients’ and the hollow support of ideas such as Big Society. As another respondent has said the Disability Discrmination Act makes it illegal not to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to accommodate ALL people’s needs – and beyond that is it too much to expect a person’s dignity to be respected. My heart goes out to that poor woman.

  4. Too many public sector buildings do not have toilet access, let alone disabled toilet access. People who use the services of Jobcentre, Council tax, Housing Benefit, Housing applications, homelessness applications etc…are expected to go to use these services, wait lengthy times to be seen, and not be able to use the toilets? Absolutely out of order the behaviour of these staff – they are in the job but they don’t have a clue on the job they are doing, and they lack respect for the service users they deal with. To treat this disabled woman in the way they did, the jobcentre employee should be forced to apologise to the lady, and go on Disability Training, and defend himself against a ECHR legal case for breaching her dignity in this way. Let him be penalised for such rotten attitude…no doubt he will not see what he did was wrong, and management won’t see it as serious…if you have no respect for humanity you will not appreciate the need for human dignity to be respected.

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