RMT Demands Support for Steps Into Work Students as Scheme Closes Until September

Today, RMT has sent this email to Transport for London:


Steps Into Work has today informed its students that the programme is suspended until September.

These students are autistic and/or learning-disabled, and many rely heavily on a predictable routine. This disruption to their established schedule adds to the anxiety we are all feeling about the Covid-19 pandemic. This move also postpones students' opportunity to move into paid employment - many were hoping to start paid work in September, but will now be expected to resume (unpaid) Steps Into Work at that time. Moreover, their families - who are already seriously affected by the Covid-19 crisis - will now have to make caring arrangements.

The suspension of Steps Into Work is understandable and necessary. However, it also has serious impacts. I therefore ask you to arrange for students to be provided with:

1. assistance in applying for welfare benefits such as ESA

2. support with anxiety and wellbeing

3. availability of Steps Into Work staff for phone and online contact

4. remote learning activities

I also ask you to commit that:

5. Steps Into Work staff's employment is protected, noting that the support asked for above can be carried out from home.

6. TfL employees who have caring responsibility for Steps Into Work students are given paid special leave to arrange for their care if necessary.


John Leach

RMT Regional Organiser