Prospective Conservative MP for Sutton and Cheam embroiled in red tape dispute with Department for Work and Pensions

Paul Scully part-owns communications firm the Nudge Factory in Croydon

Paul Scully part-owns communications firm the Nudge Factory in Croydon

First published in News
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This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A Sutton and Cheam parliamentary candidate has become tangled up in a dispute with the Department for Work and Pensions in a row over red tape. 

Businessman Paul Scully, set to run as a prospective Conservative MP for the borough in next year’s general election, is joint-owner of Nudge Factory in Croydon High Street.

The firm provide communication strategies across a range of sectors including local government, corporate PR, and property and planning.

He runs the firm with his business partner Ahzaz Chowdhury.

Last week they posted a job advert seeking a personal assistant for Mr Chowdhury, and owing to the nature of the role, specified the right candidate would need an excellent command of English language both written and verbal.

Mr Scully and Mr Chowdhury chose to advertise through the Croydon Jobcentre to find someone to fill the post, but after the ad went live they received a message from the DWP, asking them to explain why they were trying to claim an exemption to the Equality Act. 

The department asked them to outline why applicants had to be able to speak a particular language, and went on to ask: "In what way could the duties of the current staff be re-organised to enable the new post to be filled by someone who does not need to speak this particular language. 

"If this is not possible please state why."

The DWP also asked how many staff are employed by the company and how many only speak English.

Following a complaint from Mr Scully the government department is now reviewing its procedure.

The Conservative party member said: "As someone who is keen to take on a local person if possible, it is frustrating to see obstacles put in the way. 

"There must be thousands of small businesses that would be put off using the Universal Jobmatch service if they thought that they would be given the third degree.

"I am glad the DWP have seen sense and will change their procedures as a result of my speaking out."

A DWP spokesperson said: "Universal Jobmatch is successfully helping people into work with around half a million employers now registered. 

"We have robust procedures in place to ensure that vacancies comply with Equality legislation and that jobseekers are not discriminated against.
 
"In this case those checks may have been too strict and we are now reviewing our procedures.  

"We will be in touch with Mr Scully."

Have you had an unusual or bizarre experience of red tape? Call the news desk on 020 8722 6358, or email tom.gillespie@london.newsquest.co.uk

Comments (8)

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1:46pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Niki R says...

Tory candidate complains about measures instigated by the current Tory-led Government...
Tory candidate complains about measures instigated by the current Tory-led Government... Niki R
  • Score: 28

1:57pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Paul Scully says...

Hi Niki. I'm surprised that you wouldn't want the last Labour government to take the credit for the Equalities Act 2010 but either way, my gripe was not about policy. It was about procedure and the way that civil servants have in this case put an obstacle in the way of small businesses.

I hope that you will agree with me that it is important that politicians don't just become mouthpieces for those in Westminster. There is a world of difference between collective responsibility and speaking out with a view of changing the system. I am pleased that in this case, there is a good chance that the system will be changed as a result.
Hi Niki. I'm surprised that you wouldn't want the last Labour government to take the credit for the Equalities Act 2010 but either way, my gripe was not about policy. It was about procedure and the way that civil servants have in this case put an obstacle in the way of small businesses. I hope that you will agree with me that it is important that politicians don't just become mouthpieces for those in Westminster. There is a world of difference between collective responsibility and speaking out with a view of changing the system. I am pleased that in this case, there is a good chance that the system will be changed as a result. Paul Scully
  • Score: -12

3:42pm Tue 12 Aug 14

adrianshort says...

I suppose this is the sort of thing that happens when big government creates a centralised, nationalised jobs website rather than letting businesses and candidates decide for themselves how they're going to advertise jobs and look for work.
I suppose this is the sort of thing that happens when big government creates a centralised, nationalised jobs website rather than letting businesses and candidates decide for themselves how they're going to advertise jobs and look for work. adrianshort
  • Score: -10

5:44pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Net_Taxpayer says...

Niki R wrote:
Tory candidate complains about measures instigated by the current Tory-led Government...
Another socialist complaining about something, socialism is the equivalent of Ebola in politics, nothing good can come out of it (unless you are one of the socialist gang, then you can drown yourself in subsidies taken from working people to stick most of it in your pocket and spend the rest on chavs to get their votes).
[quote][p][bold]Niki R[/bold] wrote: Tory candidate complains about measures instigated by the current Tory-led Government...[/p][/quote]Another socialist complaining about something, socialism is the equivalent of Ebola in politics, nothing good can come out of it (unless you are one of the socialist gang, then you can drown yourself in subsidies taken from working people to stick most of it in your pocket and spend the rest on chavs to get their votes). Net_Taxpayer
  • Score: -22

10:20pm Tue 12 Aug 14

imasumak says...

This is a government where the inmates are running the asylum. Such a visibly stupid and ridiculous question arising from a government agency is the largest RED FLAG imaginable that the DWP needs to be overhauled root and branch as it is "clearly" not fit for purpose in it's present state and people need to be gotten rid of, DWP, updated and made to operate as it needs to. In so many areas, Britain is in desperate need of a serious overhaul and tune up of it's 19th century governmental infrastructure, updated, streamlined and made to function within the norms of a 21st Century World. In today's world, you have to be "ON" and "AHEAD" of the ball, extremely effective and productive, not in a situation where the inmates are obviously running the Asylum! The world is ZOOMING past and this stupidity exists!
This is a government where the inmates are running the asylum. Such a visibly stupid and ridiculous question arising from a government agency is the largest RED FLAG imaginable that the DWP needs to be overhauled root and branch as it is "clearly" not fit for purpose in it's present state and people need to be gotten rid of, DWP, updated and made to operate as it needs to. In so many areas, Britain is in desperate need of a serious overhaul and tune up of it's 19th century governmental infrastructure, updated, streamlined and made to function within the norms of a 21st Century World. In today's world, you have to be "ON" and "AHEAD" of the ball, extremely effective and productive, not in a situation where the inmates are obviously running the Asylum! The world is ZOOMING past and this stupidity exists! imasumak
  • Score: 3

9:48am Wed 13 Aug 14

LiberalsOut says...

Niki R wrote:
Tory candidate complains about measures instigated by the current Tory-led Government...
If only it was Tory led - I see Nick Clegg having a strop all the time stopping the real work being done, proving coalition does not work
Socialism is OK if you can afford to be one
[quote][p][bold]Niki R[/bold] wrote: Tory candidate complains about measures instigated by the current Tory-led Government...[/p][/quote]If only it was Tory led - I see Nick Clegg having a strop all the time stopping the real work being done, proving coalition does not work Socialism is OK if you can afford to be one LiberalsOut
  • Score: -26

10:23am Wed 13 Aug 14

adrianshort says...

LiberalsOut wrote:
Niki R wrote:
Tory candidate complains about measures instigated by the current Tory-led Government...
If only it was Tory led - I see Nick Clegg having a strop all the time stopping the real work being done, proving coalition does not work
Socialism is OK if you can afford to be one
Are you using the traditional definition of socialism - "public money being spent on other people" - or did you have something else in mind?
[quote][p][bold]LiberalsOut[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Niki R[/bold] wrote: Tory candidate complains about measures instigated by the current Tory-led Government...[/p][/quote]If only it was Tory led - I see Nick Clegg having a strop all the time stopping the real work being done, proving coalition does not work Socialism is OK if you can afford to be one[/p][/quote]Are you using the traditional definition of socialism - "public money being spent on other people" - or did you have something else in mind? adrianshort
  • Score: -3

10:54am Sat 16 Aug 14

Tony L Martin says...

The same government website carries adds for Muslim Slaughter men.
https://jobsearch.di
rect.gov.uk/GetJob.a
spx?JobID=9120183&Jo
bTitle=Muslim+Slaugh
ter+Men&pp=25&pg=1&q
=muslim&cy=UK&sort=r
v.dt.di&re=134&AVSDM
=2014-07-25+12%3a21%
3a00
The same government website carries adds for Muslim Slaughter men. https://jobsearch.di rect.gov.uk/GetJob.a spx?JobID=9120183&Jo bTitle=Muslim+Slaugh ter+Men&pp=25&pg=1&q =muslim&cy=UK&sort=r v.dt.di&re=134&AVSDM =2014-07-25+12%3a21% 3a00 Tony L Martin
  • Score: 1

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