Protestors have gathered outside the ATOS offices in Thornaby, Stockton.ATOS is the company contracted by the Department of Work and Pensions to determine people's eligibility for benefits.Protestors say the assessments are degrading and humiliating.
“We absolutely respect people’s right to peaceful protest and we are well aware that being assessed for benefit entitlement can be a difficult experience. However, lobbying against ATOS Healthcare will have no impact on welfare policy. It is not, nor has it ever been, the role of ATOS Healthcare to make decisions on who can or cannot receive benefits. We carry out assessments following strict guidelines and criteria written by Government. For the parts of the process we are responsible for, we work hard to treat people with care and respect and constantly improve our service.”
More top news
The man in charge of policing the protests has said that all forms of non-violent protest will now no longer be tolerated.
A look ahead at the forecast for the Tyne Tees region.
Boris the Red Toed Tortoise was taken yesterday afternoon (20 September) and the hunt is on to see Boris safely returned home.