Rosa Monckton Says Learning Disabled Workers Should Be Allowed To Work Below The Minimum Wage
Rosa Monckton, mother of Domenica, who has Downs Syndrome, has said people with learning disabilities should be allowed to work for less than the minimum wage so that they can be allowed the ‘human dignity’ of work.
In 2011, MP Philip Davies made similar comments. At the time, I called the views ‘outdated.’ That is still my opinion.
At the time, I was shocked. I am even more shocked today, to hear this view coming from the parent of someone with a learning disability.
My view on this from 2011 is still my view today. Disabled people, no matter what their disability, are not second class citizens. We are not cheap labour. We are human beings, too. Those of us lucky enough to live in countries whose laws say that human beings should be paid a minimum wage, fully deserve to be paid a minimum wage, no matter what kind of work we choose or are able to do.
Paying anyone who did not have a disability less than the minimum wage would be considered exploitation. It is, quite rightly, illegal for businesses to pay anyone without a disability less than the minimum wage.
Rosa Monckton says that people with learning disabilities often have no understanding of money and that they simply want to work to live full and purposeful lives.
My opinion has always been that people with all disabilities are still human, too. To make it legal for people with learning disabilities to be paid less than other workers would be, in my opinion, to consider workers with learning disabilities less than human.
It is a very good thing that Rosa Monckton wants her daughter to experience a working life. However, I find it very worrying that Rosa Monckton, as Domenica’s own mother, thinks it would be acceptable for any future employers to exploit her daughter in any future workplace.
Where is the ‘human dignity’ in being treated as less than human?
If Rosa Monckton, as Domenica’s parent, really thinks this is acceptable, what hope will Domenica ever have of being treated as the human being she is by the rest of society?