To the Editor:
Thank you for your letter of 10 July... I will do my best to answer your questions.
Set up 40 years ago, Remploy is a large company which generates most of its income and is supported by some government funding which I think is related to the income generated. The company employs nearly 9,000 people in 94 units providing employment for handicapped and disabled people who are managed and supervised usually by fully fit people. Remploy is split into various Divisions, of which the relevant one in your case is the Bookbinding Division. The divisional Manager is Mr. John Clements, Remploy Ltd., London Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5 1RX, England.
Our association with Remploy is with the refurbishing project. We have been employing four people working progressively through the stack areas cleaning and refurbishing leather bindings. This team, although employed by Remploy, report to us for work each day and work in all respects as employees of MLS [the National Library of Scotland], working under supervision to strict guidelines set by us. The work is paid for monthly according to the number of hours worked (we do not pay for sickness and holidays), the rate for which is negotiated annually on a contract basis.
The British Library and Edinburgh University Library have similar schemes with Remploy.
Depending on their disability, refurbishing is ideal work for these people but it is important that strict guidelines are laid down by the contracting institution and efficient supervision provided. NLS has run its team for several years now with excellent results and few problems.John E. McIntyre