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Atos pull out of contract with the DWP to deliver the work capability assessment due to reputational and profitability issues.

What: The company announces it is quitting its five-year £400m contract early, paying to escape prematurely with a “substantial financial settlement” to the Department for Work and Pensions. According to journalist Amelia Gentleman, the company had been advised by a PR firm that it had extremely high brand recognition for all the wrong reasons. The company’s senior vice-president told a select committee hearing that Atos would probably not have bid for the contract had it known then what it now knew. She had told the hearing: “I have shareholders and stakeholders who would not let me bid for a contract that would give rise to both the reputational and profitability issues we are facing now.”

Why significant: Shows the impact of years of campaigning against the WCA and its outsourcing contractors by disabled activists.


'After hated Atos quits, will Maximus make work assessments less arduous?', Gentleman, 2015