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Loophole allows Home Office to reject blind solicitor

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A legal loophole enabled the Home Office to refuse a blind solicitor a “guaranteed interview” for the post of asylum adjudicator according to the Disability Rights Commission (DRC).

South London solicitor, Andrew Kamoza, applied for the post of asylum adjudicator with the Home Office and expected a guaranteed interview under the Disability Discrimination Act. The Home Office did not offer Mr Kamoza an interview and at a subsequent employment tribunal it was decided that the post was exempt from the act.

The Disability Rights Commission has written to Jack Straw the Home Secretary, claiming that it was wrong to reject Mr Kamoza. Bert Massie, chairman of the DRC, said, “This loophole needs to be closed so that disabled people can participate fully in society. The Home Office must stop hiding behind the law and make a commitment to equalising employment opportunities.”

Mr Kamoza said: “I still don’t understand why a quasi-judicial position is exempt from the act. There are blind magistrates and judges in this country. All the Home Office advertising positively encouraged disabled people to apply.”

A Home Office official is reported to have said that the Home Secretary will await a formal approach from the DRC before considering the matter, and added that the Home Office was completely committed to being an equal opportunities employer.

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