Disgust as HIV positive jobseeker 'humiliated' at Maidstone Job Centre Plus
by Anna White
A Kent MP has called for government action after an HIV
positive jobseeker claims he was "humiliated" by job centre
Jayce Carberry, 22, said he was made to feel "ashamed" when he
was told he had to declare his medical history at the Maidstone
branch of Job Centre Plus.
Now Helen Grant, the equalities minister who
represents Maidstone and the Weald, has lodged a formal
complaint and written to work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan
Mr Carberry, from Staplehurst and pictured right, said
he was asked to reveal his medical background on a visit to
the Staceys Street office.
The jobseeker left in a rage, but returned to complete his
application only to be told he needed to see the branch disability
advisor - despite saying he resented HIV being classed as a
Reluctantly, he arrived for his appointment last Friday and came
face-to-face with the first employee he had spoken to.
"I've never been made to feel so ashamed of myself. I felt like he thought I had the plague..." – Jayce Carberry
Mr Carberry, a trained hairdresser, claimed the pair argued
over if the virus should be mentioned on the form and when he
refused, the employee said the company's legal team would need to
He said: "I was disgusted and so angry. I've never been made to
feel so ashamed of myself. I felt like he thought I had the
"It just goes to show how uneducated people are about HIV and
that there is still a stigma surrounding it."
The Job Centre Plus
building in Staceys Street, Maidstone
Mrs Grant said: "I was shocked and appalled to hear about
my constituent's experience and I take such matters extremely
"Jayce should have been treated with dignity, respect and human
kindness, and I have demanded a full investigation takes place into
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "It's
important that Jobcentre Plus advisers find out if there is any
work a claimant can't do due to a health condition, to make sure
they get the right help to find a job. However, claimants are not
required to disclose what their health condition is.
"All Jobcentre Plus staff receive training in equality and
diversity to ensure all claimants are treated with respect. We are
looking into the details of this case."
The spokesman said an investigation is under way.
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