Apology after HIV positive jobseeker 'humiliated' at Maidstone Job Centre Plus
by Anna White
Job centre bosses have apologised to an HIV positive jobseeker
after he claimed he was "humiliated" by staff.
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.
But, after a meeting with staff on Friday, job centre bosses
have said they are sorry for the incident.
They also discussed improvements to training in light of the
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
It comes after we reported on Friday how Mr Carberry, from
Staplehurst and pictured right, said he was asked to
reveal his medical background on a visit to the Staceys Street
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 and came
face-to-face with the first employee he had spoken to.
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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