Genetic Testing in the Workplace

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National Disabled Members 2003
30 October 2003

Conference is appalled by the response to the recent research conducted by Genewatch UK into employers’ views about the use of genetic testing in the workplace. This research findings showed that despite their poor predictive value, many employers wish to use genetic test results and many research projects are seeking to identify people who are genetically susceptible to workplace hazards.

Conference agrees that genetic testing in the workplace may become another tool that employers can use against disabled workers. We are particularly concerned that the Disability Discrimination Act would not provide adequate protection from discrimination because people with adverse genetic test results, but no symptoms, are not currently afforded protection because of the definition of a disabled person within the Act.

Conference instructs the National Disabled Members’ Committee to work with all appropriate UNISON structures to campaign for legislative change to protect disabled workers from discrimination at work as a result of genetic testing in the workplace.