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2004 National Disabled Members' Conference
23 July 2004
Carried as Amended

Conference remains concerned that public sector employers do not have substantial and positive strategies for employing people with learning and physically disabilities. There are currently over a million disabled people in the UK who want work but cannot access employment.

We are particularly concerned that existing arrangements within the disability benefit and tax credit systems act as a disincentive to disabled women wishing to take up paid employment including increasing work hours from part-time to full time contracts.

We are further concerned that initiatives to increase disabled women’s employment prospects are not supported by other social policy initiatives. These include: affordable safe transport with concessionary fares to travel to and from work, and affordable, accessible childcare particularly to support disabled women who are lone parents or those who wish to work night time or weekend hours. Conference is aware of inadequate measures to support disabled women within the workplace. In particular that reasonable adjustments may not be provided for members to take paid time off work to respond to needs in relation to disabled women’s reproductive health needs during menopause and the treatment that may be available such as accessible counselling, physio and psycho therapies and treatment.

Conference calls on the National Disabled Members’ Committee to liaise with the National Executive Council and National Black Members’ Committee to commence and support a national campaign to promote employability for those with a disability.

This campaign should aim to:

1)create an awareness of the opportunities for disabled people to gain work in the public sector;

2)identify structural barriers to employability especially in relation to the experiences of long term unemployed disabled black people;

3)recognise and utilise best practice in this area such as the current work being undertaken to promote employability by the North South Health Services Project under the auspices of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

4)lobby government to review disincentives within the disability benefit and tax credit systems, public transport provision and child care provision to support disabled people’s employment opportunities.

Conference also calls on the National Disabled Members’ Committee and National Executive Council to work in partnership with branches and regions to ensure that they be kept fully briefed on these issues and be encouraged to play an active role in lobbying activities with government and the public sector.