The Disability Two Ticks Symbol

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

The disability two ticks symbol is a charter mark awarded through Job Centre Plus, Department for Works & Pensions (DWP) and is available to any organisation that can prove and attain five standards:

1)to interview all applicants with a disability who meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy and consider them on their abilities;

2)to ensure there is a mechanism in place to discuss at any time, but at least once a year, with disabled employees what can be done to make sure they can develop and use their abilities;

3)to make every effort when employees become disabled to make sure they stay in employment;

4)to take action to ensure that all employees develop the appropriate level of disability awareness needed to make these commitments work;

5)to review yearly the five commitments and what has been achieved, plan ways to improve on them and let employees and job centre know about progress and future plans.

The symbol is awarded to an organisation on attainment of this criteria, with the inspection and decision for the award being undertaken by a Disability Employment Advisor (DEA) in your area. The DEA schedules a visit to the organisation and will request proof that the organisation is working to and complying with the standards. This award has to be attained on a yearly basis.

The majority of local authorities, hospital trusts and large organisations automatically go for the award and display the logo on their paperwork. To many of these organisations attaining the award is a paper exercise and is attained at management level.

Our membership, their representatives and the union stewards that are employed in these organisations will verify that even though the policies and procedures are in place in order to attain the symbol, the practices are not. Many colleagues with disabilities would confirm that they do not get shortlisted when applying for positions; they do not get the same training or promotion opportunities, a large percentage of our members with disabilities are on the lower end of the salary scale; where an employee acquires a disability in their working life, instead of attempting to retain the employment as expected, ill health retirement is still the first course of action; colleagues still have to deal with a lack of understanding in the workplace on their disabilities or health issues. Therefore with all these issues an organisation should have difficulty in attaining the last commitment, but they still do gain and attain the symbol. Due to these factors many people with disabilities do not give any credence to the symbol or what it is intended to stand for.

Due to the size of the organisations involved, DEAs are under immense pressure to refuse to remove the two ticks symbol for non-compliance, as they are still likely to have to be involved with the relevant organisation from the employment perspective, and this can cause a conflict of interest. In order for the two ticks symbol to be strengthened, it requires a more stringent approach to its attainment and this would only be achieved through an external awarding body, therefore placing this symbol’s attainment at the same level as other quality standards.

Conference therefore requests that:

a)in order to attain the overall view nationally, the National Disabled Members’ Committee requests information from regions and branches on our members’ views and experience on the two ticks symbol that is awarded to organisations;

b)the information is collated and assessed and made available to our Affiliated Political Fund (APF) Labour Link members;

c)the APF members, through the Forum, bring these views to the fore in their committees;

d)the APF gain dialogue with DWP to advise them of members’ concerns, and to advise that the symbol award principle could be strengthened by the use of an external non-conflicting organisation.