Back to all Motions

2007 National Disabled Members' Conference
5 July 2007
Carried as Amended

This conference has previously welcomed the Disability Equality Duty placed on employers in December 2006.

In particular, the general duty includes some powerful statements on the need for public sector employers and employers with public functions to:

·promote equality of opportunity between disabled persons and other persons

·promote positive attitudes towards disabled people

·encourage participation by disabled persons in public life


Local Authorities also have a specific duty to explain how they will fulfil their duties in a Disability Equality Scheme which disabled people should have been involved in developing.

This conference is disappointed that this opportunity has not resulted in the expected improvements for our disabled members, and surveys and anecdotal evidence suggests that not all employers ar complying with the duty to implement a Disability Equality Scheme, and where there are schemes, they are often no more than a ‘tick box’ exercise.

Conference believes that UNISON should take the initiative to use the Disability Equality duty for our members benefit and to actually recruit disabled members into our union. We also believe that disabled members in our union can and should be active at all levels and in all areas, and not just as part of self organised structures.

Conference therefore calls on the National Disabled Members Committee to

1.Work with UNISON’s communications department to produce recruiting materials including advice for disabled people on their rights under the Disability Discrimination Act and Disability Equality Duty to be used with application forms. These materials can also be published in the Equalities Zone of the National Web site.

2.Work with regions and branches to encourage disabled members to become active in those structures, including branch officer posts and as delegates to regional councils and committees. Regions and branches should specifically target part-time disabled women workers, as they are under-represented as activists in the union.

3.Continue its good work to promote best practice policies to branches such as Disability Leave Scheme, and guidance on the Disability Equality Duty.

4.Work with regions to identify those branches which have had particular success in working with employers in positive ways to promote disability equality, and to enable this information to be shared nationally.