Economic Recession

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Conference
2009 National Disabled Members' Conference
Date
10 July 2009
Decision

Conference is concerned that in the current recession disabled staff will be at a higher risk of job loss due to the need for organisations to reduce staffing levels.

In the current economic downturn more and more organisations are looking to make efficiencies and this has resulted in a number of job losses. Due to the issues faced by disabled members which occasionally result in absences conference is concerned about the negative impact for disabled members.

Conference is aware that there is legislation governing the treatment of disabled staff and it is there to remove discrimination, if organisations are looking to reduce the workforce, they will be tempted to target disabled staff first as the easy option.

Conference is concerned that attendance policies in work may be used in a negative way to target disabled members unfairly.

This is further aggravated where organisations do not record absence appropriately and disability related sickness is recorded alongside normal sickness absence, placing disabled members in an unfair position. Absence triggers are being hit much earlier and unfair policy is being implemented against our members. Conference is concerned that these policies will be used to target disabled staff for redundancies, or even worse resulting in termination of disabled staffs contracts.

Conference asks the National Disabled Members Committee to conduct a survey within branches to identify how the economic recession is impacting on disabled staff by:

1.Request data on staff who have declared a disability from branches

to see whether these staff are being targeted unfairly for redundancies and dismissal.

2.If it becomes clear there is a disproportionate amount of disabled staff being targeted for redundancy or dismissal request how branches are challenging this issue because of the above policies

3. Issue branches with guidance based on the DDA Code of Practice on

Employment and Occupation