Back to all Motions

2010 National Disabled Members' Conference
8 June 2010
Carried as Amended

Public Service employers are generally considered to be progressive in giving their employees effective support at work and good terms and conditions of employment.

However, some public employers track record in meeting the requirements of their disabled employees, especially those with learning disabilities employed in the manual areas, is much less developed, particularly when it comes to implementing “reasonable adjustments” under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). The employers track record usually fails because no concurrent specific training is given to the relevant line managers and team leaders. This is compounded by the lack of accompanying workplace awareness promotion and briefing of the concerned workers non-disabled team colleagues. In many cases some public sector managers appear to think that a general one-day Diversity Awareness Course is all that is needed. While it is useful and necessary, it is in no way a substitute for designated specific training on non-apparent disabilities.

The main failure is in meeting the requirements of disabled employees with learning disabilities is not due to not bringing in reasonable adjustments, but due to the failure of not introducing specific training for managers and other staff members to ensure that they are given the insight, knowledge and understanding of their disabled colleagues.

This failure needs to be addressed urgently.

We call on the National Disabled Members’ Committee (NDMC) to liaise with the appropriate bodies to campaign to:

1.promote specific training for all relevant staff;

2.inform employers of the Access to Work Scheme and use this for any necessary additional investment;

3.develop with management models of good/best practice in agreements;

4.produce a more effective set of Equality and Diversity Policies and Procedures on this aspect of disability at work.

We also instruct the National Disabled Members’ Committee to undertake a study of members with learning disabilities and submit a progress report to Conference 2011 and a full report to be available for Conference 2012.