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2011 National Disabled Members' Conference
13 July 2011
Carried as Amended

When the recession started to bite in 2008 the numbers of disabled people being made redundant was not proportionally higher than their non disabled counterparts. One possible reason for this was that a higher proportion of disabled people were employed in the public sector which was more disability friendly than the private sector. Currently twice as many women as men work in the public sector and more than 40 % of all female workers are employed by the state. Indeed 4:10 women work in public sector occupations and of the ½ million public sector job cuts more than 300,000 are likely to be women. Given that of those people in work 80% are in the public service sector it is therefore evident that there will be a disproportionate impact on disabled women.

Thousands of public sector jobs have already gone with more to follow in the years to come. These cuts pose a credible threat to disabled people’s jobs.

UNISON branches will play a vital role in ensuring that public sector employers make the reasonable adjustments they are required to consider in order to minimise the impact of redundancies on disabled workers so that they do not experience less favourable treatment from the employers’ policies.

This Conference therefore calls upon the National Disabled Members Committee to:

1.Review and update the Negotiating To End Disability Discrimination document to ensure it reflects the new Equalities legislation.

2.Re-issue the new revised document to branches, encouraging them to ensure that when dealing with redundancies they are aware that the redundancy agreements should not discriminate against disabled people and that reasonable adjustments should be put in place in order to keep disabled people in employment especially disabled women who are among the most vulnerable to job loss’