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2011 National Disabled Members' Conference
22 June 2011

Conference agrees that the flexible working arrangements which have been adopted by employers are of immense value to many disabled workers as well as workers with care commitments for a disabled member of their own household.

The fact that employers in the public sector have signed agreements with unions to implement various family and disabled friendly flexible working arrangements, there is no guarantee that they will continue to honour them if the law is changed.

It therefore comes as no surprise to learn that the Institute of Directors (IOD) published a report on 7 February 2011 that urges the Government to abolish, or at least seriously weaken, the right of any employee to secure agreements with their employer that allows them to perform their work under flexible working arrangements.

Disabled workers, and in some cases carers, may no longer have the legal right to get their employer to allow their working hours to be arranged to suit access and/or care arrangements.

Conference therefore agrees that the IOD is an ultra-conservative organisation that has a long history of reactionary attitudes to workers and their trade unions.

Conference instructs the National Disabled Members’ Committee (NDMC) to prepare a strategy that will oppose any moves by either the Government, employers organisation and/or any other unrepresentative body such as the Taxpayers Alliance if attempts are made to weaken flexible working arrangements.

The strategy to include:

A survey of branches to be carried out by the Regional Disability SOGs to gauge the propensity of public sector and utility employers to propose to end, or weaken flexible working arrangements.

To ensure that the NDMC bring our concerns to the attention of the NEC and seek their support on this issue.

To elicit the views and support of other disability interest groups that share UNISON’s principles and aims.