Back to all Motions

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

The disability discrimination act 1995 introduced a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people. The Equality Act 2010 outlines 3 areas where employers and service providers must make reasonable adjustments. These are:

– Adjustments to a provision, criterion or practice

– Adjustments involving the provision of auxiliary aids and services

– Adjustments to physical features

We all know that these duties are established in law yet employers are still refusing to recognise and make reasonable adjustments when they monitor and record disability related sickness absence.

Redundancies and cuts in employment are higher in the public and private sector than in the last 20 years. Disabled working people are under pressure from the fear of losing their jobs even though they may be loyal and capable employees. But as employers are looking at redundancies and cutting jobs sickness absence is being used by some as evidence or justification when selecting an employee for redundancy.

Employers should record disability related and non-disability related sickness absence separately but many still don’t do this. While sickness absence can lawfully be used in a selection process for redundancy disability related sickness absence should not be considered.

Conference we see this as discrimination against disabled workers. Disability related sickness is very different to non disability related sickness and should be recorded and dealt with differently.

We are all in fear of losing our jobs, disabled people are in fear of changes in the NHS, health personal care, access to work and if being able to keep “their jobs”

Approximately 20% of the population have a disability. 12% of the working age population have a disability. If sickness absence is used to choose candidates for redundancy we will soon see that the number of disabled people in the work force will drop dramatically.

This Conference calls on the National Disabled Members Committee to:

1. Collect examples from branches and regions of disability related sickness absence being used as criteria in selection process for redundancy.

a)request the Equality and Human Rights Commission issues guidance on disability related sickness absence: and

b) campaign with branches and regions for disability related sickness absence to be recorded and monitored separately.