Following through on reasonable adjustments

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2015 National Disabled Members' Conference
1 January 2015

Composite A

Following through on reasonable adjustments

(Motions 2 and 3, Amendments 2.1, 2.2 and 3.1)

This Conference welcomes the continued support at Young Members’ Weekend for a meeting of disabled young members, a process by which those members can feed their issues into the National Young Members’ Forum work plan.

This Conference notes that at the most recent Young Members’ Weekend, young disabled members raised the issue that occupational health services have identified reasonable adjustments, but employers/managers fail to follow through on implementation.

This Conference is also concerned that some managers do not understand or acknowledge their roles and responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments.

This could be because they have had no disability awareness training. As a result disabled staff face both direct and indirect discrimination when trying to get the adjustments they are entitled to.

Very often disabled members do not know their rights under the Equality Act 2010 and turn to their union representatives or Branch Officers for assistance. Not all reps/officers are aware of how to support disabled members in these circumstances.

This Conference agrees with young disabled members that they are particularly vulnerable to this issue as they may – through lack of experience and/or acquired assertiveness skills – be unfamiliar with how to challenge employers and managers effectively on this issue.

This Conference calls on the National Disabled Members Committee to:

1.Carry out a survey of all Branches to determine the extent to which disabled members have faced difficulties securing reasonable adjustments in the workplace

2.Seek to work with the Communications Department to raise awareness of the issue by, for example, an article in InFocus explaining this issue and what activists can do to support workers in this situation and publish the same guidance on all Unison channels of communications to the full membership

3.Develop guidance for stewards and Branch officers on how to negotiate and secure reasonable adjustments in the workplace in order to support disabled members

4.Seek to work with the Communications Department to produce a simple accessible document available to members on the procedure for reasonable adjustments and what action can be taken to chase-up implementation

5.Acknowledge that this affects other minority groups such as Black Disabled Members

6.Proactively encourage branches to organise disability awareness training for their reps/officers

2 National Young Members’ Forum

2.1 Eastern Region

2.2 Black Members Caucus

3 Birmingham UNISON Branch

3.1 Eastern Region