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2016 National Disabled Members' Conference
5 July 2016

Conference recognises that many disabled women are not aware if a disability leave policy exists in their workplace or how to make use of it if one should exists.

Currently sick leave due to disability being inappropriately classified as sickness absence can lead to disabled women facing disciplinary or capability action. Although disabled women may be entitled to disability leave, it can still trigger the employer to use the sickness absence policy against them or discriminate against them.

‘Presenteeism’ is a management issue that needs to be resolved. We have seen a shift in our workplace cultures due to harsh absence policies. An already vulnerable group, disabled women lack support and understanding and are often now working when they are not fit to do so through fear of disciplinary action and ultimately the threat of dismissal.

Conference, this is frightening that such draconian cultures are finding the way into the workplace. This needs to be addressed.

Conference also recognises that occupational health services vary, with some being supportive to disabled women whilst others favour the employer.

Conference calls upon the National Disabled Members Committee to:

1. work with service groups and sector committees to promote consistency across employers plus encourage the adoption of disability leave policies

2. investigate the benefits of employers adopting a more person-centred approach to sickness absence

3. work with regional Disabled Members Self Organised Groups or branch Disabled Members Self Organised Groups to share examples of policies which are person-centred.

National Disabled Women’s Caucus