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2016 National Disabled Members' Conference
5 July 2016

Conference notes that many employers have introduced Capability Procedures which are designed to make it easier to terminate contracts on the grounds of either ill-health or performance. We believe these procedures are disproportionately targeted against disabled workers.

Conference notes, with concern, that reasonable adjustments are never exhausted and in some cases are not considered at all.

Conference is concerned that these procedures are or will be used to remove disabled workers from employment instead of making them redundant through cuts and therefore incurring the costs of redundancy. At a time of cuts in public service budgets, such misuse of these procedures without due consideration of reasonable adjustments must be guarded against and resisted.

We need to ensure that before any disabled member is dismissed on the grounds of capability that all appropriate considerations are given to the needs of the worker. These would include reasonable adjustments in the workplace; providing supports that can help a worker return to work, such as physiotherapy and counselling; additional training or re-training, to help a worker re-adjust after ill health or due to disability, or to address performance concerns.

Conference calls on the National Disabled Members Committee to work with Service Group Executives to : –

1. conducts research into the use of capability procedures to try and identify if the numbers of terminations through capability are increasing year on year;

2. produce guidance for branches on how to monitor the use of these procedures, with special regard to reasonable adjustments, and how to ensure that they are not abused;

3. produce guidance on best practice on supporting branches, and disabled workers, to remain in the workforce with or when performance issues arise.