Disabled Black Workers and the Disciplinary Process

Back to all Motions

2019 National Black Members' Conference
13 September 2018
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that Disabled Black workers are disproportionately targeted when it comes to disciplinary processes, which is often linked to racism and discrimination as well as a lack of understanding and support for the barriers faced by disabled people, including those with non-visible/non-apparent disabilities.

Black disabled people are also over-represented when it comes to capability proceedings, again due to discrimination and a lack of reasonable adjustments.

Many Black disabled members are isolated from their branch and do not know they are entitled to reasonable adjustments such as disability leave or changes to performance targets.

Conference notes UNISON’s comprehensive guide ‘Proving Disability – A Guide to Reasonable Adjustments’ which lists potential reasonable adjustments. The guide includes suggested adjustments for workers who have disabilities that are disproportionately present in the Black community, including Lupus, sickle cell and Thalassaemia. Conference also notes UNISON’s factsheet on Disability Leave. However not all of our stewards or Black disabled members are aware of these resources.

Conference therefore instructs the National Black Members Committee to work with the National Disabled members Committee, to:

1)Publicise and promote UNISON’s guidance on reasonable adjustments and on disability leave, ensuring the barriers and adjustments related to impairments that affect Black disabled people in particular are highlighted;

2)Consider ways of further supporting Black disabled members in the workplace

3)Seek support from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Labour MPs in campaigning for the implementation of statutory leave and timescales for employers to put reasonable adjustments in place and in particular, to raise awareness of disabilities which are prevalent or unique to Black Workers, to ensure that Black Workers are not unfairly treated in the provision of reasonable adjustments. It is necessary to do this now, rather than wait for a Labour Government to be in power, as we do not know when that will be; in the meantime, it is important to address the on-going unfairness to disabled Black Members in the workplace.