Making Community workplaces safe and accessible

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2019 Community Conference and Seminar
9 November 2018

Conference notes that the legal framework that is supposed to ensure reasonable access for disabled workers comprises the Equality Act 2010 and building regulations. The Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1993 also give workers the right to a safe and healthy workplace.

However despite this legal underpinning, conference is aware that some disabled workers in Community workplaces continue to be denied reasonable adjustments and work in inaccessible and unsafe buildings.

Some employers refuse to make adjustments to neighbourhood offices or “hubs”. In addition, Community members often work in service users homes and these can be inaccessible and unsafe for disabled members in particular. Domestic premises are not always covered by the 1993 Health and Safety regulations, however the Equality Act can be used to push these employers to make reasonable adjustments to remove any barriers employees face in their job and duties.

Conference notes UNISON’s updated ‘Proving Disability and Reasonable Adjustments’ guide which can be used by branches which organise in the community sector to negotiate reasonable adjustments for their disabled members. Conference further notes UNISON’s suite of health and safety guides which are a vital tool in making our Community workplaces safer for all our members.

Conference calls upon the Service Group Executive to work with the National Disabled Members Committee to:

1) Circulate the ‘Proving Disability and Reasonable Adjustments’ guide to branches and encourage them to negotiate for reasonable adjustments to workplaces.

2) Circulate UNISON’s ‘Health and Safety Six Pack’ guide to branches.

3) Consider producing a briefing on how branches can use these resources to negotiate safe and accessible workplaces, including where the workplace is in the community or is a service users home.