Community employers, Accessibility Passports and Access to Work

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2020 Community Conference and Seminar
7 November 2019

Conference notes that although disabled workers are legally entitled to reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010, some community employers continue to delay or seek to avoid implementing reasonable adjustments. In particular, adjustments agreed with one manager may disappear when staff move teams or change managers.

Many members in community are also unaware that Access to Work funding may be available for the adjustments they need. Access to Work is often called �the government�s best kept secret� and there are low levels of awareness from both staff and employers.

Some employers have implemented workplace adjustment passports. This is an agreement between the staff member and their manager which outlines the barriers faced and the adjustments the employer has agreed to put in place, including but not necessarily limited to the legal requirement for �reasonable� adjustments. This passport approach allows the adjustments to follow the worker when they move teams or line management changes, and minimises the need to renegotiate adjustments.

There are examples of workplace adjustments passports in the Community service group, such as the Barnardo�s Accessibility Passport.

However many members in the community service group do not have access to accessibility passports and are also unaware of how Access to Work might help them to overcome the barriers they face through inaccessible workplaces.

Conference notes that UNISON has recently produced a Reasonable Adjustment Bargaining Guide with a model policy and a template Accessibility passport. This can be used to negotiate with community employers and to agree a policy and a passport system.

Conference further notes that UNISON has also published a Quick Guide to Access to Work which can be shared with members.

Conference therefore calls on the service group executive to:

1)Encourage branches with community members to negotiate for workplace adjustment agreements and passports with community employers

2)Publicise UNISON�s new Reasonable Adjustments Bargaining Guide and Accessibility Passport to branches and regions

3)Publicise UNISON�s Quick Guide to Access to Work to branches, regions and members.