Reasonable adjustments and young workers

Back to all Motions

2023 National Disabled Members' Conference
7 July 2023

Conference notes the important work done by the National Disabled Members Committee in developing and promoting the 2019 ‘Let’s be reasonable’ report which showed the difficulties faced by many disabled workers in securing reasonable adjustments in the workplace.

Conference also welcomes the wide range of bargaining guidance, information and resources available to UNISON representatives wanting to negotiate stronger policies on reasonable adjustments in their workplaces. Great strides have been made in implementing initiatives such as ‘reasonable adjustment passports’, meaning that reasonable adjustments are assessed and identified once and travel with the worker, rather than a new assessment being made every time a worker changes job or workplace.

However, many workers still experience unacceptable delays and difficulties in accessing necessary adjustments, and young workers may have even more difficulty in accessing reasonable adjustments due to various factors:

• a lack of information about their rights under the Equality Act 2010 to request reasonable adjustments;

• a lack of information as to what adjustments may be available and schemes such as Access to Work;

• a lack of confidence in requesting adjustments;

• precarious or short-term job contracts where employers may not be responsive to requests.

Conference believes UNISON representatives play a key role in supporting workers in accessing the reasonable adjustments to which they are entitled, and UNISON branches are able to make great improvements for disabled staff by negotiating robust policies on disability and reasonable adjustments.

Conference asks the National Disabled Members Committee to:

1)Continue to campaign for stronger rights to reasonable adjustments including time limits to respond to reasonable adjustments requests, time limits to implement these and the wider adoption of ‘reasonable adjustment passports’ by employers;

2. Continue to promote and publicise UNISON’s resources on reasonable adjustments, including the Know your Rights leaflet, the Let’s be Reasonable report and the Proving Disability and Reasonable Adjustment guide that includes examples of reasonable adjustments;

3. Work with the National Young Members Forum to publicise UNISON’s resources and information on securing reasonable adjustments to young disabled workers;

4. Consider producing guidance on the right to reasonable adjustments at interview and for new starters;

5. Work with Regions, branches and Service Groups to support and inform bargaining for a more supportive and proactive approach to disability and reasonable adjustments by employers;

6. Share best practice examples of workplace reasonable adjustments, such as reasonable adjustment passports and strong disability policies negotiated by UNISON branches.