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2023 Police & Justice Service Group Conference
6 June 2023

Conference notes that even in 2023 disabled workers in police and justice still aren’t getting the adjustments they need to allow them to do their job to the best of their ability and without exacerbating their impairments.

UNISON surveys have consistently found that the majority of disabled workers across public services, including in the police and justice service group, don’t have the reasonable adjustments they need. In many cases they simply never hear back from their employer.

There are some great examples of police and justice employers with good reasonable adjustment polices and in recent years more of our employers are agreeing reasonable adjustment “passports” as a good way to ensure adjustments don’t have to be constantly re-negotiated when managers or jobs change.

However, many police and justice staff still find they are simply ignored when they ask for reasonable adjustments and even where there is a policy in place there are often no deadlines for responding to requests. We also have evidence of some staff in police and justice waiting a year or more for agreed reasonable adjustments to be put in place.

UNISON has been fighting for a two week deadline for employer responses to reasonable adjustment requests, in the same way as there is a deadline for responses for flexible work requests. However we certainly can’t rely on the Conservative government to make this change. We need to do the negotiating work, employer by employer, to improve access to reasonable adjustments for disabled workers in police and justice from the ground up.

Conference notes that UNISON’s bargaining guides include a two week deadline for responses to reasonable adjustment requests and an agreed timetable for delivery of agreed adjustments.

Conference therefore calls on the police and justice service group executive to:

1)Circulate UNISON’s Reasonable Adjustments Bargaining Guide and encourage branches with police and justice members to agree policies and passports based on the UNISON models with their employer;

2)Where employers already have a policy and passport system, encourage branches in police and justice to:

a)Audit existing policies to check if they are in line with UNISON’s guidelines and whether there is a deadline for responses to requests, and a timetable for implementation of adjustments

b)If there is no deadline or no timeline included in existing policies, encourage branches to seek negotiated improvements with the employer