Employers failing to offer reasonable adjustments

Some managers don’t understand reasonable adjustments, but others are using disability as an excuse to get rid of staff, say delegates

It was time for Halloween horror stories at UNISON’s disabled members’ conference this afternoon, as delegate after delegate revealed how employers are behaving badly and even illegally in denying reasonable adjustments to disabled workers and pushing them straight to incapacity procedures.

A speaker from St Helens and Knowsley heath branch emphasised how this happens, though Syma Hayack from Newcastle said that, in her experience, part of the problem was that many managers genuinely did not understand about reasonable adjustments.

Conference called on the executive to:

  • inform employers of how reasonable adjustments can help them get the best out of their staff;
  • develop good polices with employers;
  • conduct research into how capability procedures are used and whether job losses through capability are increasing year by year;
  • produce guidance for branches on how to monitor the use of these procedures, particularly with regard for reasonable adjustments; and
  • produce guidance on best practice for supporting branches helping disabled workers to remain in the workplace.