Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Disability leave policies needed to end discrimination

#uNDC14 Conference backed action to end the use of potentially discriminatory attendance management policies and called on branches to negotiate disability leave using UNISON's model policy.

There are serious concerns that employers are using attendance management to get rid of disabled workers as a cost cutting exercise, often in contravention of the 2010 Equality Act.

Dundee's Mags Maguire told delegates that her branch has been challenging their employer to adopt a policy which is compliant with Equality law, so far without success.

"The policy is flawed, triggers are unreasonable for most, so it is far stricter for those with a disability," said Mags, adding that the policy allows for no discretion until the final stages, at the point of considering dismissal.

"Our branch believes that management use the existing policy to dismiss our members using "capability" reasons.

“Not only does this allow management to drag their heels when clearly ill-health retirement should be considered, it also allows them to dismiss staff on the cheap which results in them meeting their cuts agenda."

She pledged that her branch will continue to challenge the policy and put further pressure on the employer "for as long as necessary" until they adopt a disability leave policy that is fair.

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