Disability Matters – Our October 2021 Workplace Equality Campaign
This month we have been running Disability Matters – our campaign to stamp out disability discrimination in the workplace. This is because we have seen a steep rise in employees and workers experiencing this type of discrimination. This can range from unfair selection for redundancy because of their disability to a continued failure to make reasonable adjustments.
Our free telephone advice line has resulted in employees getting in touch with us so we can help them. Once such case involved a male worker with learning disabilities who had previously been unfairly disciplined and given a final written warning. He had not appealed this for fear of losing his job.
Another health and safety issue arose which resulted in a second set of disciplinary proceedings. We requested reasonable adjustments were made to this decision to discipline and possibly dismiss but instead he was called to a meeting, was not given the right to be accompanied, and was dismissed on notice for misconduct.
We are currently helping him raise a formal grievance about this discrimination, including his employer’s failure to make reasonable adjustments to the process. Appealing his dismissal would mean accepting reinstatement if his appeal was upheld. This would not be possible due to his trust and confidence in his employer having completely and irretrievably broken down.
Last week as part of our campaign we also ran a seminar for employers in the not for profit and charitable sectors on Managing Ill Health and Disability. This provides employers with the necessary Employment Law knowledge to deal with their employees fairly in cases where they are on sick leave and may have disabilities. We run this training regularly through Community Works which is an umbrella organisation for the not for profit sector.
Tomorrow I am going to be running a free seminar for Mind and other organisations whose clients have disabilities as defined under the Equality Act. This is so these employee representatives can support their clients as effectively as possible. This is going to be filmed and will be put on our website as a free resource for organisations who support people with disabilities all over the UK.
Disability Matters highlights the need to support workers and employees who have long term health issues so they can stay in work.
At the same time it is also important to educate employers on their duties to make reasonable adjustments and steps to avoid discriminating against disabled workers in order to ensure a level playing field.
For more info about our campaign Disability Matters – see here.