Make 2022 the Year of Disabled Workers

#STUC22 It’s time to act on the scandal of disabled workers being refused reasonable adjustments at work, Congress resolved.

Backing a motion from the STUC Disabled Workers’ Conference, Congress declared 2022 the Year of Disabled Workers and called on Government to introduce stronger enforcement and statutory timeframes for reasonable adjustment requests and a right to disability leave.

Jackie Anderson, supporting the motion, reminded Congress that 80% of disabilities are hidden. “In fact you are more likely to have employees with hidden disabilities than apparent ones,” said Jackie, “People who have these – things like autism, dyslexia, arthritis or fibromyalgia – often do not disclose them for fear of discrimination or do not like the term disabled for its negative connotations.”

“Reasonable adjustments are vital for retaining staff who have a disability but the fact that these are available is also a supporting mechanism for disabled employees.”

Stressing the importance of the social model of disability, Jackie said that for UNISON the purpose was “to increase our members’ confidence to self-define as disabled and to increase the number of disabled trade union activists.”