Issue date
25 Feb 2019
• Nearly 95,000 people with disabilities across the South West have changed their jobs or fallen out of work last year, according to new TUC analysis

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) along with the GMB trade union are today (Monday) launching a new disability passport that will help 94,640 people with disabilities in the South West who fall out of work or switch employers each year.

People with disabilities can leave their jobs for many reasons. One preventable reason is when employers fail to carry out their legal duty to make – and keep in place – the reasonable adjustments their disabled staff need to do their jobs.

With one in 10 disabled people dropping out of work, and one in seven finding new employment every year, the TUC South West and GMB believe it is vital to find a more successful and unified way of agreeing and recording what modifications need to be put in place.

Together, the TUC and the GMB have produced a model Reasonable Adjustments Employer Agreement for workplace representatives to agree with the employer, as well as a template Reasonable Adjustments Passport for individual workers that records what adjustments have been put into place to eliminate barriers in the workplace. 

One in ten workers with a disability fall out of work every year, according to Improving Lives report

Examples of the type of adjustments that could be recorded in the passport include:

  • providing specially adapted equipment (like a chair, desk or computer)
  • temporarily changing the duties of the job,
  • changing break times or working patterns, or
  • allowing flexible working or time off for medical appointments.

Once the adjustments are agreed, the passport is signed by all involved.

The document can be reviewed at regular intervals and means disabled people don’t have to explain their requirements every time their line manager changes, or the person with disabilities changes roles within the organisation. 

Regional Secretary of the TUC in the South West, Nigel Costley said:

“People with disabilities face many barriers when it comes to finding good, rewarding jobs. Employers must do more to ensure they provide the reasonable adjustments legally required to support their workers.”

“Disabled workers live with the constant threat of losing their reasonable adjustments every time their boss or job changes.”

“This Passport is an ideal place to officially and clearly record what adjustments have been agreed. It means workers aren’t going back to the starting line every time there is a change in the workplace.”

Editors note

- Number of disabled people changing employers or dropping out of work last year

 

Disabled employees who have been with current employer less than a year

Disabled people not in work who left their last job within the last year

Total disabled people changing jobs or leaving work in last year

South West

58,710

35,930

94,640

West of England

11742

7186

18928

Bristol

5284

3234

8518

Cornwall

5871

3593

9464

Devon

14090

8623

22714

Plymouth

2759

1689

4448

Bournemouth & Poole

5460

3341

8802

Dorset

8807

5390

14196

Gloucester

10568

6467

17035

Wiltshire

8219

5030

13250

Somerset

11155

6827

17982

Figures: 4-quarter average for the latest quarters (Q4 2017-Q3 2018) from the ONS Labour Force Survey, with TUC analysis for further regional breakdown.

- There are 3.9 million disabled people in work.
- When a workplace feature or practice puts a worker or job applicant with a disability at a disadvantage, the employer has a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to see what reasonable adjustments can be made. An employer who fails to meet their legal duty under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments is in breach of the law and could be taken to an Employment Tribunal. For more information visit www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=607

- Government research, in the report ‘Improving Lives: The Future of Work, health and Disability’, shows disabled people are twice as likely to fall out of work. You can read the report here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/663399/improving-lives-the-future-of-work-health-and-disability.PDF

- To see the full report click here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UmlouEHdrhtTk_3DntlV07wh32p6Uh_U/view

- To see a model workplace policy click here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UjSinN8gaq3U09Xv9toG77TKh_cHL2il/view

- To see a model passport click here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mvrh1Uv3Zi1kVWlXvcrQAIsPQIvsnUb7/view