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Disabled © iStock
Disabled workers 'need more support in the workplace' says trade union © iStock
07 November 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal 


More must be done to support disabled workers and ensure they are aware of the help they are entitled to in the workplace, Unison’s annual disabled members’ conference heard.


In the keynote address at the event in Brighton earlier this month, assistant general secretary Christina McAnea told delegates from across the UK that eliminating pay discrimination for workers with a disability was a key priority for the union.

Quoting figures from a new survey of the union’s disabled members, she said: “The preliminary findings make for pretty disappointing reading. One third said when they told their employers they were disabled they didn’t get any support.

“Half (50 per cent) said they faced barriers to doing their job that could be removed through simple adjustments. Two thirds (65 per cent) didn’t know they could ask for paid disability leave.

“There is still a huge task for unions to get information out to people, train branch reps in disability-rights issues and bargain to make it easier for workers with disabilities to do their jobs and advance their careers.

“Disability rights is a union issue, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure it’s high on everyone’s agenda.”

McAnea concluded: “There is already a 15 per cent pay gap between workers who have a disability and those that don’t. Fighting to end that pay gap is a top priority.”