19 February 2009
The term disability covers a wide range of ability impairments that can affect how people carry out their jobs. Whether people become disabled as a result of an accident at work or anywhere else, or are born with a disability, the union will try to ensure that they receive fair treatment at work.
The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requires employers to make "reasonable adjustments" to the work environment to facilitate disabled workers. Sometimes however employers fail to comply with the law, even though the cost of adjustment can be very small, and up to 80% of the cost could be met by the governments' Access to Work scheme.
A person is deemed disabled under the DDA if they have a condition that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities. (Long term means 12 months or more, or a condition that is likely to recur.) The Act also includes people with severe disfigurement and those with a clinically well recognised mental illness.