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Allow MPs to job-share to give disabled people a stronger voice in parliament

24 May 2013 - 10:24am

Disabled people would be much more likely to stand for election if they were allowed to job-share - and their concerns could be voiced more strongly if this initiative went ahead, the CSP says.

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CSP delegate Mike Cassidy addresses the TUC disabled workers’ conference - photo © Rod Leon

'Allowing MPs to job-share is one way of opening up opportunities to disabled people who might find it difficult to manage a full-time workload', CSP delegate Mike Cassidy told the TUC disabled workers’ conference in London this week.

The CSP motion attracted unanimous support, with Unison pointing out that job-sharing was an important measure along with Access to Work and reasonable adjustments to enable disabled candidates to stand for parliament.

Mike Cassidy, co-convenor of the CSP Disabled Members’ Network, explained that a place for people from all sections of society in the House of Commons was a matter of justice – and it would make parliament more legitimate and more effective.

'For some disabled people, the current political agenda can literally be a matter of life and death, as the tragic suicide of Stephanie Bottrill over the bedroom tax last week showed, so the effort will be well worth if we can get our voices heard in critical policy debates affecting our future,' added Mr Cassidy.

CSP had a strong profile throughout the conference, with CSP director Lesley Mercer giving a keynote address in her role as TUC president. Ms Mercer highlighted the multiple impact on disabled people of the government’s agenda of cuts to services and benefits – issues CSP delegates Cliff Towson and Saraka Keating also highlighted in a number of debates.

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