This documents provides essential information for CSP stewards and health and safety reps when guiding members through the reasonable adjustments process.
Members with a wide range of physical and mental disabilities have the right to request adjustments to be made at work to enable them to carry out the duties of their role.
This guidance has been developed to help you through the reasonable adjustments process as a steward or rep supporting a member. It covers:
- key considerations when conducting casework
- negotiating policies and procedures and other staff-side work
Reasonable adjustments are relevant to the whole CSP workplace team. CSP members may want to discuss their workplace needs with their steward, health and safety rep or equality rep, depending on their personal situation.
Have you taken stock of the arrangements for the case?
- For example, when and where do you meet the member, where and how do you store their information?
- Do you have a clear understanding of which members of the CSP workplace team should be involved in the case?
- It is not recommend to conduct sensitive casework over email. You should hold an initial meeting with the member to understand the key issues which the member wants to have resolved.
Have you considered reasonable adjustments for member(s)?
- Are you aware of trade unions’ duty under the Equality Act and equivalent legislation in Norther Ireland to make reasonable adjustments for disabled members?
- Consider what reasonable adjustments members may need when conducting casework, and other day-to-day union activity. Refer to the CSP’s equality and diversity toolkit for more information.
Have you considered tailored adjustments, in addition to reasonable adjustments?
- Not all health conditions are covered by the Equality Act and equivalent Northern Irish legalisation.
- However, flexible working arrangements and other tailored adjustments to working practices, policies, procedures and environments can be agreed for all members of staff. Refer to the CSP’s Building a Better Balance resource for more information.
Talk to your senior negotiating officer (SNO)
In order to support you as reps and our members who may be facing discrimination in the workplace, it is important that you maintain contact with your SNO to discuss cases that may involve aspects of discrimination. Their role here is to ensure that you are supported to manage your caseload, as well as having the practical tools and knowledge to deal with issues such as discrimination and assist you in dealing with these cases, including advice on making reasonable adjustments.
All employers can and should be best practice employers when it comes to reasonable adjustments. The CSP workplace team, working with other staff-side unions as appropriate, should:
Review existing staff policies, guidance and procedures
- Do all agreements concerning workplace policies, practices, procedures and environments recognise employers’ duty to implement reasonable adjustments?
- Does the employer provide processes, guidance and support for managers and service leads when considering reasonable adjustments?
- Is there a clear process to appeal management decisions if reasonable adjustments are queried?
Review other staff-side activities and agreements
- Do health and safety inspections – usually performed by health and safety representatives – include disability access audits?
- Does the employer conduct equality impact assessments, and meet legal obligations to partake in the public sector equality duty?
- Are reasonable adjustment requests and decisions monitored and evaluated by the employer, with suitable aggregated data shared with trade union representatives?
- Does the employer – working with other employers locally, regionally, or nationally – use reasonable adjustment passports?
- Do trade union representatives have adequate facility time to conduct casework and staff-side activities related to reasonable adjustments.