Incapability must not be used to sack workers

Tony Slaven

Tony Slaven

#ulgc16 Conference condemned the growing use of Incapability Procedures to sack staff on the grounds of ill-health or performance, as part of the cuts agenda.

This issue was highlighted by a motion from South Lanarkshire Branch and the union will now produce guidance for branches on best practice to support our members in the workplace and to challenge abuses of these procedures.

Moving the motion, South Lanarkshire’s Tony Slaven told delegates that the law is on our side through the Equalities Act 2010 and the key to challenging such abuses is “reasonable adjustments.”

“Because we are dealing here mostly with vulnerable people – the disabled – me.

“People that have drifted into long term absence because they know that coming back to work under existing circumstances will result in yet another absence,” Tony said.

“Concerns about performance should be managed. Incapability dismissals should not be used to do an end run around the Disciplinary Procedures or any performance support initiatives,” slammed Tony, warning that it is the lower paid staff who are most vulnerable.

“In my branch we have cleaners and caterers some of whom are in their 60’s who limp and struggle into work in all weathers, because they are all afraid of Incapability dismissals” added Tony.

He called on UNISON’s Local Government Service to provide decent, meaningful research so we can demonstrate the rise in Incapability dismissal and guidance on monitoring and recording the abuse of incapability dismissals.

“We need to make sure that our members, our colleagues, our people stay in work and are not cast aside or humiliated by an employer bent on the abuse of Incapability dismissals allowing them to realise their cuts agenda.”

Local Government Reports by Kate Ramsden, Marie Quigley and John Stevenson

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