Part 6. Disability Discrimination – In conversation with Trade Union Officials

Social Workers Union Blog Series | Social workers are facing discrimination and disadvantage with employers | Part 6. Disability Discrimination – In conversation with Trade Union Officials

SWU Assistant General Secretary Calum Gallacher continues his series of two-part articles about trends that have been brought to his attention by SWU-BASW Advice & Representation (A&R) Workers / Trade Union Officials (TUO). These are significant issues specific to the discrimination and disadvantage social workers are facing with employers, because of the actions of individuals or the cultures of organisations.

This conversation between Calum Gallacher and BASW A&R Officer – SWU TUOs Laura Sheridan and Lisa Fitzpatrick was such a rich discussion we have decided to share it as a video blog (vlog). You can view the video below or on the SWU YouTube channel, and it covers:

  • What is disability discrimination?
  • How effective is legislation in protecting people from disability discrimination in the workplace?
  • What types of disability discrimination do members encounter that cause them to seek advice, support or representation? 
  • What might reasonable adjustments look like for a social worker who has maybe been off long-term, with a health condition or because of a preexisting disability? What should they expect returning to work?
  • How do you address challenges when employers are not behaving reasonably or complying with legal responsibilities?
  • Sometimes trade union reps and officials see members come for advice too late.  What advice might you give to any social workers who are only realising or thinking they are experiencing discrimination in their workplace because of a disability?
  • Who can help?
  • The importance of ongoing reviews and assessments and of support from support networks.
  • Why is it important to ensure that employers support employees to perform/work to their maximum ability?
  • Will there ever be a time when discrimination ceases to exist? 
A photo of SWU Assistant General Secretary Calum Gallacher speaking at a podium

Calum Gallacher

SWU Assistant General Secretary

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You may also be interested in the SWU webinar “Stepping stones towards decent working conditions” and the SWU blog “Austerity’s dog whistles inform systemic violence – disability discrimination“.