Making the case for disability passports

29 Jul 2019

Reasonable adjustment passports make working life better and fairer for disabled people.

Reasonable adjustment passports make working life better and fairer for disabled people.

They record adjustments that have been agreed between you and your line manager to remove any barriers to you doing your job effectively.

These barriers might be:

  • physical (eg a ramp for wheelchair users)
  • operational (eg the organisation’s policies and practices)
  •  attitudinal (eg a lack of understanding from colleagues).

A disability passport belongs to you and you choose who you think needs to see it.

Clearly, your line manager would need to keep a copy and it would also be kept on your personal record held by HR. You can disclose it to other colleagues if you wish.

As well as adjustments, it is good practice to include strengths and weaknesses for those who are neurodiverse, for example.

If you need to take medication, it makes sense to include this in the document, listing what is to be taken and when. You can also list emergency contacts if this is necessary.

You have the right to have your union rep with you when you are discussing adjustments with your line manager.

Advantages

A disability passport removes the need to revisit or renegotiate adjustments every time you are transferred to a new job, promoted, relocated or have a new line manager.

It allows you, the worker, to:

  • explain the impact of your working conditions on you, given your personal circumstances
  • explain the barriers that you encounter that stop you participating fully at work
  • suggest adjustments that you think will make it easier for you to fully participate
  • review the effectiveness of adjustments provided and the ongoing impact this has on your work
  • explain any change to your health or circumstances
  • feel reassured that your manager will know what to do if you become unwell at work, when to contact emergency services and who to contact if necessary
  • know how and when your manager will keep in touch should you be absent from work due to your disability
  • consider including more information from your GP, specialist, or other expert as appropriate, to support your request.

Reviewing the passport

It is good practice to review the passport after six months to ensure the adjustments are working to your benefit. It should then be reviewed periodically, at dates to be agreed between your manager and yourself, and recorded in the passport itself.

The passport can be revisited if anything changes in relation to your disability or impairment, your work or new technology.

TUC guidance

The TUC recently launched guidance for reps, including:

  • model policy for reasonable adjustment disability passports – http://bit.ly/DP-model-policy
  • model reasonable adjustments passport – http://bit.ly/DP-model
  • interactive guide for reps – http://bit.ly/DP-reps-guide