Cash shortage may hit equality duty

A new duty on public authorities to promote disability equality could be undermined by a lack of funding, Unison’s local government service group conference was warned this week.

Iain Montgomery, a member of the union’s national disabled members’ committee, told delegates in Bournemouth that public bodies would not receive extra money to fulfil their obligations under the duty, which comes into force in December.

He also claimed the government was considering removing Access to Work funding from the public sector and redirecting it to small and medium-sized businesses.

This contributes up to 80 per cent of the costs of adjustments employers make to help disabled people in the workplace.

However, the claim was denied by the Department for Work and Pensions. A spokesperson said the change would apply only to central government departments.

From October, they will be responsible for funding adjustments for disabled staff from their own running costs.


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