Johnston wants end to fit-to-work rules

British Association of Social Workers chief executive Ian Johnston wants to use his position on an inquiry into fitness-to-practise regulations to push for the abolition of rules governing the health of social workers at work.

Johnston, a member of the Disability Rights Commission’s inquiry, said he would lobby for an end to the General Social Care Council regulations that say people must be “physically or mentally fit to perform whole or part of the work”.

He would like to see the regulations replaced by a presumption that people are fit to practise unless there is evidence they have worked when unfit or are likely to do that.

And Johnston, who sits on the inquiry’s reference group, said service users were at greater risk from people unfit to do their job because of drink or drug misuse.

The DRC is investigating if regulations that govern entry to and work in social work, teaching and nursing comply with disability discrimination legislation.


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