NEC Equal Rights Sub-committee report to RMT Disabled Members' Advisory Committee, July 2019

7 resolutions were passed at the National Disabled Members’ Conference this year.  2 were selected to the AGM (Reasonable Adjustments and Mental Health Awareness) and the other 5 were considered by the NEC.


i. Personality Testing

“The conference notes that:

  1. many employers use various forms of personality testing for applicants for jobs and promotions
  2. these may be called 'psychometric tests', 'situational judgement tests' or something else
  3. employers use these tests as they are multiple-choice and can be marked by computers, so are cheap to use
  4. in Brookes vs Government Legal Services, the Tribunal (and subsequent Appeals Tribunal) found that one such test discriminated against an autistic applicant and recommended that the employer review its use

This conference believes that:

  1. these tests are subjective and designed to select applicants on social conformity rather than on aptitude at the job
  2. these tests are discriminatory against autistic, otherwise neurodivergent and other disabled applicants
  3. the aspiration to create a socially-homogeneous workforce is oppressive

This conference asks the union to:

  1. table to all companies which use these tests a demand that they stop doing so
  2. support members in complaining against the discrimination inherent in these tests
  3. raise this issue with our Parliamentary group.”


The NEC noted and adopted the following report from the Equal Rights Sub-Committee (6th June 2019):

“We note the sentiment of the resolution.  We instruct the General Secretary to write to companies asking them to review their use of psychometric testing bringing to their attention the case law on the matter.  The General Secretary is also to contact the TUC for further information on the matter.  This file is to be placed back before the NEC with any responses by the December statutory meeting.”


ii. Disabilities Officers

“This Branch calls upon the NDMAC to support their motion to establish the role of Disabilities Officer, to support the increasing number of members with disabilities, at Branch and Regional Level.

The Branch recognises the much improved range of courses our Union now provides to support reps and members in gaining knowledge about a wide range of disabilities.

This Branch believes that having better trained and supported reps is good for all of our membership.

We feel this role will put training to good use and give members an “in house” point of contact for support.

We believe a Head Office Circular with input from the NDMAC would motivate Branches and Regions to establish this role.”


The NEC noted and adopted the following report from the Equal Rights Sub-Committee (6th June 2019):

“We note the resolution and instruct the General Secretary to inform branches and regions that they are encouraged to create the post of Disabilities Officer.


iii. Employers’ Mental Health Campaigns

“This conference notes that:

  1. More and more employers are running ‘mental health awareness’ campaigns
  2. However, those same employers continue to damage workers’ mental health, through anti-social hours, low pay, insecure employment, management bullying, exposure to trauma at work, etc

This conference resolves that the union run its own campaigning in support of workers’ mental health, against distressing working conditions and independently of employers.”


The NEC noted and adopted the following report from the Equal Rights Sub-Committee (6th June 2019):

“We note the sentiments of the resolution and that the union does run its own campaign but on occasion joins in with employers on joint mental health awareness campaigns.  


iv. Work Programmes for Learning Disabled and/or Autistic People

“This conference welcomes the initiatives by some employers in setting up programmes for learning disabled and/or autistic people to learn work skills, for example Transport for London's 'Steps Into Work'. 

However, we note that these are often unpaid. 

We do not accept that learning disabled and autistic people are less entitled to pay while they are working and studying than apprentices are.

We ask the union to table to every employer which runs such a scheme a demand that participants are paid.”


The NEC noted and adopted the following report from the Equal Rights Sub-Committee (6th June 2019):

“We instruct the General Secretary to carry out in line with the resolution.


v. Know Your Rights Campaign

“That the South East Essex Branch notes that there are an increasing number of members contacting reps and branch officials seeking advice on disability and long term issues regarding medical conditions.

The South East Essex Branch feels that the best weapons to arm our union activists in this situation is education and information.

The South East Essex Branch calls upon the National Executive Committee to support the “Know Your Rights” disability campaign initiated by the LRT Region by;

A:    Funding the pocket sized “Know Your Rights” disability advice cards for all branches and activists

B:    Electing Regional Disability Officers and encouraging all branches to support this campaign by electing Disability Officers at both Branch and Regional level with a view to establishing help, support and representation for members seeking advice on how to gain reasonable adjustments within the workplace.

C:    Promoting this campaign nationally and for this to be rolled out nationally via the Bob Crow National Education Centre, which will ensure all reps are educated on just what is reasonable when members seek adjustments at work.

D:    Organising regional training events for members who may have mobility issues and are unable to travel to Doncaster, around “Disability Issues - Know Your Rights” to educate members, reps & activists on their legal rights and how to exercise them.”


The NEC noted and adopted the following report from the Organisation, Training and Education Sub-Committee (7th June 2019):

“That we note the resolution and agree with the sentiments and support the campaign and its implementation.  Regional training is provided following consultation with the regional council via the Education Officer.