Disability passports are available for any member of staff with a disability or long term physical or mental health condition.
Staff with a disability do not have to complete a disability passport; it is an additional level of support and an agreement that can be put in place if staff wish to use it.
What is a disability passport?
Disability passports allow staff to discuss and fully explain their disability with managers and team members so they can understand the best ways to support their colleague.
The disability passport can:
- follow a member of staff between roles throughout the Trust
- stay valid when managers change
- be updated when necessary
- be reviewed if the staff member's needs or the role changes
The passport should be signed by both the staff member and manager to acknowledge that both agree to the document.
Disability passports can also record:
- behaviours to be aware of that could trigger or exacerbate the disability or health condition and how these can be reduced
- behaviours to look out for that could indicate a decline in health
- recommendations from Occupational Health (if applicable)
The Equalities Act 2010 states it is an employer’s duty to make workplace adjustments for people with a disability. Workplace adjustments remove barriers and give a person with a disability the best opportunity to do their jobs successfully at the Trust.
When discussing workplace adjustments, line managers should consider the role, length of contract, cost of implication, size and resources of the Trust. Adjustments do not always need to be physical and are not always large things:
- Equipment – voice activated software of ergonomic equipment
- Work patterns – changes to shift patterns, working from home or nearer to home
- Workplace – changes to automatic doors and altered lighting
- Training – educate colleagues, bust myths and change attitudes
- Signposting – offer internal and external support such as Occupational Health, local organisations and the Inclusion team
Completing a disability passport
Arrange a meeting
Disability passports should be completed by a member of staff and their line manager. Either member of staff can request the meeting, but the member of staff with a disability has final say if they wish to complete a disability passport for their condition.
This meeting can include union representatives, Occupational Health, Inclusion staff member, other suitable representatives or just the member of staff and their line manager.
The meeting should be scheduled for a time to allow the staff member to meet with Occupational Health beforehand (if necessary) and prepare anything that may be helpful in advance such as any appropriate reports. The line manager may wish to better understand workplace adjustments, appropriate policies or have discussions with the Inclusion team beforehand.
At the meeting line managers are there to better understand the staff member’s situation and see if an agreement can be reached that benefits them, the Trust, colleagues and patients. The meeting is an opportunity to learn and provide support.
All parties should leave any presumptions at the door and attend with an open mind. If at any point it becomes obvious that more information or advice from a condition specific organisation would be useful, the meeting can be stopped and rearranged to complete the disability passport at a later date once this information has been received.
During the meeting it may be useful to discuss:
- where the disability passport will be stored
- who will the disability passport be shared with
- if everyone is clear about the terms being used or should they be clarified
- when will the disability passport be reviewed