Council employees with a disability or health condition will now have the opportunity to sign-up to a scheme which will help eliminate barriers in the workplace.

Durham County Council is the first local authority in the country to sign-up to trade union GMB’s Reasonable Adjustments Disability Passport initiative.

The passport is a live record of up to date and appropriate reasonable adjustments which have been agreed and recorded between a manager and an employee to support individuals at work with a health condition or disability. The employee owns the passport and it will alleviate the need for them to repeat potentially difficult conversations if their line manager changes, or they change roles within the organisation.

These adjustments could include providing specially adapted equipment, temporarily changing the duties of the job, changing break times or working pattern.

The council believes the passport will also be a useful tool to support conversations about workplace adjustments.

Cllr Andrea Patterson, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for corporate services and rural issues, which includes HR, said: “We’re delighted to be the first council in the country to introduce the Reasonable Adjustments Disability Passport. Here at Durham County Council we are committed to promoting equality and diversity – as an employer, in the services we provide, in partnerships, and in the decisions we make.

“We hope that the document will help employees to have constructive conversations about workplace adjustments and provide them with reassurance that they will be fully supported.”

Nell Andrew, GMB national equality and inclusion officer, said: “GMB commend Durham County Council for making this potentially life changing commitment for their disabled staff. This passport aims to create a straight forward, worker owned process, that removes the stress and uncertainty many disabled workers face around reasonable adjustments. We believe the passport will promote dignity and highlights the value of disabled workers work. As disabled workers, we want the opportunity to thrive in the workplace – not just survive.”