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Progressing your priorities

How we've been progressing through the priorities set by members and helping members over the last year.

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Accord campaign & values

Progressing your priorities

Accord's campaigning agenda is decided at our biennial delegate conference that takes place every two years. And since our biennial delegate conference in May last year, we’ve been busy dealing with the priorities set by members.

In total, 104 motions were submitted and accepted to conference 2022. And as part of our commitment to be a transparent and democratic union, we’ve published a full list of the motion objectives and how we’re taking them forward.

 Conference 2022 motion objectives and progress

We’ll continue to update this page throughout this year and next as we work through each one of them.

Helping members day in & day out

As well as working hard on the objectives set by our members at our biennial delegate conference, every day Accord staff and reps are helping members in need. Whether it be via one of the union’s services, advice, representation or just a friendly voice.

Here’s how we’ve been helping members over the last year…

  • 4,000 calls received on our members’ helpline
  • Over £3m in compensation won for members in disputes at work
  • The Accord private healthcare cashback scheme paid out £67,990 to 993 members
  • Over £500,000 recovered in damages for personal injury claims
  • 4 members supported through employment tribunals
  • 49 members represented in health, wellbeing, and attendance meetings
  • 45 members supported at grievance and harassment hearings
  • 104 members supported at disciplinary hearings
  • Over £10,000 of grants paid to help support members in pursuing vocational, educational, or private studies

And since we launched the new ‘Lifelong Learning Fund’ at the beginning of the year which is aimed at providing support to members who want to learn new skills, we’ve received 16 applications for grants – ranging from law degrees, to flower arranging, to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. You can apply for a grant whatever you fancy doing on your self-development journey. The fund provides grants of up to 50% of the cost of courses and training materials, up to a maximum of £500. Find out more here.

“Accord sponsored me through my PhD and I'm currently in my final year. I recently published my first paper in the European Journal of Mental Health. This really wouldn't have been possible without the union’s help and amazing generosity. Thank you very much.”

Charlotte Horner

Celebrating the value of membership

Recently, workers have faced a global pandemic and an unprecedented cost of living crisis. Unions have responded by winning pay rises, protecting jobs, making workplaces safer, tackling racism and stopping people being treated unfairly.

Now’s a good time to promote and celebrate the value of union membership by sharing some of our recent achievements.

In this video, we take a look back at 2022 and some of our recent achievements in Lloyds Banking Group.

Share this video with your colleagues who aren't yet members - it might encourage them to join. Because the more members we have, the more effectively we can campaign and negotiate on your behalf.

Accord secures a 6-figure sum for unfair treatment

Joseph (not his real name) worked for his employer for almost 25 years and loved his job. He turned to Accord for support and guidance during a difficult period. Little did he know that he’d end up successfully taking his employer to an Employment Tribunal for disability discrimination. This resulted in the member receiving a six-figure compensatory payment.

Accord’s Regional Officer, Chris Rimell said: Joseph had a long-term illness that required treatment and was off for some time. Later, he wanted to return to work, but due to the continued effects of the treatment he needed reasonable adjustments to be in place. It was accepted that his illness was a disability under the Equality Act 2010, and reasonable adjustments were put in place without issue for a period. It was only later when his employer determined that they could no longer support the adjustments that things went wrong.”

With the support of Accord, Joseph put several suggestions to his manager to try and find a solution. One was to trial a change to the number of hours worked per day while maintaining his contractual hours. All his requests were declined, without them being trialled, and Joseph went back off sick for a lengthy period whilst redeployment was considered as an alternative.

The redeployment period ended without a suitable role being identified and Joseph’s employer sacked him. But Accord believed there was more his employer could and should have done.

Accord’s Regional Officer, Chris Rimell, said:

When approached to implement reasonable adjustments, an employer needs to consider carefully what’s being asked and whether it’s possible or not. In this case, the employer couldn’t show that the request was unreasonable – they presented reasons why they couldn’t do it, but their thought process was unreasonable.

Accord appointed solicitors to support Joseph’s case to Employment Tribunal and we’re delighted to say that justice was served – he received a six-figure compensatory award from his employer as a result.

It’s disappointing that this level of action was necessary and should serve as a warning to employers that all actions must be fully considered before deciding to dismiss.

Said Joseph:

I had to call upon Accord’s assistance to help me through my return to work and subsequent redeployment. My Regional Officer, Chris Rimell, was extremely helpful and highly knowledgeable, especially when I was asking for adjustments.

I can’t thank Accord enough for the support they provided, including their legal team.

Reasonable adjustments & redeployment as a reasonable adjustment

When someone has a disability or a long-term health condition that may be considered to meet the legal definition of disability, employers are expected to make reasonable adjustments.

For many cases, reasonable adjustments will be possible and relatively simple such as adjusting how or when someone works, assistive technology or physical adjustment, or an amendment to the types of duties they might have within their role.

However, when there are no suitable adjustments, the next step is to consider an alternative role – and employers are expected to support this.

Want to know more about disability, discrimination, and reasonable adjustments? Check out our interactive eBite guide Disability: Know your rights.


Your stories are powerful

If you have a positive story to tell that would encourage others to join Accord, we’d love to hear from you. If you’d like to remain anonymous, that’s fine.

Send an email:  [email protected].