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Departmental Conditions of Employment

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what his Department's equality impact assessment is of its new probation policy in relation to disability; and if he will make a statement. (287207)

The Central Department completed an equality impact assessment of its new probation policy and assessed it as having low negative impact. We are under a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure disabled persons are not placed at a substantial disadvantage in comparison to those persons who are not disabled. This applies to our new probation policy and HR will monitor and review the process to ensure this is given full effect.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport for what reasons his Department's new probation policy does not give probationers the right to bring a grievance concerning the extension of probation. (287208)

The Department's new probation policy complies with the ACAS Code of Practice on discipline and grievance. Moreover, it is essential for ensuring good administration that the Department manages performance effectively and requires that all new employees demonstrate their suitability for the role for which they have been employed. While a specific grievance procedure is not available in respect of decisions to extend, a probationary employee has a right to appeal against a decision to terminate their employment.