BT Passports

Carers, Disability & Wellbeing
BT intranet February 2014

A BT Passport is a simple word document which can be completed by any BT employee who feels their circumstances could have an impact on their ability to work either currently or at some point in the future. It helps individuals and their line manager record their agreements on how a happy compromise between business and individual needs will be met. BT and our Trade Unions worked together to create the BT Passports.

Completing a BT passport is voluntary on the part of the individual and there is no record of who has or has not completed a passport. The passport can be downloaded from the intranet and completed at a 1-1 between the employee and their line manager. Its completion is aimed to provoke discussion about balancing business and individual needs and to record the outcome of that discussion. After completion, the passport can be reviewed quarterly or more frequently if preferred, at the discretion of the individual and manager. Once completed the passport is confidential, but if the individual’s line management changes, the passport should be handed over to the new line manager, whilst maintaining confidentiality. This removes the need to repeat personal information and renegotiate local agreements already reached between the line manager and the individual.

A BT employee who has used a passport says “If you had to move jobs then your new manager would be able to find out all about you without going through all the gory details”.

There are currently 3 BT passports in the scheme:

BT Disability Passport
The BT Disability Passport can be completed by any BT employee who has a disability or long term health condition they believe could have an impact on their ability to work, either currently or at some point in the future. The BT Disability Passport describes, amongst other things:

  • The individuals health condition or disability and its impact
  • Any medication, and any issues that might arise as a result of taking this medication
  • Any reasonable adjustments the individual might need • Action to take if the individual becomes unwell at work
  • Agreed communication between the individual and BT if the individual is unable to come to work

The passport might also include details of recommendations made by external parties, for example Access to Work or AbilityNet via an Enable referral.

BT Carers Passport
The BT Carer’s Passport can be completed by any BT employee who has caring responsibilities they believe could have an impact on their ability to work currently or at some point in the future. The purpose of the BT Carer’s Passport, amongst other things, is to capture

  • the nature of the caring responsibilities now
  • their likely shape in the future
  • the adjustments and flexibility that the individual needs
  • the action to take if the individual needs to leave work suddenly.
  • the agreed communication between the individual and BT if the individual is unable to come to work.

BT Health and Wellbeing Passport
This was the original passport in the scheme, developed by a CWU member who had personal experience of mental ill-health, and wished to record her contact strategy for days on which she was not able to come in to the office. The focus, as with all the BT Passports, is on removing any barriers which might prevent the individual from making a full contribution at work. The plan is agreed while they are at work and in a good state of health so it can be implemented quickly if and when they become unwell. The purpose of the BT Health and Wellbeing Passport is:

  • To describe the potential impact of an individual’s condition on their ability to do their job effectively.
  • To detail reasonable adjustments, either temporary or permanent, which allow the individual to carry on doing their job.
  • To provide a list of resources that can be called upon to support them and their manager in helping them to continue working.
  • To outline the action their manager and/or colleagues might consider if they become unwell at work.
  • To define the best means of communicating with them if they are unable to come to work.