REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS: Making reasonable adjustments at work is a responsibility of all employers. A long list of employment laws also apply to workers with disabilities.
It also includes any employees with physical or mental health conditions. The same laws extend to:
- Business Partners
- Contract Workers
Thus, employers must ensure these workers do not get ‘substantially‘ disadvantaged while carrying out their tasks.
Note: The Government regulate this legislation in the United Kingdom. There is a Welsh language version on making reasonable adjustments for workers with disabilities. Read through ‘Addasiadau rhesymol i weithwyr ag anableddau neu gyflyrau iechyd‘ (Cymraeg).
List of Reasonable Adjustments for Disabled Employees
The goal is to allow disabled employees to carry out their work ‘like a non-disabled worker’ would. Some examples of reasonable adjustments include:
- Performing workplace tasks in a different way than usual.
- Example: Providing an individual desk, instead of hot desking, to someone with social anxiety disorder.
- Making structural changes to the workplace.
- Example: Installing an audio-visual fire alarm for the benefit of deaf employees.
- Making changes to the recruitment process so that all candidates get considered.
- Example: Allowing the use of a computer for written tests.
- Changing standard equipment to ease of use devices.
- Example: The use of a special keyboard for office workers with arthritis.
- Moving the workstation of a wheelchair user to somewhere easier for access.
- Example: Move them to a ground floor office.
- Offering training opportunities, recreational activities, and easy access to refreshment facilities.
- Allowing a phased return to work for employees who become disabled.
- Example: Setting up part-time working or flexible hours.
Note: The duties of the Equality Act 2010 applies to all employers. It includes changing workplace procedures and removing physical and mental barriers (where possible).
Reasonable Adjustments: Help and Advice
There are several places to get advice on making reasonable adjustments for disabled employees:
- The Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) at your local Jobcentre Plus office.
- The Department for Employment and Learning for those in Northern Ireland.
- Applying for the Access to Work grant and get help from a provider.
Note: Check out the Equality and Human Rights Commission website. They have further details on the obligations of employers and how to meet them.