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Reasonable Adjustments: Disabled Workers

This guide defines 'reasonable adjustments' in the workplace. It relates to recruiting and employing workers who have a disability or a health condition.

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:

  • Apprentices
  • Business Partners
  • Contract Workers
  • Trainees

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:

Note: Check out the Equality and Human Rights Commission website. They have further details on the obligations of employers and how to meet them.

Making Reasonable Adjustments for Workers with Disabilities in the United Kingdom