Reasonable Adjustments for Disabled Employees

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Reasonable Adjustments for Disabled Employees

What are Reasonable Adjustments?

Under Section 20 of The Equality Act 2010 employers have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to prevent their disabled employees, or those applying for positions within the company, from suffering a disadvantage when compared to other employees.

Factors such as economic and practical viability will be taken into consideration when determining what constitutes reasonable for the purposes of making adjustments. A larger employer with a greater number of staff members would find it harder to argue that adjustments were not reasonable.

There are three requirements under the Equality Act to make reasonable adjustments.

(1) Where a provision, criterion or practice of a company puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage [...] in comparison with persons who are not disabled, to take steps as it is reasonable to have to take to avoid the disadvantage.

(2) Where a physical feature puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage[...] in comparison with someone who is not disabled, to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to avoid the disadvantage

(3) Where a disabled person would, but for the provision of auxiliary aid, be put at a substantial disadvantage [...] in comparison with persons who are not disabled, to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to provide auxiliary aid.

What are Reasonable Steps

In basic terms this means that the cost of making the adjustment, the effect on the employer’s business and how effective the adjustment would be in removing the disadvantage.

Examples of Reasonable Adjustments

Many adjustments may have little or no cost associated with them.  Where there is a cost a small amount of funding available to help employers meet the needs of their disabled employees by making reasonable adjustments.  It is worth considering grants and help available from charities and government support such as the Access to Work Scheme.

What to Do if your Employer Fails to make Reasonable Adjustments

If you require reasonable adjustments to be made so that you are not put at an unfair disadvantage you should, in the first instance, talk to your employer and consider submitting an official grievance.  If your employer continues to fail to offer you assistance then call our legal helpline for free no obligation advice on 0800 014 8727.