Under the Equality Act 2010 an employer has a duty to make reasonable adjustments to a policy, criterion or practice where a disabled person is placed at a significant disadvantage because of their disability.
The trigger to the duty is where an employer knows (or ought to know) that an employee or job applicant has a disability; and the employee suffers a substantial disadvantage in comparison with a non-disabled person.
The key word here is ‘reasonable’. Various factors are taken into account in determining whether a proposed adjustment is likely to be considered reasonable.
As a good employer we would in any case be looking at providing all employees, including disabled ones, with the support they need to carry out their role at the university.
A partnership approach should be taken to deciding what support should be put in place for an individual. People with a similar condition may have different working style and different preferences. The individual and manager should discuss the difficulties experienced by the individual because of their disability, and how these might be overcome.
If the individual and manager can agree appropriate support measures they may be implemented immediately. If advice is needed, it may be sought from the Staff Disability Advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org . A management referral to the University Occupational Health Service may also be required if medical advice is needed.
A trial period is always a good idea, to determine whether a reasonable adjustment is effective.
Managers of disabled staff should record any reasonable adjustments that are agreed, and review them regularly (perhaps in the annual personal development review). Are any changes needed? People’s disability and health change, and so do job requirements.
Many reasonable adjustments can be made at little or no cost. An individual’s department would be expected to meet the costs of any reasonable adjustment. External funding may also be available through Access to Work (ATW). There is no central University fund for disabled staff. An individual is not expected to contribute to meeting the costs of any support needs at work.
For more information visit the funding webpage.
Here are some examples of support that may be considered, depending on the individual’s disability, the nature of their role and business requirements.
If sufficient reasonable adjustments cannot be made in an individual’s current role, please talk to your HR manager. Options may include redeployment to another role within the University or ill-health retirement.
Staff Disability Advisor