What is the Duty to Make Reasonable Adjustments for Disabled Employees?

In the UK, there are a wide range of industries and professions which require a range of skills and experience. All these industries are open to fully able-bodied employees, and only in very rare cases are physical barriers an issue within the workplace.

This is of course not the case if you have a disability. A disability, as defined by the Equality Act 2010, is a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.’

As an employer, the duty to make reasonable adjustments is the duty to take positive steps to reducing or preventing obstacles to a disabled worker or job applicant. Wherever relevant, a disabled person should have exactly the same access to jobs and the ability to work to the best of their ability as an able-bodied person. Under The Equality Act, an employer is obliged to make adjustments for disabilities they are aware of.

Reasonable Adjustment Employment Law

There are a range of reasonable adjustments that can be made depending on the size and location of your company, however many are very affordable and easy to implement without much notice or hassle. These could include:

  • Altering the person’s hours of work
  • Work at a different location
  • Changing the equipment required to complete the role
  • Providing supervision or support where necessary
  • Allowing flexible working
  • Modifying pay arrangements or criteria

It must be remembered that in every case, the adjustments that are made will be dependent on individual circumstances.

However, if the workplace does nothing towards making a reasonable adjustment, the employee will be entitled to bring the case to an Employment Tribunal.

As is the case with any matters of discrimination in the workplace, it is vital you consult a solicitor and obtain specialist legal advice as soon as possible, managing the situation for you and avoiding prohibitive litigation. For more information on discrimination, visit the employment law section of our website or contact us today.