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What Are Reasonable Adjustments?
The Equality Act 2010 requires employers to be flexible and make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for people with disabilities to enable them to do their jobs.
The vast majority of reasonable adjustments are simple, inexpensive and make good business sense.
For example implementing flexible hours for a period of time or devising a ‘back to work’ plan to gradually increase the hours an employee works would be included. Further information for employees is also available.
The most likely scenario
In reality, the most frequently required adjustment is flexibility and an open mind.
Funding through access to work may help cover the costs associated with some reasonable adjustments.
Temporary or permanent?
Workplace adjustments can be temporary or made on a permanent basis. Here are some handy examples.
- Return to work role play from Shift
Guides for line managers
- Rethink has issued a guide ‘We can work it out’ for local authority line managers. It includes information on how to talk to employees about their support needs, work out reasonable adjustments and plan ahead in case of ill health.
- The Scottish Association for Mental Health has issued an online guide full of practical suggestions about adjustments. It refers to the Disability Discrimination Act which is now covered by the Equality Act: 'Making reasonable adjustments at work for people with mental health problems'
- A guide for line managers published by the Employer’s Forum on Disability will help you identify who needs an adjustment, decide if an adjustment is reasonable and know where to go for more help and advice.
The Equality and Human Rights commission have produced an excellant web resource which provides detailed guidance for employers about the new Equality Act. This section covers the duty the make reasonable adjustments, and contains guidance of 'what is reasonable' among other things.