What is a reasonable adjustment in the workplace?
Here at Lincs Law, we regularly meet people who suffer from a disability and who are feeling frustrated at work. Quite frequently, that frustration stems from their employer failing to consider and implement changes in their workplace, which imposes great difficulties and stress on our clients.
What is a reasonable adjustment?
In accordance with the Equality Act 2010, an employer has a duty to consider/make reasonable adjustments in the workplace, for their disabled staff. This legislation is a further step towards trying to eliminate discrimination in the workplace. Essentially, the duty to make reasonable adjustments is there to help remove obstacles which prevent an individual from being able to do the same job as someone who does not have their condition.
It is important to remember that the duty to consider/make reasonable adjustments does not only relate to individuals who suffer from a physical disability. The Equality Act 2010 defines a disabled person as someone who suffers from a ‘physical or mental impairment’ and so the duty to consider reasonable adjustments also extends to individuals who suffers from mental health, for example.
How can we help you?
Lucy Stones’ has recently assisted an employee who was suffering from severe depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, they did not feel their employer was taking their condition seriously and they were struggling with their shift pattern. As part of their role, they were required to carry out a number of night shifts each month which they found were adversely affecting their mental health. They were at a loss of what to do and they felt as if they would need to leave their employment, as the shift patterns were becoming too difficult. On learning this, Lucy Stones’ asked them whether they had spoken to their employer regarding this and they confirmed that they had done so, on a number of informal occasions but sadly, they had received no reply.
Lucy Stones’ strongly recommended her client pursue this issue formally and not resign from their employment. Accordingly, we submitted a Formal Grievance on behalf of our client and raised the concerns they were encountering at work together with citing several acts of discrimination. On receipt of the same, their employer referred the employee to Occupational Health who produced an Occupational Health Report identifying a number of adjustments which could be introduced for them. One of these adjustments was to limit the employee to day time working only. It was a fantastic result and our client’s key objective (remaining in employment) was achieved.
If you require any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01522 440512. I will happily provide you with an initial telephone consultation to learn of what your concerns are and discuss what assistance we can offer you.
Lucy Stones, Lincs Law
Specialist Employment Solicitor