Employers must make reasonable adjustments to make sure disabled workers are not seriously disadvantaged when doing their jobs.
Disabled workers are protected by the Equality Act 2010. In Northern Ireland workers are protected by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
Workers must be given access to training opportunities, recreation and refreshment facilities.
Employers have to make reasonable adjustments even if they don’t employ the person directly - this includes contract workers, trainees, apprentices and business partners.
Access to Work can help employers with some costs involved in making adjustments for disabled workers.
What reasonable adjustments are
Examples could involve:
- doing things another way - eg allowing someone with social anxiety disorder to have their own desk instead of hot-desking
- making physical changes - eg installing a ramp for a wheelchair user or an audio-visual fire alarm for a deaf person
- letting a disabled person work somewhere else - eg on the ground floor for a wheelchair user
- changing their equipment - eg providing a special keyboard if they have arthritis
- allowing employees who become disabled to make a phased return to work - eg working flexible hours or part-time
You can get advice on reasonable adjustments from the Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) at your local Jobcentre Plus office.
In Northern Ireland, you can get advice from the Disability Employment Service.
There’s more detail about employers’ obligations and how to meet them on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.