Your Guide to Reasonable Adjustments
Just how reasonable are reasonable adjustments? And just how accessible are we in business by making them known? We probably ask them before interviews right? (Let’s be honest, and really honest here, how many actually do it then?)
So what are reasonable adjustments?
Reasonable adjustments pertain to the modifications made to provide support for individuals with disabilities or other specific needs, enabling them to fully participate in all facets of society, including education, employment, and public spaces.
The importance of reasonable adjustments should not be brushed over, as they ensure that individuals with disabilities are not subject to discrimination. These adjustments play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between those with disabilities and those without, fostering an environment of equality. Reasonable adjustments support in creating opportunities and providing individuals with disabilities to be empowered to take an active role in society and in the workplace.
Reasonable adjustments can take many forms depending on the situation. In education, this may encompass provisions such as granting additional time for examinations, permitting the use of note-taking aids, or offering accessible materials like braille or audio versions of textbooks. In the workplace, reasonable adjustments might involve the installation of wheelchair ramps, the offering of quiet spaces, adjustable workstations, or the provision of flexible working hours to name but a few.
It is essential to note that reasonable adjustments shouldn’t cost the earth! Frequently, these adjustments are straightforward and cost-effective, such as allowing an employee to work remotely or arranging for a sign language interpreter during meetings. The key lies in adopting a proactive and adaptable approach, collaborating with individuals to discuss their requirements and find appropriate solutions.
Furthermore, it is important to note that reasonable adjustments are often mandated by law. In accordance with the Equality Act in the UK, employers are obligated to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities, unless such accommodations impose an undue hardship. Non-compliance with these legal obligations can result in legal proceedings and financial penalties.
When should we be asking about Reasonable Adjustments
At every opportunity. From the application stage to interview, onboarding, and throughout the lifecycle of your team members. People may develop a disability while they are working within your business or maybe diagnosed later in life, therefore offering and discussing reasonable adjustments every six months is recommended.
It is important to recognise that reasonable adjustments are often mandated by law. For instance, in accordance with the Equality Act in the UK, employers are obligated to provide reasonable adjustments to individuals with disabilities, unless such accommodations impose an undue hardship. By not complying to these legal obligations can result in legal proceedings and financial penalties.
To find out more about reasonable adjustments please visit https://www.gov.uk/reasonable-adjustments-for-disabled-workers