The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal to discriminate against any worker on the grounds of a disability. The Act places the responsibility on an employer to consider and make reasonable adjustments for employees, helping them to overcome disadvantages that result from their disability. A failure to do so could expose your business to discrimination claims.
By understanding your legal obligations and how to address the needs of disabled members of staff, you can help protect your business whilst also creating a fairer and more productive work environment for everyone.
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Making reasonable adjustments
By law, every business is required to consider and make reasonable adjustments for an employee with a disability.
There’s no exact definition of what constitutes a “reasonable adjustment”, but it can often include changes to policies and working practices, or the physical layout of an office. These might include:
- The introduction of ramps for wheelchair users
- Longer or more frequent breaks
- Ergonomic workstations
- Software for the visually impaired
- Providing extra equipment and support
- Adapting a policy
What’s deemed a reasonable adjustment can also vary from company to company, where a large company with extensive financial resources being regarded as being more able to make bigger changes than a smaller business. With evolving health trends, and the blurring of lines of where ill-health ends and disability begins it’s not always easy to understand what these reasonable adjustments are, what constitutes a disability, or what your responsibilities are.
How Loch Employment Law can help
Loch Employment Law can help identify what is required for your own unique circumstances, providing a range of services that include:
- Advising on changing legislation and what constitutes a disability
- Identifying if an individual is disabled
- Advising on what reasonable adjustments you could consider
- How to manage and support employees with a disability
- Ensuring company processes, documentation and practices are compliant with current legislation and case law
It’s imperative that all employers – large and small – take the necessary steps to review and build on their practices and policies, ensuring disabled members of staff are able to confidently access the appropriate support, and thrive throughout their employment with you.
Recruitment and disability
It’s important to remember that employers also need to ensure their recruitment processes do not, either consciously or unconsciously, exclude candidates with a disability.
Loch Employment Law can work with you to ensure your recruitment and selection processes does not exclude any one on the basis of disability and that the appropriate steps are taken to treat everyone fairly, ensuring candidates are only judged based on their skills and abilities.