What are 'reasonable adjustments'?

The Equality Act 2010 requires employers to make 'reasonable adjustments' to the working conditions of disabled workers and job applicants.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission's Code of Practice on the employment provisions of the Equality Act gives guidance on the reasonable adjustments that employers will typically have to make. Typical adjustments made by employers include:

  • allowing the disabled person to be absent during working hours for rehabilitation, assessment or medical treatment;
  • acquiring or modifying equipment;
  • altering the disabled person's working hours;
  • transferring the disabled person to fill an existing vacancy;
  • making adjustments to premises, such as improving access;
  • allocating some of the disabled person's duties to another person;
  • assigning the disabled person to a different place of work;
  • giving the disabled person training;
  • providing a reader or interpreter;
  • providing support workers; and
  • modifying instructions and reference manuals.

An adjustment can be reasonable even though it costs the employer money. There is support available towards the cost of some adjustments, for example via the government's Access to Work scheme.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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