How to ask an employer for reasonable adjustments

To enable disabled people to do well in the workplace, the 2010 Equality Act requires employers to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ that remove any barriers that cause disadvantage. These adjustments can include providing extra equipment or support, changing a physical feature of the workplace and/or changing working arrangements.

The following steps cover how to ask for these reasonable adjustments.

1) Check that reasonable adjustments are needed

If you are at a noticeable disadvantage because of your disability in any way compared to non-disabled people (such as taking a lot longer to complete tasks), then reasonable adjustments are needed – especially if it means you would otherwise struggle to meet objectives or targets.

2) Ensure the employer knows about your disability

An employer only has to make adjustments if they are aware of your disability.

3) Identify what adjustments you need

If you are unsure what adjustments you need, think about what support you currently get or got at university. You could also think about what the objectives/targets are in the job, what would currently prevent you from achieving them and how this can be changed.

Examples of adjustments can be found at https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/multipage-guide/examples-reasonable-adjustments-practice

4) Structure how you will ask for adjustments

Be specific about what would cause you a disadvantage and be clear about how this is linked to your disability.

Next, highlight to an employer what changes need to be done and explain how this will remove the disadvantage.

If possible, explain how the employer can make these changes without disrupting the business. If you are unsure about this, then ask if you can talk about this.

A letter template that you can complete to ask for reasonable adjustments can be found at – https://www.scope.org.uk/advice-and-support/reasonable-adjustments-request-letter-template/

You can also find examples at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/discrimination-at-work/taking-action/asking-your-employer-for-changes-to-help-if-youre-disabled/

5) Decide how you will request adjustments

In the first instance you would usually speak to your manager. How you do this is up to you, for example you could:

  • Arrange a meeting to discuss
  • Send them an email
  • Send a letter

For more information

https://www.scope.org.uk/advice-and-support/reasonable-adjustments-at-work/#Reasonable-adjustments-at-work

https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/multipage-guide/employing-people-workplace-adjustments

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/discrimination-at-work/taking-action/asking-your-employer-for-changes-to-help-if-youre-disabled/

https://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=6074#How%20can%20a%20worker%20request%20a%20reasonable%20adjustment?

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