Reasonable adjustments

The word ‘reasonable’ crops up everywhere in law. Put bluntly, this isn’t terribly helpful, but there isn’t much choice. For employment purposes, it refers to what changes an employer or recruiter must make to accommodate a blind or partially sighted applicant, interview candidate, new starter or settled employee to help them do their job.

Quite often, these adjustments have little or no costs attached to them. It could be that someone with low or no vision needs electronic information to be sent to them in a particular file type. This might seem time-consuming to start with, but really takes no time at all and, after a while, would become second nature, something people find they are happy to do for any valued colleague. The way most of us would act when confronted with a reasonable request. An unreasonable adjustment might be the same person demanding that a colleague takes time away from their regular workload to read all files and mail to them word for word. This is time-consuming and costly for an employer and would consequently be quite unreasonable.

Other good reasonable adjustment examples might be:

It should go without saying that these adjustments are not restricted to sight loss. They are, however, written into British law under the equality Act 2010 and failure to take such requests very seriously could easily result in an employment tribunal.

Follow this link to Citizens Advice for further information.

Where an employer can’t possibly be expected to meet certain needs, perhaps because of expense, the employee might need to apply to the Access to Work Scheme, administered by Job Centre Plus.