Fitting the pieces together

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What are “reasonable adjustments” and who pays for them?

Employers have a duty to provide and pay for “reasonable adjustments” so that an employee who becomes disabled or whose condition changes or deteriorates is not put at a substantial disadvantage in their work.  The cost of an adjustment, as well as the size and scope of the employing organisation are factors in deciding what is reasonable or not.  

What if one of my employees becomes disabled?

Retaining individuals who become disabled is almost always financially beneficial to an employer; this may require some flexibility on both sides, but savings are made as new staff are not required, and costs for recruitment and subsequent training are avoided. There is further discussion under retention.

What does the law say about employing people with a disability?

The Equality Act 2010 states that  disabled people have a right to fair treatment relating to employment. Employers are acting unlawfully if they discriminate against current or prospective employees because of an impairment or health condition.

What is the definition of disability?

A person is disabled under the 2010 Equality Act if they have a physical or mental impairment that has a “substantial and “long-term” negative effect on their ability to do normal daily activities.

How can I encourage people with a disability to apply for vacancies?

By taking part in the  Disability Confident scheme and ensuring that advertisements and application forms are fully accessible to all.  A thorough equality and diversity policy will ensure that people are not treated unfairly.

How can I support an employee with a disability?

People with a long term health condition or an impairment are experts about their own condition, and will know what is right and helpful for them and what works.  By simply listening to and consulting with them and relevant supporting organisations, you can ensure appropriate measures are in place.