effectiveness of the step in preventing disadvantage
Will it work? Will it enable an absent employee to return to work? It is unlikely to be reasonable to make an adjustment that would have little or no benefit in overcoming the disadvantage.
practicality of the step
Steps that are easy to implement are likely to be more reasonable to take than ones that are difficult to implement – but this does not mean that it can never be reasonable to take difficult steps.
financial/other costs required, and the extent of any disruption it may cause
Although cost can be a factor in determining the reasonableness of an adjustment, potential adjustments should not be dismissed out of hand before being fully costed.
extent of the employer’s financial and other resources
The general principle being that employers with larger financial resources are expected to consider potentially more expensive
availability of financial or other help
For example, Access to Work Scheme / permitting the person to use their own adapted equipment (e.g. an adapted car) / seeking information and advice from knowledgeable sources.
nature of the employer’s activities, the size of his/her undertaking and the effect on other employees
For example, if employees work in a small confined factory area and a disabled person requires a high level of permanent heat this could impact negatively on other employees.
adjustments made for other disabled staff
For example, if a number of disabled staff need the same relatively expensive adjustment (e.g. wider doorways) this may reinforce the reasonableness of the adjustment.
extent to which the disabled person is willing to co-operate
To be effective, adjustments will generally require the co-operation of the disabled person.
Assessing and balancing these factors will call for the employer to exercise his or her judgment. It will not necessarily be easy, but it may be made easier by taking these steps:
- Consult the disabled person about his or her needs
- Obtain expert advice, where appropriate;
- Refer to the guidance given in the DDA Code of Practice issued by the Equality Commission
- Use trial periods to test the effectiveness of potential solutions
- Keep an open mind to possible solutions
- Review adjustments periodically
Further guidance is available by contacting our Employer enquiry line 028 90 500 600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
New Guidance: Recruiting People With Disabilities
We have produced new guidance on recruiting people with disabilities. This includes useful information about the reasonable adjustment duty, good practice and taking positive action. Read our guidance