Labour Research November 2015

Law Queries

Reasonable adjustments

I will be starting a new job soon. The job is office based. I am blind. Is my employer legally obliged to make any changes to the building and office?

If you are disadvantaged by any physical features of the premises, your employer has an obligation to implement reasonable adjustments. 

In accordance with the Equality Act 2010, reasonable steps should be taken to make sure disabled employees are not disadvantaged by a physical feature.

In addition, employers must make reasonable adjustments if a disabled employee is substantially disadvantaged in comparison to a non-disabled person by their employer’s policy, provision or practice.Reasonable steps should also be taken to provide auxiliary aids to avoid any disadvantage. 

So please keep in mind that your employer may be obliged not only to make changes to the premises, but also to make other reasonable adjustments such as instructions in braille and guide dog facilities.

There is much complex case law relating to when a disabled person is at a disadvantage in comparison to others and which adjustments are reasonable. What is considered reasonable will very much depend on individual circumstances. This is something you will need in-depth advice on.