What is a reasonable adjustment?
A reasonable adjustment is a change/changes to the work environment or additional equipment that allows individuals with a disability, mental health condition or long term health condition to work safely and productively. A reasonable adjustment can help remove barriers and allow the individual to perform to the best of their ability in their role. Adjustments can also be requested at interview stage.
Adjustments at interview stage
Attending an interview can be a very daunting process. It can be even more so if someone has a disability or health condition. Reasonable adjustments can be requested at interview stage if the individual has a disability/health condition which may impact on their ability to perform at an interview. Each adjustment requested is dependent upon the individuals condition and how this would affect them in an interview. One of the most requested adjustments at interview stage is getting access to the interview questions beforehand. This can be anything between 1 day or 1 hour before to allow the individual a fairer chance at succeeding at interview stage. Having the questions beforehand allows the person to fully prepare their answers giving them a fairer chance of impressing the interview panel. This is particularly helpful to an individual with anxiety and/or Autism who has difficulty with processing verbal communication. In some cases employers give these questions in writing or in other cases they may discuss the set up or structure of the interview.
Details such as number of people on the interview panel, pictures of the panel, location, room set up and if the interview includes a test/trial. These are small adjustments but can help reduce anxiety and allow people to perform to their best at the interview.
Some of our clients would also benefit from a work trial or a task instead of a face to face interview. This allows the individual to show their direct skills for the job. For example, in a data entry role, we may ask if the employer would consider replacing the face to face interview and judge the persons suitability for the role by observing their data entry skills.
Other adjustments at interview examples
- Extra time to answer questions due to their condition
- Client with a hearing impairment was not required to do telephone/Skype interview and given visual questions at face to face interview
- Prompt cards with examples of employment history
- C.V. to be used during interview
- 1-1 interview rather than a panel
- Informal meeting before the interview
In work adjustments
Many people with a disability/health condition require reasonable adjustments in work to help them overcome barriers. Adjustments allow the individual to complete their role to a high standard. In this section we will talk about the support/in work adjustments that may be required.
Into Work suggests reasonable adjustments that can come at little or no cost to the employer. These adjustments can be as simple as allowing flexible working times which allows the individual to manage their health condition, or travel during off peak times. Allowing an employee a quiet space to work instead of an busy open planned office or allocating a supportive member of staff as a mentor. These adjustments can make a huge difference to an employee with a health condition/disability.
For individuals on the Autism Spectrum we may suggest presenting information visually. This lets an individual process information in their own time and can replace vocal instructions which some individuals find difficult to follow and process. This can also be used for instructions on how to complete certain tasks. We have worked with a number of individuals who have requested step by step visual guides on how to complete tasks such as using equipment or navigating databases. This can help eradicate mistakes, enhance productivity and make learning easier for both employer and employee.
Some of the adjustments in work may require equipment to be purchased for the individual. Funding for equipment can be provided by Access to Work*. Access to Work is a government funding scheme that provides an assessment for the employee to analyse what support they may find beneficial depending on their needs.
Some examples of adjustments funded by Access to Work for Into Work clients:
- Dual computer screens
- Adjustable desks
- Magnifying computer software (for example Zoomtext/Jaws)
- Foot rests
- Voice recognition software (for example Dragon)
- Taxi to and from work
- Additional support from a job coach.
These are just a few adjustments that Into Work have made for individuals.
Treating everybody the exact same way does not always benefit everyone…
We hope you have found this information useful.
You can find more information about Access to Work on the government’s website.