“Workplace Adjustments” (also known as “reasonable adjustments”) is a term that is often mentioned, but what does it mean? And how can it help people with disabilities in the workplace?
As part of the Equality Act 2010, employers have a duty to make workplace adjustments for their staff who disclose their disability or health condition. This can cover a range of changes to the individual’s work environment and their job role.
“Workplace adjustments are about ensuring the employee has a fair playing field,” says Gill Hudson, a Senior Coach and Trainer at iansyst Ltd who has worked with many individuals with additional needs. “It’s an investment in the individual and the organisation, as adjustments can ensure a more productive and communicative team.”
There are many ways adjustments can be made for individuals in the workplace, depending on their disability or health condition. This can be from where their desk is placed in their office to assistive software that can make their life easier, such as text-to- speech or dictation software.
“We had one individual who struggled working at their desk and we were asked how we could make their life easier,” says Gill. “We noticed they were working on a small screen, so we fitted two, larger monitors which made their workspace ergonomically better. We also placed some basic scripting on their computer, so every time they turned it on all of their programmes would open automatically.”
“When we later visited them to see how they had progressed, we found that these simple adjustments had increased their productivity. Their line manager also felt that other members of staff could receive this support to ensure a more productive workflow.”
In other cases, Gill and her team have helped individuals with disabilities, such as dyslexia, by sourcing the right assistive technology with specialist training and offering coaching sessions.
How can businesses financially support these adjustments in their company?
As part of the government’s Access to Work grant, businesses are able to receive funding for individuals with additional needs. This can include alterations to the work environment, assistive technology, one-to- one coaching and employee support.
If you are seeking an Access to Work grant, you must be disabled and in full-time employment, self-employment or with a confirmed start date. The individual must also be 16 or over, live and work in England, Scotland or Wales.
Iansyst’s team of specialists ensure they work with the individual at hand and support each organisation’s existing processes. By having a workplace that needs assessment, the specialist can meet the employee at their place of work to understand their role, strengths and difficulties.
From this, a report can be written where a list of adjustments will be made, which can include assistive technology with training, so each individual can be fully confident with their software or equipment that has been recommended.
However, the individual doesn’t always need technology to assist them. It could be coaching and strategy training, where the coach listens to what difficulties they have and together they can discuss and create a solution.
For more information on workplace adjustments, training and coaching, speak to iansyst Ltd at Naidex on stand 12162.