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Human Resources

Reasonable Adjustments

Employers are legally obliged to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled people, or people with physical or mental health conditions, are not substantially disadvantaged when applying for or carrying out a job.

A reasonable adjustment is a change to a work process, practice, procedure or environment (including physical layouts, equipment, support) that helps remove, reduce or prevent the obstacles faced by a disabled worker or job applicant.

This applies to all workers, including trainees, apprentices, contract workers and business partners, as well as job applicants and visitors.

What is ‘reasonable’ depends on several factors, including the resources available to the organisation making the adjustment. The Business Disability Forum provides some guidance here on what might be reasonable. At Queen Mary, we are committed to making the necessary adjustments to support disabled people wherever possible.

Reasonable adjustments could include

  • Making changes to the recruitment process so a candidate can be considered for a job.
  • Doing things in another way (e.g. allowing someone with social anxiety to have their own desk instead of hot-desking or to commute at different hours, providing minutes and papers in advance of meetings for visually impaired employees, in a suitable format for the relevant screen reader).
  • Making physical changes to the workplace (e.g. installing a ramp for a wheelchair user, an audio-visual fire alarm for a deaf person, providing parking facilities).
  • Changing equipment (e.g. providing a modified keyboard if an employee has arthritis of the hand or purchasing assistive software like voice recognition software).
  • Allowing employees who become disabled to make a phased return to work, including flexible hours or part-time working (note that any staff, disabled or non-disabled can request flexible working through our policy here, and the reason for making the request does not need to be disclosed).
  • Making changes to someone’s working patterns, hours or ways of working (e.g. allowing someone with insomnia and/or depression to work different hours of the day; to regularly work from home through flexible working; to attend appointments or therapies to help manage their condition).
  • Providing training for colleagues (e.g. ensuring staff receive deaf/hearing impairment awareness training to enable a hearing-impaired employee to feel included).
  • Providing support in the workplace (e.g. providing a BSL interpreter for meetings so that a hearing impaired employee can participate fully or assigning an office buddy to someone on the Autism spectrum to explain office culture and norms).
  • Offering employees relevant training opportunities, recreation and refreshment facilities (e.g. a dedicated quiet space for an autistic employee who experiences sensory overload).

You can find more information and support on reasonable adjustments on the following sites:

How to request and manage reasonable adjustments at Queen Mary

Everyone experiences health differently: at Queen Mary, we want to support as far as is reasonably possible any member of staff who is disabled, or has a physical or mental health condition.

You can find further details of information and support for disabled staff here.


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