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Forthcoming events and seminars

Adjustments - What is reasonable?

Who should attend

HR and in-house lawyers plus OH and diversity professionals. This briefing is focused on the employer’s duty not the detail of duties applying to premises or service providers. This briefing is focussed on the employer’s duty. It will not cover in detail duties applying in respect of premises or to service providers.

Synopsis

When a disabled job applicant or employee is ‘substantially’ disadvantaged, the employer has a legal duty to make ‘reasonable’ adjustments. The difficulty is that what is reasonable depends upon the circumstances of each case, and upon the size and resources of the employer. Line-managers must also consider individual requests for flexibility which may appear to some colleagues to amount to favouritism.

As workplaces become more inclusive of older and disabled workers, as technology and work patterns change and good practice expectations rise, managers face an ever broadening range of requests. This update covers the benefits of an approach which is geared towards saying ‘yes’ unless there is a good reason to say ‘no’. We also cover costs, plentiful recent case-law and everyday dilemmas.

Programme

09.00 registration and coffee, 09.30 start

Legal background

  • adjustments: what the duty means and to whom does the duty apply?
  • the employer’s ‘knowledge’ of disability
  • adjustments for those who are not disabled
  • confidentiality obligations

Types of adjustment

  • proactive conversations with staff
  • physical adjustments and equipment
  • non-physical adjustments: fatigue?
  • hours, location, performance targets

Reasonableness

  • do you say ‘no’ unless you have to say ‘yes’?
  • cost: how much is too much and whose budget does it come from?
  • if you can do it, do you have to do it?
  • precedent: if you do it for one …?
  • maintaining adjustments: for how long?

Case-law update

  • Lamb v The Garrard Academy: constructive knowledge of disability
  • Brangwyn v South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust: application of PCP
  • Sheikholeslami v Edinburgh University: correct comparators
  • Forbes v GMB General Union: medical risk assessment
  • Government Legal Service v Brookes: recruitment/ assessment processes
  • Home Office v Kuranchie: reduction in work
  • Watkins v HSBC Bank plc: monitoring work activities

Policies, procedures and individual needs

  • encouraging and monitoring consistency
  • Access to Work scheme: increase in Government funding

13.00 close, followed by lunch

Download the full Adjustments: what is reasonable? training course programme.

Speakers

Mandy Eddolls
Managing Director, HR and Diversity, House of Commons

Mandy spent 10 years working for an international IT company principally on the HR implications of M&A and 12 years with the Environment Agency, developing her specialist knowledge in employment law, IR and reward. After leaving the Agency, Mandy joined the House of Commons in 2019.

Emily Hasted
Principal Associate, Eversheds Sutherland

Emily has many years’ experience advising employers on their obligations under the Equality Act and has dealt with numerous Employment Tribunal claims dealing with reasonable adjustments in the workplace.

Annual training course brochure

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