Hello, I’m Shani Dhanda. I’m delighted to share that I’m joining forces with Microlink to spread more awareness of workplace adjustments, disability inclusion and much more.
I’m an award-winning disability specialist listed as one of the UK’s most influential disabled people. Yet I’ve faced multiple barriers getting into and staying in work, which is why I help organisations break barriers and integrate inclusion into their business frameworks, working across business, government, non-profit and wider society.
And when it comes to the topic of workplace adjustments, I’m someone who has experience of both sides of the coin, I’ve always needed workplace adjustments throughout my career, but I’ve also supported employees and line managers on this journey too.
But before I continue to delve further into this subject throughout my blog series, I want to use this opportunity to take it back to basics and look at exactly what we mean when we talk about workplace adjustments.
What‘s defined as a workplace adjustment?
Sometimes referred to as a ‘reasonable adjustment’, a workplace adjustment is a change to a work process, practice, procedure or environment that enables an employee with a health condition or impairment to perform their job in a way without barriers.
The aim of making workplace adjustments is to prevent disabled people being disadvantaged compared to non-disabled people so they can achieve their maximum potential. This applies to all disabled candidates and employees, including trainees, apprentices, contract workers and business partners.
Often the adjustments people might need are easy to implement and don’t cost anything, but they can make a big difference to disabled employees. These can include:
- providing training or mentoring
- making alterations to premises
- ensuring that information is provided in accessible formats
- modifying or acquiring equipment
There are so many endless options for workplace adjustments; the main deciding factors depends on the individual’s needs and preferences whilst equally taking into consideration the nature and size of the employer’s organisation.
What is ‘reasonable’?
People who are defined as ‘disabled’ under the Equality Act 2010 have the right to reasonable adjustments. The act says employers must take steps to remove, reduce or prevent obstacles for disabled employees or candidates, where it’s reasonable to do so.
An employer only has to make adjustments where they are aware – or should reasonably be aware – that the candidate or employee has a disability. This usually means a candidate or employee needs to share how their condition or impairment affects them during the interview process or while performing their role.
There is no set definition of ‘reasonable’ as it’s unique to every organisation. What is clear, though, that there isno justification for failing to make a reasonable adjustment for disabled people. To decide what’s reasonable, employers will have to think about:
- health and safety
- length of service and valuable skills
Workplace adjustments are key to an accessible and inclusive workplace, helping organisations to attract and retain valuable talent, boost productivity while supporting after the needs of their people.
Microlink is widely renowned for their made to measure workplace adjustment service. They have served over 1.4 million employees and supported small to global organisations. No matter what size of organisation you represent, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the experts if you have any questions about workplace adjustments or any related services they offer.
I’ll be covering many other aspects concerning workplace adjustments throughout my blog series, let me know if you have any questions or topic suggestions.
For more disability inclusion related content, you connect with me on Linkedin.
Shani Dhanda is an award-winning disability specialist, listed as one of the UK’s most influential disabled people.
As a keynote speaker and practitioner for inclusion across business, government, non-profit and wider society, Shani helps organisations break barriers and integrate inclusion into their business frameworks.
Shani’s style and approach are described as ‘a winning combination of authenticity and passion, helping to remove the awkwardness and fear of having confident conversations about disability within business and society.’