Occupational Health recommended a reasonable adjustment/change of role for me, but management have refused it. What can I do?

This is a common sticking point for anyone needing adjustments at work due to their condition. Reasonable adjustments have to be balanced with the needs of the organisation – a state-of-the-art razor-thin Macbook may help with your dyslexia, but so might a notebook with coloured paper and changing the Windows theme on your computer profile – guess which one your Force is more likely to agree to? The problem comes when a refusal to implement a change at work or to consider reasonable alternatives causes you hardship, which can have a knock-on effect in your personal life. In the case of disabilities, this may fall foul of the Equality Act, which clearly states that an employee may not be treated less favourably due to a disability. The Act also places an explicit obligation on employers to implement reasonable adjustments to assist with the recruitment and employment of disabled staff.

In the first instance, we would suggest contacting your Federation or union rep, and trying to negotiate with your line management, perhaps with the involvement of Occ Health or an external consultant to reinforce your case for reasonable adjustments or change of role. Failing this, consider using the grievance procedure – all cases are recorded by HR and are subject to scrutiny. Legal action should only be considered as a last resort (see separate FAQ on employment tribunals).

Unison have provided a guide to reasonable adjustments with examples for various conditions and employment tribunal case studies.

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