A corporate access budget has been established to assist in the provision of reasonable adjustments resulting in extra employment costs relating to disability.
The following information aims to set the criteria for funding applications.
Most employers already successfully employ people who would be covered by the Equality Act whether or not they realise it and whether or not the person chooses to use the term "disabled" about themselves.
It's our policy to promote full integration, participation and equality of opportunity for all our employees.
Under the terms of the Equality Act, we have a duty to consider making ‘reasonable adjustments’ to ensure that disabled people are not put at a substantial disadvantage by employment arrangements or any physical feature of the workplace. Examples of the sort of adjustments to consider include:
- being flexible about hours worked
- rethinking established processes and procedures
- allocating some tasks to someone else or exchanging tasks with someone else
- providing modified or alternative equipment
- providing training
- making instructions and manuals more accessible
- transfer to another post or another place of work
- making adjustments to the buildings
- providing a reader or interpreter
Timely and appropriate support can dramatically affect the employment opportunities and experiences of employees. A creative solution to a problem can mean the difference between someone being able to accept an offer of employment or maintain existing employment and having to pass up the opportunity to work.
Although some adjustments to the workplace and some equipment can be expensive this isn’t always the case, with a little imagination a creative solution can often be achieved at little or not cost.
People involved in the decision
The employee should play an active role in discussing these arrangements. Advice can also be obtained from occupational health, departmental HR officers, health and safety or relevant members of the corporate HR division.
When making adjustments consider:
- how effective will an adjustment be?
- is it practical?
- will it cause much disruption?
- will it help other people in the workplace?
- is the cost prohibitive?
The prime responsibility for ensuring adaptations are in place rest with the employing department, as does the responsibility for meeting the cost. The decision to accept and implement any recommendation regarding adjustments also remains the responsibility of the employing department.
Access to work
In certain circumstances help may be available from the Jobcentre plus, access to work scheme including:
- a communicator for deaf people or those who have a hearing impairment and need a communicator with them at an interview
- a reader at work for someone who is blind or has a visual impairment
- special equipment (or alterations to existing equipment) to suit particular work needs arising from disability
- alterations to premises or working environment, if needed because of disability
- a support worker, if practical help is needed because of disability, either at work or getting to work
- help towards the cost of getting to work if disability prevents the employee from using public transport
Access to work must be informed of any change in circumstances and equipment must not be disposed of or used by another individual without prior consultation.
The corporate access budget will consider allocation of funds in addition to those provided by access to work.
The objective of the fund is to:
- promote the integration, participation and equality of opportunity for employees with access requirements.
- help co-ordinate the assessment of need To advise and assist in the implementation of a programme of improvement
- advise and assist in the access to work application process
- advise and assist in the identification of access solutions
- to manage the allocation of funds from the corporate access budget
Our employees are defined as a disabled person by the Equality Act.
"The Equality Act defines a disabled person as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities."
For our employees who are not be covered by the act, but who have been identified as in need of a workplace adjustment.
Evidence of such a need may be supported by:
- an occupational health referral
- a health and safety assessment
- employee self identification
- supported by line manager
- access to work assessment
- assessment by other specialist organisation
This budget is not meant to supplement or replace departmental responsibility to provided standard pieces of equipment in relation to legal requirements relating to the workforce as a whole. For example, health and safety regulations.
Changing job or leaving our employment
It should be acknowledged that the equipment is provided for the sole use of the named employee.
Should the employee move to another location within our employment, it is recommended that the equipment is transferred to the new location as well.
Although no claim to ownership is assumed the corporate access budget administration office should be advised of any change in circumstances including transfer to a new location, use by another eligible employee or storage location should the equipment no longer be required or if the employee no longer works for us.
More information can be obtained from Sandy McKay tel: 01629 536943.