When does it become a “failure” to make reasonable adjustments? — Scope | Disability forum
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.
Please read our updated community house rules and community guidelines.

When does it become a “failure” to make reasonable adjustments?

Options
Cammatia1
Cammatia1 Community member Posts: 10 Listener
I’ve been off work on stress leave since the 12th August due to my working environment clashing with my autism. It has been the consensus that I am needing reasonable adjustments in the form of a job role change. I cannot return to work until that’s done.

My manager has made 2 “attempts” to accommodate. I have said on multiple occasions that I need a role that stays in one area and that has a clear and structured framework.  The first role offered involved going to multiple places within the three hours I was there on a trial shift. When I brought this up with them I was told that it “doesn’t happen often”. 

On the second role, I was assured of where my role would be, and that it was structured and clear. I got there to be shown around, and the role didn’t exist - and would have caused confusion for other staff members jobs if I had taken upon the supposed role. It was hastily decided that I follow a colleague around instead until the problem can be sorted with my manager who was due to be back from holiday the following week, which isn’t a clear framework for my job role at all, and by that point I had lost trust in management to sort it :(

after the second incident, I filed a grievance on the 26th November against my manager, and my return to work issue has been transferred to their manager to deal with. Since then I’ve just been waiting. I have had meetings to discuss what I need, in which I have just repeated the same things. I have said since November that I am willing to work as soon as possible, as I’ve used all my sick and holiday pay to keep myself afloat, and I’m really struggling financially. At this point I’m not the one delaying my return to work.

i just don’t know at what point it becomes a “failure” to make reasonable adjustments? Do they have to say they can’t? Or is there an implied reasonable amount of time? I’m cautious of the 3 month time limit to make a claim, but I don’t know when I can call it a failure. I don’t think I’m asking for much in terms of accommodations, and even if I were I don’t understand why they wouldn’t have just said they couldn’t reasonably make adjustments rather than stringing it along for 5 months.

ive been thinking of asking for compensation for financial losses and stress if my grievance is upheld as I filed it for “facilitating discriminatory issues”, and if it weren’t for the actions of my manager I would have most likely been back at work a long time ago. If it is not upheld I am wanting to go to early conciliation, but again, I don’t know when it counts as a failure to make reasonable adjustment. Technically they’re still trying to make them, they’re just doing it so badly I’ve lost out financially and mentally
«1

Comments

  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 472 Pioneering
    Options


    @Cammatia1

    Employers have a legal obligation under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities, including autism. The definition of "reasonable adjustments" can vary depending on the circumstances, but they generally involve changes to the workplace or working conditions to accommodate the needs of the employee.

    It's essential to document all communication with your employer, including requests for adjustments, the attempts made, and the outcomes. If your grievance is upheld, it may strengthen your case for compensation.

    In terms of a "failure" to make reasonable adjustments, there isn't a strict timeframe defined by law. However, employers are expected to act promptly, and undue delays can be considered a failure to fulfil their legal obligations. If the adjustments are taking an unreasonably long time, you may want to seek legal advice to understand your options.

    Generally you have three months minus one day from the date of the alleged discrimination to file a claim with the Employment Tribunal. This time limit can be extended if you go through the Early Conciliation process administered by ACAS. You might want to contact ACAS or a legal professional to discuss your specific circumstances and get advice on the best course of action.

  • tony174
    tony174 Community member Posts: 1 Listener
    Options
    The legislation is “reasonable and practical” accommodation. Reasonable relates to the cost of the changes. They must be affordable to the business. For example’ a small corner shop could not reasonably be expected to spend thousands of pounds to overcome a flight of steps to enter their property. Practical is more straightforward and asks if it is technically possible to make the changes. 
  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 472 Pioneering
    Options
    @tony174

    Tony, just wanted to say welcome to Scope. I wholeheartedly agree with your perspective on the legislation surrounding "reasonable and practical" accommodation. It's crucial to strike a balance between ensuring accessibility and understanding the practical limitations that different businesses may face.

  • Raindrop
    Raindrop Community member Posts: 14 Listener
    Options
    @Cammatia1 I am sorry to hear of your work situation. If you are thinking of making a claim do it now. I am currently trying to make a claim against my employers and they are saying that I am out of time. If I am out of time, it will mainly be because they took so long to reply to my grievance. I would suggest that you put in a claim immediately. It sounds like your employers could be using delays as a tactic to make you run out of time. 
  • LeftBehind
    LeftBehind Community member Posts: 9 Listener
    Options

    Employers must make reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities, including autism. Document all communication with your employer regarding adjustments. If your grievance is upheld, it may strengthen your case for compensation. Employers are expected to act promptly. Seek legal advice if adjustments take an unreasonably long time. You have three months minus one day to file a claim with the Employment Tribunal. Contact ACAS or a legal professional for advice.

  • Raindrop
    Raindrop Community member Posts: 14 Listener
    Options
    Maybe they must on paper but I worked for a well thought of charity and they wouldn't even sign my access to work paperwork. Not even the part that didn't cost them anything! Now they are claiming that I am not disabled. This from an employer who refused the access to work bespoke training for staff as they thought they knew enough already. Grrr it makes me so cross. I think they are only disputing my disability so they can ask for access to my medical records. 
  • eeL
    eeL Community member Posts: 22 Connected
    Options
    Gees guys, I've been through all of this myself and it really saddens me that employers are like this! And it's true that the Law is an ass unless someone is enforcing it, and yet there seems nobody and nothing that's designed to enforce employment law, and disabled people lose out. It's one of the world's great wrongs, and I wish someone would sort it. Personally I agree with Raindrop - the 'out of time' thing was what left me with nothing, because I'd dragged my heels in hope of the situation being rectified, only to find out that my employer never intended it to be. I let them give me the run around in belief that I could come back to the job I loved but they were just playing the long game. I think I was optimistic, had a silly faith in human nature, thought if I could do the job there was no reason that I shouldn't be doing the job, assumed everyone was just logical and kind and thought employment law was on my side so it'd all work out. Don't be me.
    You can get half hour legal case assessments for free sometimes and you might find they'll take it forward on a 'No win no fee' basis if they think you have a good case. Or ask ACAS for advice. The National Autistic Society might give advice too. I know it's preferable to hang on if you really want the job (I did) but all's not fair in love and war so I'd take Raindrop's advice and be careful! I'll be honest it sounds alot like my situation was - employer doesn't have a clue how to effectively deal with it, doesn't want to and hopes you'll go away, especially if they know you're struggling for money and they can 'starve you out'. Do please get some professional advice!
  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 472 Pioneering
    Options
    @eeL
    Your advice to others to not delay and to seek professional advice is sound. It's a reminder that while optimism is valuable, it must be balanced with a practical approach to protect one's rights, especially in the workplace where power dynamics can be uneven. Thank you for sharing your story, and I hope your experience can help others navigate similar challenges more effectively. I hope things are improving for you.
  • Raindrop
    Raindrop Community member Posts: 14 Listener
    Options
    Employers know what they're doing in these situations and the little people don't. Also, for employer's, it's just a problem that they farm out for someone ese to deal with. They are not paying for it themselves so it doesn't cost them anything and they are not that bothered as you are just small part of their job. However for you, you will live and breathe this every day and have to do all the paperwork yourself which is hard. They know this so they ask for more. The effort and emotion involved is draining and damaging. Employers and legal teams know this and play on it. I will say that if you are right and you know you are right you do not need legal advice. You need to make a claim to ACAS immediately and if that doesn't resolve anything then fill in an ET1 form. You can cancel at any time but by doing that they will know you are serious. They will be awful until the day before you are due to go to court. It is a game of chess and they are paid alot of money to play it. Stand your ground, know you are right and when the time comes to go to court they will suddenly agree with you (in part) and offer you a small amount of money. At this point decide if you can take it any more, emotionally or if you want out It's sad but true. 
  • Raindrop
    Raindrop Community member Posts: 14 Listener
    Options
    No point having loads of money if you're dead!

  • eeL
    eeL Community member Posts: 22 Connected
    Options
    My employer gloated right at the beginning that I'd never see it through to court because I'd be broken by then and unable to fight it. I was determined that he wouldn't be right but he was. It really is a health, mind and soul destroying process that makes you think you're going round the twist and awful lies get said about you. It was so damaging to me that I returned to self harm for the first time in 20 years and thought I could never work again. Your health and welfare are more important than money, that job or winning because you're right. If I could do it all again (heaven forbid!) I'd just have left, collected some holiday pay and got another job. That's so wrong and unfair, but if people have decided they want you out they'll engineer it, even if it costs them. When I asked for reasonable adjustments that Boss said, 'We're a busy company, we don't have time for all that'. It may technically be illegal, but alot of companies are still just avoiding having a disabled person on the books. It's all wrong, but it's currently how it is. Just look after yourself, you're what matters above all else! 
  • Dempseym
    Dempseym Community member Posts: 32 Courageous
    Options
    I am still being harassed by neighbours because of my disability.  I have asked for a reasonable adjustment but the Council were caught on CCTV aiding and abetting a known offending council tenant who demanded the council's "ineffective" reasonable adjustment to be removed. Since then I have been socially isolated to the point of social isolation and lockdown. All to allow their offending council tenant, her family and visitors to obstruct my access to the highway. I can no longer see my son, and the council have supported the continued harassment of their KNOWN offending council tenant and her family.  So, how can you help a disabled person trapped in their own home. Can you help with that ?????
  • eeL
    eeL Community member Posts: 22 Connected
    Options
    Have you tried speaking to your MP? They carry some weight and can take an impartial view from both sides. Or the Press might embarrass people into behaving better, but probably not if they don't care and think they're right regardless. I have a similar problem with a neighbour's daughter and somehow the Police and Council always take her side - am I wrong to suspect it's because she works for a neighbouring Council and her mother's friends with a Policeman who lives three doors down?! Anyhow, it's a case of needing 'mediation' from an independent person (who may say either party is wrong or needs to make changes), but I'll be honest I'm also finding that person elusive.
  • Wibbles
    Wibbles Community member Posts: 1,603 Pioneering
    Options
    Cammatia1 said:
    I’ve been off work on stress leave since the 12th August due to my working environment clashing with my autism. It has been the consensus that I am needing reasonable adjustments in the form of a job role change. I cannot return to work until that’s done.

    My manager has made 2 “attempts” to accommodate. I have said on multiple occasions that I need a role that stays in one area and that has a clear and structured framework.  The first role offered involved going to multiple places within the three hours I was there on a trial shift. When I brought this up with them I was told that it “doesn’t happen often”. 

    On the second role, I was assured of where my role would be, and that it was structured and clear. I got there to be shown around, and the role didn’t exist - and would have caused confusion for other staff members jobs if I had taken upon the supposed role. It was hastily decided that I follow a colleague around instead until the problem can be sorted with my manager who was due to be back from holiday the following week, which isn’t a clear framework for my job role at all, and by that point I had lost trust in management to sort it :(

    after the second incident, I filed a grievance on the 26th November against my manager, and my return to work issue has been transferred to their manager to deal with. Since then I’ve just been waiting. I have had meetings to discuss what I need, in which I have just repeated the same things. I have said since November that I am willing to work as soon as possible, as I’ve used all my sick and holiday pay to keep myself afloat, and I’m really struggling financially. At this point I’m not the one delaying my return to work.

    i just don’t know at what point it becomes a “failure” to make reasonable adjustments? Do they have to say they can’t? Or is there an implied reasonable amount of time? I’m cautious of the 3 month time limit to make a claim, but I don’t know when I can call it a failure. I don’t think I’m asking for much in terms of accommodations, and even if I were I don’t understand why they wouldn’t have just said they couldn’t reasonably make adjustments rather than stringing it along for 5 months.

    ive been thinking of asking for compensation for financial losses and stress if my grievance is upheld as I filed it for “facilitating discriminatory issues”, and if it weren’t for the actions of my manager I would have most likely been back at work a long time ago. If it is not upheld I am wanting to go to early conciliation, but again, I don’t know when it counts as a failure to make reasonable adjustment. Technically they’re still trying to make them, they’re just doing it so badly I’ve lost out financially and mentally

    Are you in a trades union - or can you join one ?
    This sort of situation will be bread and butter to a decent union rep
    Don't worry about not being a union member when the actual problem emerged either.
  • Dempseym
    Dempseym Community member Posts: 32 Courageous
    Options
    eeL said:
    Have you tried speaking to your MP? They carry some weight and can take an impartial view from both sides. Or the Press might embarrass people into behaving better, but probably not if they don't care and think they're right regardless. I have a similar problem with a neighbour's daughter and somehow the Police and Council always take her side - am I wrong to suspect it's because she works for a neighbouring Council and her mother's friends with a Policeman who lives three doors down?! Anyhow, it's a case of needing 'mediation' from an independent person (who may say either party is wrong or needs to make changes), but I'll be honest I'm also finding that person elusive.

  • Dempseym
    Dempseym Community member Posts: 32 Courageous
    Options
    Yes, he did nothing at all. 
  • Dempseym
    Dempseym Community member Posts: 32 Courageous
    Options
    Dempseym said:
    eeL said:
    Have you tried speaking to your MP? They carry some weight and can take an impartial view from both sides. Or the Press might embarrass people into behaving better, but probably not if they don't care and think they're right regardless. I have a similar problem with a neighbour's daughter and somehow the Police and Council always take her side - am I wrong to suspect it's because she works for a neighbouring Council and her mother's friends with a Policeman who lives three doors down?! Anyhow, it's a case of needing 'mediation' from an independent person (who may say either party is wrong or needs to make changes), but I'll be honest I'm also finding that person elusive.
    North Wales Police and the council are aiding and abetting hate crime. They refused to log the incident of the Council caught on camera aiding and abetting their offending council tenant.  The PCC totally stonewalled me and the MP has done nothing. 


  • Cammatia1
    Cammatia1 Community member Posts: 10 Listener
    Options
    Wibbles said:
    Cammatia1 said:
    I’ve been off work on stress leave since the 12th August due to my working environment clashing with my autism. It has been the consensus that I am needing reasonable adjustments in the form of a job role change. I cannot return to work until that’s done.

    My manager has made 2 “attempts” to accommodate. I have said on multiple occasions that I need a role that stays in one area and that has a clear and structured framework.  The first role offered involved going to multiple places within the three hours I was there on a trial shift. When I brought this up with them I was told that it “doesn’t happen often”. 

    On the second role, I was assured of where my role would be, and that it was structured and clear. I got there to be shown around, and the role didn’t exist - and would have caused confusion for other staff members jobs if I had taken upon the supposed role. It was hastily decided that I follow a colleague around instead until the problem can be sorted with my manager who was due to be back from holiday the following week, which isn’t a clear framework for my job role at all, and by that point I had lost trust in management to sort it :(

    after the second incident, I filed a grievance on the 26th November against my manager, and my return to work issue has been transferred to their manager to deal with. Since then I’ve just been waiting. I have had meetings to discuss what I need, in which I have just repeated the same things. I have said since November that I am willing to work as soon as possible, as I’ve used all my sick and holiday pay to keep myself afloat, and I’m really struggling financially. At this point I’m not the one delaying my return to work.

    i just don’t know at what point it becomes a “failure” to make reasonable adjustments? Do they have to say they can’t? Or is there an implied reasonable amount of time? I’m cautious of the 3 month time limit to make a claim, but I don’t know when I can call it a failure. I don’t think I’m asking for much in terms of accommodations, and even if I were I don’t understand why they wouldn’t have just said they couldn’t reasonably make adjustments rather than stringing it along for 5 months.

    ive been thinking of asking for compensation for financial losses and stress if my grievance is upheld as I filed it for “facilitating discriminatory issues”, and if it weren’t for the actions of my manager I would have most likely been back at work a long time ago. If it is not upheld I am wanting to go to early conciliation, but again, I don’t know when it counts as a failure to make reasonable adjustment. Technically they’re still trying to make them, they’re just doing it so badly I’ve lost out financially and mentally

    Are you in a trades union - or can you join one ?
    This sort of situation will be bread and butter to a decent union rep
    Don't worry about not being a union member when the actual problem emerged either.
    I am not, and as far as I’m aware my works Union doesn’t take on problems that happened before being a part of them. 

    Right now I’m in early conciliation with my employer after a lodging a grievance in November. I Should have the grievance outcome by next week. I have stated the compensation I want in order to put this whole thing to rest. They’re waiting until the grievance result before they decide what to do, but based on the evidence I have I’m fairly certain they will negotiate something with me. Despite that I’m still getting my ducks in a row ready to file for a tribunal. The more they’ve messed up the more it’s riled me up to go all the way to get the outcome I deserve.
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,912 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    @Cammatia1 I am keeping everything crossed for you that it goes in your favour <3 I know what it feels like to have that riled up feeling when you've been wronged. Can I ask, have you got support around you? or someone to talk to? 
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • Dempseym
    Dempseym Community member Posts: 32 Courageous
    Options
    @Cammatia1 I am keeping everything crossed for you that it goes in your favour <3 I know what it feels like to have that riled up feeling when you've been wronged. Can I ask, have you got support around you? or someone to talk to? 

Brightness

Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.