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Reasonable adjustments in the workplace

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NAS92857
NAS92857 Community member Posts: 2 Listener

I was diagnosed 3 weeks ago with autism, something I wasn't surprised at and actually feel relieved at knowing.

I work in the civil service, always been office based, never worked from home but over the last few years I've been really struggling with the work and the environment I was in. 

Currently on sick leave and spoken to manager about what I'd like going forward. I've said full time home working due to the issues I faced in the workplace (crowded, noisy, temperature too hot, no routine). I've been told that I'd have to put in a flexible working request first to leave the department then put in a reasonable adjustment request on my new team for home working.

I've explained my issue with this is if I get moved teams on the first request its to operations which is a big open plan floor with hundreds of people, I've sat there briefly last year and had to leave the building as it was too overwhelming (at this point not knowing I was autistic). If this was to happen and then my reasonable adjustment request for home working was rejected I'd be stuck in an environment far worse than the one I'm requesting to leave.

Does anyone have any pointers on what the best course of action is to request full time home working? I've read up on so many pages but again when I mention it to my manager I keep getting told 'the expectation is to be in the office 2-3 days a week as a minimum' which goes against the law which states each reasonable request should be treated on a case by case basis and not compared to other requests. 

Comments

  • Bydand
    Bydand Community member Posts: 117 Pioneering
    Options
    NAS92857 said:

    I was diagnosed 3 weeks ago with autism, something I wasn't surprised at and actually feel relieved at knowing.

    I work in the civil service, always been office based, never worked from home but over the last few years I've been really struggling with the work and the environment I was in. 

    Currently on sick leave and spoken to manager about what I'd like going forward. I've said full time home working due to the issues I faced in the workplace (crowded, noisy, temperature too hot, no routine). I've been told that I'd have to put in a flexible working request first to leave the department then put in a reasonable adjustment request on my new team for home working.

    I've explained my issue with this is if I get moved teams on the first request its to operations which is a big open plan floor with hundreds of people, I've sat there briefly last year and had to leave the building as it was too overwhelming (at this point not knowing I was autistic). If this was to happen and then my reasonable adjustment request for home working was rejected I'd be stuck in an environment far worse than the one I'm requesting to leave.

    Does anyone have any pointers on what the best course of action is to request full time home working? I've read up on so many pages but again when I mention it to my manager I keep getting told 'the expectation is to be in the office 2-3 days a week as a minimum' which goes against the law which states each reasonable request should be treated on a case by case basis and not compared to other requests. 

    Hi,
    Have you only gone sick since your diagnosis of autism or were you off prior to this?

    I think lots of people even without autism do not particularly like the office environment ( crowded, noisy, too hot, too cold, people speaking over each other etc) and would love to work from home. I hated any period of time spent in an office.

    I would expect any request for reasonable adjustments to generally be proceeded with an OH referral. The report generated from this forms the basis of what an employer will look at, what is possible and what is not.

    Having OH involved at an early stage keeps everything official which is important should there ever be disagreements or problems in the future.

    I would have thought that the employer would look firstly based on the OH report at what if any reasonable adjustments they could do to keep you where you currently are. That would be the first step and go from there.

    I would have thought that asking for full home remote working straight away without having had or tried any other reasonable adjustments first would be difficult for an employer to accommodate .

    For instance why can’t you work 3 days in the office and two from home?, that is surely better than a full week in the office and may be easier for an employer to agree too.

    It should be said that you as an employee also have to be seen to be reasonable!.

    it is not against the law for an employer to have certain expectations on staffs working practices in relation to their business  and indeed the contract you are on.

    You are correct that any request for reasonable adjustments should be taken on a case by case basis, but that doesn't mean an employer has to agree to every reasonable adjustment, and this can become problematical if the request does not fit into the business model they use, whether you think that is fair or not.

    An employer when looking at adjustments has to show that they have considered the request. If they cannot meet the parameters of the request then they should inform you in writing as to why they have been unable to meet the request.

    You have asked for advice, I would suggest getting OH involved if they are not already but bear in mind their role is two pronged in as much as they are there to also advise the employer as well as you.

    You only need to read some of the various posts on this forum to see that not all reasonable requests go to plan, which is why it is important to have all this documented properly through your HR and OH.

    Good luck

  • NAS92857
    NAS92857 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
    Options
    Bydand said:
    NAS92857 said:

    I was diagnosed 3 weeks ago with autism, something I wasn't surprised at and actually feel relieved at knowing.

    I work in the civil service, always been office based, never worked from home but over the last few years I've been really struggling with the work and the environment I was in. 

    Currently on sick leave and spoken to manager about what I'd like going forward. I've said full time home working due to the issues I faced in the workplace (crowded, noisy, temperature too hot, no routine). I've been told that I'd have to put in a flexible working request first to leave the department then put in a reasonable adjustment request on my new team for home working.

    I've explained my issue with this is if I get moved teams on the first request its to operations which is a big open plan floor with hundreds of people, I've sat there briefly last year and had to leave the building as it was too overwhelming (at this point not knowing I was autistic). If this was to happen and then my reasonable adjustment request for home working was rejected I'd be stuck in an environment far worse than the one I'm requesting to leave.

    Does anyone have any pointers on what the best course of action is to request full time home working? I've read up on so many pages but again when I mention it to my manager I keep getting told 'the expectation is to be in the office 2-3 days a week as a minimum' which goes against the law which states each reasonable request should be treated on a case by case basis and not compared to other requests. 

    Hi,
    Have you only gone sick since your diagnosis of autism or were you off prior to this?

    I think lots of people even without autism do not particularly like the office environment ( crowded, noisy, too hot, too cold, people speaking over each other etc) and would love to work from home. I hated any period of time spent in an office.

    I would expect any request for reasonable adjustments to generally be proceeded with an OH referral. The report generated from this forms the basis of what an employer will look at, what is possible and what is not.

    Having OH involved at an early stage keeps everything official which is important should there ever be disagreements or problems in the future.

    I would have thought that the employer would look firstly based on the OH report at what if any reasonable adjustments they could do to keep you where you currently are. That would be the first step and go from there.

    I would have thought that asking for full home remote working straight away without having had or tried any other reasonable adjustments first would be difficult for an employer to accommodate .

    For instance why can’t you work 3 days in the office and two from home?, that is surely better than a full week in the office and may be easier for an employer to agree too.

    It should be said that you as an employee also have to be seen to be reasonable!.

    it is not against the law for an employer to have certain expectations on staffs working practices in relation to their business  and indeed the contract you are on.

    You are correct that any request for reasonable adjustments should be taken on a case by case basis, but that doesn't mean an employer has to agree to every reasonable adjustment, and this can become problematical if the request does not fit into the business model they use, whether you think that is fair or not.

    An employer when looking at adjustments has to show that they have considered the request. If they cannot meet the parameters of the request then they should inform you in writing as to why they have been unable to meet the request.

    You have asked for advice, I would suggest getting OH involved if they are not already but bear in mind their role is two pronged in as much as they are there to also advise the employer as well as you.

    You only need to read some of the various posts on this forum to see that not all reasonable requests go to plan, which is why it is important to have all this documented properly through your HR and OH.

    Good luck

    Thanks for the reply.

    I've been off sick since September 2023 due to at the time anxiety/panic attacks. With hindsight this has been classed as autism burnout.

    My autism assessment didn't take place until March with the result in May, so well after my sickness had started.

    The issues I struggle with are listed in my autism assessment and specifically highlight three areas relating to social environments.

    I did a OH in November which recommended 2 days office based, 3 from home but work said they couldn't accommodate this due to the work stream at the time. Since then it's all changed and it's now all digital (before it was all paper based). I'm waiting on another OH to be completed that will be more up to date with the autism assessment and the changes that have occurred in my job since November. 
  • Bydand
    Bydand Community member Posts: 117 Pioneering
    Options
    NAS92857 said:
    Bydand said:
    NAS92857 said:

    I was diagnosed 3 weeks ago with autism, something I wasn't surprised at and actually feel relieved at knowing.

    I work in the civil service, always been office based, never worked from home but over the last few years I've been really struggling with the work and the environment I was in. 

    Currently on sick leave and spoken to manager about what I'd like going forward. I've said full time home working due to the issues I faced in the workplace (crowded, noisy, temperature too hot, no routine). I've been told that I'd have to put in a flexible working request first to leave the department then put in a reasonable adjustment request on my new team for home working.

    I've explained my issue with this is if I get moved teams on the first request its to operations which is a big open plan floor with hundreds of people, I've sat there briefly last year and had to leave the building as it was too overwhelming (at this point not knowing I was autistic). If this was to happen and then my reasonable adjustment request for home working was rejected I'd be stuck in an environment far worse than the one I'm requesting to leave.

    Does anyone have any pointers on what the best course of action is to request full time home working? I've read up on so many pages but again when I mention it to my manager I keep getting told 'the expectation is to be in the office 2-3 days a week as a minimum' which goes against the law which states each reasonable request should be treated on a case by case basis and not compared to other requests. 

    Hi,
    Have you only gone sick since your diagnosis of autism or were you off prior to this?

    I think lots of people even without autism do not particularly like the office environment ( crowded, noisy, too hot, too cold, people speaking over each other etc) and would love to work from home. I hated any period of time spent in an office.

    I would expect any request for reasonable adjustments to generally be proceeded with an OH referral. The report generated from this forms the basis of what an employer will look at, what is possible and what is not.

    Having OH involved at an early stage keeps everything official which is important should there ever be disagreements or problems in the future.

    I would have thought that the employer would look firstly based on the OH report at what if any reasonable adjustments they could do to keep you where you currently are. That would be the first step and go from there.

    I would have thought that asking for full home remote working straight away without having had or tried any other reasonable adjustments first would be difficult for an employer to accommodate .

    For instance why can’t you work 3 days in the office and two from home?, that is surely better than a full week in the office and may be easier for an employer to agree too.

    It should be said that you as an employee also have to be seen to be reasonable!.

    it is not against the law for an employer to have certain expectations on staffs working practices in relation to their business  and indeed the contract you are on.

    You are correct that any request for reasonable adjustments should be taken on a case by case basis, but that doesn't mean an employer has to agree to every reasonable adjustment, and this can become problematical if the request does not fit into the business model they use, whether you think that is fair or not.

    An employer when looking at adjustments has to show that they have considered the request. If they cannot meet the parameters of the request then they should inform you in writing as to why they have been unable to meet the request.

    You have asked for advice, I would suggest getting OH involved if they are not already but bear in mind their role is two pronged in as much as they are there to also advise the employer as well as you.

    You only need to read some of the various posts on this forum to see that not all reasonable requests go to plan, which is why it is important to have all this documented properly through your HR and OH.

    Good luck

    Thanks for the reply.

    I've been off sick since September 2023 due to at the time anxiety/panic attacks. With hindsight this has been classed as autism burnout.

    My autism assessment didn't take place until March with the result in May, so well after my sickness had started.

    The issues I struggle with are listed in my autism assessment and specifically highlight three areas relating to social environments.

    I did a OH in November which recommended 2 days office based, 3 from home but work said they couldn't accommodate this due to the work stream at the time. Since then it's all changed and it's now all digital (before it was all paper based). I'm waiting on another OH to be completed that will be more up to date with the autism assessment and the changes that have occurred in my job since November. 
    Hi
    Thats great that OH are involved. I guess it is a waiting game then for the new assessment to take place and a new report to be generated.

    just be aware that the employer still doesn’t need to accept the findings of the report if they believe that the reasonable adjustment recommendations do not meet the business model they have……but they do need to be able to evidence why they cannot accommodate.
  • Bydand
    Bydand Community member Posts: 117 Pioneering
    Options
    @NAS92857

    I forgot to say, you are entitled to see the referral request that the employer puts in. This will show the questions that the employer wants OH too specifically look at. 
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