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Question about Reasonable Adjustments

morgul2k4morgul2k4 Member Posts: 2 Listener
Hello there, I am in full time work and have several disabilities which have quite complex interactions. My manager recently suggested that I could start working from home for a few days a week as a reasonable adjustment for my disabilities. This is something that I thought would help massively and they sent me to an Occupational Health company for their advice. The Occ Health advisor agreed that it would be a good and reasonable adjustment for me.

My manager is now saying that in order for them to let me work from home I would have to increase my output, above the requirements for my non-disabled colleagues. I just want to get a bit of advice on whether this is a reasonable thing for my employers to ask of me.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Replies

  • MarkmywordsMarkmywords Member Posts: 421 Pioneering
    As you have guessed, it's discriminatory.

    However, people being what they are, if it's not in writing then it was never said. That works both ways though.
  • morgul2k4morgul2k4 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hmm I thought it might be a bit off, they are wanting me to sign an agreement that says I will increase my output. Any advice on what I can say to them apart from "no i don't agree". I would very much like to start homeworking, it would help me no end.
  • MarkmywordsMarkmywords Member Posts: 421 Pioneering
    An "increase in output" is rather vague. Do they ask the same of their non-disabled employees?

    I would ask for an early copy of any new amendment to your contract. Make it clear that you intend to send it to ACAS for their opinion.

    My guess is that the whole thing will go away at that point. If it doesn't then actually contact ACAS. They might write to your employer.
  • saxgirlsaxgirl Member Posts: 21 Connected
    i feel for you, I am in a similar situation myself.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 7,089 Disability Gamechanger
    Depends on what the specific outputs are. Are you able to say? As part of my RAs I work from home 2 days a fortnight when on duty. I can absolutely get through more work doing that than I could if I were in the workplace. 

    The key questions here are what the outputs are and whether other colleagues are allowed to work from home and have a similar requirement imposed on them. 

    Love the involvement of an OHC by the way. Proper dimwit employer stuff. An RA is reasonable if you say it will work for you and if the employer agrees with it. As the employer was the one who suggested it... duh!
  • RSISolutionsRSISolutions Member Posts: 113 Courageous
    edited August 2018

    The 2010 Equality Act is the act that protects disabled people at work. My advice would be to get some professional legal advice on whether this request is legal  or not. Also consider contacting 

     https://www.equalityadvisoryservice.com/

    https://dls.org.uk/free-advice/

     

    You could also Google ‘free legal advice’. There are often places where free legal advice can be provided, such as in universities where lawyers are training.

    It is actually a reasonable adjustments to request less work for the same number of hours and pay. Have you suggested this to them?


  • Liam_AlumniLiam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,113 Pioneering
    Hi @morgul2k4,

    Have you had a look at the reasonable adjustment pages on our website? There's lots of information about RAs at work which might be of interest to you.

    I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, then please do get in touch!
    Liam
  • RSISolutionsRSISolutions Member Posts: 113 Courageous
    you could ask for a stress risk assessment on the fact that you are being asked to do more work.

    http://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/risk-assessment.htm

    https://fitforwork.org/blog/stress-risk-assessments/


  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,376 Disability Gamechanger
    My experiences are similar to mikehughescq I get a lot more done when working from home, and I know my colleagues say the same thing. The team also has varying starting and finishing times and some on compressed hours. 

    I work 10 to 7 four days a week and have a three day weekend. This has removed the stress of using tubes to get to and from work, and if they are messed up it means I have the flexibility to work from home. If I am having a particular rough day it means my work is not affected, but also gives me more time in the morning to sort myself out rather than having to make a decision early in the morning if I can cope with the tubes.

    When working from home I can adjust my hours so will do either 8 to 5 or 9 to 6, this means I can help to cover the phones during the core hours or 9 to 5.

    One of the reasons why so many people love working from home is that they can get more done. This is a bonus, not an expectation though. As markmywords says the condition is too vague and too open for interpretation by your manager and the company. Any conditions like this should be specific and measurable, but it does seem to be unfair. Having specific and measurable targets will help to show how unfair it is.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • Ren_ScopeRen_Scope Scope Support to Work service Posts: 24 Courageous
    Hello @morgul2k4 sorry to hear you are going through a difficult time at work, I just want to clarify that an employer is not allowed to increase your work output just because you have a disability and have to work from home and you do not have to sign anything which says that you have agreed to this.  I would definitely speak with ACAS, who will give you all the information you need from a legal standpoint and definitely do not sign anything until you have spoken with them.  I hope this helps.  All the best. 
    Ren
    Scope Employment Advisor
    Phone: 0300 222 5742
    Email: [email protected]
    www.scope.org.uk/supporttowork
  • RSISolutionsRSISolutions Member Posts: 113 Courageous
    edited September 2018
    I agree with @Ren_Scope

    I am guessing that in your company a person without an impairment is allowed to work from home, but in order for them to do this they must increase their output. For that reason they are asking you to do the same.

    However the difference here is that for you working from home is a reasonable adjustment which you need in order to be able to work.Reasonable adjustments are things that you are entitled to under the equality act if you are disabled. Is it fair to ask somebody to increase output because you have given them a reasonable adjustments which they need in order to do their work?

    Another question might be, is asking you to increase your output whilst working from home putting you at an unfair disadvantage compared to somebody without an impairment working from home? I'm guessing it would be, because it will increase your stress more than someone without an impairment. 

    Let's think of another analogy. Consider a person who needed a quiet room to work in at the office, for example because they needed to use voice recognition software and because the background noise in an open plan office was interfering with the smooth operation of the software, or perhaps a person who had a personality impairment that required them to work in a quiet room on their own. Would it then be legal for an employer to ask that person for more output compared to the output of someone without an impairment? They are effectively asking the person to do more work because they have been given a reasonable adjustment. According to the 2010 Equality Act this would not be legal.

    You might also want to bring to attention to your employers the concept of ‘Reasonable Adjustment Envy’. In other words, colleagues without impairments who are also working from home who find out that you are working from home but do not have to produce extra work might become envious. Reasonable adjustment envy is something that is real and regularly discussed by disability groups.Your employers should manage it.  

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