When to ask about reasonable adjustments when applying for a job?? — Scope | Disability forum

When to ask about reasonable adjustments when applying for a job??

HannahRD Member Posts: 3 Listener
edited January 7 in Work and employment
Hi all, I hope everyone is having a good start to the new year. I'm hoping you might all be able to help me with a problem I'm facing. I've found a job I'm excited to apply for with my current employer. I started with my employer last year and have been entirely remote since I started. However, when the current advice to work from home lifts they will resume pushing for us to go back into the office at least two days a week. The current role I have with my employer is a maternity contract, so I am confident that I can negotiate a lot around how much I have to go in, as I'm not a permanent employee and they seem to have a higher level of flexibility for people on short term contracts. The job I am going to apply for, however, is permanent. The commute to my current employer would take 1.30hrs-2hrs each way. Since being with my employer over the last year my health has deteriorated to the point that I am certain I would not be able to do this commute more than one day a week. So my question is: should I approach the new manager about a reasonable adjustment to working location (i.e. permanent working from home 4 days per week) before I apply for the job? Or wait until I am offered (if I am lucky enough to be in that position!!)? Thanks in advance for your help.


  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected
    There’s no right answer here. You know the employer better than us so go with your gut feeling. However, it strikes me that the timing doesn’t matter. Any RA they give you for the temporary role could legitimately be reviewed anyway if you were to be offered the permanent role and the review might be done by different people and come to entirely different conclusions. 

    I would say though, and I do appreciate you may have no say in this, that a commute of 90 to 120 minutes is not feasible full stop really regardless of health. If you were unemployed JCP would not ask you to look for work which was more than 90 minutes away and if you were on benefits any assessment could not ask any different. 
  • AndrewHall
    AndrewHall Member Posts: 143 Courageous
    Last month,  I was working at a building with no stairs and had to climb up and down the stairs all day. I went off work for 3 days due to knee pains. I asked the Manager for a reasonable adjustment or I would consider resigning. When I turned up for work the following, they told me they have "accepted my resignation".
    Never allow DWP assertions to define you. They never have evidence of your true circumstances.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,133 Disability Gamechanger
    @HannahRD hi and a warm welcome to scope, my only comment would be that a 2 hour commute each way is probably unsustainable over anything but I very short time scale, would you not be able to find work nearer to home?
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • JaneC_
    JaneC_ Community Volunteer Adviser Posts: 11 Listener
    Hi @HannahRD
    Thank for posting your query and I’m sorry your health has deteriorated.

    I have done the 2 hour commute and know what a toll this can take, especially if you have health problems!

    I personally would make the request once you’ve got the job. You might like to first consider what parts of the job really can be done from home and what might ‘need’ you to be in the office to see if it appears possible. 

    If you are able to make the request (to do only one day in the office) as a reasonable adjustment they need to have good reasons why it can’t be done.

    If they reject your request you may need to formally

    * ask why they

    * negotiate to get what you need

    *be prepared to challenge for failure to provide reasonable adjustment and/or discrimination

    If the job has been done remotely during lockdown this may support your case.

    Scope have an information page that contains more on this subject, here https://www.scope.org.uk/advice-and-support/reasonable-adjustments-at-work/

    I hope you get the job