Your employer should make certain changes (known as 'reasonable adjustments') to make sure you're not substantially disadvantaged when doing your job.
Many people have a disability and access needs, and it is crucial your employer is working effectively to arrange any reasonable adjustments to support you and the work you do.
This can include long-term impacts on your vision, hearing, health, wellbeing, cognitive, and motor skills.
Adjustments can change as your needs change
If there are adjustments which would allow you to carry on working or help you to overcome barriers, ask for them. If you’re not sure what these might be, Access to Work grants can pay for specialist assessments and recommended adjustments.
You can ask for reasonable adjustments even before you have started a new job. Your employer can only offer reasonable adjustments if they know you are disabled.
Write down all the things you will need support with. Find out how this will affect your working style and have suggestions ready.
Get signed up to a Union to understand your rights, you can sign up to Unite Union or GMB Union, or find out another which is right for you. This will be great in the long run and most importantly help you to know your rights.
Think about the following
How and when to speak to your employer
Consider having a note from your doctor, or any assessment reports this will be helpful to support and justify your situation. You can raise this with your employer ahead of your first day or in one of your first line management meetings.
How much information do you want to give?
You don’t have to go into personal details, don’t ever feel like you do. Always focus on how your disability or mental health condition impacts you in your role.
Think about who you want to share it with
For example, your HR team may have records, have details of your access needs, but they don't have to tell your manager or colleagues as this is confidential.
Some adjustments you could ask for:
- Adapted equipment, such as chairs, keyboards or voice recognition software
- Transferring some tasks to a colleague
- Changes to the work environment, such as lowering desks, using natural daylight bulbs, modifying entrances
- Changing working patterns and hours
- Flexible working or working from home
- Compressed hours or going part-time
- Providing a reader, interpreter or personal assistant
- Training and support for people you work with
Access to Work Scheme
Access to Work is a government grant scheme which supports disabled people in work.
Access to Work might pay for:
- A British Sign Language interpreter
- Specialist equipment
- Extra transport costs, such as a taxi where no public transport is available
- Access to Work can also pay for assessments to see what you need at work
- You can apply for Access to Work up to 6 weeks before you start work