Cost of workplace adjustments

Most adjustments cost little or nothing at all but what if they do turn out to be more costly than your organisation can afford?

An employer making a reasonable adjustment cannot ask an employee to contribute to the costs. Most adjustments cost little or nothing at all but, if the cost of making the adjustment is not reasonable, by law, the employer is not required to make the adjustment. Where the cost is prohibitive consider the following two options:

Is there a more affordable adjustment that might work. Has the employee been supported in applying for an Access to Work grant that might cover the cost of the adjustment.

Example 1.

An employee who uses a wheelchair requests that permanent ramps are installed at all the buildings they work from. The cost for the employer is prohibitive given their size. A more reasonable adjustment is agreed on of providing a movable ramp on site at all their buildings and having someone present to place the ramp when the employee is entering and exiting the buildings.

Example 2.

An employee experiences back pain and discusses this with their manager. Together, they decide that the employee should get an assessment to see what reasonable adjustments may need to be made. The manager supports the employee by explaining how an Access to Work grant might support the assessment and helps the employee begin the process by directing them to the Government resource. The Access to Work assessment finds that the employee may need a special office chair and an Access to Work grant is provided to the employee to purchase the chair.

It should be noted that even if an Access To Work process is undertaken by the employee, you, the employer still needs to make any other additional reasonable adjustments they may need.