You’ve mentioned that the implementation of workplace adjustments is a process not a one-off task, can you explain this a bit further?

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Sure! It’s not enough that your line managers ask about any workplace adjustments needed in their first one-to-one with their new team members, they need to review adjustment needs on-goingly.

If an employee said that they didn’t require an adjustment on first being asked, that doesn’t mean they won’t require one in the future. A significant number of people acquire a disability or long-term health condition later in life. This means that any one of your employees may require a workplace adjustment at any point, even if they had previously said that they didn’t require one. And, if an employee gains a long-term health condition they may be unaware that they are able to get an adjustment in order to continue working at their best. I would say, at the very least, employees should be asked about their adjustment needs once a year. But, I’d prefer that these conversations were a regular part of checking-in with employees on how they are getting on. It would be better if line managers included this in their one-to-ones every quarter. 

If an employee indicates that they require a workplace adjustment during any one-to-one (whether that’s the first or any subsequent one) then the next step would be to decide if the adjustment request was feasible. HR will help with this but I’d urge you to err on the side of making adjustments possible and, where they are not, working with the employee to find an alternative that might work. If you implement a workplace adjustment for the employee, it’s now your line manager’s time to shine. They should book in a conversation with their team member for one week after implementation to check that the workplace adjustment is working as planned and then review this again in one month’s time and every three months after that unless the adjustment is changed, in which case the review process would start again from the beginning.. And, they need to remember to make a record of any discussion and confirm this with the employee in writing even if they are happy with the adjustments and especially if they require any modifications. 

If an employee indicates that they might require an adjustment but they are unsure what adjustment they might require, once again, HR will be able to help. They may be able to recruit a specialist organisation or an occupational therapist to help the employee create a support plan that includes workplace adjustments that might improve their work environment. Access To Work may also support them with a plan too.