Reasonable Adjustments Case Study

Reasonable Adjustments

Need to be considered and thoroughly assessed to avoid discrimination.

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Company V had employed John for a number of years when he was diagnosed as suffering from a degenerative condition. His managers and team gradually adjusted his working arrangements to allow him to continue in his role as the condition gradually restricted his capabilities. As a result of two incidents whilst driving the company correctly obtained a medical report from his Doctor, asking for any recommendations as to reasonable adjustments that might need to be made to accommodate his degenerative condition.

 

The doctor’s opinion was that the driving incidents were not caused by the condition and that no further adjustments above those already made were necessary to allow John to continue in his job.

 

John gave them a copy of a report from his specialist consultant written a few weeks earlier that said no additional support was needed for the immediate future.

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About 2 months after this happened Company V decided that it needed to make redundancies. It had a redundancy procedure that seemed robust and wholly fair and acceptable. After a full process was carried out John was made redundant and subsequently brought a claim for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination. He said Company V should have made adjustments to the redundancy procedure.

 

The company relied on the Doctor’s and Consultant’s reports to say that no adjustments were necessary. However the Employment Tribunal disagreed and said that just because adjustments were not needed for one aspect of a role that did not mean the Company V could rely on that medical view for another reason.

Although the employee was only on a relatively low salary, because he was unlikely to ever be able to find a job again and had a pension with employer’s contributions, the failure to consider whether reasonable adjustments were needed for the redundancy situation cost the company in excess of £130,000 as a result of the Employment Tribunal’s award of compensation for John.