Asking for adjustments after becoming disabled

If you become disabled while in work, you have rights. Do not assume, or let other people assume, that your working life is over.

You can do things that will increase your chances of staying in work. Most of these involve talking about your condition with your employer. Good employers will help you to explore your options and support you.

Your impairment is not what disables you, it’s the way that society treats you. This is called the social model of disability.

Work out what's possible

For some jobs, simple changes are easy and can make a big difference. Because of the kind of work involved, it's harder to make changes in other jobs. For example, you can do some jobs from home, and others you cannot.

Working out what's possible is what the law calls 'reasonable adjustments'. These could include changes to working patterns, duties or physical adjustments.

Take your time before making decisions or agreeing to anything. You will need to think about your long-term future.

Reasonable adjustments are not ‘favouritism’. Employers must consider all requests that would give disabled people the tools they need to do their job.

Keep your options open

You will not know what’s possible unless you find out. You could for example:

  • continue to do your job
  • continue to do your job with adjustments to your environment or work pattern
  • do a different job for the same employer
  • stop working for your employer

The first step is to talk to your line manager or someone in HR about possible adjustments.

How to get reasonable adjustments

You are the expert about your specific requirements. If you need reasonable adjustments, help your employer to understand what you need. Good employers will support you with this, and larger ones may already have policies and procedures in place.

Reasonable adjustments at work

Last reviewed by Scope on: 23/05/2018

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