Asking for adjustments when you have a job offer
If you’ve had a job offer and feel that you’ll need changes to the role for you to accept it, you have the right to ask your new employer for 'reasonable adjustments'. Under the Equality Act 2010, all employers have a duty to make any adjustments that are considered reasonable.
When you ask for reasonable adjustments, you will need to talk about or 'disclose' your condition or impairment. You may have already had adjustments at your interview, but don’t assume that this information has been shared.
More on reasonable adjustments
Flexible working as a 'reasonable adjustment'
Flexible working means changing the way you work. This could mean:
- working different hours
- working from home
- changing what you’re expected to do
Flexible working is a reasonable adjustment when it means you can do your job.
More on flexible and part-time working
Get a job offer in writing
This can be a letter or email. This is important if the offer is withdrawn.
Talk to your employer
Even if you said that you were disabled on your application form, your manager may not know that. This is because information on application forms is often confidential.
Ask your future line manager first. You need to speak to someone who understands the work and can make the decision about how you might do your job differently.
You can use the following template to send a letter or email to your employer. Simply copy and paste it into your word processor and fill in the blanks as appropriate.
As you are aware, I've been offered a job at [COMPANY]. I am delighted to accept this job offer now. You may be aware that I have an impairment that impacts me on a daily basis in [THIS WAY]. Because of this [AND ANY OTHER FACTORS] I'd like to talk to you about how we can facilitate my working fully with some adjustments.
If you do not get a reply
Email or write again in a polite way. The employer might have just been too busy to reply.
If the employer withdraws the job offer
This might be discrimination. If you're not sure what your rights are, you may get legal advice paid for by your:
- household insurance provider if they offer it
- professional body
Services that provide free information and advice
If your employer wants to know more
Wanting to talk more is usually a good sign. This could be by email, face to face or over the phone.
Before you talk to your employer, write a list of what you need to talk about.
Talk about your needs
Be positive and make it clear that you want to work for the organisation. Assume that the person you’re talking to knows nothing about what it’s like for you living, travelling and working as a disabled person. Talk about what it might be like to do the job.
Ask open questions that need more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Try to use the word ‘we’, for example:
- “How about we...”
- “What if we do...”
Agree on how you are going to work out what adjustments you need.
Summarise what you've both agreed to do at the end of the conversation.
Confirm what you agreed
Send an email so that there's a record that you asked for reasonable adjustments. Summarise your conversation with them and say that you're looking forward to working with them.
Work out what adjustments you need
Focus on what you need because of your impairment, not other parts of your life.
If you know what you need, be clear, but also be open to suggestions. Your employer may have some good ideas.
There may be some things that aren’t essential, but would make your life easier. If you can do the job effectively without them, then they might not be reasonable adjustments. Your employer may be prepared to negotiate. But, if you insist on these then it might make it more difficult to get the things you need.
If you do not know what you need
Ask to have an assessment. Access to Work can pay for assessments.
Ask your employer to help. Talk to someone who knows what the job is like day to day. This may be your future manager or someone on your team. Visit the place where you will be working.
More on Access to Work
More on reasonable adjustments at work
Keep talking about adjustments when you start work
This is particularly important if you have a probationary period.
Everyone is nervous when they start a new job, but make sure that you have the support that's been agreed, and that it is working for you. You should also have an opportunity to talk about this in your meetings with your manager.
As an employed disabled person, you have the right to reasonable adjustments at work. It doesn't matter how long you've been employed or if you're in a 'probation period'.
Probation periods (Citizens Advice)
Last reviewed by Scope on: 05/04/2018