Under the Equality Act 2010 there is a duty on employers to make “reasonable adjustments” for people with disabilities (which could be physical or mental) to enable them to effectively perform their jobs. As a Firm we are committed to providing an environment where our Partners and employees have access to the support and tools they need to reach their full potential.
This commitment also extends beyond our employees to our recruitment candidates, where an adjustment would enable them to perform to the best of their ability at interview or in a test situation, and to our clients or visitors to provide for a better experience when attending our offices or when liaising with our lawyers.
It is sometimes the case, and particularly so with more people working from home, more virtual meetings and virtual recruitment processes, that the support available from the Firm for people with disabilities is not immediately apparent. The firm will consider all requests for reasonable adjustments, however, this brief guidance is intended to help raise awareness around what adjustments the firm is already offering and who to contact in the event that such support is needed.
What is a reasonable adjustment?
A reasonable adjustment is a change to remove or reduce the effect of an individual’s disability so they can carry out their role or, in the case of a candidate, to provide for a more equitable recruitment process.
What will we consider when making a reasonable adjustment?
We will never make an assumption and will always discuss the details of any adjustments with the individual to ensure the approach and request is tailored to the individual’s needs.
We hope to be able to accommodate most of the adjustments requested but there are some criteria that we need to take account of when considering an adjustment and these would include:
- The extent to which the adjustment will impact on reducing or removing the disadvantage
- The practicality of the adjustment
- The extent of any disruption
- The financial and other costs of making the adjustment
- The availability of any financial or other assistance to facilitate the adjustment
Examples of adjustments made
The examples have been compiled to provide some insight as to the types of adjustments currently in place or adjustments previously incorporated. This is not a definitive or complete list.
Candidates and employees
|Keyboard||An ergonomic keyboard|
|Mouse||Different types of ergonomic mouse|
|Wrist support||Different types of wrist support for keyboard or mouse|
|Lighting||Additional desk lamp (with special daylight bulb if required)|
|Quiet room||Quiet room availability for meditation/mindfulness|
|Foot pedal||Especially adapted foot pedal for digital dictation system|
|Chair||Different chairs/seating options to provide specific support|
|Desk||Different desk heights/hydraulic desk|
Hearing loop is available in the London meeting rooms and portable systems are also available in our regional offices.
Adaptations may be possible for phone also.
|Mirror||Small mirror applied to monitor to see if someone is approaching your desk from behind you (helpful where someone has a hearing impairment)|
|Read/Write software||Software that provides various literacy tools, eg helpful for someone with dyslexia|
|Dragon software||Voice recognition software|
|Screen colours||Can be adjusted to help with some forms of dyslexia|
|Text size/Font||Increased text size or specific font available and potential to further enhanced with special technology|
|Hard copy presentation
||Handouts can be printed to replicate what is being show on screen|
|Time||Additional time may be incorporated into test situations|
|Hearing loop||Hearing loop is available in the London meeting rooms and portable systems are also available in our regional offices|
|Text size/Font||Increased text size or specific font available|
|Hard copy presentation||Handouts can be printed to replicate what is being show on screen|
If you are attending our office and would need assistance to evacuate the building in the event of an emergency, please take a couple of minutes to complete our Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP)
Below are some comments from employees who have had adjustments made to their work environment:
“Having been diagnosed with medial epicondylitis I needed injections and physiotherapy treatment. My physiotherapist recommended using a specific type of ergonomic keyboard and mouse for work. After explaining the situation to HR, they liaised with IT and organised the change of equipment immediately, resulting in my needing no further medication or treatment.”
“I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was at university and felt comfortable sharing this with the HR team when I joined the firm. I have felt incredibly supported by the firm who installed a piece of software called Read and Write, which reads my written work back to me to allow me to hear my spelling mistakes and enables me to do my job to the standards expected.”
If you would like to discuss in further detail any adjustments that might assist you when attending our office then please contact:
Clients/Visitor: Lynn Tice, Health & Safety Advisor - 020 7203 8926
Candidate: Member of our Recruitment Team