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Information for Managers

Information for Managers

As a manager you have an important role in ensuring that all members of your staff can work effectively and make a full contribution to the University. You have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of your staff.

It is important to recognise that a member of staff may have a disability and need reasonable adjustments. You may need to respond to requests from a disabled staff member requiring adjustments. You must ensure that any reasonable adjustments are in place for a new member of staff with a disability before or as quickly as possible once they start work.

It is your responsibility as a manager to ensure that reasonable adjustments and any additional support is in place for staff who require them. This responsibility is outlined under the Health and Safety at Work legislation, the Equality Act 2010 and in the University guidelines and policy. 

Managers are also responsible for ensuring that staff who need additional assistance in the case of fire or other emergency can evacuate a building or reach safety. This is a legal requirement. These staff may need a personal emergency evacuation plan (PEEP).

Please see the guidance on the University website around setting up a home workstation as staff must complete a DSE working from home assessment

You may notice that somebody is having difficulty at work - a member of staff may tell you that they are having difficulties or they may identify themselves as having a disability.

Whatever the reason, if a member of your team is having problems at work, reasonable adjustments may help to support them to do their job. Many people do not identify as disabled or realise that they are covered by the Equality Act. Don’t worry whether someone meets the legal definition of disability. If somebody needs additional support, it is important to address that effectively.

have an open conversation - many people know what support and help they need. Talk to your member of staff and discuss what might help.  If reasonable adjustments are needed then they can be implemented to help them to do their job to the best of their ability. 

Suggested points to discuss:

  • The difficulties that they're having
  • What reasonable adjustments might help and/ or are required
  • Tools needed to perform their job (e.g. DSE requirements or assistive technology)
  • The support available
  • Safety requirements for evacuation in an emergency (PEEP)
  • Any well-being concerns

HR Advisors are available for additional help and support.

You need to discuss with the member of staff what they need to be able to do their job safely and effectively. It is important for the member of staff to be fully involved throughout this process as they will have the best understanding of their own situation.

A good place to start is working through a DSE assesment together.

  • No reasonable adjustments required- if no reasonable adjustments are needed then no further action is required other than regular check ins with an individual in one-to-ones or PDRs to monitor the situation. Please suggest that the member of staff register their disability on iTrent.
  • Reasonable adjustments can be readily identified- there will be some reasonable adjustments that can easily be agreed between you and the member of staff. You should make arrangements for these reasonable adjustments to be put in place in a timely fashion. These might include an adjustment in work patterns, managing workflow, redistribution of tasks in a team or provision of additional DSE equipment.
  • Reasonable adjustments cannot be readily identified- if you require additional help or support in determining what reasonable adjustments are appropriate then please contact your HR Advisor and they can facilitate a management referral to Occupational Health for you.

One of our Occupational Health Advisors or the Staff Disability Advisor can provide impartial and evidence-based support and recommendations for reasonable adjustments.

If a new member of staff has a disability, or a current member of staff has a complex situation, it is sensible to explore an application to Access to Work.

It is part of your responsibility as the line manager to organise and implement any reasonable adjustments. This includes keeping the member of staff informed of progress and the timing of the adjustments, equipment delivery and training.

Information for ordering the majority of equipment can be found on the DSE SharePoint. Available software can be found in the Software Catalogue. For any additional IT requirements, please talk to your IT Business Partner.

It is important to implement reasonable adjustments in a timely way as delays can be both highly disruptive and stressful for the member of staff and impact on their capacity to work.

Your HR Advisor can provide support for managers in the planning and implementation of reasonable adjustments.

Please see the section on funding for further guidance on adjustments which need paying for.

More complete guidance on Access to Work can be found here. The process in brief is as follows:

  • Discuss application for Access to Work with the eligible member of staff.
  • Identify the employer contact for Access to Work. This will normally be you as a line manager however in certain cases it may be somebody else within your management structure.
  • When you receive your copy of Access to Work's recommendations it will contain a costed list of recommendations with suppliers. No equipment should be purchased or training arranged until this list has been received and agreed.
  • Arrange for equipment and training as necessary. In some cases it may be appropriate to use University approved suppliers.
  • Retain receipts and complete necessary paperwork to receive Access to Work reimbursement.

As a manager it is important to ensure that your staff are working safely and effectively. Regular reviews of their health and welfare and of the effectiveness of reasonable adjustments should be carried out.

A review of reasonable adjustments is recommended three months after the reasonable adjustments have been in place and following that, when you do their PDR. However, if you or they think something might not be working in the interim, don't wait to follow up. Sometimes, further adjustments are required or current ones may need refining.

All conversations with staff around well-being, physical or mental health and disability should be considered in confidence. Unless you have concerns about the health and safety of an employee and/or others are involved, do not disclose any confidential information without consent from the individual. If you think someone is a danger to themselves or other please call the emergency services and Estate Patrol.