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Reasonable Adjustments

Reasonable Adjustments

A Reasonable Adjustment is a change to remove or reduce the effect of an employee's disability or impairment so they can do their job to the best of their ability.

Reasonable adjustments must be considered for both physical and mental health conditions. They are the foundation of support under the Equality Act 2010.

It is important to allow the person needing the adjustment to take the lead. People often know exactly what support they need or how to remove a particular barrier.

If additional advice, guidance or support is needed, Occupational Health can provide expert advice on reasonable adjustments and workplace accommodations.

Reasonable adjustments may be removing physical barriers, providing short-term support, changes to a job role or the provision of additional equipment or support. The following is not a complete list but provides some examples of reasonable adjustments.

Factors to be weighed up in determining reasonableness are:

  • how effective the adjustment is in preventing the disadvantage
  • how practical it is
  • the cost of making the adjustment*
  • the potential disruption caused
  • the time, effort and resources involved
  • amount of resources already spent on making other adjustments
  • the availability of financial or other help.*

Examples of adjustments:

  • Providing equipment such as an adapted keyboard for someone with arthritis to reduce discomfort.
  • Phased return to work after a period of absence because of severe depression - gradual re-entry to work to develop stamina, rebuild confidence and check any additional adjustments are effective
  • Reallocating job tasks and working practices - if someone has a mobility issue and their role requires on-site meetings, assessing whether those meetings can be done via remote technology.  
  • Flexible working - allowing flexible working hours to enable additional breaks to overcome fatigue.
  • Change of location - providing a quiet space for an individual who has difficulty with frequent interruptions and distractions in an open plan or busy office. Or allowing somebody on campus who is unable to work from home for mental health reasons.

 The majority of adjustments are relatively inexpensive if not free. Cost can be a major factor when deciding whether an adjustment is reasonable

*It is important to remember that it is the resources of University of Exeter as a whole that must be considered and not just your department, division or school.


This may apply if adjustments are needed to office equipment. The starting point is to complete a DSE assessment. Full information can be found on the University of Exeter Health and Safety SharePoint.


Accessible parking may be a reasonable adjustment for physical or hidden disabilities. Those requiring accessible parking on campus should consult Guidance for University staff: Parking support

It is the responsibility of the employer to fund any reasonable adjustments required. The individual is not required to pay towards these costs. Most reasonable adjustments have minimal or no cost. Click here for information on funding