Where an employer redeploys a disabled employee to a lower-grade post under its obligations to make reasonable adjustments, is it obliged to maintain the employee's salary level?
Redeploying a disabled employee to a different job and/or reducing the employee's pay will constitute fundamental variations to the terms of the employee's contract and will therefore require the employee's express agreement following full discussions. There is no specific duty for the employer to maintain an employee's salary level if he or she agrees to move to a lower-graded post, and whether or not it would be reasonable to do so under the duty to make reasonable adjustments provisions contained in the Equality Act 2010 will depend on all the circumstances. What is reasonable will depend, among other things, on the size and overall resources of the organisation, the difference between the employee's level of pay and the level of pay of the new lower-graded post, the likely impact, if any, on other members of staff of retaining the employee's higher salary and the employee's length of service, level of skill and value to the organisation. The employer should, at the very least, fully consider the matter and discuss it with the employee. There is, of course, no reason why the employer cannot choose to maintain the employee's pay, perhaps by freezing it until such time as pay rises elsewhere in the organisation bring it back into line.