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How to support an employee who becomes disabled

Author: Lynda Macdonald

Summary

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  • Be willing to take all reasonable steps to enable an employee who becomes disabled to continue working, or, where there has been a period of absence from work, to resume working.
  • Recognise that the duty to make reasonable adjustments to working arrangements and premises to accommodate the needs of employees with disabilities is a statutory duty and the responsibility is firmly on you, as the employer, to identify and initiate any adjustments.
  • Where an employee is no longer capable of performing his or her own job, consider offering him or her a move to a different job, if a suitable vacancy exists.
  • Consult the employee fully about any proposed transfer, provide all necessary training and consider whether a trial period in the new job may be helpful.
  • Consider making adjustments to the duties of the employee's current job by allocating some of his or her duties to other employees.
  • Consult both the employee with a disability and (where appropriate and with the employee's consent) his or her colleagues over any proposal to alter his or her duties and take into account any reasonable objections that may be put forward.
  • Consider adjustments to the employee's working hours, attendance requirements and absence procedures, including adjustments that will allow him or her periods of absence from work to attend medical appointments.
  • Be prepared to consider moving the employee to a different place of work or allow homeworking for a time.
  • Review whether the employee might need to be provided with different tools or equipment for the job.
  • Keep a record of reasonable adjustments agreed with the employee.