Disability Leave – Disability Meeting Guidance

Guidance for use at initial disability discussion.

1. Thank the member of staff for coming to discuss their disability with you. Reassure them that this discussion is to enable you to understand their disability so you are better able to support them at work.

2. Explain that any notes taken at the meeting will shared with them and secured appropriately, in accordance with the University's Information Security Policy. The handling of personal data is controlled by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and associated legislation.

3. Explain that should they wish, they may also disclose their disability to the University (through myJob).

There are a number of reasons why it is useful for staff members to disclose their disability:

  • it will enable us to measure how well the University is doing in our goal to build an inclusive and diverse workforce, in line with our ‘Excellence Through Inclusion’ strategy;
  • knowing the make-up of the workforce will help us in developing policies and targeted initiatives, helping us to meet the needs of staff;
  • it will ensure we are able to meet our legal obligations to monitor the staff profile, including annual information to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Information will be used anonymously when producing statistics, and if there are low numbers in a particular category, a larger sample size will be used to ensure anonymity.


4. Explain that it may be necessary for others to be made aware of their disability, to enable appropriate support to be provided (in compliance with the Equality Act 2010). And where this is necessary, their consent will be requested.

Explain that in exceptional circumstances, you will be required to disclose their disability information: threat to personal safety of them and others, legal requirements - health and safety etc.

In addition, explain that their colleagues will not be informed of their disability, unless they have provided their consent. However, if they feel comfortable, they may wish explain (or for you as their manager) their condition, to enable colleagues to better understand their needs.

This may be helpful to avoid colleagues making assumptions about their condition and capabilities.

5. If appropriate, explain, discuss and consider the following provisions:

  • Reasonable Adjustments;
  • Referral to Workplace Health and Wellbeing (WHW);
  • Disability Related Sickness;
  • Disability Leave;
  • Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP);
  • General Health and Safety in the workplace.

6. To help you to better understand their disability, ask if they are happy to discuss/explore the impact of their disability at work.

Explain that it would be helpful to understand the impact of their disability: on a good day and a not so good day.

(If they feel uncomfortable talking about their condition, reassure them that they only need discuss the effect of their disability in terms of their needs, rather than the cause/reasons why).

7. If they are not having a good day, ask what would be helpful for you to know whether they are well enough to be at work.

8. If you have concerns about whether they are well enough to be at work, ask how they would like you to approach/discuss this with you.

9. Explain that it would be helpful if they were able to let you know if there are any changes in their condition, which may affect their work or if any reasonable adjustments are not working.

Suggest that in such circumstance, they meet with you privately to discuss how you may be able to assist.

10. If they are off sick (related to disability), ask how they would like to maintain contact:

  • Who should contact who;
  • How should contact be made (Telephone/Email/Letter etc);
  • How often should contact be made (Daily/Weekly/Monthly etc);
  • When should contact be made (Preferable time/day).

11. If they are absent from work, ask what would be helpful to discuss during contact:

  • How they are feeling?
  • What you can do to help/assist?
  • Current work?
  • Return arrangements?

When the staff member is ready to return to work, ask what would be helpful to discuss at their Return to Work discussion:

  • How they are feeling?
  • Current work?
  • Phased Return/Return to Work Plan?
  • What to tell team?

12. Explain the support that is available through the University:

  • You;
  • Human Resources;
  • Workplace Health and Wellbeing;
  • Disabled Staff Network.