Funding the Cost of 'Reasonable Adjustments'
The expectation is that departments cover the cost of reasonable adjustments or will support the staff member to seek external funding contributions towards the cost of reasonable adjustments (e.g. via Access to Work), with any deficit potentially being sought via the central fund for reasonable adjustments.
Assistance from Human Resources should be sought early on within the process when considering if adjustments are required/can be accommodated, if you consider that funding may be an issue.
A central fund, administered by Human Resources, has been established to assist Heads of Departments in meeting the costs of making reasonable adjustments to the physical features or working arrangements of a disabled individual member of staff/potential employee including the provision of auxiliary aids, if sufficient funds are not available within their own department.
This is in line with our legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and the responsibilities set out in the University´s Equality Opportunities Policy for Staff.
This means, wherever reasonably possible, removing barriers that might get in the way of a disabled person effectively doing their job, acquiring a new role that they are otherwise capable of doing, or otherwise being placed at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person.
(Such provision may also be considered for those whose condition does not qualify as a disability under the Equality Act, if a reasonable adjustment is thought beneficial in supporting them in their role.)
Applications can be submitted to support:
- the provision of auxiliary aids. This is something which provides support or assistance to a disabled person. It can include provision of a specialist piece of equipment such as an adapted keyboard or text to speech software. Auxiliary aids include auxiliary services; for example, provision of a sign language interpreter or a support worker for a disabled worker.
- the removal or alteration of a physical feature or the provision of reasonable means of avoiding such a feature, e.g. via the provision of furniture, equipment etc. However, the fund will not be used to pay for capital works or building adaptations that continue to form part of the ongoing programme of work undertaken by the Estates and Facilities Management.
Applications to the Fund for Reasonable Adjustments should be made on the Reasonable Adjustments Form. Departments will need to show that they have sought external funding e.g. Access To Work, towards the cost of making an adjustment and that they are not able to meet the full amount of any remaining costs from within Departmental resources.