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Home  »   AbilityLatest News   »   Reasonable adjustments, know your rights

Reasonable adjustments, know your rights

The PDA Ability Network is aware of the complexities which make understanding and accessing reasonable adjustments far from straightforward. The network has highlighted some key information and sources of support that so many network members have utilised themselves.

Thu 15th December 2022 The PDA

Under the Equality Act 2010 employers must make reasonable adjustments for employees and workers.

What are reasonable adjustments?

ACAS defines reasonable adjustments as “changes an employer makes to remove or reduce a disadvantage related to someone’s disability.” This could be by making changes to the physical workplace, e.g., through the provision of additional equipment, or by changing working hours. As reasonable adjustments relate directly to someone’s disability, it is important to understand what disability is.

Under the Equality Act 2010, you are disabled if you have a physical or mental impairment or a condition, either visible or hidden, that has a substantial and long-term (12 months or longer) impact on your ability to do normal daily activities. In addition, those with the following conditions are automatically classed as being disabled under the Act: Cancer; a HIV infection, a severe, long-term disfigurement, such as facial scarring; multiple sclerosis; a visual impairment meaning you’re certified as blind, severely sight impaired, sight impaired or partially sighted.

What sort of adjustments might pharmacists need?

Any pharmacist with a disability may have individual adjustment requirements depending on their personal disability. Some PDA Ability Network members themselves receive reasonable adjustments such as devices to read scripts out, loop systems, and flexible working. PDA Ability Network members feel it is important for disabled pharmacists to be aware that their needs may change depending on the sector that they work in. For example, in community pharmacies or hospitals having access to a seat could be a valid reasonable adjustment and this requirement may need to be explained to the employer. However, in primary care, pharmacists are more likely to have access to a chair so this adjustment may not be needed.

The need for adjustments may change over time and, upon disclosure of a change in circumstance or a need not being met in practice, employers have an ongoing duty to review a disabled person’s needs and ensure that any adjustments put in place are suitable and reduce the disadvantage.

Where to go for further information, support, and resources

PDA Ability Network members know it can be confusing and difficult to identify a person’s rights and needs when each employee’s circumstances are unique. A good source of information is ACAS and their guide to reasonable adjustments which can help disabled employees understand what they are entitled to, and how an employer must support them.

Employers should have policies and processes which explain how to get access and support. Occupational health can also assist in the acquirement of adjustments. The government’s ‘Access to Work’ scheme can provide grants as well as mental health support. PDA Ability Network members have experienced long waiting times for ‘Access to Work’ grant awards so starting the process as early as possible is advisable. Disability charities such as Scope offer advice, guidance, and support on numerous issues faced by disabled employees including reasonable adjustments.

The PDA is here to help support disabled pharmacists and can offer advice on employment issues such as difficulty accessing reasonable adjustments.

The PDA Ability Network is another great source of information and support. It is a supportive group that meets regularly to discuss the issues which matter to disabled pharmacists and how a difference can be made within the profession to improve the lives of disabled pharmacists and patients. The PDA Ability Network’s WhatsApp group also allows members to share experiences and support each other. It’s so important to know that you are not alone, and sometimes when you don’t have the answers, someone else will.

For those wishing to join the PDA Ability Network, membership is open to all disabled pharmacists and allies of the disabled community. Together, pharmacy can be improved for all.

Get involved

  • Follow the PDA Ability Network on social media using the hashtag #PDAability
  • For more information about the PDA Ability Network, click here.
  • If you would like to get involved with the network and its activities, please email: ability@the-pda.org

JOIN THE PDA ABILITY NETWORK TODAY

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