New UofG disability initiative launches
June 2022 saw the launch of UofG's portal for disabled and neurodivergent staff and their managers and, with it, the introduction of reasonable adjustment passports. The aim of these passports is to ensure that disabled and neurodivergent colleagues feel as well/comfortable as possible in the workplace and can do their jobs without experiencing disadvantage or facing undue barriers.
What is a reasonable adjustment?
Under the Equality Act 2010, employers have a duty to make "reasonable adjustments" to workplace arrangements to accommodate an employee's disability (including an invisible disability or mental health condition). This is to help ensure that disabled and neurodivergent staff may do their jobs without being disadvantaged and to support their wellbeing.
Examples of reasonable adjustments include:
- furniture or equipment that help people feel more comfortable during the working day, and/or ensure equality of access;
- adjustments to break times or working patterns to help with management of symptoms like pain, anxiety or fatigue;
- a quiet space to work if a disability or health condition makes noisy environments particularly stressful OR a busier, more sociable space to work if regular interpersonal contact is likely to support someone's wellbeing;
- office space near to a toilet for people with digestive disorders;
- time off for medical appointments, treatments or therapy.
What is a reasonable adjustment passport?
A reasonable adjustment passport is a live record of adjustments discussed and agreed between a staff member and their manager to support the staff member at work with a health condition, impairment or disability. It can be used in various ways:
- to record adjustments that are already in place;
- as a starting point for discussing what adjustments might be possible;
- to review and make changes to agreed adjustments.
What are the potential benefits of reasonable adjustment passports?
- Telling our managers about a disability or health condition can be awkward and distressing. Formalising the process may make starting such discussions a little easier. This, in turn, could lead to more colleagues asking for crucial workplace support.
- Passports remain in place even if a person's role or manager changes, or if they move to a different area of UofG. This reduces the need to reassess and renegotiate arrangements with a new manager or in a new work setting (in itself a possible source of anxiety). Agreed adjustments cannot be revoked without due process. It is expected that any adjustments would remain, unless differences in duties, the service model or work location have a material impact that may necessitate a review of agreed adjustments.
- Passports provide a staff member and their manager with the basis for regular conversations about adjustments. Again, this removes some of the potential stress of talking about personal, sensitive matters, and helps to "normalise" such discussions.
- By providing a formal, written record of agreed adjustments, passports make it easier for employers to ensure that they are complying with the law.
How do I access/create a reasonable adjustment passport?
- A blank passport template is available on the UofG website.
- Once completed, you may choose to upload the passport to your HR self-service portal (where it will be visible to you and your manager). This is your document however, to store and share as you wish.
You can also use the diversity details section of the HR self-service system to request a support discussion with your manager. A union representative or a colleague may accompany you to this meeting. (You may wish to update your personal details in relation to diversity if you have not already done so.)
How do I find out more?
- The UofG Moodle course "Implementing reasonable adjustments" is MANDATORY for all line managers. It aims to provide a practical understanding of what the law means by the terms "disability" and "reasonable adjustments" and guidance on how to identify and implement a reasonable adjustment effectively. If you have, or are shortly to take on, line management responsibilities, please ensure that you have completed this course. We monitor completion via the annual PDR process.
- Access the UofG "" webpages (also available in toolkit form) for information about disability-related policies, initiatives and sources of support.
We will ask you to confirm on your PDR checklist that you are aware of the reasonable adjustments passport scheme. Staff members may, if they wish, raise reasonable adjustments as part of the PDR discussion.
- Access the UofG "Support for disabled and neurodivergent colleagues" webpages (also available in toolkit form), where there is information and guidance relating to reasonable adjustments and other disability-related policies, initiatives and sources of support.
- Access the reasonable adjustments passport form.
We will ask you to confirm on your PDR checklist that you are aware of the reasonable adjustments passport scheme. Reasonable adjustments may, if you wish, be raised as part of the PDR discussion.
First published: 22 June 2022