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  • FIRST POST
    • Eastender
    • By Eastender 13th Oct 16, 10:26 AM
    • 86Posts
    • 7Thanks
    Eastender
    Reasonable Adjustments or Re-Deployment?
    • #1
    • 13th Oct 16, 10:26 AM
    Reasonable Adjustments or Re-Deployment? 13th Oct 16 at 10:26 AM
    A friend of mine who has Bipolar illness and works in the NHS, which she has been doing for over a decade.

    Her manager is giving her a lot of trouble for her increasing absence records and ignores their own OH recommendations on reasonable adjustments and treats her like a normal functioning staff rather someone who has a disability.

    She has now been referred to OH again, where she told them he ignores the adjustments and the OH mentioned that her manager is recommending redeployment, which she does not want to do. She likes her job and but needs some minor adjustments.

    Is her manager not obliged to do adjustments, considering NHS is a large organisation and not coerce the worker for redeployment?
Page 1
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 13th Oct 16, 10:31 AM
    • 3,593 Posts
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    marliepanda
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 16, 10:31 AM
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 16, 10:31 AM
    'Reasonable' is open to interpretation.

    What changes does she require To continue her job?
    Suvery Earnings 2016 - £188
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 13th Oct 16, 10:42 AM
    • 2,075 Posts
    • 1,766 Thanks
    Undervalued
    • #3
    • 13th Oct 16, 10:42 AM
    • #3
    • 13th Oct 16, 10:42 AM
    OH do not have the final say in this matter. Their function is to advice what adjustments are medically needed. Whether or not they are reasonable for the business, in the context of the law, is for others to decide.

    Ultimately, if this cannot be resolved internally, only an employment tribunal can rule on whether the adjustments being offered are reasonable or not.

    The law does not expect an employer to turn their business on its head to accommodate an employee who cannot function without significant changes.

    The key word is reasonable and, as I have said before on here, the vast majority of particularly large employers actually do far more than the law would require. Partly because of this reasonable adjustments are actually far less than many people fondly imagine.
    • Eastender
    • By Eastender 13th Oct 16, 10:47 AM
    • 86 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Eastender
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 16, 10:47 AM
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 16, 10:47 AM
    'Reasonable' is open to interpretation.

    What changes does she require To continue her job?
    Originally posted by marliepanda
    The adjustments are very simple and won't cost anything.

    She is an outreach worker visiting a lot of Hospitals and practices in a London borough.

    Her request is that it would less stressful for her if the location of assignments is near to each other, as she relies on public transport to visit or fixed venues rather than visit lot of places dotted around the borough, as delays in her visit adds stress and given less stressful nature of complex demanding assignments, which involves often hearing upsetting cases.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 13th Oct 16, 10:52 AM
    • 4,842 Posts
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    TBagpuss
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 16, 10:52 AM
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 16, 10:52 AM
    what has changed? New manager, new adjustments needed? Change to the amount tha the friend's illness affects them?

    Whether it is reasonable or is ultimately a subjective test.

    Ithink that, if your friend were to question it, the issue of how reasonable the propsoed redeployment was would be relevant.
    • Eastender
    • By Eastender 13th Oct 16, 11:00 AM
    • 86 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Eastender
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 16, 11:00 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 16, 11:00 AM
    what has changed? New manager, new adjustments needed? Change to the amount tha the friend's illness affects them?

    Whether it is reasonable or is ultimately a subjective test.

    Ithink that, if your friend were to question it, the issue of how reasonable the propsoed redeployment was would be relevant.
    Originally posted by TBagpuss
    Nothing has changed, same manager, who keeps ignoring OH recommendations and now coercing her for redeployment.
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 13th Oct 16, 11:11 AM
    • 2,075 Posts
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    Undervalued
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 16, 11:11 AM
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 16, 11:11 AM
    The adjustments are very simple and won't cost anything.

    She is an outreach worker visiting a lot of Hospitals and practices in a London borough.

    Her request is that it would less stressful for her if the location of assignments is near to each other, as she relies on public transport to visit or fixed venues rather than visit lot of places dotted around the borough, as delays in her visit adds stress and given less stressful nature of complex demanding assignments, which involves often hearing upsetting cases.
    Originally posted by Eastender

    But ultimately is that reasonable or not? What extra strain does that place on other members of staff? Does it degrade the service the department offers? Does it mean her productivity is lower?

    I don't know the answer to any of those questions and, with respect, I imagine nor do you. You will, presumably, only have heard one side of the argument.

    It may well be that the manager is not providing enough reasonable adjustments to satisfy the law but it is nothing like as clear cut as saying he can't be as he is not doing what OH tells him!
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 13th Oct 16, 11:14 AM
    • 2,075 Posts
    • 1,766 Thanks
    Undervalued
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 16, 11:14 AM
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 16, 11:14 AM
    Nothing has changed, same manager, who keeps ignoring OH recommendations and now coercing her for redeployment.
    Originally posted by Eastender
    That is the key word. They recommend what would help her medically. Others decide what is reasonable for the business / trust / department to provide.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 13th Oct 16, 12:26 PM
    • 4,842 Posts
    • 6,351 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    • #9
    • 13th Oct 16, 12:26 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Oct 16, 12:26 PM
    The adjustments are very simple and won't cost anything.

    She is an outreach worker visiting a lot of Hospitals and practices in a London borough.

    Her request is that it would less stressful for her if the location of assignments is near to each other, as she relies on public transport to visit or fixed venues rather than visit lot of places dotted around the borough, as delays in her visit adds stress and given less stressful nature of complex demanding assignments, which involves often hearing upsetting cases.
    Originally posted by Eastender
    I guess one issue there would be the extent to which her manager can control that. I would have thught that in terms of efieciency it would make sense to group visits to reduce time spent travelling, regardless of the needs ofthe person making the visits, so if that is not happeneing perhaps it has to do with the nature of the visits and the neds of the practices / organisations requesting them? In which case, it may not be as simple or cost-free to make the adjustments as she thinks.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 13th Oct 16, 6:54 PM
    • 2,735 Posts
    • 4,276 Thanks
    sangie595
    I would normally associated an outreach worker with being just that - doing outreach. Which cannot, by its nature, be readily located in one place or managed in a cohesive pattern. Demand generally is erratic. But you are also wrong in that nothing has changed. You've said out in your first post. Something changed. Her sickness absence is increasing. Disability or not, there are limits as to the extent the employer will support this. So if the job requires "outreach" and it is this pattern of work itself that is the cause of the sickness absence increasing, redeployment is not only a valid option, but it is also the kindest option. Because if sickness absence continues to increase, the alternative option is not one she wants.

    She may love her job. But if it is aspects of that job that she cannot sustain, she needs to seriously think about the alternatives. Agreeing to explore potential redeployment doesn't commit her to anything, but I think it is worth having the conversation. She may find that there are other things she can love as much, but which are more suited to her needs.

    And BTW, and this is coming from somebody who also has a disability, we ARE "normal functioning staff". Our employment is not a favour, a concession, or an act of charity. Reasonable adjustments are there to level the playing field to enable us to perform the jobs as well as people without disabilities, where the only barrier to doing that is the disability. It isn't to give us allowances for being disabled. It may be that what she is asking for can be accommodated. It may be that it cannot. But the needs of the business trump adjustments pretty much every time. And as someone with a disability myself, I'd say that they should. Employing people with disabilities should always be about having the best people in the job, not about being kind to the disabled. And we are just as "normal" as every single other person.

    Perhaps if your friend posted herself, there would be a chance to get much more detailed advice based on the exact circumstances she is in. Given the third hand nature of the information, and lack of detail, you aren't going to get much more than, maybe and maybe not. And there are more than a few of us here who have been through the same situations, or have worked with others in the same situations. The wanted answer, or the hoped for answer, isn't always the best answer!
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