Duty to make reasonable adjustments

Produced by Tolley in association with Emma Bartlett at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP
Duty to make reasonable adjustments

The following Employment Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley in association with Emma Bartlett at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Duty to make reasonable adjustments
  • Reasonable adjustments in the workplace
  • Physical features
  • Auxiliary aids
  • At what stage does the duty arise?
  • Comparators
  • What adjustments are required?
  • Cost of adjustments and their reasonableness
  • Employer knowledge of disability

The duty to make reasonable adjustments (the duty) comprises three distinct requirements:

where a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) applied by or on behalf of the person subject to the duty (eg the employer) causes a disadvantage for a disabled personthe duty which arises is to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to avoid the disadvantage
where a physical feature causes a disadvantage for a disabled person
where a disabled person would be put at such a disadvantage if an auxiliary aid were not providedthe duty which arises is more specific, namely to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to provide the auxiliary aid

The element common to all three requirements is that they will only apply where a disabled person is put at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled.

The distinction between each requirement is that each one contemplates a different cause of that substantial disadvantage.

A person who is subject to the duty must pay for the costs of complying with it. That person is not entitled to require the disabled person, in relation to whom the duty relates, to pay any part of those costs. The disabled employee is not liable to tax or NIC on the benefit of most adjustments made under the Equality Act 2010, s 20 (formerly contained in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995), the Access to Work programme or any other statutory provision or arrangement. See the Disabled employee benefits guidance note for more about the scope of this exemption.

The duty is intended to apply widely to facilities, systems and practices within the workplace.

Reasonable adjustments in the workplace

In the context of the workplace, those to whom the duty to make reasonable adjustments applies (eg employers, firms, LLPs, barristers etc) must comply with the three requirements set out in the table above.

The contexts in which

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