Reasonable adjustments and accessing support at work
As an employee what should I do?
Telling us that you have a disability is particularly important if you might need any adjustments to carry out your job. It will be very difficult, and in many cases impossible, for the University to provide these if you do not tell us.
If you feel at all able to do so you should talk to your line manager or supervisor if you have a disability-related issue or question.
Managers have a fundamental responsibility for your general well-being as well as ensuring you have access to the full range of opportunities that go with your job. You should discuss with your manager any impact your impairment has on your work, and what adjustments you might need to do your job now and in the future. Once they are aware of the issues, they can seek advice on how to best assist you, or refer you to other services and individuals who can provide further advice and assistance if necessary.
Your HR advisor
Whilst we would encourage you to talk through any concerns with your line manager, there may be occasions when you might prefer to speak to your HR Advisor. However, in order for us to provide you with the appropriate support, it is very likely that your manager will become involved eventually. Similarly, even if you approach your manager first, your HR Advisor is likely to become involved if a reasonable adjustment needs to be considered.
Everything discussed with your manager and HR Advisor will be treated sensitively in line with GDPR. However, once you declare a disability, in order to fulfil the University's responsibilities and support you appropriately, your manager and HR Advisor will need to actively consider how to respond to your circumstances.
In order to determine which HR Advisor or HR Manager is responsible for your area please look at the Meet the Team page and follow the link to areas of responsibility.
Support is available in the form of reasonable adjustments.
You should discuss with your manager and HR Advisor any reasonable adjustments you might require. In particular, you will need to discuss any physical adjustments to your workplace or adjustment to your working routine or duties.
Examples of reasonable adjustments include, but are not limited to:
- Specific equipment i.e. chair, ergonomic keyboard
- Adaptations to the physical working environment and existing equipment;
- Additional training;
- A support worker;
- Assistance with transport.
Access to work
Access to Work provides practical, individually-tailored advice and support to disabled people who are in, or seeking, paid work. It is a government scheme managed through Jobcentre Plus and is an important source of funding for disability support.
An application to Access to Work needs to be made by you, the individual member of staff; no one can apply on your behalf. However, please also talk to your HR Advisor or Line Manager, who will be able to liaise with other relevant staff (e.g. in the Department for Occupational Health) to ensure that the adjustments can be implemented effectively and at the earliest opportunity.
Health, safety and environment
The Department of Occupational Health and Safety is able to provide support on health and well-being matters, and are often able to provide advice to you on how to improve your environment and where to access help.
Support from Keele’s Occupational Health service is also available and can provide confidential advice and guidance. Your manager can complete a referral to this service.
In some circumstances, you may also need to think about whether there might be any particular safety implications for you, or the people you work with – for example, if you are likely to encounter any difficulties with fire evacuation. In this instance completion of a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) may be necessary which should be completed by your line manager with your guidance and input. For information on PEEP's and Deaf Alerter's (to indicate fire alarms) see https://www.keele.ac.uk/peeps/
The Staff Counselling service can be accessed through the DOHS webpages. This service is inclusive of all staff regardless of age, disability, economic status, gender identity, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation.
If you need more information or advice about health, wellbeing and/or safety issues, you can talk to your local Workplace Safety Adviser or contact DOHS directly.
Keele has maps in a number of formats and accessibility information provided by DisabledGo, for links to these see https://www.keele.ac.uk/findus/. You will also find a link to DisabledGo from the Keele homepage (icon bottom left). More detailed floor plans are found on the DOHS webpages for use with Personal emergency Evacuation Plans: https://www.keele.ac.uk/peeps/emergencyguidanceframeworksbuildingdrawings/
Staff Disabilities Network
A Staff Disabilities Network is being developed at Keele, primarily as a confidential email list, to help inform equality, diversity and inclusion work at Keele and to help support our disabled staff. Please contact Hannah Barjat on firstname.lastname@example.org to register an interest.
Other external support organisations
If you are a trade union member, you can contact a union representative at any stage to discuss disability-related issues regarding your employment at the University.
External organisations with specialist knowledge, such as the RNIB, Action on Hearing or other local disability groups, can also be consulted for advice should the need arise.