Reduced Workload Was a Reasonable Adjustment

09 March 2017

An employer must make reasonable adjustments to ameliorate a disabled employee who is at a substantial disadvantage at work. This is not always an easy thing to get right, particularly when it comes to judging what is ‘reasonable’ in particular circumstances.

The Home Office v Kuranchie

An employer must make reasonable adjustments to ameliorate a disabled employee who is at a substantial disadvantage at work. This is not always an easy thing to get right, particularly when it comes to judging what is ‘reasonable’ in particular circumstances.

Ms Kuranchie had dyspraxia and dyslexia. Her employer agreed to her request for a flexible working arrangement. It meant that she would work compressed hours of a 36-hour week over four days rather than five. She was still given the same amount of work as her colleagues and this, she said, placed her at a substantial disadvantage. It took her longer to do the work because of her disabilities, which meant that she ended up working longer hours.

The tribunal found that the employer ought to have reduced her workload. That would have been a reasonable adjustment. The Employment Appeal Tribunal held that that was the right decision, even though Ms Kuranchie hadn’t asked to be given less work, nor had the report on her dyslexia suggested that that needed to happen.

The decision emphasises the importance of employers looking at the whole situation and thinking very carefully, and laterally, about how best to avoid or remove disadvantage. Ask yourself whether the adjustments you are making go far enough.


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