The Employment Appeals Tribunal has held that a refusal by an employer to spend very large sums on adjustments for a disabled employee was not discriminatory.
What does this mean?
Employers are entitled to take into account the cost of making adjustments for their disabled staff when deciding what, if any, adjustments to make. Employers can also take into account how effective a change will be in avoiding the disadvantage the disabled worker would otherwise experience, the practicality of making the change, the resources and size of the organisation and the availability of financial support.
What should employers do?
Employers should cost and keep a record of the costing of any adjustments they consider in case they need to demonstrate at a later stage that the cost of making an adjustment is more that can reasonably be expected of them. However, caution is advised when relying on cost as a reason for refusing to make an adjustment and especially where it is the only reason for the refusal. Therefore employers should seek legal advice before making a final decision to refuse to make such an adjustment on grounds of cost.