Where an employer has offered a fixed period of reduced hours as a reasonable adjustment for a disabled employee on their return from long-term sickness absence, the employer is not always required up front to give an explicit guarantee to extend the period where necessary.

At the end of the agreed period, the employer will be under a duty to make further reasonable adjustments if the employee continues to suffer a substantial disadvantage; this could of course entail extending the period. But the employer’s failure to expressly commit at the start to an extension if required did not justify the employee refusing the phased return to work offered. (Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Higgins, EAT)