Reasonable Adjustment for People with Disabilities

Version Number

3.0

Implementation Date

9/07/2012

Scope

Department-wide

Purpose

​The Department of Education, Training and Employment is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities are able to compete for recruitment and promotion, and pursue careers in the Department as effectively as people without disabilities. Reasonable adjustment is a key strategy in achieving this outcome.

Overview

​The principles of reasonable adjustment to be applied include: 

  • merit-based recruitment, selection, promotion and transfer processes
  • flexible and creative ways of working
  • fair and equitable treatment for all
  • valuing people for their diversity
  • safe and healthy work practices and environments and a concern for employees' welfare
  • compliance with legislative requirements
  • prompt resolution for grievances and complaints.

Responsibilities

​Managers/Principals:

Implement Reasonable Adjustment checklist 

  • ensure access for people with disabilities at all stages of recruitment and selection processes
  • ensure appropriate medical advice is gained to support decisions regarding reasonable adjustment
  • work with employees to develop reasonable adjustment workplace solutions that are fair and equitable to employees with disabilities and other workers
  • communicate openly and honestly with employees with disabilities regarding their needs and reasonable adjustment solutions
  • implement reasonable adjustments as soon as practicable as unnecessary delays could result in both the department and responsible employee/s contravening anti-discrimination legislation
  • fund reasonable adjustment from the work unit / school budget where possible
  • consider options to ensure employees are employed meaningfully and appropriately remunerated while modifications are being made. (Note: if an employee cannot carry out their normal duties effectively until reasonable adjustments have been completed, then temporary arrangements - including short-term transfer, secondment or special leave with pay - may be accessed to ensure ongoing meaningful work. Employees are to be consulted and in agreement with any proposed arrangements)
  • record in writing specific decisions of identified adjustments, with a timetable if necessary.

Maintain Reasonable Adjustment checklist  

  • provide ongoing assistance and support for employees who require reasonable adjustment
  • monitor effectiveness of any reasonable adjustment implemented
  • review reasonable adjustments at least once a year to ensure adjustments are still appropriate. (Unless there has been a change to the employee's workplace or medical condition, updated medical information is required every 3 to 5 years).

Manage information checklist

  • maintain confidentiality of sensitive personal information regarding a person's disability
  • ensure personal information collected from employees is used only for the purpose for which it is collected and protect against improper access or disclosure
  • inform employees as to why this information is required and who will have access to it
  • record specific decisions of identified adjustments with a timetable if necessary.

Employees: 

  • provide medical information and documentation regarding the impact their disability may have on their work
  • communicate openly and honestly with their manager/principal regarding their needs and reasonable adjustment solutions
  • participate in medical practitioner or occupational therapist assessments to identify appropriate reasonable adjustments
  • participate in implementation of reasonable adjustments participate in regular reviews with their manager/principal
  • advise their manager/principal of any changes in their disability or reasonable adjustments that are not working effectively
  • access support as required to fulfil inherent duties of role attempt to resolve workplace issues informally with their manager/principal.

Human Resource Managers/Directors: 

  • ensure appropriate medical advice is gained to support decisions regarding reasonable adjustment
  • approve appropriate reasonable adjustment allocations according to department guidelines
  • monitor use of reasonable adjustment allocations within their region/Institute, etc
  • approve use of assessments to gain further information regarding an employee 's medical condition
  • if required, obtain funding guideline from the Organisational Health Unit.

Regional Directors/TAFE Institute Directors/Executive Directors: 

  • fund reasonable adjustment the regional/branch 's budget if appropriate
  • review decisions made regarding requests for reasonable adjustment that may impose unjustifiable hardship 
  • where it is probable that unjustifiable hardship would be imposed, applications are to be referred to the Assistant Director-General, Human Resources for review and determination 
  • seek advice from relevant specialists such as Rehabilitation Consultants, Employee Assistance Service, Organisational Health Unit or the Diversity Unit to assist with application of this procedure.

Senior Rehabilitation Consultants: 

  • assist managers, principals and employees with implementation of reasonable adjustment.

Facilities Managers:

  • assist managers, principals and employees with implementation checklist of reasonable adjustment as required.

Employee Assistance Service:

  • provide support when requested by employees or managers/principals
  • assist managers/principals with implementation of reasonable adjustment where employee has given consent for this to occur.

Organisational Health Unit:

  • provide advice regarding reasonable adjustment for employees with disabilities
  • provide funding for medical assessments.

Diversity Unit:

  • provide advice on departmental obligations and responsibilities in providing reasonable adjustment.

Assistant Director-General, Human Resources:

  • review decisions made by managers/principals regarding requests for reasonable adjustment that may impose unjustifiable hardship for work units. 
  • fund or assist with funding of reasonable adjustment that cannot be supported locally due to unjustifiable hardship.

Process

Considerations for Managers/Principals associated with Reasonable Adjustment

Implement Reasonable Adjustment: 

  • ensure access for people with disabilities at all stages of recruitment and selection guideline processes
  • ensure appropriate medical advice is gained to support decisions regarding reasonable adjustment 
  • work with employees to develop reasonable adjustment workplace solutions guideline that are fair and equitable to employees with disabilities and other workers
  • communicate openly and honestly with employees with disabilities regarding their needs and reasonable adjustment solutions
  • implement reasonable adjustments as soon as practicable as unnecessary delays could result in both the department and responsible employee/s contravening anti-discrimination legislation.

Fund Reasonable Adjustment:

  • fund reasonable adjustment guideline from the work unit / school budget where possible
  • consider options to ensure employees are employed meaningfully and appropriately remunerated while modifications are being made. (Note: if an employee cannot carry out their normal duties effectively until reasonable adjustments have been completed, then temporary arrangements - including short-term transfer, secondment or special leave with pay - may be accessed to ensure ongoing meaningful work. Employees are to be consulted and in agreement with any proposed arrangements)
  • record in writing specific decisions of identified adjustments, with a timetable if necessary.

Maintain Reasonable Adjustment:

  • provide ongoing assistance and support for employees who require reasonable adjustment
  • monitor effectiveness of any reasonable adjustment implemented
  • review reasonable adjustments at least once a year to ensure adjustments are still appropriate. (Unless there has been a change to the employee's workplace or medical condition, updated medical information is required every 3 to 5 years).
  • maintain confidentiality guideline sensitive personal information regarding a person's disability
  • ensure personal information collected from employees is used only for the purpose for which it is collected and protect against improper access or disclosure
  • inform employees as to why this information is required and who will have access to it
  • record specific decisions of identified adjustments with a timetable if necessary.

Online Resources

Review Date

30/04/2013
Attribution CC BY

​Disability
The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) includes: 

  • Physical disabilities
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Psychiatric disabilities
  • Sensory disabilities
  • Neurological disabilities
  • Learning disabilities
  • Physical disfigurement
  • The presence of disease-causing organisms in the body
  • Reliance on a guide dog, wheelchair or other remedial device such as a hearing aid
  • Accompaniment by a carer, interpreter, reader or assistant, and
  • Use of a therapeutic or assistive device.

Inherent Requirements
Inherent requirements are those genuine occupational requirements activities, conditions and practices that are essential. Some features of a position will not be inherent requirements as there are different ways of achieving the same outcome.

Reasonable Adjustment
Where adjustments are made to a position, an employment practice, the workplace or work-related environment are to ensure equal opportunity for people with a disability to perform the inherent requirements of the position without imposing unjustifiable hardship on the organisation.

Rehabilitation and Reasonable Adjustment Allocations
The provision of an additional staff member to assist an employee with a permanent or long-term disability to perform the inherent requirements of their job, whilst ensuring the achievement of student learning outcomes in a safe and supportive work environment. Short-term disability assistance may be funded through rehabilitation funding.

Unjustifiable Hardship (Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld)):

Whether the supply of special services or facilities would impose unjustifiable hardship on a person (or organisation) depends on all the relevant circumstances of the case, including for example: 

  • the nature of the special services or facilities
  • the cost of supplying the special services or facilities and the number of people who would benefit or be disadvantaged
  • the financial circumstances of the person (or organisation)
  • the disruption that supplying the special services or facilities might cause
  • the nature of any benefit or detriment to all people concerned.