Is your business ready to cater to disabled employees?
By law, all businesses are expected to make reasonable adjustments for workers who have disabilities.
There are millions of disabled workers across the country, yet some businesses still don’t have the right facilities and working space to accommodate those with disabilities.
One of the main obstacles employers face when it comes to ensuring their premises are adequate for disabled workers is finance. It’s easy to assume the cost of adjusting the premises and making the necessary alterations would be pretty expensive.
It might not be as costly as you might think.
Getting Financial Help
There’s an excellent government scheme set up to help employees with the cost of reasonable adjustments in the workplace. “Access to Work” is a programme which is publicly funded and can help employers with the cost of:
- Adapted equipment
- Making alterations to the actual building
- Training and mentoring
The alterations required in terms of equipment and premises are by far the costliest. However, thanks to the Access to Work programme, you may be able to get a significant amount of the cost knocked off.
One thing you might not have considered is investing in a modified vehicle. Many disabled workers are still able to drive, especially thanks to modified cars from companies such as Allied Mobility.
You may even be able to spread the cost out with a payment plan so it’s worth enquiring about that if you can’t afford the costs outright.
Not All Adjustments Cost a Fortune
Some reasonable adjustments are a lot cheaper than others. Allowing employees to work from home for part of the week could be beneficial and also save you and the employee money.
You can also provide more training and mentoring, as well as ensure employees with vision problems are provided with large print documents. If an employee has a mental health issue such as social anxiety, you can provide them with their own desk, rather than forcing them to share.
Overall, there’s many adjustments you can make to ensure each employee has the same opportunities as everyone else. It’s worth familiarising yourself with what reasonable adjustments are and contacting your local authorities to see what financial help might be available. You may be surprised by the amount of help that’s on offer.