What are “reasonable adjustments”?
Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth), employers must make all reasonable adjustments to ensure their employees with disabilities can carry out the inherent requirements of their job.
Reasonable adjustments could include:
To what extent must you make reasonable adjustments?
Employers must make those adjustments up to the point that it would cause them “unjustifiable hardship”, which is a bar that changes depending on the size and nature of the business, and the costs of the adjustments. If, despite such adjustments, the employee still cannot perform the inherent requirements of the job, only then can the employer lawfully terminate their employment.
What should you do if you have an employee with a disability that appears to be affecting their performance?
Your two key responsibilities are to:
If you are uncertain about what adjustments should be made, consider engaging an independent medical practitioner to assess the employee. They will be able to give you clear guidance on whether the employee would be able to carry out the inherent requirements of the job, and what adjustments would be required for them to do so.
Contact our Employment Law & Investigations Team for more information.