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Adaptations to help someone stay in work introduction image

Adaptations to help someone stay in work

Your employees are a valuable asset to your business. Some simple adjustments might be all you need to support them to help keep them in work.

If your employees become unwell or disabled in some way, it is important to consider what aspects of their job might make it difficult for them to stay in work as part of your workforce.

Adjustments are changes that are made to the work environment, or the way that work is carried out, so that someone can do their job safely, and without the risk of making their condition worse.

Most adjustments are simple to do such as a more flexible working arrangement, changes to working hours, a designated parking space, or it may mean some physical changes to the workstation or workplace, such as a chair or desk adjustment.

These simple steps can help someone to remain at work so you retain their skills and experience.

Reasonable adjustments for workers with disabilities or health conditions thumbnail image

Reasonable adjustments for workers with disabilities or health conditions

Employers must make reasonable adjustments to make sure workers with disabilities, or physical or mental health conditions, aren’t substantially disadvantaged when doing their jobs.

This applies to all workers, including trainees, apprentices, contract workers and business partners.

For more information click here.


  • Have you successfully explored reasonable adjustments?
  • I have implemented an inclusive recruitment process
  • I have offered flexible working
  • I have made physical adjustments to the workplace to better support my staff
  • I have provided special equipment to help my staff members who require additional support
  • I offer training opportunities, recreation and refreshment facilities to all my staff
  • I have facilitated a phased return for those requiring time off due to sickness or a disability
Download the checklist


What do reasonable adjustments include?
  • Changing the recruitment process so a candidate can be considered for a job
  • Doing things another way, such as allowing someone with social anxiety disorder to have their own desk instead of hot-desking
  • Making physical changes to the workplace, like installing a ramp for a wheelchair user or an audio-visual fire alarm for a deaf person
  • Letting a disabled person work somewhere else, such as on the ground floor for a wheelchair user
  • Changing their equipment, for instance providing a special keyboard if they have arthritis
  • Allowing employees who become disabled to make a phased return to work, including flexible hours or part-time working
  • Offering employees training opportunities, recreation and refreshment facilities
Where can I get support and advice on reasonable adjustments?
  • You can get advice on reasonable adjustments from the Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) at your local Jobcentre Plus office
What do I do if I need more help?

Resources thumbnail image


  • Health and Wellbeing at Work Summary Toolkit - A toolkit developed by Business in the Community
  • Examples of reasonable adjustments in practice through the Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • The Sunflower Scheme was set up in 2016 to support people with hidden disabilities and is now known worldwide. You can find out more about some hidden disabilities here and explore how you can support Sunflower wearers and consider workplace accommodations for your colleagues and customers based on their specific invisible disability.

Acas Supporting Disabled People at Work

Acas disability guidance provides clear advice on how to support disabled people at work.

The guidance covers:

  • Talking about disability at work
  • How an employer should support disabled people
  • Managing a disability that gets worse over time
  • Disability-related absence
  • Capability and performance when someone is disabled
  • More support for managing disability at work

The Acas guidance:

Disability Confident

The Disability Confident scheme supports employers like you to make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to your workplace.

The scheme helps employers recruit and retain great people, and:

  • Draw from the widest possible pool of talent
  • Secure high quality staff who are skilled, loyal and hard working
  • Improve employee morale and commitment by demonstrating that you treat all employees fairly

To find out more and sign up to become a Disability Confident employer click here.

Musculoskeletal conditions