Extra support through DDA
Q.One of the design and technology lecturers at our sixth form college has been off long-term suffering from multiple sclerosis. He now wishes to return to work in the same post. The occupational health adviser has told us that the employee should be able to return to work, provided that reasonable adjustments are made to his workplace in accordance with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act. However, the college's health and safety adviser believes that there maybe problems related to health and safety and the nature of his working environment and the equipment involved - particularly that he may fall over and injure himself or a student.
A.There is no doubt that the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) imposes a requirement upon you to make reasonable adjustments to the employee's workplace to facilitate his return to work. Since you are concerned about the possibility of the employee falling over, one possible readjustment would be to consider the use of a wheelchair. You mentioned that the college already has ramps and lifts in place. It seems therefore that the necessary reasonable adjustments should not be too onerous and therefore would fall within the DDA.
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