You may not need any adjustments to the workplace to be able to do your job. If you do need adjustments, your employer should consider your disability and make appropriate adjustments to the work environment to accommodate you. These adjustments are called ‘reasonable adjustments’ and they enable you to:
- have equal opportunity to be considered for selection, appointment, promotion, transfer, training or other employment opportunity
- perform the requirements of your job
- enjoy equal terms and conditions of employment.
Reasonable adjustments also minimise the impact of your disability on your employment and ensure safety in the workplace.
Discussions with employers
If you do need workplace adjustments or modifications you should discuss this with your employer if you are applying for a job.
When the requirements of a job are discussed at an interview, you can identify simple adjustments or accommodations that will enable you to do your job. You can point to sources of expert advice on adjustments. You may like to draw your employers attention to the free advice offered by the JobAccess Advisers on 1800 464 800.
Examples of reasonable adjustments
There are many ways that modifications can be made to a workplace. Adjustments in the workplace can include:
- adjustments to work arrangements to accommodate someone who needs breaks because of pain or fatigue
- provision of an adjustable height desk for a person using a wheelchair
- arranging telephone typewriter (TTY) access for an person who is Deaf or has difficulty speaking
- screen reading software for employees who are blind or have low vision.
The limit on reasonable adjustment—unjustifiable hardship
Your employer is obligated to make reasonable adjustments unless that adjustment will result in ‘unjustifiable hardship’ to the organisation. More information about the concept of 'unjustifiable hardship' can be found on the Australian Human Rights Commission website (see Related Links).
Assistance for the cost of workplace adjustments
Your employer can get help for workplace adjustments using the Employment Assistance Fund. The Employment Assistance Fund pays for the costs involved in modifying the workplace or purchasing special or adaptive equipment for eligible employees with disability.
Australian Government employment service providers
If you are receiving help and support from an Australian Government employment service provider (such as a Job Services Australia provider or Disability Employment Services Program Provider), you can speak to them about reasonable adjustment: