Reasonable Adjustments During the Recruitment Process

Fiona Gorry
Fiona Gorry
Head of Litigation
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A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) case has highlighted the duty on employers to make reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process for disabled individuals.

In the case, it was held that the employer had a duty to make reasonable adjustments for a job applicant with dyspraxia. The job applicant had requested an oral application from the employer as an alternative to filling in the required online application form, to combat the difficulties he faced as a result of his disability. The employer did not accept the request but offered assistance in filling in the form, enquiring as to which particular aspects of the form the applicant struggled with. The employer received no reply, and the job applicant ultimately was unsuccessful in his application.

In this case, it was held by the EAT that the employer’s requirement for applicants to fill in an online application form put a job applicant with dyspraxia at a substantial disadvantage and therefore the employer had a duty to make reasonable adjustments to rectify this. In this case, the EAT found that despite the applicant’s failure to respond to the employer’s emails, the employer should have known that the applicant’s dyspraxia caused him difficulties with the online form. Therefore, the employer should have made reasonable enquiries, taking into account the applicants’ problems with written communication, by phoning the applicant for more information.

This case acts as a reminder to employers that the obligation to make reasonable adjustments applies both to employees and job applicants at the pre-employment stages as well as during employment. The decision of the EAT can be accessed here.

If you would like to discuss further employer duties arising at the pre-employment stage, or if we can provide any other support or assistance on any other employment law matters, please do not hesitate to contact any member of our team on 0141 331 5150.

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