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Hot desking and reasonable adjustments

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by foley753, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. foley753

    foley753 New commenter

    If an employer has accepted that an employee needs special equipment, is it reasonable for them to then require that employee to a hot desk so that they have to move their chair, footrest, keyboard, and mouse and set it all up at whatever desk happens to be free?

    For several years, I had a desk that was set up with my kit, and I had priority when it came to using that desk. I was seconded to a different project for 2 years, and now I'm back in my old job. During that time, the team moved to a much smaller office and I've been told that I now have to move my stuff to wherever there's a free desk. It takes ages to get everything properly set up, which is a huge waste of time when you've popped in for an hour between appointments.

    To add injury to insult, today I hurt my back plugging my stuff into a CPU that was on the floor. I have been told by my manager to ask other staff to do this sort of thing for me. This is directly at odds with the request she made at our last one to one, which was not to get other staff "sucked in" to any problems I had.

    I find it embarrassing as well, it makes me feel like I'm being a drama queen.

    The only relevant case my friend Google could find was about someone who was supposed to have a particular desk because of social anxiety disorder but didn't get to use that desk and ended up leaving. He won but that's quite different from not having a dedicated desk, so doesn't really help me much.
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    It sounds to me like you having a permanent desk set up to meet your disability needs would be a reasonable adjustment but I'm not an expert and anyway we don't know the basis for the employer's refusal. If they accepted you needed this setup before they'd have to explain why it was no longer reasonable to provide it.

    What proportion of the week do you spend working at the desk?

    Is this a school? Sounds like it might not be.

    Have you involved your union?

    If they won't agree ultimately you will need to take them to an employment tribunal (there are strict timescales). But before that bring a formal grievance.

  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Another thought, you've been away for 2 years working in another department. Is the manager you've come back to the same one who was there when you went away on secondment? If not does the manager now understand that this an Equality Act Reasonable Adjustment? Does the manager even understand that you are disabled and the Equality Act gives you legal rights to 'reasonable adjustments'?

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