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Reasonable Adjustments

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by cornflake, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    Hi. Can anyone help? What might constitute reasonable adjustments, for a member of the leadership team who is under a lot of stress, and which has led to depression. They are at work and wish to remain so. This is a long standing condition (ie would fall under equalities act).
    Thanks in advance.
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Is the stress work related?

    There's no simple answer to that unfortunately. Has the staff member been referred to OH and if so what do OH recommend? But bear in mind that OH recommendations are only that, not something you have to do.

    At a school where I was chair of governors one of the DHTs had WRS and the OH recommendation was that some of their tasks be redistributed to the other DHTs. Our LA HR said this was not reasonable and we shouldn't do it, because, as I recall, what was expected of DHTs was reasonable for the job and all post holders needed to be able to handle that level of workload.. Redesigning work so that all post holders benefitted would be good, but redistributing work so that is was not evenly spread would not. Obviously that is very specific to the particular circumstances.

    I'd say you need professional advice on this from someone who knows the specific circumstances.
    sooooexcited and Flanks like this.
  3. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    Thanks Rott Weiler - you have kind of confirmed my thoughts.
    Yes, the stress is wholly work-related, but it seems impossible to address through adjustments for that - for reasons very similar to your scenario.
    I can't put much more here, on an open forum.
  4. veneris

    veneris New commenter

    Reasonable adjustments do not have to be permanent. They're often used for time limited periods to support recovery and allow the member of staff to return or remain in work. For that reason, temporary workload reductions can be reasonable. OHU should be involved. A stress risk assessment should be carried out and the hours being worked by the staff member should be examined. If they are ill, it is possible that normal tasks are taking longer and therefore a temporary reduction would be beneficial. It's also possible that their workload is excessive. It can look fine as a role on paper, but what happens in practice may be very different.
    There are lots of small adjustments that can be made but they're very specific to the circumstances. One could be ensuring that the staff member gets a break of a reasonable period in the day - this is often eroded for members of the leadership team.
    I would also say that if one of the team is struggling, then it's always worth checking the rest aren't stressed but just about managing. Long term stress can make anyone crumble.
    Sorry I can't be more help than that because obviously you have to be quite general on an open forum. I hope it's some use.
    strawbs and Rott Weiler like this.
  5. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    Thanks. I typed a long reply, and it disappeared!
    In short, I know the team are stressed - and as SLT are constantly striving to ensure teachers are not overloaded, it is us that picks up the slack.
    We can't delegate tasks - so the only other alternative is not to do stuff.
    But governors and other external watchers won't permit that...
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    That's just happened to me as well (on another thread)! Grrrrr
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    What do OH recommend? Or the GP?
    What is the cause of the stress? Is it the amount of work, or the type of work?
    Could a redistribution of tasks, not necessarily a reduction help?

    If the person has depression, they will not physically be able to do as much as if they were fully healthy, nor do it as well. This is not their fault, nor anyone else's, but they will need to be supported.
  8. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    Its not up to them though.

    if you set yourself a limit of hours worked a week, be that 50 hours, or 60 hours, or whatever you think is reasonable, and refuse to go over that, governors and extenal watchers don't have a leg to stand on.

    You just say No, I have done my 50 hour for the week, thats that.
  9. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    Sadly, it is up to them. Or rather, they can make life very difficult if stuff does not happen (due to workload and fatigue) - and that is the cause of much of the stress.
    Outsiders are questioning capability (unfairly and without adequate knowledge) .. and that isn't helping matters one jot.
  10. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    tell them to get stuffed.

    Why are you letting them wipe their shoes on you?

    You only have one life, don't spend it kowtowing to ***** like that.

    Tell them how it is, and if they get shirty, go and work somewhere else.

    They can only treat you like ***** if you let them

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