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What is "Reasonable Adjustment"?

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by noemie, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    I had a colleague who has diabetes, he regularly injected in the workroom where we all had lunch, privacy wasn't an issue. What's wrong with the toilets anyway? I don't ask for a private room if I need to take medication because of a cold, to me, injecting insulin is just that, medication! If he needs special hours, then presumably his condition is too serious for him to be able to cover the job spec and he needs to rethink his choice of working as a teacher. He is being completely unreasonable and I'd get Occupational Health involved straight away. It is ridiculous to try and keep things "in house" when the demands are being so unreasonable - to me it's like if you didn't want to involve a union as soon as your professional judgement was called into question, for instance. That's what they are paid for, get them involved, no shame involved. They're the professionals here.
    What next, giving kids with diabetes an extra long lunch break? Please!
    You may find the following document useful: http://www.diabetes-support.org.uk/Disability%20discrimination%20in%20the%20workplace.pdf
    You'll see that it disagrees with some of what I've said, but actually it doesn't mention that the work room should be close to the work place, and it doesn't mention longer lunch breaks, just more frequent breaks.
  2. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    I too would suggest getting the OH involved as the demands to me are just that, as a regular employer you don't know whether these demands are valid or not and need someone with more authority/knowledge to make these decisions.
    I would say you have already done far more by providing a room for their sole use to inject/test, if the medical room was too private then there must have been an office that people could have vacated for the purposes of doing the injection (not a long procedure)
  3. I too have type 1 diabetes and have had reasonable adjustments made for me to manage it. The main one being to ensure that I always have a free period before or after lunch so that I have time to do a blood test and if necessary to delay lunch after my insulin dose. Fortunately I have an office near my classroom and as I inject through clothes, I don't particularly need privacy from other adults (although I wouldn't want to do it in front of students). I have been known to use a stock cupboard too.

    It may be that this person is trying to get a better handle on his diabetes management in order to improve his chances of a long and healthy life. This would result in less time off sick and should be encouraged in my view.

    Perhaps you could talk to the people he used to share the workroom with about whether they mind him doing his injections and tests in front of them - he may be surprised to find that they don't mind. Some people on the other hand do mind - they might faint at the sight of blood, or something.

    As to suggesting he should do injections in the toilet, how would you like to do that yourself? Not exactly hygienic!

    As to the suggestion that his diabetes must be particularly bad, well with type 1 you either have it or you don't: there are no degrees of it. Some people find it more difficult to manage. He might have had a change in his treatment regime which means he is less confident in his diabetes management than before, in which case support and understanding will help him to regain his confidence.

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