I have an employee who has just been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. We are concerned about the cost of making reasonable adjustments. Can we refuse to make adjustments because it would cost too much?

Q

I have an employee who has just been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. We are concerned about the cost of making reasonable adjustments. Can we refuse to make adjustments because it would cost too much?

A

Employers should be aware that multiple sclerosis is one of a select few impairments that is automatically considered to be a disability from the moment of diagnosis. This means that the employee is entitled to receive full rights and protections under the Equality Act 2010 even where the usual definition of “disability” is not met.

The Act states that employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to the workplace in order to remove any barriers caused by the employee’s disability, which could include amending work duties or making alterations to the working environment. When considering multiple sclerosis, individuals often benefit from equipment such as specialised desk chairs or removing any duties that require strenuous physical activity.

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