A duty to make reasonable adjustments in respect of a disabled employee will not arise if the employer does not know, and could not reasonably be expected to know:
- that the individual is disabled, or
- that he or she is likely to be placed at a substantial disadvantage because of that disability
(paragraph 20, schedule 8 of the Equality Act 2010).
The question which will often arise for employers, therefore, is how do you “know” whether an employee is disabled? Is the employee telling you he thinks he has a certain condition enough? Do you need a formal medical report or diagnosis? What questions do you need to ask?