Reasonable adjustments when making a complaint

How we can help you make a complaint, if you have a disability

We want to make sure disabled people are not disadvantaged when they make a complaint. For this reason, we will make reasonable adjustments for disabled people.

We cannot explain how we will approach every situation, but this is as a general statement that confirms:

  • our commitment to improving accessibility
  • the basic principles we will follow to provide reasonable adjustments for disabled people
  • what we will consider in dealing with requests for reasonable adjustments

What are reasonable adjustments?

The Equality Act 2010 says we must provide reasonable adjustments for disabled people. We must make reasonable adjustments if the way we do things puts a disabled person at a big disadvantage.

Reasonable adjustments are not defined by the Act but there is a Code of Practice to help. Depending on the individual’s needs, these might include:

  • using larger print, or a specific colour contrast
  • giving more time than usual to provide information or comments on a complaint
  • using the telephone rather than written communication
  • communicating with a person through their representative or advocate
  • arranging a single point of contact
  • having an ‘easy read’ version of the complaint process or decisions

Asking for reasonable adjustments

We will let people know that they can request reasonable adjustments by:

  • publishing this guidance on our website
  • asking people if they have a disability and if they need reasonable adjustments
  • making sure staff are aware of their responsibilities
  • making sure our procedures say people can ask for reasonable adjustments

Our response to requests for reasonable adjustments

We will not assume what reasonable adjustments a disabled person may need. But we will consider any request and discuss this with the person to agree any possible changes.

Before making reasonable adjustments, we need to consider some important factors:

  • what the disadvantage would be if the change was not made
  • whether the change will be effective in reducing the disadvantage
  • how practical it is to make it
  • whether it would disrupt our other activities
  • the cost and availability of resources, including external help and finance

We will agree reasonable adjustments without delay. But, in some cases we may need to consider the request in more detail.

There may be circumstances where we decide not to meet the request. The law says we should make adjustments if they are ‘reasonable’. We will test this against the resources available to see how easy it will be to put into place.

We will record the reasonable adjustments requested and the decision made.

Complaints about the failure to provide reasonable adjustments

If someone is unhappy about how we looked at their request. Or is unhappy about the reasonable adjustments provided, they can complain.