Manager responsibilities to new & current staff with a disability

New staff member

You have a new staff member coming on board who has disclosed to you that they have a disability, illness or medical condition. They may require reasonable adjustments to their work environment so that they can perform in their role to the best their ability.

Your responsibilities

As a manager, you should:

  • find out if they require reasonable adjustment

Note: Do not assume everyone needs adjustments. Ask them first then action if necessary

What next?

Find out whether a reasonable adjustment required

Current staff member

Not all disabilities are present at birth. Many people can acquire disability through accident, the ageing process or illness.

Whether or not it is someone who has acquired a disability or who is having difficulty managing their per-existing disability, it is not your role as a manager to assess the person's disability or to manage it for them.

Your responsibilities

As a manager, you should:

  • understand how their disability is affecting their ability to carry out the inherent requirements of the job
  • ask the appropriate questions of them and relevant practitioners to gain this understanding
  • provide support and understanding whilst they adjust to their new situation and work towards managing effectively again
  • provide reasonable adjustment where possible so that they are able to return to their substantive position
  • ensure that there is open communication and understanding between you and your staff member in this journey.


There are a number of ways disability can be disclosed. The following situations are relevant to you as a manager and it is important you act immediately so as not to unnecessarily exacerbate anything further.

Page owner: Human Resources