What is a Workplace Assessment?
Workplace Assessments are available for employers and employees who’ve had a medical professional diagnose them. They may have any processing difference (e.g dyslexia) or physical disability. This can include, but is not limited to :
- Vision Impairment
- Hearing Impairment
An assessor will meet with the employee and employer (usually at the workplace). The assessor will query the employee about their tasks and responsibilities. This is done in order to identify ways in which the employee can be supported with additional software and hardware (And any other reasonable adjustments).
A Workplace Assessment can also be known as an Employment Assessment or an Employee Assessment.
What are the benefits of a workplace assessment?
The benefits of a workplace assessment to an employee are clear. It empowers them to be able to do their job more efficiently and undertake tasks that were previously inaccessible to them. Providing accessibility is a high priority to businesses in order to be able to meet the requirements of the Equality Act; employers will greatly benefit from having staff that are healthier, happier and therefore more engaged than they would be without the workplace assessment.
Employers have the option to pay for an assessment either independently or using the government’s Access to Work Scheme. The amount of funding given will be dependant on the size of the employer.
Is a workplace assessment the same as a diagnosis?
No, a workplace assessment is not the same as a diagnosis. A workplace assessor is unable to diagnose an employee with a medical condition that may be a disability.
The workplace assessor will assess an employee that has already been identified to have a disability such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, Autism etc. by a trained and qualified medical professional. They will then be able to provide the assessor with a diagnostic report which will provide insightful information on their individual needs.
An employee doesn’t require to have been diagnosed in order to have a workplace assessment.
What should I provide for a workplace assessment?
When booking in an assessor the employer should provide the required documents. They should state the employee’s job description, and any health information they can disclose in order to help the assessor.
The employee should prepare a copy of their diagnostic report and/or screening report if possible. The assessor will prepare both parties with questions that should be sent two weeks before the workplace assessment.
What happens during a workplace assessment?
Our workplace assessments will usually last about 2 hours and take place at the employer’s or employee’s workplace. It will involve the employee, their manager and any other employee’s involved. The employer may also request an Occupational Health Therapist or Union Representative if required.
The most common practice is for the assessment to take place between the assessor and employee only.
What sort of adjustments might be recommended from a workplace assessment?
Depending on the severity of the disability, most adjustments will be cheap, or in some cases even free, they’ll be simple and can benefit multiple employees;
Workspace Adjustments: For people suffering from eyestrain or migraines, this may mean scheduling in 15 minute breaks in-between using their computer for an hour. This is in order to allow sufficient time for the employee’s eyes to rest. For anyone with Autism or ADHD, this may mean moving their workspace into a quieter room or area. For a person with dyspraxia, this may mean acquiring more desk space for more co-ordinated tasks that require lots of movement.
Software or Hardware: This could include ergonomic furniture, for employees that are physically disabled. For other disabilities such as dyslexia, the company and employer could implement software designed to help with reading and writing (such as speech to text).
Changes to a person’s role: Job-sharing or change in flexibility could assist with time management for the individual. Working remotely can positively impact stress management and help people who are neuro-divergent work more efficiently.
What happens after an assessment?
The assessor returns to their office and creates a full workplace assessment report. This will be mailed back to the employer and will arrive within 10 working days. There will also be a follow-up call after the information has been received to make sure that the report has been thoroughly understood.
What’s the difference between a workplace assessment and coaching or mentoring in the workplace?
A coach/mentor will be put in place as a direct result of a workplace assessment. A workplace assessor will only visit once and provide a detailed report with advice on potential action points.
It will then be up to the employer to hire the relevant mentors required who will be supporting the employee in question over a longer period of time. It will allow the employees to work alongside their coach, to have an effective plan of action, developing their skill set, confidence and organisational skills.
Want more information? Call us on 01455 243700 to get in touch with Healthscreen UK about complying with the Equality Act for your workplace today!
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