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Jenny McKenzie
Jenny McKenzie,
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5425
Experience:  10 Years of experience in Employment Law and HR
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I employed the services of a Solicitor in a failure to adhere

Resolved Question:

I employed the services of a Solicitor in a failure to adhere to reasonable adjustments case. However, the Solicitor also didn't adhere to the exact same reasonable adjustments (which were clearly needed for anyone with whom I had complex interactions).

The Solicitor in his defence is saying that it was never agreed (as in a verbal or written, yes we will comply with these, it was always only implied) that he would adhere to the reasonable adjustments. However, I'm aware that the need for the implementation of reasonable adjustments is anticipatory. Therefore, I would never have needed an actual 'yes we will comply with the reasonable adjustments".

What would be the best case law or legislation to use to prove that I had no duty to get an agreement for adherence to the reasonable adjustments?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Jenny McKenzie replied 1 year ago.

Jenny McKenzie :

Hi I am not sure I fully understand your question. Are you saying that in providing a service was the solicitor under a positive duty to make reasonable adjustments?

Customer:

Hi Yes

Customer:

The Sol was fully aware of the adjustments and it was always implied that they would needed. And the Solicitor enquired about them in relation to her. The only thing that is missing are the words, 'I will adhere to these adjustments'.

Customer:

Oh sorry

Customer:

No

Customer:

I know the Sol had a duty to comply with the adjustments.

Customer:

It just the Sol is now saying there needed to be an express agreement that they would adhere to the adjustments. However, I know this isn't true as adjustments are anticipatory. However, I don't know the best way to present the fact that an express agreement wasn't needed. Is there case law or would the legislation cover it better? And do you have a link to the resources and subsection if relevant?

Jenny McKenzie :

So this is in connection with your claim against your employer not in relation to the conduct of the solicitor?

Customer:

No this is only about the Sol there never was an employer its always been goods and services

Jenny McKenzie :

Ok thanks, XXXXX XXXXX is in employment law which is why I assumed it was about an employment situation. Can you tell me a bit more about the failure to make the reasonable adjustment so that I can understand the background.

Customer:

I have a memory problem, so I need communications to be within good time. Thats basically it, so that I have less chance of forgetting

Jenny McKenzie :

Ok thanks for the information let me just do a bit of research then I will get back to you. As it is Friday night it may be some point tomorrow if that is ok with you?

Customer:

Thats fine, cheers

Jenny McKenzie :

20 Duty to make adjustments
(1) Where this Act imposes a duty to make reasonable adjustments on a person,
this section, sections 21 and 22 and the applicable Schedule apply; and for those
purposes, a person on whom the duty is imposed is referred to as A.
(2) The duty comprises the following three requirements.
(3) The first requirement is a requirement, where a provision, criterion or practice
of A’s puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a
relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled, to take such
steps as it is reasonable to have to take to avoid the disadvantage.
(4) The second requirement is a requirement, where a physical feature puts a
disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in
comparison with persons who are not disabled, to take such steps as it is
reasonable to have to take to avoid the disadvantage.
(5) The third requirement is a requirement, where a disabled person would, but
for the provision of an auxiliary aid, be put at a substantial disadvantage in
relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled,
to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to provide the auxiliary aid.
(6) Where the first or third requirement relates to the provision of information, the
steps which it is reasonable for A to have to take include steps for ensuring that

Jenny McKenzie :

Above is the relevant section of the Equality Act 2010 dealing with reasonable adjustments in a service provision. So long as the disabled person can show that a reasonable adjustment is necessary to remove a disadvantage then the Service Provider is in breach of s. 20 Equality Act 2010 by failing to make the adjustment.

Jenny McKenzie :

The Act does not require that the 'reasonable adjustment' to be 'agreed' so the solicitor is wrong that this is required. If it was a requirement it would be set out in the statutory provision.

Jenny McKenzie :

There is no case law on this point as it is not something that a person can reasonably argue.

Jenny McKenzie :

I hope that helps.

Jenny McKenzie :

If you have any further questions please ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.

Customer:

Surely a better extract for citation would be that RA's are anticipatory? Where might that be found?

Jenny McKenzie :

There can be nothing clearer that the statutory enactment that set's out the law. I am not sure what you are looking for? On the basis of what you say there is no argument that the RA needed to be agreed.

Customer:

Surely, the anticipatory aspect shows that not only do they not have to be agreed they don't actual have to be mentioned.

Jenny McKenzie :

why are you focusing on the word anticipatory? The law is as set out in s.20 of the Equality Act and is quite straightforward. If a person is a a disadvantage and a reasonable adjustment can be made in a service provision it should be made. It amounts to discrimination if it is not made.

Jenny McKenzie :

There is no mention of the Act that it needs to be anticipatory or agreed so there is no need for you to worry about that. It is for the person against whom you have made the claim to defend there claim. The position from your point of view is quite clear.

Jenny McKenzie :

What I am saying, ultimately, is that you don't need to disprove their arguments in defence. Your position is clear, you were at a disadvantage and the adjustment should have been made in accordance with s.20. It appears they are trying to fudge the issue by saying it needed to be agreed.

Customer:

Okay I get it cheers :)

Jenny McKenzie :

No problem, if you are happy with my answer I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate it as I am not otherwise credited for my time. Thank you and all the best.

Jenny McKenzie,
Satisfied Customers: 5425
Experience: 10 Years of experience in Employment Law and HR
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Jenny McKenzie
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