This sample policy is written for a place of employment. It can be adapted to fit your work environment depending on the size and complexity of your organization.
It is highly recommended that service providers and landlords also consider implementing a reasonable accommodation policy.
REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION POLICY
ABC Company will reasonably accommodate an individual's special needs to the point of undue hardship where those needs are associated with any characteristic protected by The Human Rights Code (Manitoba).
What is Reasonable Accommodation?
Accommodation includes adapting working conditions (including attendance requirements), work assignments or workstations to address an individual’s special needs based on characteristics protected by The Human Rights Code.
Special needs requiring accommodation are often based on a disability but may also be based on religion, sex (including pregnancy) and family status (parent or caregiver), for example. Special needs must be supported by evidence which, in the case of a disability, usually includes medical or para-medical information addressing how the employee is restricted from performing their regular job duties by their disability.
Accommodation may include:
- Technical aids or workstation modifications
- Modified or alternate work duties
- Task bundling
- Flexible time of work or leaves of absence
- Change in work location
- Building modification
- Communication services
What characteristics are protected by The Human Rights Code?
It is a contravention of The Human Rights Code to fail to reasonably accommodate the special needs of an individual or group based on their race, colour, ancestry, nationality or place of origin, ethnic background, religion, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital and family status, source of income, political belief, physical or mental disability, social disadvantage or criminal record.
The definition of “disability” under The Human Rights Code is distinct from the definition of “disability” utilized by other agencies and/or third party insurers and is focused on an individual’s ability to take part in activities on an equal level with others (See the Manitoba Human Rights Commission’s Policy L-11 for more detail: www.manitobahumanrights.ca)
What is the scope of this Policy?
This Policy applies to all current, potential, term and contract employees as well as volunteers and customers. This Policy applies to all activities connected with ABC Company’s workplace including work sites, washrooms, cafeterias, training sessions, business travel, conferences, and work-related social gatherings.
How do I request accommodation?
All requests should be submitted to [INSERT: Human Resources/ your Manager/ other]
What are an employee’s obligations?
- Advise ABC Company of the need for accommodation in a timely manner*.
- Provide all reasonable medical and other relevant information to help ABC Company assess your request.
- Perform modified duties and provide feedback to ABC Company. (The accommodation need not be ideal or perfect, but must be reasonable.)
* An employee is not always obligated to make a specific request for accommodation for ABC Company’s duty to accommodate to be triggered. If ABC Company has reason to question, based upon an employee’s behaviour or performance, that an employee might have an addiction, depression or other mental health concern that is impacting their performance, ABC Company must make relevant inquiries to determine if the employee requires accommodation.
What are ABC Company's obligations?
- Circulate this Policy and educate all ABC Company employees with respect to its content.
- Involve managers, human resources, occupational health or other management staff only as necessary to assess and respond to request for accommodation.**
- Determine if the request for accommodation is based on a characteristic protected under The Human Rights Code.
- Review supporting medical or other information and determine if clarification or further support for request is necessary.
- Listen to and consider the needs of the employee seeking accommodation and their suggestions for accommodation.
- Document the request for accommodation and the process of assessing the request and communications with employee.
- Obtain consent from employee to request further relevant medical or other information to support or clarify request for accommodation
- Determine to what extent employee can perform existing job duties and identify essential duties that fall within employee’s restrictions. (Sole reliance on a determination by the Workers’ Compensation Board or a private insurer is not sufficient).
- Consider modifications to existing job duties including “re-bundling” duties, or other positions.
- Consider “undue hardship” to ABC Company, based on evidence rather than assumptions, including:
- Health and safety
- Impact on others
- Disruption of the collective agreement
- Nature, size and scope of the employer
- Interchangeability of workforce and facilities
- Business efficiency
- Share information on duties/positions being considered with employee and seek their input, keeping employee reasonably updated as to accommodation process.
- Communicate in writing the details of accommodated duties/position and create a plan for follow-up, or decision to deny request for accommodation.
- Advise supervisors/co-workers of accommodation plan, balancing employee confidentiality and right of supervisors/co-workers to have information to enable them to support the employee’s accommodation.
- Monitor accommodation and modify if circumstances or needs change (including if accommodation is no longer required).
** ABC Company may, at its own cost, obtain specific information from a medical or other professional to assist in assessing the employee’s specific workplace restrictions or modification requirements, including information regarding how long the accommodation may be necessary. ABC Company will only seek medical information related to treatment and medication history where relevant to making this assessment. This information will be held in confidence and released only as necessary and to those who need to know.
Please note that ABC Company will also consider the impact an employee’s disability may have on their performance when considering disciplinary action.
What if I am not satisfied with the accommodation(s) provided?
ABC Company strives to provide an open and supportive workplace. ABC Company values employee input during and about the accommodation process. If an employee has concerns about the need for, or the suitability of, particular accommodation(s), the employee is encouraged to discuss these concerns with ABC Company.
If an employee is denied a request for accommodation, the employee can request a review of this decision by contacting: [INSERT appeal mechanism]
At any time you may contact
Manitoba Human Rights Commission
7th Floor - 175 Hargrave Street
Winnipeg MB R3C 3R8
Toll free: 1-888-884-8681
Brandon: 1-800-201-2551 or 204-726-6261
The Pas: 1-800-676-7084 or 204-627-8270
Effective: March, 2013