Can he refuse to let me work part time???

Afternoon everyone…Could anyone advise me…under what circumstances can my headteacher refuse a reasonable adjustment of me working part time hours? I work in an independent school and have been told by my head of department that the head is very “anti” part time…I replied that if it is considered a reasonable adjustment would he not have to let me. The answer was no due to ‘business’ reasons?? I am seriously worried about the support I am getting at work (the lack of it) and am considering my future. Help!! :0)

Hi there,

My understanding is that under the Equality Act, an employer must make resonable adjustments for an employee with MS, but reasonable adjustments is a very wide phrase and if the employer is able to actually prove that your requested reasonable adjustment is not at all possible from a business point of view, then they I believe can refuse.

As for working part-time, they might not like it and prefer everyone to be full time but I don’t know if on this occasion, they could prove with factual evidence that this request is impossible to put in place though.



Than you Jools…actually, (forgive me-bad day!!) just after i was dx they arranged for me to work part time until the end of term…so I can’t see how they could argue it wouldn’t be possible to put into place…can i also ask who can decide upon the reasonable adjustments? My O.T and Access to work have been in but I am really struggling now and will be waiting for a good long while before i get the report and recommendations will, possibly, be put into place.

Hi emya,

The reasonable adjustments is law, legal obligation of employer to employee under the Equality Act.

And I believe, that an employee, OT, OH, GP even or access to Work or anyone involved in your well being and safety at work, can propose a reasonable adjustment and can fight the corner for it’s need to be put into place to allow you to safely and effectively continue within the workplace.

However the ultimate acceptance of this reasonable adjustment has to be actually put in place by the employer, so they have to be physically able to action this and if they can’t they have to state and prove why not.

If it’s a nothing happening by your employer and you can’t see or understand why that’s the case, it could be they are just dragging their feet, hoping you will give up first or perhaps they do have an effective business reason that you just can’t see and they are just being slow at getting things moving.

If you are seriously struggling and are at risk to danger to yourself, or others or failing in important work duties because the reasonable adjustment hasn’t been processed, then you could tell your GP and he could sign you off work, for the sake of your health, remember stress is a big trigger to us MSers!

…It’s not easy, you just wish that you could just go into work and do your job and didn’t need any special treatment or considerations…that’s how I feel…I know from personal experience where you are coming from :frowning:





Jools, you are a star. Thank you so much for your help. You are so right…I am really fed up with having to even think about bloody adjustments!! I would also like to get through a day in school without feeling like i can’t make it to the end of the day as sooo tired! I am now off to email my head of department!! Thanks again, Emma

Good luck emma, just dont lose focus of your health during it all, that’s got to be your number 1 priority!



Whatever you do, Emma, do not quit. This affects your right to unemployment benefit (such as it is).
What you need to find out (like from one of the organizations that Jools named) is this: If you have asked for reasonable adjustments and these have been refused, do you have a claim for unfair dismissal if they do fire you.

You might well find that an independent school would not like the publicity that come with an Industrial Tribunal, and will sooner settle out-of-court.