I work 30 hrs per wk as a team leader in the nhs and as a clinical lead, I want to reduce my hours to 20 as I am increasingly emotional(have emotional lability) when dealing with staffing issues and resources(or lack off). I have alot of experience in service improvement and would prefer to be doing lesshours, but what I do well. I kinow that I cannot carry out my present role but I still want too work at my grade and not be responsible for people. Is this a reasonable adjustment or do my employers have an obligation to redeploy me as such.

Hi Rose,

There is no concrete law about what is and is not “reasonable”, because “reasonableness” has to be assessed in context.

For example, if there were NO suitable alternative opportunities available, it would probably not be reasonable that they should create one especially for you.

However, if there ARE such opportunities, it would probably be unreasonable if they refused to consider you.

It would also depend on things like the cost and practicality of making the rearrangements you are hoping for. Would they need to recruit and train someone new to fulfil your existing role, for example (expensive, and could take ages), or would colleagues have to work overtime? “Reasonable adustments” must be reasonable on both sides. The employer does have an obligation to try to accommodate you, but it doesn’t mean they have to agree to whatever you propose, regardless of any expense or disruption it would cause: it’s a two-way street.


I don’t know your circumstances, so apologies if this post makes no sense… but it sounds as though you have some clear thoughts about the kind of role in which you would feel most comfortable, and your employer would get the best out of you. That’s a good place to start. I would be inclined to work up a little proposal for your bosses, setting out briefly what such a role would look like (including what’s in it for them,) and then make your pitch! If they like your idea (and can therefore comfortably tick the ‘reasonable adjustment’ box in their own minds) then you give yourself the best possible chance of getting what you want, I would think.