The government has recently introduced the Health Adjustment Passport, a document that can be used to identify and record the things that will help you move into work or stay in a job.
The Health Adjustment Passport is for anybody who has a disability or health condition that makes it harder for them to move into or stay in work. It gives people the space to self-describe their disability and the impact it has on their working life. Rather than being a document to complete and submit, the form can be saved and edited by individuals. This also means it can be tailored at different points in time for people with fluctuating and progressive health conditions.
The Health Adjustment Passport aims to:
- Help people identify what support and changes (known as reasonable adjustments) they may need when in work or moving into work.
- Raise awareness of Access to Work and how to apply for support. This could include ‘funding for specialist equipment to support you to do your job, support getting to and from work or support when you are in work, such as job coaching’.
- Help people talk to employers about adjustments and support they may need during the job application process or in work.
This initiative follows plans outlined in the government’s National Disability Strategy published in 2021, and encompasses a call to action from the Disability Employment Charter. The Charter outlines nine actions the government should take to address the disadvantage disabled people encounter in their working lives. Under their ‘Reform of Access To Work’ point, they called for ‘passporting of awards between organisations and from Disabled Student’s Allowance to AtW’.
Because of this, the form is likely intended to be for individuals to keep hold of and present/submit to new employers or organisations when moving into or between jobs. Individuals do not need to have an Access To Work award or provide medical evidence of their disability to use the form.
Research by Astriid shows that 89% of people with long-term illnesses felt employers and line managers should be better informed about managing people with such conditions. The Health Adjustment Passport offers one way to help individuals communicate their lived experiences of working with a chronic illness – the form not only asks about training and equipment, but provides a space for people to share their optimal working patterns and communication styles too.
Members of Astriid’s internal team have been filling in the form, and they advise putting time and energy aside to complete it comprehensively. Although the document is only six pages long, many questions require thoughtful and in-depth answers. It may be better to take rest breaks and pace yourself rather than attempt to complete it all in one go. However, once it has been completed, it’s a resource that’s ready to go whenever required. They also offer a friendly reminder to save and export the file PDF file with your completed answers before closing the window!
Our Advice For People With Chronic, Long-Term and/or Energy Limiting Conditions completing a Health Adjustment Passport:
- Provide comprehensive information about your disability, and don’t forget to detail any mobility aids you use.
- Ensure you include pacing or condition management in your responses, and how this interacts with your working day.
- Think about your preferred communication styles, and how communicating can be made more energy-efficient for you.
- Don’t be afraid to detail any and every adjustment that might make your working practice more inclusive – the more information you can provide, the more likely it is your adjustments can be accommodated. There are many workplace adjustments that can be helpful for people with chronic illnesses that you may not be aware of. This post details some suggestions to consider.
- Once you’ve completed your passport, look at it on another day with fresh eyes – you may find it easier to identify anything you’d forgotten to include.
We hope to see the Health Adjustment Passport become a more mainstream tool, to help more people with long-term conditions identify their needs and facilitate conversations with employers and line managers. We also hope to see positive results from the university pilot scheme, so that these passports can ease the transition for disabled students or graduates entering the world of work.
If you would like to find out more or get started, you can download and complete a Health Adjustment Passport online. We’d love to hear about any of your own thoughts or experiences!
Here at Astriid, we match talented people with long-term conditions with meaningful work. We also help employers to diversify their workforce and harness the skills of our Invisible Talent Pool. To find out more and sign up as a candidate or employer, visit our website!