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Office of the President and Provost (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion)

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Agreement of Consistent Treatment

Information on the ACT and how it may help you

What is an ACT?

The ACT is a tool to record the reasonable adjustments and flexible working arrangements agreed between an employee and their line manager. Some employees may feel anxious raising requests for reasonable adjustments with their managers - it is hoped the ACT will ease that anxiety as it is evidence of UCL's commitment to equality and inclusion. Likewise, some managers may be anxious discussing issues that they feel are personal to the employee. The ACT provides a template to facilitate such discussions. 


What are the benefits of an ACT?

Benefits to employees

  • An opportunity to explain the impact of impairment(s), health condition(s), caring or other personal commitments on you at work
  • An opportunity to suggest adjustments that will make it easier for you to do your job and safeguard your wellbeing
  • An acknowledgement of your needs
  • Removing/reducing the need to restate needs and renegotiate adjustments when changes occur that do not impact ways of working, such as a new manager
  • A tool to facilitate discussion/review at probation/supervision/appraisal meetings to ensure its adjustments are kept up to date
  • Assurance that your manager is committed to meeting your access and other needs in the workplace
  • A level of security when contemplating job changes across UCL or facing the impact of reorganisations
  • Knowledge that UCL takes its legal responsibilities to disabled employees seriously and delivers this through good practice.

Benefits to line managers

  • An understanding of how an employee's circumstances affect them at work, including the barriers they face and what their needs may be
  • A tool to review the effectiveness of any adjustments already agreed 
  • A record of the needs of the team, department or division to determine how best to meet everyone's needs
  • A summary of UCL's work-life balance, attendance, sickness absence, reasonable adjustment guidance and UCL's guidance for Disabled Staff and their managers 
  • A clearer understanding of the capabilities of a worker with appropriate adjustments in place
  • A way to recognise signs that an employee might be unwell, or experiencing a flare up of a progressive or long term condition, and know what the employee wants them to do in these circumstances
  • Knowledge on how and when to stay in touch if the employee is on sick or extended carers leave
  • Knowing whether the employee needs to be supported with an application to Access to Work or referred for assessment by Occupational Health to help both parties understand what adjustments are needed. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can initiate the use of the ACT?

Employees can ask their manager if they can use an ACT to record adjustments and/or flexible working arrangements. A line manager can propose to their employee that an ACT be used. It should be mutually beneficial to both as it provides a written record of agreements for clarity and to minimise misunderstandings. The EDI Team or the HR Business Partnering Team can be contacted for advice on completing an ACT.

Where is the best time to complete an ACT?

Anytime! People may be considering completing an ACT in a variety of scenarios:

  • To facilitate future changes - to respond to emerging needs such as a new condition/caring commitment or an evolving condition/changing caring commitment
  • To record adjustments that have been in place for some time
  • To record flexible adjustments that may change in response to fluctuating conditions/caring commitments.

Probation, supervision, and appraisal meetings between staff and managers provide good opportunities to discuss and complete an ACT. However its completion does not need to be limited to these formal meetings.

When can an ACT be reviewed?

An ACT may be reviewed and amended as necessary with the agreement of both parties. In any event it should be refreshed during probation and any subsequent annual appraisals. It may also be reviewed at any regular one-to-one meeting; at a return to work meeting following a period of sickness or caring related absence; before a change of job or duties or the introduction of new technology, location or ways of working; or before or after any change in circumstances.

How does the ACT relate to existing processes for identifying appropriate adjustments?

The ACT facilitates a discussion between an employee and line manager. Where all the adjustments are within the power of the line manager to provide them no additional involvement is required. Where guidance is needed on what sort of adjustments may be necessary or how adjustments will be funded please refer to the reasonable adjustment flowchart. The ACT will then be completed after this process has been navigated.

What do I do after I have completed an ACT?

Both the employee and line manager should keep a copy of the ACT and store a scanned copy on the employee's electronic staff file for safe keeping.

What happens if a new line manager takes over responsibility for the employee?

New managers of employees with an ACT in place should accept the adjustments outlined in the agreement as reasonable unless they are demonstrably impractical - and ensure that they continue to be implemented. The agreement may need to be reviewed and amended at a later date but this should not happen until both parties have worked together for a reasonable period of time (i.e. no less than 3 months), unless there are substantive material changes in the working environment (e.g. an office move to a different location).

What happens if the employee is required to change location within their current role? 

If aspects of the ACT are relevant to where the employee is located it may be reviewed and if necessary amended to take the amount of the impact of the location change, with the agreement of both parties. Other aspects of the ACT unrelated to the relocation should remain unchanged. A change of location does not of itself nullify the content of the ACT.

What happens if the employee is impacted by an organisational change process?

Any impacts on the content of the ACT should be considered as part of the organisational change process and may impact on decisions about what is deemed 'suitable alternative work.' If aspects of the ACT are impacted by the planned change it may be reviewed and if necessary amended to take account of the impact of the location change, with the agreement of both parties. A reorganisational change process does not itself nullify the content of the ACT.

What happens if the employee applies for a new role within UCL?

The employee's new line manager should meet with the employee to familiarise themselves with the content of the ACT and both parties should discuss what if anything within the ACT may need reviewing in light of the new role. If there is no substantive change to the type of role then a review may not be necessary or should be deferred until both parties have worked together for a reasonable period of time (i.e. no less than 3 months).

How does the ACT relate to existing processes for identifying appropriate adjustments? 

The ACT facilitates a discussion between an employee and line manager. Refer to the Work Life Balance Policy for issues to consider when responding to requests.