Receiving an accommodation request

Accommodation works best when everyone works together to come up with creative, flexible solutions. If you receive a request for accommodation as an employer, service provider or landlord, there are steps you can take to meet your duty to accommodate.

Steps to respond to an accommodation request

Employers, service providers, and landlords have a duty to accommodate their employees, clients, tenants, and more. During the accommodation process, both the person seeking accommodation and the employer, service provider, or landlord have rights and responsibilities to fulfil.

You must take reasonable steps to accommodate the person’s needs to the point of undue hardship. Consider the following when responding to an accommodation request:

  • Did you determine if the request falls under any of the protected areas and protected grounds in the Act?

  • Did you treat the person or group requesting accommodation respectfully?

  • Do you have enough information to determine the person’s accommodation needs?
    At times, it may be necessary to collect medical information or other information to determine a person’s accommodation needs. Employers, service providers, and landlords must follow privacy laws when they collect, use, or disclose a person’s medical information.

  • Did you review the supporting medical information or other information the person seeking accommodation provided?

  • Did you listen to and consider the needs of the person seeking accommodation? How about their suggestions for accommodation?

  • Are you willing to take substantial and meaningful measures to accommodate the needs of the person seeking accommodation?

  • Are you flexible and creative when considering and developing options?

  • Did you discuss options with the person needing accommodation?

  • Did you take reasonable steps to accommodate the person seeking accommodation to the point of undue hardship?
    If full accommodation is not possible without undue hardship, try suggesting options that may partially meet the person’s needs.

  • Did you reply to the request for accommodation within a reasonable period of time?
    A reasonable period of time would depend on the complexity and duration of the accommodation requested.

  • Do you need a formal written accommodation agreement with the person being accommodated?

  • Did you give the accommodation a fair opportunity to work?

  • Did you follow up to ensure that the accommodation continues to meet the needs of the person seeking accommodation?

Further steps

There may be situations where you should take further actions or steps when receiving the request. Below are a few examples:

  • You need more information to assess the request
    Did you consult an expert, such as a human rights professional or lawyer?

  • Accommodation is not possible because it causes undue hardship or because of a bona fide occupational requirement
    Did you provide details explaining why accommodation is not possible?

  • Circumstances or needs changed and the agreement is no longer working
    Did you review and change the accommodation agreement?