Disability employment tribunal help please — Scope | Disability forum
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Disability employment tribunal help please

delight2107
delight2107 Community member Posts: 27 Connected
edited September 2023 in Work and employment
Hi. Any help welcomed. Cannot afford solicitor, been issued with early conciliation certificate and worried about next steps, trying to get someone to represent me but not looking hopefully. Disability discrimination/attempts to remove adjustments/harassment and non approval for reduced workload. Have a lung condition and suffer extreme fatigue and workload not allowing breaks leaving me burnt-out? Will not hear as grievance employer dragging feet?

Comments

  • Hannah_Scope
    Hannah_Scope Posts: 7,093 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2023
    Hello @delight2107

    I'm so sorry to heat about the discrimination you are going through at your place of employment. I would encourage you to reach out to Citizen's Advice. They have a work section where you can find lots of information but they'll be able to help advise with legal side too.
    Hannah - She / Her

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  • delight2107
    delight2107 Community member Posts: 27 Connected
    Hi. Sadly there is no citizen advice for disability work issues anymore, no government funding only service for debt etc, unless you know differently.  It is very stressful.
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,313 Scope online community team
    Hi @delight2107, have you tried contacting ACAS? They're an independent public body who give free advice to employers, employees and help with workplace conflicts/disputes. Including discrimination and dismissals. They have advice pages here and a contact helpline here.
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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  • delight2107
    delight2107 Community member Posts: 27 Connected
    Hi Jimm. Yes they gave me the early conciliation certificate on Sunday so my next point of call is the employment tribunal if we still cannot resolve in the next 4 weeks, I have until 10 October but I am apprehensive about representing myself, clearly my employer did not want to talk/settle resolve in the early conciliation?
  • DaveOT
    DaveOT Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    I would suggest you get your ET1 form submitted anyway, as this may in itself focus your employer's mind more. It demonstrates you mean business. There is a long waiting list for cases to be heard, and most cases will end up in settlement before reaching court. 

    In the meantime, you might want to check whether you already have legal expenses insurance via your home or car insurance, or via car breakdown cover. LEI covers people for employment disputes. 

    Are you a union member? 

    Go to www.lawworks.org.uk to see whether you might be able to get a probono (free) solicitor. Lots of other advice there too:

    https://www.lawworks.org.uk/legal-advice-individuals/going-court-without-lawyer
  • delight2107
    delight2107 Community member Posts: 27 Connected
    Hi Dave. ET1 submitted have preliminary hearing date now Jan 24. Tried my car and other insurance no cover. Getting legal advice soon from university, I am in union who let me down and despite prompting did not submit for legal advice and so I triggered acas myself and now they will not represent me so going it alone.

    Will try law works. Thanks 😊 
  • DaveOT
    DaveOT Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    An additional place I have come across:

    https://weareadvocate.org.uk/apply-for-help.html

    Now you have a date for the prelim hearing,  they may be able to help,  if law works can't.  

    Wishing you good luck with it all.  
  • delight2107
    delight2107 Community member Posts: 27 Connected
    Thank you dave very kind of you x
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,313 Scope online community team
    Hey @delight2107, sorry to hear the union hasn't been helpful.

    My partner did have to pay out of pocket for a lawyer too, though the lawyer was quite invaluable in getting a good settlement. Paid for themselves but that's obviously not something that is a guarantee. I would look for any possible legal aid and finally there are some lawyers who take no win-no fee cases but they have very specific requirements.

    Wishing you the best of luck.
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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  • delight2107
    delight2107 Community member Posts: 27 Connected
    Thank you, was your partner employed by the same employer and was the plan to remain working for the same employer? No win no fee is extremely difficult to find in these circumstances however I have had a quote for £2000 plus vat to attend for just the hearing if it gets that far, but if the final hearing amounts to 3 days then clearly my bill would triple and it would outside my budget. It is really impacting on me mentally but hopefully when I get legal advice soon to determine the strength of my case I will be more settled and focused.
  • DaveOT
    DaveOT Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    Once you are clear about the strength of your case, it may be worth going back to ACAS to see whether they might try to help broker a settlement to terminate your employment. If you have good grounds for a discrimination claim, that should increase the leverage you have to encourage your employer to see the benefits of a settlement route, rather than expensive court proceedings. A settlement could also be better for you, mental health/stress wise, as you'll put it all to bed more quickly.

    You could also do this yourself, asking for a without prejudice conversation with a senior HR manager, and signalling that you are open to an offer as an alternative to continuing with your ET application. Something to consider a little further down the line anyway...  

    You need to be clear about what outcome YOU want from all this. 
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,313 Scope online community team
    edited October 2023
    Thank you, was your partner employed by the same employer and was the plan to remain working for the same employer? 
    It was not no, once the issue arose she had little interest in staying with the company. It was an incredibly stressful time for her too, remember your mental health as well. Have you contacted your GP at all to talk about the stress and anxiety you're going through?
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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  • malice88
    malice88 Community member Posts: 18 Connected
    edited October 2023
    @delight2107 not sure if it helps, but if your employer did not hear a grievance you formally submitted it can impact the award if you are successful. It's a 25% increase on award if successful. But to manage expectations (not to put you off by any means), if the company managed you through ill health capability in line with their policies and declined adjustments due to it not being deemed a 'reasonable adjustment' e.g. the cost or impact was not feasible for them they may be successful at tribunal. Of course without all the background I couldn't say for sure.
  • katwater51
    katwater51 Scope Member Posts: 41 Connected
    hi @delight2107 @delight2107, clearly you’ve been able to do a lot of research and work yourself which isn’t easy, so well done. I’m sorry to hear that there’s no CAB support for disability employment disputes anymore. You seem to have tried a lot of avenues. I am in a similar situation and my union rep has been very poor also - she doesn’t seem to know anything about the Eq Act or the law. She has justified lots of employer action which I now know is discriminatory. 
    In terms of legal representation you can try reaching out to the Free Legal Representation Unit. Junior barristers give their time to represent people for free. If you could get help from them they would help you with Tribunal hearings. 

    I hope this helps? 
  • delight2107
    delight2107 Community member Posts: 27 Connected
    Thanks so much will certainly try.

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