Any advice on discussing disability needs at work? — Scope | Disability forum
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Any advice on discussing disability needs at work?

stevesdonna62
stevesdonna62 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
edited September 2023 in Work and employment
Im looking for advice regarding work. I've recently needed time off due to my disability. This has triggered a stage 2 assessment which wasn't very friendly or sympathetic. I have no control over my disability and when it 'flares up'. I now face dismissal if I have any further episodes of sickness in next 6 months. They never mentioned disability or Equality Act 2010. Not even sure if they're aware!
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Comments

  • Rosie_Scope
    Rosie_Scope Posts: 1,680 Scope online community team
    edited September 2023
    Hi @stevesdonna62! Welcome to the online community :)

    I'm really sorry to hear you're having trouble at work.

    If you have disclosed your disability to your employer, it may come under a reasonable adjustment, but I know it can be difficult to approach the subject with employers if they're not very sympathetic.

    Does your workplace have a HR department, or are you speaking directly to your manager?

    Perhaps it would be worth setting up a separate meeting with your line manager to explain your concerns.
    Rosie (she/her)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • stevesdonna62
    stevesdonna62 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thank you 😊
  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 361 Pioneering
    edited September 2023

    If you haven't informed your employer, they may not be aware of your disability and that it falls under the Equality Act.  Disclosure in such cases can help protect your rights and ensure you receive the necessary assistance to perform your duties effectively.

    If you need reasonable adjustments to ensure equal access to opportunities and to perform your job to the best of your abilities, it is advisable to disclose your disability to your employer so that they can provide the necessary support and accommodations in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. If I was in your situation I would write or email your employer highlighting this keeping copies of all communications.

  • DaveOT
    DaveOT Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    Yes, agree with the above, that it is now time to protect potential dismissal by disclosing to your employer about your disability and requesting protection under the Equality Act 2010.  During flare ups, would any workplace adjustments have helped you to return to work sooner or remain at work? Perhaps the option of flexible working, changing aspects of your work tasks etc.? Ask for a discussion with an HR Manager, and maybe ask for an Occupational Health assessment too, as they can offer support with adjustments, and with explaining your medical condition to your employer. If you anticpiate future flare ups, one of the things I would ask OH or your GP to advise your employer to grant you is Disability Adjusted Leave (DAL). This means you'd be given a higher threshold of sickness absence, say 8 extra days a year, before a Stage 3 is triggered. But, the sickness HAS to be directly attributed to your specific health condition. 
  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 361 Pioneering

    DaveOT

    Interesting post. I have never heard of Disability Adjusted Leave. Is this something that employers have to abide by if their employee falls into this category or is it up to as most things are employers discretion?  

  • DaveOT
    DaveOT Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    MW123 - no, DAL is, like all OH advice, advisory, rather than mandatory for employers. However, if employers fail to follow such recommendations, they should have good reason not to do so, or they could end up in an employment tribunal for failure to make reasonable adjustments. Lots of OH reports end with the phrase "Ultimately, it is for management to determine what is operationally viable."  

    DAL is helpful to know about, as it can help reduce stress levels for employees with fluctuating conditions, giving them a little more leeway before disciplinary absence procedures are triggered. It's used and accepted in larger organisations such as the MOD. 
  • stevesdonna62
    stevesdonna62 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thank you to everyone who has replied. I think it's time to let them know about my disability. Not sure it will change the overall outcome, but it's worth a try.
  • stevesdonna62
    stevesdonna62 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
    As a result of my disability and really not being able to carry on working, I was thinking about retiring on the grounds of I'll health. I'm not yet pension age (I'm 62) so not really sure which way to go or even how to go about it. TIA 
  • Rosie_Scope
    Rosie_Scope Posts: 1,680 Scope online community team
    Good luck @stevesdonna62, it's worth a try. I hope it goes positively for you. Keep us posted :)
    Rosie (she/her)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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