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Proving I have disabilities during Employment Tribunal

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Beans1
Beans1 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
Hi and I hope you are as well as can be.

Myself and 5 colleagues have jointly applied to Employment Tribunal due to discrimination including disability discrimination and harassment and victimisation since submitting grievances. 

My employers legal representative has stated:
Rheumatoid Arthritis - the Respondent (my employer) accepts that Rheumatoid Arthritis is a physical impairment and that the Claimant (I) has had this condition since 2010. However, the Respondent (my employer) isn’t able to say whether the condition has a substantial and long term effect on the Claimant’s (my) ability to carry out day-to-day activities.
  • Long Covid
  • Anxiety/depression and PTS

 In regards to the conditions of Long Covid, Anxiety, depression and PTS, the Respondent’s ( my employer) is unable to say if these conditions has a substantial and long term effect on the Claimant’s (my) day-to-day activities and requests disclosure of the Claimant’s medical records and a disability impact statement.

It is shocking that my employer claims that they are unable to say if these conditions have a substantial and long term effect on the my day-to-day activities. 

I have had 10 OH assessments which detail my symptoms and I have provided information as to how these conditions impact on me.

These OH assessments have made recommendations regarding reasonable adjustments including ergonomic equipment. There was 14 months of delay in providing these despite agreeing to do so!

Why agree to the reasonable adjustments if they are they are unable to say if these conditions have a substantial and long term effect on the my day-to-day activities. 

I have recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia but may have had symptoms for some time. 

I am happy to provide a disability impact statement detailing how these conditions effect day to day. I  will detail how each bad and better day can impact on me physically and emotionally,  from waking to sleeping.  I will also detail my medications and what would happen if I did not take these. 

I have been told by my union rep that letters from my Rheumatologist and GP would be adequate so I have asked for these. My GP can confirm that I am prescribed anti-depressants since 2022. 

I previously shared a letter from the Post Covid treatment team treating me in 2021 re Post Covid Syndrome and its impact on me. The symptoms of long covid have persisted eg fatigue, headaches, muscle and joint pains, brain fog, sleep disturbance etc. Unfortunately in my area there is nolonger support available from the Post Covid Recovery Team. 

I will ask my counsellor for a letter too, as she undertakes weekly questionnaires to ascertain my anxiety and depression levels. 

The need to constantly prove myself and provide information about how these conditions affect me is so stressful. Stress and ongoing bully and harassment contributes and triggers my symptoms. 

I find it incredible that I can be asked as an employee to behave in a kind and accountable manner when my managers and some of my colleagues can behave in a totally opposite manner. I submitted a grievance in mid 2022 and am still awaiting an outcome. 

Truly unbelievable and goes to show that employment law and laws against discrimination favour the employer and are unequal towards the employee and disabled employees. Standing up for myself and my rights has been a draining and distressing process, which often makes things so intolerable that you give up and leave but the breaches of the law, policies and procedures continue unchecked. 

Any advice and guidance would be hugely appreciated. Thanks 

Comments

  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 553 Pioneering
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    @Beans1

    Providing a disability impact statement detailing your symptoms and their effects on a daily basis could further strengthen your case. When you create your disability impact statement, ensure it meticulously describes the influence each condition has on your life, covering the full spectrum from your physical to emotional well-being. 

    The ongoing request for more information from your employer might be due to their desire to understand the extent of how your condition’s impact on your work. However, it's important to remember that the burden of proof lies with you as the claimant to demonstrate that you have a disability and that the employer's actions have caused discrimination or harassment. 

    Although it may seem like a challenging task to provide more information, further detailed and well-supported evidence will help demonstrate the validity of your claims and increase the likelihood of a favourable outcome.

     

  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 5,149 Scope online community team
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    Hi @Beans1 and welcome to the community. 
    I'm sorry to hear your work have been less than supportive, I'm unable to give you any advice on this unfortunately, but I see MW123 has already, which I agree with. But I wanted to stop in and say hi and best of luck with the tribunal for yourself and your workmates. 

     Hopefully this comment will bump the post up to the top of the page, so more people will see it and hopefully be able to offer more tips. 
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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    Neurodivergent.
  • Beans1
    Beans1 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
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    Thank you so much for responding. 

    My employer has had information from me, written information I have shared and numerous OH reports. They claim to be  aware of the needs of disabled workers but do not, are not interested and don't care.
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