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Employer refused reasonable adjustment for MH

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Freddo
Freddo Community member Posts: 8 Listener
Hi, I've been receiving counselling for Mental Health from my employer for the past year and my employer is fully aware of my depression & anxiety, i'm currently signed off work and on medication yet my employer keeps pushing me

I have an issue with the main boss of my work department and I have been asking for the past year for a move away to a new dept. My employer has ignored all of my requests and also their own OH reports which have recommended a move away. 

My employer has not read the OH reports and refused to do so as its just a recommendation, I submitted a grievance in regards to a reasonable adjustment and stated the equality act 2010, my employer has said they will not move me to a new dept as its only available for people on a how long the employee has worked for the company aka a service move or someone who is on a restriction.

What do I do? I have a union rep present in all of my meetings yet they do not speak i'm basically on my own 

I'm desperate and I feel like my employer is pushing me out
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Comments

  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 5,307 Scope online community team
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    hey there @Freddo and welcome to the community. :)

    I'm sorry to hear your employer is being so stubborn with your reasonable adjustment requests, you were correct to raise the Equality act 2010. Have you spoken to anyone from ACAS regarding this? They're very good with the employment law side of things and could be a big help to you.  
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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    Neurodivergent.
  • Freddo
    Freddo Community member Posts: 8 Listener
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    Hi Albus, thank you for the quick response, No I have not yet spoken to ACAS in regards to it, I just couldnt deal with it during the past few months, my employer has made me feel like everything i've said or asked for is my fault, they've worn me down and now I feel like a broken person
  • Freddo
    Freddo Community member Posts: 8 Listener
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    Sorry....do I need something in writing to actually say its a disability? I just feel like they've made me feel like i'm the one in the wrong. I have been on medication for the past 9 months but receiving counselling through my employer for over 12 months. My employer is fully aware that I've had MH issues in the past also. 

    Thank you 
  • hyancinth
    hyancinth Community member Posts: 78 Pioneering
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    Your employer is a bully. This is them doing as they wish knowing full well it is damaging you.  They have a duty of care not to cause you harm and that includes distress, as you have reported to them you are unwell and they continue to cause harm they are in the wrong. I will put it another way: you have a sprained ankle, your job involves you going up and downstairs which really puts further strain on it and may damage it more for good. There are other departments you could work in which dont. Other roles. Wouldnt you assume for the healing period a reasonable employer takes you from that department. If they dont they risk damaging you further so its also in their best interest.
    Can you find a mental health advocate? from an organisation. 
    You have my sympathies. I have experienced similiar. Union are waste of space.
  • Freddo
    Freddo Community member Posts: 8 Listener
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    Hi Hyancinth, thank you for your reply. I've not heard of a MH Advocate before however my employer would never allow anyone who's not an employee to attend a meeting, I've asked previously and this was denied. My situation is alot more complex than I've mentioned.
  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 573 Pioneering
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    Freddo said:
    Hi, I've been receiving counselling for Mental Health from my employer for the past year and my employer is fully aware of my depression & anxiety, i'm currently signed off work and on medication yet my employer keeps pushing me

    I have an issue with the main boss of my work department and I have been asking for the past year for a move away to a new dept. My employer has ignored all of my requests and also their own OH reports which have recommended a move away. 

    My employer has not read the OH reports and refused to do so as its just a recommendation, I submitted a grievance in regards to a reasonable adjustment and stated the equality act 2010, my employer has said they will not move me to a new dept as its only available for people on a how long the employee has worked for the company aka a service move or someone who is on a restriction.

    What do I do? I have a union rep present in all of my meetings yet they do not speak i'm basically on my own 

    I'm desperate and I feel like my employer is pushing me out
    @Freddo Firstly welcome to Scope.

    If your grievance about reasonable adjustments was not upheld, you have the right to submit an appeal to challenge this decision and escalate the issue to higher levels of management or HR. In your appeal and complaint, cite the specific ways in which your employer's actions and policies appear to violate the Equality Act 2010, outlining your concerns about discrimination and their failure to make reasonable adjustments that accommodate your health needs in the workplace.

    Your employer's current actions seem to fall short of their legal obligations, and you may need to escalate your grievance to a formal complaint, seeking the assistance of your union in this process. Don't hesitate to assert your rights and seek the support you need to challenge this mistreatment, as you have the right to be treated fairly and have your health needs properly addressed.
  • Freddo
    Freddo Community member Posts: 8 Listener
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    @MW123 Thank you for taking the time to respond to me, I really appreciate it, I can't rely on my union as they have been compromised, they are not independent they are all employees. 

    I will look to raise a further grievance/complaint, my last grievance was a vast number of weeks ago and I haven't been in the right frame of mind to deal with it, I've basically just buried my head in the sand since they didn't uphold any of the issues I raised. 

    Thanks again 
  • Clifton
    Clifton Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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    The advice already given for ringing ACAS is a good one! But check their website first loads of information on reasonable adjustments.Really helped it helped to write down my questions in priority order, i rang about 5 times got through within 10mins.

    Get a letter from gp stating what you need workwise when at meetings ask if you can record it its amazing how they change if they say no check the minutes asap. You can still record without them knowing & can be used in tribunals (hopefully you won't need) its called convert recording.

    The law is on your side! Good luck.

  • Bydand
    Bydand Community member Posts: 117 Pioneering
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    the bit about covert recording in secret is not true. Whilst you can do this it would likely not be admissible in court as you did not declare to the other party that you were recording and would likely breach data protection rules.

    Should and employer refuse a request for any meeting you attend to be recorded, then either before if given notice of this or after the meeting, send them an email and ask for the reason why they would not let you record. If you have dealings with particular depts or individuals and they have stated no to recording then make sure to name them specifically in the email.

  • Clifton
    Clifton Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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    Must be in extreme or unusual circumstances as read it in a tribunal where the judge allowed it.

  • Bydand
    Bydand Community member Posts: 117 Pioneering
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    why leave yourself open to challenge before or at a tribunal by secretly recording stuff. There are other avenues an employee can take should an employer not give permission for a recording of a meeting to be allowed. It is all about you as an employee keeping yourself right and making sure everything is properly recorded and documented.

    A judge may well allow evidence such as covert recordings and I am sure this has happened in the past, but the decision to do so may well only be specific to a very particular case, not for every case. It would certainly not be the norm.

    The reasons for this are many but the biggest one is that if someone is secretly recording how can a judge be sure that any conversations in a meeting weren’t deliberately being steered in a particular direction by the person recording in order to specifically try and catch people out or put them in an awkward and or undefendable position by manipulation of the narrative.

    It is not that you have recorded it, but my understanding is that in doing so it is envisaged that everyone at the meeting has given their individual agreement that they are happy to be recorded. You could very well be in breech of your own employment contract and face disciplinary proceedings as well as breaking GDPR rules….see below from a quick Google search

    Is it legal to record conversations at work in the UK?

    As the employee, to record a conversation at work, you should seek consent of the person/s you’re going to record as detailed in the GDPR rules on data, you should, a) Inform anyone you record about the specific purpose of the recording. b) Get their specific consent and c) advise how this information will be stored securely.

     The employer and employee at any meeting must give their consent freely for each conversation you record—never presume that because someone consented to you recording one conversation, they’ll automatically consent to the recording of another.


    other Google searches will bring up a raft of information but most point to the person secretly recording likely breaching various rules from a law standpoint.

    It is the same as a company that uses cctv, by law they have to have signage clearly stating that you may be being recorded.

     

  • Freddo
    Freddo Community member Posts: 8 Listener
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    Hi @Bydand & @Clifton Thank you for your messages, you are both correct

    Please see Daniel Barnett top employment law barrister, if you google his name and covert recordings a small video of around 3 mins will appear, you can use covert recordings but you need to have them transcribed and submit to other party before hand, it wont let me post the link in here

  • Bydand
    Bydand Community member Posts: 117 Pioneering
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    Hi, sorry but didn’t mean to highjack your post but was just responding to someone’s advice on secret recordings …it seems you know about the pitfalls anyway.

    Need to put iPad on charge but I will reply to your original post soon, but it does seem from what you describe that your employer is being unreasonable.

    I will post soon

    Take it easy

  • Freddo
    Freddo Community member Posts: 8 Listener
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    No worries you didnt hijack the post, it was all informative and always better to have as much knowledge as possible, what I have posted about my employer is just the tip of the iceberg, alot more has happened, I cannot post as it could/would identify me if my employer was to see this

    My employer has now received a OH report from their top Dr and they still have not attempted to resolve any issues, they asked if I was fit to attend meetings and scheduled in a meeting before the assessment for day after the assessment, there was no way the report would be ready for the following day.

  • Freddo
    Freddo Community member Posts: 8 Listener
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    @Bydand @Clifton Hi, thank you both for your messages, I've looked into this and whilst Bydand is correct in stating data protection etc Clifton is also correct, please see Daniel Barnett top employment law barrister

  • Scrumptious67
    Scrumptious67 Community member Posts: 51 Pioneering
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    Would this not be considered "extreme or unusual circumstances" though? It seems to me that it would considering that the company are breaking the law and their duty of care to their employee. Unless there is a clear and concise description of what is meant by "extreme or unusual circumstances", I'd record for my own safety and sanity but bear in mind the company may terminate your employment and the tribunal may take a dim view. I'm not sure they could or would lower your compensation but it's worth checking.

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