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Discrimination at Work

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TimkerB
TimkerB Community member Posts: 6 Listener

Hi all, I’m new here and would appreciate any advice/help.


Last week I was dismissed from my job. Various employment laws as well as discrimination laws have been broken, I’ve sought legal advice and I’m currently going through Mandatory Convciliation with ACAS so I don’t need advice around what next steps to take etc, however…..


Part of the discrimination aspect is not adjusting shifts when they could easily be adjusted. As a result I had to call in sick and miss a 4 hour Saturday shift. When I went back to work last Monday, during the meeting to discuss this absence, my manager was asking very personal questions about my disability.

He was asking what I did at weekends, what I did when I got home from work, how I spent my time, what activities I did outside of work, any treatment I had etc. they felt quite invasive at the time & I’ve never been asked these questions before by a manager, only a medical professional.

Was my manager allowed to ask such questions or would it fall under intrusive questioning/discrimination?

Comments

  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 3,702 Championing
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    Hi @TimkerB, first of all welcome the community! I'm happy to hear you're already working with ACAS on what has happened. I'm so sorry you're going through such an experience. My partner has been through a discriminatory issue at work related to disability and it's tough.

    When it comes to the questions I think the best people to answer are likely again to be ACAS. They have a page on Return to Work meetings: https://www.acas.org.uk/returning-to-work-after-absence But it doesn't list what is and is not acceptable specifically, but it does note that employers should be sensitive and understanding. It also notes that employees don't have to tell them anything, but it can be beneficial if talking about it helps get adjustments so they can more easily return to work. I am no expert, but it feels invasive to ask what you've been doing/activities you've been doing. The point of these return to work meetings is to help you get back to work. Asking what treatments you've received could help with that, as it could highlight potential concerns (for both you and the employer). But how does asking what you did during the weekend or out of work help with that? I can't see how.

    Again, I would speak with ACAS again given they are the actual experts. This could potentially help show that they weren't treating you fairly.

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  • Bydand
    Bydand Community member Posts: 138 Empowering
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    Hi

    I am no expert but I would suggest that your manager was asking questions well outwith their remit as a manager and was likely fishing for information that may contradict what you were telling them….to your detriment.

    What I would advise against is believing that an employer can always make adjustments just because you think they could…..it’s very rarely as clear cut as that from an employers perspective.

    Most adaptions or reasonable adjustments are highlighted through the OH referral process but an employer is under no obligation to accept the findings of any report……however they do have an obligation to fully explain to you why any reasonable adjustment recommendations are unworkable, and this would be in writing, not word of mouth.

    Sorry that I can’t be anymore help, hopefully someone with far more knowledge will answer.

    S


  • TimkerB
    TimkerB Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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    @Jimm_Scope I was told by my manager it was to best look at they couldn’t best support me in work except the reasonable adjustments i mentioned weren’t put in place and I was sacked 2 days later.

    I was only 5 days in to probation & they hadn’t even waited for Access to Work to confirm what equipment I needed. I was sacked on the Wednesday & Access to Work sent their report in on the Friday.

    I’ve been managed out by way of not being given feedback or support as other colleagues have had, its a very clear case of discrimination.

    Re asking what activitis I did or didn’t do, part of my issue is fatigue & stair access to the building but rather than giving me additional time for the stairs, they appear to have used the meeting as a fishing expedition against me 😬

  • TimkerB
    TimkerB Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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    @Bydand yes, I fear that is the case.

    I have outlined the whole situation with ACAS and they have confirmed it’s discrimination (extra time to navigate stairs to access the office isnt an unreasonable adjustment). I’ve been in touch with solicitors & had it confirmed that my work have breached very basic discrimination & employnent laws (treating me differently by withholding training other colleagues have received, measuring my performance less favourably against colleagues, refusing reasonable adjustments, sacking me before my Access to Work report had been received, sacking me for poor performance 5 days in to probation but not an able-bodied colleague with similar performance etc etc etc)

  • TimkerB
    TimkerB Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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    PS, apologies for any typos. I’ve installed smartwatch software on my iPhone & since then autocorrect has stopped working 🙈

  • egister
    egister Posts: 114 Contributor
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    I consider it necessary to ask the manager to ask questions in writing on paper.

  • rosheen
    rosheen Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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  • rosheen
    rosheen Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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    hi

    I’m about to start my new job on Monday and want to bring up any reasonable adjustments, they are aware I have epilepsy. I don’t know how to bring this up in relation to time of for appointments most are on the phone but every year I have an MRI, also if I have a seizure will it be put down as sickness or separated ?
    how can I bring this up? I am meeting my manager , she seems nice but how can I open the conversation? Any help would b great. Thank you

  • TimkerB
    TimkerB Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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    @rosheen you might want to post this in the main forum. It’s currently posted as a reply to my original thread so it won’t get the views and may not get the information you need.


    Re opening the conversation, just say that you’d like to discuss reasonable adjustments and ask for clarification on the sickness issue re seizures 😊

  • rosheen
    rosheen Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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    thank you for letting me know but I don’t how to do that

  • TimkerB
    TimkerB Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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    @rosheen

    click here https://forum.scope.org.uk/categories/employment

    Then click on the + sign on the bottom right.

    Then click ‘new discussion’

  • rosheen
    rosheen Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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    thank you very much @ TimkerB

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