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Don't know what to do. Am I being discriminated against? I could really use a sanity check.

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px_
px_ Community member Posts: 8 Connected

Had a difficult meeting today and could really use a sanity check.

I started working for a company almost two years ago (it will be two years next month). Initially, I joined in a Graduate position and had to learn a lot. Over time, I became good at my job, receiving a very positive 'above expected' mark on my performance review. My direct senior colleague also said that my work is good and my technical skills are very good.

At some point due to my mental health disability, I requested reasonable adjustments to work from home, only needing to come into the office once a month instead of the usual three days a week. After undergoing a company process, which included an external occupational health assessment, these adjustments were granted with periodic review meetings to assess their effectiveness. During my last review meeting with a Manager and an HR representative, I received positive feedback on my performance and that there are no issues whatsoever.


As my skills improved over time, I emailed my manager last week seeking a promotion, highlighting my recent achievements and skill improvements. I received a reply scheduling a meeting (via video on Teams) to discuss this further.


During the meeting, which included two managers and myself, I was informed that the benchmark for assessing promotions is still under development, and I would need to wait, as "it's not your fault" – "the company does not have the framework ready yet." When I requested a timeline, they could not provide one. This discussion lasted about few minutes.


The meeting then shifted focus to "other aspects" of my performance. I was told that considerations such as communication and behavioral factors also play a role, but when I asked for specific examples, none were provided, only stating "It will be made visible to you."

From this point entire conversation shifted to my previously granted reasonable adjustments. I was informed that I am now required to come to the office once a week. Initially, the reason given was "visibility," so they could see what I’m doing.

I was then told that I needed to show more commitment to the company by coming the the office more often. One manager remarked that I am receiving "special treatment" compared to others by working from home, which confused me as I thought my reasonable adjustments were a separate issue.

When I sought further clarification, I was told more details would become apparent once I started coming to the office. The meeting concluded with the implication that I had no choice but to comply and a feeling that reducing my reasonable adjustments plays a role in my potential promotion.

When I tried to ask what specific improvements could aid my promotion, the response was simply to start coming to the office once a week.

Previously, everything seemed fine according to my performance review and the feedback from my direct senior colleague, who affirmed that my technical skills were very good. There were no issues with my performance or my reasonable adjustments until I requested a promotion. Suddenly, my adjustments were reduced for reasons vaguely attributed to "visibility" and "special treatment."

I know my work meets a good standard, but this meeting, intended to discuss my promotion, shifted focus entirely to my disability, leaving me feeling devalued and discouraged, despite my hard work and dedication.


Now, even the thought of asking for a promotion has a chilling effect.
I don't know what to do. I feel like I'm losing my mind.

Comments

  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 12,088 Disability Gamechanger
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    OK from an outsiders point of view I don't think being asked to work in the office one day a week is unreasonable, during covid my daughter worked from home 5 days a week it has changed over time and she now works from home only 1 day a week.

    2024 Election won

  • Cantilip
    Cantilip Community member Posts: 220 Pioneering
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    Sorry, do rather agree with Woodbine but it so much depends on the nature of the work. Obviously what you have been doing is ideally suited to WFH but you have sought a promotion and that must mean different work and from their point of view they want the person doing that work to be much more on tap. Think it might be an idea if you looked at the JD for the new role and identified what is different.

  • px_
    px_ Community member Posts: 8 Connected
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    Just to clarify, I was granted WFH via their processes as reasonable adjustment for my disability. Being promoted in my role does not mean changing what I do in terms of having to be in the office.

    What I am concerned about is being told that even to be considered for promotion they must reduce my previously granted reasonable adjustments, as well as main reasons for reducing the adjustments are for me "to show more commitment to the company", "visibility" ( for them to see what I'm doing) and the argument that my reasonable adjustments are a "special treatment" as compared to other - none of those things were an issue before I asked for promotion.

    In my mind reasonable adjustments are not a "special treatment" and they were granted for a reason which is still valid as I'm not suddenly cured. Until I asked for promotion there were no issues with that.

  • Scrumptious67
    Scrumptious67 Community member Posts: 51 Pioneering
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    Reasonable adjustments are certainly not "special treatment". It's an adjustment to enable you to do your job and from the sound of it, you do it brilliantly well. They seem to be preventing you from progressing by blocking promotion to boot without providing you any concrete examples which they should be able to provide if this was all legit. It sounds like they think they know better concerning your mental health but they are in no position to judge that.

    Are they a new company and that is why they don't yet have a promotion framework in place? And if the framework for promotion is not yet ready, how can they decide that your chances of promotion would be better if you go into the office more frequently?

    I would give ACAS a call to get their take on it especially as you're only a month shy of being employed by them for the 2 year mark. Also, if going into the office for 1 day per week is potentially doable for you, maybe it's worth asking them if you can do it on a trial basis to see how it feels?

  • px_
    px_ Community member Posts: 8 Connected
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    They are not new company. It's a big company, I do not know the exact details about the mentioned framework but people there were promoted before from the same role as I currently am in.

    The reasonable adjustments that were in place for me until now, were a result of following their occupational health process and this was assessed by external occupational health person who gave the recommendation. I have been working under those adjustment for a while now and there were no issues at all.

    The mentioned meeting ended in me being ordered back to the office regardless of my potential promotion due to reasons of "visibility" and "special treatment" which I'm having hard time to understand. What I'm worried about is that me complying with this be seen as my agreement to the change which I do not want because my disability did no change. It's all so confusing. Was just trying to google on what can I do and ACAS showed in results. I will try to ask them for advice.

  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 5,552 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hey @px_ that sounds like quite the pickle! Reasonable adjustments are in no way special treatment, we need them to be able to work, they're a necessity. I'd definitely get in touch with ACAS, they're great for all things work law.

    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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