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Employment Tribunal Help

alexr_cmalexr_cm Member Posts: 3 Listener
edited December 2020 in Ask an employment adviser
Any advice would be gratefully received on this. 

I don't want to go into too much detail but I am currently going through an employment tribunal claim and the preliminary hearing is in January - I'm not sure what to expect and am representing myself. 

I have just had a response from 1 of the 3 respondents (its a bit complex) and on their ET3 they accept that I have epilepsy but deny that this is a disability under the equality act. They then say that even if its found I am disabled, that they put effective reasonable adjustments in place anyway. 

One of the other respondents has accepted that I have a disability but disagree that they failed to make effective reasonable adjustments. 

This is really confusing to me - how can 1 respondent not agree that I am disabled but the other can agree that I am. 

Am looking for advice about epilepsy in relation to disability - I always thought it was covered by the Equality Act? am i right to think so? do you think they will be able to argue it is not a disability in court?

In relation to reasonable adjustments, I am wondering if I can argue that because they don't believe I am disabled, thats why they didn't make reasonable adjustments - would this make sense?

Thanks anyone for help! I am so worried and so anxious about everything to do with this claim and I'm trying to find help where I can but its really difficult. 

Has anyone else been to a preliminary hearing? hearing others stories might just make the anxiety reduce. 


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Replies

  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 2,213 Disability Gamechanger
    hi @alexr_cm welcome to scope, i found this (link below) it was the first hit on google which I would have thought you would have researched? Anyway here it is
    https://epilepsysociety.org.uk/living-epilepsy/work-and-employment/equality-law-and-disability-discrimination
  • cupcake88cupcake88 Member Posts: 633 Pioneering
    Hi there @alexr_cm yes I have been threw this but it didn’t go as far at the pre hearing they settled out of court like a few days before the pre hearing . I was representing my self as I had no choice . I’m guessing this is a tele phone pre hearing ? 

    I’m guessing you went via acas ect . Literally just before the pre hearing they contacted my acas advisor and we settled . 

    I found that there response to the et3 was to basically try and blame the fact I was mentally ill as being my fault and clearly wasn’t prepared to go to tribunal with what they put in The response basically they told so many lies . 

    I’m not sure if epilepsy is under the equality act I think it is . Regarding the pre hearing from what I found out bout it It’s for the judge to hear what you both have to say and set dates where you both exchange Paper work so for example you can request to see all data  they hold on you ,contract , cctv , witness statements will be exchanged so the pre hearing is to set dates for those things .

    i personally was taking my previous employers to tribunal over failing to make reasonable adjustments, direct discrimination, and bullying and harassment.

    i must of asked my previous employers many of times by letters for documentation I requested from them and they didn’t respond when they knew i wasn’t messing around and they knew they would have to supply documents to my self if not provide a good reason to why not plus they lied they settled out of court some businesses tho take it as far as settling just before the main tribunal . 

    I was of course offered a silly amount at first which I turned down . It became personal for me I wanted to stick up for all people with disabilities as too many employers get away with this do not give up .

    what I was told was that basically the judge will decide if your disability is under the equality act and how the employer broke the act if that makes sense . It doesn’t cost any thing to take an employer to tribunal but if a judge thinks you have completely wasted every ones time then they can order you to pay some of there fees which I’m sure isn’t the case for your self . I was 100 percent determined to take them all the way to tribunal . 

    Do you have any witnesses ? Or any documents you require of them as that’s the time to mention it in pre hearing . 

    I personally did a lot of research in to it so did my partner I was so anxious scared that I’m mentally ill and they would hire some fancy lawyer which they did not they had there hr deal with it . 

    I also had a email from the owners saying some really bad things bout people with mental illness also in there response in the et3 they also were discriminating in that . I was quite confident I would win but I was also prepared to loose I wanted to speak up for the rights of disabled people . 

    You have come this far please do not quit . I can’t give any legal advice but I can share my personal experience. I wish you luck . 
  • alexr_cmalexr_cm Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thank you both for the responses. 

    It is really helpful to hear your experiences @cupcake88. I am similar in that I'm doing this because I don't think its right the way they have treated disabled people. 

    I am also claiming for discrimination arising from disability, but it really shook me that they said I am not disabled as they were aware from the beginning of my epilepsy and they have been told by the OH assessement that I had for them that I was protected under the Equality Act 2010. 

    I don't have any witnesses at the moment as unfortunately none of my previous colleagues are responding to me, I don't think they want to get involved. I do have written evidence but will have to argue it I think as it is not straightforward.

    I have sent subject access requests and one of the respondents has not replied to me, another has replied and the last one has refused to give me certain documents but not given me a reason why. 

    I didn't realise how much this would take when I started my claim but now i've got this far I am determined to try and take it as far as I can as seeing how they've responded with basically outright lies has made me so anxious about it but I worry about other people in the same position
  • cupcake88cupcake88 Member Posts: 633 Pioneering
    It certainly opens your eyes up to how you have to represent your self in these situations it makes you feel that employers have the upper hand when mostly they don’t even pay for any legal advice so they basically represent them selves yes I also had Grounds for discrimination arising .

    my witnesses had left so I was lucky in that sense but yeh the tribunal members will know that most people who are still in the job aren’t going to want to go to tribunal against there employer . This forum was a great support to me so make sure you post on here and update us .

    you have come this far do not quit . I remember I personally raised grievance when I was there then when I left they ignored me so I went via acas they said they wanted to take part it early conciliation but wasted a whole month of my time .

    then I wrote out my et1 send off to tribunal and they then applied for a extension 28 day one so then we was given another pre hearing date they insulted me via there response caused a load of upset and then made a offer of settlement . I was so anxious and some point my partner was telling me to give up as it’s making me ill but I was like no it’s bout doing what’s right so keep going . Even if you don’t win you saw it threw . 
  • cupcake88cupcake88 Member Posts: 633 Pioneering
    There not going to want to go to court and i believe they will know they have done wrong and settle .

    These situations can be mentally draining . But like I said before this forum was so great they supporter me with there advice and kind words 
  • alexr_cmalexr_cm Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thanks very much for the support - its useful to know they can decide to settle at the last moment. I think it will end up at preliminary at least because I submitted my form out of time, and the respondents seem to think that because its out of time that I will definitely loose the case but I do think I have a reasonable argument for being out of time (not knowing about ET, mental health and bereavement). 

    I will certainly keep you updated! What you've said sounds so similar to my partner about him telling me to consider giving it up due to the effect on my health, but I just want to push through that and take it as far as I can really. 
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,013 Pioneering
    Hello @alexr_cm

    How are you today? 

    Sorry to hear that you're having to go through this process.

    I imagine it can be quite stressful but I'm glad you have the support of your partner. Please do try your best to have a relaxing Christmas and put this to the back of your mind until nearer the time. 

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  • cupcake88cupcake88 Member Posts: 633 Pioneering
    That’s great advice from above . We are all here to support you . My partner thought it was causing me loads of stress it was but I had to keep going .

    i have been told they can settle a hour before  the main hearing . Because there not going to want to go to court for disability discrimination if they have done wrong . 

    You know what you went threw and believe in that and it will be ok . 

    I knew what they had done to me I was prepared to see it threw to the end .

    they claimed there were settling for my health I disagree with that lol they knew they had lied and didn’t want to go to court for those reasons .

    you have got this far keep going . 
  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 6,197 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi there hope you find the advice useful for your info a disability is classed as any physical or mental condition that affects your ability to carry out day to day activities and is likely to continue for 12 months or more 

    Epilepsy can be classed as a disability dependant on how it affects you as everyone is different 

    If the company consider they would be likely to lose the case they will consider out of court settlement but they may be waiting till after the pre hearing to get a sense of how they think it will resolve 

    Good luck 
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