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Have you had issues with your employer or workplace during the pandemic?

Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,997

Scope community team

edited June 24 in Employment and careers

Are you worried about returning to a workplace because of a health condition / disability?

Have you been denied furlough by your employer, but are worried about returning to work? Could you afford to live on Statutory Sick Pay? (SSP)

Have you been working from home, on furlough or SSP, and face going back to work before being vaccinated?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, the Scope Stories team want to hear from you.

The next phase of Scope’s We Won’t Be Forgotten campaign is focusing on protecting disabled people’s livelihoods. This is your chance to help us campaign on the impact of coronavirus on disabled people’s lives.

If you’d like to get involved and help Scope campaign on this issue, please contact the Stories Team by emailing Molly at [email protected]

We’d like to hear from you before 1st April.

Senior Community Partner
Scope
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Replies

  • Robp1Robp1 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi Adrian,
    i have several clients who are losing their jobs. This is significantly because they have had time off work with poor health as a result of their neurodiverse condition. 
    They have been penalised by their employer for having a disability. 
    Neurodiverse Coach based in Cheshire 
  • SarahMusicMaker70SarahMusicMaker70 Member Posts: 9 Connected
    Looks like I was too late for the 1st of April deadline, I have been furloughed since 20th of April last year now this year at the end of April I am being made redundant, I've written a big post about it as a new discussion.
    These are scary times.
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,987

    Scope community team

    edited April 24
    Hi @SarahMusicMaker70 :) Yes, I'm not sure if the Stories team are looking for more people at the moment, but we'll let you know.

    In the meantime, Scope have set up The Disability Account, where you can share your story and answer questions about:
    • If you're employed, are you worried about job security or being made redundant? Have you lost your job during the pandemic?
    • Are you worried about returning to a workplace? Have you been denied furlough?
    • Have you had any issues claiming welfare or benefits like Employment and Support Allowance, or Universal Credit?
    This information will then be shared with the DWP, to help the Government understand the financial pressures disabled people face, and make change happen.
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • WhatsthisWhatsthis Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hi,

    I have a heart condition and nerve damage in my neck and shoulder among other things.

    I applied for an office based job which was advertised and described during training as office based, where I would go from office to appointment and back to office again. 

    The reality of the role is that each shop has control over my calendar and appointments but I do not, the jobs have been booked at the start and end of my shifts and with no gaps between, i have effectively been a home based (peripatetic) employee for over 3 years because of this. 

    During my first 3 months I asked my employer for an auto van for work they ignored me, few months later I asked again and they refused. I argued and they agreed to let me use a car if I funded it, so that's what I did. 

    A year later I was put forward for promotion by a manager from another team because he had noticed a very good standard of work.
    Head office refused to consider me for the role because I don't drive a company van. 

    I was then told I was expected to work a minimum of 60hours per week in my role (which they refused to put in writing) and they changed my hours/shift pattern despite my objections, 'for the needs of the business' was the only reason given. 

    I have no control over my calendar or the appointments in it,  appointments were consistently booked outside my  shift times and on my days off too. On top of this the new hours didn't allow me to take my meds because of the very short rest period between shifts (finish at 10pm on late but back on early 8am next day) which ultimately lead to a 3 week disability related absence. 

    On my return we agreed my hours would go back to 9 to 6 everyday to allow me to manage my meds again but they've continued to book jobs outside my working hours.

    I emailed all those who were overriding my calendar to book jobs that I would no longer be working outside my contracted hours and all jobs booked outside my shifts will not be attended. 

    I was then given a disciplinary for not completing training in the office even though I do not have any control over what I do where or when and no time had been allowed for training. 

    I then started to get very awkward bookings, {shift start 9am but job booked to start at 9am which is 2hours away etc)

    They then sent me an email saying your new auto van is ready??? 

    I had over 6months left on the lease deal for the car I had to fund so I asked if I could continue with that till the deal ends and then find a suitable solution because a van will most likely not be very good for me (having the car made me realise how much better the seating position was for my neck and shoulder). 

    I was then asked to go to a OH case study meeting, I went and there were 2 managers from the company and no medical OH professional. 

    They kept trying to say that I have refused the new van because it has a tracker and as soon as that 'oh meeting' finished they conducted a surprise investigation for disciplinary against me there and then. 

    I had a panic attack in the meeting and went on sick with stress, I intended to raise a grievance at this point but I stupidly didn't - every time I tried to type it out I'd get overrun with adrenaline and just couldn't do it (I have over active adrenaline and a dodgy ticker). I was put on furlough which allowed me to forget about it all though.

    My job was min wage + commission at the time, my furlough was 80% of min wage.

    I was made redundant during this furlough (unfairly) and given the same job back with a different title and commission structure.

    When the first furlough ended I was given a van again, I asked for OH and they said it wasn't an option due to covid etc.. and it was in the terms of the new job that I would have to be able to drive a van. I had no option but to drive the van for work.

    I had a RTA in the van and suffered whiplash, I wasn't paid for the 3 weeks I had off sick and the van started to play up in Jan, I reported it and they said they would arrange for it to be serviced, the day after this I was put on furlough again. from Jan to April 2021.

    I received a letter asking me to agree to use my holiday entitlement whilst on furlough but the deadline to agree passed before delivery of the letter. I was paid around 40% of my wage last month via furlough. - I have asked for a breakdown of this payment and I've been ignored.

    I was given 10 days notice that furlough was ending in April, I was in the new rota as first day back on Sunday, - I don't work Sundays and never have but they insisted.

    The van wouldn't start on that Sunday morning and I reported it ASAP, everywhere was closed due to being Sunday and had to wait till Monday for call back from vehicle management company, they arranged to come out and fix the van on the Tuesday which they did but were unable to fix it due to needing parts.

    I was then told by work that this time will go down as unpaid leave and I have to make my own way to showroom the following day or disciplinary procedures would start etc etc..

    I told them it wasn't possible for me to make my own way there and my family in hardship due to very low income for over a year and unpaid furlough etc..  I had a bit of a breakdown at this point

    After a few days they changed their tune and I received a letter saying that they've offered to pay for taxis to and from and I had to claim the money back at the end of the month (£30 per day each way minimum), - if I fail to do this it will result in disciplinary blah blah..

    I have no idea what to do, I can't afford to pay last months gas and electric and they think I can throw £1200 on transport to work.

    A colleague of mine had an RTA that was his fault around 12 months ago and they hired him a car for over a month.

    they're also aware that I'm clinically vulnerable to covid and refuse to allow me to work from home and insist on public transport / taxis.

    I sent notice that i intend to raise a grievance this morning and asked for copy of policy and procedures.
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,978

    Scope community team

    Thank you for sharing this story with us @Whatsthis and I'm so sorry you came up against such barriers in the workplace.

    Unfortunately, I'm not sure the Scope Stories Team are currently looking for people to share their experiences of working through covid-19 however if this changes we will be sure to update you.  

    I hope the support you received on other threads in relation to this situation has helped and please do let us know how you get on. 
    Online Community Co-ordinator

    Want to tell us about your experience on the online community?  Talk to our chatbot and let us know.
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