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Access to Work rejected by Employer

cpicking92
cpicking92 Member Posts: 4 Listener
edited February 1 in Work and employment
Hi everyone, I'm hoping to get some advice. I was diagnosed with ADHD last year, have been in my job for just over 3 years. My psychiatrist suggested I should self refer to Access to Work to help with the struggles I face in the workplace.

I did this, had an assessment and received a report containing recommendations with reasons behind each. I was told today that HR have decided they cannot 'justify' the £1000 contribution because there haven't been any performance management issues while I've worked there. 

I'm really quite upset and disappointed about this. There has been no consideration of the struggles I go through to make sure there aren't any performance issues. 

I'm not sure what I'm hoping for here really, but any advice or support would be much appreciated. 
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Comments

  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected
    Start by explaining to us what the adjustments would be and what they would help you do that you can’t currently do.

    The HR approach is likely not legal but they can refuse if the cost is disproportionate.

    So…
  • cpicking92
    cpicking92 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi Mike, thanks for your reply. It's a little difficult to summarise as the report was quite lengthy but I'll try.

    Disability Impact Training - to help me understand how my adhd impacts me at work
    Coping Strategy Sessions - to help me identify tools and techniques that can help with my struggles with concentration, time management and working memory.
    Noise Cancelling Headphones - to reduce distraction levels due to a very busy and loud working environment (will aid concentration). 
    Voice Recorder - so I can concentrate in meetings without having to multitask i.e.taking notes and missing half of what is said (will aid concentration and working memory). 
    Otter AI software - to record/transcribe online meetings (will aid concentration and working memory). 
    MicroBreak - software to help me refocus when distracted/remind me to take a break when I'm hyperfocusing (will aid with time management and mental wellbeing).

    Basically - I can do my job without these things. But I am at a serious disadvantage to my colleagues and have to work much harder to produce the same output. I suffer with stress and anxiety constantly (caused by living with undiagnosed adhd for nearly 30 years) and these recommendations would allow me to do a better job with less stress and anxiety. 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected
    edited January 20
    Your last paragraph is the key. That’s exactly what RAs are for. That said that reads like classic recent A2W reports where they throw all sorts of stuff in without any kind of real assessment as to what is needed. Has anyone ever had an A2W assessment and not been offered some kind of headset/headphones and bloody Microbreak? I wonder what the commission is.

    So, you could stand your ground and think about advice from a union or an employment specialist, or, you could do your own serious thinking about what your priorities would be out of that list and why. 

    Given that A2W have not done an assessment of what each of these would do I think any reasonable employer could look at that list and ask why you’d need training and aids. Surely you’d do the training first and that would help you draw conclusions about what aids were needed if any. I’d think about asking the employer to fund one of the training options and see what you feel after that. 

    I’d equally look at some of those devices and ask myself, if they’re so useful why don’t I just buy myself one for daily life outside of work anyway. 

    A little compromise and common sense could go a long way here.


  • cpicking92
    cpicking92 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    The report from A2W did go into the reasons why each thing was recommended. I completely agree though, I would happily self fund/go without some of these things.

    The main ones for me are the impact training and coping strategy sessions. Unfortunately those cost just over £1000 each so if they're not willing to pay the £1000 contribution then I'm stuck. Even if I were to find cheaper alternatives, it's not going to come to less than £1000 in total for both, so I'm still in the same situation. 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected
    Sounds to me like A2W ought to have also identified employer training. You can always go back to A2W and ask them if reduced or alternative courses are available. £1,000 is taking the mickey for training really.
  • cpicking92
    cpicking92 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Okay, I will do that so at least I'm seen to be trying!

    Do you know if the fact they're rejecting it based on me not having any performance issues is acceptable? 
  • JaneC_
    JaneC_ Community Volunteer Adviser Posts: 11 Listener
    edited January 26

    Do you know if the fact they're rejecting it based on me not having any performance issues is acceptable? 
    @cpicking92
    Sorry to hear you are having such difficulties getting reasonable adjustments. I’m afraid in my experience it’s not uncommon and can be quite stressful and I’d advise keep going 😊. Take care and I hope you’ve got some support. 

    In short, No it’s not acceptable to reject on the basis of no performance issues!

    As @mikehughescq previously pointed out - you’ve said you need these because:
    “I am at a serious disadvantage to my colleagues and have to work much harder to produce the same output. I suffer with stress and anxiety constantly … and these recommendations would allow me to do a better job with less stress and anxiety.” 

    A key part of the argument is due to the effects of disabilities, you are having to work harder to produce the output AND this adds to your stress and Anxiety. 

    I’d suggest you push back on this. Reasonable adjustments are to help put you in an equal position to your colleagues. They could of course consider reducing the output required from you as an adjustment.

    best wishes 

  • Poppy_
    Poppy_ Community Volunteer Host Posts: 84 Connected
    Hi, how are you today?
    I would keep trying for your adjustments, as even though these are costly, they do help, as you have previously mentioned. I would mention to your employers that these adjustments help you to work to the best of your ability, and work alongside you colleagues. I would also mention the Equality Act 2010 to them, as this legislation mentions that employers have to make the workplace accessible to you, which is what the adjustments help with, it is not dependent on how efficient you work. I have copied a link for you, to a file that includes the information about what your employers must provide for you. 


    I hope this helps
    Poppy_
    Community Volunteer Host with a passion for reading.

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