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Hidden disability; Depression & Anxiety Employment tribunal ?

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JohnDoe79
JohnDoe79 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
I believe my employer (unnamed government department) has discriminated against me. I have depression and anxiety, a condition that I declared on my application prior to joining. 
The role I am in now is not the role that I currently applied for, and was subsequently moved into the contact centre, a move that we were told would only be temporary. It ended up being permanent and my health has been impacted ever since, as I am seen as the government I deal with angry people very often, which is not something I would have applied for if I knew it was going to be a call centre. 

I approached my line manager in March 2021 to request a reasonable adjustment. It never happened. I approached the same manager again in October, and a workplace adjustment passport was introduced, or at least I thought it was. I had my first OC health report in October, and it was dreadful. Only suggested extended breaks between calls and breathing exercises and did not deal with the main issue impacting me, which was the phones. 
A second workplace adjustment passport was introduced, or I thought it was. Shortly after that, a second OC health referral was arranged. It was better and actually implemented most of the changes I wanted. Bar one, where I wanted telephony to be voluntary, which I only accepted in order to go along to get along. 

A few months went by and the adjustment was never signed for by any chain of management. When I finally do have a meeting with my manager. They attempt to put across their own version of an adjustment, with an eventual return to phones. I reject this and take sick leave as my mental health was getting worse. 

I put in an accident form due to my employer not implementing adjustments, I receive a response back, in which they basically admit to disability discrimination, by saying that none of the oc health recommendations were continued after a specific workphase had ended and I was expected to return to the phones for the entirety of my shift. Which I found astonishing in its sheer arrogance and ignorance. 

My issue is that there are other members of staff (who I have no issue with) who have reasonable adjustments, and I was described as "not taking their individual needs & circumstances into consideration" when I pointed this out yet completely ignoring my own. One disabled person can't be favoured over another. 

I believe the equality act has been broken in these three events

1. My manager did not respond to my reasonable adjustment request. (Section 20 &        21 broken).
2. Management never signed off on my adjustments (temp) via two WAPS (the second      WAP  can be argued that I never signed for it, so it's invalid) (section 20 &21)
3. My employer deciding not to follow the oc health recommendations, despite both        reports indicating that without a change my condition would worsen. I showed my        employer my prescription. 150 MG of sertraline a day to prove that I was not lying        about my condition .

Another issue I have is that the managers interviewed as part of the HRACC01 incident claimed I "potentially misled" the consultant into recommending an adjustment and there was never any specific adjustment in place, which is is partially true as I was led to believe I had a WAP, but management never signed off on it. 

I have a lot of evidence, going back over at least a year where I have complained about telephony impacting my health, submission of my prescription on at least one occasion and the times I have had to remind them of the law, which is more than once, plus the evidence (sending wap, receipt of wap & acknowledging the receipt of the wap)  that I have to prove that the managers who were interviewed and claimed that there was no adjustments are lying.   

I think I have a strong case, my health and safety rep stated the same. I am just looking for insight with anyone who has been through this before? 
    










Comments

  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 4,763 Disability Gamechanger
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    This is a bit beyond me but I'm replying to let you know I care and I hope you find answers and to help bump it to the front page of recent discussions <3 
  • JaneC_
    JaneC_ Community Volunteer Adviser Posts: 21 Connected
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    Hello #JohnDoe79

    Welcome to the forum and sorry to hear you have been having such a difficult time at work.  I hope you are getting support for your mental health and dealing with such a stressful situation, especially as it has been going on so long. This is a very friendly forum with a lot of people with experience who will be happy to help. 

    There is a lot to your situation and it raises quite a few questions. For example, it is not quite clear whether you are intending to make (or have already started) a formal complaint through the grievance policy and/or hoping to go to Tribunal? And exactly what help or advice you would seeking, do you have a specific question(s)?

    You mention a Health and Safety Rep, is this a union rep who is helping you?
    Its not clear how long you have been off sick and whether the the department are taking forward attendance or other procedures. 

    You may find this page on the SCOPE website helpful
    https://www.scope.org.uk/advice-and-support/failure-to-make-reasonable-adjustments-and-making-complaints/

    This provides helpful guidance on Reasonable Adujstments (RA), taking complaints forward and getting help such as I suggest if you haven't already that you restate your formal request for reasonable adjustments in writing and explain what adjustments you need; It would be helpful to outline what you need in relation to telephones (and why). Look at the SCOPE advice about how to do this. It may be (depending on the specifics of your disability) that the department should also consider moving you to another role as an RA. I would also formally request a WAP when doing this.

    As outlined on the SCOPE webpage ask them in writing why they are unable to agree the RA.

    Your Post contains lots of information to start writing a formal grievance, which I suggest you will need to do.  Please be aware that you need to start an ET Claim within 3 months minus 1 day since the issue occurred, but determining this is not always straight forward so you will need advice on this. So you may need to start a claim before they respond to any grievance etc.

    Again I would advise getting the appropriate departmental policies on grievance, RA, WAP, attendance. The Civil Service issued a very useful guidance document on RA, Workplace adjustments which included specific guidance for mental health. The department may have  adopted or adapted this for themselves.  This will help you make your claims.

    It is difficult to give more guidance without further information but CAB, ACAS and SCOPE guidance might help.

    I hope the above helps and please do come back with any questions.
    Best wishes
  • ksenia89bf
    ksenia89bf Community member Posts: 26 Connected
    Options
    JohnDoe79 said:
    I believe my employer (unnamed government department) has discriminated against me. I have depression and anxiety, a condition that I declared on my application prior to joining. 
    The role I am in now is not the role that I currently applied for, and was subsequently moved into the contact centre, a move that we were told would only be temporary. It ended up being permanent and my health has been impacted ever since, as I am seen as the government I deal with angry people very often, which is not something I would have applied for if I knew it was going to be a call centre. 

    I approached my line manager in March 2021 to request a reasonable adjustment. It never happened. I approached the same manager again in October, and a workplace adjustment passport was introduced, or at least I thought it was. I had my first OC health report in October, and it was dreadful. Only suggested extended breaks between calls and breathing exercises and did not deal with the main issue impacting me, which was the phones. 
    A second workplace adjustment passport was introduced, or I thought it was. Shortly after that, a second OC health referral was arranged. It was better and actually implemented most of the changes I wanted. Bar one, where I wanted telephony to be voluntary, which I only accepted in order to go along to get along. 

    A few months went by and the adjustment was never signed for by any chain of management. When I finally do have a meeting with my manager. They attempt to put across their own version of an adjustment, with an eventual return to phones. I reject this and take sick leave as my mental health was getting worse. 

    I put in an accident form due to my employer not implementing adjustments, I receive a response back, in which they basically admit to disability discrimination, by saying that none of the oc health recommendations were continued after a specific workphase had ended and I was expected to return to the phones for the entirety of my shift. Which I found astonishing in its sheer arrogance and ignorance. 

    My issue is that there are other members of staff (who I have no issue with) who have reasonable adjustments, and I was described as "not taking their individual needs & circumstances into consideration" when I pointed this out yet completely ignoring my own. One disabled person can't be favoured over another. 

    I believe the equality act has been broken in these three events

    1. My manager did not respond to my reasonable adjustment request. (Section 20 &        21 broken).
    2. Management never signed off on my adjustments (temp) via two WAPS (the second      WAP  can be argued that I never signed for it, so it's invalid) (section 20 &21)
    3. My employer deciding not to follow the oc health recommendations, despite both        reports indicating that without a change my condition would worsen. I showed my        employer my prescription. 150 MG of sertraline a day to prove that I was not lying        about my condition .

    Another issue I have is that the managers interviewed as part of the HRACC01 incident claimed I "potentially misled" the consultant into recommending an adjustment and there was never any specific adjustment in place, which is is partially true as I was led to believe I had a WAP, but management never signed off on it. 

    I have a lot of evidence, going back over at least a year where I have complained about telephony impacting my health, submission of my prescription on at least one occasion and the times I have had to remind them of the law, which is more than once, plus the evidence (sending wap, receipt of wap & acknowledging the receipt of the wap)  that I have to prove that the managers who were interviewed and claimed that there was no adjustments are lying.   

    I think I have a strong case, my health and safety rep stated the same. I am just looking for insight with anyone who has been through this before? 
        











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