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DDA Greivance - Denied A/L specifically due to "employee's autism, and requiring routine"

rjsdavis Community member Posts: 3 Listener
Hello to all 

I've just signed up and joined as what appears to be a fairly awful event has just occurred to my son. 

He works in a local government leisure centre, which is run by a private company on behalf of the local council. Due to Covid, he has accumulated a great deal of A/L, which he has been informed he is required to take before March 2023, or lose it - some 534 hours. 

He sat down and planned half of it, and was initially denied it, as it was unclear that the cover could be found. However, when my son had done all of the hard work, and actually found colleagues that wanted to cover all of his annual leave, it was approved on Sunday, by the Centre Manager, through one of the Deputy Managers. 

However, earlier this afternoon, the centre manager has called him into her office, and told him, in front of another of the DM's, that his A/L request has now been cancelled, specifically, and solely, because he has autism, and that: "I cannot permit you take so long off, as it will disrupt your routine". 

On the face of it, this appears to be an extremely clear case of Disability Discrimination, but I'm so angry about it right at this moment, I can't think particularly clearly. 

My instinct is to help write up and submit a formal grievance complaint about the centre manager's conduct, specifically citing this as being an event of gross misconduct as breach of the DDA, but I tend to go in all guns blazing. 

I'd be very interested in other's views, or experiences. This woman has been bullying my son for sometime now, and there have been other, less serious events, but this, for me, has stepped well over the line and beyond in Tribunal territory potentially. 

Any thoughts are most welcome. Thank you in advance. 


  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community 

    I would suggest that you ask the question as to how they have cone to the conclusion it would have an impact on your sin taking this time off 
    Have they asked for a medical professional opinion or is it just based on their presumption 

    Also ask how they expect him to take all this outstanding leave if they are not allowing him this time off are they prepared to pay him if he doesn't take it.

    I would try and remain calm at this stage and maybe put together a letter asking the things above and see what the response is first without mentioning discrimination at this time 

    By putting it in writing you are making it formal and forcing them to respond (well hopefully ) you can then take it from there 

    If you have any questions just ask you can also get support from acas for employers rights issues 
  • rjsdavis
    rjsdavis Community member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hello Jane

    Thank you for your reply. 

    We've actually just drafted exactly that, whilst a former member of staff has also helped a little with some additional understanding on the management dynamics and capabilities of those involved. 

    It seems as though it might well be extreme ignorance at the heart of this, along with a good measure of bullying, which is clearly intentional, now that my son has returned from work, and gone through the meeting verbatim with me. 

    There is a small opportunity to let them respond in writing, and hang themselves, but it's unlikely, as no matter how subtle the communication is, the expected response will be "Can I talk to you about this?" - keeping everything verbal. 

    The only way to capture stating these illegal things is to record the meeting. I am well aware of what that represents, but if you're in a position where everything is kept verbal, and colleagues will lie/deny that these specific things were ever said, what choice does one really have to expose discrimination?   
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    In any official meetings then there should be notes taken or a recording made some companies don't allow recordings bur notes should be signed for by both parties as being a true reflection of the meeting 

    Also he has the right to be accompanied at any meeting by a work colleague of union rep 

    However I would say they will say it isn't an official meeting but I would still suggest he has someone with him 

    Just wanted to point out as well so it appears you know but the dda no longer exists ot has been replaced by the equality act 
  • rjsdavis
    rjsdavis Community member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hello Jane

    Thank you for replying again - and herein lies the most typical of serious HR problems. As I'm sure you're aware, most colleagues do not wish to accompany a staff member into a meeting like this - as it highlights them as a potential "troublemaker". It shouldn't do, but it does. It's just a reality. 

    Sadly, he's not currently a member of any union, which we will change, but it's too late to help him now. 

    I wasn't specifically aware that the EA superseded the DDA. I had thought that they were two separate acts, but thank you for highlighting that. 

    What I need to work out now, is within these circumstances, what part of the EA has been breached by his employer in this scenario? If I can get that knowledge sorted in my own mind, it makes it much clearer and easier to take the matter to HR, which is inevitable in truth. 

    Thank you once again for your replies - much appreciated. 

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