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I am thinking about the Employment Tribunal as the employer is refusing to put adjustments in place. I am in an open plan office which is horrible experience for me every day. I am unhappy there. I cannot focus. I can only think all the time about how to escape from this.
I agree with Mandy - if the employer is causing you such discomfort in work then it’s time to find a new job with a more supportive employer. It’s hard to change things and leave a job you like due to such issues I know, but trust me when I say that finding a more supportive employer and comfortable environment makes a world of difference - I know because I did it.
As for the Employment Tribunal, if you want to make a claim that is your choice, but please make sure that you understand the likely prospects and outcomes well before you tangle yourself up in any of that, as it can get very messy, costly and unrewarding (see above).
I wish I had more supportive employer.
The problem is that job interviews is a huge problem for me.
They are extremely stressful. I become extremely anxious.
The best I can do is say Yes and No. It is extremely difficult to process the questions. I cannot think and focus properly.
The job interviews are horrible experience for me.
With regards to difficulties with job interviews, there are a few options in terms of reasonable adjustments:
1) You can ask for a work trial instead of interview.
2) You could ask to give written responses instead of spoken.
3) You could ask for questions to be yes/no questions only.
4) You could ask for the questions in advance of the interview, so that you could prepare answers and then read them out during the interview.
5) You could ask for questions to be reworded so that they are simpler to understand/process.
6) You could ask for more time to be given for you to answer questions.
Of course, there are many more options in terms of adjustment requests, but I tried to detail ones that would help with your specific issues.
For me personally, when preparing for an interview the following helps me:
1) I make sure I know everything I can about the company, the job role and the people interviewing me beforehand. It may sound a bit odd but I specifically look for pictures of these people online so that I will know who they are when I see them.
2) I will do a dummy run prior to the interview date, where I will travel to the place of interview in order to check timings, parking facilities, where I am supposed to go, how busy it is etc.
3) I disclose my Asperger’s upon applications for jobs, that way I know that anyone who has invited me to interview is not bothered by the fact that I’m autistic. Further, it means I can ask for adjustments at interview and those interviewing are aware that my peculiar answers/mannerisms are due to my autism.
4) I found that applying for and interviewing for jobs that I knew were below my skill set helped me to be more confident about the whole process. I realise it’s not always advisory to do that, but it hasn’t cost me in the long run - I started in one temporary role on minimum wage, but after three months I was offered a permanent contract with a higher wage and more fitting for my skills. Sometimes it’s easier to sell your skills after the interview...
5) Knowing I had applied for a job with an employer who fully understood autism. This one isn’t easily done, but it really helped me - in the interview they changed some of the questions to help me, without me even asking them to!
Sorry to write such a long post, but I hope that some of those things could offer you some assistance with your difficulties. Of course it’s your choice if you try to change jobs or not, but I wouldn’t advise torturing yourself on a daily basis by working in an environment that is difficult for you - it’s not worth it for your health. So if your current employer won’t make adjustments or help you in any way despite clear attempts to get them to do so, I think it’s time to say goodbye to them.
Thank you very much for this post!
I would definitely prefer to give written responses instead of spoken and more time to be given for me to answer questions.
If I would need to answer to them then I would prefer questions to be yes/no questions only.
I would definitely prefer to get the questions in advance of the interview, so that I could prepare answers and then read them out during the interview. This would very helpful.
I would prefer for the questions to be reworded so that they are simpler to understand/process.
I might be interested in a work trial instead of interview.
Thank you very much for the ideas.
I have also looked for pictures of the people online so that I will know who they are when I see them.
Thank you for the long post. It was is very helpful.
I am just wondering, in real life, are there employers out there who are happy to do these adjustments?
I am really sorry but I have not seen myself any employer in real life who would be happy about this and would be happy to do them.
Unfortunately, I feel that I am torturing myself everyday by working in the environment that is not suitable for me. I know that it is not worth it for my health but I have no choice. I need to keep my budget in balance. Otherwise, I will not be able to pay the bills and I will get other problems.
My health now is much worse than it was 4 years ago and it is still slowly going down.
I know that it time to say goodbye to them but I really need to know where I am going to. If I simply leave, I will be completely stressed out and enormously anxious about keeping my budget in balance.
There certainly are employers who will make adjustments as I described - both of my current employers did and I know of others who had adjustments made for them at interview. Do remember that employers are legally bound to make reasonable adjustments for disabilities. If an employer refused to do so it would be illegal, but would also indicate to you that they’re unlikely to be supportive of you in the long run, and thus it wouldn’t be wise working for them anyway.
I am so sorry to hear of your situation - I do know through personal experience what it’s like. You could try looking for another job whilst still working where you are now to ensure you have an income.
Or, if you really don’t feel able to leave then how about putting some more pressure on the for adjustments e.g. put to them in writing what you require, set out their legal requirements, and ask for them to respond in writing telling you what adjustments they make. Then ask for dates of implementation in writing. That would make it very difficult for them to refuse you any adjustments because you could use the correspondence as evidence against them in a legal case. Another thing to consider is asking for a workplace assessment:
Thank you very much for all the advice.
I think I have to do all of them at the same time.
1. Putting some more pressure on the for adjustments e.g. put to them in writing what you require, set out their legal requirements, and ask for them to respond in writing telling me what adjustments they make.
2. Looking for another job whilst still working.
3. Trying to set up my self-employment.
4. Looking at option to receive benefits.
I am going to ask for a workplace assessment.
Just an extra bit of advice regarding the workplace assessment - if your employer says they can’t afford it then you could offer to pay for it yourself (if you can), or you could advise them they can get help with the cost through Access to Work.
Best of luck, I really do hope things improve for you. Do let me know if I can be of any further assistance.