I’m having a lot of issues at work and facing dismissal. This has gone to the most senior level of the organisation, and is what I believe to be a very clear case of closing ranks.
Has anyone been in this position and what did you do? I can’t afford a solicitor but am thinking of approaching the no win no fee ones. My employer has not made reasonable adjustments and has turned a blind eye to blatant bullying comments made by other staff members.
I have demonstrated I can do the job, and have it in writing (before I disclosed autism) that there are no issues with my ability to do the work. That has since changed to concerns that I can’t do my job. And that as a junior member of staff they can’t make reasonable adjustments because that means I would be unable to learn from other people.
NAS50557 said: My employer has not made reasonable adjustments and has turned a blind eye to blatant bullying comments made by other staff members.
It is not worth the effort. I would make arrangements and plan ahead by looking to work for another company that will support you. Even if they will make adjustments for you, it would have created tension which will create more reason for bullying.
When going into any job, the first thing I would check is how they acommodate people with disabilities. The way they treat their employees indicates how well they treat their business. If they overlook this situation it means they simply don't care enough, and not worth your time.
I'm sorry to read about your problems at work. May I say this is one of the reasons I wish not to disclose my diagnosis to my employer after finding out just recently that I have an ASC. I've held my job for close to 20 years and although I can feel anxious and stressed at times in the building I always keep in my head that I'll be home soon.
I hope you manage to resolve your problems at work and can carry on. It's such a shame as you've already said
NAS50557 said:I have demonstrated I can do the job, and have it in writing (before I disclosed autism) that there are no issues with my ability to do the work. That has since changed to concerns that I can’t do my job. And that as a junior member of staff they can’t make reasonable adjustments because that means I would be unable to learn from other people.
It just doesn't seem fair at all?
The firsr thing you should do is launch a grievance under grievance.procedures of your employer. The grounds are failing to make reasonable adjustments, disability discrimination and harassment due ro your protected characteristic. You would also be expected to appeal against the decision if it was not favourable to you.
Then consider whether you want to take further action - in law, this is the employment tribunal but there are several hoops to jump. First there are time limits. This is three months less than one day from the date of the problem - in this case the date.of refusal of reasonable adjustments or other discriminatory act. You would be expected.initially to apply for Early Conciliation through the tribunal service. This would give one month to reach an agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached, you would.be issued with a certificate enabling you to apply to a tribunal within one further month less a day. A preliminary case conference hearing would then be arranged which would.take.around six months or so for the hearing. If the judge considered you had a case, you would then be asked to submit your evidence, witness statements, and any specialist.expert evidence within a specified.time. You most likely would be offered a COT 3.settlement to.drop.the case and agree to keep.quiet in exchange for.dropping the case.
Very few cases.at.a tribunal favour the employee, around 8%, although admittedly this includes.completely hopeless cases. If it.gets to a final hearing being arranged, you will be very likely be offered.a.sum of money. Even if you win the case, the sum of money offered is unlikely to be life changing.
It must be emphasised that you have to go through the grievance.procedures first, but must not put off the initial application.for.early conciliation if that would risk going out of time. The process is stressful and not easy, although there are no costs involved.for.the application ro a tribunal and costs will only be awarded against you in circumstances such as you refuse.a.reasonable.offer for.settlement.
A no win no fee.solicitor.may take.the.case.on.but they would.have to think there.is enough case for you to win. Being a.member of a.union would.help (bur only before the trouble.started) as they will give you access to representation at.a.grievance as well as.legal.help in your application and legal.representation if.the case.is strong enough.
Send your grievance application to the person higher up than the person who you have had dealings with. Even the Ceo if necessary. And keep written evidence if at all possible. Your first should have been to write to your employer/manager asking if they accepted you as disabled.under the Equaliry Act and if.not, why not. It will help.also if you have.an idea of the adjustments.you would.like.
I would strongly suggest you contact Access.to.Work. They will suggest.adjustments which your employer would.be.advised.to.follow, and can fund training for staff and a support worker for one or two sessions per month. Failure to follow their suggestions would give you further evidence in your grievance and tribunal cases.
And as for not needing to provide.adjustments because you are a junior member of.staff, this is rubbish.They can refuse because adjustments are not.reasonable or for sound business reasons such as needing to spend exorbitant sums.of.money on building alterations, but this is.unlikely to be a sound defence for someone autistic as the adjustments are in all probability simple.
I am.a.union.representative and equality rep. A year ago I was in the.midst of problems.such as yours, but eventually it.reached.a.satisfactory conclusion, but it had taken a.long time.
While I can appreciate the view that by disclosing this will lead to trouble, I believe that we need to fight for our rights and show up poor employment practises. Rights have to be fought for and the answer is not to roll over with our legs in the air. Behaviour like this continues because people accept it and do not fight. The employer certainly would not want the bad publicity which would cost it far more than giving one or two reasonable adjustments and preventing harassment and bullying.
Hope it.all turns out well in the end.
Also check the company policies and procedures for Managing reasonable adjustments in the workplace, diversity, disability, mental health and if they are ignoring them then that is another grievance topic.
Learning from other people is rubbish IMHO, my damagement say I have done an online course so I am trained - I learn by doing.
Also make sure you have as much documented as possible - emails are a great way to keep records
I have to sadly say a resounding unfortunate big fat yes... Mine has been going on for 14 months... Still with no end in sight. I'm also good at my job but was moved to an unsuitable job following a disciplinary for something that can only be described as pathetic and should only have been a slap on the wrists after 16 years of doing the type of role I was in.
You are not alone, do you have access to a union? If so I suggest you contact them also the 'Equality Advisory Support Services', they have template letters you could use.
To be honest as others have said you may be better off getting out which is the route I am currently exploring, its just not worth the impact it has on you, its affected me in ways I never would have dreamed, my confidence my self esteem my physical and mental health...
You have done the right thing in opening a dialogue on here there are a lot of good people who have been where you/we are now some are still going through it, there's also a lot of sound advice. Good luck and try not to despair...
It’s not. They told me in writing they were looking to confirm my employment last year, and then I disclosed my condition because I was having a lot of difficulty with the environment, and since then they’ve told me there are concerns about my ability to do the job and communicate.
Thanks for your reply. It’s really helpful. I am part of a union, but I have very limited contact with my union rep. I have been through the grievance procedure and their response has been to reject absolutely everything I have said and to tell me I’m the problem as I have a different account of conversations to other people involved. I have made detailed notes of everything immediately after they’ve happened since certain comments were made to me a year ago. I talked to someone independently for advice and they said it appears to be a case of institutional discrimination, with people covering up for each other. It has gone to the top level of the organisation, and they too have said I am not credible and that other people have confirmed they did not make certain comments I have said they’ve made. And that it is reasonable for my line manager to refuse the adjustments I have requested because they are unsuitable for a trainee. I shouldn’t have a screen round my desk because then I can’t see and learn from my team. The feeling of being watched and stared at distracts me so much I can’t function, and the distractions in general in the office are very overwhelming. I have help from access to work, but my support worker is extremely busy and i don’t hear from him very often. My last appointment was three weeks ago and my next one is the end of August. I’m going to phone Acas today and see what they advise. Because I’ve reached the end of the grievance process now and have been told this decision letter is final, yet there are things that are completely wrong in this letter, wrong dates, wrong information, unfair statements. It’s completely unfair.
They pride themselves on their positive attitude towards disability and will do all they can to keep people with disabilities employed with them. They boast of their disability accreditation on their website and within their internal policies.
Thanks. I have just had a look on that website and filled in an enquiry form briefly outlining what the problem is.
Although I hate to think of other people going through this, it’s quite helpful to know other people have gone through, and going through, similar.
I am in the union, and have been told they will not support me if this goes further. Their reviews on google show this to be a common response from them...
i hate bullying, and I hate people covering up lies and bullying. So I will persevere with it.