I made a reasonable adjustments request to my employer to try and get more fixed hours instead of working shift work as doing very irregular hours is having a detrimental impact on my health and wellbeing. My employer has refused to do it dispite doing it for other colleagues. I've been told I can't as I don't have children So I shouldn't be asking for fixed working hours. I feel like I can't get into a good routine with my job and reslly feeling the struggle of it.
Hi Ashley. It looks like you do the same work that I do - and I've faced that issue before. A colleague with young children got exemption from shift changes, as did another colleague who had a disabled spouse to care for at home. You have a diagnosis, so you could reasonably argue that you're being discriminated against when other colleagues get the adjustment without being 'disabled'.
Check out what it says here. The Equality Act is quite specific. If you're in a Union, you could also approach them for advice.
The Act describes a disabled person as someone having “a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.” Mental impairments include autism and most autistic people are likely to fit this description, but you do not have to have a diagnosis to be considered a disabled person.
Everytime I ask I just keep getting told "sorry fixed hours don't suit the service". I did manage to get a rolling fixed rota but the area manager took it off me when she found out about it. Claiming it was against policy.
My employer has been awful at being supportive over adjustments, when I initially disclosed my diagnosis I got told to go my GP to check I was still autistic
The company I work for as well are commissed to support those with autism, yet on a recent Facebook post on the companys Facebook it only voiced support for the NHS 10 year plan for the learning disability side of it and opened critised the fact its called autism hour not quiet hour in shops.
Ash said:My employer has been awful at being supportive over adjustments, when I initially disclosed my diagnosis I got told to go my GP to check I was still autistic
Good grief! So, if you had a physical disability, would they send you off to see if it had healed yet? That's disgraceful.
If you're working in special needs care, then your employer should know these things. Often they don't, though. This wants showing up if they're commissioned to support autistic people. Clearly they're not prepared to support you. I had a similar problem, though, in my last employment - for an autism charity! My issue clearly showed that their understanding really only covered 'autism with learning disabilities'. I can't believe that your lot are actually criticising 'autism hour', too. If that's their stance, no wonder you're having problems.
This is what I'm bothered about with the interview I have tomorrow, with a disability and special needs charity. I enjoyed working there before, but they seemed inflexible on the 'shift change' issue. It seemed - as with you - that they make one law for one, another law for another. Fixed hours clearly do fit the service if they can give them to other staff. If they aren't going to discriminate against someone with young children, then they shouldn't be discriminating against you. Your reasons are just as valid, if not more so.
If you aren't in a Union, you might find it useful to approach Acas. I never have done and don't know how good they are, but you could look into it.
Whatever way they want to try and spin it, they are clearly discriminating. The example of the other colleagues is all the evidence you need, I would have thought.
This is what is says on the ACAS Helpline:
Does an employer have to make adjustments for a disabled employee?Employers have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to make 'reasonable adjustments' in the workplace where a disabled person would otherwise be put at a substantial disadvantage compared with people who are not disabled.Reasonable adjustments could include:
There's this, too, on the ACAS site:
Equality and Discrimination
Exactly my thoughts, I was wondering why they could do it for one person but not another. So it clearly can fit a service. The company struggles to keep and recruit anyway, but I know that's typical of social care.
I'm tempted to write to HR over the issue and arrange a meeting informally to dicuss why I can't have the fixed hours, giving evidence to back my case for it being discriminatory.
I just want a good night's sleep and a good work routine to get into but my employer seems unwilling to partake helping it happen.
Recruitment is always an issue in care, what with all the waiting for DBS certificates, etc - not to mention the huge responsibility care workers take on for the money they get. I earned more money working in my local supermarket. We don't do it for the money, though.
Sure, I know what a headache it can be if they're providing 24-hour care, which is why they want staff to be flexible. But again - if they can do it for some staff, then it shows they are prepared to make adjustments. They would probably argue that it's in your job description and contract. But then if they knew you were autistic when they took you on, then they still have a statutory obligation to take your condition into account. They can't argue that they didn't know. That, I think, would put them on very shaky ground if it came to your taking any action for discrimination. Hopefully, it won't get that far.