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Discussion in 'Jobs and Employment' started by poppet35, Feb 22, 2017.
I'm not sure it what way this can be classed as disability discrimination?
One last thing then I'll shut up and let you get on with preparing your questions and responses. You really do need someone who will stand up, speak up, argue your case clearly and fully and basically fight on your behalf - you can't do that for yourself; you are too close and too involved. Plus you have no experience of dealing with these things, your employers do and so do trade unions and solicitors. They can be objective, detached and fight your corner without getting too emotional in the process, and without conceding that it's all your fault, coz it isn't, based on what you have told us in this thread. What I'm saying is that the person needs to be more than just someone to accompany you to meetings and hold your hand - they've got to be a thinker, an advocate and a fighter, and one who will not be intimidated by the process.
On the disability discrimination side, I've deliberately not mentioned your diabetes in my responses because nothing you have said indicates that their action was related to your condition. But, if your condition did affect your ability to do the job, and your manager knew about it, then that needs to be dealt with as part of your defence.
And I've quite deliberately not gone into diabetes and discrimination, however, I am very aware that I have neglected myself since starting that job. I've been to my gp with what I now believe to be stress and exhaustion related issues and I'm going back to see him next week again as I'm not sleeping and suffering with migraines. It's becoming more clear that I pushed myself harder to prove I could still cope with my condition and a demanding stressful job. But I can't.
Then don't mention diabetes at all. It may backfire on you, if they turn it around that you failed to inform them clearly of any limitations it placed on your ability to do the job - can you prove that you did properly inform them? Address the fact that the excesses of the job caused you stress and exhaustion in attempting to cope with the unreasonable workloads placed on you. Despite this you made strenuous efforts to deliver the best and fullest service you could in extremely difficult circumstances, and so on ..... and so forth ...... The point about wanting to resign twice and twice being persuaded by your manager to stay on might be relevant here. Someone with more current knowledge will know better than me how much or how little to make of this.
Also, if they set a disciplinary hearing date and you're not ready for it, or don't feel up to it because of the stress and migraines, ask your GP for a sick note and send that in. In fact, might be a good idea to do that now anyway, as it seems you're in no way ready to face any kind of hearing. Ask the GP for a medical cert to cover you from when you first saw him/her about this issue last week (if they agree) or if not, starting from your next consultation.
Hello @poppet35, I've been thinking about you a lot the last couple of days, and I do hope you're not getting too down about the job - it is, after all, just a job. I think I've hogged your thread too much already; sorry about that but I do get het up when I see something I feel is injustice and there were dozens of questions bouncing around my head just clambering to get out! Anyway, I wanted to apologise if I have come across as a bit bossy & bullying; that wasn't my intention. My questions are just that - questions; hopefully to help you get started on thinking about the situation and how you'll defend yourself - if that's what you decide to do.
On that score there's something else I wanted to say (even though I previously said I'd finished! ). Picking up on @Chook's very good point about starting to look for other work - that option ought to come into your thinking before you go too much into planning a defence (or spending too much money, if you have to pay for representation). Part of your analysis of things might include a comparison of your various options: compare the cost (time, money, effort, physical & mental health, etc) -v- benefit of fighting the case (you don't leave wihout a fight, you stood up to their bullying and unfair practices, chance to clear your name, good reputation, etc.; bearing in mind you still don't know specifically what are the charges against you). Then do another cost-benefit analysis of what happens if you resign -v- wait to be dismissed. If you decide to resign that would solve things for your employers quite nicely, without too much cost or effort on their part -v- you could leave without a 'dismissed' on your record, would be cheaper and less stressful for you (maybe). I'm out of touch with current rules about unemployment benefits if somebody resigns -v- is dismissed but no doubt Mr Google would help. You've said you wouldn't go back there anyway, so maybe a decision to cut your losses and move on is right for you. Take time to think it all through before doing anything.
All I can advise now is that you try to be sure you are comfortable with your decisions, whichever way they go, and wouldn't later feel remorse, anger, bitterness or anything else that could affect your equilibrium for evermore.
Consider the Working Time Directive. Your employer is duty bound to ensure you don't break the law and keep records. One of the rules is you cannot work more than 6 days in 7, or 12 in 14.
I have been in the same position as the OP and what they do is give you a form to sign to say you agree to opt out of the Working Time Directive should the employers operational needs require it due to the nature of the business. When I finished my induction with my former employer we were all given these forms to sign without any explanation. I was the only one who chose not to sign it. Obviously it didn't get passed along that I hadn't signed because then I was emailed my first rota and found I was on 12.5 hour nights doing six of them in the first week. I complained and was told it was necessary because of 'operational requirements' and that I would be given equivalent time off in the future. Charities seem to think they are above the law.
What they can't do is make it part of your contract that you must work overtime.
I live in Ireland so it maybe a bit different over there but under the European Work time Act your company broke the law as you are required to have a weekly rest period of 35 hours which means by allowing you to work 7 days they breach the WTD. OK just checked and it is different check out www.gov.uk/rest-breaks-work/overview you should have 24 hours per week
Sorry but I don't think the Working Time Directive applies in this case because this employer made a big point of telling the OP right at the start that she had total freedom to work the hours any way or any time she wanted. They know exactly what they are doing - and they know they are abusing staff - and I'm guessing they know they can get away with it; and I suspect they have got away with it several times before. If nothing else, they've got themselves a good legal adviser. That's my beef with this outfit - their total hypocrisy and ruthlessness. It's cynical behaviour like that which needs to be brought into public limelight and stamped out. But that's easy for me to say, standing here on the sidelines; I'm not the one who would have to put my head over the parapet.
ps: I think the 'freedoms' were originally intended for positions such as Executives or Directors of companies not to the ordinary workers, including junior managers, but the rules and interpretations have been stretched so much over the years that they are now used to get round the regs. This is one of the reasons I object so much to what's happened here - the company knew exactly what they were doing, that the workload couldn't fit into the hours no matter what working pattern was followed, & they knew the likely result (hence the pre-planning to cover themselves) - and that's why I don't think there was genuine 'freedom' for OP's in this case.
I agree. Just know we are backing you @poppet35 . Disgraceful behaviour of a charity! They need nameing and shaming!
Any developments @poppet35 ?
Any good employer will look at your side, just make sure you have everything written down and explain why you are failing
Good luck and try not to worry
Also you are covered by the disability discrimination act just saying .... maybe drop that one in at your meeting x
UPDATE - I did resign but they went ahead with the disciplinary anyway, I sent in a written statement as I wasn't prepared to attend and they have decided no further action.
Many, many thanks to all for your advice and support
Have a talk via the phone with the Equal Opportunities people - if you have diabetes then your employer is legally required to make "reasonable adjustments" if they don't they can be compelled to do so. My Headmaster (I had been there 34 years) decided that I was not pulling my weight as I had an aircast on and restricted walking (possible Charcots which turned out to be plantar fascieitis). He stupidly put in writing that I was a burden to my colleagues and referred me to Occupational Health.... I also talked to Equal Opportunities. BOTH the OH and the EO said the same thing (as did my consultant diabetologist) that by putting it in writing he was in breach of the law and if he had not sorted it TO MY SATISFACTION by the start of the next term (this was already late June) then he would find a Court Summons on his desk, he received three letters within 72 hours pointing out his errors and he retracted everything within the next 48 hours and from then on bent over backwards. The Equal Opportunities do NOT need 2 years service - you can use them BEFORE you even are accepted. DO NOT RESIGN whatever happens. You are within your legal rights - they are there for a purpose, use them.
http://www.eoc.org.uk/ I hope that link is accepted, if not then it is h t t p :/ / w w w .e o c. org. uk without the spaces....
Hello @poppet35, thanks for the update, and I do hope that you are feeling ok in and with yourself; particularly healthwise because of the stress, exhaustion, and other issues; things like that can take a bigger toll on us than we realise, so I hope you're coping ok. Can't understand why they went ahead with the discipline anyway - pointless exercise (except to make someone there feel better); and I'm definitely not surprised as the result of "no further action" - huh, I should think so! Anyway, that's history now, and I really wish you well in moving forward to a new future - and a better work experience.
Spring is in the air - and summer's just round that corner .....
Take care poppet35
Yes you certainly are covered - I ended up having to use that and one contact from the Equal Opportunities Commission brought an immediate about face.
Not lawful, you cannot opt out of the WTD. You can only opt out of the maximum 48 hour week, other than that it all applies, even if you agree to this opt out.
Your and every employer is duty bound to ensure you don't work beyond this. There are only exceptions for certain industries - oil platforms due to working away and gas, water (which I work for) and these only apply in emergency situations with required rest time to compensate. No opt out for a company for 'operational requirements'
My partner works in the NHS and they wanted her to do a late then early shift which she didn't want to do as she had a 45 minute drive to work as well. She asked to do to lates and her boss refused I pointed out to her that this doesn't comply with the WTD for 11 rest between shifts, she pointed this out to her boss and they were forced to change her shift.
The law is there to protect you, use it.
Don't forget to check your household insurance policy if you have one. Most include legal cover and employment issues are usually covered.