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mrworried

Disability & Reasonable Adjustments - Discrimination ?

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First about me

 

I work in an office enviroment and my work is mostly administrative - writing letters, emails and making and receiving telephone calls.

 

My job is target driven (perfomance not sales) and bonus and additional incentive, including time off etc are subject to exceeding targets.

 

About a year or so ago, I was diagnosed and subsequently had operations for disorders relating to my nerves and tendons. The operations reduced the pain but I still have extensive problems with my my right arm through to my fingers. These include pain, pins & needles in my joints and muscles. I am currently being treated by a Rheumatologist and I am awaiting for an appointment for a further scan. No further diagnosis has been made and tests are still in progress to determine the situation.

Disability - Reasonable Adjustments

 

If I am correct as my condition has lasted and was expected to last more than 12 months, I fall within the Disability Discrimination Act.

 

Following my last operation and before my return to work, my surgeon wrote to my employer and recommened a Desk Top Evaluation was performed to ensure that there is not a reoccurance of my symptoms.

 

When I finally return to work, I discovered this recommendation had been ignored. I continued to receive treatment, My Surgeon wrote to my employer a second time and again recommended a desk top evaluation.

 

This time, one was performed. It lasted literally less than 5 mins. I was told there was nothing they could change. I was told that the chair I had was the only one they had, a change of keyboard and mouse would not help me and due to cost a telephone headset could not be supplied.

 

Even though my employer was aware of my medical condition and my physical problems (movement and pain) my performance target remained the same as before.

 

I was initially allowed to take time off work (which was made up after hours) to attend weekly medical treatment appointments. However, I was subsequently told this would no longer be allowed.

 

My Surgeon wrote to my employer for a third time and this time my employer made me an appointment with Occupational Health. Occupational Health made a number of recommendations which my employer has not implemented.

Discrimation

 

I have missed out on a promotion as a result I am told because of the time I was off work due to the operations etc. However, other people that have less time with my employer and people that resigned and returned have received this promotion.

 

My work performance has been and contines to be enough to qualify for this promotion (increase in pay only really). However, I have been told that I have to wait.

 

Problems

 

That brings me up to now and the reason for writing this thread.

 

My employer has not made reasonable adjustments and has ignored medical advice from my surgeon and their appointed occupational health.

 

My target remains the same as my colleagues that do not have the same physical problems and I am finding it harder and harder to keep up. The harder I work, the more pain I am in. My employer is fully aware of this problem and has told me to simply stop when I am in pain.

 

However, if I stop can't reach my target, which impacts bonus and promotions etc and as previously warned upon my return can lead to disciplinary action in the form of performance plans etc.

 

With regard to discrimation, I have evidence that I have out performed people and had longer length of service (even taking into account my time off) than others that have been promoted and given a pay rise.

 

I created this thread because I don't know now what to do. I am still receiving treatment and having tests so I don't even know what is wrong with me at the moment or how long it will last.

 

I get frustrated because I am being paid less than the people that have not been there as long as me and didn't perform aswell as me. I have taken the liberty of obtaining proof of this.

 

I am not in a union (no real unions for my particular job).

 

I don't know where to turn to for help and advice.

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Hello, welcome and thank you for joing the forum.

 

From what you say, you would be covered under the DDA and I'm a little surprised that no adjustments have been made for you. Your surgeon sounds very supportive and when you have a diagnosis, you should be in a better situation.

 

I won't claim to have the knowledge to advise you, but someone will be along who knows later today, with luck.

 

There are various avenues for advice you can try. Have a look at the ACAS and Directgov websites on disabilities and discrimination. ACAS have a confidential helpline. You could go and see the CAB.

 

There's the discrimation commission, EHRC I think. And also, possibly a charity that deals with people with similar conditions. I realise you don't know what it is, but as you're seeing a Rheumatologist, you could start there.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Maybe the employer is not aware that ther are grants available to cover this area. I obtained a orthopaedic chair, footrest, special type of mouse etc and it did not cost the employer a penny!

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Hello,

 

Was your medical condition as a result of your work?

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MrWorried, you have a VERY strong case for disability discrimination.

The fact that your employers have ignored medical advise, to not carry out risk assessments without delay and to cite the reasons they have cited (cost, etc), are to be honest, completely and utterly disgusting. I have recently seen an award of £55 000 go to a claimant simply due to an employer failing to carry out a risk assessment for a pregnant employee (there was no danger to the employee and she was actually not at risk of anything), but procedurally the employer is legally obligated to carry out RA's and failing to do so, is automatic and DIRECT discrimination.

If you are able to stomach (and managed with a reduced income) the fight, you could resign, claiming constructive dismissal (breakdown of trust) and Disability Discrimination. However, you would obviously be out of work and it can take anything from 6 months to a year to get a matter to a hearing, depending on where your Tribunal office is located.

If you continued in employment, and still referred the matter to ET for disability discrimination, life is likely going to become rather hard and an exit may indeed follow (in which case the constructive dismissal claim could kick in too).

From the sounds of things, this employer isnt actually going to take you seriously. So, perhaps time to look for another job and then launch the ET claims....

Good luck

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Hello

 

You need to put in a grievance before you can claim constructive dismissal. The ET will throw the case out if you do not follow the procedure even though you are not in the wrong. I have two disabilities and been there twice. CD is very, very difficult to prove. I was assaulted at work and thought about CD but was told by union and solicitor that I needed to put a grievance in first. I now have a personal injury claim.

 

The reason why I ask if this was an injury as a result of work then possibly you have a personal injury claim. Did your doctor suggest what the caused was?

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Zooch, you no longer need to submit a grievance prior to ET referral. The legislation changed in April 2009. However, my view is that it is good practice to exhaust an internal procedure before taking it external. The important part is the statutory time limits within which to launch a claim (for constructive dismissals).

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Thank you all for your comments.

 

I need to do some deep thinking about what I am going to do. I can't keep on the way I am going. I spend most nights in pain after working so hard.

 

Feel really down about it all at the moment. I know, I need to buck up my ideas

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Hello,

 

I had an issue this year and was advised by both an employment solicitor and union that ET will throw out. The ET are sayin that too many cases of CD goinmg through and failing because of the grievance. I did look at this myself.

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CD is very hard to prove. 95% of these cases fail.

 

In my view you would be better off to bring any potential claim whilst still in employment. This way your employer may look to pay you off, and it will put you in a stronger negotiating position.

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Hello,

 

Was your medical condition as a result of your work?

 

It is debatable if my original two medical conditions are as a result of my work. As for my current problems, I am waiting for an appointment for a scan to determine what is wrong.

 

However, the Doctor I am seeing at the moment has told me that RSI does not exist as a condition. This was raised by him and not me

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Hello there. RSI doesn't exist???? I thought it did. What does this doctor specialise in, do you know?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hello there. RSI doesn't exist???? I thought it did. What does this doctor specialise in, do you know?

 

HB

 

That is what he told me, he asked me alot of questions about my employment so I wasn't sure if he was just fishing to see if I was claiming compensation etc.

 

He is a Consultant Rheumatologist and one of his interests is Occupational Rheumatology.

 

I do have letters from my first surgeon stating that he recommends a desk top risk assessment to prevent a reoccurance of my original symptoms and a letter from my second surgeon stating that he thinks I have a RSI disorder (does not go on to further clarify or be more specific)

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I have rheumatoid arthritis and was diagnosed with RSI and had to have an op. The same applied to my wife who has oestro-arthritis so I am not sure why he is stating no such thing as RSI. The condition is aggravated with arthritis and can cripple you permanently.

Seems this doctor is a specilaist witch doctor!

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I have rheumatoid arthritis and was diagnosed with RSI and had to have an op. The same applied to my wife who has oestro-arthritis so I am not sure why he is stating no such thing as RSI. The condition is aggravated with arthritis and can cripple you permanently.

Seems this doctor is a specilaist witch doctor!

 

I found these to be very interesting reading

 

http://www.hse.gov.uk/RESEARCH/misc/silman.pdf

 

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/rp98/rp98-051.pdf

 

I read this from the above which would appear to concur with what I was told

 

"Some orthopaedic experts hold the opinion that RSI is not a valid pathological condition. The British Orthopaedic Association undertook a review of the published literature and advised the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (an independent statutory body) that, with the exception of writer’s cramp and tenosynovitis, there is insufficient conclusive evidence of occupational causation to prescribe any further types of “repetitive strain injuries”.

 

On the other hand, ergonomists, physiotherapists, chiropractors, lawyers, Health and Safety inspectors and trade unionists conclude that, in spite of problems of definition, these disorders comprise a growing phenomenon."

 

More info

 

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg36.pdf

RSI - General Practice Notebook

 

Whereas this from the NHS would appear to confirm that both of my initial "conditions" are Type 1 RSI's.

 

NHS Clinical Knowledge Summaries - Patient information leaflet - Repetitive strain injury

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My wife works in a factory and does repetitive work. Their own doctor informed them that repetitive work coupled with her oestro-arthritis could cause RSI which leads to carpal tunnel syndrome. Thanks for the links I will read them later.

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Someone just posted on another thread about the WHO [World Health Organisation] list of diseases/conditions. I had forgotten about this, but I know some insurance companies use these classifications and you can find RSI on the list [everything has a code classification from the WHO], it must help your case.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hello again. I found this on a Canadian website, but I think the information is international. In terms of RSI and carpal tunnel syndrome, it's mentioned in the paragraph. It's the ICD-[number] classification I meant in my last post.

 

'Repetitive strain injury (RSI) refers to a range of conditions caused by repetitive movements and force, awkward postures, and work-related hazards. RSI can result in functional limitations described as three health states—RSI of the hand, elbow, and shoulder—as well as the health state for chronic back pain. Occupational overuse syndrome can be considered a subset of RSI, since a substantial proportion of RSIs stem from work-related activities involving repetitive movements. However, we do not make a distinction between repetitive strain injuries and occupational overuse disorders because the consequences for functional health are similar, and are not necessarily the result of a work-related activity. Repetitive strain injury is not considered in the International Classification of Diseases—version 9 (ICD-9) coding,1 although common disorders that result from RSI have their own code (for example, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is ICD-9 354.0).'

 

I hope this helps.

 

My best, HB

Edited by honeybee13
correction.

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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