Ultimatum to take a demotion and hour cut or be dismissed :(

Rosycheeks
Rosycheeks Member Posts: 84
Arghhh I dont know where to start. Im so very angry, upset, hurt.. just about every feeling possible.
I have psoriatic arthritis. I have managed to continue working, despite the pain and fatigue. I guess you all now about that..
Anyway. I started a new job 11 months ago. I was totally honest about my condition from the word go. I have had 1 day off sick since I have been there. I have fullfilled every single duty asked of me and more.. I have had very positive feedack and appraisals.
Then suddenly out of the blue I was called into the office on Wednesday and given an ultimatum. I either except a demotion and a drastic cut in my hours, or I will be dismissed. The reason I have been given is because allegedly I am a health and safety risk!! Because based on a hypothetical situation, if someone needed CPR (although they aknowledge I will do it) according to my manager it will cause me pain!! This she says she cant have. And the other hypothetical example I was given was IF the manager goes on maternity leave and IF at the same time the deputy manager takes A/L, and then IF at the same time someone else goes off sick they know I will cover as needed. However again the manager says this would create more pain for me which in her opinion makes me UNSAFE and a health and safety risk.
Sooooo im left totally and utterly gutted. Im going to be sacked because im a health and safety risk for having arthritis. My performance at work has been exemplary. I never ever thought this kind off thing would happen to me :( Any advice on what to do?

Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,092
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I know nothing about such things, Rosycheeks but it sounds plain wrong to me. I suggest you contact CAB for advice or maybe our own A C Helplines. Good luck.
  • Cariad71
    Cariad71 Member Posts: 99
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi rosy cheeks,
    Sorry to hear this. I'm no expert at these matters but I'm sure as someone with psoriatic arthritis you are considered to have a disability under the DDA (disability discrimination act) which I'm sure you've heard of. I've recently been told this when I saw occ health at work even though I've never considered myself 'disabled'. DDA gives you an awful lot of protection when it comes to employers, and it sounds like outright discrimination!

    As a sticky advised get some advice ASAP, wish you luck with it and let us know how you get on

    Cariad xx
  • Cariad71
    Cariad71 Member Posts: 99
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ps do you mind me asking what sort of employer you work for? Sometimes the smaller the company the worse they are at knowing how tomdeal with staff with health problems, although that's not always true! X
  • Rosycheeks
    Rosycheeks Member Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for your replies :)

    I do work for a small employer. They employ about 15 staff.

    In the letter I was given on wednesday they had also put that they had looked at ways to help me stay in my job. They came up with looking at fitting stairlifts in the building which they then said would be too expensive. This is totally ludicrous. I dont need a stair lift and have not asked for one. Indeed, I have not asked for ANY ajustments at all!! I think they just glanced at the internet and saw that and wrote it to make it sound as though they tried to do something!

    Im so upset. I thought I worked in the best place in the world. I loved my job.

    Lord knows how im going to survive financialy :(
  • Cariad71
    Cariad71 Member Posts: 99
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    How stressful for you :cry:

    The fact you say it was out of the blue and it sounds like they didn't even discuss the stairlift or anything else with you, then put it in a letter makes it even worse...

    Get advice ASAP, I'm sure you have more protection than this

    Sending a hug xx
  • Lubs
    Lubs Member Posts: 155
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Rossycheeks,

    You really do need to get advice before you attend any meetings or reply to any letter. PsA is considered under the disability act. Just make sure that if they request any further meetings you have someone in with you, they could be another employee or a friend from outside the work place. They sit there and make notes, basically ensuring you are treated fairly in the meeting. You do need to give the employer written notice of who will be attending the meeting with you.

    Take care,
    Lubs
  • Rosycheeks
    Rosycheeks Member Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you everyone :)
    I phoned CAB who said it sounded very much like disability discrimination. They are making an appointment for me to see an employment specialist. In the meantime they advised me to phone ACAS which I did. I read them the letter I had been given detailing how Im allegedly a health and safety risk. They were pretty shocked and said it sounds like discrimination on several levels. Apparently the letter itself constitutes harrasement.
    They advised me to take up a formal greivance with work and directed me to a template letter on their site to do this.
    They advised me its important to do this in case it goes to tribunal.
    So now its a waiting game. I know my manager will find the grievance letter on her desk on Monday morning. Im scared, but also feel pleased at the same time that she will read my answers to her ridiculous hypothetical allergations that I wont cope.
    I will let you all know how it goes...
    Thanks for your support xx
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,092
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Well done, Rosycheeks! Yes, Monday might well be difficult but, if you'd let them get away with this, not only you but also future employees might suffer. It takes guts but you've done the right thing. Please keep us in the loop. And good luck!
  • Rosycheeks
    Rosycheeks Member Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ok, just a quick update. It dosen't look like my manager is going to play by the rules and have a grievance meeting with me after I wrote the formal grievance letter. Instead today I was hand delivered a letter to my home by the owners of the business requesting I give authorisation asap for them to access my medical records as in their opinion I may not be able to do my job. Even though I have always performed every duty required of me with no complaints whatsoever :?
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm no expert on this but they sound scared to me, out of their depth because they lack experience of dealing with someone whose health is not too bonny. Being a small company won't help either because they may not have the resources of a decent HR department and correct knowledge of current employment law etc. Stand your ground, Rosy, I reckon you are in the right here. DD
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,092
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Rosycheeks wrote:
    I was hand delivered a letter to my home by the owners of the business requesting I give authorisation asap for them to access my medical records

    Is this what normally happens? Take advice first, Rosyglow.
  • Rosycheeks
    Rosycheeks Member Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ok another update.
    The owner that hand delivered me the letter, phoned me last Friday and asked if I could meet with him today which I did.
    I was basically asked my side of the story, and so duly repeated what I had already written in my previous letter to them. I was told I am not allowed back to work whilst suffering pain... DUH I suffer pain every day!! And also not allowed back to work until I have agreed to letting them see my medical notes. So on the advice of an employment specialist I pointed out how unfair it was that they are not allowing me to work when I see myself as fit to work and know my GP will support this. So I asked them to suspend me on full pay rather than me having to call in sick and be on the paltry statutory sick pay. This they are considering. And so im still waiting. Waiting for them to tell me exactly what it is they deem I am incapable of, and waiting to see if I will be allowed to return to work if im in pain!!
  • Tubby
    Tubby Member Posts: 177
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This does not sound at all right. I work in a management position and it can be difficult for employers trying to juggle employees who have problems, long or short term, with the needs of the business. It can be devastating to a small business having someone suspended on full pay as they cannot afford to pay someone else to cover. HOWEVER, this sounds like out and out discrimination as you are working, doing your job and not having a detrimental effect on the business. They can request a Disability Expert from the Job Centre to give them advice on managing the workplace more effectively for you but they can't demote you just for having a disability, health and safety risk or otherwise. It is so bizarre, if they wanted to remove you for whatever reason, with only 11 months service, they could dismiss you anyway with very few reasons and yet they have chosen to put themselves and their business at great risk by setting themselves up for a disability discrimination case.Keep taking all the advice you can and don't let them get away with it. Good luck
  • Rosycheeks
    Rosycheeks Member Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for your reply Tubby :)
    There was another development today. I checked my bank to make sure my statutory sick pay was correct and found a payment for £330 from my work. Then I had a call from one of the owners saying that they would not suspend me but had made that payment as an ex gratia payment. He then asked me to get my GP to sign me back as fit to work and attend a meeting on tuesday to discuss my return. This however will only be on 'light duties' until I agree to them accessing my medical records.
    Im furious. What part of I dont need light duties and I have NEVER had a problem doing my job do they not understand??? I feel like if I accept their latest offer then I am agreeing with them that I have capability issues. Never once has the manager/deputy manager or any other staff member had any sort of issue with my work!!
    I just dont get it. If I agree I will make sure my GP puts that I need no light duties or any adjustments on my fit for work form. I strongly suspect this will make no difference though. I am also meeting with an employment specialist from the CAB on Tuesday, before I meet with my boss. So lets see what Tuesday brings :roll:
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,092
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The meeting with the person from CAB, and the timing of it make good sense.and I hope it will be very productive for you as, frankly, none of the rest of it makes any sense at all to me. Good luck, Rosycheeks, and please let us know how Tuesday goes.
  • Rosycheeks
    Rosycheeks Member Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ok final update.
    So I met with the citizens advice employment lady yesterday. She began to read through the letters my manager had given me, and my responses. She was horrified. It was blatent disability discrimination. So through the hurt im feeling my heart lifted slightly that they were not going to get away with being so mean.
    But then she got to the final letter I had recieved from them the previous day, in which they apologised and said that things had not been handled very well. They still however blamed me for the whole thing happening and insist I provide them with access to my medical records. This is despite the fact they aknowledge that I am indeed fully capable of my job. However they have worded this in a new way. Instead of saying they need to see my medical records to see if im capable of my job, they are now saying that as an employer they want to ensure there is nothing in my role that will worsen my condition. The lady from the citizens advice said they had clearly taken legal advice. It is a very clever letter. And so... I now have no action I can take. I can do nothing except swallow the awful things they said to me. If I go to tribunal the judge will see what they said but then will see their apology and think that they are good employers. I still have to give them access to my medical records because if I say no (which im entitled to) they will dismiss me on capability grounds.
    All I can do is try to hold my head up and go back to work. And desperatly look for another job. :(
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,092
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Well at least they have no cause to demote you or cut your hours and they now know you are not to be messed with so at least some good has come of it. They may still have some ideas up their sleeves but they won't dare just jump in and break the law now. Well done, Rosycheeks!
  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 745
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Good for you, Rosycheeks. You've fought a good fight. Did the CAB lady say exactly what they can ask for in terms of your medical records? I wondered if they actually write to your doctor to ask about your health - with your permission. If so, do you have the right to see what the doctor has replied? Might be worth finding out exactly what the procedure is, if you don't already know. I wish you luck with looking for a new job. Hope you find one soon with better pay and prospects. You deserve it!
  • Rosycheeks
    Rosycheeks Member Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for replies :)
    They have to have my permission and when I give it in writing I need to make it clear that they can only ask questions in relation to the psoriatic arthritis, or they could ask anything. I have been told I can request a copy of the report before they see it and if i dont like it i can either ask for changes to be made or i can withdraw my permission for them to see it. Apparently I can also have alot of input as to whats said on it. So am seeing my GP in the morning about it all.
    Still annoyed they are asking for it though... they have admitted in writing that i can perform my job with no problems, so why do they want it? Would they pick another staff member without arthritis and request one if they were also perfoming their job? Me thinks not.
  • Rosycheeks
    Rosycheeks Member Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Well I didnt think I would have to write on this thread again as I thought my situation was resolved. But oh no its not...
    I returned to work with a fit note from my GP saying that regular breaks would be good and also that IF I needed to, then to finish my shift an hour early. I discussed this with the manager and all seemed well. Until my next shift. I was summoned into the office and told that I must finish each shift four and a half hours early. I asked why and pointed out that I didnt need that and thats not what my GP advised. It fell on deaf ears and I was asked to leave after half my shift. So they are making me work half my contracted hours.
    I was so fed up with this that I contacted a solicitor today. I explained from start to finish and said I had proof of all this as they have put it all in writing. To cut a long story short the solicitor was horrified. He said its direct disability discrimination, harrassemnt and victimisation. I have a very strong case to go to tribunal. However they are getting one last chance from me to stop what they are doing. My solicitor is writing to them telling them what they have done is discrimination and if it dosent stop my next step will be to take them to tribunal. :?

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