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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 73906
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have suffered with anxiety and depression for over a year.

Customer Question

Hello there I have suffered with anxiety and depression for over a year. In the later part of the year this got so bad that I began to find work very distressing and began making mistakes. I do not believe my employer understands what I go through and has now started a performance review with me which has just increased how I feel.
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: HR were at the meeting. I have raised this with my Manager and Service manager but have had no reply
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I belong to an union and they have been informed and were at the first Health Review meeting however apart from take down notes they were of no help at all. I am employed with a local authority
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I was accused of so many things and some were not truthful. I responded to the minutes of this meeting 3 weeks ago and have had no reply. I feel unsupported and bullied
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

What do you specifically want to know about this, please? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you today. Thanks

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Have my employer treated me correctly as I have had very little support with a clear lack of knowledge around mental health. I feel bullied rather than supported.
What Can I do about this ? Do I have any choices. Can I take action with support from a solicitor or someone similar.
Do I have attend the next health review meeting, the first one that I have had was more like a disciplinary and an attack on me.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I am thinking about handing in my notice as I am unwell and my employers response has been unwelcome with a lack to mental health issues for employees.
I feel bullied and misunderstood as well as being not believed. I have been under my doctor for this for the past year and I am receiving counselling. My employer scares me my manager has no compassion for my condition. I have been told I will be now monitored for compliance and if it is found that I cannot complete my work in standards required for my post then I could lose my job. This has heightened my anxiety and I honestly do not know where to go from here.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
My Manager also failed to completed a risk assessment of my needs which would have identified the support that I have required. My issues include ICT difficulties using and iPad I was promised a lap top over a year ago to eliviate some of my stress this has not been forthcoming.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

Your rights will primarily depend on whether your condition amounts to a disability in law. The legal definition of a ‘disability’ can have a broad meaning and there is no single list of medical conditions that can qualify. Potentially, any condition or ailment can amount to a disability if it meets the required criteria.

That criteria are contained in The Equality Act 2010, which defines a disability as a “physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.

I will break this definition down and examine it in more detail below:

- Physical or mental impairment – this can include practically any medical condition, be it a physical or mental impairment

- Substantial effect – the effect must be more than minor or trivial

- Long-term - the impairment must either have lasted or be likely to last for at least 12 months

- Normal day-to-day activities – these could include anything considered ‘normal’ in a person's normal daily routine (e.g. shopping, reading and writing, having a conversation or using the telephone, watching television, getting washed and dressed, preparing and eating food, carrying out household tasks, walking and travelling by various forms of transport, and taking part in social activities)

Please also take a look at this detailed guide on determining if you are disabled:

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/discrimination-at-work/checking-if-its-discrimination/check-if-youre-disabled-under-the-equality-act/

If a person satisfies the necessary criteria, they will be classified as being disabled in a legal sense and will have automatic protection against discrimination. This means that they must not be treated unfavourably because of their disability. In addition, their employer would have a duty to make reasonable adjustments if they are likely to be placed at a substantial disadvantage when compared to non-disabled employees.

What amounts to ‘reasonable adjustments’ can have a wide interpretation and often depends on the individual circumstances. Below are some common examples:

- making adjustments to work premises

- allocating some of the employee’s duties to others

- transferring the employee to fill an existing suitable vacancy

- altering the employee’s hours of work

- allowing the employee to be absent during working hours for rehabilitation, assessment or treatment connected to their disability

- providing supervision or other support

If someone who is disabled is being treated unfavourably because of their disability or their employer has failed to make reasonable adjustments, that would potentially amount to disability discrimination, which is unlawful. The first step to try and deal with this would be to raise a formal grievance.

If the grievance does not have the desired effect and the discrimination continues, a claim may have to be made for disability discrimination in the Employment Tribunal. The most important requirement with that is it must be submitted within 3 months of the alleged discriminatory act taking place. The next steps to start the process would be to initiate what is known as an ‘early conciliation’ procedure through ACAS, either online by filling in the following form (https://tell.acas.org.uk/find-a-solution-to-your-employment-dispute), or by phone on 0300(###) ###-####

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.