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I want to work from home permanently to manage my disabilities better. Help me please.

kizzib80kizzib80 Member Posts: 1 Listener
edited October 11 in Ask an employment adviser
I did not know where else to turn and I hope this forum can give me some support and advice, especially from people who have been there.
I am currently working from home full time due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Everyone is working from home but my employer expects us all back in phases with my return being in January. They believe that a Covid Secure workplace is enough to keep us safe, but a Covid Secure workplace actually puts me in danger and I'm getting increasingly anxious that my employer is not understanding.
I am hearing impaired, visually impaired, speech impaired, got anxiety and PTSD, anemic, reynaud's syndrome, body dysmorphia, balance problems, history of meningitis and pnemonia.
I am in the vulnerable category. My GP wrote to my employer saying I should work from home due to vulnerability to Covid 19 and my mental ill health. I have attempted suicide a few times due to problems at work  - not getting adjustments I needed, ended up going through a grievance process and tribunal process. They put adjustments in place but I was left with PTSD and then Covid hit.
My employer is like oh yeah that's fine, we are all working from home anyway but they don't seem to get that my situation is different and I want to work from home permanently - beyond Covid 19.
I can't social distance at all. I can't wear face masks or lip read through face masks. My assistance dog cannot work to 1 way systems etc. I am not allowed to drive at the moment as I am waiting for further medical tests to see if there is anything else wrong as I am constantly fatigued and fainting.
In my workplace, we all have to wear masks (its not NHS) and anyone who doesn't could face disciplinary action (yes I've already said that this is indirect discrimination). 
I keep saying over and over again I cannot work in a covid secure environment and even without covid, it is very difficult to manage my disabilities. They are referring me to Occ Health for a work from home assessment, and say I can have another Occ Health report when I am due to return properly. They just don't get it - that I want to work from home permanently. My GP, counsellor, hospital consultant and union are all in agreement that it is better for my physical and mental health that I continue to work from home.
How can I persuade Occupational Health and my employer to let me do this? Does anyone have any tips for me. My anxiety is through the roof. I can't afford to sign off again as I was already off sick for a year, then put on furlough. It won't be easy to get another job in this current climate, especially when disabled, and my disabilities won't go away if I get another job. I can't even do part time because again, my disabilities are not part time disabilities.
Can anyone help and advise me please?

Replies

  • dolfrogdolfrog Member Posts: 427 Pioneering
    @kizzib80

    Been there, most employers do not want to understand most invisible disabilities or make any of the required accommodations to help work around an individuals disability related limitations. It is disability discrimination in the work place.
    Unfortunately due to the corrupt nature of the UK government in recent years, they only want to make money and ignore the issues experienced by those of us who have life long disabilities.
    One of the main big problems is the lack of medical and support professionals adequately trained and qualified to explain the complex nature of most invisible disabilities. The problem with life long disabilities for them is that they are not able to market and or sell quick fix programs, and or medications which can provide a cure, which is pure negligence. 
    I am not of pensionable age, but the years of disability discrimination especially in the work place, and government funded organisations, I am almost house bound to avoid any further disability discrimination. What others have experienced as part of the Covid lock down has been a way of life for me in recent years to avoid the stress and anxiety causes by the failure of UK Audiologists, Speech and Language, and Psychologists to begin to provide the life long multi - discipline support those who have my disability require. And their further failure to explain these issues and how we may be best able to work around our life long limitations to various support worker professions and potential employers.

    Hopefully you can get the support and understanding you need for your life long issues.
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Administrator Posts: 1,358 Pioneering
    edited October 11
    Hi @kizzib80 I'm sorry your employers are resistant to considering home working.  I hope your assessment with Occupational Health goes well and they understand your impairment-related employment needs and support your request.

    I'm not qualified around employment law or process but the government website states on flexible working that:
    Employers must deal with requests in a ‘reasonable manner’.
    Examples of handling requests in a reasonable manner include:
    • assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the application
    • holding a meeting to discuss the request with the employee
    • offering an appeal process

    It also provides guidance on 'How to apply for flexible working' that could guide you if your Occupational Health appointment doesn't progress things towards home working.  

    Please let us know how you get on.  
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  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 10,557 Scope community team
    Welcome to the community @kizzib80, how are you doing? :)
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    Scope

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