The Awful way your Employer is circumventing your rights. (UK)
I recently changed work environments, I had spent most of my career in the Public Sector, working for my local authority as many people do. Now I’m dyslexic and in the public sector everything is very PC and you get all the support you need put in place right away no fuss however I recently made a change and moved into the private sector. Oh my god was I just endlessly disappointed by the bigotry and malice that you can find their still today in 2016.
To cut a long story short I spent months requesting that basic requirements of my dyslexia be put in place with no such luck, meeting constant indifference and refusal from my employer, which was outstanding to me, and not in a good way. After a few complaints to HR about my manager and the difficulty I was having at work, my manager called me into a room and fired me with immediate effect.
This was totally shocking to me, I mean how could someone feel that was acceptable today?
So what have I done about it?
I’ll tell you, I contacted a solicitor who had history fighting my employer and sat down for a conversation and there I learned a few things that every young British worker should know, doubly so if you have a disability.
The first thing I learned was that it is cheaper for an employer to discriminate against your disability than it is to support you, that means that some employers will fight you on your rights rather than support you.
The second thing I learned is that our Government messed up and made it very expensive to take someone to an employment tribunal, this means some employers will mistreat your rights on the hope you will simply not be able to afford to do anything about it.
The third thing I learned is that you can totally do something about it, here is what I did.
Fortunately for me I had a habit of keeping decant records, emails and meetings and tend to request written confirmation of most things work related, this helped my case a lot because I could evidence the long list of requests for support I had made over the months.
Secondly just prior to my sacking I had taken out home content insurance with Tesco, and as it was only £10 a month I had added for an extra £2 a month the legal fees insurance package, this was a life saver as my legal fees got as high as £12,000 by the end but thanks to insurance has not cost me a penny.
Thanks to these two things I was able to acquire a law firm to represent my discrimination case and take my ex-employer to tribunal for a compensatory pay out for damages to my earnings and damage to feelings, this has helped me a lot and buys me the time to find a new job, rather than ending up mopping floors at a McDonalds (not that there is anything wrong with that).
The lesson on this story is if you are young or disabled and in the UK you need to educate yourself on your rights, (equality act information here http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3017) and keep good records of your interactions with employers, it’s the future today, don’t let yourself be taken advantage off just because you don’t know your entitlements.
P.S. also don't forget that legal insurance it is worth £2 a month to know your covered when you need it, young people listen out, they don't bother telling you this in school.