Reasonable adjustments in work – how not to do it.

My employer was aware of my disability when I started work.  They got a report from occupational health with recommendations within a fortnight of that date. They decided to make some adjustments, but not others. The problem for me was that I needed those adjustments.  I’m asthmatic, and teaching in carpeted spaces triggered my asthma. Over the course of 8 months, I met with, phoned, and emailed every few weeks to ask my employer to assign me non-carpeted teaching spaces – or at least to clean them properly. Over this time, my mental health got much worse and I became less and less able to cope with my job.

The meetings with my manager were hard going – and they included such delightful queries as “If you get a formal dyspraxia assessment will you be competent as a lecturer?” and “Did you make the adjustments that you would need clear on your application form?”.  Eventually, I went back to occupational health, who reiterated that my employer needed to make adjustments.  The didn’t.  I got so anxious about the possibility of having to work in the environment again that I went off sick and put in an employment tribunal claim.

That is how I got here. I have disabilities.  I declared them before I was appointed. Their own occupational health said they needed to make adjustments. Despite the medical advice and months of pestering, they refused to make them. So I’m suing them.

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