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My daughter has been working for a local factory in the

Hi, my daughter has...

Hi, my daughter has been working for a local factory in the sample department since June 2017. (I work in the same factory) This has been on 2 temp contracts of 3 months each. She is 20, has depression, anxiety issues and suffers from DDPD, has been in and out of counseling for 2 years (was discharged Nov 17) and is also on an anti depressant. When she was given the job the factory manager said the hours of her work was to be decided between herself and the Sample Room Supervisor & Factory Manager with the view for her to increase them as and when she feels ready and if the work is there. Initially she worked 9am til 3pm. For the past 6 weeks she is now finishing at 4pm which has raised her a little but is coping fine. She has now been told by the HR lady and a manager of a different department that unless she starts doing 8am til 5pm her contract will not be renewed as now she has been discharged from counselling she has 'no excuse not to do these hours'. Her supervisor (the sample room manager has since retired) is stunned at this as it was not discussed with her and is fully aware of her condition and is happy to work with her. Do they have the right to do this as she feels mentally unable to cope with the hours they are now demanding of her? Also her mental state was discussed in this meeting with this person from another department without her consent or knowledge for HR to disclose this info to him wich has upset her as she only wants certain people to know. Have they breached the Data Protection Act? She is happy for me to look into this for her. Any advice would be greatly received. Many thanks.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Ohhh. UK

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

I think it's classed as full

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No thank you

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1/2/2018
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 51,214
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Is the only thing preventing her from doing these hours her mental condition?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
the thought this sudden increase in making her anxious.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I would not like the phone call thank you.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I'm at work plus I could only just pay the £25 and cannot afford more. thank you

Ok thanks. So her mental condition could potentially amount to a disability which would give her the rights she needs. Without it being a disability the employer will likely be able to change her hours and if she does not agree to it, even dismiss her. So it is most important that she tries to ensure that this is treated as a disability under employment law.

If someone is classified as disabled, then the employer must not treated them detrimentally because of it and also they would have a duty to make what is known as ‘reasonable adjustments’. What amounts to ‘reasonable adjustments’ can have a wide interpretation and often depends on the individual circumstances of the employer, their business, the potential impact on other employees, the available resources, etc. Whilst legislation does not currently provide specific examples of what adjustments can be made, the following are examples that have been considered reasonable in case law over time:

· 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

· acquiring or modifying specialist equipment

· providing supervision or other support

So keeping her hours as they are and not increasing them, at least for the time being, could be seen as a reasonable adjustment.

In relation to the sharing of information about her condition, it may not necessarily be a breach, especially if there was no specific agreement as to how they would deal with it. They have not shared it with the general workforce and just made it public for everyone to see, it was a workplace meeting and it was discussed with someone else, perhaps with the view of checking whether she could be accommodate there. It would be difficult to argue it was a DPA breach but she can still claim it was a breach of trust and confidence by the employer potentially.

Please take a quick second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the law on disability and how to determine if she qualifies. There is no extra cost for this - leaving your rating now will not close the question and means we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 51,214
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thank you Ben, this has been a great help. Yes please, it would be great if it would be possible to determine if she'll qualify.

Thanks. Disability can have a broad meaning from a legal perspective and there is no single list of medical conditions that qualify. Potentially anything can amount to a disability if it meets the required criteria.

The Equality Act 2010 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:

· Physical or mental impairment – this can include nearly any medical condition, be it physical or mental

· 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)

If a person satisfies the above criteria, they will be classified as being disabled and will have automatic protection against discrimination.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Brilliant, I believe she would qualify as she has been on medication (Citalipram) for depression and anxiety for at least the past 18 months and still has episodes of DDPD (Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder) under stressful situations - for example over the past few days since the death of her paternal great-grandmother last Friday whom she was close to. Although most day to day activities she has no problem with but driving during heavily busy times on the road makes her nervous (it is an hours drive to work) - this stems back to when we lost my mother in car accident in 2003 when we were struck by an oncoming car on our side of the road - my daughter was seated next to my mum in the back of the car. During her counselling this (& a fear of dying) was discovered to be the route of most of her issues. Thank you for making it clear.
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