is this discrimination?

I have had Fibromyalgia symptoms for 3 years and have recently been officially diagnosed,( previously treated for depression, vitamin d deficiency ) the fibromyalgia is probably because I have joint hypermobility syndrome (Ehlers Danlos type 3) and the years of over extending, long periods sitting and standing has exacerbated the condition. In 2010 I was moved to a ‘back office’ function, retaining my grade and pay. My health status did not improve but was not getting worse as I could pace myself; this was considered a reasonable adjustment. I have a rheumatologist and twice yearly OH appointments and generally the Home Office has been reasonable, for example allowing me to take disability leave for medical appointments and physiotherapy/Pilates.

I have now been informed the unit I work in, where, incidentally I received a £500 bonus for my exceptional work is closing and I will be redeployed to another department. However, I will lose the allowances I received for weekend working and shift work this amounts to approx. £9000 per annum. I work annualized hours and this was agreed collectively at the beginning of the year. I will also lose my warrant and be re graded to a position that attracts no allowance and a lower basic salary. The reason I am being moved is that The Home Office will not send me back to the front line (where my colleagues will retain their warrant, pay and allowances) due to my disability. I believe this is very unfair and I wonder if it amounts to discrimination. Is it possible to be effectively demoted due to a disability?

Grateful for advice

11 Replies

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  • Are you a union member if so get in touch with am Equality Rep or if not happy go staright to HQ.

    Have to know all the details but on what you have said I would say yes.

  • can i PM you about it?

  • I would agree, it certainly looks like it. Wishing you the best in your fight xx

  • I would think it is discrimination - you definately need to get some specialist advice.

    I would imagine you'll need to know :-

    How are the non-disabled people from your unit being treated?

    If you turn down the redeployment what are the alternatives?

    Was there ever a time limit put on your retained pay status?

    More questions than answers - sorry!

    Julie xx

  • Julie

    to answer your questions

    - the non disabled staff will go back to the front line and retain their grade and allowances as they will continue to work in a shift working environment

    - if i turn this down i will go into the re-deployment pool, if after 3 months i do not find another job i will be made redundant. incidentally, the only jobs avaiable are in London and i cant commute.

    -the agreement was for 3 years pay protection under the annualised hours scheme. this ends Aptril 2013 unless you move to a non Annualised hours working area...im not moving but being moved. so will still lose the pay protection.

  • you shouldn't lose the pay protection since the move has been inflicted upon you - I think that might be the argument you can win and thus keep your pay and perks.

    Julie xx

  • go back over your orginal and new contracts what do they, if its not in the contract then other meeting need to go a head to make sure the new job, is suitable, not just for your fibro but your mental health, good look hope it gets sorted soon smiles and hugs xx

  • tess,

    i signed a contract under annualised hours scheme that gave me pay protection until April 2013. in the contract is states that if i move to a non shiftworking environment i will lose my pay protection...im not moving i am being forced to move so will lose approx £9000 per annum...i dont feel this is fair actually, the non disabled staff will return to the front line and retain their pay protection.

  • Seems to me you may have a case for discriminstion, but you would need to consult with a Union Rep or the CAB for advice on where to go from here.

    Employment Law is complex, and the Home Office, being a Government Agency, may have slightly different rules.

    Sorry I can't help more

    Cheers, Midori

  • If you are a crown employee - most emplyment law doesnt apply!! thats why police officers cant strike! the are EU directives about working hours, but from experience they have a get out clause xx

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