PTSD and your employment rights

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by medman82, Oct 15, 2008.

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  1. I could do with a bit of advice from any medico legal types out in arrseville.

    Quite simply...Does having PTSD fit into the Discrimination against disability act ?

    The reason for the question is that I have just applied for a promotion within my office at work and been told that because I had 82 days on sick leave during 2005 and 2006 spread over 6 occurrences ranging from 2 days to 50 days when at the height of my opening up to what caused my PTSD issues. I now find that I don't fulfill the attendance criteria, although over the past 15 months I haven't taken a single day sick, mainly due to having worked out how to live with PTSD.

    Any help appreciated.
     
  2. You need to study the guidance for the act and it rather depends on who your employer is, how big an employer it is etc . The guidance for employers is here;

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/employers/dda/checklist.asp

    Worth pointing out that the DDA doesn't apply to the armed forces.
     
  3. I am not an employment law expert as I have said previously but I have checked the position with a colleague.

    As far as the civilian law is concerned - and I am not sure about any exemptions the MOD has - the position is that yes it could be classed as a disability if it affects your ability to do daily things and has existed or is likely to continue for 12 months or more.

    If the reason of your absence is your disability and you have not been considered due to absence, then you maybe able to raise it as discriminatory criteria (indirect discrimination) and direct discrimination. The employer (question whether the MOD has any exemptions in law here) does not need to have known that you were disabled at the time of the discrimination.

    Its not necessarily easy though or straightforward, and we would need more detail as to what has been happening over the last couple of years and how involved was your employer was.

    If you want a bit more information, perhaps you could PM me and I will see if my colleague can assist further.

    I hope that helps (a bit)
     
  4. As previously stated it is likley that because you have suffered from PTSD for over 12 month it therefore make it a long standing illness which could be termed a disbaility, however it also could be argued that it is not. Believe there are some out there that don't believe that cancer is a disbaility even though it has now been included in the act.

    Again as stated above by Judge most employment legislation has no bearing on those employed by the MOD. They have their own rules, regualtions and procedures that you have to follow. My suggestion is that instead of going by normal employment legislation you speak to an advisor within the MOD about whether you can talk to a Mod solicitor, they are around but I would not have a clue where to find them. This is your best course of action instead of getting if, buts and maybes.

    I know it is not much help but it is what I would advise who called me asking for guidance on such an issue. I will say that in order to substantiate any type of claim you must have proof about how it affects you in your every day life and your working day. This oculd evidence in medical records or an Occupational Health Therapists report (or the equivilent of what ones of those would be in the forces?) ..... yes you can certainly tell I come from civvie street.
     
  5. Hi is depression part of your symptoms and if so are you on medication? If so it's likely that it woud be considered.





    *BTW we are Occupational Health Advisors not therapists they teach people to make baskets
     
  6. Hi is depression part of your symptoms and if so are you on medication? If so it's likely that it woud be considered.





    *BTW we are Occupational Health Advisors not therapists they teach people to make baskets
     

  7. Please do accept my sincere apologies, but please, never again use 'BTW'! In my choice of profession ,I find that most generally call themselves 'therapists' not 'advisors', I have not yet come across this, but please forgive my ignorance on this subject. However, my point remains the same regardless of what you wonderful fellows are called.
     
  8. Thank you all for your advice so far,

    To make things a little clearer I am now prepared to expand a little. I have been diagnosed and treated at Audley Court (combat stress) and currently work with the police. I have been with the police since my discharge in 2004 and was serving with the police at the time of my "breakdown". I had seen the police psychologist but was only granted 5 appointments of 60 minutes each.

    I have been seeing a civilian psychologist with the NHS for 2 years now, it took 18 months to get a referral to them even after a diagnosis from combat stress. I am in reciept of a war pension at 20% with PTSD quoted as the reason.

    I have resigned myself to the fact that I will live with this condition for the rest of my natural, watching documentaries of servicemen from WW2 who still break down when talking about their past bears testiment to my thoughts.

    I was on anti depressants and sleeping tablets but have weaned myself away and have been medication free for 5 months.

    I have spoken to combat stress, unison, my psychologist and my personnel officer, none of whom can tell me whether PTSD is covered by the DDA, hence my resorting to asking my extended family on Arrse.

    I have now missed the right to appeal date so I don't know my next step yet.

    Regards to you all and I hope some more info is forthcoming.

    Medders
     
  9. In honesty I have never actually come across PTSD under the DDA. I have checked with a colleague how knows the real ins out outs. However now that you have explained it a little further I am sorry to say that there is nothing much that you can really do.

    In civvie street you would be far to much out of time, the limitation date is 3 months from the date you were dimissed or from the act in question, unless you could prove that your mental state of health was such that you would have been in position to consdier this course of action until now. Still it would be an extremely long shot and any claim in an employment tribunal would fail.

    Although again I would suggest that you go through the army, if you ring the Law Society on 020 7242 1222, and explain the situation i.e. that you are looking for a lawyer how could help you out they should (99.9% sure) be able to put you in touch with a solicitor who can help.

    I was going to suggest that you could possibly make a PI claim, however the limitation date for this is 3 years from the date of the "accident" or the issue that caused your injuries, in this case it would be psychological injury. I have very limited experience in PI so please do not quote me on this aspect.

    Your best bet is contacting the law society.
     
  10. Thanks dirty monkey, I think you might be missing the point slightly though. I'm not trying to secure a compensation claim, I'm not even contemplating it. I was trying to discover if PTSD is covered under the DDA in order to claim that my time off work whilst sick should not be included in the attendance criteria which cetain employers work with.

    Your time taken to research a reply is greatly appreciated though.
     
  11. I have just be informed that it is. So I hope that helps.
     
  12. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    I spoke to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, who told me that PTSD can definately be considered as a disability as the effects are are on their list - memory and concentration problems, depression, insomnia and so on.

    Geting an employer to accept it seems to be another problem area, however, as I know from experience.
     
  13. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    MOD Note: Ms Rielly has asked for her posts to be deleted including the quotes.

    Back on thread.

    Good luck with the job Medders.
     
  14. Accepted. Sorry about the BTW I was meaning by the way, Occupational Health Advisors work in most large organisations and private companies. The role is concerned with health on work and work on health so they screen people for the effects of their job hazards eg noise. They also play a part in long term sick and rehabillitation and disablity, also pre-employment screening.