Many more people can benefit from the protection of the “Disability Discrimination Act” (DDA) than realise it. The DDA defines a disability as “a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on her/his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.
Long-term” means an effect that has lasted or is likely to last more than a year. “Impairment” is considered as if you were not using any medication or other treatment, so you may be covered by the DDA even if your condition is so well managed that it is not currently having any impact on your day-to-day activities.
Disability is an issue that will affect nearly all of us, if we live long enough. For more information, see the UNITE web site.
If you believe you are disabled, it is important that you record this as part of your details on Self Service. If you have not told officially the company that you are disabled (even if your manager knows), it could be harder to complain about discrimination.
Due to a recent ruling in the courts (UKHL 43) it is more important than ever that employees with disabilities covered by the DDA request the “reasonable adjustments” that they require from their employer. It will now be much more difficult to win a case for disability discrimination if you have not done this.
“Reasonable adjustments” could range from changes to the physical organisation of your work, additional equipment, modified work procedures, hours, working practices, application of company policies and procedures etc.
ACAS, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, recommends that disability-related and pregnancy-related sickness/absence is recorded separately from other sick leave. Unfortunately Fujitsu does not do this as a matter of course, which is particularly worrying given the recent punitive changes to the attendance policies. In light of the above ruling, your reps recommend that if you have a disability as defined by the DDA, or are pregnant, that you write to your manager requesting:
“I am writing to request a reasonable adjustment that all disability-related/pregnancy-related absence [delete as applicable] is recorded separately, and is not included in calculations for the purposes of utilisation, appraisal, bonus, redundancy selection, attendance management or any other purpose which might lead me to suffer detriment as a result of my disability / pregnancy [delete as applicable]. On the same basis I am requesting that I am allowed paid time off during working hours to attend medical appointments or undertake treatment as required.”
It’s important that you get to any response to these requests in writing and keep the response somewhere safe.
If you require further guidance, please contact your UNITE rep, or our UNITE Equality Reps in Manchester.

Posted in news

Unite members across Fujitsu Services Limited in the UK have been taking industrial as part of their dispute over jobs, union recognition, pay and pensions. Action from 28 February has included 15 days of strikes and ongoing action short of strike.

INDUSTRIAL ACTION IS CURRENTLY SUSPENDED but members have voted by 92% to reject a company offer and renewed campaign plans are being made.

The national dispute follows the resolution of a local dispute in Manchester which included 12 strike days.

Further information is available here including events, pickets, a downloadable appeal for support leaflet and how to donate to our strike fund.

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