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The Disability Discrimination Act


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#1 AAM

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 03:42 PM

Hi to everyone,

It's been a while since I've posted anything, but I'm back now.

Some of you may remember me and my story of trying to join the Specials while on antidepressant medication and subsequently being rejected. Despite my best efforts last year at withdrawing from them I failed, and due to depression resurfacing I have needed to return to my medication. Today I'm pleased to say that I'm well again, but then I always was on my medication. I work in a challenging part time position in the mental health field and I'm also a bereavement counsellor, my condition and medication have never before prevented me from following my ambitions - would I allow it to now?

In light of changes in the DDA on 1st October last year I requested a review of my application as I met changes in the regulations in relation to Home Office guidelines and recruitment in eight seperate areas.

I was informed that my case had been reviewed but the outcome was the same. I wrote to request details of an appeal procedure (one that I could attend) but all that happened was that my letter made it up to someone higher and the outcome was the same - sorry no entry. But this time the discrimmination was plain to see as it had been put in writing to the effect of: "we may consider a future application from you two years from now, as long as you have been clear from medication throughout that time" :whistle: :sad:

It is my understanding that the recent change in the disability discrimination law means that it is unlawful to reject a candidate on the basis that they take medication, whether for a physical or emotional/mental issue.

Today I contacted the Disability Rights Commission, a body that had expressed interest in the circumstances of my case several months ago but was a resource that I was not prepared to pursue until I had exhausted all other efforts with the force concerned. I've ask the DRC to take up my case for me. I hope that perhaps a precendent can be set so that other candidates on antidepressant medication, but with a lot to offer the service can be considered and allowed to pursue a role in the Specials.

It appears, according to the DDA, that I have been treated less favourably than other applicants because I need a medication. I certainly feel that I have. I decided that my options were that I could either do nothing or fight the decision. I chose the latter, so watch this space! :lol:

Amanda

Edited by AAM, 18 April 2005 - 03:44 PM.


#2 AAM

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 04:18 PM

Hi everyone,

Well it's all in the lap of the Gods now (well the Disability Rights Commission anyway!) and we shall have to see what happens now. I say that I've got a case and I've come to that conclusion through analysis of who I am as a person, my abilities and through research of revised Home Office guidelines and the Disability Discrimination Act.

Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 Part II (1st October 2004) and Home Office guidelines on recruitment for the police service I satisfy the criteria in the following respects:

1) I can now be considered as disabled in a mental health capacity as depression falls into that catagory.

2) Quote: ‘That mental impairments are diagnosed, result from or consist of clinically well recognised mental illnesses’. I consider that I suffer from clinical/reactive depression and that is what my GP is treating me for.

3) Quote: Substantial adverse effect means that ‘the effect of the physical or mental impairment on ability to carry out normal day to day activities must be more than minor or trivial (but does not have to be severe). My depression is not minor because I cannot cope without antidepressant medication and is not severe because I have not required hospitalisation, I conclude that it is therefore moderate when present.

4) Quote: ‘The person must be affected in at least one area listed in the DDA i.e. ‘memory or ability to concentrate’ (There are several areas listed but this is the one that affects me). My memory and ability to concentrate is impaired when I am without medication and depressed and my ability to function normally is impaired.

5) Quote: Long term means that the effect has to have lasted, or be likely to last, overall for at least 12 months or for the rest of the life of the person affected. My condition has been long term, more than 12 months (9 years in fact), and is likely to remain so.

6) Quote: The following do not count as impairments: Addiction to or dependency on alcohol, nicotine or any other substance (unless resulting from the substance being medically prescribed.) I am now dependent on my medication to sleep. My medication, an antidepressant called Dothiepin, is prescribed. :whistle: (trying to inject a bit of humour!)

7) Reasonable adjustments: I will not be actively seeking ‘reasonable adjustment’ as I live a perfectly normal life while on medication, but I would be willing to accept extra supervision because of my mental health/medication issues if offered. I would also actively seek to join support organisations within the service.

8) Mental health and fitness for the job: Quote: ‘The recruitment process should consider existing mental health issues and past mental health to assess the likely impact of the illness or condition on ability to do the job.’ I suffer from depression (without medication) but this has no bearing on how I do a job. I currently successfully hold down a responsible and challenging part time job as an Information Line Officer on a Mental Health Information/Helpline and I'm a Bereavement Counsellor therefore I deal with many upset, distressed and suicidal people without that affecting my own mental well being in any way, because I make effective use of Supervision that is provided for me. Quote: ‘Consideration will need to be given to the precipitating factors for the illness bearing in mind that these may no longer be relevant’. I did suffer some post-natal depression in 1991 but not in two subsequent pregnancies, and as I have no plans to have another child I think this is now irrelevant. My depression now is a mixture of clinical depression (brain chemical imbalance) and reactive (through a personal life event).

I thought it relevant to list the criteria that I meet so that anyone interested in my diary can appreciate where I am coming from and why I am taking the stance that I am.

More soon.

And thanks Lxmanager for the encouragement! (And Young Wanna Be Cop!) :lol:

Amanda

Edited by AAM, 20 April 2005 - 04:20 PM.


#3 AAM

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Posted 22 April 2005 - 06:47 PM

The Met seem to have the right idea where disability is concerned.

My Webpage

All cases should, rightly so, be judged on merit, blanket bans now not being allowed. The force that I applied to appears to be putting a blanket ban on prospective candidates on antidepressant medication. In addition to that they could not possibly have been able to evaluate my fitness for the role of Special Constable considering that they were not even prepared to offer me an interview, let alone meet me. The fight goes on.....

Amanda

Edited by AAM, 22 April 2005 - 06:56 PM.


#4 AAM

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 12:55 PM

The Disability Rights Commission, because of funding issues, has to use it's legal resources to pursue cases that are going to possibly set a precedent and bring about ground breaking reform.

It appears that presently recruitment issues, mental health disabilty and anything involving the DRC's new relationship with the Police as employers are issues that are being prioritised.

It must be remembered that until recently the Police service as an employer has been exempt from the Disabilty Discrimination Act regulations that existed. I fear that some forces will adapt easily while some will try to remain in the dark ages until they are challenged by bodies such as the DRC.

www.drc.org.uk

I'm quietly confident presently. :wink:

Amanda

#5 AAM

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 06:52 PM

Hi to everyone who has been keeping up with my diary postings!

Well I think that I have some good news for once. It's certainly looks promising anyway.

I have received a letter from the Disability Rights Commission, who having received full details of my rejection for the Special Constabulary on the issue of my antidepressant medication, have replied informing me that:

"From the information given we feel that you may have a potential case of discrimination". :whistle: (couldn't resist a smilie on this occasion!)

My case is now being forwarded to another department within the DRC for further investigation. I will be told within the next 28 days if the DRC will take up my case for me.

Fingers crossed for a victory!

Amanda

#6 AAM

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 04:18 PM

Hi to everyone,

Time for an update I think.

A few days ago I received a letter from the Disability Rights Commission informing me that a Case Worker would be telephoning me at 11am on 9th May to discuss my rejection for the Special Constabulary and allegation of discrimination and to also get more information from me. It will then be decided if the DRC takes up my case for me. Watch this space tomorrow folks and I will report back!

Amanda :whistle:

#7 AAM

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 02:14 PM

I'm back, at last!

And I'm back with good news! Had a lengthy conversation on Monday with a Caseworker from the Disability Rights Commission. The outcome was that she would make her recommendations and it would be decided if the DRC would provide me with Case Work assistance. It was acknowledged by the DRC that the force concerned did not reply to any of my illustrations of how I met the DDA regulations from 1st October 2004, and that I was plainly told to stop my medication to be in with a chance of recruitment. :whistle:

Now the good news: the DRC will take my case. I still can't quite believe it and I have to keep reading the letter to make sure! :lol: I am going to be contacted on 16th May to discuss whether I wish to proceed with a claim to the Employment Tribunal. Without a shadow of a doubt my answer is YES! YES! YES!

It's been such an hard slog to get this far, so no way would I give up. I just hope that this posting will give hope to others who are experiencing difficulties in joining the Special Constabulary through physical or mental health issues; show that there can be a light at the end of the tunnel.

More news next week folks!

Amanda :)

Edited by AAM, 11 May 2005 - 02:15 PM.


#8 AAM

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Posted 16 May 2005 - 01:27 PM

Hi to all who tune in to my diary!

Well sure enough the Disability Rights Commission have telephoned me as they promised that they would, but couldn't speak to me as a Case Worker has now taken my case for some legal advice. So my own Case Worker will now be calling me tomorrow morning at 8.30 - I'll post again later tomorrow.

Hope this 'going for legal advice' is a good sign...... :whistle: :lol: :D

Amanda :)

Edited by AAM, 16 May 2005 - 01:28 PM.


#9 AAM

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 06:19 PM

Hi gang! :whistle:

Well things have started to happen for me so thought that it was about time I did another update. Can't believe I've had over 500 hits to my diary so far!

My Case Worker from the Disability Rights Commission has been in contact with me several times this week and she's been brilliant. She has provided me with assistance in completing the Employment Tribunal form and has done a great job. The legal aspects have been checked out and the form will be despatched on Monday by recorded delivery to arrive at the Tribunal office on Tuesday my last day for submitting the claim (Claims have to be lodged no more than three months minus one day from the time first incident of alleged discrimination occured).

I believe a form DL56 is next for completion and this will go to the police force concerned to request more information about my treatment (as in discrimination, not medication! ;) )

Compensation will be fine, but what I really want as an outcome is an opportunity to demonstrate my suitability for a policing role with the Special Constabulary. The only way that I can really do this is by securing an interview and going through the selection tests the same as other candidates. I believe that my experience of mental health issues from both a personal and professional stance would only serve to be beneficial in a policing role within the community - this is one of the things that I need a chance to convey. Mental health issues don't always need to be viewed in a detrimental or negative way, there can be a positive side to it. This could be a long haul, but I'm in it for as long as it takes. :wink:

I feel like a well deserved drink of the alcoholic variety to celebrate the completion of stage one of my battle - and that's exactly what I'm going to have! :lol: :D :) and I'll say a toast to that lady from the DRC!

More news next week. A good weekend is wished to all!

Amanda ;)

#10 AAM

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 04:03 PM

Well that's it folks - my complaint of discrimination has been lodged with the Employment Tribunal and we shall have to wait and see what happens in the fullness of time. Have I said how great the Disability Rights Commission are? :lol: :whistle:

It's my view that the force in question has contravened both the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientations) Regulations 2003 and my papers for the tribunal have been prepared to that effect. The simplest way for me to outline this is that I consider that I have been discriminated against in regards to my antidepressant medication which is linked to my depression which in turn is linked to my sexuality, the latter constituting indirect discrimination. None of these issues can be divorced from each other, they are intrinsically linked. If one issue is discriminated against, whether directly or indirectly, intentionally or not, the resulting effect is the same - a candidate treated unjustly; an equal opportunities policy that is just being paid lip-service to; and a police service that is missing out on what that candidate could bring to it.

Contravening the Employment Equality Regulations has been an accidental consequence for the police force concerned because they contravened the DDA in the first place. I'm really sad that it's come to this when laws and regulations are in place so that it actually did'nt need to come to this :sad: It's ironic.

I will shortly be notified as to whether my claim has been accepted by the Employment Tribunal. Apparently, once accepted, conciliation will start - probably with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) in an attempt to settle before an hearing.

Pray for me! :)

#11 AAM

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 05:12 PM

Hi all! :whistle:

I am overwhelmed by how many of you are following 'my diary' and very much appreciate all the wonderful messages of support that I have received.

I found out today that the next step in my claim is to complete a DL56 form that will go to the force concerned requesting more information from them regarding their decision to reject my application and their basis for doing so. This must be done within 21 days of submitting the Employment Tribunal form (ET1) - not doing this could harm my case; but not replying to it could harm the respondent's (the Force) case.

My Case Worker from the DRC will work with me regarding the DL56. They are so good, it takes all the stress out of the situation. Whatever the outcome to my claim, good or bad, I will not forget what a superb agency the DRC are.

Presently feeling that my case is strong and wondering where I will be this time next year. I'm keeping busy and trying to fill in time with things that would be useful if I make it into the Specials (I wish that I could say when, but I know it won't be that easy) - recently did a First Aid course and attended a one day workshop dealing with Young People's Drugs & Alcohol issues that was organised through my employer with a service provider working in that field. The latter was a real eye-opener; the law relating to drugs, namely the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, was covered so I was especially interested in that.

For the moment anyway, I'm still playing that waiting game.......

Amanda, signing out for now :wink:

#12 AAM

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 12:41 PM

Hi! I didn't think that I'd be back so soon.

Good news that I want to share: Today I received a letter informing me that my claim for discrimination has been accepted by the Employment Tribunal office! Yippee! That didn't take long, my form only arrived on Tuesday. A positive result but still a long way to go yet, but it's a start. And I'm happy!

A copy of my claim has gone to the Respondent (the force in question) and one to ACAS too. I've started the ball rolling now......

I'll be back!

Amanda :whistle:

Edited by AAM, 27 May 2005 - 12:42 PM.


#13 AAM

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 10:51 AM

Well I have a small piece of news, so thought that I would post it!

This morning I received a letter from an ACAS Conciliator with some information about the role of ACAS in an employment dispute, which is useful.

The Conciliator has also contacted me by email and informs me that they are awaiting sight of a response from the Respondent (police force concerned) and I thought 'me too!' Once that has been viewed then apparently we can discuss the scope for conciliation - an opportunity that I would welcome.

I'm expecting to be back in touch with my Case Worker from the Disability Rights Commission this week.

On a slightly different note I have also requested Advocacy support from a mental health advocacy partnership that operates within the mental health agency that I work for. I have been allocated a very professional and experienced Advocate and as the basis of this whole matter is my mental health, medication and an equality issue, I think support from this direction will be invaluable.

I'm rallying my army! As always, I will keep you all posted :whistle:

Amanda :lol:

#14 AAM

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 09:10 PM

Today I have had contact with the Disability Rights Commission. With the DRC assistance I have completed and despatched a DL56 form to the force concerned. Basically this form request's that reasons are given for the discriminatory treatment that I have received. There can be no justification for discrimination though if my case is proven. Personally I would not like to be the person receiving this form, there are mega questions to be addressed by the Respondent.

The questions relate to selection and recruitment criteria and practices and policies. The document is very to the point about finding out why I was not offered an interview. As a result the questions are attempting to find out the calibre of candidates, in relation to qualifications and experience, that were offered interviews - I would imagine that this is so comparisons can be drawn. Statistics have also been requested as to how many employees with disabilities are employed in the Special Constabulary; job titles and nature of disabilities requested. I'm intrigued as to what some of the answers will be.

Next week I meet with the Mental Health Advocate that I have requested who I hope will be able to offer additional support to me through conciliation and/or the Employment Tribunal itself.

Until the next post........ :whistle:

Edited by AAM, 09 June 2005 - 09:13 PM.


#15 AAM

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 01:24 PM

Hi everyone,

All has been fairly quiet on the Tribunal front for the last week. I have though met with my Mental Health Advocate and I have discussed what role I would like Advocacy to play in this for me. I have identified that as a source of support concerning various issues it will be invaluable. For me it will be as important to have advocacy as it has been to have had the support of the Disability Rights Commission, and perhaps legal representation and the skills of a Barrister if required. Advocacy can assist me in several key areas. I will post more on this later.

My need as really opened my eyes to the whole issue of advocacy for those with mental health issues. I have every faith in my advocate ensuring that my voice is heard and just knowing that support will be there makes a difficult situation so much easier for me to deal with.

The Respondent (police force concerned) have to reply to my claim by this coming Friday (24th) and ACAS has informed me that they can become actively involved as soon as that happens, and so I wait........

Amanda :whistle:

#16 AAM

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 10:18 PM

Hi to everyone following my epic story!

Well last friday I got a copy of the Respondent's (the force concerned) reply to my claim and a breakdown of the key points to their defence (with how they can be refruted) are as follows:

I didn't tick the disabled box on my application form a year ago :lol: - well it's my understanding that mental health issues i.e. reactive/clinical depression could not be counted as a disability until the new regulations came in on 1st October last year. I informed them that I was disabled though when I applied for my application to be reviewed after new guidelines came in as they had invited me to do.

Medical advice stated that I was not fit for the appointment :D :whistle: - I have a GP's letter and report that states that my GP cannot see any reason why I could not carry out a policing role as a Special Constable and that my depression is stable and my medication is suitable. (I don't know what they've been looking at and I'm looking forward to challenging this one)

That basically (and I'll leave out the jargon) they can't get their heads around why a bisexual person might need to take antidepressant medication compared to a heterosexual person :) - I say show me a heterosexual person coping with unrequited same-sex attractions, difficulty reconciling their orientation within marriage, keeping it secret from people that they simply don't want to know, social stigma, prejudice and fear of being unfairly judged etc, etc, I could go on.....

I'm still awaiting the Respondent's reply to the DL56 form and that should supply a lot more information. I'm still feeling optimistic because I can address all of the key issues mentioned so far.

ACAS regarding a discussion to evaluate scope for mediation tomorrow (not a lot I'd say!) Then the Disability Rights Commission and the day after, THE WORLD!!!

I'll be back soon. Watch this space.

Amanda ;)

#17 AAM

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Posted 07 July 2005 - 09:07 PM

All a bit quiet at present. The Disabilty Rights Commission are viewing the Respondent's reply to my claim; ACAS representative not back at the desk until next Monday; my claim is with a clerk at Tribunal office. And me still very determined, but I do hate the passage of time - was 41 last Saturday and conscious that time is not standing still. The sooner this is resolved the better as I want to be out there on the streets (you all know what I mean!) doing my bit.

Feeling very relieved and thankful at the moment that I've got my husband back unharmed from the City of London where he works. And my thoughts are with all the emergency services personnel that have worked so hard today, and of course all the families of the deceased and injured. Makes me realise why I'm fighting this fight, puts it all into perspective really. :sad:

Back soon.

Amanda

#18 AAM

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 04:50 PM

Hi to all,

I've not posted for a while and think that I've just about dropped out of the top ten!

Oh the waiting, it's driving me bonkers :lol: . The wheels on this one are definitely turning slowly, so slowly that sometimes I think it's ground to a halt! Though I know that's not really true - lots going on behind the scenes.

The latest is that since I last posted my ACAS representative contacted me to inform me that he/she (not sure if my rep is a man or a woman as called Pat and I've only had contact by letter and emails to date! :) ) had not received a copy of the Respondent's (force concerned) reply. My ACAS rep needed contact details so that they could request a copy. That done, it is now being studied and the rep will then seek to establish scope for conciliation/settlement.

My Case Worker from the Disability Rights Commission thinks that the force reply to my complaint was very short and therefore we are likely to be requesting what is known as 'Further & Better Particulars' from them as they've indicated they will do from us. We are presently awaiting the force response to the DL56 form submitted on 10th June that should go into more detail and supply essential information that will be relevant for Tribunal. The force concerned has eight weeks to respond from date of service and that takes us to 5th August, so only two more weeks to go. As some of you may already know, the force is not obliged to answer this form, but if they don't it will be viewed detrimentally by the Tribunal if it gets that far.

I'd just like to take this opportunity to correct the following passage from my posting of 26th June:

"I didn't tick the disabled box on my application form a year ago - well it's my understanding that mental health issues i.e. reactive/clinical depression could not be counted as a disability until the new regulations came in on 1st October last year. I informed them that I was disabled though when I applied for my application to be reviewed after new guidelines came in as they had invited me to do".

I think that I misunderstood a section on the Respondent's 'Grounds for Resistance'. It is now my understanding that they were stating that I don't meet the guidelines for disability criteria :D which is very strange as the DRC are in agreement with me that I do (please see the second posting of 'My Diary'). And so the waiting goes on.

In the meantime I'm keeping busy. I'm studying for a City & Guilds Certificate in Vocational Paralegal Studies. This consists of two Core Modules and an Option one - I've chosen 'The Nature and Role of the Criminal Law and Practice' as it encompasses PACE. I can imagine finding PoliceSpecials.com very useful for this part!. (www.ilex-tutorial.ac.uk if anyone is interested). I'm also off to Ireland, or Eire to be exact, on the 20th August. Going to see the sights of Kerry and surrounds and to be honest I need this break ;) . When I get back I'm joining a weekly Badminton class to improve my knowledge of the game and skills. And best of all, it will mean regular exercise so that if I do make it in at least I will be able to run after and hopefully apprehend any law breakers! :whistle: Seriously though I think it's important to keep focussed, but to relax too - things will take as long as they take I suppose. Watch this space.

Amanda :blu:

Edited by AAM, 21 July 2005 - 05:02 PM.


#19 AAM

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 08:28 PM

Bit more news so I'm back again.

Yesterday I received a communication from the Tribunal informing me that my case is being scheduled for a Case Management hearing. No date yet but it's on the way. I was also informed that they are aware that the DL56 form that was sent to the force concerned has a deadline of 5th August which is exactly what I made it. So Friday week......

Copies of this communication will be sent to the Disability Rights Commission and ACAS tomorrow so that they are kept fully in the picture. The DRC will now also have to make a decision about funding my case to this level and allocating me a Solicitor/Barrister. I can't see this being a problem because the DRC are prioritising mental health, recruitment/selection issues and their relationship with the Police as an employer. But one can never just assume, so I will be pleased when a decision is made on this.

I'm also keeping my Mental Health Advocate up to speed and I hope to speak to her again very soon. I want a MHA to be present at any hearings and I want the eyes of National Mind to be on this as my case may be ground breaking for those with mental health issues who cope well with their difficulties and want a policing career while being capable of fulfilling such a responsible role.

Yesterday felt like a real step in the right direction with mention of the Case Management hearing. I'm keeping focussed on things that will help me if I do get in such as study, fitness, building links with my local community etc. And I'd just like to say a big thank you for all the continued support and encouragement that I get from PS.com members - it has made such a difference to this experience for me.

As usual I'll keep you posted :whistle:

Amanda :wink:

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 07:14 PM

A quick update. My Case Worker from the Disability Rights Commission has informed me that the Tribunal has actually made an Order that the Force concerned provide comprehensive details of why I was rejected for the role of a Special Constable.

My understanding of the DL56 form is that there is no obligation on the employer to respond to it, though that would most likely be viewed detrimentally by the Tribunal. The deadline for this in my case is next Friday. As the tribunal has made an Order I look forward to shortly evaluating the force response.

I have forwarded a document acquired last year from my GP to the DRC/ACAS which destroys a particular point in the Respondent's 'Grounds of Resistence'. I've also very recently written directly to the Chief Constable and outlined my case while adding that I very much hope that there can be scope for conciliation in conjunction with ACAS who are now involved. I couldn't help wondering whether the person 'at the top' was aware all this is happening. I am pleased that I have received a response from the Chief Constable's office informing me that my letter has been "passed for the consideration of our legal department who are reviewing this matter on behalf of the Chief Constable". As I say, I hope there is scope for conciliation and compromise, perhaps in the context of reasonable adjustment.

It's my aim to give a lot to the force if I make it in. Even though I'm now 41 (a young 41 I hasten to add! :whistle: ) I visualise 10-15 years of service. I even look beyond that at using what experience I could gain to promote the Special Constabulary in regards to recruitment once operational duties were over (all right then, when I became too old to run! :lol:) . As an organisation and a concept, I think that all that the Special Constabulary stands for is wonderful, it truly is that remarkable link between the Police Service and our communities. To tell you the truth had I not heard so much about 'hobby bobbies' in the past, I think that I would have applied to join ten years or more ago. I refuse to just wish that I could turn the clock back, I'm doing the only constructive thing that I can and that's fight for my chance.

Amanda :D

#21 AAM

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 08:04 PM

Hi folks, wow, where do I start, there's been a fair bit happening.

Lets begin with the DL56 Form. The force concerned have responded to this form and it is quite a revelation.

My overall impression of their response? Well parts of the Home Office guidelines beggar belief. For example a diagnosis of Manic Depression or Bi-Polar Disorder is no bar within the medical screening (quite rightly so) so long as the sufferer has been stable on their medication for five years. I deduce from this that they will therefore employ those with this condition and they're still allowed to take medication as well :D :D . Well in that case why can't I be employed by them and allowed to continue to take my medication? My medication is like candy compared to Lithium that many with Manic Depression have to take. Discrimination and double standards? :whistle: Even Schizophrenic episodes can also be allowed for so long as a sufferer has not taken medication for five years and remained stable. Both this and Manic Depression can be very serious illnesses, I know as I work with those who have these diagnoses, unlike mine which isn't.

I suffer from depression without my medication as it is a reaction to my sexuality issues, albeit does become clinical without medication. In the guidelines allowances are made for reactive depression in relation to marriage/relationship breakdown or bereavement but obviously not to anyone in my situation who suffers reactive depression. I think that this can only but strengthen my case in relation to the indirect Sexual Orientation discrimination.

I also meet all of the core psychological competencies in the police guidelines which are:

1) Communicate effectively both verbally and in writing

2) Take responsibility and demonstrate an appropriate degree of motivation

3) Plan and organise effectively

4) Analysis information and take effective decisions

5) Show resilience in difficult circumstances, whilst remaining calm

6) Show respect for the opinions and feelings of others, no matter what their race, religion, position or circumstances

7) Work as an effective member of a team

My employer will vouch for all the above. I work with the mentally ill which is about as much of a challenging job as you can get. I deal with a wide spectrum of situations - the legacies of rape and sexual abuse, self harm, psychosis, serious mental health disorders, substance abuse etc. The list is endless. I think that I can demonstrate before a Tribunal that I do not 'crack up' or 'freak out' when dealing with difficult, even horrific, situations. I hear peoples sad and sickening stories and I manage with one hour's supervision and a two hour team meeting each month. Would the force concerned be saying that they couldn't offer me something similar? We shall wait and see.

There is also something built into the guidelines termed 'Specialist Referral' which was an option for the service to take to assess my mental health when 'there appears to be a high probability of the issue resulting in the threat of legal challenge'; but this was not offered, just as reasonable adjustment perhaps in the form of extra supervision was not offered. I feel that there is a degree of maladminstration here too, whereby this force is not always following set down policies and procedures - their equal opportunities policy for example states that candidates should be judged on merit, instead I was judged on the fact that I have to take a pill each evening. I would imagine that Specialist Referral is to either a Psychiatrist or Psychologist and had it been offered I would have jumped at the chance.

The Case Management date will be announced soon. I feel that I have ammunition :lol: (figuratively speaking of course!) and the good fight goes on.

Amanda :wink:

PS. I'VE JUST BECOME A POWER USER! ;)

Edited by AAM, 02 August 2005 - 08:08 PM.


#22 AAM

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 10:15 AM

Hi all,

A bit quiet at my end at the moment after a flurry of activity on the DDA front.
My Case Worker at the Disability Rights Commission was on leave last week, I'm still awaiting date of Case Management hearing and building the basis of how my case will be presented - which I will post at the appropriate time.

It occured to me recently that even the length of time this is dragging on, frustrating though it can be at times, can be put to good use. It's given me time and space to think about what I will do if I'm not successful at Tribunal.

Firstly I would still be pleased that at least I'd tried. Secondly I've given support via this site to others who thought that they wouldn't be accepted into the police service because of various health issues, and they are now in. That has been really rewarding.

I've always had an interest in law and realise that there are other options for me either after the Specials (or instead of if that is what it comes to). I'm filling this 'limbo' time by studying for a Certificate in Vocational Paralegal Studies with ILEX and I'm loving it. I will go on to do the Diploma whatever happens. I recently found out that success with these two qualifications means that I could go on to train as a Legal Executive and yes there is something that appeals to me in that. The Criminal Justice Mental Health Teams that serve our communities in respect of those with mental health issues who are arrested, charged or released from prison, has caught my eye too - I realise that law qualifications with my background/qualifications in the mental health field could make this viable. The Judicary fascinates me so I am attracted to the role of Magistrate too. There is also an option of me starting a business using any law qualifications gained. I feel fortunate to be in this position with so many choices.

I think what I'm trying to say in this posting to all who read it in similar circumstances to my own is, keep your options open, then if things don't work out your life will go on, just in another direction. It could be in an 'associated' direction such as law, or combining law with existing skills.

I tell my kids that I'm still deciding what to do when I grow up! :whistle: Age doesn't worry me, though I am 41 now, I can never realistically visualise myself ever retiring. (I'm of the opinion that retirement should be abolished!) I plan to work until I drop so hopefully at least 60 years left! I've seen so many people go into a decline once they retire. That's not for me.

I'm quite happy still fighting my corner on the DDA front - I've got nothing to lose and everything to gain whether I'm successful or not. That's a good place to get to in your head if you can. I will post again when I have some news.

Amanda :lol:

#23 AAM

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 03:21 PM

Hi everybody, I'm back!

It's been a long time since I logged on and posted.

Still not a Special, but still fighting the injustice! I got through the Case Management Discussion Hearing in October (without legal representation I might add - that's another story) and my case is set for a full tribunal hearing between the 12th and 16th June 2006 - a whole five days of it! I was pleased with how well I did and there were things in my favour.

Another posting later - afraid I'm off to work now.

Watch this space.

Amanda :whistle:

PS It feels good to be back.

#24 AAM

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 09:05 PM

Hi everyone,

My first diary post of the New Year. Well tomorrow I surrender all my medical records to the Respondent's Solicitor. Cost me £50 to have my full records photocopied! Hopefully, should I win, I'll get it all back as part of my Costs incurred. The records are very comprehensive and run to approximately 178 pages - well they cover from 1982 when I was 18 right through to the present day (age 41), so we are talking 23 years worth! Reading through them has been interesting, funny the things you forget, well past illnesses and accidents anyway...... no way I could forget I've given birth to three kids and my ante-natal care records can verify that!

This week has been spent researching whether it is possible for me to get my hearing held in private, rather than public, as Employment Tribunal often are. The Equal Opportunities Commission held all the information I needed.

www.eoc-law.org.uk/Default.aspx?page=2849

There are bits and pieces in this that look promising for my claim and a private hearing. There are sensitive aspects to my claim involving mental health and sexual orientation, so we shall see. I have written to the ET with my request. If not successful I shall apply for an RRO - Restricted Reporting Order to protect my identity under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.

I'll be back! Amanda :whistle:

#25 AAM

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 06:20 PM

Good News!

I have secured a Restricted Reporting Order (RRO) from the Employment Tribunal! Well a temporary one at least - I now have to apply this week to have it made permanent, but I don't anticipate any problems with this.

This all means that I cannot be identified should the press/media become interested in my case either before, at the time, or afterwards. So I'll probably be known as Mrs X or something :whistle:

And I used the Human Rights Act to get it! (I love the Human Rights Act!)

Amanda :lol:

Edited by AAM, 24 January 2006 - 06:22 PM.





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