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To ask about capability and disability in the workplace

(23 Posts)
Exileinengland1999 Wed 01-Feb-17 17:55:16

I have a colleague who has bi-polar which is managed as much as possible by drugs for which I have sympathy as its really hard. But they are also usually off work for about half of each year. The job is demanding and quite stressful and the woman in question can't manage the workload, is disorganised, chaotic, makes lots of mistakes etc. Adjustments under the equality act have been made and yet still they can't cope. But all that's said at work is that it's all because of their disability and the mistakes are overlooked.
It makes me cross - this person can't do their job despite reasonable adjustments so when does it become capability? It's a high level highly paid role that they are taking a full salary for and yet they can't manage it.
Aibu to ask for advice- I'm not a line manager but just work there

SilverDragonfly1 Wed 01-Feb-17 18:12:47

Are you picking up extra work because of it? If so, speak to management about taking on a temp. Otherwise, it's a nose out situation I'm afraid.

flossietoot Wed 01-Feb-17 18:16:40

Probably more complex than you are aware, and they possibly already have her on a performance improvement plan that you aren't aware of.
Unless it is directly impacting on you I would suggest you leave it to management to deal with. Could be issues around her claiming unfair dismissal or pensions deficit or their failure to provide the required level of support.

Exileinengland1999 Wed 01-Feb-17 18:17:44

Yup, a few of us covering extra work. So nothing can be done?

Fallonjamie Wed 01-Feb-17 18:21:14

Employers have to make reasonable adjustments. They can still terminate people's contracts for not doing the job properly/taking too much time off sick.

flowery Wed 01-Feb-17 18:23:52

Odd place to ask this. As you have asked for advice, my advice to you is to raise your concerns about your own workload with your line manager.

Yes if someone is off six months of the year and is not capable of doing the job when they are there, it should normally be possible to dismiss them for capability despite a disability, provided various steps about reasonable adjustments/medical advice etc have been taken and every effort made to resolve the problem. Employers are not expected to keep people employed indefinitely who can't do the job.

But as you are not managing the person, that doesn't help you at all, because all you can do is complain to your line manager about how you are negatively affected.

scaryclown Wed 01-Feb-17 18:24:59

this sounds weird. in the old days a boss who couldn't organise his workload would be giveb a highly effective PA to sort out paperwork, diaries, work priorities and a work timetable that fits the boss's personal style and characteristics. If its organisation that she's bad at, sort that out.

Why companies find managing oeople so difficult is beyond me!

What are the things she is good at and core? The rest should be given to a support role for her, not hoofed off for others to pick up. A PA is a reasonable adjustment...

ReginaGeorgeinSheepsClothing Wed 01-Feb-17 18:33:51

Would their salary be adjusted then if the company was having to employ someone else to do part of their work then?

scaryclown Wed 01-Feb-17 18:36:37

not necessarily, it depends on why she gets the salary. If its for expertise, decision making and status then no, if its for handling a lot of admin only, then maybe.

EggysMom Wed 01-Feb-17 18:40:35

I'm a manager in just such a situation. I can only tell you that it takes a very long time to go through the correct steps to determine that such an individual, despite the reasonable adjustments, is not fit to work in their current role/location. Occupational health referrals, meetings with the individual, introducing and monitoring an improvement plan, more meetings - it's not a quick thing to resolve if employers want to ensure that they have handled the issue appropriately and are not leaving themselves susceptible to a court case.

If your own workload is affected, speak to your line manager and ask what help you can get.

2014newme Wed 01-Feb-17 19:16:18

Reasonable adjustments don't extend to half the year off and being crap. She would go through capability process and be terminated on the grounds of ill health where I work in hr.

monkeywithacowface Wed 01-Feb-17 19:20:30

What do you need advice with exactly? You said you just work there so how is it any of your business?

If you feel YOUR workload isn't manageable or you feel your salary does not reflect the level of responsibility you have then you should address that with your manager.

Sounds like this person has an employer that wants to be supportive I'm not sure what you are hoping to achieve here?

Exileinengland1999 Wed 01-Feb-17 19:32:34

Well actually @monkey it's because people where I work are bloody tired of carrying the workload of someone who is never there and yet is getting paid more than all of us. It's divisive in the workplace.
And I posted in here for traffic/ advice

Exileinengland1999 Wed 01-Feb-17 19:34:04

Posted before finish- I posted here for traffic/ advice as there are often people on here who can give perspective. No one has been able to advise us of our position as apparently we don't matter

Exileinengland1999 Wed 01-Feb-17 19:35:01

No one where I work I mean- people on here are very helpful and give a different perspective

LivingInMidnight Wed 01-Feb-17 19:44:06

Workload can be changed as a reasonable adjustment. Work can be given to other people if necessary. You may not even know all the adjustments, it's personal.

If you have a problem with your workload, raise it.

It's actually pretty horrible when people question your adjustments. It's tough enough working with a disability to begin with.

monkeywithacowface Wed 01-Feb-17 19:51:47

So go to your manager and say I do not feel my salary reflects my work load or my work load isn't manageable. Whether you like it or not this other employees disability and arrangements at work are NOT you business. It's not her fault your manager expects you to cover her work.

You need to address how they are managing your role inadequately and go from there. Management are your issue not this other person

mambono5 Wed 01-Feb-17 19:52:31

A PA is a reasonable adjustment...
When great PA demands (and deserve) salaries of £50k at the very minimum, it's not a small adjustment to make. The worker has better be good and bring something to the business to justify such "adjustment".

HappyAsASandboy Wed 01-Feb-17 19:55:44

Having managed such employees in my pat, I can assure you that you might not (and should not) know when action is being taken.

If you are public sector then the procedures take ages. IME it takes about 18 months from someone deciding to take action, even though though the flowchart son the intranet will make you think you can do it in three months.

WayfaringStranger Wed 01-Feb-17 20:04:18

YABU, it's none of your business. What is your business is the increased work load and pay not reflecting this. You are perfectly entitled to explain that you are taking on more work and you feel you need a pay review. You are not entitled to relate it to your ill colleague. As a manager, this wouldn't impress me.

Livelovebehappy Wed 01-Feb-17 20:08:40

Your company will have to do everything by the book to avoid being sued. If you work for a big comany, they will probably have something in place. We do. Had a woman working with us who had a bad back. Her workstation was amended to accommodate her; rising desk, very expensive chair and even flexible working (she was worse in the mornings so they allowed her to start later.) But she was off work for long periods, and then a three stage process was put in place. She was eventually on stage 3 and 'let go'. She fought it tooth and nail, but because the correct process had been followed, she has no case. Therefore maybe find out your HR policy which might show you the process for situations like this. I agree, it is unfair when other colleagues have to carry her.

MidniteScribbler Wed 01-Feb-17 20:45:59

Speak to your manager and raise your workload and pay level with him. At no point reference this other employee, her lack of performance, or her disability, or use the phrase 'we' as in 'we all feel it is unfair'. Let the other employees do their own dirty work.

Instead something along the lines of 'as my workload has increased dramatically lately, I have taken it upon myself to keep track of the work I am doing and the hours it has taken. This work would normally be paid at a Xxxx level, whilst I am only at Xxx. In light of my demonstration that I am able to manage this workload and succeed at it, I ask that my pay level be adjusted to reflect this'. Make sure you have kept track of all the extra work you are doing, have customer feedback on your work if possible, and prove that you are worth the extra pay. And do not discuss it with your colleagues, only your manager. Let the company deal with their other employees as they see fit.

Astoria7974 Wed 01-Feb-17 20:52:21

The thing is this could be turned around with the right adjustment. A very senior manager where I work has severe Bipolar Disorder to the point where he'd be signed off for months at a time (and once tried to kill himself). His salary was in the hundreds of thousands so he asked his boss for a top of the range PA and offered to cut his salary by the amount of the PAs (80k). The manager is now a top performer and on track to replace the outgoing CEO - his improvement is so marked his boss reinstated his salary and gave him a pay rise.

So you have no idea really how far the company's gone to help. From your post it seems like they're being very unsupportive - letting her work go to you rather than proactively managing it.

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