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The workplace ramifications of qualification under the equality act.

(2 Posts)
theredlion Sat 09-Apr-16 12:01:42

I'm asking for a friend of mine.
She has had a bout of severe mental health problems, including suicide attempts.
The relevant agencies are involved and thankfully she is now on the road to recovery, although her progress is understandably slow.

She is a teacher, an Occupational Health Consultant visited her, her school paid for him. He wrote a report and the two points of interest.

. he has given her a very small window in which he recommends a phased return to work, I think she will need months.
This has increased her anxiety at a time when she needs any pressure on her to be kept to a minimum but I think this can be addressed as her Psychiatrist will write to suggest an alternative phased return over a longer period.

. the report says that she qualifies under the Equality Act.
The report makes no explanation of this or it's possible ramifications. My friend is concerned about what this could mean and how it might affect her future employment.

I've had a cursor internet search but it didn't come up with much. Can anyone tell us what this might all mean and the implications for her?

FreiasBathtub Sat 09-Apr-16 12:36:08

Sorry to hear about the tough times you've all been having, theredlion.

I'm not an employment lawyer but have some knowledge of the equality act. I'd assume in this context your friend's mental health issues qualify as a 'disability' under the act. This means that current or future employers are required to make 'reasonable adjustments' to enable her to work for them, and that she is protected from discrimination when finding a job or working. There's probably a lot more detail - for example, I don't know whether she has to declare her disability - but broadly I'd say it's a positive thing as it means she's protected. Hopefully that's reassuring for you both?

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