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What would you do?

Hi I don’t come on here very often but boy do I need some advice and reckon this is the best place to get it.

My role is being made redundant and I’ve got to add here that I’ve been very lucky. Firstly because I’m still able to work (albeit with some help) full time and secondly I was diagnosed 20 years ago and for now I’m still at the same company. I’ve been working compressed hours so that I work 9 days out of 10 and this has been an unbelievable help.

I’m now working my notice and have been looking for another job.

So far I’ve applied for 3, the first I’ve already had an interview for. I would love that job and did really well at the interview the downside is it’s more hours, will take twice as long to get to and there is no flexible working. So even if I’m lucky enough to get the job I won’t be able to take it.

The second my application is being progressed, it’s more hours than I work at present and as yet I don’t now if I will be able to work flexibly.

I’ve not disclosed on either of these 2 that I have MS.

The third state that they ‘supports the Positive about Disability Scheme. Candidates with a disability who meet the minimum criteria for the post will be guaranteed an interview.’ I still put the same effort into the application as the other 2 . The only difference was that I disclosed I have MS. Now as I have 5 years experience in the role I’ve applied for and got the qualification requested I foolishly thought that I would get an interview.

Not the case I got an email today stating that my application has been unsuccessful. Spot the irony.

After my colleagues peeled me off the ceiling I sent an email back. I’m really proud I didn’t rant and call them every name under the sun. I calmly reminded them that they support the Positive about disability scheme and asked what minimum criteria I didn’t meet.

What I need to know is how far do you think I should take this? I’m not even sure that I will go to an interview now if I manage to get one, or is that cutting my noise off to spite my face. And if I don’t get an interview should I go after them for discrimination?

Sorry about the rant but you are probably the only people that will understand my frustration.

Denise

Hiya

Sorry to hear that you are being made redundant after working for the same company for so long.

I think you need to wait to see what they come back with as to why you didn’t get an interview. I think the job market being as it is at the moment, a company can afford to be very picky about who they choose to interview and it may not have anything to do with the fact that you mentioned MS in your application. Unless they come back and say that this is the reason you didn’t get an interview, it will be very hard to prove otherwise and therefore, going after them for discrimination would be very difficult.

I think asking them why you didn’t get an interview is the right thing to do, even if it’s just to settle your mind that it’s not because you declared MS on your application. Of course if it is because of that you can then consider if you feel it’s worth taking it further.

I know from interviewing for staff in the past, you can easily find a reason not to give someone a job if you don’t want to, from application or from interview, that covers up the real reason you don’t want them to have the job. It might not be right but it’s the way of the world unfortunately.

Sue

I do agree with what Sue has said, although it does seem a little odd that the “guaranteed interview” scheme didn’t seem to apply, even though there was no obvious reason why you would not meet the “minimum requirements”. Why would they brag about such a scheme, if a disabled person thinking: “Oh good!” finds it doesn’t work in practice? Unless they don’t realise MS automatically constitutes a disability under the law, and therefore have not counted you as “disabled” for the purposes of the scheme? It would be nice to think HR would be in-the-know about such things, but you can imagine someone not well-versed in the finer points of the law thinking: “Hmmm, an illness isn’t exactly a disability, is it?”

I certainly think you’ve done the right thing in challenging it, and I do think you have to wait for the response.

However, I’m not sure I’d want the stress of taking it further, if the answer’s still no, or if they make a token gesture of inviting you to interview, but you already know you won’t get the job.

I think there are several things to consider here: IF you decided to take them to a tribunal, what compensation, if any, might you get? As you wouldn’t have been guaranteed to get the job, even if you’d been offered the interview, you can hardly claim for loss of a job that was already “in the bag”. You might get a small amount for hurt feelings, and for wasted time and trouble in applying for a “guaranteed” interview you didn’t get, but I don’t see that you could get anything in respect of lost earnings for a job that might never have materialised anyway.

And suppose, in the face of a challenge, they backtracked and offered you the job? Would you still want to work for them, if you’d had to resort to the law to get that far? It doesn’t seem a very auspicious start to a new career, does it, if they were forced to take you against their wishes. What would the subsequent employer-employee relationship be like? Wouldn’t it be better to work for someone who’d welcomed you, rather than grudgingly agreed to take you, because they’d got their knuckles rapped?

I know it’s not the same, but when I was made redundant last year, one of the factors I took into account about whether to mount an appeal was how much I really wanted to fight for a job where they clearly didn’t want me. If I’d been successful, what would it have meant? I’d have carried on working for an organisation I knew didn’t want me, and I’m not sure how far their frustration at being thwarted would have impacted my subsequent treatment. I’d hardly be first in line for any promotions, pay rises, or exciting new opportunities, if they’d just tried unsuccessfully to chuck me out, would I?

So I didn’t think it was worth the hassle of fighting to stay where I wasn’t wanted.

Tina

x

Don’t waste your time on people who don’t want you - there’s no point. It sounds as though your job hunting to date has been fruitful, even if you do not quite find something to fit right now. Good luck with it - I hope you find the right one for you very soon. Alison

Hi

Thanks for your comments I agree with everything that’s been said. On reflection I really don’t want to work there no matter what they come back to me with.

Hopefully I will get something soon, it will take more than this to stop me trying.

Thanks again

Denise