EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN
My legal/human/employment right of an employment tribunal was taken away from me by Gateshead CAB.
This is a copy of the Employment Tribunal statement that I had ready for the tribunal (written in 2003).
It is to show how hard I tried to get back into work after suffering from a serious head injury.
But no matter how hard I tried, certain people in Dunlop Tyres wanted me out. They tried to push me out illegally!
Then after advice from Washington Citizens Advice Bureau, who were very helpful, I felt as if I had no option but to put a claim in for disability discrimination to fight for my right to keep my job under DDA1995.
Whilst suffering serious mental health problems, caused by the way I had been treat at work and the threat of losing my job, which would mean financially struggling forever, I put serious effort by myself into organising a bundle with a statement of facts. It took a long time to gather lots of evidence and put the bundle together.
The bundle had a lot more evidence than what is linked below. The reason why I had coloured links in my statement was so I could easily locate documents in my files included in my bundle. (eg. evidence regarding extra duties placed on to me at work was a full folder explaining extra duties) This is how hard I worked and how ready I was for the tribunal!
But approximately three weeks before the tribunal, my representative, Wilf Holt of Gateshead Citizens Advice Bureau helped to submit a fraudulent document/false instrument into the Employment Tribunal which not only ended my right to a tribunal, but also ended my employment contract by saying that I agreed to leave work. (see poll for details of benefit entitlements)
So why would I go to the effort of having a statement regarding my side of the story and a big bundle of documents with evidence (links attached) ready, just to agree to leave?
The answer is I didn't!
EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL DETAILS
B NESBITT -V- DUNLOP TYRES LTD
CASE NUMBER: 2501738/2003
WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING AT WORK
I feel that it is important that everyone reads the epilepsy action fact sheets that I have provided.
There was a period of time whilst I was attending Rehab UK, where I feel that Dunlop’s attitude was being made apparent towards me. I feel that this has been their attitude towards me ever since. (Rehab- 11 sept 2001).
This is the way I have been treated at work, since I returned, following a period of time spent on the sick following a serious head injury.
OCT 2001 – MARCH 2002
Officially, I was still off work during this period of time. But I started going back to work in a work placement role, in the office, with the help of Rehab UK. I was led to believe that a certain job was there for me. Q-Tech Administration Assistant. But now, according to Dunlop, there was never any job available. (IT3 form – 7.4 and 7.5. And Wragge & Co - 17 july question 1.)
I had to try to convince people that I was good enough for the job. As far as I am aware, everything went OK. (rehab-10 oct, 24 oct, 2 nov, notes 12/11/01 – 14/11/01). After about 1 month, I went back to Rehab UK, to discuss my work placement and to gain qualifications that Dunlop had asked for. I felt as if it was required, because of the job I was led to believe was being offered to me.
Why did Dave Nelson require me to obtain qualifications if there was no actual job vacancy? (rehab –14 jan 2002 par 2)
I went back to Dunlop Tyres Ltd after I had gained computer qualifications at Rehab UK. I spent more time on the original job (Q – Tech Admin Assistant) before things started to change.
I was then given a job to do that involved data input. Was led to believe that this was my new position within the company. (rehab 15 feb 2002 par 2 and 2 april 2002 par3. Important: need rehab 28 feb 2002).
It was during this period of time when I came up with an idea to develop a programme on the computer to make the job easier. During this period of time, I spent some time at Dunlop and some time at Rehab UK. It was whilst I was attending Rehab UK when I came up with this idea. (Job 1A)
I believe that I took at least 10 hours off the actual job. So I started helping other people out by just doing the odd job for them.
This is when everything was going fine. (Form IT3 – 7.6)
MARCH 2002 – MAY 2002
I was officially signed off the sick in March 2002 and started back to work, which I always thought at the time, was a new position in full time employment. Everything seemed OK. I do agree, that up until this time, Dunlop had made reasonable adjustment. (IT3 form – 7.20)
Towards the end of April 2002, there was a meeting between me, Rehab UK and Dave Nelson. This is when things just seemed to start going wrong. After that meeting, Dave Nelson told me that he was going to stop my job coach from Rehab UK (Karen Belton), from ever setting foot back into Dunlop Tyres Ltd again. (still waiting for stuff from Rehab about this meeting).
I informed Rehab UK of this the next day.
Some days later, Dave Nelson came into the office where I worked and told me in a celebratory type of manner, that Rehab UK, would not be coming back into the Dunlop factory. He also said that Rehab UK would have nothing to do with me anymore, and that I have got nothing to do with them. He said a lot more in a celebratory type of manner to me. I believed him. (See letter, dated 1 May 2002, for what was actually stated by Rehab UK, to Dave Nelson). I feel it is important to note that I had no trust in the GMB Union Shop Steward at this time.
MAY 2002 – SEPTEMBER 2002
The following week was when I was given 2 extra duties to do as part of my job. I tried to do them. But I felt straight away, that this was far too much work for me to do. I think that 1 duty contained about 10 hours of extra work and the other about 25 hours. Which equals about 35 hours of extra work placed on to me. I felt that this meant I had nothing but pressure heaped on to me. This is when the ‘reasonable adjustment’ disappeared. (IT3 form – 7.20)
Dunlop could of got Rehab UK involved again at this point, if they did not believe me about having pressure put onto me. And the stress I was put under, because of the extra work I was given. (rehab 1 may 2002, par 3 and Remploy agreement signed 4 march 2002).
May 2002 is when things started to get worse and worse for me, not June 2002. (IT3 form – 7.8 and 7.9)
It was 14th May 2002, when I made a complaint of severe headaches. This was just a few days after trying to get to grips with the extra workload.
About a week later, I had what I think was my first epileptic seizure since I started back to work. After it happened, I went outside for some fresh air. I then went back inside to continue my work. But I could not concentrate back on my job, so I went back outside for more fresh air and relaxation. I think I then tried to get in touch with my job coach from Rehab UK for advice, but I could not. After spending more time outside, I then went back in again, to try and continue with my work. Again, I couldn’t. I also felt so tired, that I just wanted to get back home and go to bed. So I went to see the factory nurse, and told her what had just happened, and how I felt. She said that she could not send me back home and would have to speak to Dave Nelson. Dave Nelson came in to see me. I cannot remember much about what was said then. But it was an argument which I did not like being part of. I was then, eventually driven home by a security guard. (Med Rec: page 2, date 20/05/02). Important to note, that I was not on holiday on that date. (dun doc worksheet w/e 24/05/03).
The next day, I went to see the factory nurse and told her that I did not like the way I was treat by Dave Nelson. I made it clear to her, that it was not her that I felt was in the wrong, for the way I had been treat. But I made it clear to her, that if I ever experienced that feeling again at work, then I would not go to see her. The reason was because of the way I had been treat by Dave Nelson. So I would just sit down for the rest of the
day, say nothing, and do nothing. She did not want me to do that. But at that time, I felt as if I had no option. I definitely did not want to come into contact with Dave Nelson again whilst in that condition.
I later got in touch with Rehab UK to inform them what had happened.
I also told the Company Doctor what had happened.
I then thought that I would take this up with the Union Rep (Mick Avery). There were a few things said in this conversation. The 2 things that I remember the Union Rep say to me, was that whatever management tell me to do, I just have to do it. He also said that I should just think myself lucky, that I still have a job at Dunlop. I did not like what was said to me then. So I did not speak to Mick Avery for about 3 months after that. It was obvious to me, that he would not offer me any help or support.
That is when I started to think that everybody inside of the Dunlop factory just wanted rid of me. I thought I was backed into a corner and I did not know which way to turn from then on.
I continued to suffer epilepsy type problems.
It was June 2002 when I had time off work due to gout. (IT3 form – 7.7)
During this time, I tried my best, to come up with shortcuts in the job to try and cope with my workload better. (Job 2A and 2B)
I went back to work, 27th June 2002, when my gout problems had been sorted out. But to my amazement, my input data job, which I had been given, had been changed. I think about an extra 21 hours of work had been added to my job because of the changes. Nothing but more pressure and problems were created for me because of the changes that were made.
By July 2002, in my opinion, the amount of work I had to do was far too much.
When I was given the input data job, it was classed as a 37.5 hour week job. In May, I was given 2 extra duties to do. I think about an extra 35 hours of work. And then towards the end of June, I was given an extra 21 hours of work to do because of changes made in the data input job. I believe this equals about 93.5 hours of work to complete inside 37.5 hours. I believe, an impossible amount of work for anybody to complete. Which is why I mentioned it in the IT1 form.
Dunlop could of got back in touch with Rehab UK to see whether I was telling the truth about my situation. And I could have received some help then, if they did. (rehab 1 may 2002, par 3). At least a fair decision would have been made on my circumstances.
I would also like to concur that up until May 2002, my medical condition was OK. It was not exacerbated until May, when Dunlop started giving me extra duties to do, that I had to carry out. So does the statement, given by Dunlop. (IT3 form – 7.11) ‘The Company was aware that the administrative job that the Applicant had been doing before his sick leave had exacerbated his medical condition and did not want to put the Applicant in a position where this might reoccur.’ Does this mean that they accept that the extra workload they gave me, had consequences.
I also believe that ‘fluctuations in workload’ (IT3 form – 7.13 and 7.14) was not a cause of my problems. I will also say that the level of production did not make much difference to my job. The problem that I emphasised to Company staff, GMB Union Shop Steward and Company Doctor was that it was just the amount of work, which I was told that I had to do, was making me feel worse. It was exacerbating my medical condition. (IT3 form – 7.15 and Med Rec: page _, date 16 April 2003)
During this period, everybody seemed to ignore my predicament. Seizures were happening on a more regular basis. So were headaches and other related problems. I wanted my situation sorted out for health reasons, but couldn’t. (Med Rec: pages 2 and 3, dates 09/07/02 and 15/07/02. And also rehab 11 july 2002, 12 july 2002, 15 july 2002).
At this stage, I felt as though I was not receiving fair treatment from Dunlop Tyres Ltd. And I do not understand how Dunlop can justify this if they acknowledge it. (IT3 form – 7.19) I feel as if they did acknowledge it eventually. (Med Rec: page 5, date 14/08/02)
I disagree with IT3 form – 7.17. Because if the workload had been monitored correctly, and people had took notice of my concerns, then my medical condition would not of been exacerbated. I would of managed to achieve a job if monitored correctly. Then if Dunlop were not happy with the amount of work I was doing, then they could have made a complaint about me not doing enough work and took it from there. And I feel as if I wouldn’t have had this complaint to make against Dunlop, if it had been monitored correctly. I also feel that the evidence in my file should be looked at properly, concerning whether I had a manageable amount of work to do or not.
I was never put in contact with Health and Safety Reps connected with Dunlop during this period.
On one occasion, the Personnel Officer, Dave Nelson, came to my desk where I was working. He wriggled his fingers next to my face. Telling me that I must be very scared thinking that everyone was plotting against me, just to get rid of me. He went on for a few minutes saying similar things to me. I think to get me agitated and worked up. But I remained calm and turned towards my computer screen and tried to ignore him. Eventually, he walked away.
I informed the nurse of this.
I had a meeting with the Company Doctor, and told him about the way the Personnel Officer was treating me. He said that he would look into it, and try and sort it out.
At a later date, 12/08/02, (Med Rec: page 5, date 14/08/02), a member of staff, Richard Coyles, started dealing with me, instead of Dave Nelson. I told him of the difficulties that I was having at work. I think he tried to help sort problems out for me. But he could not sort the problems out, regarding the extra workload, which was put on to my data input job. It was the 12th August 2002, when Richard Coyles started dealing with me, not June 2002, which Dunlop tries to suggest. (IT3 form – 7.9)
I believe, it is the way I was treat by Dave Nelson, is why he got taken away from me and Richard Coyles started dealing with me. (Med Rec: pages 3, 4 and 5, dates 08/08/02 and 14/08/02)
Another thing that happened, about the same time, was the Union Rep accused me of trying to press charges against the Company on Disability Discrimination. At that time, I did not realise what Disability Discrimination was. So I did not do what he had said I had done. This was the first time we had spoken to each other for about 3 months.
Two days later, he apologised and said that it was not me who had tried to press charges. I then asked him to look at the amount of work that I had been given to do. He took a look. And after a few minutes, he just shook his head and walked away without saying anything. Again, I got the impression that he would not help me sort my work related problems out. We did not speak to each other again after this for a long time.
I had an appointment with an Epilepsy Consultant from the RVI Hospital and told her about the problems I was experiencing at work. She put me in contact with an Epilepsy Liaison Nurse to try and help sort the problems out. She got in touch with Rehab UK to get involved again. And she also wrote a letter to Dunlop. (Med Rec: page 9, date 31 July 2002 ) I feel as if that letter was ignored. After a few more appointments with her, I was told to see my Doctor.
Rehab UK also wrote a letter to Dunlop. (rehab 15 aug 2002).
Eventually, a meeting between work, Rehab UK and myself was organised.
After the meeting was organised, is when 1 of the extra duties I had to do, was taken off me. Not in June, which Dunlop tries to suggest. (IT3 form – 7.8) I think my medical condition was worse by this stage, so I still could not cope with my workload.
It was just a few days before the planned meeting with Dunlop, Rehab UK and myself when I had to see my GP. I was told that I definitely have epilepsy and had to start taking medication. We came to an agreement, that I would go back to see him, just after the planned meeting at work too discuss the outcome of the meeting.
The meeting between me, Rehab UK and Richard Coyles took place. I can’t remember much about the meeting. It felt like the truth was not being spoken by Richard Coyles. I think I just basically switched off from that meeting because of what was being said. Dunlop Tyres Ltd just seemed to be covering themselves. And whatever Richard Coyles was saying, seemed to be believed by Rehab UK. I just wanted to get out of that meeting at that point, which is why I just switched off.
After the meeting, it was made clear to me that there would be no changes made in my working conditions. Which is not what was supposedly said at the meeting.
It still seemed to me, that there was a wall built by Dunlop. And it was impossible to knock it down.
The next day, I was advised by my Doctor to go back on the sick. So I did for genuine health reasons.
I did not know whom to get in touch with regarding Health and Safety issues at work. In my circumstances, I feel it is illegal for nobody to put me in direct contact with Health and Safety Reps at work regarding my health problems.
I feel it was not right to be kept on given extra work to do when I was keep on complaining about my health issues.
According to the IT3 form – 7.4, I was given a short-term post until 30th September 2003. Nobody told me of this. Nobody told Rehab UK of this. In fact Dunlop were still discussing that particular job I was doing, and the way forward in me continuing with that job, with Rehab UK after that date. (rehab 4 oct 2002, 10 oct 2002). It was December 18th 2002, when I was told that that job no longer exists. It was the Company Doctor who told me this. (Med Rec: page 6, date 18/12/02) Later that day, Mick Avery also told me. The only people not to tell me this were Dunlop Tyres Ltd.
Why is it, that even though I have produced proof, of been given too much work to do, everybody is ignoring that fact? I had approx. 2500 calculations to work out on a calculator, I think, is about 25 hours of work. The programs, which I produced on the computer, changed this amount of work to about 5 hours. (Jobs 1A, 2A and 2B) This means that I cut about 20 hours off the job. So this means, according to Dunlop, I cut the amount of work, which they gave me to do, from 37.5 hours of work, down to 17.5 hours of work a week. So according to Dunlop I am arguing the case that I could not cope with 17.5 hours of work to do each week. This is not true. The fact is, I took at least 20 hours of work off the job, and I still had more than 37.5 hours of work still to do each week.
Why did Dunlop Tyres Ltd not stick to the agreement, which they signed up to with Remploy. When, if I had any difficulties at work regarding my job, then they would get in touch with Remploy / Rehab UK, so that I would start to receive help in my predicament.
WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING
WHILST NOT AT WORK
Whilst at work, I did not like the way I was treat. But I just wanted everything sorted out amicably. This never happened.
So I was signed on the sick by my GP because of epilepsy.
I am now actually suspended from work on health grounds. Which is why I eventually put in for Disability Discrimination to the Employment Tribunal. It was obvious that Dunlop just wanted rid of me by not allowing me back into work.
This is the way I have been treat whilst not at work.
SEPT 2002 – DEC 2002
I spent the rest of September, October and November relaxing and recuperating at home. I was expecting to go back to work on 13th January 2003 to do what I was previously doing.
So during December, I spent time at home, trying to come up with new ideas on how to cope with the job I was previously doing. I would not of done this if I had any idea that the job was not available to me anymore. I came up with new ways of doing the input data type job, which had about an extra 21 hours of work added. (Job 2B)
I was expecting to put this programme into operation just in the New Year. But problems started with work just before Christmas.
I had to see the Company Doctor on 18th of December. I told him about the medical appointments I had during the first full week of January. And how I expected to be back on the 13th of January. But, that is when he told me that the job that I was doing, no longer exists. (Med rec: pages 5 and 6, date 18/12/02) I asked him where I stood, regarding my job within Dunlop. He said he didn’t know. So I went to see the Union Shop Steward (Mick Avery), and asked him. He also said that he didn’t know. Later that day, Mick Avery phoned me up and told me that I had been dismissed from Dunlop, on medical health grounds. And I should go in and sign a form so that I could start receiving my pension. I did not.
I tried to put this to the back of my head over the Christmas period.
This is the day when my whole predicament involving Dunlop Tyres Ltd and the GMB Union started to get even worse.
JAN 2003 – APRIL 2003
On 3rd of January, Mick Avery phoned me up again. Told me again that I had been dismissed from Dunlop. Told me that my pay was being stopped and that I should go in and sign the form, to start getting a pension. I told him, that I was not unable to do a 37.5 hour week job. And that nobody would be able to do the amount of work that I was given to do. I told him that I would not sign the form that he wanted me to sign. A heated conversation followed, and I told him that I was going to seek advice.
I phoned ACAS, who told me it was totally illegal what had happened, and get in touch with CAB. Also told to write to management and ask if I had been dismissed. (Dun cor: 6 Jan 2003)
Extreme symptoms linked with a head injury happened on that day.
8th January 2003, I went to see CAB, and told them what Mick Avery had said to me. (CAB notes: 8/12/03)
9th January 2003, received a letter off Personnel Manager (John Goatman). He said that I had not been dismissed. Also said, ‘should any options relate to you, we would communicate to you directly.’ (Dun cor: 7 Jan 2003) My wages were not paid on that day. Exactly the day Mick Avery said that they would not.
10th January 2003, spoke to the Regional Organiser on phone. Said that Mick Avery denies everything that he said to me. Also said, that Mick Avery had told him that Dunlop had paid me sick pay from October 2000 until March 2002 whilst I was off sick. I have proof to confirm that that statement is also not true. Also told me that if I continue to seek outside advice then the GMB Union would pull out and not back me.
But I took advice from ACAS and went to see CAB. Again told that lots of things are not right regarding my situation. Told to send another letter to Dunlop.
16th January 2003, sent another letter to Personnel Manager, too ask about wages, since I had never been paid again, and about my job. (Dun cor: 16 Jan 2003)
21st January 2003, received reply. Was told that they made an error regarding my wages. But my sick pay is exhausted. Did not feel as though I had been given an answer about my position within the Company. (Dun cor: 20 Jan 2003) So I tried to get in touch with Regional Organiser about my position, but couldn’t.
28th January 2003, I went to see my GP to get signed off the sick and return back to work, 3rd February 2003, to see what was happening regarding my situation at work. Since nobody would tell me.
30th January 2003, got in touch with Disability Rights Commission (DRC), for advice on returning to work, because I felt as if I was still getting no help from the GMB Union.
31st January 2003, spoke to my Disability Employment Advisor (DEA) and Rehab UK about me returning to work on the 3rd Feb. I asked them for advice, but was basically told off both parties that they have no say in the way I get treat at work. There is nothing that they can do to help me, if I continue to be treat illegally. Nothing anyone can do.
It was on the same day, but in the afternoon. A hand delivered letter got dropped through my letterbox. Telling me not to go into work on the 3rd Feb. I had to see Company Doctor on the 5th Feb.
5th February 2003, told the Company Doctor that I could do 37.5 hours of work a week in the office, but no more. I told him that I was ready to return to work. Company Doctor told me that discussions would take place between him and Personnel about my return to work. And just wait until someone gets in touch.
Spent time, waiting for someone from Dunlop, to get in touch with me, regarding my situation. Since letter dated 7th January 2003 states, ‘should any options relate to you, we would communicate to you directly.’
Still didn’t know what my position was within the company. Two weeks after I had spoken to the Company Doctor. So I got in touch with DRC, for advice. They told me to write letters to the Personnel Manager to ask what my position is within the Company. And also, to the GMB Union to ask whether they are assisting me in my predicament. Sent letters off on the 20th February 2003. (Dun cor: 20 Feb 2003 * 3)
28th February 2003, received a reply from Personnel Manager. Confirming that I was still on paid suspension from work. At no time had I ever been told this. (IT3 form – 7.16) Nobody communicated with me directly, regarding this. Which does relate to me.
Over two weeks passed without replies from the GMB Union.
18th March 2003, received a letter from DRC, basically telling me that my case with them is closed because I am a member of the GMB Union.
Four weeks passed without replies from the GMB Union. So I then sent letter off to Kevin Curran (Regional Secretary of the GMB Union). His response was that he would investigate my concerns.
Had a meeting with Stephen Thompkins (GMB Union Rep), on the 3rd of April. He told me that he would be investigating the way I’ve been treat by Dunlop and by Mick Avery. Was told by him that the GMB Union is now in control of what is happening.
5th April 2003, received another letter from Kevin Curran. This time he says that a Tom Ross would investigate my situation regarding my concerns.
8th April 2003, sent off IT1 form to GMB Union.
I feel that it is important to note that the GMB Union have never carried out an investigation concerning me that I am aware of. They have continued to ignore my situation. I also have ongoing notes from the date I sent the IT3 form off up to the present day.
It is also important to note that I have received no help at all from the GMB Union. In my opinion I would have received more help if I had not been part of the GMB Union. I might have had a caseworker from the DRC helping me out in this Employment Tribunal.
I have also received no help from Thompsons solicitors, who the GMB Union sent me too. They say because of lack of evidence. But the truth is, that they did not even look at any.
So I have received no help off anybody regarding this Employment Tribunal. So I think this is not an actual fair Tribunal.