DUNLOP TYRES LTD
How I was treated when I returned to work
* Highlighted text can be clicked to see further details
I was still attending Tyne and Wear Brain Injury Vocational Centre (Rehab UK) working on rehabilitation from the serious head injury that I had acquired when I first returned to work.
A brain injury is complex to understand. No brain injury is the same. Unfortunately, it has a stigma attached, which is not helpful to the victim.
When I returned to work at Dunlop Tyres, it was classed as a “work placement”, when I was still officially on the sick from work.
So I started back to work part time on a work placement.
The purpose of going back to work whilst still officially on the sick was to be eased back in to the working environment and see what I was capable of doing. It was to test if I had recovered enough and would be capable enough to go back to work full time.
Dunlop Tyres were told comprehensively that I would not be able to go back to work on the factory shop floor to do my old job prior to my head injury in the foreseeable future without reasonable adjustments being made.
No reasonable adjustments could be made, so Dunlop Tyres had to see if other jobs were available.
This is the reason why Disability Employment Laws exist!
At that time, there was a job being advertised internally within the factory. The job title was Q-Tech Administration Assistant. I believed I was given the opportunity to prove myself and see whether I would be suitable for that role when I returned to work full time.
At that time, I believed that I had to convince Dunlop employees and employers that I was capable of returning to work in order to be offered the job. So I did as much as I could.
So I started working alongside someone called Steve working in a Q-Tech admin post. All work I was given, was carried out and was performed with no problems.
A positive report was given to the Dunlop Tyres Personnel Officer. But for some (still unknown) reason, the Personnel Officer told Rehab UK Job Coach nothing but negatives regarding my work placement.
The person, who I worked alongside, even went to the lengths of reacquiring the report he made regarding me, and sent it to my job coach in order to inform her and not misinform her, as the Dunlop Tyres Personnel Officer did!
The Personnel Officer then stated to Rehab UK that I needed qualifications for the job advertised. The Rehab UK Job Coach ensured Dunlop that this could be achieved.
So I went back to Rehab UK for a short period of time and successfully gained the qualifications needed.
When I returned to Dunlop with all necessary qualifications, whilst still officially on the sick, I went back working in the Q-Tech admin post.
Then after a while, for no reason, I was given a different job to do.
I took over from someone else who was doing a data input job for machine downtime. I was told that this was my new role inside of Dunlop Tyres.
So I was both disappointed that the Q-Tech admin assistant post no longer exists, but also happy that I was given a full time job to do that I proved I was capable of doing.
Whilst in my new role, most of the job was working lots of calculations out using a calculator. It was the same calculations, but obviously with different numbers/results.
Because of the qualifications and IT skills I learned at Rehab UK, I designed a programme on the computer to make the job much easier. Because of this, I created time to help my old colleague in Q-Tech admin out, because he felt over stretched with work since I was no longer working alongside him.
Then when the “work placement” was coming to an end, the Rehab UK Job Coach and Dunlop Personnel Officer had a meeting with me to make a decision regarding my future.
The Rehab UK Job Coach was very impressed with my return to work and everything seemed positive.
So when Hospital Consultants were satisfied that I was doing work that I was capable of doing, which would not affect my health, I was signed off the sick and was officially working full time.
Dunlop Tyres did sign a Remploy agreement in order that I would remain in contact with the Rehab UK Job Coach, Remploy and a Disability Employment Advisor whilst at work. It was in case I had any problems, then someone would be brought in to try and solve any issues.
This agreement lasted 6 months and was for my health and safety!
But within one month I was told by the Personnel Officer that my Job Coach would have nothing to do with me or Dunlop Tyres anymore.
After a while, I was given a second job, which meant more extra duties to do. An amount the Personnel Officer knew I would not be able to cope with.
At the same time, my original job was altered too. I had to collect a different type of data sheet to do the same job. So I had to collect wrong data to do my job which made it impossible.
I was told if I don’t complete the work that I had to do within the working week then I would be sacked.
I can’t remember much about work from that point on. All I know is that I was told that I started having approximately 3 epileptic seizures a day inside of work.
The Dunlop Tyres Ltd personnel Officer should have been in touch with Rehab UK, Remploy or DEA at this point, but didn’t.
Instead, after me having seizures inside of work, Dunlop Personnel were letting me get in my car and drive home. I believe I could have had a serious accident if I had a seizure whilst driving.
It is hard to explain, but I did not realise what I was doing. It was if I was living in a subconscious world.
I believe that Dave Nelson, the Personnel Officer of Dunlop Tyres, knew what he was doing. He wanted me to have a serious car accident and just wanted me dead!
One day, I remember the Personnel Officer waving his fingers in my face and telling me how scared I must be, knowing no one likes me and how everyone just wanted rid of me. Boasting how I would not receive any help from Rehab UK or the GMB Union.
I think he just wanted me to punch him!
As much as I wanted too, I knew that would be a sackable offence, so turned the other way and stared at a wall until he walked away.
I knew that the Remploy agreement meant nothing by this point!
All I could do was inform relevant bodies, both inside and outside of work, on the extra workload placed on me and the effects it was having upon my health.
All the likes of Remploy and Rehab UK could do, was advise me to leave work, but I couldn’t afford too.
An official letter was written to Dunlop Tyres Ltd regarding how the pressure they placed on me inside of work could/would trigger epileptic seizures. That letter was ignored by Dunlop Tyres.
Factory Nurse and Doctor could not do anything.
See the GMB Union report page on how they reacted towards me.
I thought everyone was supposed to have employment as well as legal rights. How wrong I was!
All my rights were taken away from me by Dunlop Tyres.
So, unbelievably, after explaining all my serious medical problems to staff inside of the factory, I was then given a third job to do, which meant more extra duties.
I believe these extra duties tipped me well over the edge and I my mental health lost total control.
The Personnel Officer was stopped from seeing me again and another member of staff took over. I do believe he tried to help resolve the situation, but realised straight away that there was nothing he could do to help me.
I was eventually forced back on the sick because of epileptic seizures that I was having and needed to rehabilitate again.
Whilst on the sick, I was called into an appointment with the Company Doctor. He told me that I no longer have a job at Dunlop Tyres Ltd.
So I went to see the GMB Union Shop Steward. Later that day, he phoned me up to confirm that my employment contract with Dunlop Tyres had been terminated. He wanted me to go back into work and sign an agreement. I refused.
The only people not to tell me that I had been finished from work were Dunlop Tyres Ltd management!
I was again telephoned by the GMB Union Shop Steward and told to see him to sign a form if I wanted to start receiving my pension.
I informed ACAS of this, who told me that I was being treated illegally by the GMB Union and Dunlop Tyres.
I was advised by ACAS to have everything recorded by Citizens Advice, which is what I did.
I tried to find out what was happening with Dunlop Tyres Personnel Manager. He said that he would communicate with me directly if anything happens relating to me. But I continued being told by third parties that I was finished from Dunlop Tyres.
This led to the legal dispute, where all of my rights were taken away from me by Gateshead CAB!