After working in hotels and the Leisure and tourism industry for most of my life I deecide it was about time I left this trade and get a normal 9-5 job away from unsociable hours and stinking pubs.
I got a job in a very large call centr and after intense training was rather succesful at my job.
I exceeded all my sales targets being awarded sales person of the month 6 months in a row and was promoted to sales coach, more money less hours not manning the phones. Ideal.
When I first started the job my line manager arranged a risk assesment for me due to my epilepsy. I saw the company doctor and we went through any special requirements needed to do my job safely. This was a very positive response as I had never known an employer to go so out of the way to help.
My line managers and head of department were all given literature about epilepsy highlighting the problems that may incurr. Again very promising.
As I could have predicted I suffered a seizure, about 3 months into my new post, at home therefore had to take some time off.
After one seizure I am just about gauranteed to suffer two or three more within the next few days so had to be off for the week. As I would be absent for seven days or less I sent in a self certificate explaing why I would be absent (this is legal for the first week in Britain).
As stated in the literature given to my employers from their own medical officer I sleep for about twelve to fourteen hours after a seizure and as I lived alone friends and family are always very concerned but I, determined to be independant, didnt inform anyone.
When I returned to work I was given a back to work interview (becoming more and more popular with employers up here).
During this interview I was, to my astonishment, accused of taking unauthorised abscence and if I was to avoid given a written warning that I was to obtain a doctors certificate. A doctor can only issue a certificate if they treat you and as I know whats wrong and know that nothing can be done immediately I hardly ever have treatment for my usual seizures.
My department manager therefore issued a written warning although I had pointed out these facts and the fact that I and their own medic had prewarned that due to my condition, I hate saying condition makes it sound like a disease, this made no difference.
I then received a second written warning due to the fact that I did not personnally call in every day to update them and inform when I may be able to return to work. I reminded them that I sleep for hours on end and cannot possibly be expected to call in everyday at 6am, one hour before the begining of my shift, due to this problem. No avail.
Two written warnings for being epileptic.
A demotion because of the two written warnings.
Not authorised to take any more sick days for 6 months or instant dismissal.
So much for positive action.
I took advice and tried to fight their decission. Citizens advice, lawyers and my Union but for some reason got nowhere fast! Frustration is not the word I would use.
Eventually I had to leave the job before I was pushed.
Just another thing we have to endure...and am sure it wont be the last time.