At The Codpast not only do we create the best freaking Dyslexic content on the planet. We also strive to create the biggest, best and most supportive online community for students and adult dyslexics. One way we hope to do that is via Question Corner.
If you have a Dyslexia related questions involving work, college or Uni, we will put them out to our network of experts to get you the help and advice you need. To get your question answered, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
This months question:
Dear Question Corner, please could you advise on my current situation, I have been working for an organisation for over 10 years, without any problems up until 6 month ago, where a lot of changes took place – new managers, placed in different roles. This is where I started to struggle so went and arranged an assessment for dyslexia. It showed mild to moderate.
I was worried disclosing this to the manager, however took the plunge, the manger was not happy that I went and had the assessment privately and would not look at the report, however he said that he would be in contact through HR and an occupational therapist to reassess.
I felt so confused why the assessment that I paid for he was not prepared to read. I was hoping to have Access to Work to put in place the recommendations, as I was feeling anxious at work due to the changes and my work role.
I am now off work due to stress and I have not heard from the manager about any arrangements to have another assessment. I don’t feel I can face going back unless some support has been put in place. I have been off for a month now, and not sure what to do.
This question was originally posted on: www.beingdyslexic.co.uk
Answer 1: Nicole Le Maire,CEO, New to HR
The reaction from your manager (new, I assume) is human, likely he/she has never had to deal with this, instead of going through the report with you – which is what should have happened – the person was not able to handle the situation well (scary word – Dyslexia). And that by making small adaptations from the report recommendations an employee – you – could have been supported.
It worries me that you are sitting at home with stress though, there is not need for this at all.
The business is not allowed to force you to go to take another assessment, and can only ask you to do a new assessment, if you personally agree to it (which I would not, at this stage). Likely it is clear to HR that this should have never happened (the response from your manager), and that especially after 10 years in the organisation you are seen as hard loyal worker. This is likely the reason why you have not heard from your manager/HR.
I am not allowed to give you any legal advice, however I do believe it important that you immediately go by one of the free legal offices in your city, as you should write a letter to your HR Director, explaining what happened, why you felt that you needed a Dyslexic assessment (goodwill and helps with adaptations in job role) and your willingness to come back to work (in a stress-free environment). You may also be moving into a different procedure soon by being off work any longer and should make contact with your organisation’s HR Director either via a legal advisor or a different third party.
Change can be daunting and especially for some one with Dyslexia, but it can also highlight great new things!
Nicole Dominique Le Maire, a Dutch Dyslexic with a MAHRM and MBA is a nationally and internationally recognised leader in the Human Resources industry. As the CEO of New to HR, she values collaboration, and she respects the unique input that each talented individual brings to the table. Find out more about Nicole at: newtohr.com
Answer 2: Sue Flohr, National Helpline Manager, BDA
Feeling stressed and unsupported is quite a natural feeling after being diagnosed with Dyslexia as an adult. It is also quite common to find that dyslexic symptoms become more apparent when there is a change of job role or a change in management.
The delay in anyone contacting you could be due to a lack of awareness on your organisation’s Occupation Health’s part. Dyslexia can sometimes cause confusion for companies as it cannot be diagnosed by the medical profession. Bearing this in mind you may wish to read our Code of Practice for Employers and forward it to your employer, gently reminding them that you have not been contacted for your difficulties to be followed up.
Rest assured that you did the right thing seeking a diagnosis and are correct in thinking that the Government’s Access to Work scheme could provide a Workplace Needs Assessment. However it is the employees responsibility to set this up and not the employer’s. It is important to ensure that you make a request for an Assessor with knowledge of dyslexia. The British Dyslexia Association also offers it own, employer funded, Workplace Needs Assessments but would need your organisation’s agreement to fund it; email: Assessments@bdadyslexia.org.uk for more info.
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