I came across a website called OCD Today. It appears to be a UK-based OCD information website, and I was reading through some of the information packs on there. I have cut and pasted some information from the OCD Today website, which relates to employees' rights. (Employees who have been diagnosed as suffering from OCD.) This may be useful to some readers who are having difficulty at work.
(Please note: I have simply cut and pasted the information below from the OCD Today website. The below information is not my opinion; I did not write this information. So feel free to disagree with anything it says; I am simply bringing this article to everyone's attention, as it may be of interest to some of us.)
For Employees -- How to manage your OCD in the workplace:
OCD sufferers should make the conscious decision as to how to manage their disorder. One factor to consider is whether the individual needs to make their disorder known to colleagues and their employer. This can be a particularly difficult choice to make as they may fear being treated differently and discriminated against by others. The decision to disclose your OCD is a personal choice and a difficult one to make but people with OCD choose to do so because they need adjustments made to their working environment, others may want to educate people about their OCD or others may feel they do not want to hide something from their employer and colleagues, whatever the reason it's your decision.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (“DDA”) has been replaced by a new law called the Equality Act. This change came into place from the 1st October 2010. All the same rights disabled employees had under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, such as the right to reasonable adjustments still carry on as before.
The Equality Act 2010 as with the previous Disability Discrimination Act aims to protect disabled people and prevent disability discrimination. A person is defined as disabled under the Act if they have a "physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.
The four different elements of the definition above would need to be examined further to determine whether the disability is satisfied under the Act. There are many different types of mental health conditions which can lead to a disability. In this instance, OCD is clinically recognised, and depending on the varying degree of the condition.
The new Equality Act is good news for carers of disabled people too. It offers carers protection from direct discrimination and harassment because of their association with a disabled person.
It's understandable for a person with OCD to be worried about employee acceptance and stigma in the workplace but a person with these conditions may have the same quality, experience and skills of a healthy person. There are many employers committed to employing people with a disability and actively seek to recruit a diverse workforce. There are employers all over the UK who use the disability symbol ranging from very large to small organisations in a diversity of businesses.
The Disability Symbol is a Jobcentre Plus scheme where employers can show they are fully prepared to make certain positive commitments towards employing disabled people.
Disability Two Tick Symbol – “Positive About Disabled People”
Mental health could be seen as a 'hidden' disability not apparent to others. Many people with hidden disabilities often feel they are not 'physically disabled' to fit in with the disabled community. People with hidden disabilities are caught up between not being fully accepted without having a disability but as mentioned previously, OCD is a mental health condition and is recognised as a disability which may be covered by the Act.
Read through the following list to identify how your employer or line manager can accommodate you.
1. Are you able to have a say about the way that you do or carry out your work?
2. Do you have any control over your work patterns?
3. Are you able to take breaks at appropriate times of the day?
4. Do you receive sufficient information from your line manager to enable you to do your job properly?
5. Do you get support from your line manager and other colleagues?
6. Do you know how to obtain the support you need?
7. Do you receive constructive or positive feedback about your work?
8. Do you feel that you have good working relationships with your line manager or employer?
9. Do you feel that any problems or conflicts you have at work are dealt with appropriately and in a correct manner?
10. Do you receive adequate and timely information about planned changes at work?
11. Do you have the opportunity to comment or discuss on planned changes which will directly affect your work?
12. Do you receive full training to deal with any changes to your job or working environment?
It will be necessary for the OCD sufferer to ask for these adjustments to be made. Such adjustments can include: flexible scheduling; allocating some of the work to somebody else; working from home; allowing time off work for counselling or therapy. It is the employees responsibility to request that these adjustments are made so don’t feel afraid or guilty to ask your employer. This will benefit both of you long term.
It should be highlighted that employees are able to have time off work for counselling or psychotherapy as they would for any other medical appointment. Your line manager may ask to see written confirmation of the appointment.
Talk to your Line Manager, Human Resources Manager or your Health & Safety Officer. Find out what options are available to you.
If you feel you are unable to talk to your employer then please refer them to this website or let them get in touch with us where we will be happy to discuss any further questions they want answered.
You may want to take the following into consideration:
You will find a lot of organisations will include a medical questionnaire with every application form. By giving false information may prejudice your application and, later on, may even result in you being dismissed.
The new Equality Act introduces completely new provisions that limits what an employer can ask a job applicant about their health before offering them a job.
More details about the new Equality Act 2010. Directgov
By law, if your employer is considering taking disciplinary action or dismissing you, they must comply with the statutory minimum three-step disciplinary procedure listed below.
Step one: the written statement
Step two: the meeting
Step three: the appeal meeting
For further information about the above please visit your local Citizen Advice Bureau or visit their website.