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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME is classed as a disability under the Equality Act 2010, as it can have a ‘substantial and long-term adverse effect on the ability of an employee to carry out normal day to day activities.’ Your employer is therefore obliged to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that you are not at a disadvantage at work (or in a job interview).

Once they know that you have the condition and understand what that entails, you are able to ask your employer to make a range of adjustments which may include changes to your working environment, workload and work pattern such as:

  • Providing a quiet area where you can rest without being disturbed
  • Permission to use an allocated parking space near the entrance of the building
  • Changing lighting or the position of your workstation if you are noise or light sensitive
  • Changing your working hours to avoid rush-hour travel
  • Allowing you to work reduced or flexible hours
  • Allowing you to work from home where possible
  • Allowing you to take longer or more frequent breaks away from your desk/workstation
  • Allowing you to attend medical appointments during working hours if required
  • Reducing your workload
  • Reducing physical tasks
Providing regular review meetings to check whether your workload and hours are still manageable.

Help may be available for such adjustments through the Access to Work programme, via Jobcentre Plus. Your employer may also take advice from an Occupational Therapist about what they can best do to help you at work.

Making a claim

If your employer does not consult with you, carry out the necessary checks and investigations and make any reasonable adjustments required, your work may suffer. In some circumstances you may find that you are dismissed on the basis that you are unable to carry out the role. If this is the case then you may be entitled to claim against your employer for disability discrimination.

There is no minimum length of employment required to bring a claim at the Employment Tribunal, but it is important to lodge your claim within 3 months of the act of discrimination occurring. It is therefore essential that you take legal advice on your situation at an early stage and as soon as possible.

If you think you have been subject to discrimination on the basis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME, please phone Ashley Hunt, Vaishali Thakerar, or Carrie-Ann Randall on 0116 212 1000 or complete the form on the right. Lawson-West offer free initial consultations so it won't cost you a penny to find out if you have a claim. We also run a number of free drop-in advice clinics at our offices in Leicester, Wigston & Market Harborough.

Lawson-West will make sure that your disability discrimination claim is funded on the most appropriate basis and that will often be on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that Lawson-West have a vested interest in ensuring your employment claim is successful.