Continuing a fulfilled career
Being concerned about how a spinal cord injury (SCI) will affect your career is normal, but the reality is that it shouldn’t affect it much.
You’ll want the answers to many questions, including “Will I be able to return to my job?” “How is my employer going to react to my new injury?” “What support is available to help me do my job?”
SCI people still have every possible opportunity to pursue a fulfilling career in which they can flourish. Your rights are protected. Employers cannot discriminate against you, and you have access to a wide range of support to propel your career forward.
Over 4.7 million disabled people in the UK are employed – so there’s no reason why you can’t be part of the workforce too
The law protects us
Unequal treatment at work because of a spinal cord injury can feel degrading, unjust and humiliating. But it should never happen. The Equality Act protects all disabled people from discrimination.
The legislation was introduced to ensure we can all continue to operate on a level playing field with non-disabled people. It safeguards all against unequal treatment across a range of employment issues, such as:
- Job offers
- Terms of employment
- Dismissal and redundancy
- Promotion, transfer or training opportunities
- Interview arrangements
Returning to work
By law, your employer must make reasonable adjustments to help you continue working as you did before. These include improving access to the work premises, being flexible about working hours and providing modified equipment. Everything should be about making the transition back to work as smooth as possible.
In some cases, you may find yourself physically unable to continue working in the same job that you did before injury. But a career you’re passionate about and can revel in is still possible. All that’s needed is to find a position suited to your physical abilities, skills, qualities and experiences. And we can help you with that.
Get the support you deserve
There are several avenues to explore for support in overcoming employment challenges.
If you feel discriminated against at work, contact the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
If you need advice, practical support and financial assistance to overcome work-related obstacles resulting from disability, contact the government’s access to work scheme.
If you need support to help solve disputes about your injury with your employer, contact the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service.
If you want free legal advice on disability discrimination, contact the Disability Law Service.
Our support network coordinators are also here to help you to return to work, support you as you start a new job or begin volunteering for the causes that matter to you. Get in touch with them here.