Iain was dismissed by HMRC for just 39 days of sickness absence over two years, all of which were due to his suffering from depression. Despite the incredibly low absence levels and the fact that they were tapering off due to his own efforts to manage his condition, his sickness was deemed ‘unsustainable’ and he was sacked. We contend that this amounts to discrimination arising from disability.
The decision to launch a public campaign as well as pursuing an Employment Tribunal claim was made because Iain’s case is not unique. HMRC’s sickness policy and a target-driven management culture mean that disabled members disproportionately fall foul of the ‘trigger points’ for management action over sickness.
The aim of the week of action will be to put pressure on HMRC to reinstate Iain before the case reaches tribunal and to show public support for Iain’s case. The actions we are asking people to take are listed below.
Write to Lin Homer
We have set up a form which allows people to fire off an email to Lin Homer, Chief Executive of HMRC, in a matter of moments. You can write your own message or simply use the one we prepared earlier.
We want Lin to know that people support the Bootle Taxes campaign and that she has the chance to intervene in order to set things right now, rather than us having to go all the way to the Employment Tribunal. The more letters she gets the better, so please do take the time not only to send one but also to urge your friends, family and co-workers to do the same.
The form to write to Lin can be found here.
You can download a leaflet encouraging people to take this action as a PDF document here.
Take a ‘Solidarity Selfie’
A quick and easy way to show your support for our campaign is to take a picture of yourself (as an individual or in a group) holding up signs saying ‘Reinstate Iain Yell.’ You can download and print a sign here, or if you’re feeling creative you can make your own!
We’re asking people to share their pictures on Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #ReinstateYelly
HMRC have made a big thing about their social media presence, particularly on Twitter. So if you use Twitter, then make sure they see that you support our campaign. When you share any pictures or links related to the campaign, or if you simply want to let the department know how you feel, then make sure you mention them in your Tweets!
We still need signatures for our petition, so please take the time to sign it and share it with others. If you wish to collect paper signatures that we can later input online, you can do so with this form. Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org with any completed forms.
You can sign the petition online here.
Although of course people can engage in all of these activities now, we would encourage you in particular to ensure that the week starting 2 November sees a flurry of activity. Our strength as a movement is our solidarity, and by standing together we stand a far greater chance to put pressure on the employer to make things right.
Thanks to everyone who has supported and who continues to support our campaign.
Keep up to date by bookmarking our new campaign page here.