Category: testimonial, Disability Confident, disability, Government, Hidden Disabilities, Jobs in Government, Invisible Disability, Disibility Support, Disability Awareness, HM Revenue & Customs, Disability Inclusion, Disability Inclusive, What Our People Say, Staff Testimonial
Following a ten-year career as a special needs teaching assistant, Annmarie Ward has been working as a civil servant with HMRC for the past four years.
With multiple diagnosis’ including the chronic pain syndrome fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, Annmarie’s work life has been challenging.
At 38 she is married with two sons and cares for her mother and two sisters.
Fibromyalgia affects the nerves, can cause pain sporadically and, in Annmarie’s case, is linked to IBS, anxiety and depression.
“It makes normal pain worse, a bump on the elbow can cause pain for several hours,” said Annmarie.
At HMRC there are numerous support groups and initiatives to help people with disabilities work in a comfortable environment.
On HMRC’s wellbeing site employees can access 24-hour help and with mental health advocates in each office, support options are readily available. There is also a charity for civil servants with a ‘dogbot’ who answers questions with help cards for those that don’t feel like talking to a person but that still want to access help.
“There is a group for everything you could imagine and it is a very supportive culture,” said Annmarie.
To help her practically, HMRC have provided Annmarie with a raised desk, special chair, keyboard and mouse and she has the option to work flexibly and from home. Taxis into work are also offered in times she can’t drive and doesn’t want the isolation of working from home.
As standard, Annmarie has monthly wellness meetings but says her managers ask how she is every day and are quick to recognise when she needs to work less.
“My experience of my workplace has been fantastic. I came in four years ago and my health problems developed. I got a workplace adjustment passport where I tell them about my needs and they are all recorded in one document so you don’t have to explain them every time,” said Annmarie.
HMRC have developed a disability network to support all their staff, including those with invisible illnesses, and help their employees on an individual needs basis.
“My jobs before have been stressful because the help wasn’t there but at HMRC you get help and support with everything,” said Annmarie.
At VERCIDA we aim to spread the message that diversity and inclusion is paramount to a happy and productive workforce. We hope to see more companies take on HMRC’s supportive initiatives.
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