Kilburn Sickle Cell Disease sufferer claims her employers are failing to take her condition seriously
PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 April 2013
Amoy Martin-Lee says the Royal Mail have ignored her requests to change shifts
A Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) sufferer from Kilburn has slammed her employers, claiming they are ignoring her repeated claims to change shifts and are not taking her condition seriously.
Amoy Martin-Lee, who currently works late evening shifts for the Royal Mail, says she has been asking for three years to switch to early shifts after collapsing at work due to the fatigue inducing condition and other side effects.
However, despite enlisting the help of employment relations organisation, ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) and local MP Glenda Jackson, she says she has been repeatedly ignored.
Miss Martin-Lee, 25, who has a four-year-old son, also had to have a tumour in the adrenal gland (a gland on the kidney which releases adrenalin) removed in the summer of 2011 and claims her symptoms have worsened since then.
She told the Times: “In December last year I had a meeting with my mail centre manager who said he would try to sort out a change for me but nothing has happened since.
“I don’t think my SCA is being treated seriously enough. It’s getting desperate now.”
SCA is a genetic blood disorder caused by red blood cells that assume an abnormal shape, decreasing their flexibility and resulting in a risk of various complications. It is especially common among the Afro-Caribbean community.
The most common symptom is fatigue but other signs include shortness of breath, dizziness and headaches.
She added: “I have to see these managers every day and know that nothing is being done.”
The situation has also been condemned by the Sickle Cell Society (SCS), a Harlesden- based national charity which works with and supports sufferers.
Iyamide Thomas, a regional care advisor at SCD, said it was “disheartening” to hear that managers were not being sympathetic towards Ms Martin-Lee’s needs.
She added: “Any employment policy should seek to create a suitable working environment for the employee.
“With a young son, she is probably also stressed with childcare responsibilities. All these factors could be detrimental to this poor woman’s health and wellbeing.
“Many employers still do not know much about SCD and we continue to have our work cut out for us. The Society will be happy to talk to this lady’s employers on how she can be better supported.”
A spokesman for the Royal Mail said they would not comment on individual cases.
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