30 May 2022

What it’s like to work at Legal Ombudsman

A PCS member working for Legal Ombudsman, says they are fed up of being treated poorly by their employer and urges all staff to join PCS and support our campaign for union recognition

As a disabled member of staff, I find working for LeO very challenging. Despite claiming to be a Disability Confident employer the reality is very different.

Senior management pay lip service to equality, diversity and inclusion – there is a lot of talk but very little action. A number of managers have been unsupported in implementing required reasonable adjustments as they have limited, if any, training. The lack of knowledge of the Equality Act, 2010 and the duties this places on employers, makes work as a disabled individual trying and difficult. 

Under the unfair sickness policy individual cases are often referred to occupational health but their subsequent recommendations are ignored, and reasonable adjustments are not implemented.  

LeO, which investigates complaints between consumers and their legal service providers, continues to cause division among the workforce in their actions by allowing newly-recruited staff the opportunity to work from home at the same time as forcing existing employees into the workplace for 60% of their working week. This gives rise to potential discrimination cases for those who are carers or disabled, despite LeO knowing they could be opening themselves up to legal challenges they fail to take action to address the issues. Their creation of a two-tier workforce is divisive, and they have failed to meet their obligations in regard to health and safety by refusing to undertake individual risk assessments.  

LeO maintain they are an arm’s-length body of the MOJ yet try to justify some of their decisions around forced returns to the workplace on the basis they are required to follow MOJ policy. We only seem to be independent when it suits. I and my fellow colleagues are fed up with being treated so poorly by an employer who claims to care about their workforce.  

I would encourage all those working at the Legal Ombudsman to join PCS and support the campaign for union recognition. If like me, you are facing challenges at work, PCS can and will support you in ensuring the employer acts to address your workplace issues. 

We have a PCS WhatsApp group for help and support. PCS members can help each other, and we know we are not alone as members often have similar problems. We also have dedicated PCS staff members available for support and advice.