Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • xXMessedUpXx
    • By xXMessedUpXx 13th Jul 17, 1:13 AM
    • 16,989Posts
    • 44,646Thanks
    xXMessedUpXx
    time off for medical treatment
    • #1
    • 13th Jul 17, 1:13 AM
    time off for medical treatment 13th Jul 17 at 1:13 AM
    I may be worrying over nothing atm, but curious as to where i would stand if it does happen

    My bipolar s currently unstable (i'm hypermanic at the moment), last time i saw my GP there was talking of taking me off my mood stabiliser as its bad for you in the long term (heart problems apparently), with my mood destabilizing and me already being on the max dosage of current mood stabilizer i can forsee needing to change medication.

    Last time this happened (with my anti depressent) i had to take time off sick because the side effects were so severe that i was barely coherent and couldn't safely work. This counted against me as i hit the absence threshold and i got a disciplinary.

    I'm now worried that if i do start new medication and experience severe side effects that i will have to take time off (possibly resulting in a further disciplinery)

    How would my employer view this? My understanding was time off for treatment could be a reasonable adjustment (comparing apples with oranges but if i had cancer they wouldn't hesitate in allowing me time off for chemotherapy for example, and we had a few pregnant members of staff who needed time off for pregnancy related issues), is that the case?

    Sorry for the long thread but its something i'm very worried about and i don;t know where i legally stand so any advice would be appreciated.
    "Life Is Like A Beautiful Melody Only The Lyrics Are Messed Up"
    To see the rainbow you need both the sun and the rain to make its colours appear
    weight lost: 1lbs
Page 1
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 13th Jul 17, 7:56 AM
    • 3,716 Posts
    • 6,100 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #2
    • 13th Jul 17, 7:56 AM
    • #2
    • 13th Jul 17, 7:56 AM
    Actually, it is not anywhere near that simple. An employer may, if they wish, adjust the threshold for people with disabilities. That is an adjustments - a few extra days at best - and you must ask for it. The same rules apply for cancer as for you. They may "agree" time off, but it will still be counted as sickness and the threshold appropriate to that person (if amended) will apply. Reasonable adjustments, where appropriate, are agreed on an individual basis. Sickness due to disability is not routinely discounted.

    Pregnancy is treated differently in law, and the law sets down the correct procedures - time off sick is discounted for these purposes provided the sickness is pregnancy related.
    • Crazy Jamie
    • By Crazy Jamie 13th Jul 17, 9:38 AM
    • 2,129 Posts
    • 2,040 Thanks
    Crazy Jamie
    • #3
    • 13th Jul 17, 9:38 AM
    • #3
    • 13th Jul 17, 9:38 AM
    Sangie is right that this is not a simple situation. You've already mentioned reasonable adjustments, which your employer has an obligation to undertake under section 20 the Equality Act 2010. Strictly speaking in accordance with the legislation you don't need to ask for reasonable adjustments, but it is a very good idea to do so. Realistically there are two common adjustments that relate to absence management policies. The first, which has already been mentioned, is to adjust the threshold at which the policy kicks in. The second is to discount absences in their entirety that are caused by a disability. However, the duty is only to make reasonable adjustments, and what is or is not reasonable varies from case to case. Which is one of the reasons why it is important to engage with your employer, and if practicable it is a good idea to raise this with them before it becomes an issue.

    There is, for the sake of completeness, a second relevant section of the Equality Act 2010, namely section 15, which deals with discrimination arising from disability. That is where an employer treats a disabled person unfavourably because of something arising from their disability. In cases such as this, it is not unusual for allegations to made that an employer has treated a person unfavourably (i.e. disciplined or dismissed them) because of something arising from their disability (i.e. absence). However, there is a defence to a section 15 allegation, namely that the employer must show that the treatment is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. Generally speaking managing absence is seen as a legitimate aim, and the question is therefore whether the application of that policy is a proportionate means of achieving that, and in that respect a lot of the practical arguments are very similar to those involving claims under section 20.

    I appreciate that last paragraph is quite legal. In practice at this stage you really only need to be aware that the duty is to make reasonable adjustments, and the best thing for you to do is to engage with your employer in that respect.
    "MIND IF I USE YOUR PHONE? IF WORD GETS OUT THAT
    I'M MISSING FIVE HUNDRED GIRLS WILL KILL THEMSELVES."
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 13th Jul 17, 11:00 AM
    • 5,876 Posts
    • 7,625 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 17, 11:00 AM
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 17, 11:00 AM
    As Sangie and Jamie say, it would be sensible for you to speak to your HR department ahead of time,before you change medication, to explain the situation and to ask for a reasonable adjustment, for example, a higher threshold for absences or for some or all of your absence (if you do end up needing time off) to be disregarded.

    T
    • Scorpio33
    • By Scorpio33 13th Jul 17, 2:47 PM
    • 454 Posts
    • 652 Thanks
    Scorpio33
    • #5
    • 13th Jul 17, 2:47 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Jul 17, 2:47 PM
    From an employers perspective, they would just be concerned about how much more time off you would need and if this would have any long term impact on your ability to be present to work.

    The threshold is there basically to serve as an alarm to look into why so much time off has happened and what the chances are of it happening again. Clearly this is something out of your control and you are doing the right thing in looking for different medication to resolve the reason for time off.

    Best you can do is to have an honest discussion with your employer, state what you are doing and state that you are doing this to prevent further time off, although there may be initial side effects which may warrant some initial time off.

    If you are a good employee and doing well, I can't see any employer wanting to discipline you for taking steps to reduce time off work as the cost and time of recruiting and training up would far outweigh any benefits of disciplining you. Saying that, if you are not performing well or if the company is looking to cut staff, they could well use this as a reason to look to manage you out of the business. Its a risk you take, but what is the alternative?
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 13th Jul 17, 4:30 PM
    • 3,716 Posts
    • 6,100 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #6
    • 13th Jul 17, 4:30 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Jul 17, 4:30 PM
    From an employers perspective, they would just be concerned about how much more time off you would need and if this would have any long term impact on your ability to be present to work.

    The threshold is there basically to serve as an alarm to look into why so much time off has happened and what the chances are of it happening again. Clearly this is something out of your control and you are doing the right thing in looking for different medication to resolve the reason for time off.

    Best you can do is to have an honest discussion with your employer, state what you are doing and state that you are doing this to prevent further time off, although there may be initial side effects which may warrant some initial time off.

    If you are a good employee and doing well, I can't see any employer wanting to discipline you for taking steps to reduce time off work as the cost and time of recruiting and training up would far outweigh any benefits of disciplining you. Saying that, if you are not performing well or if the company is looking to cut staff, they could well use this as a reason to look to manage you out of the business. Its a risk you take, but what is the alternative?
    Originally posted by Scorpio33
    That wouldn't be entirely true though. Capability or sickness absence procedures are absolute. With one or two exceptions, such as pregnancy and reasonable adjustments, they must be implemented to the rule, otherwise they are nothing but rubbish. So the performance of the person has nothing to do with it. An employer acting in the way that you suggest would be finding a fast route to a tribunal.
    • UKTigerlily
    • By UKTigerlily 13th Jul 17, 6:15 PM
    • 4,303 Posts
    • 5,355 Thanks
    UKTigerlily
    • #7
    • 13th Jul 17, 6:15 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Jul 17, 6:15 PM
    I can't advise on the work issues, but is a Psychiatrist managing medication or a GP? Usually Bipolar people can't take Antidepressants (I imagine some do, but I know they induce mania in many of us) . . if Lithium, can you try a different brand? I've not heard of heart problems & take Lithium with another mood stabiliser, so maybe other brands/types would be ok? I'd definitely see a Psychiatrist though if you don't already.

    You have my sympathy though, i've just had medications increased & started & have really been hit hard by them, tho hopefully now i'm 3 weeks in i'm coming out of it, awful side effects x
    2015 weight loss: 86/100Ibs
    • xXMessedUpXx
    • By xXMessedUpXx 17th Jul 17, 5:13 PM
    • 16,989 Posts
    • 44,646 Thanks
    xXMessedUpXx
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 17, 5:13 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 17, 5:13 PM
    Thank you for the replies, not as clear cut as i hoped. Think the best plan of action is see what GP says and of i do change see if i can speak to my manager about maybe using a weeks holiday for the adjustment instead of sick leave? I'll have a think about it and see what is recommended. Thank you for the replies x
    "Life Is Like A Beautiful Melody Only The Lyrics Are Messed Up"
    To see the rainbow you need both the sun and the rain to make its colours appear
    weight lost: 1lbs
    • Tigsteroonie
    • By Tigsteroonie 17th Jul 17, 7:27 PM
    • 22,497 Posts
    • 56,057 Thanks
    Tigsteroonie
    • #9
    • 17th Jul 17, 7:27 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Jul 17, 7:27 PM
    I manage an individual with two health matters (one mental, one physical) that are acknowledged as life-disabling in line with the Equality Act. She has reasonable adjustments in place - last year it was that absences related to her disabilities were not counted towards the trigger for disciplinary activity; this year (due to a change in management approach) these absences are counted but she has a higher trigger level than the norm.

    She has been quite open about her mental health, and has engaged with the management team at all levels to ensure that we manage her in an appropriate way, which includes a Wellness Recovery Action Plan document that helps us to identify triggers and symptoms, and which contains her preferences in terms of action to be taken.

    Mental health conditions can be managed successfully at work.
    Going to become Mrs Marleyboy for real

    MSE: many of the benefits of a helpful family, without disadvantages like having to compete for the tv remote

    Proud Parents to an Au-some son
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 18th Jul 17, 12:45 PM
    • 3,716 Posts
    • 6,100 Thanks
    sangie595
    Thank you for the replies, not as clear cut as i hoped. Think the best plan of action is see what GP says and of i do change see if i can speak to my manager about maybe using a weeks holiday for the adjustment instead of sick leave? I'll have a think about it and see what is recommended. Thank you for the replies x
    Originally posted by xXMessedUpXx
    That may well be a good strategic offer- using leave due may enable the employer to counter with some flexibility on the trigger points. Have a conversation with your manager, see what they say, and ask if there is any way the trigger points could be more flexible, even if it is just for this occasion. Then you could offer to take some as leave if that works for you. If you can get an equitable agreement, things will be smoother, and the reduction of stress will no doubt help toy anyway.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,010Posts Today

6,726Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Today's twitter poll: How many languages do you speak (inc Eng) with reasonable fluency (eg can have decent phone chat solely in that lang)

  • RT @iiSteveJonesii: @MartinSLewis After watching you talk this morning about me burning £300 I got on a comparison site tonight & sure enou?

  • In or near York? This Wed the @itvmlshow Roadshow" will be at the York Food & Drink Festival - do come and say hi; St Sampsons Square 11-4.

  • Follow Martin