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  • FIRST POST
    • James-may
    • By James-may 7th Jan 18, 6:05 PM
    • 6Posts
    • 1Thanks
    James-may
    Sickness, work and reasonable adjustments
    • #1
    • 7th Jan 18, 6:05 PM
    Sickness, work and reasonable adjustments 7th Jan 18 at 6:05 PM
    Hi there, im new here and am looking for a bit of objective advice as to what i should do in my situation.

    I work in a large retail chain as an assistant manager, i am salarised, so get the same wages no matter how many hours i do, but am supposed to do at least 39 (so says my contract).
    I also get 3 months full sick pay and then 3 months at 50% pay (both at company discretion)
    My job currently involves everything that needs done in a shop, doing schedules for staff, costing wages, security, ordering, filling shelves, bringing in deliveries, lots of manual handling.

    Over the last 2 years i have undergone treatment for cancer, meaning i took probably around 6 weeks sick over that period, my last period sickness was around 6 months ago while recovering for a procedure.
    My manager (and area manager more so) have been understanding about me requiring time off due to procedures and recovery, but i still spend most of my days off at appointments and scans and stuff as i dont want to "take the Michael" with time off.

    Now in the last few months i have been developing symptoms of possible arthritis/ carpal tunnel, or something similar in both my hands, arms and shoulders, i fell over a few weeks ago pulling a muscle in my leg and have been hobbling around ever since, i didnt want to take time off work due to my previous time off.

    I have visited a rhumatologist around 3 weeks ago, she checked me over, sent me for xrays, bloods and a ultrasound, im still awaiting ultrasound, but xrays indicated no problems with my hands or arms, but onset of degenerative disease in both my feet (im thinking now thats what made me fall over recently).

    I told my manager i had bad hands and arms, and i had hurt my leg falling over, but his response was "what are you going to do while your here then as theres nothing else for you to do"
    I responded that i needed to be on light duties until i get an answer from the rhumatologist as to what i have and what treatment is possible, so i could stick to mostly paperwork, price checks and organinising the staff within store rather than manual work, he wasnt happy at all, and continued giving me "to do" lists with loads of lifting and pulling of trolleys.

    Ive been taking codeine and iboprofen for the pain, but every time i do manual work involving my fingers and hands, my whole knuckle area swells up a few hours later, and i am in excruciating pain for days later, im not getting proper sleep, im waking up all night with pain from my hands/shoulders or headaches, dry mouth from the codeine.

    Im now at a point where i know i have something wrong with my hands and feet, but still awaiting official doagnosis, but i know i cant continue working in this job the way it is at the moment as the pain and impact on my life is unbearable.

    Im wondering whats peoples advice is.
    Would it be unreasonable for me to ask my area manager to allow me to do more of the admin side to our store, or even move me to another store that has more management support so that if i cant do certain things others can do those things instead.

    At the moment the managers and asst managers are being used as the backbones of the stores as they can basically get you working loads of hours for no extra pay, meanwhile the company gives shops a bare bones wage budget for staff, with the expectation on managment to take up the slack.

    I really dont want to go to them demanding unreasonable things, but my other options are go sick every time i cant work.

    Any advice or recommendations would be great, thanks.
Page 1
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 7th Jan 18, 6:23 PM
    • 4,624 Posts
    • 7,820 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #2
    • 7th Jan 18, 6:23 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Jan 18, 6:23 PM
    Without a diagnosis - which appears to be the case - then these symptoms are not disabilities. You can't just "lump them in" with cancer and claim a disability. And I'm not being harsh- I'm disabled too- but you need to have a diagnosis, and that diagnosis must show that there is no expectation of anything other than significant impact on normal day to day activities. So, for example, arthritis isn't per se a disability - it is only a disability when you are unable to reliably perform normal day to day activities for at least a year, or a doctor says that will be the case.

    And there are limits to "reasonable adjustments" - you can ask, but they do not have to make them. If there is no job that is "light duties only" then they don't have to create one for you. If there is no job in another store, they don't have too create one for you. So your only option is, yes, to go off sick.

    In my experience employers are better with solutions than problems. Instead of asking them for something that creates them problems, given you are an assistant manager, can't you give them the answer? You know what staff are in, what they do and so on. So organise the store!!! If that means you can deliver all the work the managers want done, without you doing the heavier work, then they'll likely grab the solution. You don't seem to think they are ogres, so they've been relatively good to you - and you have ability to keep them on side.

    If you can't find the solution, that possibly tells you something... Neither can they. But I suspect you can. You are obviously smart and you understand your employers. So organise them!
    • ohreally
    • By ohreally 7th Jan 18, 6:36 PM
    • 6,650 Posts
    • 5,185 Thanks
    ohreally
    • #3
    • 7th Jan 18, 6:36 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Jan 18, 6:36 PM
    Are occupational health involved?

    Do you have an occupational pension that you may be able to access at some point?
    • James-may
    • By James-may 7th Jan 18, 6:59 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    James-may
    • #4
    • 7th Jan 18, 6:59 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Jan 18, 6:59 PM
    Thank you, obviously diagnosis is taking time, im not sure of timescales.
    Im sat at home today, my rest day with 2 swollen hands unable to wipe my own !!! lol.
    Until i get a diagnosis ill need to wait i suppose.
    In the mean time, i might need to start taking days off here and there i have a flare up.
    thank you for taking the time to respond.
    • James-may
    • By James-may 7th Jan 18, 6:59 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    James-may
    • #5
    • 7th Jan 18, 6:59 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Jan 18, 6:59 PM
    I have no idea what they are, so no
    • ohreally
    • By ohreally 7th Jan 18, 7:31 PM
    • 6,650 Posts
    • 5,185 Thanks
    ohreally
    • #6
    • 7th Jan 18, 7:31 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Jan 18, 7:31 PM
    I have no idea what they are, so no
    Originally posted by James-may
    http://www.nhshealthatwork.co.uk/what-is-oh.asp

    http://www.nhshealthatwork.co.uk/workplacehealthforuk.asp
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 7th Jan 18, 7:48 PM
    • 4,624 Posts
    • 7,820 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #7
    • 7th Jan 18, 7:48 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Jan 18, 7:48 PM
    Occupational health isn't a legal requirement. But you should ask if they have access to them. Some employers do, others don't.
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 7th Jan 18, 8:13 PM
    • 5,207 Posts
    • 6,466 Thanks
    theoretica
    • #8
    • 7th Jan 18, 8:13 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Jan 18, 8:13 PM
    Has your employer seen your hands when they are at their worst? Making a point of showing them and not disguising the amount of pain you are in might make the situation more real to them.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • James-may
    • By James-may 20th May 18, 12:46 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    James-may
    • #9
    • 20th May 18, 12:46 AM
    • #9
    • 20th May 18, 12:46 AM
    I typed out a huge reply and it refreshed and I lost it, and I'm not typing all that again lol, so here's the shorter version .
    Just an update, went to my manager and showed him that I could make the store run better by spending more time in the office with admin things and spending more time managing staff rather than stacking shelves, basically he wasn't interested as it meant he'd be on the sales floor and not in the office, been diagnosed with arthritis now and looking for a treatment plan in a few days with doctor .
    3 weeks ago I could barely walk in work and had to Finnish 10 mins before my scheduled time, I ended up in a&e the next day taken there by ambulance as couldn't move off the couch and soiled myself , came into work the next day of crutches and 1st thing I got was a bollocking for leaving 10 mins early, I spent the week in work on crutches, my manager said he'd need to speak to hr as I obviously can't do my job anymore, I joined the union the other month just for guidance incase things developed with this.
    The hospital weren't going to let me out as my BP was 168/127, but they did but wrote to my GP and I have an appointment for that next week.
    I really think I'll be managed out or medically terminated, would I even get refunded CY pay?(been there near 10 years) , I'm now looking at what jobs I could manage or how many hours per week , I've never claimed benefits, do have no clue about how much or what I could claim, it's just a nightmare .

    I might need to start putting sick days in rather than struggling in on crutches, as even when I clearly can't do heavy jobs, I'm told here's your jobs, u need to get email done .
    Anyway, sorry for the rant , thanks to all those who responded.
    Last edited by James-may; 20-05-2018 at 12:51 AM.
    • James-may
    • By James-may 20th May 18, 11:55 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    James-may
    Just to add, to those who mentioned occupational health, I asked and after a couple of days waiting for them to get back to me he said the company has no occupational health provision, whatever that means.
    Thanks again.
    • matt1976
    • By matt1976 20th May 18, 1:08 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    matt1976
    Personally if I were you, it sounds like you are going to struggle to continue doing the job you are employed for any longer.

    Employers do not care about you, you are just a number to them, someone who enables them to earn money.

    You said you have been with your employer for 10 years, so you have some protection as does anyone who has been with an employer over 2 years. They have to follow procedures if they are going to sack you, if they fail to follow them they are leaving themselves open to unfair dismissal claims etc.

    You have a contract, if it states you are entitled to 3 months full pay, they have to pay it to you. Check your contract.

    My advice if you feel you are going to be forced out is to get a notepad, write down dates and times of conversations, get everything you can in an email to you as evidence.

    Speak to ACAS and have a look at their website for help and guidance.

    Do not hand in your notice as this may be what they want you to do as it is a lot easier for them rather than try to help you or go down the route of trying to get you out.

    If it get near to a point of they are getting rid if you, find a no win, no fee solicitor who will look at your case, this is why it's so important to write things down and get everything in an email to use against them if need be. Think about possibly using your mobile to record any meeting with your line manager, you can share thus with your solicitor without asking for your managers consent to record.

    Also occupational health are a waste of time, they are there to work for your employer in most cases, there is such a thing as a capability review which would mean your employer has to look at what other tasks you are able to do but my understanding it's if you've been off sick for some time.
    Last edited by matt1976; 20-05-2018 at 1:12 PM.
    • Takeaway_Addict
    • By Takeaway_Addict 21st May 18, 12:14 PM
    • 5,818 Posts
    • 6,712 Thanks
    Takeaway_Addict
    Personally if I were you, it sounds like you are going to struggle to continue doing the job you are employed for any longer.

    Employers do not care about you, you are just a number to them, someone who enables them to earn money. This for alot of employers is nonsense but they still have to operate a business and it does mean at times making difficult decisions

    You said you have been with your employer for 10 years, so you have some protection as does anyone who has been with an employer over 2 years. They have to follow procedures if they are going to sack you, if they fail to follow them they are leaving themselves open to unfair dismissal claims etc.

    You have a contract, if it states you are entitled to 3 months full pay, they have to pay it to you. Check your contract.Read the first post...

    My advice if you feel you are going to be forced out is to get a notepad, write down dates and times of conversations, get everything you can in an email to you as evidence.

    Speak to ACAS and have a look at their website for help and guidance.

    Do not hand in your notice as this may be what they want you to do as it is a lot easier for them rather than try to help you or go down the route of trying to get you out.Agree with this

    If it get near to a point of they are getting rid if you, find a no win, no fee solicitor who will look at your case, this is why it's so important to write things down and get everything in an email to use against them if need be. Think about possibly using your mobile to record any meeting with your line manager, you can share thus with your solicitor without asking for your managers consent to record.Recording without persmission is generally frowned upon

    Also occupational health are a waste of time, they are there to work for your employer in most cases, there is such a thing as a capability review which would mean your employer has to look at what other tasks you are able to do but my understanding it's if you've been off sick for some timeOH is something some employers offer...not all and can be utilised at any time.
    Originally posted by matt1976

    The employer is most likely going to try an dismiss based on capability if they are unable to accomidate reasonable adjustments (because they wouldn't be reasonsable)


    OP you need to really consider your position and what the outcome you want is and what you are likely to get from the company. If you really think they are going to dismiss then start looking for alternative jobs.
    Don't trust a forum for advice. Get proper paid advice. Any advice given should always be checked
    • aife
    • By aife 21st May 18, 11:53 PM
    • 185 Posts
    • 152 Thanks
    aife
    What's CY pay ?
    • James-may
    • By James-may 23rd May 18, 10:37 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    James-may
    Thank you all for the replies,sorry I have alksort going on at the moment with applying for council house that's all downstairs, and speaking to union and considering some sort of benefits claim, hispital appointments, and we have sickness all over in work, so been very busy, I will respond in proper detail when I get a chance.

    Once again thanks very much.
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