Unsupportive Employer - Help Please!

Moderators: perseus, *Lisa*, FluppyPuffy

Unsupportive Employer - Help Please!

Postby MissJax » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:10 am

Hi

I don't know if any of you lovely lot can help me with this or have been in a similar situation and can offer me some advice.....

After being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia last year I have discussed with my Line Manager support that I need and in in the first instance my work have been very supportive.

I tend to suffer mainly from severe pains in my legs and arms which comes and gos as it pleases with some days worse than others. I also suffer from the fatigue side of things where occasionally my body insists that it has to sleep and there is very little I can do about it.

After meeting with my line manager and an Occupational Health professional they agreed that the support they could offer would be a change of equipment so I could chnage my position to work in (I am office based in a college and pretty much desk bound all day) but also that on the occasions that the pain reaches an unmanageable level I would be able to go home sick.

This I believe was working well over the last few months, it seems that once a month I have had to go home early but have made every attempt to work from home where possible or make up time and as a result haven't fallen behind with any of my work.

However I was suprised yesterday to have a last minute meeting with someone from HR and my line manager who told me in no uncertain terms the number of "incidences" of my sickness is far too high and they want me to get it down to no more than 3 per year.

Now the college I work at uses a scoring system for sickness called the Bradford system, this monitors how often you are off and flags up short and frequent sickness (this is to catch out those who arne;'t sick but take every Friday off etc) . My Line manager has assured me many times that I shouldnt worry about being flagged up as I have a genuine reason confirmed by the occupational health and it wouldnt be an issue..... apparently this is not the case.

Just feel a bit stuck on hoew to proceed and even more how on earth I am meant to manage. I have done everything i can to ensure that my illness has as little impact on my working life as possible (I have given up voluntary work, do nothing at weekends and have even tried to use my holiday allowance when anticpating a Fibro spell). They have mentioned the opportuntiy to do set hours from home but as I previously discussed with Occy Health there doesn't seem to be a pattern that Fibro follows and I don't want to take unneccesary steps.

Basically the meeting ended with them basically staying I had to reduce the sickness but without any suggestions that fit with my condition.

I really don't know what to do, I have gone home early from work only after taking all the pain killers I can and having moved myself to work on the floor to stretch my legs, it is on;y when it is so bad I am in tears that Ihave admitted defeat for the day and had to go home. Now I feel like I have now option but to stay there in pain on the floor until the end of the day!??!

Obviously I want to respond to my HR department about this, I hadn't been told the meeting would involve HR so had no time to review and prepare. If anyone else has had a similar situation I'd really appreciate hearing from you, this this is hard enough to live with without having this on top of it!

Thanks for reading

Jax
MissJax
UKFM Member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:55 pm

Re: Unsupportive Employer - Help Please!

Postby Mitzi » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:35 am

Hi, your employer should refer you for an occupational health appointment. On receipt of the report, reasonable adjustments should be made to enable you to attend work. I'm a civil servant and I have had 5 OH referrals and I have reasonable adjustments in place. I work flexi hours and my trigger point for sickness has been increased for Fibromyalgia sick days. HR should be assisting you as well. Hope this helps.
Mitzi
UKFM Newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 3:09 pm

Re: Unsupportive Employer - Help Please!

Postby MissJax » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:43 am

Thanks Mitzi

I have had one OH referal so far and they agreed with me that the adjustments they would make would be to remove my computer and replace with a laptop so i could alter my position and also suggested to leave early on occasions when I needed it.

They have provided the laptop and that has helped and certainly made me able to stay longer on days when the pain is bad but there have been times when I have had to leave early.

Trouble is that HR seem to have an issue with my leaving early, I asked them if they wanted me to see the OH again but they said only if I wanted to. I was happy with the previous assessment and the adjustments she suggested.

Does your work place have to follow the suggestions of the OH?

Thanks

Jax
MissJax
UKFM Member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:55 pm

Re: Unsupportive Employer - Help Please!

Postby JYB » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:32 pm

Have you had an assessment at work by Access to Work? Search on google n you will find the appropriate government site. They will assess you at your place of work and pay part towards any equipment you may need. They made my work life easier with an adjustable height desk, a new chair which they measured me for and a roller mouse as I had arm n wrist pain. It is a government initiative to try to keep people in work.
I had 2 warnings n if I had been off again I would have been dismissed. I had 4 episodes of sickness (one was only 90 mins) in 12 months. Occupational Health thought that was good considering my health problems. The advise from them is just that, advice. Your employer does not have to follow it. My employer was following the sickness policy. They said they had made "reasonable adjustments" n I came out of a meeting knowing I had to go the next 12 months with no sickness, I managed it but I'm not sure how!
Your post brought back some awful memories for me, I felt victimised n let down. So I really feel for you.
On a brighter note, I now happily work at home, I have all the equipment that was provided for me at home, though I had to fight for months to get it home! I work 20 hours a week, I reduced my hours and just work 5 hour shifts.
Do you have a union?
JYB
UKFM Member
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:17 pm

Re: Unsupportive Employer - Help Please!

Postby denys » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:35 pm

The Bradford scale has a lot to answer for, it does catch people who are skiving but it also catches genuine people like yourself. Do you have a union rep, you should have been told that the meeting was to include HR and given enough time to prepare
Denys

As a Public Moderator of this forum my opinions/views expressed are personal and are no more valid than those of other members and not necessarily those of UKFibromyalgia.
User avatar
denys
UKFM Veteran
 
Posts: 11901
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:05 pm

Re: Unsupportive Employer - Help Please!

Postby MissJax » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:13 am

Thanks Everyone.

I just can't believe that even though I am no where near taking the amount of sickness payable in my contract, just because the number of incidences are high that they are doing this. It appears making their graphs look better is more important than health!

Have had time to review my contracts and it does say that I was entitled to prepare and have someone there to suport me but my line manager only gave me 1 hours notice of the meeting and didnt even let me know it involved HR until I got there.

HR did mention Acccess to work and I will contact them. I think maybe best move s to firm myself up on all their policy, get as much advice as possible and then ask to have the meeting again.

I am not a member of any union ....maybe that something else I should look into. (Have booked Monday off as leave so I can get all this sorted, as you all must know it is bloody hard to find the spare energy to sort out unexpected things like this!)

Thanks for all you help, helps at least to know I am not alone in this.

Jax x
MissJax
UKFM Member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:55 pm

Re: Unsupportive Employer - Help Please!

Postby fibro-lu » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:24 pm

hi Jax,

the above replies said it all
additionally I would say
join a union, your line manager should not have called you to such a meeting on that short notice; could even be this meeting is void, could even be seen as bullying you (you had no time to prepare and unaware of involvement of HR, put you under stress etc)

I saw Occu Doc many times and my employer (who paid for that) had to go with the advise given by Occu Doc

I was covered by the (something like) "disability equality act" and my trigger points were doubled

my employer (also a college/uni) with "henchmen" aka line manager and HR tried all the tricks of the book, twisting words, you name it ..

get a copy of the "short and long term absense procedure" or something called similar to it from your employer and study it well

it was a long battle and I am sure these many month made me even more unwell but I fought it out

at the end I was retired on Ill-Health-Grounds because I was not longer able to do my job or any other job

one more point
watch your line manager : she either has no idea about the procedures (she should because she is trained and paid to be a line manager!!!) or she tries something she shouldn't; can't decide which is worse, she is definitely not standing up for you (i.e. telling HR that this meeting can't take place because you didn't get notice)

keep us posted
:flowers:
all the best :cow-wave: Lu
Mind over Matter: in mind I'm Wonderwoman - in matter, well, - don't mind, doesn't matter
User avatar
fibro-lu
UKFM Regular
 
Posts: 1279
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:07 pm

Re: Unsupportive Employer - Help Please!

Postby denys » Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:27 pm

The Bradford scale uses the amount of incidences so if you have the flu have a week off and then go back to work to early and then have to be off another couple of days then your incidences go to 2 with 5 then 2 which scores higher than 1 x 7
Denys

As a Public Moderator of this forum my opinions/views expressed are personal and are no more valid than those of other members and not necessarily those of UKFibromyalgia.
User avatar
denys
UKFM Veteran
 
Posts: 11901
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:05 pm


Return to DWP, Working & Benefits

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests