Work - Absence Target Set

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Work - Absence Target Set

Postby cocobella » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:15 pm

Hi All,

I just want to know if I am taking this too personally....

I have been posting here quite a lot recently as I feel I have so many problems going on with my illness. It is affecting every aspect of my life. Some of you may know I am also at the "mandatory reconsideration" stage for personal independance payment (DLA) and am awaiting the decision. I was disallowed by TWO points!!

I have worked in the NHS for 5 years in I.T. Last year was when my illness flared up badly and I went through my thyroid surgery etc. Anyway, I had to attend lots of promoting attendance at work meetings and had my disability rep with me the whole time who was amazing. In the end the best way forward for all of us was me going part-time 18.5 hours exactly, rather than fulltime. It has made a huge difference to me and I have been able to actually work and feel like I can contribute for a team rather than constantly failing!!

I have only been off twice this year, at the beginning of the year I was hospitalised for a week with a severe throat and chest infection. The second time I had a chest infection again (or it was the same one hanging about). Then last week I was off for 4 days, admitted to hospital this time for severe twitching in my face, foot and arm. Docs at hospital felt it was because my thyroid hormone was too high, rheumatologist says that fibro can cause twitching etc. Anyway, I returned to work to be told I now have to go through another formal meeting for promoting attendance at work and an absence target will be set. He said, as you have a disability and your illness last week was disability related it won't be counted. I then piped up and said "Well what's the point in setting the absence target?". Every episode of illness I have had the past year has been related to fibro and my thyroidectomy. Even the chest infections etc, was all to do with immunity as my immune system took a battering after my operation. I have also emailed my disability rep and he said they are just following procedure, but I am SICK of returning to work after horrendous symptoms and then that automatically initiates a formal meeting. It makes you feel scared when you are actually off sick. Trying to manage a "normal" life with this illness is a nightmare. Anyway, not an ounce of empathy was shown with my manager today when I returned. Even though, I was hospitalised last week!!!!! It could be because he is a man and in the IT field lol (sorry) but it still feels very unfair.

So, has anyone else been through this? Is it fair that I am having an attendance target set??? They will consider my disability etc but still...whats the point if they know i will be off with episodes of flare ups! Can anyone advise?
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Re: Work - Absence Target Set

Postby Beccie42 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:27 pm

I get this all the time. I start every meeting with 'this is a waste of everyone's time and limited resources and causes me more stress , which impacts on my health and can make me have more time off work'. They always tell me they have to do it to tick the right boxes. Its stupid. All staff have been asked for efficiency saving ideas. Guess what ive suggested?!
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Re: Work - Absence Target Set

Postby denys » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:40 pm

It is personal as it is to do with you, I used to feel so targeted before my employment was terminated with redundancy. To be fair and look at it from both sides, they have a procedure that if others saw was being ignored for you would have a terrible impact on the rest of the staff.

So they tick boxes and set you a target, make sure it is fair and that ALL illnesses stemming from your disability are ignored. That way you may have a fair chance of meeting it. Tell them you are taking all available steps to ensure you keep yourself as healthy as possible to ensure you are fit to work, such as having a flu jab etc.

They will ask you what steps they can take to help and if there is anything you can think of (such as avoiding stupid meetings as the last poster said :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: ) then tell them and get it all down in black and white. Once I calmed down I realised it was my chance to make sure HR all knew about my problems and couldnt renege on anything that was agreed upon :goodluck2: :goodluck2: :goodluck2: and stay calm and focused :-D :-D :-D :hugs: :hugs: :hugs:

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.
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Re: Work - Absence Target Set

Postby Paula200 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:45 pm

Hi, I have been signed of for the last month with fibro (my Dr is amazing) I have volunteered to go back tomorrow Dr said give it another couple of weeks but I will never go back. My work asked for access to my medical records as I have just been diagnosed with fibr there words not mine I was fuming having gone through this with them four years ago with formal meetings taped letters sent to me they have no recollection of it, and we wrnt through it 18 months ago again no record. It is doing my head in but I will go tomorrow and have another chat just play the game and keep track of them all good luck xxxx
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Re: Work - Absence Target Set

Postby SianneArtarian » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:13 am

I was not working for a few years and was refused ESA three times. The staff at the Job Center were trying to pressure me into applying for jobs I couldn't do, things where I was required to stand for long periods of time or travel around in the cold weather a lot. I got to the end of my tether last summer and made the decision to go back to studying to get away from the Job Center. I started an Access Course at University and felt the pressure on me was a lot less because no one was going to give me a hard time for being off if I had a bad day, and because I could do most of my studying at home and work it around my Fibro. It really helped me and I completed the course never having missed a class. In September I am starting a degree, but I am not so worried about this because I know the University will be much more understanding than an employer if I am struggling.

However, while most companies will want to follow absence procedures when people are sick, it is also illegal for them to discriminate against people based on their medical condition and if employers are saying they want to investigate people based on a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia I would honestly advise those people to seek legal advice. The fact that you work for the NHS and they are doing this is simply awful, they over anyone should understand what Fibro sufferers go through.

As I tried to explain to the Job Center staff, it is not the fact of taking a job and working that is the problem. It is the fact that employers need to be aware of Fibro and understand Fibro sufferers may have days when they simply cannot go to work, and they need to allow for this, not persecute people when they are finding it hard to cope. Instead they look at us and see nothing wrong so assume it is not a major issue for us.
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