Working with fibro

All your fibromyalgia experiences, questions and answers.

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Working with fibro

Postby Chizzel77 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:03 pm

Hello, I have only just been diagnosed after a long hard slog. Feel totally releaved to be honest and frightened of what the future may hold. I just need some advice really I work full time which is hard, I also have a 15 month old and 7 year old so as you imagine life is pretty full on. As I'm sure with everyone some days are better than others. What I really want to know is carrying on working totally possible and are people doing it and how are you coping. My employers are not being very understanding at present and I feel like I'm being pushed out I work for a housing association out and about and walking is very difficult sometimes. I want to be able to tell them my expectations really and give them some answers but also at the same time don't want to them to push me behind a desk as that won't be any good for me the thought of starting over is scary as I get so confused instructions are a no go for me now so I know I can carry on with my job as I know it but are they allowed to make me move or do they have to make allowances for me. Sorry if is this doesn't make sense any help appreciated. Many thanks :-D
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Re: Working with fibro

Postby AlisonL » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:17 pm

The term is "reasonable adjustments". Google to find out more. If you belong to a Trade Union ask them for advice and advocacy. Your local job centre is also a source of advice, they have an officer who is trained in adjustments that enable disabled people to keep working. See the DWP site for more information. The weasel term here is "reasonable". You don't want to put yourself in a position where they decide you can no longer do your job and there are grounds for dismissal on medical grounds. Employers might argue that the needs of the service do not allow for adjustment. On the other hand some are really good about making adjustments. You have some protection under the Equalities Act in that must not be discriminated against because of your disability, but in practice these rights are limited.

Keep a close record of any discussion about this, E-mails are handy because they provide a paper trail, but remember any brief "friendly chat" in the corridor etc should also be diarised. (If employers are at all hostile you can be sure they are diarising such chats) Ask that minutes are minuted and remember for a lot of meetings you can take a friend (could be a Trade Union rep) in with you to witness the discussion. In meetings stress your commitment, experience and skills you can offer. Useful to ahve these written down, and reread them before you go in.

As a first step have a good hard think about what would help you. Is there any possibility of adjusting you schedules to minimise walking/physical effort? Would you be willing to consider a compromise of reducing your working time, either shorter days every days or Wednesday of each week so you can work two days then rest? Would a taxi, electric bike or other transport help you? Write a bullet point list and use this as a basis for discussion. Also provide a short explanation of fibromyalgia, preferably taken form a well respected medical site. It's always a good idea to ask for more than you want, somehow people feel better if they think they have reached a compromise!

Good luck
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