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Advice re Work Query Please

Evening All,

I hope everyone is as well as you can be. I’m just wondering if I could have your thoughts re a work related matter please?

18 months ago I requested a reduction in hours which was agreed - to be trialled on both sides for 3 months, then reviewed. The review didn’t happen due to managerial issues, but 12 months ago I was told my role/workload would be discussed after the appointment of a new manager. I was off sick for 3 months last year (not MS related) and the new manager was appointed during my absence. On my return I was told I’d have a review ‘in due course’ as there were lots of things to be sorted out. I’ve been happy to be patient, but basically have been struggling to do full time work in part time hours and feeling more and more like I’ve been ‘drowning’ in it all! On Thurs I felt so rubbish on the way to work I nearly turned round and came home - but didn’t. Told the manager how stressed and ill I was feeling about it all and the meeting is now scheduled for the end of this week, which is good. What I want to say is that I need my workload to be reduced, as I cannot manage full time work in part time hours and I am no longer prepared to try because it’s affecting my health. If they consider the position to be full time and therefore can’t accommodate the reduction in hours (and therefore workload) I understand that but they will need to terminate my employment because I can’t go on as I am. Sooo do you guys think that sounds reasonable? Should I just deal with this as mentioned or do you think I need to contact my MS Nurse/GP to inform them of the situation and tell them I’m struggling with the effects of stress on my MS? Do you think I need to take further advice from Citizen Advice or whoever?

Any thoughts would be appreciated. THANK YOU.

H x

hi

i think you definitely need good advice from someone, CAB or a union rep, there are other agencies but i can’t think of them at the moment.

you would benefit from having someone in the meeting with you.

moral support and someone to take notes.

really hope someone better informed than myself come along soon.

carole x

Hi. I was off work 7 weeks last year and my employer put me in touch with occupational health. They put things in place for me going back and I did phased return to work. After phased return to work. I started back full time and struggled with the hours. I informed occ health of this they contacted employer, made recommendation would benefit both parties if my hours where reduced on perm basis with adequate work load. My employer agreed to this. Occupational Health can only make recommendations, employer doesnt need to follow it. But must be seen to be making some changes. As MS falls under equality act. I would make appointment at local cab office or ask your employer to put you in touch with occ health. Hope this helps x

Hi

I am not an employmety expert but please look at the links below and call ACAS or look at, the service initially gives free advice

www.acas.org.uk

I found them very helpful and informative when I had an illness related issue.

Also look at the Disability Discrimination Act.

www.nidirect.gov.uk

You are entitled to ask for reasonable adjustments to be made and put in place. This could be a shared role?

Hope this is helpful and you sort this issue to help you feel less stressed. Good luck.

Slimcea

Hi H,

I’d say there’s absolutely no point reducing your hours if you’re still expected to get through a full-time workload! How does that help? It just makes the days you are there more stressful. Also you are (in effect) losing out financially, because you’re still producing the same amount of work, but squeezing it into less time, so being paid less for it! Of course, if pay is by the hour, there’s no way you’d successfully argue to retain the same pay on fewer hours - but an unfortunate consequence is you’re still expected to do as much, for less.

When I was still working, I did consider asking for a reduction in hours, but one of the things that put me off was I didn’t think there would be any formal control of how much work I was still expected to get through, and I’d just end up trying to do five days’ work in three - which seems to be the equivalent of what’s happened to you.

I think it’s entirely reasonable that you should stress (no pun intended) that a reduction in hours needs to be matched with a corresponding reduction in workload, as it’s no concession at all to be expected to do the same work for less time (and less money!) - you are actually working harder.

However, (unless you would like to be offered a severance deal - and I don’t know whether any would apply in your position, or it would just be: “Thanks and goodbye”), I don’t think it’s a good idea on your part to raise termination as an option. Any talk of termination should only come from them. You don’t want to hand it to them on a plate as a solution, because they may snap it up!

So I think you need to proceed on the basis they need to adjust the workload to fit the hours you actually do - not the ones you used to, and definitely NOT add: “Or if you consider it full-time only, you’ll have to sack me then”. That leaves the door wide-open for them to do just that!

Incidentally, I think all the above would apply even if your reasons for going part-time had nothing to do with health. A part-time employee should never be expected to get through as much as if they were full-time. Where’s the justice in that?

Tina

x

Thank you all for your advice and thoughts. I will contact Acas and CAB - it never hurts to have information does it? And Anitra - yes - I was thinking further about it after I posted last night and decided it wasn’t a good idea to mention termination!

I so much appreciate all your good advice. THANK YOU.

H x

I might need to request Occupational Health at some stage, but for now I’ll get advice and see how things go.

Thanks again,

H

hi H

have you got an occupational pension?

would you consider retiring on the grounds of ill health?

this would need to be pursued carefully so just think about it for now.

carole x

If you do have an occupational pension consider the consequences if you reduce your hours.

Best wishes

Jan x

Hi Carole and Jan - no I haven’t got an occupational pension… But thanks for the thought :slight_smile: I’m gonna take some advice as suggested above, and see how things go at the end of the week.

H x

H

please contact Occupational Health for advice, when I returned to work after my diagnosis they were really helpful, setting out a plan for me on what I could reasonably do at the time & what I might be able to do going forward. They contacted my employers before my return & accompanied me to a meeting with management to support my case for reduced hours. They we’re great in helping explain things to HR.

Good luck

S

Thanks for your thoughts S, but I don’t think I have the option to contact Occupational Health although management could decide to refer me there. I’m maybe making a mountain out of a molehill … will have to wait and see how things go. At the moment its all got to me a bit and I feel like I’m in meltdown - not like me at all - I’m usually ‘Mrs Sensible’ but hey ho …

No wonder they’re not in a rush to review if they are getting a f/t contribution from someone they only have to pay p/t. And no wonder that you are folding at the knees. If they have the cheek to suggest that THEY are doing YOU a favour, then bite them!

Good luck with the review. If you don’t have a TU rep, do you have a trusted colleague that you can invite along to take notes for you and support you? Above all, remember that this is a resourcing problem that needs solved, and it is your employer’s resourcing problem, not yours. You are not the problem.

Alison

Don’t forget Access to Work Get support in work if you have a disability or health condition (Access to Work) - GOV.UK who can put in place lots of benefits to enable you to do your job from taxis to and from to helper worker to do part’s of your job you find difficult.

You are in the best situation at present with the General Election coming up. They (whatever party) will do anything for your vote so give them the problem to solve. In the end no one sees who you vote for.

Good luck

George

Hi H,

Like you i am having a bad time at work. Im not sure what area you are in but my MS nurse put me in contact with a rehabilitation at work advisor who has been amazing, it may be worth finding out if there is someone you can contact.

Just remember your employer has a duty of care for the staff!

Cx