I hope all who read this are keeping well and warm.
I have put off asking for advice about this, as I thought I had better remain ‘strong’ and that maybe with that positivity this would sort itself out, but I am starting to feel like I am going crazy!
This is lengthy so bear with…
I have worked for a company for 4 years now, just over. At the time of being diagnosed with remitting and relapsing MS at the end of August 2013 (following a lengthy relapse) I panicked and re-deployed myself to a familiar role within the company and to a team that I new would welcome me, warts and all so to speak. I was VERY honest and told them that I was looking to change roles as I had just been diagnosed and felt I needed a base, structure and less stress whilst I figured out how to work and live with it. Since joining the team I unknowingly inherited a MASSIVE work backlog from the previous employee as well as ongoing demands of a pressured role. I cracked on with it, largely taking hits on my annual leave to manage fatigue, migraines, leg spasms etc in hope that I could keep my MS at bay - I couldn’t! I have had around 6 -7 small ish relapses in the last year, the most I have ever had! I made a decision after having to take 7 weeks off work with yet another relapse a few months ago and subsequently going over my sickness allowance, meaning I went on to SSP and financially took a hit once I returned on a phased return, that enough was enough and I needed to ask for a more flexible way to do this job - i.e. work from home, maybe later starts etc etc. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO as I have jumped through many hoops and been to many very intimidating HR meetings and seem to get nowhere. After persistence and involving Unison they are budging slightly but every option of ‘reasonable adjustment’ either means that I have to reduce my working hours or do them over a longer day i.e. come to my base for most of the day then clock off and go to another base closer to home, but that’s would mean working until 6pm/7pm each night when I am really only supposed to work 9am to 5pm. Its too long and boring a story to go into any more detail but this is ruining my life and taking up ALL of my personal time and limited energy.
Has anyone out there experienced this and what did you do? Do you think its worth just taking a hit and reducing hours i.e after a couple of years do you get more in the swing of things and go back to full time? I just feel there is no flexibility - can you believe they force me to take sick on days when onl my mobility is effected i.e. its not a relapse and I feel ‘ok’ - they have now said if I don’t want to take sick then I cant work from home so I have to get a train, bus or taxi the 30 miles trip it is to work…bearing in mind I cant get around my flat as I walk like a thunder bird when my mobility goes so I could NEVER negotiate a busy train ride to work or even get to the train station!
Arrrrrrrgh! I am fed up of chasing GP’S, consultants, work, union and you name it for support and advice and just want to work whilst I still can. I am not even sure if this makes sense as believe it or not I have condensed it lol! Thanks for reading Sorry all xxx