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Back once again :(

Well everything is worse again, work have been horrendous in that despite being told that my symptoms are getting worse and pushed me to do things i really wasn’t ready for!. As a result i’ve come off sick again and have got even worse and have now started falling up stairs (twice in a week and both times lucky that i only wrenched my shoulder or pulled my neck recovering from the trip)

Meeting with work yesterday and was basically told that they would be setting me a “reasonable” return to work date and if i don’t come back by then that they will consider taking me down the formal attendance management route!. So much for caring sharing employers nowadays!.

So now as well as ill health i have stress from work on top and find myself having to seek legal advice about work pushing me like this.

How do all of you guys and gals cope?!?

Feeling thoroughly depressed today

hi puddycat

you need to use your sick leave to rest.

you can’t get enough rest with this illness.

formal attendance management can work in your favour.

i had it started and ended up being offered medical retirement.

collect any letters from your neuro, especially any that refer to your ms symptoms.

meanwhile have a rest.

sorry to be repeating myself but you really need to rest!!

carole x

Thanks carole,

Resting as much as i can right now. That’s the one positive i’m taking from this whole thing. Medical retirement wouldn’t be too bad an outcome as i can’t see my long term employment with an employer like this one!. Just so annoyed at how incompetent the job has become at looking after staff.

My supervisor decided in the meeting yesterday that he would ask me to sign an action plan and then told me that i had already automatically failed it. When i disagreed he repeated it until the HR lady stepped in. She set him right and told me the correct plan that they were setting.

Right now i am going to go and concentrate on something which relaxes me. Making an anniversary cake for my parents and need to make some figures (first time eeeeeek!!)

mick

I worked in local government and we had strict rules regarding sickness absence. Two absences within a year a meeting with your manager was arranged and you were monitored for the following six months. If you had another absence another meeting was arranged etc etc with each meeting being more formal eventually leading to dismissal. These meeting are primarily to determine if any help could be offered ie physio for back problems, counselling for emotional problems, occ health might become involved to help people stay in employment. They also determine patterns in absences, the amount of people who regularly take a Friday off or a Monday is amazing, when they know you are on to them they often (not always) miraculously stop this pattern.

Obviously I don’t know where you work but for me these rules applied to everyone, you can’t arrange a meeting with MR Smith because he has been absent due to a stomach upset then flu and not have a meeting with Mrs Smith because she has been absent with double vision then muscle spasms. The rules have to be followed regardless of circumstances.

It isn’t nice, i know having just been through all the formal meetings myself. I hope in your case it leads to a satisfactory outcome for you and for your employment. Perhaps there are things your employers can put in place to help you or a change of roles to make things easier for you.

Of course not all employers are looking to help with these meetings. If this is the case with you, do you have a union or a friend you can take to the meetings with you for moral support, someone to help you remember what was said and by whom so that if you go down the route of unfair dismissal you have all the facts and a witness.

Hopefully this is all just formality and you will come out of the meeting feeling your employers have a better understanding of your condition and will help you rather than make things even more difficult for you.

Best wishes

Jan x

Jan, i understand the need for attendance criteria etc, been management before with this company but swapped to a different role.

My concern is that they pushed me into going off sick in the first place so not only have they made my condition worse, but they’ve now decided to take it formal (which wouldn’t have been necessary had they supported me)

There is a lady on the same team with similar symptoms who has been fully supported and not pushed back like this. Stinks of inequality to me.

As for representation yes i have a federation rep who knows of my situation, however they arranged the meeting at a time where they knew it was unlikely that she could attend, so i had to attend on my own without representation.

Hi Mick,

Sorry to see your still having problems with work, does this go for diagnosis as well?

Have you spoken to your Rep since the meeting and where do they stand with the outcome? I know what you do, from my side I would have insisted my Rep was with me at the meeting and my supervisor would have had to wait till they were free, I’m sure thats my right, but your situation/side maybe slightly different from mine.

Have you had a further neuro appointment yet or got any further with a dx?

Take care and as Carole said, REST.

C x

Hello :slight_smile:

i havent been able to speak to her yet as she’s been off sick herself, I did ask for the meeting to be rearranged but they’ve been playing silly beggars. They offered me a date in December with 2 days notice and I asked them to reconsider as there wasn’t enough time to arrange my fed rep who knew everything about the situation. They told me they’d check and didn’t call back

got a call last week saying it would be this weds and I couldn’t change as if refused the first date (didn’t refuse just asked for them to consider diff date so rep could attend. So the second date was organised and gave my fed rep two days to find out if she was free and they refused to rearrange for diff date saying if I didn’t turn up it would go ahead

lots of things going on that don’t add up which is why I’m trying to get funding for legal advice. I got so bad and down with all of the pressure that I even started looking for jobs elsewhere!!

diagnosis still same situation. Nothing know. I have a new neuro this month as the last one was pants and I complained about him after he didn’t even ask about my symptoms.

Only shining light is my gp who is also new after moving but is trying his best to help me

Resting big style today as this is the lowest I’ve felt energy wise

hope you’re okay cherry :slight_smile:

Oh Mick, big hugs! Something is yelling for change here. Keep sticking up for yourself, rest a lot; TV, reading, even chatting don’t count as rest (I’ve learned from my CFS/ME group therapy). Meditation, very gentle excercise, staring at the clouds are all restful. How’s your sleep? We’ve been discouraged to nap in the day (I can’t usually sleep when its light anyway). You can always find me here or on Facebook for a chat. Take it easy :slight_smile:

Hi Mick

Make sure Fed are aware of what has happened so far, if your Rep is still on sick, talk to someone else, its what you pay for after all, and it won’t be the first organisation to take advantage of your type of situation.

Good luck with the new neuro, that situation on its own is enough to drive you crazy. Get your headphones on & loose yourself in music.

I’m ok(ish), these smilies are the nearest I can get to the truth don’t think they’ve invented one for the way I really feel!

You know where I am.

Take care

C x

Actually Mick, re the smilie, I think my avatar comes pretty close x

Hi

I read your message with incredulity and sadness in equal measure.

Essentially, and on the assumption that you have already disclosed your condition to your employer, they are or should be aware of the Equality Act 2010 and their obligations with regards to disability. Multiple Sclerosis or MS is a condition which is regarded as a disability from the point of diagnosis .

With regards to the meeting you attended, you have the right to reschedule it up to five days and should be given 48hrs before attending. If your advocate / companion is not available and your employer puts you under pressure to attend, that could in itself be a failure to make a reasonable adjustment, which they are under an obligation to consider. That is, to recognise that under the circumstances they should allow you time to prepare your case / response. They should also particularise in sufficient detail the conduct or in this case capability issues which they are considering. that is, how long is the absence, what dates etc, etc.

Their “ultimatum” (to attend the meeting) could well be direct or most likely indirect discrimination by applying a Provision Criterion or Practice, which puts you as a disabled person at a disadvantage, when compared to someone who does not possess the same characteristic.

They should have asked for Access to medcal records, in order to determine you current condition and the effect it has on you, day to day. Without this, or some other medical report dismissal would not be safe and could amount to an Unfair Dismissal.

So I would suggest the following

an email advising your employers that you regard yourself as a disabled person and that they are fixed with knowledge from te date they first became aware

That you will attend welfare meetings, but would like to be accompanied amd also you wish to discuss reasonable adjustments that they intend to take to support you at work.

Copies of any previous meeting notes where you have attended to discuss your absence.

Talk to your union rep or go to CAB or consult ACAS for advice on your employment rights

And dont attend any more meetings unaccompanied. Stress can excerbate your symtoms and your employer should not act in a way likely to damage or undermine the implied terms of trust and confidence written into every employment contract, and putting you under pressure to attend meetings, pretty much does that.

How long have you been employed and what is the job that you do, if you dont mind me asking?

T

Hey there,

Fed are now aware and agree the action taken so far is out of order. official grievance has been submitted and getting legal advice too. I think they’re trying to get me to jump ship but i’ll keep fighting (unless i find a better paid job!!)

Big hugs, hope you’re feeling a little better before too long.

i’ll message ya

Mick

sleep ranges between horrendous to okay.

some nights i sleep really well but the latest insomnia attacks include the inability to stop singing the same two lines of various songs in my head which means i have no chance of sleeping.

i’m trying mindfulness from today on, i’ve heard its really good to relax with so i’ll give it a shot.

in the meantime i’m trying to think about work as little as possible and just learn to look after me for once!

T,

I’m a police officer and had been with them for twelve years both as police staff and officer.

They’re aware of the disability despite me not having a firm diagnosis and in october last year the head of HR agreed that because of the length and severity of my illness when i am symptomatic that i would be covered under the equality act.

I’m currently putting together a chronological list of all that’s happened and am submitting a request for legal advice funding through the federation that i pay for. My fed rep has said my chances of success if action was taken is 50/50 but i’m certain she’s just trying to prevent me from taking action if i feel the need.

I have already decided not to attend any further meetings without someone else present. i would have had someone at the meeting had they not decided to sort the meeting out on what should have been a rest day if i had been at work. Then i could have asked for someone on my team to attend who would have been able to help a little as he is a union rep.

Not happy with how work have “supported me” and it does date back to the beginning of last year which is why i’ve decided that if i get funding i will take it further if possible. i know the stress will impact on me further but if they get away with doing it to me they will do it to others.

Mick

I’m envisioning you being successful - not just for yourself but, like you say, for others that may find themselves in the same uncomfortable spot.

Good idea to work on mindfulness! Here’s a related tip to help you sleep that I learned on my CFS/ME course (though oversleeping is usually my problem!) On your slow outbreaths,count down from ten to one then start from ten again. It keeps your mind busy but after a while, makes it bored so your body gets the sleep message. Repeat as often as needed - if you wake up in the night to go to the loo, count as you go!! It will help you to get back to sleep.

Mindfulness is amaaaaazing!! Nearly fell asleep and still feeling perky now :slight_smile:

i will try counting if I can’t sleep. Wi try anything :slight_smile:

hopefully it won’t come to the legal moves but we’ll see. Am not totally sure that work will change their minds but ever hopeful. Depends on what the force doc and the next new neuro says later this month