Forum

Management, off sick and MS

Morning everyone,

I had to be picked up from work by my husband yesterday as was feeling awful, dizzy and just so not with it. I was supposed to be holding a parents evening after school , so as you can imagine my head of department was not happy. I have also called in sick today as still feeling awful. She wanted to know exactly what is wrong with me…it is so hard to explain what is wrong in a way that makes them realise that I physically can not teach today, and to top it off we have sports day tomorrow…in this heat! I know the head doesnt want me in his school, as i cannot give all that he expects, e.g. turning up for events after school that don’t finish til 9pm and at weekends. I do have a support worker for 16hrs a week, funded by AtW and that has really helped but the school now thinks this means i will not be off work at all. Basically, I am worried about my job, although part of me just wants to give it up. I love my kids and teaching them but not how I am treated by the management- actually ignored unless there is an issue!!

BUMP

I’m sure someone will see this that can help you, sometimes post appear to be a bit out of order but I can see you posted this morning. I’m self-employed so can’t really offer advice, I’m sure as a teacher you should have some support.

Sonia x

In your position I would see my GP for a sick note so it’s clear exactly what’s wrong. Possibly a virus or similar. I keep feeling dizzy / light headed but put it down to heat & dehydration.

If management are unsympathetic could you ask for a referral to Occupational Health or to be re assessed by Access to Work in case there’s anything else that can be done to support you? There are some good publications on here for employers that you could give them. Remember they have a duty of care.

Also, the TES Forums for Health and wellbeing and/or Workplace dilemmas have some great contributors who are very knowledgeable about ways to protect yourself from management who want rid of staff. Hope this helps.

Hi E, I knows it’s easy for people to say; but not always easy to have confidence in, but if you’re not well, you’re not well. You can’t help it Have HR been involved previously in relation to previous time off? Are you part of a a Union if you are worried? L x

The leaflet available from the MS Society is really useful as it also provides guidance for meetings with management and a sheet that you can use to record meetings so you have a paper record of what was agreed.

I work in admin at a high school and have had very good support. I did have an issue with my line manager at one point and basically issued an ultimatum that if they didn’t get me out of her dept I would remove myself one way or another and would put in a complaint about disability discrimination. I was swiftly moved to another line manager although I kept my existing role.

Is your school an academy or still funded by county? I thought county councils had a policy of employing a certain amount of disabled people?

Tracey x

Thanks for replies, Elmo, it’s an independent school so basically very little protection!! I have had my union involved when management tried to move me to alternative role as soon as i was dx and to help me get my support worker that Atw have paid for…so yes, basically they are trying to get me out!! I have been in touch with my MS nurse who offered really good advice, just hope this blo**y dizziness goes soon!! Thanks again all xx

Hi emya, You are in a tricky position, you will have rights under the DDA but they are not unfortuanelty exhaustive. I know as I am going through the process. I too work in education and have been to HR on a number of occasions, I have seen OH and also have been assessed by ATW. Basically in accordance with my contract (so you need to check yours) work have the following obligation ‘make reasonable adjustments to allow me to continue in the post’. They have done this and it has helped. However, if they feel that I can’t do my job, I then go into ‘capability’. 1 of 2 things will happen, I will either be dismissed as ‘unfit to work’ in the current role or I can apply for any available positions going at the time. There is no obligation on their part to create a job for me. Perhaps having an alternative role is not a bad thing if the alternative is for you leave. Check the fine print of what you signed they may be being more generous than most. Hope the dizziness settles soon. Lou x

[quote=“emya_1”]

Thanks for replies, Elmo, it’s an independent school so basically very little protection!! I have had my union involved when management tried to move me to alternative role as soon as i was dx and to help me get my support worker that Atw have paid for…so yes, basically they are trying to get me out!! I have been in touch with my MS nurse who offered really good advice, just hope this blo**y dizziness goes soon!! Thanks again all xx

[/quote] Oh dear. You do still have the protection of the Equality Act but, as has been pointed out, it doesn’t offer unlimited protection. I think I would provide a GP certificate if you are still off ill this week and keep trying to educate them about how MS is unpredictable and how it affects you. There is talk about my school becoming an academy and if it does one of the first things I will do is make sure it is recorded in my staff records that the school have agreed to some adjustments in the past including paid time off for all my hospital appointments. This is something which concerns me if/when we are under new management. Current leadership team tell me not to worry … apparently there are other members of staff who do not have chronic health conditions with far worse absence records than mine. Best of luck to you, I hope you are worrying unnecessarily Tracey xx