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Seriously scared - Work Problems

Hi,

I hope you can help!

I will try and keep this as brief as possible but it is a bit of a complicated situation.

I work full time for a charity in Glasgow and have done so for twelve years, next month. I
am a Senior Manager and recently, as a result of the financial position many of us have found ourselves in, we have had to take a close look at our financial position and cut our cloth accordingly. This has resulted in a proposed change to terms and conditions - The sickness policy has had the most dramatic changes with serious implications on the staff; it should be noted however that our current position in terms of sickness and absence is wholly unsustainable.

The crux of the matter is this - Currently when a member of staff has gone off sick they have been paid 100% of there wages. This has gone on for a number of years now and been applied to everyone. For example when I have suffered a relapse that made it impossible for me to work for nearly two months I was fully paid, also I was off for a long period with depression (MS related I’m sure) I was fully paid. Now the suggestion is that staff employed for more than five years will annually be allowed four weeks full pay and four weeks half pay on a rolling basis.

The business side of me says this is reasonable as we need to be able to ensure the long term stability of the organisation - THe MS side of me says that in reality, if my pattern of sickness is maintained, I will be off work for more than this and we can’t survive on Statutory Sick Pay. I am only 37 and have two young children, a wife and a mortgage! I’m sure you have heard it all before…

My huge dilema is that I was involved in the writing the contract - I made my objections known to the proposed sickness policy but the majority voted in favour. The proposal is to have a disability policy in place which aligns with the minimum requirements as laid down in statute.

Essentially, this means if I go off it will be on SSP and that means we will lose our house

What do I do now?

I really hope you can help me with this!

Take Care all

G

Sorry, but this is outside my experience. Perhaps the CAB can advise you? You could try posting on the Everyday Living page too - more people use that forum and someone may have been through something similar.

Karen x

I can relate to this because I spent most of my working life in HR policy and some of it writing (and negotiating the introduction of!) policies that ran counter to my personal interests - but unlike you I was not senior enough to be put in the surreal position of having to make the final decision about them. Sitting in on those meetings to take the notes was bad enough.

It is hard to see what more you can do that you have not done already - it is not solely your decision to make, and probably would be no easier if it was. But you can perhaps take an active interest in the detail to check that everything looks as OK as it can be, within constraints.

I guess that keeping yourself as healthy as possible is your main priority here, including keeping properly medicated to keep your mood in order. You do not say whether you are on a DMD, but as you have been relapsing seriously, I expect you are. How well controlled is your MS? Is your current treatment doing the trick? If you are continuing to relapse so badly on a first-line DMD that you are losing time at work, maybe you need a chat with your neurologist about something stronger?

Sorry, this isn’t much help. Obviously the ideal thing would be to not have MS any more, a recommendation I have been making to myself for some years, but so far without result.

Good luck with it all.

Alison

This is typical of the current employment procedure many companies are employing today. But every company must abide by the Law and in your case the Equalities Act http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents sorry a rather long document.

This overrides The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 that I know said that any employer should disregard any sickness owing to the person’s disability (or words to that effect) http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1995/50/contents

Unfortunately I have not time to look through it.

Obviously you are not in a Union and your employers are aware of your diagnosis but I would suggest you contact the EHRC who will advise you on your best course of action http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/

I will not say ‘stop worrying’ because you will no matter what. But regard it as a challenge; if they abide by the Law? The question about your wage structure IS decided by the company so this is where Alison’s advice is good.

You have not a Critical Illness policy with your mortgage? Check.

Good luck

George

Just wanted to say hope it works out for you. Chis

Thanks for the comments guys, I really appreciate it. Stress levels are through the roof at the moment which does not help one little bit. (The return button on my lap top has broken as well). I think my next stop is CAB to see what they think. Anyway thanks again. I’ll keep you posted. Take care all. G :slight_smile: