Sicknesss absence triggers - you gotta laugh!

I received the written version of my return to work meeting today. I have made a couple of amendments (not something I usually do) and i’m sending it back to my line manager. Not prepared to sign it as it is. One thing that i have written on it is that in the notes it says “Julie is aware of her personal absence triggers” Decided to pick up on this because I know of trust-wide absence triggers but i’m totally unaware of any personal ones. I have also mentioned that I believe their policies could constitute indirect discrimination as I have the same triggers as everyone else and i’m not sure that’s fair. I’ll update with any progress in due course! Juls (starting to finally fight back!)

The only incentive to go back when you’re still not really well, in my opinion, is that any further absences might earn you a written letter of concern. If you’re already off - and have already triggered in hours - you might as well stay off!

Hi Juls, at present I probably won’t trigger. However, 2 episodes is always worse than 1 as they multiply the spells together and then multiply by the days (if that makes sense) so 1 spell results in lower score even if more days are taken. It’s the system that’s wrong as where is the incentive to go back?

Did you get any response from the Union?

Ok I’ve had a reply from work.

We do not have ‘Disability Leave’ as such and do not discount sickness absence as part of reasonable adjustments. We make reasonable adjustments to enable a member of staff to return to work and through this we meet the requirements of the Equality Act. Reasonable adjustments can be made to help you with your condition and to support you to remain at work. As discussed, an Occupational Health referral can be made to explore what reasonable adjustments could be made to assist you with this, this would normally be completed by your manager.

So looks like the NHS are a bit behind some more forward thinking employers. I’ve not actually been diagnosed with MS, still CIS, but think I will come Feb

I had a phone call from the Union last night who basically told me to contact the person in charge of the union here. I’m not going to do that because it’s well known that she’s quite well in with management and I reckon i’d be no better off for contacting her. Plus she’s loud, rude and scary!

I read yesterday that NHS UK are formulating something to go into new contracts regarding disability and this will be incorporated from April next year. I also read on an NHS forum that they feel there is much more they can do as an employer and they want to standardise the approach across the NHS.

Fingers crossed.

With ours it’s either 3.5% of your annual hours OR 3 or more absences. Either way I reckon with something like MS, you’re stuffed!

Sounds the same policy as local authorities. It’s so frustrating when you are genuinely unwell and in reality haven’t had a lot of time off. My line Manager keeps telling me not to worry - but if you read the policies literally it is quite concerning. Hope things work out for you.

Roll on April then. It should be standardised really.

Though I’m not sure I’d be covered under Equality Act with CIS at mo anyway. Was on Rebif until taken off this week due to low wbc. Anyone here know or know who to ask? I’m planning to ask for Occ Health Assessment but only if MS confirmed in Feb. Odd thing is, I’ll probably only be diagnosed as the McDonald criteria is changing not because I’ve worsened or MRI changed.

NanaJuls - could you get independent advice from CAB?

I have contacted various people - not tried CAB yet but I think i’ll get the same reponse. They all say something along the lines of “you will need to check with local policy”. I don’t really think - unless a unified NHS wide policy comes along - that it’s worth my while doing anything.

The ironic thing is that you’d think the NHS would be at the forefront around disability policies.