Time off work advice

Advice please. I feel so guilty if I take a day off work so I end up going in when I feel ill. I am not sick enough for early retirement and can’t afford to reduce my hours but some days I feel dreadful. This last year I have taken a total of 3 days off sick. I just wondered what was an acceptable work attendance with MS sufferers. I know some are a lot worse than me but I just can’t face putting on my sick declaration form ‘fatigue’ or ‘generally unwell’. How ill do you have to be to be unfit for work? This stuffy weather doesn’t help my symptoms either…the list would be endless!

Sorry guys, maybe I should have introduced myself as a newbie to this forum. I was under the wrong impression that it was for people who were more severely affected by ms than myself but now I realise that isn’t the case, we are all on the same boat eh?

Hi. Does your work have an OHS? If so I would get a refferal to them and have it noted that there can be days when you feel like that. That is what I did and now when I do have to call in sick it is marked as MS related. That then takes care of things from a Equalities Act side of things and lets my manager know how it is affecting me.

I take time off when I feel like I need to, there is no hard and fast rule.

Hi. I work for a big big company, and although I dont take a huge amount of time off (unless I have been signed off by the doc) I do have days where iam just not up to it and I know I need to take the day off to try and keep myself in check. I really dont know if it is just my company or if alot of them have this policy in place, but if I am suffering from fatigue or something else MSey and I cant come into work - my boss can, at his discretion discount my sick days as it is part of an ongoing condition. This is obviously a big relief to me as I dont like to have alot of red on my sick record.

I am also in the fortunate position of being able to take “last minute leave” - which means I can have the day as leave without any warning if my boss agress it. What is your management like? Maybe they could assit you with making some adjustments - flexible working hours, working from home etc etc.

I know its horrible to feel pressured to go into work when your not feeling great but its also hard to call in sick sometimes.



If your absence is MS related then it cannot be counted as ordinary ‘sick leave’ by law. All you have to do is put on the ‘sick declaration’ MS related fatigue.

However it doesn’t sound as if the legalities are bothering you, it sounds like a perceived moral dilemma. Please look after yourself, don’t drag yourself into work to make your health problems even worse. Maybe taking the occasional day off would mean that you would work more efficiently when you are there. Is working from home an option?

Dragging yourself into work when really you shouldn’t is not a good idea.

Look after yourself!

Oh sorry, I forgot to say ‘Welcome to the site’

and yes the site is for anyone affected by MS.

Hi, Thanks for the welcome and yes, it probably is a moral dilemma as well. Also if I take one day off I go back to two days work being the only person employed to do my job (finance in a large GP medical practice). They are aware that I have ms but maybe I need to look into the legal side as well, not sure what my rights are at the moment, I didn’t realise ms related absence is not classed as ordinary sick leave. The practice manager has already told me that hospital appointments have to be taken as sick leave or time made up. I wasn’t happy about this as, like Hayley, I don’t want a lot of ‘red’ on my record. After reading everyones replies it seems I have some homework to do reading up my rights! Anyone know where to look?

Hi I have not been told I have MS, however I have all the symptoms…I have not worked since Nov 2011, I went back in April of this yr on reduced hrs, unfortunatly I was not well enough. Please look after yourself your health is number 1 priority.

My job is a Nursery Nurse, and its not a case of sitting around just holding babies!!! Its a full on physical and mentally draining job, where you have to be on your toes constantly…However with MS, and HEAT these 2 just dont work well together.

Try and rest .

Jan x

Hi Basscat,

Equalities Act http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/legal-and-policy/equality-act/ and welcome darlin.


Thankyou for the link George and thankyou for your welcome too.


My Occ Health were brilliant. They allowed me to take as much time off as I needed before I took early retirement due to ill health caused by the MS. I found that I would go into work then take 2 days off to recover from the first day and this cycle would go on and on. Until Occ Health got involved and said that I should work shorter hours. They were brilliant.

Have you asked for a referral to Occ Health? They are very sypportive and will tell you your rights too under the Disabilities Act.

Hope this helps.

Shazzie xx

Thanks Shazzie

Unfortunately our Occ Health is outside sourced I think. I have to go through my Practice Manager who seems to be more concerned about me getting behind with my work if I go off. I wonder if there is some sort of independent body I could go through that I can actually understand. No-one else does my job at work so if I am off my desk is bowed in the middle when I return, the NHS stops for no-one. One of these days I think I will spontaneously combust!!


Hi Sue

I too worked for the NHS as a Med Sec. I was referred to Atos and, once they knew I had a diagnosis of MS, which is covered imder the Disability Discrimination Act they couldn’t do enough to help.

I dropped down to 3 days, then 2 days, then gave up completely, which was hard at the age of 50 I must admit.

Good luck and I hope you get on ok.

Shazzie xx

Thanks Shazzie

I am looking into ATOS at this moment following your advice.

Gosh, you must have felt the same as me when you were diagnosed, I cover for our Med Secs, too much information and not enough knowledge. . Frightening to say the least until I did some research!


You’ll be ok Sue. Just tell them exactly how you feel and they will be really helpful. I promise. Remember Atos are on our side and want to help you carry on working as long as you feel able.

You will be fine.


Thanks for replying Shazzie. As soon as I get a positive result I will post it on this forum so that your advice can help other people like myself.

Take care