Time off work

hi, I’ve had to have lots of time of this year due to 3 relapses. I feel that although the school are supportive at the time, they are worried about the implications of my absence on exam results etc. I’m worried that they will push me to reduce hours or try to shovel me out somehow. I think that i do my job well when I am there. It’s just the time off with relapses which is causing a problem. Has anyone else come across this kind of problem? Can I stay working if i carry on having mulitple relapses?

Another teacher! There are so many teachers on here. What do you teach? I’ve worried about the same thing but school are very supportive indeed so I’m lucky. I try to send in quite specific work for the lessons I miss. I presume you have a diagnosis so you are protected by that - but actually, as a good teacher, of course you worry about the impact of your illness on the children’s results. Do you have a school webpage for your subject which you can access from home? Step by step teaching/instruction etc can be put on there. If you teach maths, chemistry or physics it’ll be harder though! Are there other teachers of your subject who can help the cover teacher?

There will come a point when you know you are off more than is good for the results and the fact you are asking this shows you are conscientious of that. It may be that you need to reduce your hours if you can afford to. Is there anywhere you can rest? The school might also take you off duties/cover etc as part of adapting your work environment to your needs.

It’s definitely a worry!

hi, thanks for posting advice about this. Good to hear from another teacher too! I teach languages, what do you teach? You’re right, it is a worry! I’ll be working a 65% timetable next year so am hoping that this will help alongside resting when I can and being kept off any cover rota or duties. Then again with mS, you never know what’s around the corner. i could work one day a week and still relapse- aaaaggghh!

I teach RS and Sociology so it’s far easier for my girlies to teach themselves with guidance from my sofa! Languages are definitely trickier, particularly because of the oral. I hope your reduced timetable helps to stave off relapses but you’re totally right about the lack of planning of them!

Hi Your employer should make reasonable adjustment for your symptoms, once they know. I used to teach l3-5 electronics after I stopped working on site as an engineer. I had a supportive employer (I left of my own fruition, redundancy ¬ well at time). I have had the offer to contract for them, writing training material and tech manuals from home I worked for a private provider, not lea funded provision. Good look Mike :slight_smile:

Yes there does seem a lot of Teacher’s on here but on the old website about 5 years ago you could easily check how of a certain group wrote on here. Yes the number of Teacher’s were high but by far the most were NHS workers; Nurses etc.

Mind you it did not give you any good calculation because you must bring into he equation things like these groups are probably computer literate and out of the under estimate of 100,000 PwMS in the UK if 500 use this website I may be overestimating.

Anyway to your questions; as Mike say’s they must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ http://equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/guidance-for-employers/the-duty-to-make-reasonable-adjustments-for-disabled-people/ and you must not be discriminated against in any way. In other words because of your illness; which gives you certain restrictions you must adhere to; you must not b disciplined or admonished.

If a doctor has signed you off sick they should not count this as sick leave; as some businesses say after 3 sick days you should go for an assessment or interview about your sickness.

In the real world obviously this cannot go on forever so after about 12 months of continuous sick and after jumping through many hoops in the right order and helping you with any ‘reasonable adjustments’ you are still off yes they can dispense with your employment.

I see your anxiety about your pupils needing some sort of consistency. I don’t know if this is feasible or possible but contact ‘Access to Work’ http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/Employmentsupport/WorkSchemesAndProgrammes/DG_4000347 they pay 80% of any ‘reasonable adjustment’ plus many other things like taxis to and from.

How about asking them to supply another Teacher to help in your class and then when you’re off sick your pupils will then at least see the same face. Plus your school would not be paying all of it

Word of warning; do not try and resist the requirements of MS. If the lurgy wants you to be sick; so be it; if you force yourself to resist only you will suffer.

Good luck and take it in your stride.


I’m not a teacher so really can’t help with that, but I’m curious about DMDs - if you’re relapsing so much, are you on the right one? Maybe you should pester your neuro for a change of med? Could make all the difference?

Karen x

Thanks everyone for all advice, it’s really helps. I’m such a muppet. I was diagnosed in Dec 2000 and have only just realised the benefits of this type of forum. Don’t know why i didn’t look into it before- duh! anyway, you’ve certainly all given me food for thought so many thanks. You’re right Karen, the hospital are already looking at a change in med. I’m not that keen though as all DMD’s have side effects and sometimes maybe it’s case of ‘better the devil you know’!

Hi everyone, I have not yet been diagnoised, have tho been off work for 9mths with all of the symptoms of MS. I work in a very busy day nursery looking after 2-3yrs old…I miss work, however I cannot do this kind of work anymore. I am always dizzy, and off balance. In the job you have to think on your feet and be quick to deal with situations, however I noticed a yr ago how I was changing.Finding tasks hard were before they were second nature…

Very scary, and I feel totally in limbo. Had tests taken for vertigo and balance issues.Have to wait till 9th Oct…


Hiya as a teacher I assume you are in the superannuation pension scheme,remember that if you do reduce your hours as a means of continuing in the profession it will impact on your pension.So that is something else in the pot to consider.

As far as DMD goes yes there are side effects but they are in my experience far better than the lasting effects of relapses.

Again purely my view but if your relapses are causing you so much time off from the job you enjoy, wouldnt the chance of no/limited relapses but a few lumps/bruises (I can only speak for copaxone) be worth it?

As you keep relapsing are you finding that you get more and more residual symptoms?

Your choice of how you address your MonSter is entirely up to you but have you looked at the ms decisions site, as that gives you all the info on DMD and a tool to work through to rate the best one for you and your lifestyle based on how you score the side effects and what is important to you.

I assume you are now on holiday so have a good rest