Unsupportive employer


I was diagnosed with RR MS in 2001. I am currently on maternity leave from work but am upset about how I have been treated by my work in the past.

I have always been open about having MS when needed but I have always had to fight for any reasonable adjustments to be made. For example I cannot use a hand dryer every day to dry my hands so had to fight to get paper towels put back in the ladies toilets. I was told that the hand dryers were unlikely to make my hands tingle!!! An agreement was put into place eventually that the toilets on my floor would have paper towels in them. They did suggest that I have by own supply of them but I was unhappy about that as to me it was announcing to everyone that I was going to the toilet as I would be walking around the office with them lol. Even when it was agreed for our floor to have paper towels I had an almost daily battle to get them refilled.

Another thing was I suffer really badly with the cold and our whole office building was freezing cold because one little man from facilities liked it cold so we all had to suffer. I again had to fight for a warm, comfortable working environment, a heater etc. Eventually after a number of times being off sick due to me not being able to use my hands as a result of the working environment a meeting was set up with my manager and our health and safety team to discuss what was best for me. I found it surprising that I wasn’t actually included in the meeting to discuss my needs! After months I finally got a proper heater I could use and a desk move.

I have met up with a work friend today who told me that this little man from facilities used to bitch and moan about me because of “all my demands”. I was really upset by this as it was absolutely nothing to do with him. He was incharge of things like stationery, room bookings etc so when I had an assessment for a heater etc he shouldn’t have tried to block this imo as it was nothing to do with him. He even used to ask Health and Safety to have a copy of my records which was a complete data protection breach. I did make a complaint against how I was treated but our rubbish HR just fobbed me off so nothing was done.

The big thing that annoys me is my employer always rams it down everyones throat about how great they are to work for but imo they are not supportive at all :frowning:

Sorry for the rant. I am just very upset about the attitude of my employer. Does anyone else experience this and/or can offer any advice?

Thank you

Hello ,

I can relate to what you are going through.

I was diagnosed with pp ms last february and just continued going to work like nothing was wrong. i was in denial last year and only told my family in july and let work know in august. i was just acting as though everything was fine but how very wrong i was :frowning: this year i am trying so hard to come to terms with this. it has been really tough.

work certainly don’t understand how things are for me. i should imagine most employers dont want to understand.

I know what your going through as i was off work since november 2012 and only returned last week!I don’t think they understand what its like for someone with ms.

i also suffer from long term depression and this has been really bad after the way work treated me. i actually felt suicidal and its not a pleasant feeling. I just don;t want to go back to doing the same job role ( i won’t explain the reason for that here as its too long and i don’t want to bore you).

well I don’t think its right how you have been treated- your employer has to make reasonable adjustments for you. MS is a disability and is covered by the disability act of 2010. i have been in contact with an occupational therapist at the hospital i do to and she wrote a detailed letter to my work place explaining that this was a disability and what rights i have.

I think its appalling how the ‘little man’ has treated you.and i didn’t realise men could gossip too. i mean how petty and self-centred. what is your work place doing about him treated you like this. it sounds stressful and i would escalate this further up in you work place.

in my office its always sickly hot with no windows. I have a work station assesment tomorrow and haven’t a clue what this involves. but i will ask for a fan should i need to use this at any time.

sadly employers always say how great they are and as for health and safety giving ‘little man’ a copy of your records its is a breach of your confidentiality. i would demand to know why this happened.

hope i could help a little


Thanks for your response. I hope things work out for you at your work.

I just can’t get over how some employers just don’t seem to give a sh*t! I tried to be reasonable for months/years but it was only when I threatened them with the then DDA that they took a tiny bit of notice. I’ve been told that the ‘little man’ has left now but he was allowed to basically do what he wanted. The majority of people hated him but noone would say anything, I think being one of the few that did was why he hated me so much. Yeah there are quite a few men at my place who like a good bitch!

When I wrote a complaint letter to HR all they said was take it to your manager. My manager is good at some things but he’s not so supportive over others. There was one issue with my hands and doing a certain job which when I mentioned it he said he found it funny which I found very unprofessional. Even after telling HR that I can’t go to my manager that’s the only answer I get now - we’ve told you to take it to your manager.

Hope that you get some things from your assessment. Mine have always involved checking screen, chair, mouse etc and seeing if there is anything that can help you. I hope that they are more supportive and generous if you need anything to be more comfortable. I required a fan in the heat last year, especially because I was heavily pregnant and the ‘little man’ again tried to block it by saying why does someone who needs a heater and wears a fleece and gloves all the time need a fan!!

Thing is having MS and having to deal with it yourself can be hard enough at times without thoughtless people making it harder :frowning:

I wish you the best of luck and thanks again for replying :slight_smile:

Omg I can’t believe they threatened to sack you, that is appauling :frowning: That’s the thing though, if it involves anyone high up they don’t seem to care and brush it under the carpet.

Good for you though for getting an agreement! I hate using it but having the DDA/EA behind us is awesome when needed!


There are some folk who should be shot! Line up our little man with. my clerical officer was off with stress because of my MS…when she realised she had painted herself into a corner(she had caused a lot of conflict with other staff previously) she resigned…my managers were crap, they asked me to deal with it as I was her line manager after they told me everything she had said about me, they asked me to organise a leaving gift for her! Management and HR( not as visibly) are great at letting you know you are a hindrance not an asset in the nicest possible way of course…I imagine there are numerous difficulties at work with MS or other disabilities…there may be laws but once managers know u can use them you are regarded as a problem

Hi, I can’t see why putting paper towels in the toilets was such an issue tbh, it sounds reasonable, easy to organize and no expensive. I think all companies make out how great they are tbh. As for the cold and heat issue, I have worked in the same company for more than 18 years and one thing that gets people going more than any other is the temperature in the office. I don’t have issues with heat or cold so I let others fight this one out. Someone turns a radiator up and then someone turns it down and opens a window. Now, you say your ms is affected by heat and cold so I would say that you would have priority for appropriate heat and cold levels for you. But dda and ms or not this is going to put other people out. If the heat cold issue is so important to you then I think you’ll just have to accept that someone is going to complain tbh , there’s at least one in every workplace! I know I always say this and I know some won’t like me saying it, but IMO, getting what you want or need often comes down to endearing yourself to people. Saying something like" my ms is worst in the cold, can I sit beside the radiator please" is more likely to get you what you want rather than threatening them with the dda. I depend on a fair amount of good will at my work and I work very hard to keep this goodwill, it gets me a lot more help than is available via the dda. Cheryl:-)