When do I go back to work?

I have been off since August and I have now accepted that I will not be “better” when I go back, but I don’t know at what point to try. At the moment my hands don’t work properly so I only have one finger to type with and my job is computer based but I could be provided with Dragon dictation tool. I still get so tired and now can just go and rest whenever I want. My walking is slow and wobbly and I need to be near a loo. My job involves lots of paperwork and files and my hands aren’t working properly to handle them. I have balance issues if I bend down for files (if I end up on the floor I can’t push myself up again using my hands). My hearing and ears are dodgy and I have to answer phones, and I am emotional and don’t think I could handle any stroppy phone calls at the moment. My boss has it in her head that I am returning in January and I am feeling pressured. I have also been referred to an external occupational health company.

It sounds to me as if you are just not well enough to go back to your normal job. Is there any possibility of discussing a phased return to see how you get on?

Is your boss approachable? If so, I would explain to her what you have explained here and see what she says.

Whatever happens, don’t feel bullied into going back until you know you are ready. If you do, you could end up making yourself even worse through pushing yourself, stress etc. I know it’s easier said than done, but right now you need to concentrate on feeling better and it doesn’t sound as if your job, right now, is going to help this.

Good luck xx

I’m sorry to hear you’re having such a hard time. I’m out of work as I’m just not well enough to cope. By law your employer has every right to assess the job and make reasonable adjustments so that you could go back, i.e. well ventilated room, away from sunlight, take away tasks you can’t manage, give you a sit down job, etc. You also don’t have to go back to work for the full contracted hours either.

I suggest having a good think over whether you feel ready if they were to make changes to allow back into a phased return to work. If yes, then have a chat with them and see what they can do to benefit you and themselves.

If you don’t feel you could do an adapted job to your abilities now, then I would say don’t go back just yet.

Hope you start to get better soon and best of luck

Tsuki xxx

Hi, I have just recently returned to work and had all the concerns you had. I met up with my boss and we both together worked out my phase return. My boss even told me to get in touch with Access to work who now cover the costs of me getting to and from work as with mobility issues getting my 3 normal buses is a no go! I have had to adjust my job role as it was a stressful enviroment and full time hours I was doing, now I only work Mon,Wed and Fri so i have a day off inbetween my working days. Access to work also have said they will review my needs in a month or so to see if I need any specialised equipment to help me whilst at work. They have been a real help I sent the forms to them on a Friday and they called me on the Monday to discuss the help they could give. I was stunned at how quickly they responded as they are a part of DWP. It was there advisor who then recommended I applied for P.I.P and tax credits which has been a real help that ive had to reduce my hours to part time. Your employer should help you with anything necessary you need to get you back to work. I would suggest talking to your boss about how they can help you. Polly x

Thanks for your replies. One thing I didn’t explain earlier is that I have been diagnosed with CIS so I haven’t actually mentioned MS to my employers. My med cert says brain inflammation. They have agreed to a phased return but I don’t know how quick that will be, eg over 1 week or 1 month. The whole thing scares me as I haven’t been near many people since August! I can’t drive yet but I would hope to by January and I have bought an automatic car.