Work Advice

I work in a clothes shop and really love my job. A problem has arisen where I have applied for the second in charge position which the area manager gave me but the operations manager has said not yet. The AM expect me to be doing the hours of the 2IC which involves a full day Sunday (6 hours) and 930am-6pm on a Monday. My argument is that I can’t do all day Monday but she said its non negotiable. All I am proposing is that I do 11am-6pm on Mondays instead.

They know I have MS and said they will work around it but obviously that isn’t the case. How can I explain this to her. I tried yesterday saying that a relapse could have me out for an unknown amount of time.

One side of me wants to tell her to shove the 2IC role and therefore I wouldn’t be expected to do those hours. The other side of me wants to act like the 2IC (and hopefully get the promotion eventually) and do the days required but with a small negotiation and we are only talking about 1.5 hours on a Monday that I want to start later.

I need help :slight_smile:

Hi Kimmy,

I’m sorry to say, I do not believe MS automatically entitles you to a reduction in hours, if those hours are the requirements of the job.

It would depend at least partly on why they are unwilling or unable to budge. Is there something that happens in that particular 1.5 hour-slot every Monday that would be difficult or impossible to reschedule, and the second-in-charge would be expected to attend, as a normal part of their job?

Other than that, I can only say that Monday mornings are an important part of the working week for most businesses - when objectives and priorities are set for the rest of the week. So they may not think it “reasonable” that a senior person would not start until 11 a.m. on those days. Perhaps you might have more chance negotiating the period after 4:30, than the period from 9:30, but I accept that isn’t what you want.

“Reasonable adjustments” have to be reasonable for both sides - it doesn’t mean that whatever you want, you can have. If it is a requirement of the business that a senior person needs to be there during that period, they can’t be forced to accept an applicant who wouldn’t be.

I don’t think veiled threats you would have a relapse and be on long-term sick if “forced” to work those hours is a brilliant gambit either. It might carry some weight if you already had the job, but as you haven’t, it’s not a strong negotiating tactic. If a would-be applicant says fulfilling the terms of the post would make them ill, my reaction would be: “Well, nobody’s forcing you to go for that post, and if you feel the terms as set out would make you ill, then perhaps you shouldn’t?” It also might make them think it’s borderline whether you could manage the job even IF they reduced the hours, as threatening you might be “out for an unknown amount of time” over just 90 minutes a week does call into question whether you could do the job at all, if you would be working that close to your limits!

I know this won’t be what you’re wanting to hear, but I think hinting “bad stuff would happen” if you don’t get the promotion exactly on your terms is the fastest way to make sure you don’t get it at all.

Sorry :frowning:


Sorry to say I pretty much agree with the above.

Its not clear why having that extra 90 mins off on a Monday morning is so important to you - your boss might think you just want to have a lie-in on a Monday. I understand that may be the case if you feel you need the rest but unfortunately a non-MSer might just think you are being lazy. Its a bit crap but thats some people for you :frowning:

The idea of reasonable adjustments is to level the playing field so that disabled people are not unnecessarily disadvantaged in the work place but it is not a golden key. Asking an employer to make small changes to an existing role to allow you to continue is one thing but it’s somewhat different asking them to make fundamental changes to a job description so that you can apply for a promotion. If making those changes would help you but not disadvantage the company it would be good practise to do so but your manager has said that the hours are non negotiable. Why is that? Is it, as Tina suggested, important for senior staff to be present at the beginning of the working week?

I feel for you, it is hard looking at promotions that might be beyond your stamina, I’ve been there myself. I firmly believe in the equality act but also know that employers have a right to consider their business needs too. If it is possible to alter things to help you without hurting themselves I believe that it is an employer’s duty to do that but I don’t think that threatening them with potential relapses will win you the day.