Work problems, feels like I'm being penalised for being ill.

I am undiagnosed but under investigation for possible MS. I have been off work on several occasions over the last 12 months and recently returned 6th November 2012. I have been working my normal shift which is 35 hours a week and have been fine with it so far. My symptoms are quiet for now just the odd annoying sensation.

Today, the department announced that due to backlogs overtime was being offered at double time for the next 4 weeks and anyone who was interest was just to let their line manager know the dates and times.

I thought ‘that’s great, a bit of overtime will come in really handy after xmas’ so I sent my pledge to my manager. She came back to me 4 hours later and asked for a private word. She told me that due to the level of absence I’ve had she didn’t think it was appropriate to allow me to work any overtime for the foreseeable future, especially since I do not yet have a diagnosis.

I felt this was inappropriate given that I am back at work full time and have been for several weeks and as we all know a diagnosis might never be given. I really feel like I’m being punished for being ill.

Is my manager allowed to financially penalise me in this way?

I would say not in my experience. I would seek the unions advise as this would be a case for Harassment or dicrimination where i work.

Good luck sonia x

I think you will find they are within their right to stop overtime.

They may not refuse point blank but there are ways and means around it to benefit the employer.i.e all overtime positions filled.

I would not push and make things more difficult than they already seem.

I think this is probably a case of them being over-protective of you, and mindful of their duty of care towards you, rather than wishing to punish you.

They’re probably genuinely worried about letting you work extra hours, when they know you’ve been quite ill recently, and they’re still not sure what with. Not to put too fine a point on it, how would it look if you ended up in hospital - or worse - and then it came out they’d knowingly let an employee who was not in the best of health take on a load of overtime? They might be worried it could be seen as exploitative, and NOT showing proper care towards you, even if you were willing.


The issue of overtime is at company discretion, it is not contractual, it is with in a companies rights to give overtime to some and not to others without any justifications. I agree with above, don’t push it.