l work for a local Council and have had rrms for about 10 yrs. Today I had an ‘informal’ meeting with my team leader and someone from HR as my sick leave had triggered the Bradford factor. Luckily I had asked a friend and work colleague to attend.

I was asked to explain my sick leave although when I return from sick leave a form is completed with the reason. In total I have had 9 days off starting with 2 days june’17 and 3 other occasions, reasons were flu like symptoms, cold and a headache. I was asked about how I could improve my sick leave and how they could help me. This was difficult to answer as how would I know how not to get sick? I told her I had MS and that my team leader had already put in place working from home 2 days a week.

Other members of staff come to work when unwell and I end up catching it but 3 times worse and don’t recover quickly. I only took sick leave when I really had to. I am going to be reviewed in 3 months to see if I can improve. My team leader asked the woman from HR ‘what if it doesn’t improve’ and she said I could lose my job.

She is also referring me to OH.

I felt she had a complete lack of compassion and understanding and was going through the motions of following HR guidance for sickness and capability.

Struggling from fatigue daily amongst other things including foot drop, brain fog.

I always thought HR were there to support staff but have not experienced that.

Not sure how much I can take, as I thought I was doing ok!

HR are not your friend. I work for a big organisation and quite frankly HR have been useless when it comes to my condition. I asked them to make a note on my record that I was disabled and they said they couldn’t do it! I mean how hard can it be just to make a quick note? And my ex boss has been complained about for bullying and they have done nothing about it. She has moved teams now and is STILL bullying people. I find the only people that have any clout are he unions. Are you a member of a union? If so get a meeting with your union rep. They will have something to say about it I’m sure. Best of luck x

these people are breaking the law!

get some legal advice.

As Carol says; totally out of order; contact the DLS Multiple Sclerosis Legal Advice Line | Disability Law Service they will represent you for free; the society pays for it.

Also, contact A2W; Access to Work: get support if you have a disability or health condition: What Access to Work is - GOV.UK lots of help.

Thanks lisaC

I’m going to join Unison, I was lucky as I got some advice from a Unison rep even though I wasn’t a member.

Sounds like you’ve had your share of problems at work.

All the best Lisa

Thanks Catwoman

Thanks good to get it out instead going round and round in my head!

My wife worked for a district council and was eventually sacked due to long term sickness after an accident at work,i helped her fight them for 6 months over this before they got their way. I was blown away by the incompetence of such a large organisation,don’t know how much a head of Hr would be on in such an organisation but some of the stuff i discovered was shocking(for example calculating what they owed in holiday pay i discovered every employee of less than 5 years service on similar shift patterns had been recieved less holiday than legal minimum since 2009!) Top Hr bod took about 4 months to come up with a bullshit excuse for these illegal contracts!!

Don’t assume they know what they are doing they will try and get away with anything they think they can,dont let them!

Are you in a union?

“Informal meeting” heh? yeah my wife had the invite for “a chat” the next working day,which when pushed the manager revealed my wife’s sickness couldn’t continue, putting pressure on colleagues bla bla bla,“if you agree,we can get it done quickly and without fuss!”.I came in to find her crying on sofa and told her thats a disclipinary and needed written notice of 2 working days and right to representation etc,so i wrote her an email to hr to tell them she wasn’t attending and reporting this managers breach of procedures.I headed off to pub to meet one of my union rep friends for advise that evening which set us up well for the long fight!

I hadn’t heard of this Bradford factor so googled it, didn’t have to read down far for mention of the equality act!

If you have Ms you are automatically classed as disabled under the equality act 2010,and so are afforded protection from disability discrimination.Firstly it would be a “reasonable adjustment” to not use the bradford factor when talking about sick leave that your disability could be a factor in. Don’t trust the bastards that mention of MS in this informal meeting will be recorded. They would only have to treat you correctly if they were aware of your protected characteristic of disability.Email is your friend it is accepted as evidence in tribunals so would suggest formally putting that in an email and keeping it as evidence(don’t use work email!)

Please seek the guidance of the equality commission Home Page | Equality and Human Rights Commission. I say that to everyone and recently saw a guy on here who was made to make a medical declaration before a job offer (illegal) who got this sorted by their intervention and got the job offer,so they can genuinely help!

Don’t let your managers or Hr try and bully you,

good luck!

Edit: thinking about it that meeting is most certainly not informal if its got a manager and Hr there! I would be amazed if they are following the company procedures correctly!

Hi, training on the law re disabilities seems very very poor in most organisations. Mine is. If I was in your place I would try and get hold of there policy’s. My understanding of where I work,s policy’s is a double edge saw. If the absence is due to ms (a dissibility) it is classed as mitigating. Therefore all the ‘stuff’’ that was said would be for ‘non ms stuff’. But if you declare sickness due to ‘flue’ it (where I work) it would not been mitigating. The problem is that if I have too much time off due to ms I could be assessed to see if I am ‘fit to do my job’. Good luck, as others have said, make sure you know your rights as well as your organisation’s policy’s. I am a realist, however good a relationship you have with desision makers at work, policy’s & law are your best friends, not them.


Hi Libo

I have already posted on this site about retirement due to ill health. It took nearly a year of being off sick and many meetings with my line manager and a rep from HR (who by the way was probably still at school when I first started the job!!).

At all the formal meetings I was accompanied by a rep from Unison - he was very knowledgable and gave me very sound advice.

I also feel that if I had not been represented by him my outcome could have been different. The very fact that a union was involved meant my “protection” as a disabled person had to be fully acknowledged. He was copied into all correspondence. He was at pains to make me aware that there is not such thing as an informal chat in these situations.

Just to update…

I am now retired from work on ill health grounds. After sending me the letter of dismissal my Line Manager made another referral to OH, this was in regard to my LA Pension. Occupational Health Nurse then contacted my GP & MS nurse, who both provided information on my disability which was shared with the medical decision maker. The upshot was that, in terms of my LA pension, I was granted Ill Health Retirement at Tier 1. (100% no reductions for taking it early)

My state retirement date is not till November 2021. I am a WASPI woman

I hope things work out for you in the way that is best for you.