Disabilty Discrimation Act

Hi All

I woder if anyone can answer me. They are trying to bring in a new sickness policy, well put restictions on pay if you breach the sickness policy and go into formal stage. My boyfriend has said if my sickness is related to my Astham and Bronchiectasis that it should come under DDA and should not be even recorded as a sick episode. Do I have to register under DDA for thos to apply?

Thanks Catherine

15 Replies

  • HI,

    I had alot of visits to OH and got my union and and HR,

    Your asthma is covered by DDA and work have to be seen helping you keep your job.

    Had time off last year and start of this year,you get sent to Ocupational health and they

    are brill and on your side,

    they will tell your employer why you were off and if ok to start back work and make sure your job is

    ok for you.

    They sent for my medical notes with my permission and everything was right in the end.

    didnt have to register for DDA, my OA is covered also xxx

  • Depends wot country ur in . As to wether or not asthma comes under the dda. I have same asthma and bronchiecstasis and my employer is doing similar. Im in Scotland and it's upto my employer to decide if it's disability or a court of law. So I may not be coveted by the dda.

    Under the dda the employer can show some leniency in the number of sick episodes recorded tho not a compulsory action. The dda requires the employer to make reasonable adjustment to your job so that u can remain in employment. The term reasonable is the grey area. No clear definition on this. If after making adjustment or redeployment and u continue to be absent then your employer can terminate your contract under the capability act on grounds you are no longer fit for role of employment. It will be then upto to you to prove that your employer was unreasonable to claim unfair dismissal. Sorry this all sounds negative. All

    I can say make sure u got a good union. Mine talks a good fight but still waiting to see any action

  • Am I right in thinking that you work for the NHS? I think that a lot of Trust's are bringing in a similar policy where you can face disciplinary action if you have more than 10 days off sick in a year, and then eventually you can face dismissal. I know my old trust did dismiss people in this way. However, there did seem to be quite a bit of flexibilty in how the managers applied it, for example someone in our department had 10 days off after a planned operation and they said that was fine, also nothing happened to me and I had had more than 10 days off. A pregnant member of staff did have to prove that her sickness was pregnancy related though. I think it is more intended for people who take days off when they aren't really ill.

    Have you spoken to your manager or even union rep about it? If your asthma/bronchiectasis is severe enough to be considered a disability then you might need to formally inform the Trust.

    Hope you get some reassurance- I know I was a bit worried when they brought in this policy at our Trust.


  • Thanks

    Hi All

    Thanks for your replies, yes I do work for the NHS. Funny enough the unions are up in arms re: a letter we all receievd telling us about stopping increments if we are off sick more than policy if we end up on formal warning etc.....

    My manager doesn't actually deal with our sickness it is one of the Clinical Lead nurses, but having siad that they know how ill I get and that its genuine. I actually struggled to talk with my lead nurse yesterday, as I was so out of breath which is a classic sign of exhausabation of our condition. I said I would work to the end of my shift but would then go off sick for rest of week, see Asthma nurse tomorrow. They also know I am a hard worker and don't pull the wool over their eyes.

    All in all I have not had much sickness this year, so in effect I am not worried. Though was off sick last year for six weeks. Which under new sickness policy I would automatically enter the process of HR. So just want to get my facts right if I have to challenge.

    My illness is recorded with Occupational health who are really supportive.

    And yes I am with a union.


  • Hi revcath hope ur feeling better.

  • Just wondering does anyone know what happens if NHS occ health say you are not fit for your current job? If they redeploy you on grounds of ill health does the grade get protected?

  • They try redeployment. If down graded will have some payment protection. But think this will have a time limit on it. Redeployment is usually on a trial Basis ie 12 weeks. To assess of new job is suitable Plus If during redeployment you still having sick periods and no other suitable jobs available this can lead to termination of your contract under the disciplinary process and the capability act Sorry to sound so negative . Has ur union been involved I work for Nhs and on redeployment told to apply for retirement and also told about possible termination of contract... As still Of sick !!!

  • Thanks for the info. Had a feeling that was probably how it worked. I'm probably jumping the gun a bit but been left feling a bit worried after ringing in to say consultant just signed me off for longer. Although I work for the NHS I wasn't able to join the pension as money was too tight (I'm a single mum) so ill health retirement isn't an option but I have joined the union so I'll get some advice from them. I'm sorry to hear you've not been in a good place either - I hope you feel better soon. x

  • Hi

    Nice to know we work for such a caring profession!! Not!! It ok for the people at the top who make all the rules and policies, they don't come into contact with sick people. Which is where people like us pick up infections.Then we drag purselves into work because we are scared to go off sick, not only putting our own health at risk but those we come into contact with. It makes me so cross. And of course stress doesn't help our condition.

    I hope you find a solution soon Gussypoo. And hope you don't have to go down that road cakelady.

    Take care


  • Summed up nicely Catherine! Half the dept comes in with everything under the sun infection wise as they all scared of sickness policy. Even when they've been told not to have pt contact they come in and sit at their desks coughing and spluttering, taking their abx, leaving tissues around etc and then I get it and end up off again. Did have a moan once when i'd only just got well and then someone exactly the above and I got told that it wasnt a problem as 'staff ' (ie me) are supposed to be well and therefore not at risk of catching what the patients are!

  • Hiya, Looks like everyone has replied in a similar way, but Ill add my two pence worth!!! I also work for NHS and our trust has also changed their sickness management to be far less lenient and to penalise those who are off. It has been suggested I consider medical retirement too (and they are treating me under their DDA policy guidelines!). I think it is down to management discretion and certainly a colleague of mine has had her contract ended for asthmatic episodes. I'd resign but love my job and at the moment still wanna fight but I dont know how long for as it really gets you down doesnt it!!!

    Anyway to answer yr question, even if they do accept yr asthma as covered by the DDA , they still have a policy for that which involves putting in measures to support you and then redeployment blah blah... Often they'll ask you to improve yr sickness first... but wouldnt we all LOVE to do that if it was possible!!!! Yr not alone in it all though, Good Luck xx

  • Ive been working with management since 2007 on improving my sick time . Now 3 years later running out of options and my body to be honest is no longer coping. I have found the whole process tiring fighting for thr right to work. Occy health has informed me that the pensions agency have gotto pass the application and chance of this is slim. As my age is against me, asthma can improve with changes in treatment. Plus as i havent had an itu admission my asthma wont be classed as server also To pass the pension I must be unable to work between now and age of 65. So waiting for medical reports

  • there is compassion

    hi Guys.

    I went back to work on Monday had my back to work interview and had a good supporting chat with clinical lead. We spoke about my concerns due to sickness policy. I was reassured that I would be supported if I went over the stated time as they know me well enough that I'm not pulling the wool over their eyes. She said everyone comes under blanket policy as they trying to stop those who take micky. We do have other staff with long term illnesses who have been supported by our unit and occ health. Etc.

    But on a slighty different note. I recieved care and compassion yesterday. My dad was taken into hospital I was working a 14hr shift but my brother went to see him and said he was sitting up and seemed brighter and I didn't need to go. Anyway the staff had sorted it out so I could go. And when I said I'd stay they told me to go.its your dad you have to go. Which I'm glad I did cause being the nurse I was able to ask the right guestions and reassure my brother.i wish medics would get into heads to explain things rather than come out with medical terms and frighten folk.i work with babies, so have docs that explain things in simple terms. Adult medics need to have exposure to kids wards, so they can do the same. Simple language. Anyway my dad seemed brighter last night.


  • New sickness policy and DDA

    I work for the NHS and sadly have not had the kind of support I would expect from a caring profession, despite being under the care of one of the consultants in the same trust occupational health have not supported me the way I would hope. I have been redeployed once from theatres where cool air and lead aprons made my asthma worse to a busy ward on which I suffered badly due to night shifts. I was told over a month ago I would be moved to a day unit for a trial period, requested by my consultant for the first time I was redeployed (six months ago). I had been to a meeting with hr and redeployment was said to be the way forward and then HR decided a trial period in day unit would be tried first. There is no job where I am going for the trial and no fixed time to reassess, despite having two months off the last sickness period and only being able to climb the stairs in my flat before returning I was refused a phased return by occupational health to the ward job where I am waiting to go to day unit and refused a request to reduce my hours either as a temporary or permanent solution. Hopefully I will get sorted soon but I have lost faith in occupational health and the trust for which I work. I hope this is not the experience that anyone else has to go through but I doubt I am the only employee out there who has experienced this. The letter I recieved from occupational health stated that I suppose she falls under DDA.

  • Sounds like you've had a really rough time elliecat! Hope you get it sorted soon, working part time in a day unit sounds like an obvious solution to me.


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