I need some advice about my rights at work

what a horrible, horrible day i've had.

I took a pretty bad asthma attack at work this morning, i always like to inform someone if its bad as i worry about falling unconscious and not getting found - i fear the worst!

So i managed to tannoy one of the duty managers who was in a meeting but said he'd send someone down.

One of the other managers came down told me to stay where i was and he'd be back in five, he wnet away to fill shelfs for twenty minutes and left me sitting in the office in an awful state, i was not offered any support, first-aid, asked if i needed an ambulance or anything, yet it was put in the incident book which i've not even been allowed to see.

I was then told i should not be in my job with my health problems (i've odne it years and my health does not affect the job i do because of provisions made) and this is disrimination.

I really want to complain but do not know how to or what to do. I'm thinknig of going to the store manager and making an official complaint tomorrow as i really feel that i can not work when this man is the only manager on duty! Argh. i do not know what to do, i just wish my asthma would go away.

8 Replies

  • Is there a manager above that manager who you can have a meeting with to sort this out? If so, you need to request an informal meeting with the three of you, where you can tell them the problems you've been having, and any solutions you can come up with too (to make it a more positive meeting). It might be that you need more ventilation, or an air-cooler or something? You can request a health and safety check on your area(s) of work to make sure everything's ok in that respect.

    You really need to get everything sorted out now, at this level, for your own sake. I find it helps me to write everything down that I can possibly think of, and to collect as much information as I can. I also make sure I don't go spouting off while I'm still annoyed. Explain that this has been a really upsetting experience for you, and you don;t want it to happen again, as it can have serious consequences, firstly for yourself, but also for the company. They don;t want a possible death on their hands through not doing anything, after all! Show them all of the information you have about asthma. Give them stuff to read.

    They can't stop you from doing your job because of a medical condition, but they could make you feel awful and so worried that you end up leaving anyway. Get yourself a diary now, and keep records of things that happen and that are said/emailed etc. You might need those at a later date.

    Finally, if you're not a member of a union, you can always join when you need their help, and they will help you for free. I'm with Unison (I work as a rep), and their website's pretty good for finding out about your legal rights at work too. Check your staff handbook (if there is one), to see if they have a grievience procedure, and follow that before anything major like bringing in the unions. It's always better if you can have a little meeting where you can talk about everything and tell them what you're worried about.

    Let us know how you get on! And good luck!

  • Thanks for all your advice.

    Yeah, i am in a union, she is advised going to the biggest manager in the shop as he has always been supportive - its been through occupational health so they have all the information that they need.

    I'm just so upset with his attitude, i really do not want to work when he is on duty which is impossible as i'm in carge of all legalities to do with prices etc so i can't be picky about my hours like that.

    i'm just so annoyed that i've been made to feel like i have a really bad disibility.

  • I work with someone who I just don't get on with and who questions me all the time. It's a horrible situation to be in. All I can suggest is that you keep the diary, and make sure your ""big boss"" knows you're having problems with him, but that you really want to get this sorted out.

    In my case, although I still officially work with my arrogant boss, I actually moved to a different office and don't have to deal with him every day now. Makes life so much better! Maybe there's some sort of compromise can be found to the situation, short of wishing your boss a slow and lingering death!

    The diary's a really important part of it all though. It helps you to see how far the problems have gone, and also means your far calmer and more organised when you do go in for your meeting. Rather than blurting out ""He's always having a go at me!"" you can supply a long list of little niggly things that on their own wouldn;t seem like much, but all together cause you really big problems. I'm also betting that the stress of dealing with that every day is contributing to your asthma problems.

  • Hi Laurenjayne

    It would be worth you having a chat with someone on the helplines at ACAS as well (sorry, I haven't got a link, but you'll find them easily enough through google). They will be able to tell you what your rights are and if you are aware of what your rights are you'll feel more empowered to deal with your manager.

    We've used ACAS several times in the past and they are fantastically helpful.

    Good luck.


  • I'm an HR Manager, and I deal with similar situations almost every day.

    However, in your particular circumstances, I would suggest you contact your HR department (if you have one), but if there isn't one, or it isn't possible, ask for a copy of the company's grievance policy. Every company must have one by law. It will set out what you need to do to complain, and what the company must do with that complaint and by when.

    You have the right to have a copy of the incident report if you are named in it, also.

    As Jacqui says, ACAS are very helpful, see link acas.org.uk/index.aspx?arti... and the Direct Gov Website (again, see link here direct.gov.uk/en/Employment... is really really useful as it explains everything simply for you.

    If you want some specific advice, feel free to pm me, and I'll see what I can do to help.

    Spaniel xx

  • Thanks for all your advice.

    I spoke to my store manager and PM today who both insisted if they did have a problem with me they would come to me and would deal wit it the proper way and that they really do not think i let my health affect my work.

    They both said they've seen what i do to work round my health problems and are happy and would rather i kept going the way i was and if i need time out to take an attack to do it.

    They also said they are going to try and get a better way to deal with me if i ask for help during an attack rather than leaving me.

    They are also going to speak to the manager in question and explain he has no rihgt to overirde anything they have decided.

  • LJ - that sounds all good and positive.

    I'm so glad!

    Get as much in writing as you can, though. Just in case these good managers move on....

  • They reccomended as welll that i eep a diary of when other managers make remarks etc.

    I understand other members of staff will always make remarks ad give there opinion and that i can understand. Really they do not understand why there breas need to run late yet i announce i'm going for a break no questions asked or i see i'm taking five not long into my shift.

    Its managers who have no right to passjudgement on what there bosses have decided. and to prove a point i'm quite happy to allow them to discipline this manager as i was so upset i couldn't give 100% to my work and i felt i was as well leaving i hate getting discriminated against. i try as hard as i can.

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