Grief at work from being asthmatic

Hi there all, I wondered if anyone else gets the grief at work that I seem to be getting? My asthma is triggered by irritants and I don't always know what they are. I had a serious attack last year and ended up being on steroids for 6 weeks, antibiotics along with an increased doseage of my preventer. This resulted in me having to take 4 weeks off work which was all logged with the doctor. I subsequently picked up a further chest infection and cold in Decemeber meaning another day off work (though it took 6 weeks to get rid of it), and then in February I had another attack resulting in more steroid treatment and 3 days off work. Again for all of these I involved the doctor. My employer has put me on ""Absence management"" for 12 months which means if I take anymore time off within this timescale I may be disciplined, not paid etc. I even suggested that I see the Occuptational Health to see what they could do to assist me. The doctor there said ""what's the problem, you're asthmatic!!"". Prior to my asthma attack last year I had taken one day off from work sick in 18 months!! I have now applied for a job within the company and been turned down without even an interview due to my absence. Surely this is discrimination against asthmatics, do they think we enjoy having attcks and being scared witless?

So now that's off my chest so to speak, has anyone else suffered this treatment and hassle. I would love to hear from you.

Many thanks

3 Replies

  • Piglady

    This is definitely discrimination against asthmatics. There must be some action you can take (sorry don't know much about it, I'm not working yet). I know some other people on here have had problems with work. Is there some sort of union you can go to? Anyway, hopefully you will be able to get the respect you deserve! Hope your chest is behaving too!

    XX Brynne

  • They are not allowed to do this - but my company did and so do many others. You are covered by the Disability Discrimination Act and they are supposed to make reasonable adjustments. This is normally an agreement to exclude sick days taken due to your disability so you should not be going through ""Absence Management"" due to your asthma. Have you got free legal advice through house or life insurance ? The other people to try are the the disability rights commission ( You need to write a proper letter to your employer stating this and if they don't take you seriously you can threaten to take them to an Employment Tribunal (unlimited damages for disability discrimination, may lead to a change of attitude ....)

  • Big thanks to that. I'll have a search and see where I stand legally. It's interesting as the OH doctor said that I wasn't covered under the Disability Discrimination Act as work do not have to make any specific changes in order for me to be able to work. The only thing that he has said in his report back to my employer is that should inform me if they are to use any chemicals, irritants etc in advance so that I can have my inhalers with me - as if I dare be without them!!!

    Many thanks

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