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Asthma UK community forum
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Absence from work and Asthma

Hi! I'm new to the forum and I'm hoping someone can help, either through experience or knowledge . I have had an absence review meeting due to my sickness which is 10.5 days over a year. They've said they have made a reasonable adjustment by allowing me to work at home one day per week. However, this was given to me before I was diagnosed with Asthma, but other issues with my lungs. All of my absence have been asthma related apart from one day when I was in an accident. I'm not sure what to do next. Any advice great fully received. Thank you.

7 Replies

Hi, asthma comes within the disability discrimination act so your manager should adhere to this. However, I would recommend that you still take advice from your union rep (if in one).

Good luck x

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You should ask your doc for a supporting statement and like Northern Soul suggests get the support of a rep. You could do without the extra stress I'm sure. Good luck.

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Do you have an occupational health system? If so get a referral to that, they should make a recommendation that you are covered by the DDA

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Like others suggest a rep if you are in a union, or alternatively Citizens Advice are fab! You should receive in writing the outcome of your review which explains exactly what will happen next, either further actions to support you, or potentially sanctions.

Key question - is the working one day at home a week working for you? Have you had time off sick since that started? If you have your employer may feel it is not working. If you are going through a really rough patch, is it viable for you to temporarily reduce your working hours? With tax and NI it does always equate to the same reduction in take home pay as it does salary reduction. For example I cut my hours by 40% but have a take home pay of about 25% less.

I've had 1 day off sick in over a year and that wasnt asthma related. I have managed my recent chest infection and bad reaction to steroids (just mind you) with just taking a couple of hours off one afternoon. I think this is the best decision is made since being diagnosed a couple of years ago.

I hope all goes well.


Hi & welcome.

All the above advice is spot on. Definitely see a union rep as a starter.

There are a couple of things I'd draw attention to about reasonable adjustments. The first is that I know for certain that some companies who are strong on disability equality will discount some days sickness (often around 5 per year) for calculating for disciplinary or capability procedings. So in that case they would treat you as having 5 days off, which is within normal bounds.

They should also be benchmarking against the company - what is the average level of sickness & have others without any disability been treated the same? If not...that's prima facie discrimination.

Finally, remember reasonable adjustments are about balancing your needs with the company's needs. So unless you have clearly requested one day at home, it's a meaningless gesture.

If I were in your situation, what I'd be suggesting as genuine adjustments might be along the lines of an option to work at home when you feel breathless, flexible arrangements around GP appointments & a discount of up to 5 days on your sickness.

How reasonable any adjustment is depends upon the size & resources of the company, so if you are in a medium to large organisation that should be readily agreed; smaller companies you'd have to negotiate.

Good luck anyway.


Thank you all some much for your very helpful information and advice. It is very much appreciated and I will be sure ti follow it up. Thank you.


Good luck with your difficult situation at work, I hope it gets sorted soon for you.

Take care


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