British Heart Foundation
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Essay rant alert

So essay and rant alert, feel free to tell me I’m being unreasonable.

Went into work today one month after being discharged from hospital after small HA. positives:

1, I can work 10 till 4 unless I feel too tired at which point I’m going home but will have to put the time as sick.

Negatives:

1, they would think that by January I would be fine to return full time

2, I can’t work from home even though have the tech to do it

3, If I feel that the travel and not the work hours are the issue then this is a different conversation about my ability to do the job

4, They paid me 10 days sick at full rate last month which is the amount in our handbook but can be extended on the discretion of partners. They do not intend on paying me for any more at this rate until end of our year, March, so rest will be on stat sick pay. I know this is legal but after 17 years and only being one level below partner would have hoped for some leeway.

5, they are not happy about completing the forms for my critical illness application for which I have been paying into a group policy for a number of years

6, there is a tender to be completed by Wednesday and another by Friday neither started which I’m expected to do.

So tomorrow I go back to work, oh and since I’ve been gone assistant manager has resigned and they aren’t replacing her.

Rant over, sorry.

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No I do not think you are being unreasonable. In over three decades I have had four periods of sickness that lasted over two weeks. The first two times the companies both wanted to make sure I was fully well and let me ease back in. However the next two times with another company were handled very differently. On the first occasion I was off for a total of 11 consecutive days (company policy was a maximum of ten days in any one calendar year). I was lectured that it was my duty to take care of myself (!) and that if I ever exceeded 10 days again disciplinary action would be invoked. Three years later I was injured in an accident. Although I started working from home I was then virtually blackmailed to start travelling in and when I got a letter from the doctor to say it was not in my best interests as I was not fully recovered I was asked "Did you dictate it to him". I will not type the doctor's response! Sadly nowadays common sense and reasonableness in HR has disappeared - it existed when we had personnel departments!

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Hi Michaeljh and thanks although I’m sorry you have also had problems. I don’t actually know why I feel surprised as they have a track record of not being great in such circumstances. I’m not expecting special treatment and like I said nothing they are doing is illegal but some support would have been nice. Still I am not going to let it impact my health if I can’t do it I will be coming home.

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Hi

Not a very enlightened view from your employer is it? I am shocked that this approach is still evident and feel so sorry that you are having to deal with this.

The shock of a heart attack and the associated psychological issues are enough to handle without a seemingly uncaring employer adding to your situation.

I was in a similar situation a year ago but having had a “near miss” I made a very conscious decision that my life was more precious than my Job and I resisted pressure to return too soon or for too many hours. Having said that, I am close to retirement anyway and could make that decision despite the obvious economic consequences. The impasse was broken by an ex employer offering me a part time job - I grabbed it with both hands!

I know you explained it was a rant and not a request for advice but if possible, don’t be pushed or go on a guilt trip about work. You are far more precious to those close to you than you ever will be for such an employer.

Wishing you all the very best with the rehab etc.

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Thank you. I will def be putting my health first and will see how it goes x

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Ask yourself if this job played a part in your heart attack in the 1st place.

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1: Your health is more important than anything your employer does.

2: You are not being unreasonable.

3: 4 weeks post HA, no matter how small, seems a bit quick to me.

4: do what you can but do not over stress yourself - know your limits and work within them no matter how much it pi**es them off

5: make them fill in the forms

6: Find another job

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Ugh, this is really not what you need, is it? I feel so lucky to have supportive employers and am very frustrated on your behalf. Hope you manage to reach an agreement that works for you. Agree with yourself and the other commenters that you must put your own health and wellbeing first in this case. Good luck x

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Thank you. I think I expected too much because of how long I had been there but this just reinforces how I thought they felt about their staff so will take some tune if Christmas to consider what I want to do instead x

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My brother had a heart attack a few years ago and his critical illness insurance paid off his mortgage

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I think issues around return to work after a heart event is something many heart patients would be interested in and could relate to. Certainly Unison would be a more useful source of advice on employment law than a BHF forum, but this post wasn't really about seeking advice, just venting heart-related frustration. We all need to let off steam sometimes, a forum like this can be a good place to do it.

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Hi feel free to rant anytime, sometimes it really does help to get it off your chest, your work sounds like it doesn't understand or care what you are going through, it's a terrible thing to have to deal with, fortunately for me, after being off sick for months a voluntary exit scheme was offered at my work and as I am 60 next year I have taken that after 30 years in the same job, not the way I expected to leave but as we know s.happens ,it has not went too smoothly I could rant about the whole process grrrr, I am still trying to get money for the 42 days leave they owe and I am not getting paid at all, I was getting esa from dwp but although my doc says I am not fit to work they say I am, mabe they will find me a nice new career next year 😂😂I do hope you can get something resolved with them, it's stressful enough having to deal with a heart condition, take care char xx

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Somewhat over four years ago I lost my job. As I was only a couple of weeks away from undergoing a postponed procedure mu GP signed me off. Some months later my GP still did not think I was fully fit but I was called in for an ATOS medical. The medical was farcical and the report that the Job Centre got comical but basically declaring that I was fir for work. My GP was annoyed as he felt that both his and the consultant’s opinion was being overwritten!

As for heart disease being non-critical if your heart stops it is game over! Maybe if it was classed as critical there would be targets and less delays!

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I totally agree, I am not sure how an assessor, hmm can overrule my GP and cardiologist, it's just so ridiculous I would laugh if it wasn't so serious, his report meant nothing to me at all, no mention of low blood pressure, fatigue dizziness, although it did say I could speak to strangers,a minus point! not sure where that issue would have come in with heart failure jeezo, I really have to appeal this they make it so difficult for people with heart conditions, x

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Thank you to everyone for their messages and input. I apologise to those that think this is not the right place for me to express my feelings about my employers reaction to my heart attack, which is covered under our policy. I was not looking for advice and if I was I would not being doing it through here with regards to their actions. I was simply expressing my frustration at something that has upset me deeply and made me feel that everything I have done for them in my time there has been worthless as they are now showing me no support when I need it. Don’t worry I won’t raise it again.

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Hello there - please don't worry about your post there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. The idea of an open forum is that you can have a rant and get it off your chest! I'm very happy you've had some great responses on here and I'm sorry if you were made to feel like your post wasn't appropriate. Feel free to continue ranting :)

Take care, Chris

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Thank you Chris.

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Whoever hidden is on here should unhide themselves. if you want to rant I'll listen, I've been there not for my heart condition, but losing my sight. My previous employer just made it so difficult it ended up me being of work with stress.

So keep ranting; it helps.

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Totally agree with you Twobells, people shouldn't post comments they can't or won't put their name to.

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Hi Chaz,

Are you talking about the DWP. These Atos people are only trained upto nurse level they are not doctors. Appeal go to CAB for help or better still if you have welfare rights in your area.

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This is the right place to post and please do keep posting here, the best thing about this forum is the usually very lovely supportive people. My husband had similar issues, his employer demanded he go to their occupational health, got the letter and appointment same day he went in for second lot of stents post heart attack. Well the occ health was brilliant, he set out husband could and couldnt happen on return, stipulating he had to finish cardio rehab first. Two things, check out fitforwork.org, if gp signed you off phased return, you should have had occ health assessment by them, or your employers. Your company should make reasonable adjustment. Acas may be useful or citizens advice. So sorry you are having to take this off your employer, ask for a written copy of your return to work plan, dont make things easy for them, be calm but assertive. Maybe ask what is their grievance procedure. Find out your rights, and what processes they should follow.

Occ health, who was a cardiac consultant, was very clear to my husband about the role stress had played in his heart attack. Look after YOU. Take care x

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Hi Shandypants (love the name 😀)

Sorry to hear how your work are treating. I agree with other posts 'e focus on your health needs not their work needs. I too had a less than supportive response to my condition by my workplace. I checked my home insurance and I had legal cover included. It was great to be able to talk to someone impartial and knowledgeable and helped me understand fully my rights. I must say there was quite a lot the company could demand of me... but there were also rights that I had. Even though I have been back at work since September they have changed how they deal with me.... and are doing the best to squeeze me out.

Unfortunately my experience is that as soon as you have a condition like this we are seen as a liability. Which is why I have never declared my condition when applying for jobs in the last 23 years. However I have always been the top salesperson at every job I have had!

So sad you have to deal with this unnecessary extra stress... please loom after yourself.. . As that' the most important thing x

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Hi All

Hope everyone’s keeping warm and safe in this cold snap.

In regard to telling an employer about any health condition or issues I believe that no employer can ask you details about your health before employing you except in very specific circumstances where having a health condition could be dangerous eg Driving a lorry and experiencing blackouts.

I can hear the rain outside- at least I will be able to walk today. Having PAD means I am a like a puppy- must be walked each day.

Take care

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Thank you, the name was actually a Knick name we had for our rabbit x

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