Heart disease - disability act - British Heart Fou...

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Heart disease - disability act

fishface101 profile image
65 Replies

hello is heart disease considered a disability under the disability act?

Physical impairment plus long term nature criteria seem to imply it is but the BHF nurse I called today said no.

They explained their answer as if you can work why would you be considered disabled. A bit astonishing as last time I looked being disabled (whatever that may be due to re vast array of issues) did not preclude a person from being employed.

I am wondering if the nurse confused it with medical retirement as they said doctor would have to confirm disability???

For my own purposes trying to consider if I should be recognised under disability act? I was told need to have been diagnosed for 12 months so I can see this refers to the long term criteria.

Thanks

65 Replies
Charlie_G profile image
Charlie_G

Generally speaking, for the purposes of the equality act, a person is defined as disabled if, but for the medication they take, they would be physically impaired by their condition. However, certain conditions are automatically classed as a disability under the EA, with heart disease being one of them. This link explains both the criteria that needs to be met to be considered disabled, and the conditions that automatically define someone as having a disability for the purposes of the legislation:

eoc.org.uk/disability-discr...

The nurse you spoke to does seem like she was a little confused. I think the question I have from your post is what you want to get out of being considered disabled under the EA? The purpose is to afford protection against discrimination, particularly in the workplace, but that’s all it does. It levels the playing field, rather than completely preventing an employer from disciplining you or terminating your contract. As an HR officer, lots of people don’t seem to understand that’s the case.

fishface101 profile image
fishface101 in reply to Charlie_G

thank you I was hoping it was you who would respond, yes I want to consider if I fall under this, But yes I see this does not give and advantage but equality if I’ve understood correctly. I am working against the recommendation of occ health, I have used some leave/ unpaid leave to cover reduced hours after I returned from a period of sick leave as I am anxious about sick leave and management of attendance policy. I keep working using leave to cover shortfall each day (my manager is supportive but policy is policy) but I can’t sustain it. It’s a race between how long I can keep going and when I get appointment for a test before they decide on surgery. I guess I want to understand this all before things come to a head. I have a very generous paid sickness period but waiting for the test could exhaust this alone. Thanks

Charlie_G profile image
Charlie_G in reply to fishface101

It’s difficult to pass comment without knowing the whole situation, but are you saying that occ health have advised you should be off but you’re continuing to work? From your reply, I’m reading that to be the case, but that you’re currently working reduced hours instead, utilising unpaid leave/annual leave to make that happen. The fact that you yourself are saying that the situation is unsustainable is ringing alarm bells for me, though, both as an hr officer but also a compassionate human being. Is sickness absence paid at statutory sick pay rate, or do you have company/occupational sick pay? If so, how much OSP do you have left available before they revert to SSP (or it stops completely if you work for someone that pays full and then half pay for a period instead)?

As someone that’s considered disabled, your employer does have a legal requirement to make reasonable adjustments to enable you to continue to work. That’s what the EA provides for. The key word is reasonable, though: it’s what’s provably reasonable to your employer taking their size and the business and financial implications into account, rather than what an employee considers to be reasonable.

fishface101 profile image
fishface101 in reply to Charlie_G

I am recognising that I am struggling to make a decision to go off sick as when I was off sick for 25 days straight earlier this year all I could think of was not being able to do my job which brought guilt as well as fear of management of attendance policy kicking in, as for many people it’s the uncertainty of everything as I only now in last week have a clearer pathway re tests/ treatment which could involve a CABG or unroofing of my LAD. In meantime I struggle with chest pain. I could not do my job as I did pre pandemic though. I would need a change to home working all the time, my employer is supportive in allowing me to continue at home albeit not formally. I have shown can work as have cont8nued to deliver albeit a lot slower than before. some work situations cause stress / tension which bring on symptoms (which I feel are more intense recently) and raise my BP (but I coped with these before all this). I have a sickness package of six month full and six half (public sector). I guess I have exhausted about a month of that so it’s early days but could be quickly exhausted waiting for tests / surgery in the hope it gets me back to working as I used to. Being assessed again by OH again as agreed by me and manager on back of cardiologist letter. Trying to work is my lack of acceptance of my condition and it’s impact I think.

MummaSoap profile image
MummaSoap in reply to fishface101

hi there, I also work in HR and sickness absence is my main area of focus. I will try and give some general advice and hopefully add some benefit although Charlie_G has already done this pretty coherently.

There are a couple of points of concern for me here, not just with my HR hat on but as an individual. Yes you don’t have to take the advice of Occ Health but it’s there as a guide to support both you and your employer, and they are there for a reason.

When you say that you don’t feel it’s sustainable, do you mean because you will exhaust your holiday before having to use sickness or because your health is declining or you are finding it difficult to keep up the hours?

If you receive OSP, you may also have the option to complete reduced hours that would be topped up by OSP and this would help extend your sick pay for a limited period of time. You would most likely need a fit note from your GP to confirm that you require reduced hours, however be mindful that they may be unwilling to provide this if the medical evidence suggests you are currently unfit to work.

If you’re concerned about receiving disciplinary action for having a long period of time off work then I would say your drive for continuing to work is misplaced in my opinion. I’m not saying your employer would never take any action to dismiss down the line but that is a scenario for people with long term conditions that usually play out once every other avenue has been exhausted. Most employers will try to support their staff as best they can until such time that they’re unable to.

I think it would be beneficial for you to sit down with your manager and discuss how you’re feeling but also see whether there are other options for them to support you, ie a change of duties to reduce fatigue so that you can sustain the hours you’re working and to make your role more manageable (if this is reasonable and practical).

When OSP is exhausted you may be eligible for universal credit depending on your circumstances.

Wishing you all the best, take care

Sophie 🙂

fishface101 profile image
fishface101 in reply to MummaSoap

thank you for the guidance and support. Yes I think a lot of fear drives a lot of my current decision making in light of policy, my employer is and has been supportive but recognise policy is policy and I now think what they have been doing for me in what we have discussed as an interim period before have a clearer picture from cardiologist are reasonable adjustments to keep me ticking along. We have that clearer picture now so going back to OH for assessment. Thanks for the advice too on having a conversation with manager. All much appreciated.

stickyfingers profile image
stickyfingers in reply to MummaSoap

i'd like to comment from my own experience with an NHS employer over 20years ago - MummaSoap, i wish you had been working for my employer as my manager was uninformed and somewhat obstructive - i won't go into details because it still distresses me but as an example:

neither my manager nor the Human Resources Manager knew that after 6 months of sick leave i was entitled to the accrued annual leave for that period - i had been an NHS employee for longer than either of them and knew my entitlements better than them

i was forced to work part-time because my manager would not let me use my accrued annual leave to enable me to work 4 days a week

there was much more -as a result i ended up having to take early retirement on grounds of ill-health at 42 - not all managers are willing to be flexible

MummaSoap profile image
MummaSoap in reply to stickyfingers

I’m sorry to hear that this was your experience and sadly you won’t be the only person to tell of an experience like yours which is sad, especially if like you, you gave many years of dedication to a role prior to your ill health.

That’s very kind of you to say, I do try to complete my role to the best of my ability but as I’m sure you know, the role of HR is to remain impartial and give guidance and support in line with policy and legislation. I do believe that this can be done with compassion and that’s what I strive to do for all parties.

I sincerely hope that you are in a more positive position now or that you’re enjoying your retirement 😁💛

stickyfingers profile image
stickyfingers in reply to MummaSoap

fortunately i am "in a good place" now, but it was a distressing process which could have been less distressing if management had behaved differently

it is sad that it happens to many people and will continue to do so as the pressure to perform and be productive in every field increases

what i found really disgraceful was that the NHS did not even care for it's own staff

i hope you find satisfaction and pleasure in doing your job to the best of your ability until you are ready to step back

Charlie_G profile image
Charlie_G

It it a blanket description for legislative purposes. In reality, many, many people that absolutely would not consider themselves as disabled, not even slightly, are defined as such under the equality act. If you follow the link in my original reply, it lists who the equality act states is automatically disabled - including all people with heart disease, asthma, and a variety of other conditions - even though some people with the conditions listed may lead normal lives with or after treatment.

gilreid1 profile image
gilreid1

I am confused why anyone would want to be regarded as disabled unless the have a seriously restrictive condition and from my own prospective I certainly don’t regard myself as disabled. In fact I try to think more positive and try to improve my life after been given a second chance.

fishface101 profile image
fishface101 in reply to gilreid1

My question is not about negativity or wanting to be disabled. That’s not what I asked. It’s about learning aspects that may impact on preserving equality during the process I think I will be going through in near future in my work place. I just want to be aware of my right for equality in any decision making. If you read the link, it’s more about the impact on daily life and for how long, regardless in some ways of the underlying condition. Heart disease affects people differently. It is wonderful that you are so positive and don’t wish regard yourself as disabled, I am not negative but at what I consider a difficult stage with no current relief. Disability is also not always permanent it can be temporary. I actually think I am being quite positive in learning about the implications of my up coming potential future if I have no relief any time soon yet preparing for it in several ways including updating my will, changing my diet for example.

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to gilreid1

I really wanted to stay at work.

The Equality Act helped me to stay for a few years.

I then had to throw the towel in and accept that I had to let go of a 30 year profession that I loved and was very good at doing.

gilreid1 profile image
gilreid1

good luck in your quest. But I still don’t get it.

fishface101 profile image
fishface101 in reply to gilreid1

no worries

JAR66 profile image
JAR66 in reply to gilreid1

Hiya, that’s one of the reasons it’s no longer called the Disability Act. Using that term labels the individual in a way that they may not perceive themselves to be ( just as you said, why would anyone want to be called disabled). The Equality Act focuses on the fairness and treating individuals equally regardless of any illness, condition etc. hope that helps

gilreid1 profile image
gilreid1 in reply to JAR66

that’s exactly what I thought. Being disabled prevents you from being able to work at any job. Not just the one you have or would like to have. My thoughts

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to gilreid1

No it doesn't.

I was able to work with a disability.

The Equality Act allowed me to ask for reasonable adjustments to be made to my working practices.

I was then advised by Occupational Health to take ill health retirement which judged that I am unable to work in any capacity ever again.

I have a hidden disability. I am diminished by my heart condition.

gilreid1 profile image
gilreid1 in reply to Milkfairy

milkfairy I think you are agreeing with realizing the meaning. You were not disabled if you were still capable of doing your job therefore your company could not stop your employment and your words is that occupational health deemed you disabled ? Not the equality act they allowed you to work ?

From ADA

You're disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a 'substantial' and 'long-term' negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to gilreid1

I was and still am disabled according to the above criteria.

The OH department wrote that I was covered under the Equality Act.

I was able to work part time in a reduced capacity by adjustments being made to my working environment.

My employers could have terminated my employment because I had taken so much time off sick.

My choice was to apply for ill health retirement or be sacked.

Lezzers profile image
Lezzers in reply to gilreid1

There are varying degrees of disablement which may or may not affect your ability to work or take on other activities. Would you not consider those who take part in the Paralympics or Invictus games to be disabled? A great many of them are still working but with measures put in place to enable them to continue working.

gilreid1 profile image
gilreid1 in reply to Lezzers

I think you will find both dropped the term disabled in favor of less abled athletes

Lezzers profile image
Lezzers in reply to gilreid1

It doesnt take away the fact they have disabilities and are classed as disabled though

disabled

/dɪsˈeɪbld/

Learn to pronounce

adjective

(of a person) having a physical or mental condition that limits their movements, senses, or activities.

"facilities for disabled people"

Similar:

having a disability

wheelchair-using

paralysed

paraplegic

quadriplegic

tetraplegic

monoplegic

having a mental disability

learning-disabled

having learning difficulties

having special needs

hemiplegic

paretic

paraparetic

physically challenged

differently abled

handicapped

physically handicapped

physically impaired

crippled

lame

Opposite:

able-bodied

gilreid1 profile image
gilreid1 in reply to Lezzers

I think to bring this to a close I think we all agree about a person being disabled? But when referring to the equality act there are obviously two terms. Can work or cannot work due to the persons disability. I thought that was what the original post was about. Having a brother who lost the use of his leg in his thirty’s caused by an accident at work and of course he is classed as disabled. But for being classed as disabled for work he was not. After many legal battles he had to accept the rules. Eventually working at a desk which eventually caused severe back pain and like milkfairy had to finish on ill health. Now in his seventies and lives ok. So please don’t think the term disabled in the work environment is as straight forward as many think.

Lezzers profile image
Lezzers in reply to gilreid1

I don't think anything of the sort regarding the work environment, my husband was retired at a young age due to medical reasons.

I was replying to your comment that 'being disabled prevents you from being able to do any job not just the one you have or would like to have' & your comments below. If your medical condition allows you to live a normal or relatively normal life that great but thats not the same for everyone.

I am confused why anyone would want to be regarded as disabled unless the have a seriously restrictive condition and from my own prospective I certainly don’t regard myself as disabled. In fact I try to think more positive and try to improve my life after been given a second chance.

Good idea to bring this to a close, have a good day.

gilreid1 profile image
gilreid1 in reply to Lezzers

Again missing the point. Not me who sets rules. But government do. Read the thread please.

Lezzers profile image
Lezzers in reply to gilreid1

I read the thread!!

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star

Charlie_G has given you a great answer.

When I was still working I was covered under the Equality Act. It allowed me to ask for reasonable adjustments to be made to my working practices.

I was awarded a PIP for the first time whilst I was still working on reduced hours and altered working practices.

I took ill health retirement as I spent too much time in hospital or being off work so ran out of sick pay.

Refractory Vasospastic angina was not compatible with my very physically and emotionally demanding profession. If I made a mistake it would have too many repercussions.

The_Voice profile image
The_Voice in reply to Milkfairy

I was put on an AIP after my MIs - like I chose for my attendance record to plummet due to serious ill health. I had 4 MIs, so was off for a month, and had to do a phased return to work after, and had to take Friday afternoons off for 8 weeks to do my cardiac rehab. My employer was not happy!

fishface101 profile image
fishface101

thank you that’s useful information. I didn’t know it’s possible to get PIP like that (subject to meeting criteria of course and I am sure that’s a battle too). It’s a scary prospect if can’t work or can’t work full time, at a loss for answers. I can’t visualise my life past the waiting for next appointment / next test. information like this helps for if and when the time comes. As I’ve learnt from yourself and those with my particular heart defect that is symptomatic you have to be proactive and your own advocate and gaining knowledge / information helps. 👍

Charlie_G profile image
Charlie_G in reply to fishface101

PIP isn’t an ‘out of work’ or otherwise means tested benefit - you can claim it even if you work full time and receive a six figure salary. The only thing they’re interested in is whether your disability or condition sufficiently impacts on your day to day functioning: if you have a symptomatic condition that effects daily life, have had it for more than 3 months, and it’s reasonably expected to last at least a year, it may well be worth applying for PIP now. The caveat to that being that anyone not familiar with completing the forms should get assistance to do them, at least the first time - how you word your answers is almost as important as what you say.

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Charlie_G

Absolutely agree, it is an art form worthy of a PhD to fill in a PIP application successfully.

The mantra- I cannot reliably, safely, repeatedly, perform a task consistently by choice, sticks in my mind.

I was in hospital when my husband brought me the brown envelope, containing my PIP award.

Enhanced for both sections indefinitely, first review not before 2029.

I felt in some ways it was ironic that the DWP recognised my debilitating angina, unlike some Cardiologists at the time who didn't.

The DWP must have read my angiogram with acetylcholine results 😆

fishface101 profile image
fishface101 in reply to Charlie_G

I really didnt know that about PIP and still being in work. I believe my condition affects my daily life, I have been like this for more than 3 months but what I don’t know how long it’s going to last I.e. in terms of symptoms impacting (one more med, one more test then discussion about CABG or unroofing part of my LAD. But this is due to a congenital heart defect, unless the test says otherwise). And noted regards completing forms.

Charlie_G profile image
Charlie_G

No, that’s the thing, it doesn’t come down to what someone can or can’t do. If you have heart disease, by law, you are considered disabled for the purposes of equality and preventing discriminatory behaviour. Even if you run marathons on the weekend. Where what you can or can’t do comes into play is with regards to what would be considered a reasonable adjustment as a result of your disability, should you need changes to be made to remain in employment. However, the test of whether something is reasonable in employment law relates to consideration of the employer and their business needs, rather than what an employee considers to be reasonable. Time off for medical appointments is not guaranteed even if an employee meets the EA definition, but may well be considered a reasonable adjustment in relation to a disability. If a patient with heart disease needed to attend a cardiac appointment, that would be disability related and more difficult to refuse as a result, but not impossible. If a person with heart disease wanted time off for a urology appointment, though, for arguments’ sake, then that’s not likely to be considered disability related (unless the person also had a bladder condition that met the disability definition), and company policy on hospital appointments would therefore be applied and followed.

The reason arson and exhibitionism etc. is mentioned is because people have previously tried to argue that because they’re often pathological behaviours, or in some cases considered disorders or symptoms of disorders, this means they should be classed as disabilities and covered in the same way that additional needs and mental health problems are. It’s to prevent people from exploiting the act.

firstlight40 profile image
firstlight40

So for me with my nstemi, preserved heart function and stents, from the outside i look like a completely fine person in their late 50s. I'm fitter than some of my colleagues but I'm told by my cardiologist that i have to reduce stress and have agreed a plan with the occupational health and my manager. I dont feel the need to retire early.

So the reasonable accommodation that I have is to have some leeway with respect to work deadlines, I work the hours I'm contracted for and when travelling abroard for work (monthly) have more gaps between travel to avoid the stress of missing a plane or train, so it might take me a bit longer to complete the journey.

With a recent promotion I have 5 colleagues I'm technically in charge of but my manager deals with reviews etc for them to make it easier for me.

I work for a very large company but i hope that shows what reasonable accommodation looks like. Without trying to be immodest they want to keep me as I'm considered a global expert in my field.

fishface101 profile image
fishface101 in reply to firstlight40

thanks for insight, I have one major client who I find very stressful to work with, my angina flares when sitting (usually and mainly when moving) when in meetings etc with this client😟 maybe this is the reasonable adjustment I need to discuss with manager but not sure they can let me pick and choose who I work with but I know none of my peers want to take on this client, the work is more intense and challenging to deliver.

Hazel1010 profile image
Hazel1010

morning 😊 I don’t know about the Act itself but as a lady who is 69 has asthma , bigemini heart rhythm and fibromyalgia ( which is periodically a nuisance not constantly) and through out all that still think I’m relatively fit 🤷🏻‍♀️ I’ve been granted attendance allowance from the DWP, pension credit which has boosted my income .Also the local council has given me a blue badge so if I need to I can park closer to entrances etc .

I have to add that had it not been for a neighbour I would have still been living on £683 a month as none of these things are offered you have to apply for them yourself, I hope something here helps x all the best 😊

fishface101 profile image
fishface101 in reply to Hazel1010

thank you, although my question is narrow, this is the advice and support I need as I can only see financial ruin and losing my house if things continue like this. There is options (may not transpire) but if you don’t ask you don’t get, 😊

Hazel1010 profile image
Hazel1010 in reply to fishface101

the attendance allowance is a bit of a long winded application form that you ring dwp or I believe you can fill on line , I did the hard copy as I sent medication list from doctors app and letters for appointments etc , this allowance I believe is age related but if you are too young there’s an equivalent payment o a different name just call dwp they will help but be prepared for a wait as they are crazy busy 😊

Approach your council for council tax reduction 👍

Apart from extra benefits if you contact your mortgage company before you get into bad place most are very understanding once they know what you are facing

Also the citizens advice centre and if you are over 60 age concern will know what you can apply for ….and if I think of anything else I’ll pass the information on x all the best x

fishface101 profile image
fishface101 in reply to Hazel1010

thanks for the guidance, I’m 52 for information 😊

Hazel1010 profile image
Hazel1010 in reply to fishface101

my daughter is 44 has COPD, diabetes and various other problems including heart test now , she’s been off work now for 18 months and will probably never work again. In the beginning the job centre was on her back trying to send her or training and back to work stuff until I explained that she was on the sick and they marked her permanently off work now she gets PIP payments and enhanced monthly money instead of attending the job centre every other week , it took some determination but she got there

I’d try the job centre and say you need advice on benefits or give citizens advice a shot , daft as it sounds have a chat to maybe the doctors reception as most cities have advice organisations and charities that can give advice .

It’s that knowing where to start etc but there’s help out there x all the best 😊

fishface101 profile image
fishface101 in reply to Hazel1010

thank you, I am living in fear but the tips and guidance will help with being better informed and be proactive in managing the fear even if the outcome Is still difficult. . I see none of this is easy but there are potential options to pursue. 😊

cappachina profile image
cappachina in reply to Hazel1010

Hazel

Interesting to see you have attendence allowance I am 75 I have aortic stenosis in the severe stage, osteo arthritis ,fibromyalgia, acid reflux with sliding hiatus hernia and severe hearing loss my daughter wants me to apply for AA so having read you have got it I feel I may have a chance Thank you for your imput

Hazel1010 profile image
Hazel1010 in reply to cappachina

hello , honestly I didn’t think I had a chance and my neighbour bless her insisted .

The form can be obtained from DWP it’s very long winded but don’t be put off just take your time , I put a simple description of asthma, fibromyalgia, and heart tests etc, how these things effect me and was very honest that some days I’m absolutely fine but others are extremely difficult

I filled in the list of medication I take , often your pharmacist can give you a list to attach to the for and I added letter of hospital appointments etc

You are allowed quite a time to fill it in and it’s back dated to when you apply

I do hope this helps 😊 ps when you call the dwp 08007310122 I’d have it on speaker phone if you can and have a cup of tea handy as they are usually very busy 😊

cappachina profile image
cappachina in reply to Hazel1010

Thanks I am ok with filling it in as I have done many such forms for relatives in the past also my daughter is a OT so can check it for me before I send it off , so I will get on and do it feeling that the time spent on it may be worthwhile

Jetcat profile image
Jetcat

I get a little confused when it comes to being eligible to claim for certain things.?

My brother had a heart attack 12 years ago and eventually had to give his his strenuous job up as a road worker because he tired very easily.

He got and still gets no help from anywhere and was told to find another job because there’s nothing you can claim apart from job seekers allowance!!!

But my brother in law suffers with anxiety and cannot go into any crowded places etc and can’t even use public transport etc because it means him being close up around people.!!!!!!!

He receives what he calls PIP.? £300 a month on top of other benefits he receives.!!!!!

So i am totally confused with it all.?

fishface101 profile image
fishface101 in reply to Jetcat

yes it looks like from earlier posts knowledge is key and it’s helpful people here who can at least give you some options to purse. Worth looking into, would your brother have anything to lose by enquiring? Wish him well.

Jetcat profile image
Jetcat in reply to fishface101

he gave up trying along time ago. He now has unstable angina too and that also hasn’t made him anymore eligible for anything unfortunately.!! Rather annoying as he’s always worked and done things by the book.!!

The difference in my brother and brother in law is that one knows how’s exactly how the system works and knows exactly what to say to them on a face to face meeting and on the application forms.!!

You can’t the people for doing it but you can blame the system for allowing it.!

cappachina profile image
cappachina in reply to Jetcat

Hi Assuming he has Employment and support allowance have they passed him as fit to work Did he have a medical assessment if so was it a long time ago and if he was turned down for the extra help did he ask for a mandatory appeal

I suggest you look on the gov website for Employment and support allowance and read the info for yourself and maybe he will let you help him. If he doesn't get PIP he needs to apply but will need help to fill in Citizens Advice are good Do you think he could be suffering from depression too ? Best of luck in getting him some help

Jetcat profile image
Jetcat in reply to cappachina

Thankyou cappachina, yes he does suffer from depression he started a few years later due to not being able to do certain tasks that he likes doing, mainly working, but he gave his allotment up too which he loved.

Best wishes.Thankyou.Ron

Hazel1010 profile image
Hazel1010 in reply to Jetcat

citizen’s advice are good at pointing you in the right direction 😊

Jetcat profile image
Jetcat in reply to Hazel1010

Thankyou hazel I appreciate that. I do feel for my brother because I know he’s suffering with what he says he’s suffering with. I shall make some enquiries.👍x

Ravaging profile image
Ravaging

please forgive me.This is all very interesting but what exactly is wrong with you

fishface101 profile image
fishface101 in reply to Ravaging

pleas see my bio - causes angina and endothelial dysfunction, microvascular dysfunction and vasospansms. I am I the angina camp with pounding heart, Mild LVH. Impacting everything I do. Can’t move without pain.

Armoured profile image
Armoured

The original question to this post.

Good morning

I fully understand where you are coming from,

Unfortunately I suffered a Stemi three years ago, finding this site has been very helpful and supportive, Basically seeing your not alone and people are having the same feelings and fears and issues.

I was on a day role when I suffered with my heart attack, I was off for about ten months, on returning to work I carried on with my current role,

But here is my current issue. My contract is for a shift role 2 x 12hr days 2 x 12hr nights then 4 off.

I was made aware 4 months ago I would be required to start shift work again this year for 6 months as our company works predominantly half the year on shifts and half on days. I had previously had occ health who advised that I should refrain from shifts until I had seen my cardiologist as they were not comfortable to put me on shifts until such a time I’d seen the specialist for their opinion.

I approached my line manager as soon as I realised I wouldn’t have had my appointment before shifts were to commence, he reported this to hr who said another occ health, which sadly never got arranged by the company in time. They have since said stay on days but only three days before I was due to go back on shift, causing me a lot of anxiety as to whether my job was safe.

But the hr manager informed my line manager and union rep that my contract is for shift work and basically if I could not fulfill my role I’d have to leave or be laid off on the basic 12 week redundancy.

This prospect would leave me in a bit of a pickle to be honest.

I have worked there for 10 years

I like you no doubt have been immensely stressed by this situation and find the future very hazy.

So I understand why you want to know if you fall under disability/ equality act, One of the questions in my previous occ health from my employer was if I did fall under the act.

Basically I was upset when the word disability was first banded , I don’t see myself that way and I don’t truly believe any of us do. But reading the very informative reply’s I guess some of us are to keep us fairly treated regarding work and other things.

I’ll now wait until end of October to see my cardiologist and see his advice. So sadly my worries will not disappear, I’m guessing he/she will have one of three answer.

1 You’ll be fine

2 try it if you can’t manage look at something more suitable

3 I strongly advice no as could worsen your condition.

I’ll have to make my decision from there and hopefully all will become clear as to what the company offer option wise.

Take care one and all. Keep a bright light 👍🏼

fishface101 profile image
fishface101 in reply to Armoured

thank you so much for these supportive words noting you are in a difficult situation work wise yourself and the wait is the worst. Good luck, would be good to know how you get on and hope you get a positive outcome.

Armoured profile image
Armoured in reply to fishface101

I’ll let you know how it goes 👍🏼

Reading some of the replies to your post I feel and hopefully you feel encouraged it’s not necessarily the end of the line with our work.

The uncertainty is a horrible feeling, but the be all and end all is that we are here and doing our best. Whatever the outcome our health is our no1 priority, should my work change I’ll adapt and be grateful for what I have, especially when I’m looking at my lovely family, they are my world.

I hope you get your answers and it goes well for you. Try your best not to stress “easier said than done” Take care, all the best 👍🏼

The_Voice profile image
The_Voice

According to the equalities act, it most definitely is a disability, yes. Does that mean you can apply for a blue badge to park where you want down the supermarket? No. Does that mean you apply for some kind of monthly benefit? Probably not.

I believe it’s mostly designed to prevent things like work place discrimination.

fishface101 profile image
fishface101 in reply to The_Voice

thanks in the main I’m interested in how protects in the workplace, but some of the information above does seem to show there are potential help that can be accessed according to eligible. With respect to a blue badge, at present I either don’t go somewhere I know I’ll need to walk a fair bit, allow more time to walk from car to wherever going or go to a place I know I can park really closely without the need for a badge. Doesn’t reduce the pain though.

Esentepe profile image
Esentepe

hi thought I would reply. I am the Head of an oh service and worked in OH for 30 years. I am a clinician. I deal with disability on a daily basis.

It was interesting reading the posts. The equality act 2010 has a disability element which says if you have a health condition, and it has a substantial and adverse effect on day to day living and it has lasted or is likely to last 12months or more then some one would be deemed as disabled under the act. Your condition has to be considered with out treatment. However only a legal forum can deem some one as disabled.

You should ask to be referred to OH for their opinion and advice.

Being disabled means the employer has to consider reasonable adjustments. The purposes of reasonable adjustments are to bring you onto a level playing field with a non disabled person.

There is often confusion about the EA 2010. It relates to employment and provision of services.

It is likely that you fall under the remit of the equality act and OH will be able to offer more advice, that will enable you to remain in work.

Hope this helps?

fishface101 profile image
fishface101 in reply to Esentepe

yes helps very much, very clear. I have asked to be referred to OH again for another assessment as now have a very clear letter from cardiologist. The first OH felt concerned I was wanting to work but saw the mental health positives I do get from engaging with my colleagues. When I was off sick earlier this year for about a run of 25 days I just felt guilty about not working, now I am trying to work I am declining. What I hadn’t considered was to ask the question of OH so will do re disabled. Thanks

Esentepe profile image
Esentepe in reply to fishface101

I hope it works out for you and adjustments can be put in place to support you. Good work has many benefits and we know that not working can be detrimental to health. It might be worth asking oh for details of the access to work service. They can assess you and will pay for many adjustments. If you are keen to remain at work there are often lots of adjustments that can be considered. I know it is not always easy and staying at work is not right for everyone. I think you are taking a great approach. Hang on in there. Good luck.

fishface101 profile image
fishface101 in reply to Esentepe

thank you for words of encouragement, they mean a lot.

Ansteynomad profile image
Ansteynomad

I had to fight long and hard to have my vasospastic angina recognised as a disability by my employer and their Occupational health provider, because I needed reasonable adjustments to be able to continue to work safely.

Initially I was told that it was not a disability as I had not had it long enough. I had had symptoms for seven years, but had only been diagnosed two months before. When I complained, HR would not engage with me and advised me to take up meditation!

I then raised a grievance and was allowed to go back to Occupational Health for re-assessment. This time they got it right and I did get a verbal apology.

The adjustments I sought were simple. I had had an angina attack while working on the reception desk and had not been allowed to come off it because there was no-one to take my place. I needed either not to do reception, or I needed there to be someone else who could take over if necessary. I also needed not to be alone in the building after I had an attack when I was working one to one with a student and there was no-one else there.

What I actually got was a recommendation that I wear a scarf in the winter! They made up my pension and let me go shortly afterwards.

This was a well known university with a major public commitment to equality and diversity.

fishface101 profile image
fishface101

that seems unnecessarily made more difficult for you than had to be. Hope you are in a better place, it’s helped knowing what other people have experienced as might not be an easy future coming up but being more aware helps. Thanks for sharing.

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