Restructure at work & Moderate copd - British Lung Foun...

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Restructure at work & Moderate copd


I was diagnosed with copd in 2008 and it is now at a moderate stage.

I will be 59 in May. I have worked full time at my company for 5 years.

There is now a restructure at work and my teams work is going to be moved into other teams workloads, and I may have to re-apply for these roles.

I get very tired now during the week, and breathlessness is at its worst early mornings on waking. I also have bad leg circulation. I enjoy working but I am worried that if I get one of these new roles they will now come with extra responsibilities targets and deadlines, and my anxiety will may increase under more pressure.

The restructure consultations have invited applications for either voluntary redundancy, shorter working hours or job share. My employers do not know I have Copd. Do I tell them or say nothing?

8 Replies

hi your better telling them and they have a duty to have a look at any changes they can make to make things easier for you like reduced hours.


you must do what's best for you, you know your own limits. Good luck let us know what you decide😊 xxx


Hi you need to tell them you have copd as they have a duty of care towards you under The Health and Safety at Work Act. As long as your employers knows, or can reasonably be expected to know you have an illness, they have to make 'reasonable adjustments' in order to let you keep working. These could be a less strenuous type of job, lighter duties, extra breaks, more sick leave or even part time hours etc. Bear in mind though that these are always 'subject to business needs'.

Your employers then should sit down and discuss this with you and ask you more about your illness and what your needs are. The next step should be for them to send you to occupational health for their opinion. They don't have to take their advice though. If you are in a trade union get immediate assistance from your rep.

If they don't or won't make any reasonable adjustments for you they are in breach of the law and you would have a good claim against them. This also includes 'constructive dismissal'.

I have been in the same situation myself! You can also contact ACAS. Good luck and let us know how you get on. If you want to pm me please do. x

Ps you might decide if you can afford it or want it to take the voluntary redundancy or a shorter contract job instead, but you need to look into this further.

I would speak to your line manager and explain the difficulties you're experiencing. They have to try and accommodate your needs. Good luck. 🌹🌹🌹


My advice would be give it a go. It's usual for people to worry how they would manage if given a promotion and to underestimate their capabilities. If you don't take the opportunity you may regret it for the rest of your life. Moderate stage COPD is not serious enough to tell your employer about or to worry about it yourself come to that. IMHO At the end of the day you know yourself best, but don't for goodness sake, sell yourself short.

diesel12 in reply to Hidden

The problem is, that even with moderate copd it does impact on your life and that also can mean your working life so while I agree on never selling yourself short there is a need to recognise that it is serious and there are times when you are debilitated and need support. I worry that by saying it's not serious enough to tell employers or worry about it yourself, it may imply that when us moderates feel tired or breathless we are making too much of it. Grant you, we are not on oxygen but we do have a daily fight to live a "normal" life.

I have moderate COPD and you need to tell your employers. I find I get tired and breathless some days and need to limit the risk of infection. My employers were great and referred me to occupational health who made some recommendations and you can also self refer to axs to work who recommended waterproof silver impregnated keyboard and mouse which can go in a sink or dish washer to be cleaned I also have a humidifier as the air con sometimes makes it difficult due to the dry air and I am also allowed to go outside if I need some fresh air. So my recommendation would be to tell them, Oh and don't forget they can't discriminate against you as you will fall under the equality act I would think.

Its a good Idea to tell them nothing sorry to hear about the progress. Can you do shorter hours or do you have to work full time?

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