Has anyone been dismissed from work due t... - Endometriosis UK

Endometriosis UK

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Has anyone been dismissed from work due to Ill health?


I just wanted to know what happens if you get dismissed due to ill health or leave work due to it? I have had a lot of time off Sick due to been in pain and on high doeses of morphine and pregabalina

Any advice would be appreciated so worried with what's going to happen I love my job!

8 Replies

Hello :) work are currently trying to dismiss me but it's very hard as we are covered under the Disability Discrimination Act 1998. I have asked to reduce my hours to 32 a week worked over 4 days as opposed to 40 which they didn't like, but under the act it states that they must make 'reasonable adjustments'. In return they have asked me permission to write to my Dr to ask for a medical report on what other reasonable adjustments they should make (and to check I'm not lying I'm sure!). I always get a sick note from the Dr even if I am off for one day to ensure that I am covered. If you are in any doubt speak to HR or ACAS or better yet join a union as they will be able to give you lots and advice and guidance and make sure your employer is acting legally. Best of luck :) xx

Charlotte123 in reply to Catness

Awww thank you for kind reply, I have already gone through hr and I'm under the occupational health at work they have put me on reduced hours and keep in contact regularly but they told me I wasn't covered by the disability act? My income isn't a high one so on reduced hours I'm struggling to pay bills etc do you know anything that can help with that? Is it worth joining a union? I'm just so worried about it xx

Catness in reply to Charlotte123

Hello :) you most definitely are covered so I would research the act and get to know it well as fortunately I just had to say the acts name and my employer backed off. Unions definitely are worth it, I joined one for a different reason but found them to be extremely helpful. You will need to find the one that your employer recognizes (there needs to be a certain percentage of the workforce as it's members) that way they can come to meetings with you and talk on your behalf. If your employers dont recognize any I would do my research and find one that specializes in knowledge of disability act etc. As for the financial side of things - I understand completely! My cut in salary will mean I JuST cover my bills and my partners salary will just cover food and things. We will be completely on the line money wise. I have been recommended to go and speak to the citizens advice bureaux (can't spell that word) as they may be able to help but haven't had time just yet xx

I completely agree with Catness :) ACAS are fantastic, definitely worth a telephone call.

There are lots of different ways you could stay at work and keep financially stable (depending on your job) different hours.. Working from home etc. I am due a disciplinary at work but I am not worried at all as HR have agreed we are covered by the disability discrimination act 1998 ( a long term illness expected to last 1 year or more I believe) PleAse try not to worry just expect to stand your ground and argue your case! My employer have treated me terribly but it's getting better, just hold in there. Best of luck. X

Aww thank you so much for your help girls, mine has been going on wince last January then I was pain free from September till December now it's all started again, so will that be classed as a illness lasting longer then a year?

can't thank you enough for your help girls it's helped me a lot! I'll get doing my research xxx

Best of luck to you both xxx

Even if it started last week an you felt fine for a day or more you are still covered by the Disability Discrimination Act, as Endometriosis has no cure, it is an illness that will last more than a year when you sometimes feel ok and others you don't.

HR at the company I work for understand this and support this it's just a little harder to get the supervisors and managers to understand.. But just keep trying and standing your ground. It does get better :) X

Hi Charlotte,

You poor thing. Sorry to hear of your concerns. Apologies for the long and detailed reply, but your question really struck a chord - and I'd love to be able to try and help. Please bear with me, if you can.

Hate to say this... but the above replies are only PARTLY correct. I am telling you this from PERSONAL experience. Believe me, if an employer wants to bully you out of a job - they WILL. Whilst it is true that the Disability Discrimination Act might have offered some help - it has been superseded. The law applying is now the Equality Act - but protection is NOT automatic. There is NO automatic cover for Endometriosis. If somebody tells you this, they are in error. In reality, it works like this...

The Act says it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against you IF YOU MEET CRITERIA FOR BEING CLASSED AS DISABLED. The criteria are as follows:

"A physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities." (Quoted direct from the Act).

However, what you NEED to remember is that whilst YOU think you may meet these criteria, YOUR EMPLOYER MAY NOT. This is where problems can arise. I went through YEARS of to-ing and fro-ing at work, and YEARS of bullying, just because I tried to assert my rights under the act (DDA at the time). My employer refused to accept that I may be classed as disabled, despite HEAPS OF EVIDENCE. I provided information about medical appointments & about treatment; I attended Occupational Health; I had even told my employer about my health problems during my initial interview! So, they TOOK ME ON KNOWING I HAD A HEALTH CONDITION - THEN WENT BACK ON THEIR WORD!! I suspect that there are many people with employers who have behaved the same way - many of the women on this Forum have evidently suffered at the hands of insensitive employers.

Sometimes (especially if the employer is lacking understanding) you are in for a long, hard struggle. It is always best to be realistic, and fully aware of this prospect. Not all employers are nice, kind and caring - and to be honest, I would suggest that ANY employer that is making a person feel stressed, anxious, threatened or guilty for being genuinely ill and having time off, is an employer to be worried about!

What I would advise (for what it's worth) is that you get as much support as you can. Talking to ACAS is a good idea (their helpline number is 0300 123 1100). Talk to the Equality Advisory Service (their helpline is 0808 800 0082). You can find details of the helpline opening times on-line (as well as accessing a host of information pages) - just type ACAS or EASS into a search engine. I would also advise that, if you are a Union member, you seek the support of your Union. Union Reps can give advice about your rights, and they can also accompany you to disciplinary meetings and so forth. If your employer has an Occupational Health Service, DO attend any appointments you are offered, as these will give you the chance to explain about your illness and its impact. Occupational Health can also provide reports to your employers, and make suggestions as to what might help you remain in work, and do your job.

THAT is the positive part. Now for the somewhat more negative! DO be prepared to have to stand your ground, and be assertive. DO be prepared for the possibility that your employer may refuse to see things your way, and refuse to help. You need to make a good case for yourself (i.e. you need to prove as best you can, that you meet the disability criteria). So, think carefully about the following:

1. How long have your symptoms lasted, and how long are they expected to go on for? What impact do they have on day-to-day life? Can you prove this impact?

2. When were you diagnosed, and do you have clear evidence of diagnosis?

3. Do you have proof (i.e. a record, or letter) of all your medical appointments, that you can show your employer if needed?

4. Do you have proof (i.e. a letter, or record) or any treatment that you are having? This may be a letter from your Hospital Consultant following surgery, or a sick note off your G.P. (basically anything that provides evidence of ongoing treatment). Are you happy to show these to your employer if needed?

5. Do you have contact with Occupational Health? Do you know what they think about your situation? Have they provided any reports or recommendations? Can they demonstrate the impact of your illness on day-to-day life?

6. Would you be happy for Occupational Health, or your employer, to contact your Doctor(s) or seek access to your medical records? (Be aware that this can be problematic - you are supposed to have rights about how and when your employer can access your medical records - however some employers contravene these rights - my employer got a report off my G.P. without my knowledge or consent, and I only found out about it later!).

7. Are you capable (with help, if required) of putting together a "case" that outlines how you meet the disability criteria, and provides evidence of this?

8. Are you tough and strong enough to fight for your "case" if your employer proves to be unsupportive?

9. Have you got all the help you can?

10. Are you fully aware of, and "clued up" with regard to your rights?

I'd use questions like these as a guideline, to help you think about how to put forward your "case". Clearly, only YOU will know how your employer is likely to respond, and only YOU can judge how supportive your employer appears to be. Remember that employers, like all humans, can be very different - some can be kind, understanding and caring; others can be ignorant, bullying and deceitful. It is also prudent to be aware that other things (outside your control) can affect an employer's willingness and ability to offer support. This should NOT be the case, but unfortunately if your employer is...

1. Short-staffed

2. Facing a cash-flow crisis or a budget cut

3. Re-structuring or undertaking job re-evaluations

4. Making redundancies, or reducing in size

5. Moving premises

6. A very small ("one-man-band") company

This can affect the support they may offer, including "reasonable adjustments". On a more positive note, if your employer is a PUBLIC SECTOR employer, you have additional assistance from the EQUALITY ACT. For more information, please see the following links...

1. Equality Act overview for employees - equalityhumanrights.com/adv... (click on each link within this page to get more information)

2. Public Sector Equality Duty - equalityhumanrights.com/adv... (again, click on each pink link within the page to get more information)

In the meantime, it might be helpful to make an appointment at the Citizens' Advice Bureau to sit down and talk things through with someone. The CAB often has trained legal advisers on site, and can also provide leaflets about your rights, about things like sick pay or welfare benefits, and about things like bullying at work. (By the way, if you think you ARE being bullies - keep a diary/record of EVERYTHING that happens as evidence - and see my link).

To access your local CAB office, look it up on-line at citizensadvice.org.uk

For advice and support regarding workplace bullying see workplacebullying.co.uk

I truly hope that this helps you, and possibly also anyone else in a similar situation who is reading this Forum post. Please try to stay strong - and whatever anyone says, remember you are NOT at fault (Endometriosis is!). Very good luck to you.

Take care & best wishes,

E. x

By the way... just realised I forgot to add this (and here was me, trying to be organised and thorough!)...

Information about how and when an employer can access your medical information can be found at...


Howver, DO remember that I told you that some employers may contravene this legislation - MINE DID - and THEY WERE PUBLIC SECTOR! SO BEWARE - and if anything REALLY BAD happens - SEEK URGENT LEGAL ADVICE!

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