How do I avoid being disciplined by my employer for multiple sick days?

I have been suffering with Endo for several years but was only diagnosed in December 2013. I work full time and every month pray my period falls on the weekend so I can manage my pain in private. However when this doesn’t happen I have always dragged myself into work despite my pain and tried to struggle through. The last few months have been increasingly painful and I think I’ve reached the point that I can no longer manage to work while I feel like this. My concern is that I will be investigated and disciplined for having multiple incidences of sick, despite this being the same condition which reoccurs each month. A family member said that endo is a disease and my employer should treat this as a disability and flexible working should be considered. I’m nervous of breaching the subject with my employer as I’ve only been in the job a few months. Does anyone have an experience of how to handle keeping my employer happy while allowing myself the sick days I now need?

3 Replies

  • Sorry to hear your symptoms seem to be getting worse. Is there any way you can access an Occupational Health department through work? They would be best placed to give advice, as they specialise in the impact of work on your health and vice versa. They also have quite a lot of power - if they advise you need flexible working then I think your employer has to make reasonable attempts to provide this. I know that where I work, occupational health are really helpful - maybe check your contract and see if it's mentioned, if you don't want to discuss it directly with your employer in the first instance. On the other hand, if your employer is reasonable then have a chat with them - I'm sure they would rather you had flexible working than had to keep calling in sick and missing days, so they should try to work with you in sorting things out (but I am aware not all of them are like this!) Hope you get a good response, whichever route you go down.

  • I have now got to the point at work where I am signed off for atleast 2 weeks every month due to my endo and IC. I always have a doctors note even if it's just for one days sickness to cover me. I have also given my permission for my employer to request a sickness report from my Dr to better understand how my illness impact work. We are covered under the disability act, so your employer should make 'readonable adjustments'. Whether you want to or not, you need to speak to your employer about what's going on to make sure that you are looking after yourself and not pushing it. I really pushed myself last year and I am a lot worse off for it now.

    Best of luck! Xx

  • Thank you so much for your advice. I have spoken to HR who recommended I speak to my line manager directly. I was very nervous but he was really understanding and agreed to let me work from home when I need to. This is really helpful as I don't have to drive the 45 min journey to work while doped up on co-codamol that make me feel dizzy and sick. He said he'd rather we try this than I call in sick. I did offer access to my medical records but they said this wasn't necessary. I'm really greatful to have an understanding employer. Reading the forum has made me realise that I've got it good in comparison to some endo sufferers!

    Thanks for the advice :-)

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