Endometriosis UK
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Support / advice - work related

Hi all,

I know you not legal experts but would like your opinions.

I have pelvic congestion syndrome, which my employer is aware about. Last month I was at work where I suffered a major bleed and severe chronic pelvic pain. I went to hospital and was signed off for 2 and a half weeks. In the meantime I was backwards and forwards to the doctors and hospital for stronger med's, scans and tests. In which I kept my employer up to date with.

After the 2.5 weeks off I was due to go on holiday abroad, I got the all clear to fly as long as when I was back to get a blood test. I spoke to my employer who told me to take my holiday and even if I wasn't going to go to take the time off to recoup. I found this supportive. Anyway long story cut short holiday was amazing however the pelvic congestion ruined it and I regret going as physically couldn't do alot.

So 2 days before I am due back into the business I get a text from my friend telling me my job was being advertised, exact same store I was in and job title. So I emailed my boss (so I had a paper trail) and got a reply 2 days later (the morning I was meant to be doing my RTW) telling me not to be "alarmed" and that they See Me Later That morning. So this put me at ease

I arrive for my RTW and get told that they are removing me from the store because they felt that the pressure and stress contributed to what happened. (No where does it mention I have been signed off with stress and no one has asked me if I was stressed) hence why my position was being advertised. They also required someone reliable and who will just run the store and not go sick. As my sickness put them behind on a director visit. I didn't know what to say and couldn't say anything because I was so angry about everything. Now I am field travelling 6 hours or more a day to get to stores, how is this not stressful??

That afternoon I speak with HR who called to ask if it was ok to get a third party company in to speak to me about my condition so they can make work place adaptions. I said yes and they would send forms for me to fill out. The next day I recieved the forms and it says the assessment is to see if "employee is fit to perform job role" - so I am not filling the form in. 1. Because they didn't mention this and made it sound like they were supporting me. 2. They've already decided I'm not fit enough to do my job so have pulled me out of the store.

So all with this, then to top of 4 days because in the business. I get told I am going to run a store for 6 days. Which means I am working 7 days straight again travelling 6 hours a day to get to the store. But what I don't get is they've blamed my illness on pulling me out of a shop, but then place me in a shop?

I am fed up, tired and still not well. This travelling is killing me but my boss doesn't care. Working 7 days straight after having 5.5 weeks off isn't fair and isn't helping this supposed stress I have. I am depressed because they've used my condition against me and have manipulated the situation by making it sound like they are helping when not.

What would you do if you were me? I'm pondering on getting side off because I am in alot of pain but don't know if I should just quit. And where I stand legally

Any advice will be appreciated

5 Replies

Hello you poor thing - you've been treated disgustingly. It's so very stressful having to juggle work and endo. Your pelvis condition sounds awfully awfully painful. it's rather impossible - to be in that much pain and work. And I wish more employers ( and people in general) had more understanding.

If I were you I would go back to your GP and get signed off. Tk get your head around what's happening and to heal. Get a copy of your work place staff hand book and your work contract. See what your position is with sick leave etc. and grievance procedure.

Its "the impact of their unfair actions" that have caused you stress and it could be interpreted as though they want you out honey. Which is illegal. I'd then contact your local employment solicitor, they often do a " free" advice day for the community. Google it. This is what these slots are set up for. Genuine advice. Take the above docs with you.

It's hard having to " fight" when your very ill and exhausted but my love see what you can do. Knowledge is power. You need to be one-step ahead of them. And you can be. So see what rights you have, and from a legal perspective -how you can be protected - for as long as you can. Your work may try & terminate your contract - so do the above as quick as you can. And see what actions you can take to be as safe as poss ( for as long as poss).

Your HR department work for the same company as you do - in reality - and will always side with them - even if they seem neutral, or appear supportive ( which they haven't) but they cannot ever be neutral due to who pays their wages. So I wouldn't trust them.

Finally-and you may not like what I'm about to say, I would consider changing employer or working for your self. I know this is a heck of a lot easier said than done. But it is do-able, I did this - as I had too, I had a terrible time at work ( long story) but I did what I'm telling you to do and I got the right result ( as in I got what I needed for a new life - plus protection) it's one of the best things I've ever done. But also one of the scariest as it escalated so fast and I have a mortgage to pay etc - I felt so isolated but i knew I had to try and fight. Thank god I did. You can too. In your own way.

I trained for 8 years to do a specialist job, BA hons - masters degree & I landed my dream job Only like - you To be pushed out. Through no fault of my own. But just getting to the job itself was making me sick, 60 - 70hours weeks & 3 hour drive every day was destroying my spirit & body. I spent that much on driving - despite my well paid job I was left with nothing and emotionally & physically drained. But as it was all if ever wanted and knew - I was like what the heck am I gonna do. So,

I trained as a yoga teacher -it's something I always loved. Yoga made me feel better - it was always a medicine. And I thought how I'd love to share it. And it was tough but I managed to leave one job and set up self employed. I'm not loaded - I just had to be frugal, and my brain power to fix it. You have what you have - this means your resilient, strong, resourceful and great brain power.

Funnily enough my helping others to heal through yoga has actually helped my Endo ( along with vegaism , supplements I follow) the stress I had a work definitely increased pain. I've nearly got rid of my endo - one day I'm convinced I'll heal completely. Sooo .. Think about what you love doing, what makes you the happiest, don't hold back - be honest with yourself & see if there was any way of turning into something that could make you money? I'm not saying this lightly - I just sense that your a highly talent person, with great creativity - who could absolutely do it.



For when you are in pelvic pain and/or the work situation get you teary, or fuming...

Do it when ever you need.

This is tricky at first as lots of us reverse breathe ( breathe the wrong way around-as we inhale into the chest & belly goes flat & exhale belly big - this is NOT the right was to breathe.

So read on :) as the correct way is below - it's tough to retrain the body but keep trying - do NOT force your breathing, it should be slow & soft. Like a baby breathes, slow full yet soft.

Start it now ( if you can ;)

Sitting upright, on sofa or chair tall spine.Put hands on your belly - so they are flat and just under your belly button palms near hips. inhale into the Lowest part of your belly. Then exhale from the lowest part. So your kinda breathing into the place your hands are. So every inhale your belly will balloon like Buddhas or santas belly. Every exhale it goes flat.

Keep hands on belly...&....

Do one inhale - one exhale & count 1

Do one inhale one exhale & count 2

Do one inhale one exhale

& count 3

Go up to 10.

You should feel softer, a little bit less frazzled. If not repeat.

This works - just take your time with it x



Do I get signed off with my illness or the work related stress ?

I am looking for another job but this job is taking its toll and I am loosing my strength with it.


I had the same dilemma re the note. Speak to your doctor about how best it can be worded - as really from what your saying it is both. But it sounds as the current reason overriding is the workplace.

For about months my doctor wrote "work related anxiety". And I was bottling it - but it never came back on me. And he had to put down the truth and that was it. My pain symptoms were not listed but I told him. So he had a record. Invade any notes were ever needed in a legal battle. So you must tell your DR everything, for their notes.

My case was helped when I saw an occupational health therapist ( third party) who interview me & concluded that I am capable of the job it is the circumstance:work environment - ie workplace that is making it incapable. So not my fault.

So I would get signed off - what's your doctor like? Are they helpful?

Then Google search for a free-solicitor. Get an employment law specialist. You'll find one. Also if you take up further appointments which are not " free" your workplace has to pay £250.00 towards legal costs. Also check you bank account. Some banks give out x-amount of legal advice for free - as an account perk ( just check maybe?) well they did do a few years back - again it's worth a try.

Then Google ACAS they are government run agency who help with disputes at work. You may find them telling you things you already know - but it's worth a shot as they are up on the law.

Be active -But fight whilst your still there and in their payroll. I think you can self certify up to 3 days is it (?) - I can't bloomin remember - I may be wrong - double check that - but when you get your drs appointment to posting off the sick note that should give you a week of two grace - to get more info and to do the above. Also try contacting your local Citizens advice bereau by phone as they sometimes have employment law specialists as volunteers.

Do go to the solicitor still tho - they will save you lots of hassle. ....I'm thinking of prospective things you can do now. And also as said get your contract & staff hand book. If there's one(?) Perhaps a colleague - the one who you mentioned - could get the handbook for you. On the quiet. It does sounds like constructive dismissal however - in order to claim that you have to actually leave. Then say - it was that bad I was forced out. BUT !!! don't do anything drastic till you've gotten legal advice. As you may need to submit a grievance which you solicitor will help with.

Eat well, rest where you can rest, and prepare all you things, right a report on what happened, date time, witnesses, how this impacted on your health. So a diary of it all. When you speak to Acas/sols/citizen advice -refer back to your notes.

And think about then what do you really want? Do you want to stay in the company but have a more flexible job there fleck hours etc or be compensated for your stress and wtongful treatment or something else. It's all valid. Depends on how you feel. I'm sorry to put this too you - like that - as its probably the last thing you want to chew over but a solicitor /Acas: citizens advice will ask you this.

Keep going x


0845 747 4747

ACAS govt run employment line for unfair dismissal, discrimination, bullying ect


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