Endometriosis UK
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Lost my job

Hi guys,

I recently lost my job due to having endo, my boss basically told me that because it's so unpredictable they simply couldn't keep me on because I would be off again. She said to me that because I refused treatment (hysterectomy) then I really wasnt doin much to prevent this getting worse. I worked for the NHS and thought they would have more compassion seeing as they deal with sick people everyday but I've been beginning to think lately that because I don't look sick then they don't class me as being sick. There are people I worked with who really took the piss and where off at least one day a week and they are still working.

I was just wondering if anyone else has lost their job over having an underlying condition and whether there are any legal channels to follow. Or if there is any advice if I do decide to appeal against their decision.


39 Replies

I am so sorry to hear this. I worry about the implications on my career all the time and completely agree that because it isn't something people can see they do not fully understand. I know that I never show how severe the pain is, to anyone.

If you were permanently employed there are definitely legal avenues available to you - research unfair dismissal online and I hope you find some (more knowledgable) help! Unfortunately I do not know a great deal aside from there definitely being options for you.

Wishing you all the best - B


Hi Becky,

Yeah I've been looking online but I'm not 100% sure about how to go about it all. One of my friends have said it was unfair dismissal but another who I worked with said it's the policy so I don't have a leg to stand on basically.

I just think it's so unfair that because I've got an underlying condition they can do this. They are taking into account that I've been off after having 2 operations which I think is completely unfair. I was willing to go back to work after my first op and they told me I needed to stay away for at least 2 weeks. But now I've been punished for that.

Sorry for ranting.


You don't need to apologise! It's extremely frustrating. Endometriosis is a recognised medical condition and I think on that basis you would have a case perhaps under discrimination about disability.

This link may be useful - gov.uk/discrimination-your-...

Wishing you lots of luck x


I'm so sorry this has happened to you .

Really not sure where you stand legally and fighting this but not sure what qualifies your boss to comment on the fact you haven't had a hysterectomy !

As we all know it helps some people but not everyone

Could you try the citizens advice might be a long shot but they be able to point you in the right direction.

All the very best to you


Hey mablesky

Thank you for your reply that's a good idea actually didn't think of the CAB I will go down today and see if I can speak to someone or make an appointment.

Thanks again


I'm sorry to hear this. There is just so limited understanding and empathy when it comes to this rotten disease.

I don't know where you stand legally so a discussion with the CAB may be prudent.

However in relation to your employers comment regarding hysterectomy this is simply ludicrous. The myth that hysterectomy is a definitive cure has now been debunked and is no longer considered a necessary treatment option for endo. This has been published within well respected medical journals!

Excision surgery (ie cutting out the endo) by a skilled accredited endo specialist is now considered the Gold Standard of treatment with this resulting in 50-60% chance of it not reoccurring. Again this is published within well respected medical journals.

It may pay to do some research and print off some articles before going to see someone at the CAB as sadly they too may no little about endo.

Would your employers be so quick to recommend a man has his testicles removed for no genuine medical benefit??

Ooh it makes me so angry 😡😡.

I wish you all the best, Jo x

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Thanks for your reply Jo. I completely agree I don't think she would have said that to a guy. I was really shocked when she said it it wasn't until I left that it hit me properly and I wanted to go back in and tell her exactly what I thought but was thinking that might go against me if I wanted to appeal.

I'm gonna go see CAB today I just called them and they said to drop in anytime so hopefully they have someone who can give me some advice.

Thanks again


Sorry to hear this but I went thru same last December 2 weeks to Xmas. Had an endo crisis at work and I was practically chased out the office premises as they refused me taking my menefamic acid at work due yo lethargic effect it has on me. This led to stress and depression. Anyway I took them to ET and will be having my first hearing in 3 weeks. Wish myself good luck. My lawyer is claiming for disability discrimination, sex discrimination and unfair dismissal.

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Hi Ade

Really sorry you are going through this too it's really not a nice situation to be. I really hope you wipe the floor with them and it's been useful to me too because now I know I can do something about it. I have my aunts friend whose a lawyer looking over my stuff as we speak and he's gonna get back to me to see if I have a case or not.

Good luck in your case. If you can would you keep me updated on it I would love to hear how you got on.

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Sure will keep you posted cos mine was actually a constructive dismissal as my managers refused me working for 1 week in the name of oral medical suspension, Never heard of that before. I was even asked to bring a fit note without calling in sick for even 1 day. When I reported to ACAS, I was told employers should have called me or emailed me to resolve issues When I finally told them after 1 week of frustration that I quit but they didn't. Their action was interpreted as "good riddance to bad rubbish"

Also, they didn't involve occupational health until the 5th day. I kept turning up at work and they kept turning me back home. That got me frustrated. My crisis only lasted 2 hrs. I'm using a female lawyer as I believe she understands my plight more.

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Also get a full medical report from your GP, I got mine from 2008 to date though my endo was diagnosed in 2010 after a surgery. Got an incidence report from london ambulance also as employers lied I refused ambulance services. They also claimed I refused treatment (Hysterotomy) just like your case.

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Forgot to say all my managers are male so they don't know what it feels like to have Endo.

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Wow I really feel for you that's disgraceful the way they've treated you. I hope they get what they deserve.

All my managers are female so I would have thought they would understand a bit more but I guess not. I wouldn't wish endo on anyone not even my worst enemy but I would love for them to have it for one week to feel exactly what it's like.

There's a lot of people I worked with that take the piss constantly they would be off for the slightest things like a headache or a cold etc. And nothing gets done but because we have this illness and it not something you can physically see they over look it.

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Male and female have been less than understanding at times. The old 'you don't look sick'! SO many people with invisible illnesses are treated this way!


Tell me about it. I'm tired of being asked why Ive been off when I didn't look sick beforehand. I'm thinking about ptinting the symptoms and information about endo on a t shirt and wearing it everyday so people don't need to ask

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Thanks Immy, I actually wished that too for people that think we faking our symptoms. God forgive me though. I loved my job so much that I was begging to work even when I was in crisis cos I knew they were up to to no good as I was already on oral warning for high Bradford factor used to calculate attendance.

Seriously hope for the best and I will sure keep u posted.

U can email me for few legal materials also: doyinwilson@yahoo.com


Your employer is likely to be in breach of the equality act of 2010 in which you could be entitled to disability related sick leave or impairment related sickness.. Were you referred to occ health? Did they do anything to facilitate a return to work or suitable adjustments to help you at work? they must prove this in order to prove they have tried everything possible before dismissing you due to ill health. Good luck with everything xx


Hi lily

Yeah I was referred to occupational health they didn't offer me any type of adjustment or a phased return to work when I came back from my operations.

I actually feel that I was made an example of so other ppl will think twice about going off sick because a lot of ppl take the piss where I worked but they seem to be getting away with it.


Hi Immy13

I work for the NHS too and find them anything but helpful, they're probably one of the worst. We have the Bradford factor at our Trust and it's just wrong to blanket every employee with it.

I asked for a meeting with occupational health after my stage 1 meeting to raise my trigger point. The occupational health Dr directly asked if I was disabled and that they would only change it if I was. Now I don't class myself as that but endo is disabling at times rendering me unable to work and deal with patients even though most days I'm dealing with some kind of pain and most of the time I get through it. When I mentioned that I'd probably be having excision surgery in the near future he said that it was unlikely that I'd be having it if I had 'bits of endometriosis here and there', medication would be better. He knew my occupation and that gynaecology is one of my areas but he was so patronising. I just shut down and left quickly after that. I was so upset and angry. Waste of time. Luckily I have a very supportive fiance who has done a lot of reading on the Equality Act 2010 and related the Act to endo and my symptoms in a complaint letter to occupational health. I'm waiting on a reply. Had a meeting with my new endo specialist gynaecologist the other week and guess what, he suggested excision surgery! I'm now on that waiting list.

Sorry it's a long post with no great useful advice but I'm just letting you know that you're not alone. It's easy to feel like you are defeated sometimes but this site does help a lot. Everything always feels like a battle when it comes to endo, its exhausting (as if we weren't exhausted enough dealing with the physical effects of the actual condition). Keep fighting. I hope you win xx


Hey chopples

It really gets to me that because of this condition we not only have to fight to get out of bed some morning's but we have to fight harder to keep our jobs.

Especially when you work for the NHS they should understand more and be more knowledgeable about it as there are doctors there that deal with this on a regular basis.

I sometimes feel that we are hitting our heads against a brick wall talking to them. I understand that having time off work puts pressure on the ward and the other members of staff but it's not like you are taking the piss like some people.

How dare them say that you won't be having surgery that's just wrong. It's not their decision to make and not fair of them to make a comment like that.

I was under a consultant at where I worked and she done my diagnostic lap which determined I did have it but she said it was only a few dots of it and I was fine. I demanded to be referred to a specialist who took me down for a 30 min op that turned into a 6 hour one because I had stage 4 endo and adhesions and all my organs where stuck together.

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Hi there

I also work for the NHS. Ive a manager who is basically a nightmare but got a lovely assistant manager who is understanding. Did you take in a union rep with you for all the meetings? Also did they follow the protocols during this time? Have you been given the chance/option for an appeal?

Ive been in a final meeting with a friend and it wasnt nice. I did understand where the bosses were coming from. Im hoping i dont go in front of them. But i know im going to trigger 2nd formal soon as ive been off. My manager keeps sending out updates on sick policy so it seems she hasnt been following protocol.

My occ health are useless as well. 1 doc said there isnt any reason for extra triggers and no need for adjustments at work. It was a female doc and came across as too far up her own ass.

According to my union rep disability act covers me and my endo - he has checked with full time officer. I have known my manager to tell someone to find work that suits a working mother. Im waiting for her to tell me to have hystercectomy so then i can have her for sex discrimination as well.

I wish you all the best in getting them to listen to you.


Hey slaccie.

I didn't know they could give you more triggers I wasn't told or made aware of this by anyone. I did take a rep in with me who I met an hour before the meeting (it took them 4 weeks to sort this out) he knew nothing about me, he didn't know what endo was and he wasn't prepared. The doctor i seen from occ health was really good shes put in one of my letters that my condition comes under the disability act but they just overlooked that. I am now ready to put an appeal in and I believe myself and my new union rep have found 2 massive mistakes that they have done but I need more evidence which I am going to be looking at getting from HR on Monday.

I always thought great I work for the NHS they will know about my condition and be able to help and understand what I'm going through, but they are the worst.

I've had 2 people basically say to me that I should have a hysterectomy not exactly in those words tho.

I've got everything crossed that I am right and I can go smack them in the face with the evidence then sue for unfair dismissal.


I'm so sorry to hear this hun! It's absolutely rotten to be treated this way. I am lucky to be in a permanent job and they have mostly been supportive. However, when I went to my 'back to work' meeting last week after my surgery my boss made the comment that I have 4 sickness absences in the past year (mostly a day here and there) and that he would write that it was directly related to my condition and surgery. Then he had the nerve to say that now I've had my surgery I should be fine. I was VERY quick to tell him that no actually I have a chronic disease and while I am hoping the surgery will help me for a while the symptoms will likely return to varying degrees! Jerks!


Hey saccymac

Good on you hun that just shows how ignorant they are. I think if an employee has a condition the employer should be made to read up on this to have some sort of idea what they are dealing with, so as to not offend people with their stupid comments.

If I get my job back I'm gonna print off a load of information and give it to my bosses to read so they can understand it more.


Yes I left feeling about 2ft tall after the meeting! I was also told that I was coming back too soon and for the wrong reasons. Ohhhh do you live inside my body? You know exactly how I am feeling? You know what's best for me and my well-being? Felt like printing of loads of information sheets myself!

I really hope it works out for you! Definitely fight hard for your job or appropriate compensation as they probably don't deserve to have you working with them!!

Are you part of a union? They may be able to offer you some advice as well. xxx


Yeah I'm part of the union but I've put in a massive complaint about them too. I called up as soon as I got my letter about the level 3 meeting (which was a bout 4 weeks beforehand) and asked for representation they said they will sort someone. I called for weeks and no one go back to me they finally called me the day before my meeting to say someone was gonna meet me an hour before hand which I wasn't happy about. He didn't know me or anything about endo and we were going in blind basically.

I now have a new rep who I chose myself and together we have picked up on two major things that they have messed up on but need to get some evidence on Monday so fingers crossed.

Don't let them make you feel like that again. I would definitely print some stuff out and make them read it. It's disgusting the things that they say and think they can get away with it. They don't realise that even tho this illness makes us feel like crap it's also made us stronger because we have to deal with small minded people on a daily basis and we have to fight harder for everything xxx

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Hi Immy

I have stage 4 endo and have been very ill in the past at work. I am also the person in the business that deals with HR issues so unfortunately sometimes find myself on both sides of the coin although thankfully I've never had to deal with disciplining someone with endo as I would find that very hard. However your employer is unlikely to be in breach of the equality act because as of yet Endo is not classed as a disability and therefore does not attract automatic protection in the way that cancer or MS would. That's not to say that you wouldn't have any kind of comeback but you'd more than likely be looking for faults in the process they put you through to get you to dismissal and how they may have treated others in a similar position in the past. For instance did you gave adequate warnings, did they get a detailed medical report from your GP and ask their advice on how they could help you to fulfil your role? Were you allowed to be accompanied to your capability hearings? Unfortunately many assume that one cannot be dismissed for being sick and this simply isn't true (although as mentioned there are some highly protected people in the workforce where an employer must tread very carefully). However, often the question of whether the process was fair is a reasonable question and that if a process was carried out fairly then dismissal may not have been reached. Your managers comments about a hysterectomy are idiotic and I imagine in some way she was trying to make herself feel better in justifying the decision they made by making such a ridiculous statement. If you do want to let me have the details of the process you went through we might find some holes in it that you could get recourse for altho I understand you have been speaking to someone at CAB already. Either way I wish you well. Endometriosis is an evil disease that few understand. :-(


I'm not so sure you wouldn't have a case with regards to disability. It made me wonder so I went searching UK law.

I discovered that whilst UK law only protects four named diseases automatically as a disability (cancer, HIV, Multiple Sclerosis and blindness), all other illnesses and diseases are graded by the the experience of the individual because illness can be so subjective and presents its symptoms differently in people.

Disability is described as a mental or physical impairment defined by law as something that has a 1) substantial 2) long-term and 3) adverse effect on ability to perform normal day to day activities, whether this is full-time problems or problems that come and go as they please.

Therefore an employer must take reasonable adjustments, in order to do so they as a business needs to consider:

- How illness effects you

- Your role and what adjustments can be practically made

- The business, and the type of work you do.

I hope this helps as its just so unfair that when you're already having to fight a horrid disease you now also have to fight for your job 😡.

Best wishes, Jo x


That's awful I work for the nhs too, did occy health Not help you at all?


Hey kyla

Not really I went they made a statement sent it to my manager. They just said well there's not really any changes we can make so there's no point requesting that.

My manager at first was really nice and supportive then she just changed and basically told me the pain was all in my head and that I should think about a hysterectomy because it would help me to stay in work. The nhs are a total disgrace when it comes to the way they treat their own staff.


Hi, omg that's awful! How long have you worked there?


I had worked there for over 5 years


Well I don't think they have followed the legal procedure at all! Are you with unison?



This is 100% unlawful dismissal and you can appeal.

Unless you are at the end of your contact you cannot just be sacked. They have a legal obligation to follow steps and record it all. They have to prove that they have offered you all the support they can before they dismiss you.

You will be entitled to legal aid now that you are unemployed so do not wait about to get legal advice. You are best to do this unemployed if you can.

I really feel for you. My last employer pushed me out which was the most horrific experience ever. So I can totally sympathies with you. It is so demoralising and knocks your confidence but try and be strong. What is meant to be will be! And you will be a stronger person after it all which will make you go further in life.

Don't let your emotions stop you from fighting this! You deserve better.

Take care and good luck!!

Keep us updated.


Hey Sam

I wasn't offered any type of support but they put in writing that they feel their is no adjustments to work.

I'm fighting this all the way even if I don't get my job back I've got nothing left to lose.

I'm really sorry this same thing happened to you. Hope you are well.


Hi - I am so sorry for you losing your job - you have all my sympathy . I found this on the web the other day its a powerful description that should be handed to anyone who does not understand the condition vitalhealth.com/blog/what-i...

Good luck and take care

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Hey tje

Thanks for this article. Been trying for days to put into words how endo makes me feel and the impact it has had on my life to give to the board at my appeal and this just says everything in one article. Really appreciate it.

I've been suffering with this pain since j was 12 and was only diagnosed 3 years ago. I have always felt alone with this because all my friends dont suffer like I do. I thought when I put up this post that no one would read it but the response has been absolutely amazing, it's made me wanna stand up for myself 10 times more.

Thank you to you and the rest of the beautiful women who have responded and help me to realise I'm not alone, you are all truly amazing



Hi Immy, I am routing for you!! I am so glad I posted this today so you can make good use of it for the tribunal. If I can be of ANY support to you please PM me. I have lobbying experience in work so if you need help with putting your case across in writing or just someone to talk to I am here. I too have had endo since 13. I was diagnosed with it after laparoscopies in my early 20's and it has blighted my life periodically. Trying to hold down a job is so tough isnt it and also friends and family can try and be sympathetic but they run out of empathy when its so on-going.

I love your determination to stand up for yourself - we are all behind you

as I said - dont hesitate to get in touch for extra support !!

All the best X


Thank you so much. This is definitely the best site I have ever been on. The support is unbelievable.

It is so true what you said about friends and family, I have lost so many friends due to endo because I've had to cancel on stuff at the last minute due to being in pain. It's putting a massive strain on my relationship too, my partner is amazing he totally understands he treats me like a queen, will do anything for me but we both want more kids and I can see the sadness and hurt in his eyes every time I get my period, it's so hard seeing that.

Endo has destroyed a lot of women's lives I'm just glad I found all of you ladies.

Thank you again :)



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