Endometriosis at work: Hey, I’m currently... - Endometriosis UK

Endometriosis UK

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Endometriosis at work

1223456 profile image


I’m currently as risk of potentially loosing my job due to my endometriosis. I’m still undergoing investigation and am waiting for a date for a laparoscopy.

Does anyone have any solutions about what to do? I’ve been given endless amounts of painkillers but nothing does the job to deal with the pain at work, which means taking sick days.

Or even if anyone has had a ‘air meeting’ at work (if that’s what there called?😂) do you have any advice on what to do and how to go by it so that I don’t loose my job? I need to pay the bills and I’m stressed about being in a situation that my Endo affects my life this much

17 Replies

Maybe see if your company will do an occupational health review. As although you don't have a diagnosis, they may depending on your symptoms think you fall under the equality act. Which offers some protection and help.

I've had this done at 2 places I worked at, one shortly after being diagnosed. We agreed some flexible working with my company, that worked for both me and the company. Aka on my strongest painkillers I can't drive, but I can do simple work tasks like answering emails and some spreadsheets. But obviously this depends on what you do for work and what works for the company too.

The Gyno has ‘diagnosed’ it but said he doesn’t want to give me any other painkillers until they do the op to see the severity of it.

I’m just doing phonecalls for the coronavirus line at the moment so I don’t do anything other than sitting at a computer, it flares up due to stress but my work just tell me not to stress. I’ve had a welfare meeting already where we went through it all but with managers constantly changing it’s a struggle to constantly have to repeat myself all the time, my old manager was so good with it but my new one just doesn’t seem to think it’s serious

I know what you mean! I "gave up" my job a year or so ago was on sick for ages. I did explain everything and was honest about endometriosis but it was tough. You can claim ESA for up to a year once works sick pay and holiday pay is up and especially in these times work should understand surgery is delayed etc personally id write a plan of what you expect and how your work can support you. For me my work was physical and couldn't really adapt to my needs. One thing is that once im better i should get first refusal of a position but in your case work may be able to come up with an agreement or reduced hours but id definitely write down a plan of how they can help you. I wish I'd of done that as I was talked into something that wasn't what I wanted and I lost out on ESA money. I hope this helps its scary financially but if they are a good company they will understand 🤞 you don't have to wait too long for your diagnostic laparoscopy

hi! im in a similar situation! (also i think its AR as in absence review lol i had one the other day) my job recommended getting in touch with occupational health and are trying to do a referall for me, it may be worth seeing if your job can do the same?

Hi, I actually work in HR so hopefully this helps you and anyone else. Your best bet is telling your manager (officially in writing) what you are able to do. Then your manager can see if they can flex your existing role or redeploy you. If you haven't already you also need to talk to your doctor and tell them you are at risk of loosing your job if something more isn't done for your pain management. An occupational health review might help anf they might be able to suggest reasonable adjustments, however this will all come down to how your level of absence impacts on the business and what type of plan you can put in place to mitigate that for the future.

Just so you know, it sounds like Christin_a had some great employers unfortunately endo isnt a disability so isn't protected under the equality act. That being said the effect the symptoms have on your ability to function daily could qualify you for protection under the equality act but you would need a proper assesment.

Hope that helps

Lex4 profile image
Lex4 in reply to Lalapop07

I’m not sure that’s correct about endo not being relevant to the equalities act? It isn’t classed as a disability for purposes of VAT exemption and certain welfare payments but it can for some people fall into the category of long term chronic health condition (frequent pain, expected to last for more than 3 months, which prevents someone from carrying out normal everyday tasks). Everyone’s endo is different so it certainly won’t *always* be protected, but OP should look at the definition and see if it applies in her case. If the nurse suspects endo she should be able to support the qualifying timeframe at the very least. OP - I’m assuming you’re in the UK obviously the law is different in different countries, but take a look at ACAS website. They have a free helpline for employees and lots of online advice which should help you figure out your rights and how any process might go. Good luck!

Lalapop07 profile image
Lalapop07 in reply to Lex4

Agree with you. Think you might of missed the part where I said the symptoms may qualify her for protection under the equality act. There are some ilnesses that automatically give you that protection (e.g. HIV or MS) however endo isnt one of thoes. She would need a full assement to understand how endo symptoms impact her life for protection under the equalities act

Lex4 profile image
Lex4 in reply to Lalapop07

Ah, sorry, yes I did miss that (hazards of scrolling on tiny phone screen!)

Check out endometriosis uk as they do a leaflet for employers. Always have someone with you at any meetings. I’ve be on esa for more than a year. It’s not easy to get. They focus on your symptoms and how they affect your ability to do daily tasks, getting your gp inside really helps. I lost my job due to unusual Endo symptoms that weren’t linked to Endo for a few years. My employer at the time was supportive but had to let me go as I couldn’t work. I was only working part time. Check out acas as they are free and employment specialists or the citizens advice bureau also free.

Hi, speak to ACAS, (assuming UK here) they are a free work information service. Endo uk site has info you can print and give work. You’ve a disease that doctors know is painful and effects quality of life. They can’t just sack you, there are procedures to go through and any meeting should allow a rep or colleague to attend with you. It can be scary, that’s perfectly normal. You’ve a lot in your favour.

Would your gynae do a letter to explain things?

Your Manager may be inexperienced and doesn’t realise they have a duty of care and responsibility, these days managers can be held accountable by law.

1223456 profile image
1223456 in reply to Moon_maiden

I never thought of asking my gynaecologist, thankyou!

Where are you based. In UK endo is under the disability act, and employers can not discriminate against you if you have this condition

1223456 profile image
1223456 in reply to juliana0209

I’m based in the UK

juliana0209 profile image
juliana0209 in reply to 1223456

Have a read.


1223456 profile image
1223456 in reply to juliana0209


Thankyou everyone! I appreciate all of the help

I can’t add anything additional and it sounds like you have received awesome advice.( I’m in US so a different system. )Just wanted to offer my support. You are not alone. Sending good vibes your way.

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