Endometriosis UK
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I have had a diagnostic laparoscopy on the 09/08/12 which I was diagnosised with Adenomyosis, due to this problem I have unfortunately been off work for long periods of times. I have been told if I have any more time off due to sickness (this illness) I will be facing a disciplinary. My many concern is I will/may lose my job! Can they do that how can I fight this? PLEASE HELP!!!!

14 Replies

As far as I know they are not allowed to fire you due to illness.

Saying that though, they have every right to interview and request doctors letters etc to see whats the situation. They could also fire you with just the excuse of not being an efficient employee.

This is my main concern for my job too as I will need another lap soon and I will end up taking unpaid leave (I have finished all my allowed sick leave and I prefer to take the unpaid leave cause I dont want to cause more trouble).

Unfortunately they can find several excuses to kick someone out without saying anything about illness when actually the reason behind is only this. :(

Good luck and be confident! :)

Jo xx


Would it be possible for you to join a union? I would keep a note of everything, I think the only way they can get around it would be to prove you are not fit for work maybe, but under no circumstances can they fire you for being sick. I think if you were off long term sick, like 6 months, they can ask you not to come back, but you are clearly making an effort to go in. If you can't join a union there are a lot of free advice organisations like CAB around so I would suggest you speak to an expert who will keep you right, I work in CAB but in the debt side so I don't really know the ins and outs of it. If you do lose your job then take them to a tribunal for compensation. This is a good website for info acas.org.uk/index.aspx?arti...


Hi There

so sorry this is happening not sure how big your company is but if you have an HR person its wellworth asking for a talk about this before it goes to diciplinary.you may be able to negotiate less hours a different place of work within the organisation using some holiday instead of sick etc.its really important you keep the lines of communication open and be completely honest .Its such a massive worry i know ive just had my 3rd lap in 18 months and im dreading if i have to be off again!so i completely understand what you are going through make sure they understand what is wrong with you a letter from GP explaining may help.again so sorry this is happening its not as if you asked for this.all the very best to you.Bxxx


I've writen a email to the HR director advising what has happened and what has been said in the meetings. I'm also trying to get hold of my consultant to write a letter given them more details regards to me condition.


Thanks ladies for your responces. I'm not lucky enough to have a union.

I've been keeping a paper trail and when I've had any interview I've started take some one along to take notes. Of which have helped in my favor!

Here goes nothing....


hi there i was were you are i was diagnosed a few months ago and just left my full time job and was lucky enough to get part time work i was diagnosed 28 june this year.

after two disaplinarys one verbal one written i finally found out what was wrong with me i had been off work 26 weeks my job was on a very fast poduction line and very heavy lifting.

whist i was off work the company got the works doctor to contact me at home who was very suportive and i no if they want your medical records they have to go through an ocupational theropist to get these and your employer dose not see them and they advice your employer from there on about reducing your hours and manual handeling.

could you not ask them to reduce your hours ect or ask them if you can speak to there works doctor to help you and also if they want to get rid on medical grounds someone from the job center comes and asses you and your job before hand all the information i have given you has come from my old HR department who was very suportive of me hope this helps you good luck xxx


Hi sully, I've doen some home work and my employer has no rights to my medical records, all I have to do is give them details from my consultant confirming my condition is correct.

Boy I do hate having this thing inside me. and I'm sure all you are feeling the same....

You know somthing Men don't know how lucking they've got it! :)


I am so sorry to hear that you are going through a similar situation to myself. I have worked for local goverment for nearly 19 years and I had to go to a disciplinary hearing for my sickness record. I prepared a detailed written report on endometriosis and copied all of my hospital letters/paper work etc. I attended the hearing (which was an awful experience, They made me feel like I had murdered someone). I could tell that they had not read my evidence. Even though I produced a lot of info on endo, they still do not give me any support and I can tell that they certainly do not understand it. They seem to think because I had my second lap in Nov, then I shouldn't need anymore time off again in the future, so frustrating. The outcome of the hearing was 'Management Guidance and Monitoring' which was the best outcome. But in the letter I received from the Chair of the Hearing, she quoted that it was upto me to ensure that I led a healty lifestyle!!!! You can imagine how mad and upset this made me feel and it proves that they don't have a clue or read any of my evidence. They have put me on a monitoring period for a year. I asked to take a days leave off in April because I had a severe sore throat and was told no, I had to be off sick. Then on my return I was told that if I was off sick one more time in the next year I would go straight back to the disciplinary hearing. I am really sorry that this isn't a positive story for you, but I just wanted to share my experience with you. It may be totally different with your employer and I so hope it is. But my advice is to produce as much evidence as you can, as I will never know, but I may have had a more serious outcome if I had not produced all the evidence. When I tried to do some research into into, basically they could sack me for capability of not been able to my job because of my illness, but if endometriosis was listed as a disabillity then this would have been agianst the law. However, if I ever do get the sack in the future I will try to take it to a tribunal. I now have to struggle into work (full-time job) no matter how I am feeling, because I am petrified. It's not good is it??? Good Luck to you and I know what you are going through, it's awful xxxx


OMG! How ignorant! I hate the fact that people (and some medically qualified 'people') think this disease is just 'bad periods' or that we don't like tummy ache!! FOOLS! Keep every shred of evidence, I'm not one for the sue, no win, no fee culture, but I hope you whoop their butts!! I hate it so much. I hope you are coping well, & good luck for the future x


I just want to say how much I sympathise with what you are all going through with your employers. It is bad enough having this awful disease in the first place with all the anxiety and pain it causes without having the added pressure fron an employer that you cannot be sick when you are and the fear of losing your livelihood. It really is a huge stress.

I am managing to work at the moment as I had radical excision surgery 18 months ago and have been good since but I had 3 laps prior to that with about 4 - 6 weeks off each time. I did get made redundant whilst recovering fron the excision surgery but it really was because the firm was moving their governance base to ireland and i did not want to relocate, possibly the excuse they were looking for though.

However, my new employer (American owned firm) only allows 2 weeks paid sick and then that is it, statutory sick pay only. It did say that in the contract but my previous HR said to me, no that is just to cover them, most firms will pay for up to about 12 weeks full pay and then scale it down. Well I have had my 2 weeks off with back ligaments and they wrote and confirmed that I would not be allowed any more sick pay for the rest of the year! I have never ever worked for an employer who did not pay genuine sick pay. I dread it if I get endo symptoms again or even a bout of the flu, or worse as I wont get paid. It is an unfair pressure. I so feel for you and hope it works out well for you.

Lots of love x


men do have it easy and to be told to have a healthy life style is just silly as if its going to make much differance ive been trying to go for walks and things with my girls and for 2 days after it kills me off to try yogo its ment to help.

i personally feel employers need to reaserch endo better my old HR department had to get my occupational theropist to write back in lay mans terms just so he could understand it better and to be honest sitting there with two blokes talking to them about it for me i found it embaressing .questions like well when you going to back to work how longs a piece of string,will you need more time off ,how long will you have endo drove me crackers trying to make them understand that we who suffer really have no control over this


Hi hun

I am so sorry you are going through this. I had a similar issue a few years ago but thankfully I managed to avoid the formal stage and just had an investigation rather than a disciplinary.

I did a lot of research at the time and I want to say to all you ladies out there going through similar problems that there are things you can do.

If at all possible join a Union. Even though you are having this problem now and are not in a union you can still join a union now and they can help you with any future problems. My workplace had no union or organised union but that doesn’t matter you can still join another union. Try Unison or Unite – if they are not able to help you they can often advise of unions who can.

Try contacting the Equality and Human Rights Commission – they can give you lots of advice on disability related issues.

The best thing you can do is talk to your GP. I did this. My work asked if they could contact my GP and get a Report which I allowed them to do – this was the best thing I ever did. My GP confirmed to them that I suffered from Endometriosis and he told them that under the Disability Discrimination Act I am classified as suffering from a disability. According to the Act a disabled person is anyone who has “a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities”.

As soon as you are classed as disabled under the DDA your employer has a responsibility to make reasonable adjustments to help you to carry out your role within the organisation. There are many different adjustments that can be made and it can be difficult to determine what is a “reasonable” adjustment under the Act but this is where a Union can help you. Anyway some reasonable adjustments would be things like making sure the workplace is accessible etc and the main one that would apply to endo sufferers is changing policies, practices and procedures. There is a part in the Act that says you have to be allowed reasonable time to recover/recuperate from your illness.

In my case, my employers wrote back to my GP asking him what reasonable adjustments he felt could be made to help me. I work in an office as a legal secretary. My GP advised I should have help with filing, lifting, carrying and twisting to carry anything heavy. I have a lot of bowel related symptoms and he said I had to be allowed access to toilet facilities at short notice and possibly for long periods of time. Most beneficially to me he said I would need to be allowed time off work if I was feeling particularly unwell. He advised if my symptoms did not settle within one hour I should be allowed to go home and he said I should be allowed an additional 20 days per year off sick for my endo, before they considered taking any action against me. This then meant that I did not have to have disciplinaries or investigations unless I went over that time. In addition the GP did say if I required surgery or had a particularly bad episode the amount of time off I would need would increase.

It is the law that if you are classed as disabled under the DDA they have to make reasonable adjustments for you including allowing you time off for appointments and recovery. I would definitely recommend ringing the Equality and Human Rights Commission – if you google them you should get a number. xx


Thanks to you all for helping me out with regards to the advise you've given me. It's given me some really helpful pointers.


No they cannot. Please contact me via the website and I will advise and support you any way I can adenomyosisadviceassociatio... Take care x Danielle x


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