disability rights and fibro

Hi everybody. I work full time with fibromyalgia and forever feeling guilty. i had to take four days sick last week and have been told i need to see HR for a formal chat.

Can anyone out there tell me what are us fibromites rights are at work, as my boss has told me i have to share an adjustable chair with four people as they dont want/cant to spend the money on us, and its first come first served who gets it!! Under disability laws it says employers need to make reasonable adjustment ..do you think this one? i just dont know anymore. I have my 1st appointment with the rhemotoligist (sorry cant spell) tomorrow and am dreading it as I always feel that I am not being believed.

Sorry on such a downer really struggling today. Really helps to see some people have had some good results today.

12 Replies

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  • Reasonable adjustments is a grey area, as it is what is reasonable for that company. E.g. if buying 4 chairs would bankrupt the company, that's not reasonable. In many cases though, buying chairs would be reasonable.

    I would suggest you get some specialist or legal advice. One of the organisations listed on the page below may well be able to help you:

    fibroaction.org/Pages/Benef...

    Another option is that Access to Work may be able to help with funding adjustments needed:

    direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPe...

    Best wishes

    Linz

  • thank you so much. i work for a charity( we would definately not be bancrupt if we brought chairs) that empowers vulnerable adults in their tenancies ..including people living with fibro.

    i have looked at these pages before but must have missed this bit...fibro fog and all!!.i will have a read and get on with it

    thank you again. its so hard fighting the fibro with out carrying the guilt and fighting barriers at work. this group really gives me strength. as i know someone can understand where my view is coming from.

  • As an ex district advisor in special needs in scouting my job was to get hq up to scratch for possible disabled people , minor adjustments that didn't cost was implemented and there are grants out there from government and local authorities to help in such .

  • thanks for that..but is that something an employer should be doing or me.

  • HR should be helping you afaik. But do get specialist advice if you can.

  • thank you so much linz and white rabbit. Feeling a lot calmer about the situation now. I will let you know how i got on. I really shouldnt let it get to me. have a good evening. kimblesXX

  • Hi, my full time job is in equalities. I came across this information in a newsletter and found that you can access direct support:

    "From 1 October 2012 information, advice and support on discrimination is now being provided by the new Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS), which GEO has commissioned.

    This new service gives tailored advice on discrimination issues to individuals across Britain. It explains legal rights and remedies, options for informal resolution and refers people who cannot or do not wish to go down this road to conciliation or mediation services. The service can also help to establish eligibility for legal aid and if they are not eligible, to find an accessible legal service or to prepare and lodge a claim themselves.

    The EASS is open from 9am to 8pm Mondays to Fridays and 10am to 2pm on Saturdays. You can find more information about the EASS and how to work with the new service to help individuals with discrimination problems at equalityadvisoryservice.com<http://www.equalityadvisoryservice.com>.

    When I returned to work after my long period off sick, the Occ Health recommended that Access to Work were involved. I met with the advisor and she was brilliant. I got a new chair - new keyboard and mouse. AtW said (the NHS) should be funding it. However different organisations may get financial support. The chair is tailored to my height, and weight and needs. so I think the chair share hardly sounds appropriate as how can they know that it will support you and meet your needs?

    As for sick leave due to your disability the employer will be able to record it in the normal way, but cannot disbenefit you where your sick leave is directly attributed to your disability. For example, if there is an attendance bonus, they can't use that sick leave to stop you getting that benefit. There is more information on the equalities commission website.

    equalityhumanrights.com/adv...

    Good Luck - hope that you get some help.

    S xx

  • suzy - I had no other answer other than NO!

    glad you and he others could answer.

    sandra.

  • hi suzy, sorry to get back to so late. i had a my 1st rhemotolgist appt yesterday and they confirmed again that i have fibromyalgia, apparently one consultant stating i having fibo isnt enough for my doctor!!

    thanks for all the helpful tips/advice. i will look at contacting acess back to work... fingers crossed they can help. would they be able to help me with a blue badge?

    I'm not sure i understand what you mean about the disbenefit stuff. i will have a read.

    with regards to my chair. My manager has said i wil share a computer chair with 4 poss 5 people who sufferr with back pain.As i am unable to adjust the chair, i have been told that i need to let my manager know when i will be in so they can adjust it to my needs. this is such a drama as they have placed the chair in the middle of the office (of up to 40+ people)and I find it hulmilitating as someone always has something to say or gets invovled. that is of course if I am first in and am luck enough to get the chair and a manager is in to assist me.

    thanks for your support.

  • hi suzy, sorry to get back to so late. i had a my 1st rhemotolgist appt yesterday and they confirmed again that i have fibromyalgia, apparently one consultant stating i having fibo isnt enough for my doctor!!

    thanks for all the helpful tips/advice. i will look at contacting acess back to work... fingers crossed they can help.

    I not sure i understand what you mean about the disbenefit stuff. i will have a read.

    thankyou thankyou so much.

  • Hi - the dis-benefit stuff means that if there is a staff benefit available on attendance as an incentive for people not going off sick, then they can't take the benefit off you because you are off sick due to your long term condition, because it is definitely covered under the Equality Act which stops people from treating you worse because of your condition - that would be discrimination. Your employer needs some advice and recommendations from the AtW advisor. Once I got in touch with them, they liaise with you and the advisor I got was very helpful. One chair between 5 is not enough and could make your condition worse. I think they would be subject to criticism if they do not assess your needs in the workplace properly. How does the manager know that the chair is suitable for everyone?? (clearly he can't - but someone will open his eyes when they let him know about the penalties for not doing so!)

  • Hi suzy, just had the fright of my life, my manager adjusted my chair last night ready for this morning and left out the back adjustment so the chair tipped with me in it. Oooouuuccchhhh does not cover it. Im so sick of this whole fiasco.

    I was asessed by a DSE (?) worker I think he is from occupational health and he worte a report and told me at the assesment and at the chair adjustment appt that i needed a seperate chair for my needs.. My employer ( my office manager and our our health and saftey manager in HR) health has ignored the recommendations an so far have not given me acess to the report written about me. I am going to get in touch with ATW today.

    thanks -as without your support i dont think I would have the courage to do it.

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