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Taking time off for doctors appointments

Despite my HR manager contacting my GP to get info about my illness in which he stated my medication needs to be monitored I am still getting flack about booking time off for doctors appointments.

For a while I tried to use my annual leave to avoid the awkward discussions but I have been told that that is not annual leave is for.

Unfortunately I live a substantial distance from the hospital and with clinics often running late and there always being a long wait for prescriptions and blood tests I can be out of the office the whole day.

I have tried to explain that I have no control over the date or time of the appointments as they are posted out to me, the only thing I can do is cancel them but it can be up to a three month wait for another appointment.

I do not call in sick yes I am late sometimes but I wouldn’t say its grossly more than my other colleagues


Rant over

How does every one else deal with this?

7 Replies

Hi there, I would contact HR again and ask to be referred to an occupational therapist, they should then support the info from your GP. Under disability discrimination act employers are supposed to make 'reasonable adjustments' to accomodate you and your disability and that should include allowing you time off for clinics & tests that are NOT included in your 'regular' sickness absence....and neither should any time off relating to your disability. Good luck!


I've inboxed you my number. I'm going through a very similar time as you. Supposed to be working full time at an income officer in social housing. Too much info to type but I've found out a lot past couple weeks in regards to rights and grants to help you stay in work. Xxxxx


I work for the local authority and was sent to the occupational Therapist which ended up in my favour. My manager spoke to HR and he was informed that if I have a hospital appointment I do not have to use my annual leave, I can only use my annual leave if I have to go and see my GP. I suggest you check again with the HR and get your union involve if you are a union member. Good luck

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...and if you're not a union member, join one. If there's not a good union in your line of work you can become a community member of Unite for 50p a week.

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Hi all, very interesting replies. I also work for the council, had to see occupational health before getting my job. After 12yrs employment, the last 4yrs, my health has changed and have been requiring more hospital appointments, my line manager has granted me 12 hours per year for my appointments, which I normally ask for afternoon's, but for morning appointment, i have to take the day off. As' the' cook they have to employ agency cover, cos I can't guarantee the time to finish in morning clinics. I was also told only' life threatening' illnesses like cancer, etc, would be an exception to warrent more time. This year most of my annual leave has been used for this. Ps. unison' rep' is useless. Please help......


I have a reasonable adjustment agreed with my employer (under recommendation from Occ Health and our risk management team) which allows me to charge the time required for attending doctor's appointments (hospital or GP) to "approved absence" without having to go through the usual approval process. I am not required to make up the time or anything like that. In practice I try to schedule GP appointments around my working day or do make the time up afterwards as I don't want to abuse this privilege too much, but hospital or occupational health appointments are usually charged to approved absence as you have a lot less control over the time of these.

Addai - I would point out that lupus can be a life threatening illness and at times can even be far more serious than some cancers. There shouldn't be a limit on how many hours you need - with the average clinic attendance taking 2-3 hours when they over run and you factor in travel time you'd use that time up pretty quickly.


Thanks for the info. I have lived with SLE for approx.27yrs and have always been in control so didn't need as much appointments. But yes, ur right, I shall try to speak to Oc/HR for myself and up-date them on what is now going on at work and my health. Work don't seem to see how important these appointments are for me, their spenditure on agency cover takes priority.


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