Work issues

Hi everyone I have not been well for a couple of months suffering badly with fatigue, joint pain, kidney infection and now emotional instability. I have had a lot of stress which I know has contributed to it but unfortunately there is nothing I can do to change that, my children have epilepsy and have been having multiple seizures lately, I also work in a high stress job, that I love, I was made to take the last week off work by my manager due to their concerns about my apparent rudeness to some other staff members. I am struggling with this as they just keep saying that they understand I am ill but they don't listen to what is actually going on. I gave my manager the employers guide to lupus and he skimmed it while I was there then just made silly jokes about parts of it I should be used to this as I have coeliac and he also thinks that it is a joke and calls me a fussy eater, I no longer go out with the staff for meals etc as I am fed up being the only one that can't eat, because they won't go somewhere I can eat, they make silly comments and have now taken to having cream cakes at staff meetings and birthdays so I asked if it would be possible to know in advance so I could be prepared and bring something for myself which is one of the things that I have upset people over, my deputy head even said that I couldn't expect them to go to extra trouble just for me so I explained again that all I wanted was to know in advance so I could prepare. I know I can be snappy, I don't suffer fools, but have explained lots of times that if I have been out of order to tell me and I will deal with it unfortunately I was called to an unexpected meeting last thing on Friday, it had been a difficult day and I had been hurt by a student so was already slightly off kilter, and my manager and deputy sat me down to tell me how I had upset staff they weren't interested in listening to my side of it or anything. I was extremely upset and spent the hour and a half crying while they just kept repeating the same stuff even when I tried to explain how they and the other staff had made me feel and how the problems they were referring to all start with an incident by the other staff, an example is when the cookery teacher and ta asked everyday for a dish to serve my students food in and after a month of explaining that I don't have any dishes I said why didn't they just give it to them on plates as they do to all the other students, I was told that they were not my slaves and were not there to do my dishes? I explained that I have never asked them to do my or my students dishes as we all do our own but that was ignored and the emphasis put back on how much I had upset them, by the way the cookery teacher is my managers wife.

This is not the first time this has happened they have terrible ways of dealing with issues that are really affecting my mental health to the point that the doctor signed me off with anxiety due to work and I spent the entire week crying, during that time they did not contact me at all even to see if I was still upset and they have made out to my ta's that I decided to take the week off not told to? Luckily they know that is not true as they have seen the way I have been being treated and that I don't take time off, I have just worked through a 3 week kidney infection without complaint, I love my job and am perfectly capable of doing it well, yes I am ill but I manage my illness as best I can but where do I go from here? If I complain about my treatment it will be worse working with them but if I ignore it again I'm going to keep being treated like this until they drive me to quit, which I would have done if I could afford to be without a job.

I am in agony now with my joints and know the stress is making it worse any advice gratefully received. Xxxxxxxxxx

13 Replies

  • This is a difficult one because I can sit here and tell you your rights and what you should do but as you say, is that actually going to make things better. Not only that but it will put you through even more stress knowing that they will be being forced to acknowledge your medical conditions. In your heart of heart you know that this is not the right environment for you, and I think everyone agrees that you should not have to be forced out of your job, but there will be another one where hopefully the people will be more accepting.

    It sounds like your Manager (and wife) are just bullies. You have two choices, stand up to them or give them a warning about how you expect to be treated and if they don't do it and it becomes intolerable, go on sick leave and claim constructive dismissal. You have two conditions which will fall under the Equality Act, therefore they must make reasonable adjustments. If they are discriminating against you then you can claim to a tribunal as that is a protected characteristic.

    Id start by calling a meeting with your Manager and telling him that you have concerns about the way that you are being treated. Tell him again that you have two medical conditions that fall under the Equality Act. (that should be enough for him to sit up and take notice). Explain that you feel excluded when everyone else has things to eat but you are not allowed to bring in items that you can eat due to your medical condition. Tell him you would appreciate it if it was taken seriously. (If he has sense, he will hear the failed threat about discrimination) Point out that you will no longer tolerate remarks about your medical conditions from other employees including him and you would appreciate it if he educates himself with the information you have supplied as to just how serious the conditions you have are. Explain that his and other staff attitudes towards you and your condition are unacceptable and it has made you ill because of the pressure and stress that it has put you under and you would like to see an improvement.

    Once you have done that, see how things go but document any incidents of discrimination or isolation or refusals of any reasonable requests. If things don't improve, write a letter to your Manager listing what you are unhappy about and state that you are writing the letter under the companies?? grievance policy (get a copy of it and read what it says).

    Once you feel more in control you may feel better about things and they may stop bullying you. In the meantime Id also start looking around for another position as frankly it sounds like this is going down a one way street! Good Luck.

  • Thanks StickyBloodMentor I think your reply was spot on and I will definitely take some steps that you have mentioned and as you said I need to be well before I do anything so will concentrate on my health for now, I also agree about looking for another job and have started that as well, thanks again xoxo

  • Spot on sticky bloodmentor.

    This is absolutely the right thing.

    Just hope you have the strength to do this leannehowie.

    All the best and take care.



  • Thanks Crusee x

  • Thanks! Im glad you approve, I was doing it with my professional hat on rather than my Admins hat.

  • Leanne - I should also mention that if you take some sick leave, when you do your return to work interview (if you return at all), its an ideal opportunity to mention the things in my above post, because you can tell them that it was the reasons that contributed to you going off sick in the first place. That once again puts them on notice so they will be obligated to start putting in place reasonable adjustments for you to manage your conditions appropriately.

  • Thanks again x

  • Dear Leannehowis I am so sorry to hear of the emotional and physical pressures that you are currently dealing with. This is good advice indeed from Sticky blood mentor, all I would add is to think of taking a few more weeks sick and then at the arranged meeting have someone with you as an ally and support network. This reminds me of a time when a close friend was going through something similar. She suffered greatly at the interview as there were two people who spoke over her, belittled & bullied her. The next meeting (after a long term off sick ), she had a union rep, which made for a much easier experience & fulfilled what she had wanted to do. Have you a union member, failing that someone that is close with you and can keep those wolves at bay! They cannot refuse a support person to help & speak for you when you are so vulnerable. I do hope things improve for you. Thinking off you, very best wishes Pixiewixie

  • I am part of the nut but my representative at work is not helpful and has been part of the problem so I have been looking at speaking to someone outside of our work x

  • Hi leannehowis

    Sorry to read of the problems your having with your health, children and work. It's a lot of tough stress to deal with.

    Just want to advise that any problems you have at work with your managers, contact Citizens Advice who have employment advisors who can help. There website is also very good with helpful info about your rights etc. Worth having a look. Good luck. X

  • Thanks xoxo

  • I'm sorry you have been enduring this bullying. I had something similar years past but was in a better place then to stand my ground on Disability Discrimination. It's very stressful though, so if you have a union rep, they can help a great deal x

  • Thanks xoxo

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