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Talk about Lack of support

I've recently returned to work after being very poorly. I had to do a risk assessment with our HR officer before I came back and it was decided then that if I was struggling or could feel myself becoming ill I was to inform my manager and arrange to take annual leave to rest and pull it back. At the time I was happy with this, it seemed to be a good solution as it would not effect my sick record.

For the past couple of weeks I have felt myself go down hill, so yesterday I had a day off. My manager has asked me to plan all my annual leave until the end of March, which is fine as I have something to look forward to.

Ive taken a long weekend every 2 weeks until March - I have to arrange my own cover and as I am based on the reception it has to be manned at all times. The poor girls I work with are run ragged and unfortunately can not fit in the cover - its not their fault.

I've spoken to my manager and told her all of this and she asked me to change the days I wanted, instead of a monday or a friday go for a wednesday, which I did and still no cover. It works out that between now and March I can not have even 1 full day off no matter what day I go for. Im due to go into hospital in March and guess what? no cover. I'm supposed to be having a kidney and skin biopsy and maybe a IVIG but my manager has said I must rearrange this as there is no cover - I've explained the these appointments are like gold dust and infact I can not put this off as it is very serious and possibly life changing depending on the results - she unbelievably said 'that isnt my problem'

I've spoken to HR and they are as helpful as a chocolat tea pot!! Ive got in touch with my union and they said they will speak to my manager but that could cause bad feeling and to try and sort it out myself.

I find it quite amazing that this can happen, I work for the council so thought I might get a bit of support but it seems I am asking far too much!!

And this gouvernment say they try to keep disabled people in work!!

9 Replies

How insensitive of your manager! Unfortunately you're not the only one. I heard a very similar story from someone at my lupus UK support group recently, & she works for the council too.

You must go to this appointment. How is your managing going to cope if you miss out on the treatment you need & end up in hospital?

Would it be possible to swop a day off/ holiday with one of your fellow receptionist? I'm sure they would be more supportive than your manger.


The Equality Act (2010) obliges employers to make reasonable adjustments, one example is to allow a person 'to be absent during working or training hours for rehabilitation, assessment or treatment'. There is no automatic right to be paid for the time attending such appointments (though many organisations do pay it), but they must allow you attend the appointments otherwise they are in breach of the Act.

I'm afraid I don't have any information regarding your entitlement to your annual leave, but I imagine there is a similar clause somewhere.

Has your employer had Access to Work in? Access to Work provides advice and practical support to disabled people and their employers to help overcome work related obstacles resulting from disability. They may be able to help your employer with a solution to what is their problem.


Hi didds82

No way u should be changing appts to suit them. It is up to ur work place to find the cover for when ur not there. Anyway if u just called in sick they would have to find someone to cover u. Maybe u should speak to the union again they should be doing more. I had to speak to my union about work before they made any ajustments for me. Sounds like they might be trying to make things difficult so u leave, which isnt fair. Workplaces bang on about how supportive they will be when u need it, in reality its a lot of bull. I work for a big retailer and they havent been very good with dealing with my illness or with training for my current position, thats why im considering stepping down and moving departments, or looking for a job elsewhere.

Try speaking to ur manager again, take someone u trust in with u to take notes in case u forget whats said and explain how important the appts are. If u change them u might not get another for months.

Good luck

Take care x



Your health and well being is worth more than anything else - stand up for yourself hun, and for all of us with chronic illness. If the union doesn't sort it go to citizens advice bureau. i went there with my husband about his back problem as his employer wasn't sympathetic at all and he hurt it at work too but as soon as they got the CAB letter his employers started to take note and when things werent done that they said they were going to do we went again to CAB for another letter, now they've changed his shifts and given him a job that doesn't involve heavy lifting. You have to be firm, you have rights and it seems that your manager needs retraining. Just follow the complaints procedure and the law will be on your side - I'd get her to put everything in writing to you as well stating that you can't have the time off and why - by just asking for it in writing you may make her back down. BE STRONG. xxxx


Thanks everyone, in a horrible way its nice to know others are having the same problems!

I've sent an email to my manager and included HR, union rep and equality office, to say exactly what I am going to hospital for, skin and kidney biopsy, IVIG, MRI etc etc. I've said I feel unable to rearrange the appointmnet as it may have severe affects to by health & well being, it is also life saving treatment and expressed concern about it even being suggested that I turn down this appointment. I've also said how insulting I find it when I go to management with any issues around my health and they say 'oh I thought you were fine' or 'but you've been looking well'

I'm sure i've opened a can of worms but I just think it is disgusting, would they treat me like this if I had Cancer? (not that I want it!!!)



I work for the council, Iam in the process of ill health retriment as I no longer want to put my body through office and work politics the stress was slowly killing me. The old me would not let lupus take my job, the new me watched my husband and son the last time I was AE fighting for breath with chest pains which has happened several times.

I made the choice to look head into the future what I would want for my future i decided that I want to be stress free and to start feeling better and to enjoy the time with my son and husband. That was my choice, I worked for the council for twenty five years, and all though they say they are supported as soon as things start getting under pressure personally you are sometimes made to feel that your not contributing when your working your bloody hardest. People can be unsympathetic and a bit "well she does not look sick" I have heard that so often when am out of earshot. These comments use to really get me down so I used to do extra work and longer hours to prove myself. I hope you get the support I would talk to a equality officer and get help by using there own disability policies against them. Do your research and quote policy to these managers that don't understand. Good luck.



Hi sides I think it's disgusting how your being treated and I know a few people had disputes and disagreements at work who found ACAS very helpful,there an independent group through the goverment .good luck x


Telephone no to ACAS is 08457 474747 x


It is dreadfull treatment, and it shouldn't be your problem to sort cover in order to attend hospital appointments, and you shouldn't even consider not going to hospital. I wish I had some great advice, but I can only sympathise, but I think that others above have given some good suggestions, just know that you are entitled to and deserve better treatment, It is really tough to work and manage all of this, I hope that you get a response from your e-mail that is good, and that things will improve. Take care xx


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