so i had my back to work meeting

Hi all i haven't writtern for a while but have read other posts from time to time. however today has not been a good day. went back to work fri after 6 weeks off for breaking my bones in my foot. apparantly ive hit trigger 7 now due to bouts of my R.A. not being very well controlled this year ,i have tried 3 different A.T.N.F.S . but hopefully have find the one that works fingers crossed. During my back to work meeting today at work i was told ive hit trigger 7 which means a pannel meeting with the loca lborough , and an assetment with the occupational therapist to see if am a cost effective member to keep on at work !!! That will happen in the new year as i work in a school and we are finishing for the xmas hols soon.

What i was wondering is R.A. a registered dissabled disease ?? Does anyone have any useful or helpful tips on how to deal with this situation pls ??

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  • The definition of a disability is "a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities" so yes, that does include RA. There's some useful information here: , and also a link to the Equality Act itself. Employers are required to make "reasonable adjustments" to enable disabled employees to continue working, although what is reasonable is up for discussion.

    Occupational Health doctors are usually very good at identifying strategies for keeping people in work, and I have found them to be very pro-employee. It's good to have people on your side while you're going through this sort of thing, and if you're not already in a union, now would be a very good time to join one. Definitely consult them, and also employment experts at the CAB. The NRAS helpline can also give you good pointers.

    It's a horrible time, and very stressful, which of course doesn't help with your RA.

    Good luck,

    Dotty xx

  • Thank you for your defferntion it has helped put it in context, yes i do belong to a union called voice so i will contact them once school finishes next week or new year but thank you i feel i have a long journey ahead of me and its a bit like a mind field. thank you

  • I'm glad to be able to help. I've been through ill-health retirement from a school myself, and it wasn't pretty. Having good information and support, and knowing the right bits of the law to quote, helped me to stave it off for two years, and put me in a much stronger position when it did become difficult to perform at the required level.

    Keep in touch,

    Dotty x

  • I'm afraid I don't have that much information on this but just to say good luck when you have your meeting and I will be keeping everything crossed it goes in your favour.

    Take care & let us all know how it goes. Big hugs xx

  • thank you for your wishes

  • Can I just, very strongly, support Dotty's advice. If you are not in a union...JOIN IMMEDIATELY!!! Work can become, quite suddenly, an alien, hostile place that can turn on you due to (often new) absence policies. I had never had even 1 days absence since joining, then during my first ever flare up earlier this year, suddenly I was being told to attend 'absence management meetings' and 'disciplinary panels' even though the Occupational Health assessment they ordered said that stress was probably a major contributing factor.

  • Thank you i do belong to a union and yes dooty advice is very good

  • Hello

    It is a problem when the disabled cannot see their own disability, we never seem to look at our own problems in that light, I was just the same I just could not understand that I was both mentally and physically disabled. You under those conditions you find yourself, not to be frightened in using that word to explain what you are, it is very important to get what you will require in a work environment. Sadly I made that error and I now have no compunction to using that word. It is what I am, no excuses.

    If you are appearing in front of a board it is important you tell your GP he will discuss your condition with their Medical Officer. Next join the Union, they will generally send a friend to represent you at the board. Have words with the CAB.

    Contact the Disability Officer at the Job Centre, they can help in making your work environment a more comfortable place to work. They will assist with the organisation you work with now. You will need to understand that you will most probably not be allowed to appear in front of the board. Hence the representatives you will contact. There is a good chance they may need a medical performed by their medical officer. Hence your GP notification.

    At the board they may offer up to three positions in the organisation you work for, although this may not happen.

    Generally if the board goes against you, the GP may put you on the sick to work your time out. I worked in a company who would not allow me to work my time out in case I effected any works I was dealing with prior to Medical Retirement.

    All I can say is good luck You know where we are if you need support


  • its not that i dont recgonise my situation i just dont know how to move forward as its abit of a mind field but thank you for your help

  • Totally feel for you, am in a tough situation at work myself right now. My manager seems set on getting rid of me which is very worrying. We are covered under the disability act. Hope you find a solution x

  • thats what i feel will happen to me, i have worked for this schoool for 12 yrs no probs the last year my meds havent controlled the illness so its been a rocky road finding the right meds but now i have then i was unfortunate fo have a fall and break some bones but they feel i am a burden on there finaces. so its off to my unio for advice , and even then if you confront your employer if just makes an un pleasant place to work. i wish you well and hope it works out for you and thank you

  • I was asked by my manager 30odd yrs ago should you be here when i told him i had been told that i had the start of Arthitis . I said of cause i should i'm not in a wheel chair yet. I was thirty years old at the time. I carried on for that firm for a few years and then ran my own on the Leicester Market for a few years . Dont think i helped myself doing the last one though.

    Wish you luck with your meeting, sending you hugs.


  • Hi i feel the same i still have so much more to give am not quite distin for the scrap heap yet , plus am a single parent with two young children i need to keep going even if its a hard road . thank you i wish you well

  • Hello

    You say that you need to know if RA is a registered disability, the answer is yes, also it can depend on the severity of your problem

    Sadly most people with a disability do not see their disability as the condition that they suffer.We see our selves as normal, although they in there own right will see the other persons disability. as that. .

    There is no hard or fast rule if a condition is registered as a difficulty or not. It is if it is causing you problems in fulfilling your life choices it then also becomes a disability


  • It's also worth mentioning that rheumatoid arthritis is specifically mentioned by the government in the Equality Act and the Notes which accompany it. They acknowledge it as a fluctuating condition, and make it very clear that it's still a disability even if you're currently in a good spell. Also it doesn't matter how well your drugs are working, the definition of disability refers to the impact of the disease without medication. So even someone who was leading a normal life, with no pain or fatigue, was able to work full-time etc etc, would still be regarded as having a disability, even if they didn't feel "disabled".

    Dotty x

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