Work issues

Hi all,

I am having some issues with my employer. I have been off work sick for around 6months as a result of my RA. My employers were not supportive while I was absent and made my return to work very difficult. I have now had an 8week phased return to work and I am still struggling to cope. My job can be phyical as I am a restaurant manager however no adjustments have been made to help me have a successful return to work. I had a meeting today with my area coach who has told me that he does not think this is the job for me and is trying to persuade me to go off on long term sick. I will be entitled to income protection that is on 50% of my salary. I feel that I am being forced out and feel this is a breach of the equality act. I am a little lost at this moment in time and do not know where to seek help. Any advice that you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

10 Replies

Hi Jaymaga, Sorry that you are having problems with your Employer this is a problem for many of us who are still working face as it seems these days not many Employers want anyone with a long term health condition on the pay role...harsh but true!

I don't have a huge amount of knowledge in this area but hopefully someone will reply who has. Are you a member of a Union...if so get their help quick!!....who's to know that your RA won't settle in time? I'm in a union and I've also used the ACAS Helpline who give free impartial advice on workplace issues they've been really helpful!

It's a very grey area as Employers can be very subtle in how they deal with these things if you get my drift but there is help and support out there and you do have rights...why not give the NRAS Helpline a ring too for advice too? do have a physical job by the sounds of things but it should be your choice in giving it up surely?

Hope you get it sorted it's just another blasted worry on top of everything else isn't it....I know when I've been in a similar position I've done a search on here on it's brought up some other posts from people who have gone through a similar situation. Best wishes :)


As 3LittleBirds says, it might be a good idea to get in touch with ACAS straight away. The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) should also be a good option, they will most likely offer ongoing advice if you need it rather than just advice on a one off basis.

The situation is a delicate one. Obviously you need to maintain a decent relationship with your employers whilst at the same time trying to influence them. I think the bottom line would be ensuring that you get everything you're entitled to if you do decide to leave, or are pushed. So getting definite advice about your rights and entitlements is vital before you do anything or say anything to them.

I am so sorry you are having to go through this. Hopefully ACAS will offer some form of mediation that will make your employers see sense. Whatever you do, don't just leave in a huff (I know I'd be tempted!) because you need to play it absolutely squeaky clean in order to get the best deal possible, one way or another.

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You haven't said what adjustments you need to be made to help you. Have you suggested anything to them. If the requests are reasonable within your job description then I can't see why they haven't agreed and at that point you need to take advice. I hope you get this sorted ok.


I had the same problem four years ago. I thought I was going to be sacked and I was so frightened of loosing my house that I sold it. I used ACAS for advise. They was very helpful. I did not loose my job in the end because I was put on Enbrel and it was my saving grace. I was back to work very soon after starting it. I blame my Employer for not having my lovely home to this day. They made my RD worse due to the stress they put me under. Go down the disability discrimination act route. Your employers are duty bound to make reasonable adjustments for you on your return. Do call ACAS as soon as possible for advice and support and google the Discrimination act to front your employers with. Good luck. Delia. X

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Have you thought that with your RA this is maybe no longer the right job for you?

Do what's right for you rather than trying to return to a job that no longer working for both you or your employer. Xx


Hi, The first thing to do in this situation is to inform your employer in writing that you have a disability and therefore come under the discrimination act protection.If you have a contract of employment , you will find that the comany should also have policies and procedures to cover this. Ask for a copy of these and also it can be worth speaking to the HR department if they have one to express your concerns.

Contact the NRAS and ask for a copy of the empoyers guide to RA which you should give to your employer to assist them.

Contact access to work,an organisation that can offer support and funding for any adjustments that you may require.Let your employer know that they can help and that you would like them to come into your place of work and do an assessment. Also, if your company uses an occupational health company,ask for an appointment for you to go through an assessment with them.

DO NOT go on the sick unless you need to . I recommend that you start keeping a diary with details of meetings you have with your employer and any of the companies i have mentioned earlier. It is also worth recording how you feel and any impact your employers behaviour has on your health.

It is not your responsibility to come up with the adjustments you may need but you should try to assist your employer in the ways i have detailed.

The main thnig to remember is that always put things in writing.

DO NOT take your managers thoughts regarding your need to go on long term sick as they are not an expert in occupational health and therefore any views they have can only be based on prejudicial views of RA and therfore potentially discriminatory.

I have been through this myself whilist working for the NHS and have recently won a discrimination case against them which i represented myself and so have got fairly good understanding of the law.

If i can help just ask

Good luck


I had too leave my teaching job with great regret and then stop the relief work when even that became too hard. I'd been taking a lot of time off and felt that it was not appropriate to carry on taking a salary for a job I couldn't do efficiently. There were no adjustments that could have been made to either my teaching role or the physical environment that would have helped. This should be your first action and then if its not possible, reassessing your suitability for the job is the next step. Sometimes we have to accept that we cannot carry on the way we did before ( it might be temporary) and find alternatives. Its harsh but true.

Good luck


I had the same problem last year but my manager is very understanding. I changed my job with in the company leaving a team leader place and loss of hours. I worked 30hr week but now do 16. Contact your O.P. because they can help a lot, there is things that can be done to help you at work. Also if you in union as mentioned before there is a lot they can do as well. Hope you can get things sorted out for you, me changing my job was a relief which I do not regret doing but it was my choose was not forced.


I'm from Canada and the laws here may be different. We have s fisabitoes act. However in certain jobs there are really no modifications that can be made that allows you to continue in the same job. Ex. A Plumber. He/she must go house to house alone. Using a wrench to loosen tight pipes. They develop RA and can no longer use the wrench due to swollen hand and wrist joints. There is no modification to this job that can be done. If you can not use a wrench then you can not do the job. This is what you need to decide.

Is there modifications that can be done that will allow you to still do your job?

Your employer can not guess what these are, your doctor must go through your job duties and decide what you can an can not do. Then you bring that to your employer and they use that info to make adjustments. You didn't mention what modifications your medical team asked for. if you don't have a medical letter from a doctor asking for modifications then your emoter doesn't have to make modifications.

It has to be requested by a doctor. Otherwise every Tom, Dick and Harry could say they have a disability and want a modified job.

*disabilities act

( sorry for typo, on phone, won't let me correct)

I have to agree. Employers seem to want to get rid of anyone they think is gonna call in sick a lot or be off a lot. It puts a lot of stress on the rest of the emoyees to cover and do extra work on top of their own work.

Some people do have great employers who are very accommodating but I think most of us have issues.

My advice is that you go back and talk to your doctor. Tell him/her what part of the job you can not do or need help doing. Give that to employer. Now it's in writing. Your employer must comply, if they are able to. In some cases they may not, depending on what the task is.

Ex. The plumber couldn't be accommodated because doing so would mean hiring another plumber to go out with him to use the wrench, this financially is not feasible for an employer.

Don't let your emoter talk you into anything, talk to your doctor, tell them what's happening, you don't need this added stress.



Hi there, So sorry to hear you are having issues at work. You may find the two free NRAS booklets helpful one for you and one for your employer, "I want to Work" and "When an Employee has RA". You can call 0845 458 3969 to order your copies or also visit our section on the website where you can read about how to manage issues in the workplace etc.

Hope this helps.


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