Is this acceptable ?

Am I being over sensitive ? My work sent me to see an OT who addressed me and told my work I do come under the DDA due to RA fibromyalgia and recently trochenteric bursitis in my hips which makes walking very difficult and painful . Anyway the OT suggested I work from home on the odd occasion I am really poorly and physically can't leave the house. My HR said they would speak to my line manager and Operations Director. My LM today said ' maybe if you can't get into work you shouldn't be working'! Any support would be appreciated. My work is my everything it gives me not only money but a sense of self worth and makes me feel valued . Because I am unable to join in all the others things my friends do. Feeling very low now 😢

15 Replies

  • Bottom line is - no this is not acceptable. A reasonable adjustment (working from home) has been recommended. Your line manager's statement is discriminating under the equality act 2010 (I am assuming you are in the UK). I advise you to go back to HR and let them know what has been said. Your line manager is behaving irresponsibly and in a discriminatory manner, I hope due to ignorance rather than deliberate intention. I would expect anyone in a management role has received equality training and Disabilty awareness but alas this is not always the case, hence why you need to go back to HR.

    You are a valuable commodity to your work place, you have received training to do your job, you have developed expertise, you are productive, and you enjoy it - so work places would be losing such a valuable asset. Reasonable adjustments means that you can still continue to be productive by removing obstacles that make it more difficult for you to do your job due to your disability, which your HR seem to be supporting. Your line manager is not disability aware and legally is breaching disability legislation by making discriminating remarks and causing you distress. The law is on your side to protect you and employers can be sued/fined if they are found to be discriminating or not incorporating reasonable adjustments.

    Think about learning more about equality act in relation to disability by googling it, this may help you stand up to people and managers who are not aware, the old saying 'knowledge is power' is so true

  • Thank you you've empowered me! I think it is out of ignorance but she is a very controlling person too and doesn't like anything she hasn't made a decision about. She's previously commented about me being lucky being able to park right in front of the office (I have a blue badge) ! I'd swap places with her anytime. I live in England so am covered by the DDA.

  • That is a disgusting comment to make! Glad she's not my manager. X

  • Awful, she needs reporting!

  • Think you're right x

  • Maud you need to take legal advice if that is what lm is saying to you. They should be helping you to stay in work especially if your able to work from home. Is there any way you could afford to cut your hours as it sounds like that would help you. If you can't speak to you hr and ask them what they can do if your lm is no good. I hope you soon get answers for the benefit of you.

  • These NRAS publications might be of interest to you.

  • I would be lodging a Grievance Complaint against your Line Manager. This is unacceptable and she is definitely out of order. When was the last time she attended a Disability Awareness Course? Some people open their mouths before engaging their brain.

  • This is discrimination. If you have any meetings document everything and take a support person who can witness what was said and also record it for you. Talk to your union rep. This is totally unacceptable in this day and age. If this is your line manager, report her and her comments to the next higher up.

  • Not that long ago people were saying that working from home would be the normal if the work can be done at home! Which seems sensible, as employers wouldn't have to pay for electric and all sorts of things, plus it would mean less pollution as there would be less people travelling to work whichever way they do and you are being discriminated for wishing to work from home if you are not well enough to go, disgraceful. I am sure this must be against the law! Mind you, I live in Cornwall and something that seems impossible to believe is that there was a meeting regarding accessibility to places for people in wheelchairs and would you believe a lot of the disabled people couldn't get into the meeting as there were a lot of steps to climb! So, after that I think I would believe anything from people. I am lucky in that I am 66 retired and do web design voluntary things and it's what keeps me going! If it were not for that, I would feel I had no purpose in life.

  • Trying to be a charitable soul, could your line manager have been trying to be sympathetic - meaning "If I were you, I would be off work with all you have to put up with"?

    Sometimes people just say the wrong thing when they mean something else.

    And because we are already feeling down, touchy, and irrationally guilty about being ill, we only hear the criticism or unsympathetic statement.

  • I think your line manager was trying it on and it's probably not the last time you'll hear that kind of thing. There are all kinds of ways of trying to get around equal opportunities and one way is the make the disabled employee feel so demoralised that they just leave.

    You can't make your line manager a better person but you can assert your rights. Are you in a union? Best to get support in place from various quarters.

  • I agree with Postle2 and if you are in a Union, make the most of it. My Union Rep was a star.

    Following my back operation in July 2012, I was hoping to return to work after 6 weeks. My GP however said I would be lucky to get back by Christmas. To cut a long story short, work insisted on their management visits (all very formal with a minute taker) and my Union Rep who kept a record of what was said and supported me right up to medical retirement.

    (All this followed a phased return which was a total disaster, my office was being used by someone else who had thrown out a filing cabinet full of my stuff and my 'special chair' had gone missing. In fact, I didn't even have a desk).

  • This is a terrible situation and I am not surprised you were shocked by your LMs response. Perhaps I could suggest that before you report her you quietly let her know how you feel as a professional about the way she has dealt with the issue. She will probably continue to be your line manager, and by acting as the grown up whilst she is acting like a child will keep any discussion on a professional level. There is something very powerful about modelling appropriate behaviour to your manager, even though it is unfair that you have to be the one to show the way these things are done.

    You sound like a dedicated worker which any company would be lucky to have on their team. She sounds like a twit.

    Hope all goes well.

  • The only thing I can think is that they were just thinking in terms of normal sick leave (where if you are not well enough to come in, generally it is better for your health not to do any work from home). They maybe don't realise that with a condition like this you might have days where you would worsen your condition trying to get into work (especially if by a specific time) and that working your hours at home might be less stress for you and therefore a reasonable adjustment. Let's hope they meant it in a good way (i.e. that if you are unwell any work might make you feel worse), but either way they need to understand that an adjustment like this could really help you. I see someone has kindly given you the link to our work booklets, which might help, especially the one aimed at the employer, as there can be a real lack of understanding of RA.

    Kind regards



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