hi everyone i would like to ask a question about work i am on reduced hours 2 days a week with my r.a. i was off for 6 months and returned to work in march this year, but in may i had a bit of a flare up and phoned my boss to say i wouldnt be in the next day and could he put it through as a holiday or unpaid leave he refused both and said because my sickness was at a critical level he would have to put it through as sickness i had no choice but to go in the next day, i got through the day with the help of my colleague and heavy pain killers has anyone else had problems at work like this,


24 Replies

  • No i never did when i was working,but i haven't worked for 7,1/2yrs now. xxxx

  • Sometimes employers can be jerks. The less you tell anyone at work the better.

    I had a colonoscopy on a Thursday and needed to be off Friday as you can't operate a car for 24 after. I work in healthcare so I also can't do people transfers or lifts until 24 hours after anastesia.

    My boss would not let me use vacation days or give my shifts away to a part timer who wanted the hours. I got the two days off, but was forced to make them up by staying 2 hours extra each shift cleaning floor boards and other like chores. I felt I was being punished for needing to take care of myself. I have never been on leave or used any of my sick days. The boss was just being an ass.

    Unbeknownst to me, Ontario law has emergency leave where I can take I believe up to nine days off without pay and I just need to say it's an emergency I don't need to give any specifics.

    Honestly with some employers the less you tell them about your Health the better.

    Now though someone in management has my issue, and only now are they sympathetic to my disease. They have been quite accommodating.

    My suggestion is, if you have any sick days left and need it because of RA, then just call in sick - you don't have to tell them its RA.

  • my work knows i have r.a i even got the employers guide and gave it to the them so they would understand a bit more of how r .a can affect poeple but it was a waste of time it fell on deaf ears i work for a large well known supermarket its just the fact i offered to take it unpaid or a holiday and they wouldnt let me. disgusted with them xx

  • My work were appalling- they couldn't get their heads round the idea that my symptoms came and went. I wish I hadn't told them so much. Even the DDA and work laws etc didn't seem to mean much to them... I used to think be 'loud and proud' and fight for rights. I now understand why people stay in the 'disability closet'! Incidently, I'm gay, and I would tell other teachers to be very careful before being 'out'. Not because of the kids- they were great. It was the prejudice of a lot of the staff ( although it was my being disabled that some really seemed to dislike!) That's a rambling way of saying I agree- tell them as little as possible!


  • Have you got Occupational Health involved?

  • hi moomin occupation health know, they say just go on the sick dont just leave but i got a leaflet from them and it says im entiteled to ask for disability leave but a lot of works including mine dont seem to recognise it and as im new to all this as have only been diagnosed in nov16, i dont know if im coming or going sometimes everything seems to be a battle xx

  • Do you belong to a union? Or how about citizens advice?

  • i dont belong to a union and from what i can see with the union and what ive heard about them in my work they are not that good anyway, i will continue as long as i can and see if i get this r.a controlled and will worry work then x

  • My union are great, there are loads out there, some better than others. You are covered by the 2010 disability act and some employers think they car ride roughshod over you and it. Ring a few, it's worth it to get real informed representation.

    Good luck.

  • My Union weren't so good. I went to a lawyer- not as expensive as you might think- and things got better.

  • i will play it by ear at the moment then maybe pop into citizens advice and ask them

  • Good luck!

  • Please do not tell lies or withold information from your employer that is relevant to your health as your protection lies in it being a 'proper' illness as such, not just a lot of time off with excuses. I'm sorry to say but you do need advice help, try ACAS or your union, you may not think they are helpful but if something does go wrong do you have the funds to do a private prosecution for unfair dismissal now legal aid is virtually non existant.

    I'd add your boss may have had no choice if your ill and you seem to say you did say that, then to put down as holiday would have not been truthful especially as from an employers point of view your level of sick leave is high enough perhaps to warrant seeing an occupational health officer or even company nurse with a view to helping you carry out your role without pain. Or find you another role or some other course of action.

  • I dont disagree with most of what you said but taking holiday when sick is not in any way lying as you mentioned. Holiday is your paid days off and don't have to be used for a actual holiday - you can use them for anything you choose.

    I have used holiday time off for many tests and procedures, family events and actual holiday. There is no law that says What you can or can not do on your paid time off.

    Unfortunately for me, when I needed two days off I had no vacation time left since it was so late in the year.

    There may be different laws within the employment standard act for different countries. But in Canada you paid holidays are used at your own discretion.

  • An employer can and in some instances its usually part of the employment contract require a person to give notice of the intention to take leave, its not a ring up and expect it to be agreed. Leave is normally granted by mutual agreement and may be dependant on a number of factors. Thus may be refused it as its not acceptable at such short notice, as its not an emergancy. So saying its needed because of illness may not be a vaild reason to get it at short notice. Leave of course can be used any way its wanted but it has to be agreed and this time the employer said no. Thats their perogative for whatever reason hence my suggestion to get advice as employment law is complex in the UK.

  • hi i didnt lie to my company,i did tell my boss i was having a flare up and because my sickness as he says was critical and even though i was off for six months and classed as 1 sickness, the first time i have been off in 14 years with the company, and rather than go down as sick again i offered to and ask could i take a holiday or unpaid leave as the company dont like the records to show the high level of illness with all employees and not just mine, i thought i was doing good but apparently not, the next time i will be phoning in sick and he can add it to my sickness record, i did think as i was being honest that he would come and go a small bit with me and understand what i have been going through as they have seen me at my worse when i was called in constantly for meetings with management and o.h.

  • Hi there.

    I sympathize with your work situation. I too have returned to work on part time basis... phasing into full time. I have had one full day off sick since returning with no issues from manager. I know prior to me being diagnosed with RA I was ill after a simple procedure having just booked the morning off as annual leave I couldn't come in in the afternoon. It was explained to me that once you mention you are sick they have to put you down as sick, and also the morning was counted as sick also as any sickness that is immediately before or after an annual leave date is legally classed as sick. This is for the workers protection meaning you are not using your annual leave entitlement for whilst sick and that an employer cannot apply sick days as annual leave against your wishes as they are two different entitlements . The same would apply if you had two weeks holiday and rang in sick for your first day back..all of your previous two weeks could count as sick..though your work would require a doctors cert to confirm your sickness.

    Depending on your circumstances this rule could be seen as a good thing or a bad If you had had lots of sick days already but had lots of annual leave days left to use it would seem unfair but the rule is there for your protection.

    My question to you is why you felt compelled to go in even though you were sick. Even if your sick was at a critical level this is just hot air from your boss as you are covered by the disability act. I was off for 4and a half months... this is counted as one absense in other words the same as a one day. Occupational health were correct to advise you to go off sick when you are sick. I don't know how this affects your pay though as this is based on your contract..mine reduced to 50% after a certain period and this may be a big consideration for you.

    Wishing you lots of luck and hope you are feeling better soon.

    Sharon 🌸

  • Also just to add when you call in sick you do not have to say why you are off to your boss..only that you are sick and if you know it an approximate return date. If you ever have to see your company doctor they actually have to get your permission to tell your HR department the nature of your illness and you do not have to give it. Joining or seeking advice from a union would be very helpful for you.

    Sharon 🌸

  • So true, my work tries to find out by asking a lot of questions but we are under no obligation to answer. Mainly they just want track cough as I work in healthcare.

  • As an ex employer I would say be honest about your health. I know I would have preferred this. I was also aware of laws in terms of discrimination . Make sure you know your rights and be prepared to challenge how you are treated. If an employer is unfair or discriminates against you for having a disability they would lose in any tribunal. You have to be honest though or they would accuse you of lying and they didn't know all the facts.

  • Exactly the case.

  • I would recommend that you speak to the Disability Employment Advisor at your Job Centre. They will give you some sound advice and guide you in how to deal with your employer.

  • hi joang, thank you for that i think i will do that like everyone this is all a learning curb for me and would never have thought of that, dont know the ins andouts of who to contact so this advice from everyone is great thank you xx

  • hi everyone I want to say a big thank you for all your responses to my work dilemma its great when people give you this advice its gives a great back up when I do have to speak to my employer again on this matter I am so glad I joined this site everyone has been great with there advice and help,i happened to mention to another manager yesterday at work what had happened tp me with my own manager and she herself said he shoudnt have refuse me a hol or an unpaid leave and to speak to my peoples manager about it, but as you probably know when your feeling rubbish and just want to get through the day with the pain, not understanding whats happening to you its the last thing you want to do is to be taking on a fight with management but I will ready the next time lol a big hug and warm thanks to to all xx

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