Help! RA Work related question: Hi, I wonder if any of... - NRAS

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Help! RA Work related question


Hi, I wonder if any of you clever people could give me some advice. I've just had an unexpected meeting at work regarding the flexible arrangement I have in place if I should have a flare-up. Basically, I have an arrangement where I work Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If I have a flare up then I can make up the hours on my next day off. It's not an amazing flexible working situation but for the last 2 years, its worked an allowed me to continue working. On Friday I swapped my shift due to a flare-up to my next day off which is Tuesday. I worked that shift fine. (please note I very rarely swap my shift, I never take advantage) My boss has said he's very uncomfortable with the fact that I did not make up the hours over the weekend. Ive never worked weekends ever as the two days off in a row, helps me rest ready for the following week. I told him that I've never done that in the two years I have had the arrangement, it is not what was agreed to, I'm very happy with the current arrangement and I have never failed on my part of it, I don't see why going forward I would have to work weekends. He said if it happens again unless i work the Saturday he would class me as sick and i would have to have a sick review. Can he do this? change the arrangement without my consent. Force me to commit to working something I didn't agree to. My job has been so great with my RA and all of sudden this. He said he has consulted HR and senior management and they have no problem with the change. They have clearly all discussed this without me even being present. I swear I'm just about getting through and this :(

16 Replies


Did you have this agreement in writing if so then no but if not or are you part of a union. I would contact them if you are or ring or pop into your local Cab.

Hope someone can help you x

Go straight to whichever senior manager you trust & ask (nicely) what your boss has actually discussed with management,& ask why you were not in the loop.

Look back on Cherub's experience with her manager bullying her for a long time.'s best to get these situations out in the open as soon as possible. Your boss is probably a coward & will back off if he sees you can stand up for yourself.

If you are in a union, copy all meetings to them, so that if you need to involve them they have the situation covered from the start.

I wonder why some junior bosses act this way? They obviously don't realise it's a sure way NOT to become a senior boss.

Keep calm, & senior management will support are obviously a good & conscientious employee & they will appreciate a direct approach rather than letting the situation get out of hand.

I would certainly contact the union, if you have one or contact citizens advice


I think your experience at work is really interesting as I too am having problems coping with my managers at the moment.

I too have days when I just can't work because of RA. This has been recognised and my sick leave trigger points (both the number of days and the number of sickness spells) have been doubled, and reviewed at regular intervals. This is one of my Reasonable Adjustments in place. You should negotiate the same, but maybe on a pro rata basis as you work reduced hours? With this in place you shouldn't even need to work on your days off to make up for lost time.

I'd ask to be referred for an Occupational Health Review. These are professional people who have been extremely helpful in making recomended adjustments to Management.

I agree with you about the weekends being recovery time. This is a must for anyone with RA. Don't agree to work these if your contract states Specific days of working.

I hope this makes sense. It's difficult as managers fail to see things from our point of view and don't understand the need for Reasonable Adjustments outside of desks and equipment.

Good luck


Employers can change any contract whenever they want providing they give you 90 days notice. However it sounds like the management are getting twitchy so watch your back. Flexible working suits them only short term


Hi Oj,

If your arrangement is not documented, then, as others have suggested, I would go to the Senior leader that you feel most comfortable with and sort it out. RA is stressful enough without having to worry about your job and what might suddenly appear from left field. Oh, and the Union too, if you feel that might be helpful. Good luck! Cheers :)

Thank you all for your help. I'm going to send an email today. Explaining my feeling and requesting any changed to my current arrangement be done after speaking with occupational health. My manager has said he doesn't know why but the current arrangement just doesn't sit right with him and that just is not a good enough reason!. If that doesn't get them to back down I'll head to cab.

Hi - I had a very similar situation when I was first being tested and diagnosed with my PsA in 2014 - we had a new manager and he clearly didn’t understand,or even want to as that meant he couldn’t do as much crawling up the ladder as he wanted to if he disagreed with people above him - he managed to alienate a very small but strong team of people that had been working fine for several yrs within the space of 4 months,because that suited HIS personal agenda,so made my life a living hell in the process - that was the first time I had to rely on antidepressants, because I just couldn’t cope anymore,and for the first time in 20 odd yrs I couldn’t sit at my desk without crying constantly - it totally took its toll on me,and that was with OH on board...... apparently management only have to be ‘advised’ by OH,they don’t actually have to do what they’re advised.... this was all new and very alarming to me. As I didn’t have a union at work I got in touch with the disability lawyer service and they actually wrote a letter on my behalf because my boss had made the mistake of being very discriminate at one point,and when the head of HR saw the letter that had been written, let’s just say they couldn’t back peddle fast enough!! Give them a ring,and they should be able to advise you best on exactly how to handle this situation,which is very much sounding like the start of them trying to make things difficult for you,and it definitely needs to be dealt with now,for the sake of your sanity if nothing else.

Good luck,hope all works out for you


Thank you so much for this. It was so helpful

No worries - I know only too well the stress and heartache that situation can take on you.... it actually makes your health far worse as a result,so if there’s anything. Can do to help someone out then I’m glad my battle wasn’t in vain.

Pls keep me posted on how you get on - the more we can speak about this type of situation means that hopefully bosses will get the message that they cannot get away with bullying us!! Oh,can’t remember if I mentioned it before,but the disability law service is completely free to use too,so definitely use them if you can - it really will feel like a weight’s been lifted 😊

Take care of yourself



Where I used to work they had rules about Fridays and Mondays. Especially if a pattern developed and even if you had allowable vacation days. Something about illegally extending the weekend. I don’t remember the exact reasoning behind it. Everything is not always wonderful in the work world but having a job is important. I hope it all works out for you.

I live in the south and the south are 'right to work' states. That means no unions and they can fire you whenever they want. I was on FMLA and my hospital fired me. I took them to court. I won. But it was a pia, and took a lot of energy which I didn't need after just finally at 53 being diagnosed with rheumatoid disease and fibro. Good luck to you!


You need to bring in your union if you have one.

I've been in this position with work. Since I went part time I have had problems with management and my colleagues.

I work very hard when at work as well as working beyond my agreed hours most days and to be stabbed in the back I'm now off sick.

I was going to try for ill health retirement but going the usual as ill health can be a long and drawn-out process and told it's very unlikely.

I work for the NHS and they have no comparison in relation to their staff. All they can see is a number and a body. I struggled to work during last bad snow in March when others stayed at home and didn't bother going into work.

Ok, so my meeting today did not go well. They have decided that any arrangement that was in place will now be removed and if I take any time off, even for flare ups it will be classed a sickness. The office manager said that any arrangement that was in place was not a formal one (lies) and that it was a gentleman's arrangement that we have for 2 years!. The meeting turned into a shouting match so I left and went home. I am raising a grievance to HR there has been a number of issues for over year now. Documented conversations disappearing. Lies, urging me to use all my leave entitlement rather than using sick leave to manage my sickness so I could keep my job. So many things. It's not possible for me to work there. I spoke to Acas they just recommending using the grievance process. I don't know if I join the union if they can then attend the grievance meeting with me. I don't know. I'm so stressed

They have to be very careful and must be seen to be accommodating your situation. Stressful situations can aggravate your RA. I would suggest you speak with them and set realistic expectations.

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