return to work

I returned to work yesterday after three weeks off due to exhaustion and pain. Had return to work interview by manager who left me feeling that I was doing this on purpose. Not once did she ask how I was or how I was feeling. Told me that if I have any more time off before jan 2013 then it goes to a level 2 and human resources get involved and when \i get to level 3 or 4 then the question is asked am I a fit person to be employed. The caring profession I don't think so

14 Replies

I heard of a full professor at Harvard University who had to quit her job because methotrexate did her thinking completely in - I can relate to that. Off it, I can think. The idea that it is just like a hangover does not compute with me - it is like being hit over the head with a sledgehammer or like my head is in a vice and my body is disconnected from my head for 6 out of 7 days.

As for the period of exhaustion and pain that sometimes comes with this disease, for me it also includes fevers and night sweats.

How anyone in any position of authority as an employer could put anyone through the threatening stress you are describing is completely beyond me and I would think it could immediately be taken to HR and to a tribunal for harassment, as there is the medical record to back up our experiences. Do they want us to go on disability for life? No way! That is a non-option.


Well put, Alice. Definely action needs to be taken, that sort of treatment is inhumane!! Lxx


Speak To occupational health about this situation and your union, certainly occupational health looked after my interests very well, the " caring profession" is not always the best place to work when ill as I found out when I had two bad attacks.


May I suggest you get hold of a copy of the NRAS booklet about working with RA and shove a copy under your boss' nose, apart from the fact they are almost certainly in breach of the Equality Act provisions. If you are in a Union, get advice from them. If not, you can contact ACAS or TGWU for help.

I would also suggest you immediately contact your Human Resources people who I am sure will be horrified at the way you have been treated and will be looking at potential court proceedings for discrimination and the resultant publicity and will move heaven and earth to prevent that!

( I involved our Human resources people some years ago and they all ran around like headless chickens terrified at the thought I would sue, and various missives arrived from Head Office to my boss effectively telling him he was really out of order.)

You can also start grievance procedures if you wish but I suggest you try the above first. Best wishes. LavendarLady x


Excellent advice, LL, Haven't seen you here for a while, but I haven't been for a couple days. Hope things have settled with your shoulder, etc, atleast to a bearable level. Loretxx


Yes, you shouldn't let people get away with attitudes like that so do take some action to counter it as others have suggested. You'll be doing them a favour as if they don't change their ways they'll get into trouble sooner or later. Px


Ditto to what the others have said. They can't treat you like that its a disgrace. You need to get legal advice and soon. You want to throw the reports from your doctors in their face and show them how ill you are.

Tell them to take a long jump off a short pier,thats the polite sersion of what i wanted to say. These people in authority who haven't had a serious illness want to think themselves very lucky indeed because if they had what you have they would be bleating like hell how hard it is for them. You want to tell her to """"" off.

Sorry but these people make me so mad.

Take care and i hope you get some answers to help you. Last thing go above her head.



Wow Sylvi! Maybe you could be a Liason Officer, and go to bat for people like this! Lxxxx


Thanks guys I have rang for an appt with Occy health which they post out to you. My GP is on holiday so I can't make an appt till Friday and the rhuemmy nurse is going to discuss with the Consultant if I need to change my medication and be reviewed earlier than planned. Appt not till 13th september


Sept is just not acceptable! You can tell them we all said so!! :) Push and shove them into compliance!!


Hi Kath,

That's just awful, it's horrible enough without being made to feel under more pressure and like you're not good enough, especially when it's through no fault of your own.

I was in a very similar situation and I work for a large company, I had just started a couple of months before I was diagnosed so didn't want to take time off but found myself having to on a couple of occasions, I then took a period of 2 weeks and had the same when I returned! I think because very often there is nothing to see and when it comes on suddenly employers don't quite know how to cope. I found I had no where else to turn and did eventually contact HR who were shocked and very surprised not to have any knowledge that I had a life long disease.

You may find your HR department do not even know why you have been off, often managers don't realise the significance of such an illness and where they stand, HR however should and I would imagine will be much more supportive.

You are covered under the Equality Act 2010 and very most probably the Disability Act too. Have a look on Citizens Advice website and also if you have not already get the publications from NRAS as someone has already mentioned.

Good luck and stay strong x


I agree with all of the above.

Occupational health helped me so much cos when they learned I had a long term health disease they were so very helpful and It stopped my manger in their tracks as the OH wrote reports of my illness to the HR department and I had regular meeting with my boss and HR to see what they could do to help eg different working hours, shorter working hours etc. I did shove the NRAS booklet under their noses and asked did they realise what RA is?

All these things help me and my boss and HR and Occy health were so much nicer for me telling them about my treatments and results and being honest eith them.

I hope you get sorted soon, and you do need to involve the union, they are also very good at sorting it all out.



What a dreadful attitude your employers have. Wonder how they'd feel if they had to put up with such pain and tiredness. Surely they can't get away with this.

Thinking of you.



That is outrageous.

Take it to occupational health and see what they say, would your dr support you with a letter. It is baltant discrimmination, fight all the way. Hang in there and thinking of you. Paula x


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