Oesophageal Patients Association
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am i being treated fairly at work???

...this week having started on full-time hours working everyday my timetable has changed for the worse!! Knowing my position my manager has given me Mondays, Tues, and Wed going out with students walking catching bus's etc and Wed, Thurs afternoons i am in the kitchen supporting students in cooking which means i am standing for 3 hours each time. No other staff goes out or works in the kitchen as much as i do, some staff have said she is bullying me to get me to go off sick again so she has an excuse to finish me or to make me so tired i will reduce my hours. I do feel as if i am being victimised but how do i prove it?? there are staff who could/would swap sessions with me but why did she not give these sessions to others in the first place? all this is stressing me out, all i want to do is to go to work and be treated fairly


3 Replies

These things are often difficult for anybody outside your workplace to make a judgement on, but my guess is that if you have an occupational health department, they may be of some help, particularly if your speed of recovery is slow enough effectively to count you as being 'disabled' temporarily. You won't like using this word, but it might be a means to an end for your own interest. You will regain your strength to do these things, but not yet. Other people simply do not understand that it takes so long to recover your stamina, and will probably take the simplistic attitude 'You either have cancer and are ill; or you are better and should therefore be fully fit'. It is not as simple as that with this recovery pathway.

The Employers Notes that you can download from near the bottom of the page here:


try to make this point.

I think I would try to enlist the support of the hospital doctors / occupational therapists so that, ideally, there is a consensus amongst them and your occupational health people, and agreed by you and your manager, about what you can cope with at the moment and what you cannot. And an agreed progression towards full duties of your job.

The stress level will not help your digestion, and your need to eat 'little and often' in a relaxed environment. If possible, try and separate out the various issues from your personal feelings about your manager.



These things are never easy on which to give advice, because we do not know all of the facts. What Alan M says makes good sense but there are other points which occur. First of all, are you a member of a union? If so, take up the matter with them. Either way, your employer has to have a grievance procedure and that may ultimately be your best route. Before taking it, however, note down all of the problems which you still experience as the result of your surgery, how this affects your ability to carry out the work your supervisor has set, what have been the specific areas of difficulty since your return to work, and the suggestions you are able to make to improve things in a way which you think will not harm the business. Then, try to arrange a meeting with your supervisor to discuss these issues but try not to be confrontational - that simply will not work. If need be, take in a colleague to your meeting. At the end of the day, employers have a statutory duty not to discriminate against those who are disabled and employment tribunals have adopted a very wide interpretation of the word " disabled." Where someone is disabled, an employer is under a duty to make reasonable adjustments to work to enable it to be done by the disabled person.

It might be worthwhile popping in to your local Citizens' Advice Bureau. The staff there are well versed in these sorts of matters. I should add that I am a retired employment judge.

Best of luck,



Good Luck! You should not be going through what you are back to work, the advice from Alan and speakman looks like you will have better days eventually keep strong!


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