Pelvic Pain Support Network

Support / advice - work related

Hi all,

I know you not legal experts but would like your opinions.

I have pelvic congestion syndrome, which my employer is aware about. Last month I was at work where I suffered a major bleed and severe chronic pelvic pain. I went to hospital and was signed off for 2 and a half weeks. In the meantime I was backwards and forwards to the doctors and hospital for stronger med's, scans and tests. In which I kept my employer up to date with.

After the 2.5 weeks off I was due to go on holiday abroad, I got the all clear to fly as long as when I was back to get a blood test. I spoke to my employer who told me to take my holiday and even if I wasn't going to go to take the time off to recoup. I found this supportive. Anyway long story cut short holiday was amazing however the pelvic congestion ruined it and I regret going as physically couldn't do alot.

So 2 days before I am due back into the business I get a text from my friend telling me my job was being advertised, exact same store I was in and job title. So I emailed my boss (so I had a paper trail) and got a reply 2 days later (the morning I was meant to be doing my RTW) telling me not to be "alarmed" and that they See Me Later That morning. So this put me at ease

I arrive for my RTW and get told that they are removing me from the store because they felt that the pressure and stress contributed to what happened. (No where does it mention I have been signed off with stress and no one has asked me if I was stressed) hence why my position was being advertised. They also required someone reliable and who will just run the store and not go sick. As my sickness put them behind on a director visit. I didn't know what to say and couldn't say anything because I was so angry about everything. Now I am field travelling 6 hours or more a day to get to stores, how is this not stressful??

That afternoon I speak with HR who called to ask if it was ok to get a third party company in to speak to me about my condition so they can make work place adaptions. I said yes and they would send forms for me to fill out. The next day I recieved the forms and it says the assessment is to see if "employee is fit to perform job role" - so I am not filling the form in. 1. Because they didn't mention this and made it sound like they were supporting me. 2. They've already decided I'm not fit enough to do my job so have pulled me out of the store.

So all with this, then to top of 4 days because in the business. I get told I am going to run a store for 6 days. Which means I am working 7 days straight again travelling 6 hours a day to get to the store. But what I don't get is they've blamed my illness on pulling me out of a shop, but then place me in a shop?

I am fed up, tired and still not well. This travelling is killing me but my boss doesn't care. Working 7 days straight after having 5.5 weeks off isn't fair and isn't helping this supposed stress I have. I am depressed because they've used my condition against me and have manipulated the situation by making it sound like they are helping when not.

What would you do if you were me? I'm pondering on getting side off because I am in alot of pain but don't know if I should just quit. And where I stand legally

Any advice will be appreciated

2 Replies

Hi I am sorry to hear about your work problems. I and many other pelvic pain sufferers have been through similar so I understand what you are going through. 2 very important questions 1 have you been diagnosed with your condition for more than a year? 2 have you had treatment and take regular pain killers for your condition? (From what you say is guess it is a yes to question 2.The reason I ask this is if you have suffered from condition for more than a year and can prove it effects your day to day living ( ie not being able to concentrate due to the pain or lack of sleep, not being able to lift or move heavy objects) you may be come under the equality act and be considered disabled, this gives you various rights at work which mean your employers must make reasonable adjustments to assist you to do you job such as allowing you to have more episodes of disabilty related sickness than a healthy person would come under this. You should ask to be sent to an occupational health expert and explain that the changes they have made have worsened your condition and point out returning to your previous role or a job closer to home would help. For more info Google equality act 2010 disabilty, acas have a good section on disabilty as does the .gov site. Citizens advice are also excellent, best to see them face to face. Make sure you log all incidents as and when they happen. I would also write a formal grievance against your boss as his actions seem unreasonable and could be considered discrimatory. With disabilty EACH case is considered separately so I can't say for sure you would be covered under the equality act, there are very few specific conditions covered under it as a lot of illness have varying degrees of seriousness so one person can suffer badly from illness whereas another who has same illness can have a mild form and rarely gets pain so person suffering badly would probably come under equality act but other not.Are you are member of a union? They should be able to help also. If you do the contact us box on PPSN I will email Judy Birch ceo and let her know I am happy for her to pass on my phone no if you want to chat. Only thing I ask is for you to please call in the afternoon or evening as I do shift work and have serious trouble sleeping due to pain so I am often asleep until late morning. Ps DONT QUIT, I know exactly how you feel as I have been in a similar position on many occasions, stand and fight as if you quit they win and they are in the wrong not you. I have also been told it is very hard to prove constructive dismissal so you are best staying and fighting as they have a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments if you come under equality act and if they don't you can take them to an employment tribunal. Julia

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They can't do that, it is illegal. They can't advertise your job while you are in post. You have had no return to work interview to discuss whether you can do you job. Firstly if you can do your job but need certain alterations, eg new chair, they must provide it. If it is to work less hours/days then it needs to be conducive to the business. If you can't agree or get alterations for you to do your job then they can discuss an alternative job, which is the same money and suits your needs. They can't send you off to a store miles away to do more work, more travel and more stress because that equals more health problems. Ring ACAS, they are a free advice service for workplace issues and get their help. Are you a member of a union and if so ring them? If ACAS say you have a case you may need legal advice. Check your house insurance contains an extra policy of providing legal help for certain issues. If not get that ASAP before you start the ball rolling against your company. They are very good at praying on vulnerable people, so don't let them. Good luck and let me know if you need any more advice.

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