Occupational health advice

I've had some really helpful advice on here about working while having PMR. I was diagnosed in May and saw an OH nurse in July. She advised that I should return to work on reduced hours after the summer holidays (I work in a school) and this should be revised regularly.

I'm unsure wether my pay will remain the same or will be reduced along with my hours.

I would be grateful to hear of other people's experiences of this.

11 Replies

  • It's difficult to say whether or not your pay will be affected without having a look at your contract of employment. But as this is presumably based on a full time job, it does seem likely that pay may well be affected. You need to speak to your employer. If it's a LEA school, the authority will have an HR person who would be able to advise. Academies and Free Schools are a law unto themselves, apart from statutory regulations.

  • I hope that your conditions of employment do allow for some type of compensation for reduced hours because of illness. Regardless of that, I will say from my own experience that you should definitely take it as easy as you can for the next few months. If you are not able to reduce your working hours find a way to divest yourself of as much housework etc., as you can (except of course what relaxes you, e.g. some people love to garden, but even then, pace yourself). I am certain that a return to full work right after recovering from an injury was what triggered my acute PMR symptoms last year - and it took a year to be diagnosed. So find a way to fit as much rest into your schedule as you can. At lunch, for example, if you can sit quietly in a natural setting, rather than always being with other people who take your attention (socializing with co-workers, supervising students, whatever), then do so. Have a nap if you can or at least zone out for a few minutes. Best of luck!

  • As others have said, it depends on your contract of employment. If you work in an LEA school I would think that they should allow for a period of phased return which your reduced hours could be considered. You should speak to you HR department to find out more

    However, as this condition must be considered to be a disability, reasonable adjustments may need to be made for you, for example a reduction in hours. This would mean a reduction in pay if it is on a long term basis and probably a change of your contracted hours.

    I would suggest you look at your outgoings and think about whether it is better to continue to work albiet on reduced pay or have to stop work and deal with a huge financial hit plus the isolation and loss of confidence this might lead to. If you have a good relationship with your manager, do discuss and try to involve HR.

  • I am going back to work next week after 14 weeks off sick , I am seeing a Rhuemy on Thursday for the first time, so not sure what he will have to say about it. Still on 15 mg of pred, absolutely dreading going back to work , I am a HGV fitter working 5 nights a week the truth of the matter is I just don't know if I can do it anymore . I am still constantly fatigued, headache all the stuff we all experience with this condition . I have know reduced hours or light work policy , it's do it or don't simple as that.

  • Citizens Advice = citizensadvice.org.uk/benef...

    Scope website and also the Gov Uk website.

    These websites all give good advice and what to do when you need help with a longterm illness.

  • For most Occupational Health doctors being on nights would be a no-no when on pred. It does make it more difficult.

    But yes - the all or nothing aspect makes it difficult if you are anything other totally healthy . As sambucca says - a chat to CAB may provide some options.

  • I work in the NHS and was advised to do a phased return to normal hours. In the NHS you have to use your annual leave to replace the hours your not working or take unpaid leave. It would be good to look at your outgoings and see if you could get by on less pay. Good luck

  • Must have changed then - OH says his department did it within the context of sick pay entitlement. If you still had entitlement left, it was used to make up the total. He ran out just before his radiotherapy was finished so he took leave for the radiotherapy and then was able to recover from that using sick leave and never lost any pay. It was all very complicated but it worked! He did have an amazingly helpful head of department!

  • Unfortunately yes it has changed, it used to be incorporated into your sick leave, think they feel too much public money is being spent on sick pay in NHS. They also have a scoring system called the Bradford score to ensure the same disciplinary measures are used across all sectors, rather than managers discretion. Long term sick is no longer tolerated in the NHS, unfortunately the caring profession no longer seem to care about their staff.

  • Both daughters are suffering due to the sick leave regulations for different reasons - a fall at work requiring surgery for a broken leg gets far more sympathy though than having picked up a chest infection from a sick patient that leaves you poorly for months because you can't stay off long enough for it to cure. But they are both due to your work.

    Someone posted a picture of Richard Branson on Facebook last week with the quote "Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of the employees they will take care of the clients." I do wonder if his healthcare company might be of some use in the NHS...

  • I have been made medically retired at 51 ,ive pmr gca ,type 1 diabetes ,addisons and aps hughes syndrome.If you have OH company may a system?I would think pmr gca comes under disability equality act ,wherein reasonable adjustments ,such as shifts have to me made to keep you in work,eg dayshift.I used to work nights and days.Things do change in work ,I got my taxi licence now and do part time ,all im good for driving.I hope things get sorted for you.!

    All the best.!

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