Thyroid UK
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work related and really need some advice, im fuming

HI could someone give me advice please related to work.

Bacically returned back to work today after being off for 5 months with

underactive thyroid in this time of being off i have been really poorly

still not 100% and still extremly tired and energy low. I had a back to work

interview with manager a she read me a letter out basically telling me i am

under sickness monitoring for 12 months and if i go on sick before the 12 months i

will be disciplined. Im fuming manager even agreed with me she said i can not very good at writing letters

and explaining my point but i feel like i am being punished for having this. Anyone else had this

problem related to work. Help

11 Replies

Are you a member of a union. If not maybe you should join. A union rep could be very helpful and support you when you speak to your manager and would know your rights


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I'm sorry to hear that. :( but unfortunately they are within there legal right to do this ( if you live in the uk) now they won't be able to dismiss you but they will be able to give you a formal warning and if you are off again they could dismiss you. The only way you would have any protection is if you were pregnant or disabled. Unfortunately thyroid conditions don't count towards disability. From an employers perspective it doesn't matter wether you were off from thyroid problems or a bad flu. They have to protect their own interests.


My work place is the same you are just a number not a human being. its sad that it comes to this esp when u didn't ask for it


Gosh, imagine having to put up with that on top of all your health struggles!! What a nightmare! When I read your post it made me realise there was a big gap there with regards to you having support from Occupational Health in returning to work and also having on going support from them, your work should have a policy in there somewhere about this and they should also listen to Occupational Health. O.H are really helpful and aren't obligated to your employer by rushing you back to work or anything, your health is the important thing. They can also write to your employer after meeting with you. Just a thought and maybe worth looking into?

The monitoring thing of absence following long absence sounds like it is 'across the board' but saying you'll be disciplined for being genuinely sick doesn't sound right! We have policies at work for monitoring staff being off following long periods but it also looks at what support we can provide to support the employee, there isn't anything about 'discipline' being involved!!

Good luck and stay strong! :)

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.... also, your local Advocacy service would be brilliant at helping you with any letter writing in that area. They are brilliant and underestimated. They can also give you further advice on the 'discipline' you may face if you're off sick again. Don't delay getting in touch with advocacy if poss


Take note: the CANNOT do what they did. I am a union rep for a hostile employer. I'm also on the exec board of a Disability Staff Group.

First: your condition fits the legal definition of a disability (which is not a medical definition). Under the Equality Act 2010, ALL employers have a legal obligation to provide you with a Reasonable Adjustment. However, they must have been made aware about your disability. Once you can prove they knew, the MUST provide an RA. If they do not, it is disability discrimination

An RA is for the purpose of mitigating the disadvantage experienced by your disability. It can include things like 1) attending medical appts in work time 2) an acknowledgement that you will have a higher level of sickness, - anything else you feel would help you function at work.

Google "Equality Act what the law says" and "reasonable adjustments" for more.

Basically, your employer may not apply a policy to you, which - although applicable to everyone else in the org - puts you at a disadvantage when applied to you: because you have protected characteristics under the Equality Act. That means they should not be applying standard sickness / capability policy. In any case they cannot legally pursue capability without having given you an RA.

They will try it on, so get educated and get a union rep on board. Otherwise, you will need to write them a formal letter so that you can prove you asked for an RA and they refused. You should write and tell them of their legal obligation under the EQA.

I see people with disabilities being treated horrendously ; employers are all too hasty to apply policies when they haven't adhered to the Equality Act.

Note again what i said about the definition of disability; it is not about the actual disease but about the effect it has on your daily ability to function on a normal level. So any long term condition that affects your daily functioning is a disability: IBS, chronic back pain, Thyroid disease, etc.

Also google Employers Forum on Disability; they produce alot of good practice guidance for employers

Remember too - no doctor can verify that you have a disability; only you can describe the effect on your life, CF, etc. This is because the same disease can affect 2 people differently, so you do not have a disability by virtue of the name of the disease, but rather the effect of the impairment on your life.

There is alot of misconception about this topic.

I hope this has been on some help


thankyou for this information, im not one to argue or cause a problem but im not taken this lieing down. I work for a city council so i am really suprised they are been so unfair.


Great post! Thank you blue !


aww thankyou for all for your replys, while being off sick i had 3 occy health appointments and updated them each month with my health at the appointments. On returning to work i got a fit note from doctors and it states for 6 weeks on reduced hours and slowly bring my hours up, to be fair my manager felt bad when she read the letter. im waiting for her to send me letter in post so i can read over it properly and get myself more mad. I am in the unoin so when i get the letter i will contact them. They annoy me so much as having a underactive thyroid ive also also had folate and b12 deficiency also just found out i am tpo postive and still feeling like there is more going on in my body. I done a four hour shift and im knacked feels like ive run a marathon. I really do appreciate the advice everyone has given me thankyou.


definitely get in touch with your union and ask for their help to protest to this disgusting letter thats is so incredibly unfair! good luck!


I work in NHS and had occ health appointment when I was off for 4 weeks with thyroid problems. I have hashimotos. The occ health doc wrote to my manager and actually said I should be treated as they would treat any other disability. The fact that you are dependent on medication to survive means you have a disability. You have rights, don't be bullied!


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