Reduced Hours

Am looking for some advice really, I have been on reduced hours for 11 weeks working 8:30am - 1:30pm (normally work 8:30-5:30 x 5 days in retail running around all day as a Supervisor) with a signed doctors reduced hours certificate. They have been tolerant of this at work and up to now reasonably sympathetic until today....(I will add that I am on Thyroid S and although feeling better still sleep for 2 hours min every afternoon and diagnosied with Hasimotos) I handed in another signed certificate for 4 weeks..... my manager looked at it then at me and asked if it was a photocopy ! I said no I had picked it up yesterday... this made me feel very uncomfortable (like I had done it myself) anyway the silence in the office was almost unbearable so I got on with others things.... 2 hours later my Area Manager turned up out the blue apparently to pick up posters and asked me how much longer do I think Im going to be on reduced hours, her father has UAT and he works full time !? I said I did not know probably another couple of months but not sure, this again was met with a stoney glare and she left, then my Manager told me the General Manager is coming down tomorrow .... now this all seems a bit to coincidental to me !!

Anyway that's my awful day my question is there a template anywhere I can use to ask for reduced hours from 37.5 to 30 hrs I need to have an extra day off to cope :( any advice would be appreciated. Thanks xx

10 Replies

  • I'm afraid I don't have an answer to your main question, but I think your Area Manager is being very silly. There isn't just one type of UAT, everybody is different and reacts in different ways. It depends on why you are hypo, and how long you were hypo before you were diagnosed, and the level of your nutrients, and all sorts of other things. Just because her father is well, doesn't mean that you should be too! Women's hormones are more complicated, for a start!

    I used to get the same thing when I was working (now retired), collègues saying 'oh, I know this woman who's got UAT and she's taking so and so and now she's fine! Why aren't you taking that?' And then the dreaded question : would you like the name and address of her doctor? No, I wouldn't! And they cannot understand why, even when I try to explain. And, they think that once you're taking that magic white pill, you shouldn't have anymore problems. And they can't understand why that's just not true, and it depends on how much damage has already been done, and... and... and...

    I'm afraid no-one will really understand until they've had it themselves. Not even when someone close to them has it. I wonder how much your Area Manager knows about the struggle her father has had, and if he is really well now, or is he struggling, too, and just putting a brave face on it? I doubt it would even occur to her to ask! :(

  • If it has given you clinical depression you are protected under the disability discrimination act and if they try to dismiss you it is unfair dismissal/constructive dismissal. When did any old Tim Dick or Harry suddenly think they possess superior knowledge to a qualified medical professional. These people are unable to realise their own limitations but are only too happy to think they know everyone else's. It makes me very angry, they are a menace to society. You can join Prospect (union) even if you are not working directly in one of the usual professions they offer legal services advice etc to. Problem is some unions now have a 6mths subs rule before helping you with employment problems etc but it is worth checking it out with them if they insist on this. You may be able to get their support.

    I am so sorry you are going through what is basically institutional bullying.

  • It's amazing because you are able to work part-time, they cannot see what's going on under the skin.

    This is a link and may be helpful for you. I doubt they are aware you are covered under the Disability Act (I Believe) and someone more knowledgeable will respond.

    Your energy level doesn't allow you to have sufficient to work full time yet but when you get to an optimum of thyroid hormones you should be able to work part-time. I'd also have a word with your MP.

    Tell them if you aren't treated optimally you could develop heart disease, diabetes and others.

    These people who've never been unwell and as we know someone who is being treated for cancer for example has treatment and recovers whilst another doesn't. So your colleague cannot put her father's illness next to yours at all.

  • I was recently told at work that my condition comes under the disability discrimination act because it is likely to last for more than 12 months (in our case life long) and can have a negative impact on your ability to carry out day to day activities. Therefor they have a duty to ensure that reasonable adjustments are made in the work place to allow you to continue to do your work. How those adjustments are worked out and what they will be will vary depending on the type of company or organisation you work for and the nature of employment. The fact that your doctor has given you a fit note should give you further protection. If your employer has an HR dept ask them what their policy is for sickness and disability related absence.

    Lu x

  • Whoever told you that sounds as if they might be bit out of date:

    The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (c 50) (informally, and hereafter, the DDA) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which has now been repealed and replaced by the Equality Act 2010, except in Northern Ireland where the Act still applies. Formerly, it made it unlawful to discriminate against people in respect of their disabilities in relation to employment, the provision of goods and services, education and transport.

    Though you might be in Northern Ireland!

  • Yes I forgot, they were calling it DDA but did say it was actually the equality act. I'd completely forgot that, for some reason the DDA was what I remembered. Thanks for correcting me

    Lu x

  • Very common - and very easily done. And everyone will understand. But if you actually need or want to look things up, the current name might be helpful.

  • Do you have Occupational Health at work? If so ask to be referred. In my experience an employer is obliged to make reasonable adjustment to your work to accommodate any health concerns that are covered under The Equality Act. The problem with that is 'what is reasonable?' My advice to the Business would be based on a 4 week graduated return plan - specifically the company I work for will only accommodate a 4 week plan. Again in my experience - newly diagnosed UAT is expected to be ' capable of being brought under medical control with medication' and hence by now I would suggest you are fit to resume to your full role obligations. If not then you may need to negotiate a permanent reduced contract to accommodate your condition - but to be fair this might lead to the Business advising this can't be accommodated and providing they ' scope' the opportunities for this either at your office or locally, then their duty of care is in tact. Flexible work pattern to accommodate fatigue etc might also be considered - but this would be ' according to the needs of the Business ' ......I understand your frustration but to be fair to your employer they would - now - be expecting a return to full hours if you have been back for 4 weeks plus. Of course every case is different but long term adjustments and needs are sometimes simply not supportable and you may find theyvstary to discuss medical dismissal of some type. IF they have considered what options that can offer and there are none - and they can demonstrate this, then you may risk being asked to consider your own options :( sorry to be less than helpful. Just ask for an extension ( employers are not obliged to take note of your GP advice) to your reduced duty....and if not supported - ask for a referral to an Occupational Health Physician ...god luck.

  • Hi

    Sorry to hear about your condition and the hassles at work.

    Helvella is right you need to read the equalities act or at least be familiar with it.

    Before I worked in health care I worked in a role personnel for many years.

    You are not covered by the act until you have been diagnosed for 12 months. That illness has to have an impact( I am using layman terms here) on you and your capacity to do a job to register. The only exceptions are cancer, aids and MS. You are covered immediately upon the diagnosis.

    I don't know how long you were off for and what your contract regulations are re time off work. It is rare that they include specifics such as rehab hours as every illness is different.

    My advise is if you are ill take the maximum time you can off on paid leave, assess how you are and consider esa benefits for returning.

    Ever time you have a "chat" it needs to be in an interview room and the conversation has to be documented and signed by both of you. Hence no off the cuff inappropriate comments!! In the meantime a union is a good idea for the future.

    Once anyone goes back to work you do have to rely upon managers doing" the right thing" and making reasonable adjustments do not always happen in reality. However reading your profile I am guessing you have not reached 12 months yet?

    Yes occupation health can help. It just depends if they are in house or independent - if they offer one yes accept . Are you under a consultant? If not and your GP is decent i would get him to do a report to your firm detailing the severity of your condition and the time scales approx moving fwd.

    Greygoose is right there is no book on recovery and us women have hormones etc to take into count. Also people forget how long relatives really took to recover!

    In answer to you question there is no set pro forma on reducing your hours but if you have a GP letter to back it up it will carry so much more weight. Again once done into a interview you go with a pad and take notes yourself. That will make them think eh up this person is keeping records.

    You are entitled to a data subject access report ( they have 40 days ish) and they have to give you a copy of everything about you on file. If any personal opinion is written down they will be in trouble.

    If you are being paid for the hours you do then that is better than being paid full time hours as there will be some resentment. The size of your firm, how long you have been there, work load should determine if they willl be flexible to less hours. Your health may be different in 12 months and this needs pointing out.

    My heart goes out to you having been in this position myself- I just existed for a long time.

    It is rare to have a rehab of more than ten weeks unless under guidance from a specialist or occupational health doctor.

    Good luck yes reduce your hours and stress. Record everything and ask your GP for help( if he will- at least he/ she will know you are doing your best)

    Pm me for any specifics.

    Take care - easy to say but one health many jobs!!

  • Thanks everyone for your help & suggestions xx

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