Thyroid UK
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unsupportive manager at work

I have recently had a sickness review at work. This only took into account short term illnesses and not my hashimotos, however it was mentioned during the meeting. My managers comments were very blinkered and a lot of assumptions seem to have been made about this condition. when i tried to explain some of these issues i.e. that i was again on iron replacement due to low ferritin levels and i had been told before that this was due to the effects of thyroid disease on menstrual cycle etc. i was just not listened to and told it was not relevant. I have already been to occupational health and provided copies of letters from endocrinologist, however they seemed to be understanding. How can i ensure that my manager is clear about the effects that hashimotos can have, and not just making her own assumptions. NB over the last 2 years i have fluctuated between underactive and over- replaced and have had meds increased /decreased many times. as a result i have experienced symptoms or both under/overactive thyroid.

5 Replies


Do you have a union rep to whom you could explain your situation?

Jane x


If you do not have a union rep then it is important that they know that for the purposes of your employment, thyroid disease is a disability and as such they have an obligation to do their best to make sure that your illness is taken into account when any reviews are done, I will look up the relevant legislation unless someone else has it at their fingertips and posts a reply first.


This relates to Disability at work. I think that although Hashis is not mentioned, the oten associated contions of ME and CFS ARE mentioned and it may be that this would then apply to you. Here is the actual link:

section A6 is the one which applies to you, in particular the mention of 'impairments with fluctuating or recurring effects' and mentions specifically (as an example) ME and chronic fatigue.

One very important point is that should do their best to adjust your working hours if necessary, or provide any aids which might help you to function better.

Where a person finds it difficult in the mornings they might arrange to adjust their working hours for a later start so that they are at work with colleagues during a core time but are allowed to work later when others have left to cover the later start in the morning.

Another possibility is that if it is a viable alternative, an employee might be allowed to work from home for some part of the working week, so that they might respond to telephone calls, or emails, but can rest in between and the effort of travelling is reduced.


Under the Equality Act, your employer is required by law to make Reasonable Adjustments such as you require them, because you have a disability

Disability is a legal definition, not a medical one: a disability is ANY long term condition that has an adverse effect on your ability to function on a day to day basis.

You may and should ask your employer for an RA , the purpose of which is to ensure you can contribute to the best of your ability and are not disadvantaged in the workplace.

If they do not provide an RA, you can take them to the cleaners under the Equality Act.

I really empathise as i have a hostile OH dept and a difficult employer. I am currently off with stress as a result of my employer reneging on an RA they agreed about 8 weeks ago after a battle of many months - i even had to take on union representation. Bad management is just as damaging to our health as our diseases!

In addition, it is impossible to convince my employer of the service failures encountered from the nhs, i could never disclose for eg that i self medicate and manage all my diseases myself.

It is very bad practice for your manager to be told details of your disability; the reason they are not told in my org is because lay people have a tendency to make assumptions. The Employers Forum on Disability explains that the same condition may affect people on different ways - and as we know, when our diseases are mismanaged by the NHS, we are constantly unwell

Your RA should include things like: being able to work from home a few days a week if you have CF. Time off for medical appointments not being counted as time off ie time to have to work in. Disability related absences should be counted separately to regular sickness absences.

Your Oh Dept should be the conduit to your manager, providing them with only minimal info, ie Mrs X has an RA that entails A, B and C. The OH dept should facilitate the RA. Only you can determine what it is you need to enable you to contribute to your full potential in the workplace given your disability.

In my case, my employer no longer sees me for my professional skills and expertise, only as some one who has a ton of health issues. It's a horrible situation to be in.


Going through similar. Had to resign my position. Have lodged a claim with Emoloyment Tribunal . Had ad hoc adjustments , but they were stopped.

I am thinking of taking my issue up with my local MP.


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