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Issues with employment

loricalorica Posts: 187
Hi all,

I am male, 37 years old and have recently been diagnosed with Gouty Arthritis in my feet but now under control through daily tablets, I have been told i have possibly got OA in my knees, the specialist at the local hospital is testing me for Psoriatic Arthritis he's 99.9% sure that is the problem. I have just had 6 months out of word due to redundancy, with little support from Job Centre regarding my arthritis. Even the Disability Support person was no help when i Spoke to him told nothing he could do.
End of last year applied for a job working with a large retail company as a Customer Services Assistant, I applied, had interview and got the job! At no point during the recruitment was i asked about any medical conditions. I have just spent 9 weeks in training and now im in the shop. I have been put on deliveries!(we get 3 a week) Unloading Pallets and cages of new stock! The driver takes goods off the lorry and its up to me to take the stuff out of the cages and off the pallets and put in to store. (My first week I did about 37hours only contracted for 24.) I vertually killed myself! my feet ached my knees were sore, and i just couldnt recover enough over night between my shifts and my days off are seperated and not together so even one day off isnt enough. Im not sleeping at all due to the aching in my knees and feet. I just told myself i needed to get use to the job and on my 3rd week i went to work in pain I even wore my hiking boots as we had a delivery and they were the most supportive shoes i could wear ( must also add I have a weak left ankle) I was told to go home as i wasnt fit to work and my boots were not appropriate they didnt fit the dress code. made appointment to see my doctor and was told by employer that i needed to be honest with my doctor and tell him that my job ment I would be on my feet all the time, and was this the job for me.....

Comments

  • loricalorica Posts: 187
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    (sorry for war and peace message)
    To continue....

    I went to my doctor he was off sick so had to see another doctor who just said what do you expect me to do? Explained about the pain she perscribed me with painkillers, and said she wouldnt sign me off any longer as she felt it would cause the death of my job. (DDA :?: ) I just feel my employer will try to get shut of me as im still on probation which is due to come to an end anytime now, or failing that they might be hoping that the doctor tells me its not the job for me and i decided to resign. I would like to work to time but too much pressure not to first day back ended up doing extra, I certainly paid for it later didnt sleep due to pain! Not had back to work interview yet either so dont know what to expect. Im scared stiff! Nothing has been mentioned about trying to make adjustments to my working conditions! :(:cry:
  • dorcasdorcas Posts: 3,538
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Lorica and welcome to the forum. :D

    WOW :!: you are going through it just now... it's a tough enough time to be undertaking investigations and waiting for diagnosis, having pain and then on top of that having worries about work. :roll:

    First of all you need to ask yourself the question...is this the job for you :?: I know you really want to work but what is this very physical, heavy type of work doing to your joints :?:

    You haven't been served well by jobcentreplus who SHOULD have provided you with an Access to Work Assessment when you first approached them. :shock: but it isn't too late to speak to them again ( for this job or in preparation for the next). You need to be clear that you have a qualifying condition under DDA and therefore have a right to have your need for support assessed.
    It's a sad fact that not all DEA advisers are competent and by the sounds of it the DEA you spoke to last year was a numpty...... but you can complain if after being screened you are not happy with the outcome (I did this and was re-assessed)

    The issues with your 'new' employer are complex...they didn't ask and you didn't declare a disability when you started with them. Now it is becoming apparent that you do have a disabling condition AND it's affecting your work....... and... more importantly, your health.
    Additionally you are on 'probation' which I assume is based on an assessment of competency in the job?
    I don't have the expertise to advise you on this as it involves employment law so would advise you to speak to the union (if you are in one?) or if not in the union speak to CAB who can get specialist employment law and DDA advice for you. ....but from a 'layman's point of view it doesn't look too good as being on 'probation', I think, allows an employer to exercise discretion regarding keeping you on. :(

    Your docs sound grim and are not doing you any favours by having such an offhand and disinterested approach... :!: you need proper medical advice, treatment and support...so...if you're not happy with your GPs suggest changing and registering elsewhere. :roll:

    I'm so sorry that this is happening to you. :( and I wish I could offer you better support. :oops:

    Can I suggest you phone our helpline :?: the numbers at the top of the page.....you've got so much to deal with, and they can talk things through with you which might help you get a perspective on all of this. I found them really really helpful when I was going through a bad time at work.

    take care....Iris x
  • dorcasdorcas Posts: 3,538
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    dorcas wrote:
    Hello Lorica and welcome to the forum. :D

    WOW :!: you are going through it just now... it's a tough enough time to be undertaking investigations and waiting for diagnosis, having pain and then on top of that having worries about work. :roll:

    First of all you need to ask yourself the question...is this the job for you :?: I know you really want to work but what is this very physical, heavy type of work doing to your joints :?:

    You haven't been served well by jobcentreplus who SHOULD have provided you with an Access to Work Assessment when you first approached them. :shock: but it isn't too late to speak to them again ( for this job or in preparation for the next). You need to be clear that you have a qualifying condition under DDA and therefore have a right to have your need for support assessed.
    It's a sad fact that not all DEA advisers are competent and by the sounds of it the DEA you spoke to last year was a numpty...... but you can complain if after being screened you are not happy with the outcome (I did this and was re-assessed)

    The issues with your 'new' employer are complex...they didn't ask and you didn't declare a disability when you started with them. Now it is becoming apparent that you do have a disabling condition AND it's affecting your work....... and... more importantly, your health.
    Additionally you are on 'probation' which I assume is based on an assessment of competency in the job?
    I don't have the expertise to advise you on this as it involves employment law so would advise you to speak to the union (if you are in one?) or if not in the union speak to CAB who can get specialist employment law and DDA advice for you. ....but from a 'layman's point of view it doesn't look too good as being on 'probation', I think, allows an employer to exercise discretion regarding keeping you on. :(

    Your docs sound grim and are not doing you any favours by having such an offhand and disinterested approach... :!: you need proper medical advice, treatment and support...so...if you're not happy with your GPs suggest changing and registering elsewhere. :roll:

    I'm so sorry that this is happening to you. :( and I wish I could offer you better support. :oops:

    Can I suggest you phone our helpline :?: the numbers at the top of the page.....you've got so much to deal with, and they can talk things through with you which might help you get a perspective on all of this. I found them really really helpful when I was going through a bad time at work.

    remember too that we are here for you. take care....Iris x
  • loricalorica Posts: 187
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Dorcas and Pixy

    I have asked myself the question about work.... :? unfortunatly i cannot afford not to work, I had 6 months between been made redundant (I didnt qualify for any redundancy payout as i was made redundant a month before i would have been there a year... convieniant) from last job and starting this job, the job centre stopped my benefits a week before i started work as i was on job seekers and i only qualified for it for 6 months they said i would not get any other benefits as my wife earns £15k a year yet with her monthly wage and my benefits i was still £50 a month short :!: I was also told i proberly wouldnt get DLA, and if i applied i would be refused first time and would need to fight the refusal to get any money :!:
    When I applied for the job the advert never said anything about deliveries etc from what i read i would be working on the shop floor serving customers :!: I have also been told i'm too slow, and when im in a lot of pain i can get a little confused and forgetful. my face is often screwed up in pain especially when walking and carrying goods up and down stairs :cry:

    My usual GP is fantastic :D unfortunatly he was taken ill so could only see the GP that I avoid at all cost :( I made a new appointment for my usual GP :!:

    I knew of the existance of the DDA, but not about how it would impact on me I was very interested to read the DDA definition of a disability it certainly opened my eyes :shock:

    I dont know if its a male pride thing but i find it hard the fact my wife is the main wage erner and i struggle to make an money i feel guilty and useless failing in my male duties to provide for my family :cry: My wife is brilliant she tries to look after me the best she can but she too has many health problems and i struggle to look after her when she is suffering :cry: Dipression is often by my side making me feel worse :cry:

    Thanks
    Mark
  • dorcasdorcas Posts: 3,538
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello again Mark,

    I can well understand that you need to work and want to work...and it does sound as though your employer didn't give you enough info on what the job entailed which has put you in this rotten position. If you want to read up on DDA etc there is some really helpful info on this site...just click on 'Publication and Resources' link at the top of the page and you'll see on the next 'page' on the left another link to 'Work and Independence'. It gives a lot of info about what your rights are and explains better than I can about DDA.

    Sometimes life kicks us in the teeth and I'm sorry to read about the no redundancy and the ceiling for getting benefits that you've highlighted.
    I would not accept that you shouldn't apply for DLA though :!: check the directgov website for eligibility criteria, but a very rough guide is that you should have the condition for six months before applying and are likely to have the same limiting condition for the next six months. (please check it out for yourself on the website.!) I would STRONGLY advise you ask CAB to complete the DLA application as they are excellent at filing these forms out and will ask you all the right questions etc.

    It cannot be easy feeling that you are not fulfilling your male 'role' and I'm not going to patronise you with platitudes..........but you ARE doing all you can despite this damned condition, and you ARE giving your wife support with her illness.
    We are the harshest judges of ourselves?! but please remember that you have not chosen to have arthritis and are not shirking from trying to be employed and earning...so less of the beating yourself up :wink:

    I hope things do get better for both of you...I have an adult son who has had depression now for 7yrs..so am sending your partner some (((HUGS))) too.

    Don't struggle on your own Mark!....speak to the helpline and keep posting too. Iris x
  • speedalongspeedalong Posts: 3,347
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Mark, unloading deliveries doesn't sound much like a Customer services assistant!! I thought a customer services assistant was someone who assisted customer services ie worked with the customers ... You do need some help and advice with this - and this thread seems to have come up with lots of useful suggestions of what to do. What did you say you did before you were made redundant? Did that line of work suit you better? Of course you need to be earning - but unloading deliveries is not the job for you - your poor joints.

    Let's hope your GP is better and back seeing patients again soon.

    Speedalong
    I have had OA since mid twenties. It affects my hips and knees. I had a THR on the left aged 30 and now have a resurface-replacement on the right - done May 2010.
  • markc1markc1 Posts: 253
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    dorcas wrote:
    Hello again Mark,

    I can well understand that you need to work and want to work...and it does sound as though your employer didn't give you enough info on what the job entailed which has put you in this rotten position. If you want to read up on DDA etc there is some really helpful info on this site...just click on 'Publication and Resources' link at the top of the page and you'll see on the next 'page' on the left another link to 'Work and Independence'. It gives a lot of info about what your rights are and explains better than I can about DDA.

    Sometimes life kicks us in the teeth and I'm sorry to read about the no redundancy and the ceiling for getting benefits that you've highlighted.
    I would not accept that you shouldn't apply for DLA though :!: check the directgov website for eligibility criteria, but a very rough guide is that you should have the condition for six months before applying and are likely to have the same limiting condition for the next six months. (please check it out for yourself on the website.!) I would STRONGLY advise you ask CAB to complete the DLA application as they are excellent at filing these forms out and will ask you all the right questions etc.

    It cannot be easy feeling that you are not fulfilling your male 'role' and I'm not going to patronise you with platitudes..........but you ARE doing all you can despite this damned condition, and you ARE giving your wife support with her illness.
    We are the harshest judges of ourselves?! but please remember that you have not chosen to have arthritis and are not shirking from trying to be employed and earning...so less of the beating yourself up :wink:

    I hope things do get better for both of you...I have an adult son who has had depression now for 7yrs..so am sending your partner some (((HUGS))) too.

    Don't struggle on your own Mark!....speak to the helpline and keep posting too. Iris x

    Well said Iris.
  • maria09maria09 Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Mark,
    Just want to offer you my support
    Many of us have issues with our employers! So we know what you are going through!
    You would think they would be happy we are trying to work! But no! Ive got a written warning for my Arthur which even after appeal still stands! :x
    Dont let them ground you down try & keep strong
    Maria x
  • markc1markc1 Posts: 253
    edited 29. Mar 2010, 06:01
    From one Mark to another...you will have to fight all the way, and i mean fight,for anything you want/need.
    There will be days when you don't feel up to it but you will have to.Loads of help on here so you are not alone.Ask us and we will help.Your first stop is union(don't laugh)and your CAB with your DLA forms get that in ASAP.

    Good luck!! :roll:
  • markc1markc1 Posts: 253
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    markc1 wrote:
    From one Mark to another...you will have to fight all the way, and i mean fight,for anything you want/need.
    There will be days when you don't feel up to it but you will have to.Loads of help on here so you are not alone.Ask us and we will help.Your first stop is union(don't laugh)and your CAB with your DLA forms get that in ASAP.Don't rely on DDA,not worth paper its written on.Customer service people don't hump boxes about either!!

    Good luck!! :roll:
  • cutieclairecutieclaire Posts: 134
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Mark and welcome,

    I agree with everyone. Fight it all the way. I have had issues with my employers and I would recommend you going with someone and ask for an access to work and apparently DDA is nearly always declined the 1st time. The more people who fight the more they have to listen.

    I totally understand the having to work but please, If you havent got your health you havent got anything else really. Maybe you could look for other employment whilst at this job.

    Hope the GP app goes ok and hope you get to feel better really soon.

    Love Claire
    xxxxx
  • loricalorica Posts: 187
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all for your kind words and support.

    I had a return to work interview and was asked if i was fit to work! I asked what do you mean by fit? she didnt answer. Think she was hinting at am i pain free. I said i have a pain daily.

    The manager also made a comment that im too slow at my job. She wants the doctor to say im unfit to work so they can release me from my contract. But when I applied for the job he said I was ok to work. Over weekend joined a union (just in case!) My week off sick is as far as i know been treated as sickness even tho the company has a poilicy that states if you are off sick due to a disability then it is treated differently to a normal sickness (hope that makes sense) :?:

    I'll keep you all informed

    Mark
  • dorcasdorcas Posts: 3,538
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    makes perfect sense Mark. :!:

    If your employer's own policy states that 'disability leave' should not count in any calculation of sickness absence (that could result in disciplinary action) then you have a strong case.
    I'm glad you have joined a union as it sounds as though you will need there intervention. I would put into writing the disability leave issue and ask that they confirm the position regarding this time off.

    A wee bit of advice (given to me by an Occy doc) make sure that any self certs or doc sickness certificates state 'arthritis' as the main reason for being off work, otherwise you are not covered and those days will count towards calculating disciplinary action. (hope that makes sense?)

    In addition to our website here have a look at http://www.nras.org.uk they have really good booklets on DDA and work. The one ' I want to Work: A guide for People with RA' is full of clear info and guidance.(it is still applicable for peeps with any of the arthers) They also do one for employers...

    I know folks say DDA doesn't work...and they are right..it doesn't work as long as employers either don't know the law or ignore their duties towards people with disabilities.
    Unfortunately a lot of the time (majority of the time) employers don't take their responsibilities seriously and we suffer as a consequence.

    It's up to us to MAKE it work ...but it does mean that you have to learn as much as you can about DDA and how how to use it to your advantage....and that can include educating your boss. It's time consuming and stressful.

    I wrote to my MP about this same issue when I was having difficulties at work and not getting help......I wish everyone who's had a rotten experience of trying to get support under DDA would do the same....maybe then we would have a change in attitude.

    good luck Mark!

    how are you feeling now?

    (sorry for waffling on..I'm just passionate about all of this)

    Iris x
  • loricalorica Posts: 187
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi all,

    Today i had day off and an appointment to see my GP. We had a interesting conversation :!:
    He mentioned that my employer has a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments. He also recommended that I ask for a Occy Health appointment and they should arrange one for me.

    The Doctor gave me a sick note with section A highlighted "Fit to Work" and in the comments section he listed what I couldnt do and the condition listed is Psoriatic Arthritis. So the meeting with my boss tomorrow is going to be intersting :!:

    Not looking forward to it! But will be interested to see the bosses reaction.
  • loricalorica Posts: 187
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi all

    Just a bit of an update. :( Had a meeting with the deputy manager as manager was out of the building. The deputy wanted to send me home. The word 'Disabled' came up and the deputy looked like a rabbit in the headlights, :shock: quickly becoming rather flustered. In the end I was allowed to stay. I was given duities that didnt include heavy lifting etc and i was told if i needed to lift anything heavy then i was to ask someone else to do it.

    following day I had a meeting with the manager. the manager recorded what i couldnt do, it was said that I couldnt do deliveries and this was recorded. The manager said she had a duty of care, she is going to approach HR to ask for guidance :!: :( and would ask about a Occy Heath appointment. I was asked about reducing my hours I said I would have to look at it as it would have a financial impact the reply i got back was your health is more important, and they have now reduced my hours, i mentioned that having two days off together would proberly be helpful, i suggested that I had an extra half hour added to my day to allow this told no not sure how i would cope so felt it wasnt possible. I have now had 4 hours taken off me. and been told im still doing deliveries... :cry:
  • dorcasdorcas Posts: 3,538
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Your bosses have a very strange way of fulfilling their duties under DDA. :shock:
    your manager KNOWS she has a duty of care but it appears she doesn't have a clue about disability law, equality or human rights.

    They cannot just 'decide' to cut your hours against your wishes and label it 'for the good of your health'...it is NOT for them to decide and you have a right to have your needs properly assessed BEFORE decisions to reduce your hours/ change your workload are made. :x

    ....if your employer has under Health & Safety RISK assessed that your normal hours or tasks need to be modified while they wait for Occy health, then they should continue to give you full pay until after the docs assessment and report has been done!

    They have also completely ignored what you were saying which is a basic breach of equality & discrimination guidance and if they ask you to do work which you have now told them is potentially damaging to your health they leave themselves wide open and liable under DDA.

    I really hope that you can speak to your union asap...as your union needs to act quickly ...in writing....to point out the legal errors they are making and get your employer to think again and consider/ meet their responsibilities under DDA.

    Sorry this must be very worrying and stressful for you.....keep your chin up...we are here to support you in any way we can...even if it is just listening.

    Iris x
  • maria09maria09 Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    lorica wrote:
    Thank you all for your kind words and support.

    I had a return to work interview and was asked if i was fit to work! I asked what do you mean by fit? she didnt answer. Think she was hinting at am i pain free. I said i have a pain daily.

    The manager also made a comment that im too slow at my job. She wants the doctor to say im unfit to work so they can release me from my contract. But when I applied for the job he said I was ok to work. Over weekend joined a union (just in case!) My week off sick is as far as i know been treated as sickness even tho the company has a poilicy that states if you are off sick due to a disability then it is treated differently to a normal sickness (hope that makes sense) :?:

    I'll keep you all informed

    Mark
    Depends what they class as a disability! Ive got a written warning for my sickness due to arthritis even after appeal they also did not understand that i still had pain 24/7 even with my medication they are ignorant! Take care maria
  • dorcasdorcas Posts: 3,538
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi maria,
    haven't seen you posting very much recently....you ok?

    Iris x
  • loricalorica Posts: 187
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    What you make of this then.... :?: :x

    My manager is not happy about me limping, this morning at work I was asked if i was ok, i just replied sore and tired, (Not had much sleep) the manager mentioned she had seen me limping and felt my limping needs monitoring and if it gets worse they will have to deal with it ..... :!:
  • dorcasdorcas Posts: 3,538
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    What I think...isn't printable :!: your manager is completely out of order making a comment like that....it is so obviously discrimination!

    ...what did she mean 'they will have to deal with it' :?: :x

    What are the union saying about all this? they should be challenging your employer and not sitting on the fence waiting for 'them' to make even more blunders. Failure on the union's part to act now can only make the task of getting your employer's to meet their responsibilities under DDA more difficult.

    Perhaps (you should tell) the union to take the initiative by asking for a meeting with your boss and HR to discuss what has been said/ done and how that conflicts with disability and equality law.

    they are so far off track it's a wonder they can find their way to and from work!
    please don't stand for this...

    Iris x
  • speedalongspeedalong Posts: 3,347
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    lorica wrote:
    What you make of this then.... :?: :x

    My manager is not happy about me limping, this morning at work I was asked if i was ok, i just replied sore and tired, (Not had much sleep) the manager mentioned she had seen me limping and felt my limping needs monitoring and if it gets worse they will have to deal with it ..... :!:

    What a ridiculous thing to say!!

    Am flabbergasted.

    Naturally you are limping on purpose for the fun of it ...

    Speedalong
    I have had OA since mid twenties. It affects my hips and knees. I had a THR on the left aged 30 and now have a resurface-replacement on the right - done May 2010.
  • markc1markc1 Posts: 253
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    lorica wrote:
    What you make of this then.... :?: :x

    My manager is not happy about me limping, this morning at work I was asked if i was ok, i just replied sore and tired, (Not had much sleep) the manager mentioned she had seen me limping and felt my limping needs monitoring and if it gets worse they will have to deal with it ..... :!:

    Be cautious this is how my problem at work started,make sure you start keeping notes on what gets said to you times/dates etc.I wouldn't like you to be 'dealt with' like i was.What a really stupid thing to say to you. :roll:
  • loricalorica Posts: 187
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Not had a good day :!: not able to stand up straight! I still did my shift, even though it was painful and I was fighting off feeling sorry for myself. My Boss said I need to increase my speed, as my collegues wont put up with my slowness for long :!:

    Been asked again to think about work and the fact im not fit for the job.... :!: :cry:

    Nothing has happened regarding my request for a occy health appointment... :cry:

    Mark
  • loricalorica Posts: 187
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Occupation health referal has been refused :!:
  • speedalongspeedalong Posts: 3,347
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    lorica wrote:
    Occupation health referal has been refused :!:

    Hi you need some proper advice on this. I don't have any expertise in this area. Have you contacted the helpline? I don't know the law on this? I don't know whether they can refuse an occy health request....

    Iris .... where are you ...????

    Speedalong
    I have had OA since mid twenties. It affects my hips and knees. I had a THR on the left aged 30 and now have a resurface-replacement on the right - done May 2010.
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