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Return to work? or maybe not?

denpendenpen Posts: 389
Hi
I had THR nearly 4 months ago, I work in a shop which entails me standing for 5 hrs a day, carrying plastic totes of clothes through doorways when we have deliveries, I was going to return to work this week but I did some housework and it caused me quite a bit of discomfort for a couple of days so needless to say I didnt return to work this week, my GP gave me a sick note for another 2 weeks but said he cant see me going back then, he told me to talk to my manager about helping me back to work i.e. a phased return to work. I spoke to her today and she said she had spoken to HR this morning and I can have a phased return I normally work 20 hrs a week she said I can work 10 and take 10 holidays for the first 2 weeks I go back. She also told me that I have to be able to do the job because thats what I am being paid for.
Obviously I wont be physically fit for some time yet and her saying this made me realise that I will not be going back in 2 weeks time because I am still not fit enough.
Denise

Comments

  • speedalongspeedalong Posts: 3,347
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Denise,

    Is there any way your job could be adapted to make it more accessible to you - could you move the plastic totes on a trolley or do the doorways involve steps? Are you required to move around the whole time or could you perform some of your tasks sitting down? Would a perching stool help?

    I am in a similiar dilemma - I teach children with special needs and my job involves being constantly on the move, sitting on the floor, lifting children and rearranging furniture, lots of physical play, sitting on the floor and using low chairs etc So although I'm increasingly able to do things ,,, going back to work just yet is not an option.

    Marion had a workplace assessment arranged through the job centre disability advisor - would you be able to arrange one of these? Are you covered by DDA? I don't fully understand the process myself ... more experienced peeps will hopefully advise.

    Speedy
    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.
  • denpendenpen Posts: 389
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Speedy
    I assume that my employers are of the opinion that I have had my op now so I should be fit to return to work without any special adaptations, which I suppose is true no more arthur in my hip!!
    I have spoken to my manager the last 2 weeks and both times she has stressed that I have to be physically fit to do the job, last time she said the company pay me to do the job so I have to be fit enough to do it. We do have a trolley that we can move the totes around on but its just the same it means lifting them onto it and manovering the trolley through the doorway our stockroom is like a passageway so not much room for manouvering and all the twisting and turning isnt very good so I may as well carry them into the shop.
    Really I need to find a different job. I used to be a support worker too only with adults with learning disabilities which I did enjoy but which entailed long shifts and sleep-ins, I dont want to go back to those sort of hours again, I left the job because of my family and now I have little grandbabies I want to see them. MY best bet is to leave the job and look for another one, its only a minimum wage shop job for a tin pot firm so nothing lost if I leave, it not like its my careeer or anything and I really dont need the hastle.
    I will have a little more time to think about it because obviously I am not fit enough to return yet.
    Denise
  • marion1952marion1952 Posts: 996
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Denise

    Hmm, this is a tricky one...

    I've just gone back to work this week on a phased return (just 4 hours a day, 3 days this week) and it has been quite hard - and I do a desk job but with some walking about... I'm pretty sure I couldn't cope with a job that requires carrying and moving things and being on my feet most of the time..

    Speedy has asked the questions I would have asked you - eg about using a trolley, sitting for part of the time etc..

    I've had an assessment from Access to Work and they will pay half of some equipment that I need - my employer has to pay the other half... My Disability Support Officer helped to arrange the assessment - I had never heard of it before (although it does have a website)..

    It sounds like you are being quite realistic about things Denise.. I would say when you feel you are ready, give the job a try and if it doesn't work out, as you say, you can look for something else - to fit in with seeing your grandchildren..

    All the best

    Marion x
  • denpendenpen Posts: 389
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Marion
    I work 5 hr shifts 4 days a week (20 hrs), I work by myself most of the time so dont get a break just have to snatch a bite to eat whenever I can, I also work 1 in 3 sundays for 7 hrs by myself, (this is how mean my manager is 1 staff on a sunday - saves the company money that way) same goes - no break, sometimes I am lucky if I get a bite of my sandwhich by 3pm. We arent allowed a chair on the shop floor so that is not a option, but before my op I have been known to go sit in the back, but I had to keep getting up to see if anyone was in the shop. My manager is a company woman and they must come first in her eyes, when I first found out that I had arthur in my hips and I needed a replacement she said " can you still do your job". and I had to take holidays or swap my shifts for any hospital appointments that I had, because "our company wont pay for that" I dont have any misconceptions regarding my return to work, I know where I stand. Its just nice to be able to air my views.
    Denise
  • marion1952marion1952 Posts: 996
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Denise

    Your job sounds even tougher than I thought it was - and 7 hours, by yourself, one in 3 Sundays is a helluva long time .. !

    You're definitely doing the right thing not rushing back yet.. you need to look after your new hip!

    Marion x
  • dorcasdorcas Posts: 3,538
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Denise :D

    your employer is way off line with what they are saying and doing. :?

    A phased return should not include you using your annual leave.... and HR should be advising your manager so. If HR assess that you need a phased return then they still have to pay you as tough you were there full time.
    I fell into the same trap last year...until the union stepped in and told my employer that what they were proposing breaches disability law.

    Also your manager is wrong saying that you have to do the job you're employed to do. They have a responsibility to assess what support you will need to allow you to do your job, called 'reasonable adjustments'.
    You could also ask to speak to a Disability Employment Advisor at jobcentre plus who may also provide you and your employer with advice and support to keep you in your job.

    do you have an occupational health advisor? or a union?

    look into it first Denise to see what you are entitled to before making any decisions.

    iris x
  • denpendenpen Posts: 389
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Iris
    Thanks for that. No I dont have a occy health advisor or union rep, I am sure that if the union was involved our company wouldnt do half the things that they do, My Manager would have been hauled aver the coals many a time for the things she says, she knew she had said the wrong thing last time when she asked if I could still do my job when I found I had arthur in my hips, she did come to the shop to appologise and said she hadnt intended for it to sound the way it did, and so she should have I was absolutely fuming. HR always say that if you have a problem speak to your manager which isnt much use in my case.
    To be honest I dont want to stay there any longer they are not the best people to work for, and I dont need the stress of it, its not like its a important worthwhile career its about time I found a alternative position somewhere else.
    Denise.
  • dorcasdorcas Posts: 3,538
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Denise,

    sounds as though you have made up your mind about what you want to do... good on you. you definitely could do with less stress with having the pain of arther to deal with . that manager and HR have been nothing short of useless.

    It's awful what happens to so many of us in the workplace who have a disability..the whole process doesn't work unless you know how to press all the right buttons and keep on challenging the employers....and it just shouldn't be that way.

    hope you do find something else more suitable...but it's worth maybe remembering that the Disability Employment Advisor can still give you advice and support with your next job. :wink:

    good luck Denise :!: hope you keep well,

    iris x
  • amboriticamboritic Posts: 66
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Don't think having a Union will help denpen, I have been in Unison since joining the NHS and they are firmly in the pocket of senior management, not wanting to the rock the boat, even signing up for things without consulting the membership, also not forgeting the stitch-up that was A4C in my trust
    With parts of our job, missed out, to get us into Band 5.
  • denpendenpen Posts: 389
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    I spoke to manager today, I told her that I had taken onboard what she said about me having to be fit enough to do the job the company pays me for and that I am not fit enough, so I wont be returning to work yet, she was fully supportive and told me again that I have to be fully fit to do this job and that I dont want to have any set backs after such a major operation and that its only a job at the end of the day and my health is more important.
    I am sorry but I still believe that she is up to something and would like nothing more than if I didnt return EVER.
    Denise
  • marion1952marion1952 Posts: 996
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Denise

    Good idea to be sceptical!!

    Marion
  • speedalongspeedalong Posts: 3,347
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Denise,

    my headteacher is rather like your boss, I think he prefers me off - insurance covers my wages and he is probably saving money having me off. He said to my last year's teaching assistants that he wouldn't want me to return before I was ready, overdo it too soon, (translation - it is cheaper for him to have me off work, if I return and struggle and take a few days off - it will be more costly because he would have to buy in supply out of his cover budget. I can see his point but if he was more careful about where he placed me this would be less likely to happen!!

    Marion is right, take it with a pinch of salt.

    Keep us updated.

    Speedy
    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.
  • chris7chris7 Posts: 2,696
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Denise

    Only just catching up to see this. So sorry you are being treated in such an off hand manner by your boss, when you don't feel fit and ready to return. You have been given good advise here. I am trying to plan ahead before I get to my THR and recently saw the Disability Advisor at the job centre. She was very helpful and did explain about the Access to work assessments which you can request if you felt that would help. I don't see why you can't have a stool on the shop floor at less busy times. Do think about an appointment with your local job centre if you haven't already done so. The person I saw was also very encouraging about helping to find a different job if you feel that is something you need to consider. Let us know how you get on.
    good luck and take care
    Chris
  • janie68janie68 Posts: 1,186
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Your trust were not the only one, I think most trusts did stitch up the staff. I too got band 5 but doing band 6 workWill the RCN fight our corner for a pay rise this year? Doubt it, Cameron saw to that but they should still fight for us.

    Janie
    amboritic wrote:
    Don't think having a Union will help denpen, I have been in Unison since joining the NHS and they are firmly in the pocket of senior management, not wanting to the rock the boat, even signing up for things without consulting the membership, also not forgeting the stitch-up that was A4C in my trust
    With parts of our job, missed out, to get us into Band 5.
  • amboriticamboritic Posts: 66
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I sometimes wish I had never joined the NHS, but then I think about all the lives that have been saved due to my direct intervention and reaslise that it was a sacrifice that was worth it.

    If only management looked after staff in the same way as they look after themselves, the most recent development in my TRust is they are bringing in loads of senior management on short term contracts so that they can then have a big cutback to appease the DoH whilst all the jobs for the boys are safe.
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