Afraid of Redundancy Due to Lighter Duty Request

Inuitbiker Member Posts: 15
edited 4. Mar 2019, 05:13 in Living with arthritis
After recently being diagnosed with arthritis in my hip and knees i spoke to my Doctor about how I was struggling at work when doing heavy manual work. He said that it would be a good idea to speak to my Manager to see if it would be possible to get slightly lighter duties or change of job. To be honest I've been putting this off for ages but today when pushing a wheelbarrow my hip clicked momentarily and the 9 out of 10 pain shot through me and I collapsed on the ground. My work colleagues thought I had slipped.. Anyway I realised it was time I faced up to things so I went to see my manager and told him of my problem and asked if there was anyway they could consider allowing me to do slighly lighter duties.Basically I was told there was no chance but I could self refer to occupational health but that carried a risk that if I couldn't do the same as every one else I could be out of a job at some point in time. "Just telling you how it is ". Is how he put it. No empathy whatsoever.
I work for a local authority and like all of them they are cutting the workforce although most of the time it's been voluntary.
The question is I'm not sure what to do now. I said I didn't want to go off sick and that I wanted to work as long as possible and that with some slight modifications I could still go a good job. Didn't seen to cut any ice with him.
I asked him before leaving the office that I would be grateful if he could refer me despite his warnings as I know im going to make myself worse with the heavy lifting and shovelling i do every day.
What do others think. I'm thinking maybe I should ask him to cancel the appointment but then again I don't want to make my arthritis any worse than it is now. I'm very confused and unsure. I guess there's no easy answer or solution.


  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Things must be difficult and scary for you. Sadly I have no direct knowledge to share but two thoughts to offer. Firstly, if you belong to a union it might be helpful to ask for their advice and support, I suspect you aren't the first person in your area of work to ask for reasonable adjustments and they may be able to talk you through the way forward. Secondly, it may be worth speaking to the human resources/personnel department, they probably know more about the best way forward than your manager.
    Asking for help is a huge step, I really hope you can get the help and advice you need.
    Hopefully someone with better knowledge than me will be along soon, , in the meantime I wish you well.

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I can't help either because I was self-employed. I second dibdab's advice and would also consider contacting the CAB too. I don't often read through the Benefits and Working Matters board on here as neither apply to me but I wouldn't be surprised if this topic has arisen and there is the possibility that people have reported on the outcome of their employment dilemmas which will give you further information. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It might be worth looking at your employers disability policy as this may be useful to help you see your option. Also if you are in a union, speak to your union first as they will be able to support you. We do have a section on the website about working with arthritis that you might find useful here
    It might also be worth contacting your local citizens advice, here isa link to their section on work
    Let us know how you get on
    Best Wishes
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,686
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello again :D Have you seen the new thread entitles 'Equalities Act'? I think 'lozza' intended to put it on here but has started a new thread clearly intended for you.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Inuitbiker
    Inuitbiker Member Posts: 15
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks stickywicket for letting me know as I hadn't seen the posting.
    Thanks everyone for the advice I have followed all of it.

    I've been in touch with my unon and contacted HR

    I contacted HR anonymously at first but the lady I talked to was very supportive. Told me the conversation I had with my Manager wasnt right and didn't reflect actual policy.
    I've got meetings planned for next week where hopefully things will be sorted out properly. I know I can still do a great job for them. 

    Thank you for helping me. 

    I'll keep you updated
  • mellman01
    mellman01 Member Posts: 5,303
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I went though this in 2008-2012 for 4 years they tried to get rid of me but I took the union advice and hung on in there you walking would make it easer for them so don't?, I'd also plan for the worst ie industrial tribunal, I'd use e mail as much as I could evidence is key and DON'T say much to your work mates people leak info intentionally or accidentally so try and avoid telling them anything as it can come back round on you.

    As for me from early on HR told me they were going to sack me under capability thats a catch all bit of law that means by you getting ill your unable to formal the duties of your contract so are in breach it covers everything you turn up drunk or get ill there's no difference in law just try and hang on DON'T leave and if your in a union or not prepare for the worst case scenario ie industrial tribunal and if it goes to level 4 capability tell them you intended to go down the industrial tribunal route they will probably crack and offer you some kind of early retirement terms under any circumstances don't do their work for them and leave under your own steam hang on in there and tough.
  • Inuitbiker
    Inuitbiker Member Posts: 15
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for the advice mellman01. Your right this appears to be getting tougher than I expected. After my discussion on the phone last week and promise's of meetings I was hopeful but nothing's been done. The person I spoke to after telling me he could help now says it's all in the hands of management and I have to wait for referral to ocupational health. Oh and if my arthritis gets unbearable I just have to take sickness absence in the interim. . Whatever happened to duty of care I don't know. Thing is I know that informally they have given lighter duties to people with temporary health issues so I think it's all a bit unfair and as they refused me light duties even in the interim until my oc health meeting. I'm now starting to think that due to their lack of empathy they really do not want to help me at work so are they really going to help when they get a health report. No I really do think they are more likely to put me in a capability position. Oh well I'm not sure what to do now but your right I'm gonna dig in. I'm not giving in to this arthritis or walk away from a job I need.
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,280
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Inuitbiker
    Sorry I cant help , but see that the others have given you lots of advice..I do hope its all works out for you ..keep us informed..
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Inuitbiker
    Sorry to hear that HR seems to have gone cold on you. Unfortunately that is often the case, and I think the person you spoke to first probably exceeded her remit with her criticism of your manager's actions(even though she was right, he shouldn't have said what he did), which will have contributed to the apparent backtracking now. This is why you need to have the union involved.
    If you are not already doing it please keep a log of who you speak to -names, times, dates, and a summary of what was said. Consider printing off hard copies of emails. Where at all possible have someone with you at meetings - this is something the union can do.
    Regarding the difference with how other people have been treated for medical matters I think the clue is probably in the fact that they were temporary problems. Your employer was only facing limited (in terms of both time and extent) adjustments.
    It's a sad and frustrating fact that when we feel least able to do so we have to fight hard for what we should have.