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people’s rights as they return to work from lockdown, shielding and self-isolating.

Sharon_KSharon_K Administrator Posts: 259

Facebook live recording 

Acas advisers recently joined the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society to talk about people’s rights as they return to work from lockdown, shielding and self-isolating. 


  • Kazza52Kazza52 Member Posts: 68


    I went back to work after furlough due to being clinically vulnerable in the first week of August. Since then rather than improving my condition they have increased my working hours which I did not want and was basically told that if I did not agree to increasing my hours then I would be in a different secretarial role which would have added more pressure on me and could cause a flare up of my RA.

    When I first had my RA diagnosed four years ago my firm did nothing to improve my work station (I am a secretary) in a law firm. They did not do a desk assessment, gave me no equipment to help my condition, etc. The only thing they did was pay me whilst I was on sick leave which lasted three months. I have been at my firm for thirty years.

    Have any other members experienced similar issues in their workplace.

    Stay safe.



  • Mike1Mike1 Member Posts: 1,325

    Hi Karen, your employer has a LEGAL obligation to assess your work station under Health & Safety Law never mind the Disability Laws as well, if you check out the "Work and Financial" part of the forum you will find a lot of advice about getting things sorted at work. Plus there is the Disability Law Service, go to https://dls.org.uk/our-services/employment/ they can help with employers having to make reasonable adjustments for disabled staff.

  • Kazza52Kazza52 Member Posts: 68

    Hi Mike,

    Thank you for your post really helpful. Now shielding at home as now in lockdown. Told employer last week that I was shielding and now on furlough. I am happy to be at home in a risk free environment.

    Stay safe



  • Kazza52Kazza52 Member Posts: 68

    Last week received another letter stating that I have to shield until 21st February. Last Wednesday had a call from my employer stating that they were not putting me on furlough as they would like me to work from home which I have no problem with. Since last Thursday been working from home although everything on laptop seems to go slower than when I am in the office due to my broadband being too slow!! Today, I had a call from HR asking me whether I would be happy to return to work and work in a room by myself. I said no as according to the shielding letter I am not allowed to leave home even to go to work. The cheek of it! He then said that this evening he would be reviewing my productivity performance whilst I have been working at home and will come back to me next week as to whether me working at home was productive from their point of view. He also wants to see a copy of my shielding letter which I am more than happy to provide. I was diagnosed with RA in 2016 and have been at my firm for over 25 years. Two other members of staff who were supposed to shield have gone into work as "they would be bored at home." I feel as though I am being treated like a criminal because I have to shield and have chosen to protect myself and stay at home. Anyone else experienced the same problem?

    Stay safe

    Karen 🐶

  • frogmortonfrogmorton Member Posts: 26,345

    Oh dear me @Kazza52

    I bet that phone call made you feel under pressure. That's not fair at all. Thing is you have to get to work and back and you will need to use the 'facilities' so you won't really be in a room on your own will you?

    I think you ought to gently remind them how long you have worked there and how loyal an employee you are. This Virus is not your fault and your letter should protect you.

    Thinking of you ((()))


    Toni xxx
  • Mike1Mike1 Member Posts: 1,325

    And don't forget about Disability Discrimination!!

  • scotleagscotleag Member Posts: 20

    That's utterly scandalous.That letter specifically states not to travel. Are you in a union? You should contact your shop steward at once. If not (or additionally) Mike1's mention of disability discrimination is good advice.

  • AstAst Member Posts: 10


    it’s really hard, you feel bad enough being off in the first place. I have had similar from work, I am nhs and normally patient facing and really feel the pressure...I get it...nhs is so so desperate...but you have to look after yourself...easy to say to others but I find it just as hard... feel for you.

    I work part office part patient facing, office is shared with another team hotdesking, and a lot of adhoc footfall, and it can’t be even 2 metre wide... you have to squeeze past people to sit down. I have been working from home throughout, meds juggled a little since first lockdown but currently on 25 meth inj. Weekly, and painmeds. I managed to complicate things by saying I’m only cv now not cev as guidance had changed since March...that made works ears prick up, but the fact is as far as I understand cv and cev are both in the high risk group...and therefore the lockdown rules apply to cv and cev in terms of shielding ...I’ve had letters etc. anyone able to clarify This?

    But Kazza you do have to put you first,...but I do get it when they put pressure on, I was told to provide evidence of hour by hour breakdown of work to decide if I would be better redeployed somewhere, fortunately I’ve managed to getsome remote bits to do through the trust.

    Take care xx

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