Employment - cutting down hours

I thought I'd ask for some advice on here as I have requested an occupational health referral at work.


I'm struggling at work, I work in public sector and the workload is high, I'm stressed all the time and my back seems to flare up more when I'm stressed (recently diagnosed with facet joint syndrome and am still trying to get on top of managing it). I always end up working over my hours and struggle to take the time back.


After ages of trying to ignore things and muddle through I've finally asked for an OH referral to talk about my back and I've been thinking for a while that I'd like to cut down my hours from 5 days to 4.5 days a week.


I'm not registered disabled and I don't take sick days because of my back (tbh I probably push through too much but especially with working from home I feel like I might as well just work even if I'm in loads of pain) so am wondering if my employer would even consider allowing me to reduce my hours. I think my stubbornness may have backfired on me as I always say I'm fine, even when I'm not!


Is this something I can discuss with OH? I know they'll probably want to do a desk assessment which is tricky as I work from home and three different offices. The thought of starting to go back into work regularly is making me really anxious, it takes me a while to "get going" in the morning because my sleep is poor, and the thought of having to get up earlier again is filling me with dread.


My managers are pretty supportive but I'm not sure where I stand if I do ask for a small reduction in my hours. Does anyone have any advice for approaching this topic with an employer?

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Comments

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 330

    Hi Lcc86,

    I have dealt with this myself and I found the best way is to be honest, I like you kept going didn’t want to make a fuss but it took it’s toll,

    You can discuss with occupational health everything you need too and be as upfront and honest as you can they don’t bite in fact I was expecting them to be as awful as some managers can be but they were great, explain to your manager the problems your facing and they can refer you were all only human with human problems and very few can say they never need help sometimes

    hope all goes ok for you keep posting and take care

    love Jona 😊💪

  • Hi Lcc86

    Thank you for posting on the forum.

    I am sorry to hear that you are struggling at work, and the stress you mention unfortunately won’t be helpful for your back pain. Do talk to your GP about the pain you are experiencing and have a review of your medications if needed., You could also ask for a referral to physio as keeping moving is important.

    It seems as if you put in a lot of hours at work, it’s good to hear that you have asked for an occupational health referral.  I have read the response from Jona which I hope you will find helpful and I can only reiterate what Jona has said.

    I’m glad your managers are pretty supportive and reasonable adjustments is something that can be made, this would include altering work patterns and hours.  

    I can hear your anxieties of going back to work and understand your concerns, I wonder if it might be helpful for you to give us a call on our freephone helpline: 0800 5200 520 (weekdays 9am-8pm) here we can take our time to talk informally and in confidence.

    Best wishes

    Lynda

    Helpline advisor

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 330

    Hi, I honestly believe through all this pandemic employers should be able to accommodate workers with health problems to be able to continue to work from home maybe not all the time but when days are bad imagine the respect and productivity between them

    Some jobs it isn't viable but imagine a world where what could be 😊💪😉

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 330

    Hi, I honestly believe through all this pandemic employers should be able to accommodate workers with health problems to be able to continue to work from home maybe not all the time but when days are bad imagine the respect and productivity between them

    Some jobs it isn't viable but imagine a world where what could be 😊💪😉

  • Lcc86
    Lcc86 Member Posts: 29

    Thank you all for your advice. My manager has made the OH referral today so I will wait to see what they say when I talk to them. I definitely need to be more open and not just carry on pretending everything is fine because how can my employer be expected to help if I'm not telling them what the problem is! I will also try and call the helpline for advice before I speak to OH as well. Thank you 😊