Problem with Osteoarthritis at work

Hi,

I recently started a seasonal job that I thought I could cope with but I didn’t estimate my ability correctly.

The job involves a lot of standing and I recently needed to stand and walk for a 12-hour shift with the exception of a 45 minute and 30-minute break. The pain started getting worse as the day went on and 4 hours before my workday ended I needed to take paracetamol with codeine tablet. When I got on the bus for my over 70-minute ride home I was in agony, my feet, and knees were hurting so bad I was in tears. I could not sleep well and only fell asleep for a bit due to being so tired, the next morning I was still in pain and needed to call in sick.

I have had 8 and 6-hour shifts too which were not as bad but I was still in pain but worked through it.

I have told my supervisors about my condition and asked if I could have any assistance, but nothing has been offered. Maybe due to the nature of the job, nothing can be done and it is my fault for taking on the job in the first place.

I have been scheduled for three 12 hour shifts in a row next week, two 12 hours, one 8 hours, and 6 hours the following week, the week after I have one 12 hours and two 6 hours.

I am on a zero-hour contract that ends at the beginning of January and I know I can refuse the shifts but I feel bad letting anyone down as they were good enough to give me the job and this has been my first paid job in a very long time.

On the other hand, I am making myself ill doing this job and want to hand in my notice.

I just don't know what to do for the best, any advice would be most appreciated.

MichieMich

Comments

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    I would not worry about letting anyone down, your health comes first.

  • Hi MichieMich,

    Thank you for posting on our helpline forum, I am really sorry to hear how your condition is impacting your work and everyday life. It is also such a shame because work can provide us with a sense of purpose but having arthritis or joint pain can pose some challenges, however work is feasible for most people with the right support that you are entitled to, which will help you do your job to the best of your ability.

    I am pleased that you have mentioned this to your supervisor but I would have thought the supervisor would have put something into place to help you because we are all protected by the 2010 Equality act, so as long as you tell your employer about your arthritis, or HR department the 2010 equality act makes it unlawful for employers to treat anyone with arthritis or a related condition less favourably and should also put in reasonable adjustments to your working environment, like providing you with special equipment, possibly a chair.

    You could also ask your GP if they would do you a letter to take to work to explain how your condition impacts your day-to-day life. But like Mike1 has said your health comes first and probably weighing up the pros and cons of if you should carry on doing this job is important, so please do not feel bad as you need to put yourself first.


    If at any point it would help you to talk things through informally and in confidence to one of our Helpline advisors about how you are feeling you are more than welcome to call our Free Helpline on 0800 5200 520 weekdays 9am – 6pm.

    Best wishes

    Chris

    Helpline Advisor

  • Brooky63
    Brooky63 Member Posts: 4

    I have osteoarthritis in my neck hands both knees And back, and also both feet I have been of work for 5weeks with the pain I am worried for my job as I work as a heavy machinery driver I also have vibration white finger and copd is there any help and support if I finish work or get finished Iam 58 and worried for my income please help

  • Hi Brooky63,

    Thank you for posting on our helpline forum, I am sorry to hear how your conditions is affecting you and that it has caused you to take time off work, but please try not to worry as long as work are aware of this, they are there to support you either whilst you are at work or off sick.  It may be worth asking your doctor for a letter to take to work to explain how your condition affect your day-to-day life.

    If a person has arthritis, they may not be able to work so there is support available, there are several benefits available, this could be Personal independence payment (PIP) which helps to cover the cost if a person needs help with taking part in everyday life. You can claim if you are working, it is not means-tested so does not affect your earning or benefits you receive or saving you may have. You need to be 16-64 in the UK for two or more years. For more information the best people to speak to would be the Citizen Advise who are the benefit experts. You could also have a look at the benefit calculator at Turn2us which I have attached below.

    You mention also how much pain that you are in at the moment, if you feel that your currant medication isn’t working for you and because you have Osteoarthritis (OA) it may be worth asking your doctor for a complementary treatment called Capsaicin cream, I have also attached a link for more information about this cream below.

    If at any point it would help you to talk things through informally and in confidence to one of our Helpline advisors about how you are feeling you are more than welcome to call our Free Helpline on 0800 5200 520 weekdays 9am – 6pm.

    Best wishes

    Chris

    Helpline Advisor

     

     

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