Off sick since November feeling under pressure to return

parky2 Member Posts: 52
Hi All

Hoping someone can offer me some advice. I have been off work since November after being diagnosed with RA and having what seems like a continuous flare.

I have recently started methetrexate and plaquinil (sorry not sure if they are spelt right) and have never felt so sick in my life. Its strange because I know Im not actually going to be sick just feel so ill. Pains and stiffness is still as bad as ever and to be honest Im feeling pretty low.

Anyway........I had a meeting with my manager 3 weeks ago, just before I started meds, and we said we would see how I got on with them and that I would contact her. However this week she has phoned me 3 times, yip three times and this is only wednesday! First two were claiming she hadnt received my sick line which apparently has been on her desk since the day after it was posted, both of these conversations she asked me how I was feeling and did I know when I planned to return to work. This morning she has phoned me to say she wants to arrange another meeting for next week to see 'what my intentions are' whatever that is supposed to mean!

I have been to OH and she has the report and a letter from my GP all saying the same thing, that my RA at the moment is not controlled, etc. I really feel like she is putting me under a lot of pressure that I cant cope with at the moment. In the last meeting I started to cry (feel so stupid for that by the way) because I just felt like she was looking for me to say oh you know what **** it I will come back tomorrow!

I know I am entitled to have someone form the union in my meeting with me but I dont want it to look like I am going in with 'an attitude' if you know what I mean? What do you think the view would be if I was to take my daddy with me? He knows me, knows what is going on and is probably better at explaining these things than I am.

Any advice?

L xoxox


  • nearlybionic
    nearlybionic Member Posts: 1,899
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi L
    I am sorry that you are feeling so unwell, and I bet you could do without this added stress from work. I have been off since June 08 and had a meeting with OH last October. I took my mum with me, as my driver and my support. I was advised I could have someone from the union there but, like you I didn`t feel it was what I wanted. I don`t know the union person, and more importantly, they don`t know me or how I feel etc..
    The union could be helpful to you if you think your boss is being unreasonable , contacting you so often. They can advise you of what your boss`s responsibilities are to someone on longterm sick.
    I hope that your new meds start to work for you and the side effects wear off soon.
    NB :)
  • michelle22
    michelle22 Member Posts: 93
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Parky I hope that you are feeling a bit better now that you have that off your chest. I would advise you to get in contact with your union they can be a welth of information and take them with you to the interview. i think what they are doing is wrong to call you so much I would if nothing else talk to your union rep about the amount of phone calls that you are receiving.
  • woodbon
    woodbon Member Posts: 4,969
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    HI, Sorry you've got so many worries - you could do without the pressure. I am in your position, I've been signed off since the autumn and I know how hard it is to stay positive.

    I think you should take your Dad or someone with you, I took my husband. It gives you support and also someone to help remember what is said. I told my manager in advance, and she was fine with it and said she would have someone from HR, as shes new to the job! I do also think you should talk to the union, especially as your manager is putting pressure on you, they can tell you what your rights are, and also be informed if, in the long run, you do feel the need to call them in. They will not do anything without your permission, and it is confidential, so don't worry on that score. My husband tells me thats what I pay them for!

    Well, I'm sorry, i seem to have written a lot :!: :) Good luck with your meeting! :D
  • eckstardeluxe
    eckstardeluxe Member Posts: 1,192
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Does your work have a Dr they refer employees to? If so request a referral, the Dr will spend about an hour with you going over your condition and how it affects you. They will advise your work re sick leave and ensure any reasonable adjustments required for you to continue to work are put in place. You are covered under the DDA and so must not be treated differently from an able bodied person. I would actually go as far as saying the phone calls could be seen as harrassment. My ex-boss did this to me during my pregnancy after I got SPD where your pelvis seperates. I wrote every single thing down, every comment etc and then passed it to the Union. Within a week I was moved to a different Manager and referred to the works Dr. They were basically told to back off as it could be seen as discriminating me because of my pregnancy. Some employers seem to think they know better than Dr's. I'd get advice from the Union or ACAS asap. And don't worry about going in with the Union, that is your right as an employee to do so, an employer would also be on shaky ground if they treated you differently because of your Union membership. I know it would be nice to take a relative but trust me, the Union will know everything inside and out and they love nothing more than getting one over on their employers. You pay your fees for a reason, so you are protected in this kind of situation. Don't give a monkeys about what they think, just take care of number 1.