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Going back to work

I have been shielding for 12 weeks due to taking Methotrexate. Work rang last week and said 12 weeks furlough up and can I go back next Monday otherwise I will be on sick pay. From the beginning of my shielding, my rheumatology nurse rang me and said due to where we live which is extremely rural that I could go out once a day to walk my dog as long as I kept safe, which I have done so. I am now concerned about going back to work and seeing people again, there are only four people in the office and desks are well apart, external staff won't be allowed into office whilst I am there to try and protect me. Normally I am a very confident capable individual, but these past 12 week have left me lacking confidence etc and well like everyone in this situation feel very vulnerable at the thought of meeting people again and keeping my health safe.


  • MoWWMoWW Posts: 41 mod


    thank you for your post.

    I appreciate this is a difficult time for you and anyone who has been shielding, who now faces the prospect of returning to work.

    As you have been furloughed, your employer may be able to extend this for you. While your employer has made every effort to ensure staff stay safe when returning to work, for those staff who have a condition that means they have been advised to shield, additional discussions are required to ensure that you are protected.

    I have included in this post some links to organisations that provide advice on this. If you are a member of a union check out their guidance too.

    Our information is updated regularly. Guidance for those who should shield is on our website.https://www.versusarthritis.org/news/2020/april/coronavirus-covid-19-and-arthritis-where-to-go-for-information/

    If you have a letter advising you to shield, check the links on this, which should signpost to your nation specific advice. In addition, links to each nation can be found within the link above to our website.

    BSR, British Society for Rheumatology has produced some guidance and signpost to our website. https://www.rheumatology.org.uk/covid-19/

    The Government Co-vid 19 information https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

    I hope this information helps you to have an informed discussion with your employer, on the support they can put in place now, and for the future when you do return to work.

    Please let us know how you get on.


  • TreesTrees Posts: 9
    Thank you so much for advice and information, really helpful and yes will let you know how I get on x
  • TreesTrees Posts: 9

    Hello, update on work as just gone back this week. Wasn't as bad as first thought, everything in place for me to go back and just taking it day by day, confidence has come back after just a few days, think its good to be back in routine again, so happy days.

  • frogmortonfrogmorton Posts: 25,245 ✭✭✭

    Trees I am so very pleased to hear you are back at work happy and feeling safe!


    Toni xxx
  • Kazza52Kazza52 Posts: 34

    I have heard from my employer that they have complied with strict Covid 19 protocols in the office where I work and they have told me that they expect me to return to work on the 3rd August after shielding has ended. I have not worked since March when my employer furloughed me due to me being high risk due to my Rheumatoid Arthritis.

    I am a bit nervous about going back to work after four months shielding but I will make sure that I look after myself as safely as possible.

    Stay safe everyone. 🐶

    edited 20. Jul 2020, 12:01

    BEST luck be patient give urself least 1 week to seetle back into routine . I 56 lwr back condition 2nd degenrative changes arthrittiss mobility issues walk 20-50 meteres 1 go standing ques painfull . WORK work agentcy 20-30 hrs week 2, 3 days ZERO HOURS enough now . like ur seklf no work avaialble since 27 march 4 mouths 16 weeks . CLAIMED UNICREDIT UC . @ 56 PAYED 40 YRS CLASS1 STAMP / NI/TAX LIMIT GET FULL OAP PNSTION 35 YRS SO THATS PAYED FOR . ALSO NOW 3 milltion out work bosses can pick choose if ur over 50 + health issues hard younger fit person gets job . CANT retie early now 62 WORK 66 TO CLAIM OAP BESPITE IVE ALREADY PAID FOR IT . . STAY SAFE

  • Hi, I've been shielding as I'm on Methotrexate and Infliximab. I live in Scotland. I've been asked to go back to work when shielding ends, although I cannot always stay 2m from people while working as I work with 6 people in supported living accommodation, and I should do personal care, help residents to cook, give medication, serve food etc. I've been told to wear a mask if not able to stay 2m distance wash my hands and touched surfaces more and use gel. No one else in the unit is obliged to wear a mask. I have been offered unpaid leave if I feel I can't work. I live on my own in rented accommodation and have already lost 20% of my wage X4 months so this is not an option. I am speaking to my GP about a fit note to try and see if SSP is available after Aug 1st. I have found no information about furlough being available after shielding if I still can't work but my workplace is open. All the info in links is still about shielding.

  • MarzMacMarzMac Posts: 46 mod
    edited 27. Jul 2020, 16:20

    Hi @LizaJane

    Welcome to our online community and thanks for your question. This community has a large number of daily visitors so hopefully it won't be long before someone else responds.

    You told us you've been shielding because of the medications you take and have now been asked to return to work in supported accommodation. We have a Working Well with Arthritis service in Scotland - you'll find the details here. Or you can email [email protected] to contact Mo for more tailored guidance. Were you advised to shield by NHS Scotland? This might make a difference to which guidance you should follow so please let Mo know the circumstances in your email. It might also be useful to state the nature of your employer - private business, public service, or charitable organisation?

    You'll find a series of questions about this topic answered on our website https://www.versusarthritis.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-employment-and-work-information/ and there are specific pages for Scotland with regard to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

    There are also useful sections on this subject from ACAS https://www.acas.org.uk/working-safely-coronavirus/returning-to-the-workplace.

    I hope that's not too much information and you find some of it useful. Do go to Say Hello when you have time and give us a fuller introduction so we can get to know you. 😏

    Best wishes


  • Thanks, some good information there..

  • Also there's some guidance for employers on SCVO website you might find interesting: https://scvo.org.uk/support/running-your-organisation/leaving-lockdown/supporting-staff-volunteers

    Best of luck


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