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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I really need your advice or experience in this area.

Work are going to carry out a risk assessment on me on Wednesday concerning my lupus diagnosis.

I work in an office and most of the day is either spent in front of a computer, at meetings or out and about networking.

One thing that does knacker me out is the fact that I have a 200 mile round trip every six weeks for supervision with my line manager who is based in Essex. The organisation is also fairly remote in terms of head office (Rugby and London) so sometimes I'm required to travel there at the drop of a hat.

What sort of thing should I put into the assessment? Is this now just a way my work are going to find an excuse to get rid of me?

One thing I did think about asking for was three days working from home and two days in the office (three days a week my new deputy is here so it would be good not to crowd her).

Let me know your thoughts and ideas.
 

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A risk assessment is just that - the company will be looking to ensure that they minimize risks and identify where there may be work related factors that could pose a threat to your health. Employers have a duty of care for their staff. So it might be silly things like if you have joint pain, it's not a good idea for you to lift or carry heavy equipment. Is your office close to the car park or toilet facilities so you don't have to walk too far? Is your office a couple of flights of stairs with no lift access. For me, our office has huge glass windows and it's too hot - that was a risk to me so I'm moving to a smaller office with fewer windows with blinds.

Lupus would probably be classed as a disability, and there is legislation in place under the Disability Discrimination Act to ensure that you are not disadvantaged because of your condition. Employers are required to make reasonable adjustments to your work and workplace to accommodate you. This is very much separate to the risk assessment. It might include for example making an application under Access to Work for office equipment which might help you - I've just had a physiotherapist assess me and they've recommended the purchase of a high end office chair with neck rest and lumbar support. You can certainly request things like flexible working hours or working at home if your company allows it.

It certainly is not a way of them looking for an excuse to get rid of you - try and think of it as a positive experience, despite the frightening terminology! I always think great I'm thought of as a risk :eek:
 

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Hi, just wanted to wish you well for your risk assessment. I hope it helps you.

Deb
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I had my risk assessment today. My manager said she had looked at websites to get an idea but in reality she had no idea. She thought I may get a bit tired occasionally, that to reduce the risk of a blood clot I should bike to and from the office and that I am ok to go off around the country for meetings etc. I tried to tell her what this means for me and how I feel every day and how a flare makes me feel and what triggers me but it went in one ear and out of the other. I really don't know what to do now as I feel there will be no changes or help and I know from previous experience that there is no point approaching hr as they will tell her, she'll get in a mood and still nothing will be done to help. She espects me to continue producing the work and keeping the hours up, saying if i'm rough one day to come in later and work late. That to her is flexible working. Grrr. I'm so cross and disappointed today. Sorry to rant but I really do just want to cry.
 

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Hi Maz,

You are right, the manager didn't have a clue. Biking to work, how would you make it home after your shift when you were completely drained of energy? I am sorry you didn't get the help you needed. It may be time to have your doctor step in on your behalf.

Take care,
Lazylegs
 

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grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr that as so annoyed me, she is talking out of her hat, the silly women,

let me get to her, grrrrrrrrrr!! Have you not been seent to occi health dr from work?? i was you know they have a big say, and the line manager would have to listen to him/her.

And as the works dr once said to me Linda you have a disability his words not mine.

im sorry your having to take all this crap Biking!!! what she trying to do see you off.She aint gtot a clue, silly women.


don't let this drop good luck Lin xxx
 

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Hi, sorry you didn't have a good work assessment. Biking to work? I would never get there !!!:lol: Is there someone else you can speak to, I think you need more advice. Maybe citizens advice could point you in the right direction or DIAL a disability organisation. I do think you need to take this further as this woman clearly is not educated about disabilities. Let us know how you get on.

Take care

Deb
 

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For goodness sakes :mad: The biking alone would kill me, let alone the sun exposure on the way! There must be some other way to tackle this, clearly she hasn't got a clue. Your docs could put a word in surely?

love
Lily
 

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Pamela b
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OH Dear
I am sorry.
I think considering she doesnt have a clue about your condition that you need to ask your consultant or doctor to write a note detailing all your symptoms which effect your ability to work in this way.
Is she totally off her head > Biking ? How is that going to help you ? I think you need to ask for an assessment from an impartial person like occ health who do have some medical experience.
I am sorry and it is okay me saying start fighting back but this illness sort of takes away some of the ability to fight doesnt it, especially whent hings do not go in the way that they should and people do not understand
So sorry but I think for the sake of your future health you must sort it out.
Check out the disability discrimination act on the web and ACAS ( number in phone book ) are very good at giving impartial help and advice at no cost. Give ACAS a call and ask, it cant do any harm
Hugs and good wishes
Pam
X
 

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Hi

Hi

Teresa here i will say my family doctor was a great help when i was having problems at work,i did eventually give up and he fully supported me helped me to claim where and what.Perhaps it may be a start to go to your family GP as he is the one that really knows you xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi everyone,

Thank you all for helping me realise I'm not going mad and that she really didn't have a clue - I started to doubt myself big time Weds night.

I'm going to speak to HR next week as they will get the risk assessment and suggest I go to see an occ health doc. They use the same occ health dept that are based at my local hospital so hopefully will be able to get them to have my notes in front of them. Should help bucketloads.

I was warned when my last manager retired that this one (who was her manager then) would be like it. My last manager had ME and found her no use whatsoever. *Sigh* I wish I had my last manager still as she was really good at looking after people and making sure they looked after themselves.

Thanks again guys :)
 

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While you may have found the experience unhelpful, a risk assessment is completely different to anything occupational health might recommend as reasonable adjustments under the DDA. The risk assessment would be exactly that - to see if there was anything at work that would pose a significant risk to your health. Mind you it doesn't sound like she did that effectively either :rotfl: Cycle to work indeed, I couldn't even get my leg over the flipping bar some days never mind cycle!

I think you'll get better assistance from occupational health to support you. Good luck with that, and in the mean time look after yourself. I know what hard work it is trying to keep on top of things at work with such a horrible illness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, here we go again! Work are refusing an occupational health assessment as my manager believes I should be starting to improve now (only been on Plaquenil for just over a month) and that I will be cured by next March!

They have refused my request to work three days at home - my manager actually only asked HR for two days at home, and she said it was because of risk of infection! I asked for the time at home because of my fatigue and pain. My work is spent on the computer now, my deputy can oversee the staff for those three days and I will still attend meetings etc so can't see the problem. They can even monitor me through Skype!

Yesterday I had even more work piled on top of me even though I sat there with her in supervision and she said I need to manage my workload more effectively to help with tiredness. She just hasn't got a clue!!!!

Other half said I needed to complain to HR about her but I don't feel that will be an option as she has been with the charity 35 yrs and everyone loves her.

I don't want to start trotting out DDA at work as feel I can fight my own battles but at the moment I am exhausted. I'm scared that if I take a day off it all goes on my sick record so if I want to apply for a different job they'll get told. I'm also getting quite scared they are trying to push me out. So much for a caring organisation eh?

I haven't had a decent break since April when I took some leave and I'm desperate to take some more before I collapse but I'm so busy with work and getting busier it doesn't look possible. The thought even crossed my mind to approach my doctor and ask to be signed off for a month as I need to recuperate desperately but then it leaves everything in an awful mess, I need to ensure we have funding for the project for the next year in a couple of weeks and then start inducting a new member of staff. The list just goes on and on and on (a bit like me at the moment!)

Sorry for going on but I am so frustrated at work not even trying to help me, I've given them several years of loyalty and hard work and carried them through some awful times and this is how they repay me?:mad:

Sorry guys I know you have your own stuff going on.
 

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hi maz - have been going through a similar thing at work myself so completely understand how you are feeling - although my work are sending me for an occ health appointment, but think that is just to back themselves up rather than helping me to be honest! as i have not had a confirmed diagnosis of what is wrong and am waiting for a rheumatologist appointment. i also work for a "caring profession" it is laughable how they do not have a clue and i even work surrounded by doctors so shows how little some of them really know!

i got signed off for 2 weeks and have now been signed off for a further 2 weeks and i like you worried about workload and stress but have got to a point where i really worry about myself more at the moment than work (which is really not like me) my boss has said to me as she is not a "sicky" person doesnt know what it feels like to be ill! dont see that as much of an excuse - she seems to be coming round a little now,

all i can say is look after yoourself first and worry about work later - they will deal with it and will have to learn to understand. the more you force yourself to do things the less they will look at you feeling ill as a problem!

thinking of you

chelle
 
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