Disability and work

Posted , 4 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

Hi all, I desperately need good advice. I have been off work sick for a few months as my breathlessness worsened but this has now stabilised and I am due to go back in a week or so. Problem - I am being told (and I am sure it is not legal) that I have to undertake visits to families where there is cigarette smoke, or I cannot return to my job!! When I have offered to be redeployed to a department where I could use my expertise and not have to do visits, I have been told there are no vacancies. I am also advised that if they find nothing else suitable in 13 weeks I am OUT.

Any knowledge/advice out there?

HELP

Jacee

xx

0 likes, 13 replies

Report

13 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Jan, Sorry I'm not much use when it comes to the laws regarding smoking in the workplace etc, however I remember an elderly blind lady I used to look in on once a week telling me how the council had said she couldn't have a home help if she smoked while they were in her home, and that she should open a window etc before they arrived to make it as 'smoke free' as possible. When she asked why, they explained to her that for the period of time the home help is there, her home is classed as their workplace. The upshot of it was that she went without the home help, so I 'did' for her until I got too ill. Perhaps your organization is exempt from that particular aspect of the law. I don't know what to suggest really.

    Apart from all that, It's great to know you are feeling well enough to contemplate your return to work - hopefully this means your SOB is improved- i'm so pleased for you! love Van xx smile

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi Van, thanks for your kind words. I am researching. There is the Disability Discrimination Act, the Equality Act 2006 and stuff from 2007 about smoking and work places, including guidelines from the TUC.

    Good news at my last hospital appointment. My original FEV1 was 22% but I was not tested for months when they moved to the new hospital as the area for testing was much further than I could walk. Now more organised, I can walk further at the moment and they now have wheelchairs so managed testing this week. New reading 29% !!!!!!!! I am thrilled and put this down to my new exercise regime (sounds posh, just basic stuff but done regularly).

    Jacee

    xx

    Report
  • Posted

    Oh my God!! I'm so pleased to read your news Jan its made me well up! Keep up the good work - something is paying dividends! You must have been chuffed when you got that result! You are a star girl! :star: :star: :star:

    Lots of love and a big hug, Van xx

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi Jacee,

    Did you return to work and, if so, how did you get on? I have been off work for some time and they're starting to put pressure on me too.

    Sometimes I feel well and think I'll be back at work before long - others, I just know that I'm never going to manage it.

    My doctor and consultant both say that I'm unlikely to work again and that they have kept me free from infection for the last few months but if I go back to work, then the exacerbations will start up again.

    You have done so well with your improvements - well done!

    Stitch

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi Stitch,

    Yes, I am back at work. There was considerable resistance to my starting back and I was devastated by an occupational health report that got everything it could tremendously wrong. However, I read up on the Disability Discrimination Act and the new Equality Act and went into battle.

    Your employer has a legal duty to make \"reasonable adjustments\" to your job or work place to help you return to work. This may mean more flexible hours, having a helper to undertake some tasks or being allowed other \"differences\" - for example I do not visit homes where people smoke and take taxis to places where I cannot park close to the venue I need to access. One chap I know had an electronic desk fitted which rises up and moves down to accommodate him working there in a wheelchair. If you wish to return to work stick to your guns. Your employer or local council may have a disability officer who could offer advice, or maybe you are in a trades union? I recommend reading the relevant Acts as a failure to comply leaves not only the firm but also each individual you deal with open to prosecution if they fail to adhere to the legal requirements. It is amazing how much harder people try once they are made aware of this!!!!!!! Good luck

    Jacee

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi Stitch,

    I retired a year ago and just go in now to do supply. I found that I was very tired all the time and kept getting colds and coughs from the kids which led to chest infections.

    I know that I'm six years older than you but it might be worth looking at the pension options. I took Actuarially Reduced but I think you have to be 55 to apply for that. The Teachers Pension website is quite helpful.

    Perhaps your Union could help you look at the best options.

    When I do teach now I find that as I am talking I get quite breathless and have to do a lot of sitting down!!! I just tell the kids I'm getting old and bless them they look after me and say \"No you're not Miss!\"

    Anyway I think Jacee is right that you shouldn't be bullied into anything and you need to get the best for yourself.

    What about job share?

    Hmm! I think teaching is one of those so 'full on' jobs that no matter what the employers do to help if your not feeling 100% then it would still be difficult to do the job properly.

    A real dilemma!

    Ann

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi Jacee,

    Well done for fighting them! It's not going to be a factor for me now as I've decided to move so I'll have to leave my job anyway - but how to leave is the question at the moment.

    Ann - my union told me that if I take retirement on health grounds (which is what my doctor and consultant would like me to do) then I get put on the same list as sex offenders and won't be able to teach again.

    If he's wrong about this I swear I'm going to go visit him and give him what-for because this could already be nearly sorted out if it wasn't for that. I know my health is failing but the thought of never been able to teach again just isn't an option. Even if I have to give up work, I thought I could volunteer etc.

    I was like your description for a good while before I went sick.

    Stitch

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi Stitch, I was offered retirement on the grounds of ill-health but did not pursue it as I wanted to go back to work (I can be VERY stubborn).

    I am not sure how retiring on health grounds puts you on a sex offenders list!! I think what it means is that you are declaring that you cannot do this work any longer due to health reasons and so you are therefore barred from returning to it. I can see that this may be a problem for a teacher who can no longer teach in a school but what about teaching privately. Wonder if you could get round it by using a different job description? Trainer? Coach? Tutor? I think this needs further research.

    That aside, welcome to the forum. Always nice to have new members or to see old ones returning after an absence.

    Jacee

    xx

    Report
  • Posted

    Good grief Stitch! I really, really can't believe that you are put on a list that ,when CRB checked, won't let you teach because of ill health. Maybe Union bod is right BUT it sounds like a load of nonsense to me.

    Have just read up about ill health retirement on TP website and they have a section on going back to teaching or other types of work. Have you read that? If not I'll put on a link later. Won't at the moment because it has to be 'moderated' and takes a wee while for post to come through.

    Anyway I'm off out now but I'll be happy to carry on this conversation with you and will be really interested in the way it pans out. It actually sounds as if you can get quite an enhanced pension if you don't intend to teach again. You've probably looked into all of this so I'm teaching Granny!!!!!

    Catch you later,

    Ann

    Report
  • Posted

    [quote:af118e561d=\"Anonymous\"]

    I am not sure how retiring on health grounds puts you on a sex offenders list!! xx[/quote:af118e561d]

    Hi Jacee,

    His words were, '... you go on the same list as sex offenders...'

    It's just the list of barred people. According to him, the reason was that people were taking retirement on health grounds, getting a big payout then saying 'I feel better now' and returning to work (his words again).

    I wrote to some places to ask if this was true but I've not had a straight answer from them - was told to phone DWP and ask them so that's my next task. (Have to brace myself for these things)

    Stitch

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi Ann,

    Yes, I have read that - as soon as the union rep told what he did. It's not that clear either though, is it? I can't see that it wouldn't be better just to resign or let them sack you, whatever, than finish under that cloud.

    Anyway, there's nothing I can do about it at the moment so I'm trying to learn to leave things alone when I can't manage them.

    Stitch

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi Stitch. I found what looks like comprehensive advice and have sent it via a private message as it was quite long. Hope it helps.

    Jacee

    x

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi Jacee,

    Crikey, thank you so much for that! It gave me some other useful information as well, not related to the retirement.

    I'm not going to take the retirement, whatever happens, I'm just not giving up my right to teach. The extract you sent me shows clearly that it does work that way, doesn't it?

    I [u:7abfac2098][b:7abfac2098]will[/b:7abfac2098][/u:7abfac2098] teach again. Hmph!

    :?

    Stitch

    Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up