Disability Discrimination Act (uk)

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spiceman
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 5/14/2009 11:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello everybody, hopefully somebody can help me out with a few issues i'm having at work at the moment.
I'm currently working for a rather large company in the UK.
 
I started working for the company about 10 years ago now, at the time I applied for the engineering job I declared that I had Crohn's disease and fortunately enough got the Job. I started working 2days 2nights 12hours, then 4 days off.  Well all was going good up until this time last year when my illness progressed to the stage where I needed surgery. Prior to the surgery I struggled with pain, diarrhoea and blockages which led me to having 3 months off work, so me and the consultant thought it was the right time to have a resection. All went well with the operation and I recovered at home for another 3 months, so in total I've had 6 months off.
 
After my recovery I had a meeting with work to see the company occupational health nurse. She placed me on 6 hours days for 2 weeks and also asked if it was ok for me to sign a letter giving the company permission to contact my Surgeon for him to explain what I've had done. So thats what I did.
 
A couple of weeks passed I recieved a carbon copy of the letter from the surgeon. In his letter he explain the procedure and quotes that I recovered well but from a occupational point of view he should be able to go back to most physical activity although fatigue is a big problem with Crohn's patients.
 
Now the issue I have with work is that my manager wants to change my working hours and pattern. Now they want me to work 5 days per week, 8am-4pm. (weekends off)
 
To me this is the worst thing that could really happen! Not only will it be alot less money and annual leave but also it will be hard to fit all my appointments in to see my gastro team. My question I really want to know is can my company go ahead and do this to me? Is my company discriminating against me under the DDA for having Crohn's disease. The strange thing is I don't really suffer with fatigue and I work hard as any other employee at work...
 
Now my surgeon has given them this letter saying that people with Crohn's suffer with fatigue have I had it??????
 
Sorry its so long and boring, its just making me worry somewhat and I thought maybe somebody could help. Thanks.
5mg Pred tappering over a 5 week period.
 
Resection 28th Jan 2008


lilcrohnieUK
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 414
   Posted 5/14/2009 12:08 PM (GMT -7)   
If you've been working for them for more than a year you are definitely protected by the DDA, the NACC website has links to some info on that and some numbers you can call for advice, they helped me out loads and stopped me losing my job when I worked a few years back and as well as preventing me from being fired ordered that they make changes in the workplace for me. Its defintely worth getting in touch with them so you can find out where you stand.
 
 


littlemissmuffet
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 269
   Posted 5/14/2009 12:37 PM (GMT -7)   

I work full time and live in the UK. Through work I saw an occupational health doctor (at works request). Work paid for this. The doctor said I was covered by the DDA.

I have regular treatment (infliximab) and blood tests etc at my doctors. I am allowed up to 30 days per annum time off under the DDA to cover this. This is classed as disability adjustment leave.

As far as my work goes I consider myself very lucky to be covered by the DDA. The DDA usually covers chronic lifelong illness such as crohns.  Seek advice from your HR department and get your doctor to write a letter.


Diagnosed 2005.
 
Current medication  -  infliximab infusions, ranitidine, ferrous sulphate, Vitamin B12 injections, asacol


uklass
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 5/14/2009 12:41 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Spiceman

I'm just going through this one myself but fortunately I work for a local Council so things are so much easier, although working for a large compny you shoul be ok as well.

I'm no expert but my understanding is that if you declare yourself as disabled under the DDA Act, and Crohn's is now counted as one of the long term conditions, then the company has to make 'reasonable adjustments', and it can't be anything to do with costs unless they are excessive (or prove will damage the business). If you can still do your job, with these reasonable adjustments e.g. time off for appointments, late start times etc then they can't ask you to do anything else. I agree that NACC probably has lots of info or a Disability organisation - I'm in a bit of denial and don't want to see myself as being disabled in any way but DDA is there for us.

It might be confusing to them why you say you are able to do shifts when they may well be assuming that Crohns is a morning (bowels) thing or has a particular pattern to it. The fatigue bit is a red herring - why can you be ok with 12 hour shifts? they won't understand that some days this is ok and not others, and a letter from a surgeon isn't helpful;perhaps a gastro letter would be better. It's mad but all the literature goes on about leading a 'normal' life but actually it varies so much as to individual situations.

Not sure if this helps - good luck!!
 
Penny

spiceman
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 5/15/2009 9:46 AM (GMT -7)   

littlemissmuffet, lilcrohnieuk, uklass. Thanks very much for your replies. You were right buy saying that NACC have some good information on Disability etc. Also its great to know that we can have up to 30 days of per annum for doctor's appointments and be covered under the DDA.

You all have been most helpful.

Thank you.
5mg Pred tappering over a 5 week period.
 
Resection 28th Jan 2008


lilcrohnieUK
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 414
   Posted 5/15/2009 1:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Happy to be of help! Hope everything works out :-)
 
 


uklass
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 6/1/2009 11:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Spiceman - did you get this sorted ok? did you apply the DDA?
 
I'm going back to work next week after 3 months post-surgery and my manager is referring me to occupational health; they want to get info from the consultant gastroenterologist and my GP.
 
I'm worried that the consultant will do the 'can lead a normal life, no problems' statement as the operation has put me in remission ( I think). Whereas I need them to say that 'things may change from day to day' because my 'new' body is still healing and learning what functions it can/can't do well yet, so flexible hours would be good for a while at least. 
 
There are times when you want to totally deny having a chronic illness and others where it helps to be as graphic as possible just in case of all eventualities!!  rolleyes
 
anyone else had experience of this?
 
Penny

littlemissmuffet
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 269
   Posted 6/1/2009 11:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi UK Lass
 
I have been sent by work to see an independant occupational health consultant 3 times!.  The first time was after 3 months off sick.  They were very kind and totally understanding. I went back to work over 13 weeks (yes 13 weeks) on reduced hours. This was by initial recommendation of my own consultant and was agreed by the occupational health.
 
Occupational health have on the 3 occasions I have seen them told work my crohns will be ongoing and will be likely to flare up again in the future. they were the ones who siad I would be covered by the DDA.
 
Hope this helps
Diagnosed 2005.
 
Current medication  -  infliximab infusions, ranitidine, ferrous sulphate, Vitamin B12 injections, asacol


spiceman
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 6/4/2009 2:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Uklass.
 
When I finally returned to work my manager requested me to see the occupational health doctor and HR.  They both said that I was covered by the DDA.
Occupational health started me on reduced hours. 6 hours for 4 days, 8 hours for 4 days, 10 hours 4 days, 12 hours 4 days all with 4 days off between shifts. Im now back upto full 12 hours shifts.  Occupational health suggested to my manager that it would  best suit my condition if I didn't work nights anymore so I've been placed on day shifts.
 
If you are worried what your consutant might say in the letter you could always phone he's secretary and explain your concerns, i'm sure she will be very understanding. Your occupational health should know that crohn's is a chronic illness and more likely will return someday in the future.
 
good luck.
 
 
5mg Pred tappering over a 5 week period.
 
Resection 28th Jan 2008


uklass
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 6/5/2009 1:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks very much - I feel much better that people have had good experiences of this. I'm back to work next week and have seen the referral to occupational health from my manager - he's asked them the question whether I am ok to do my job.  This is such a difficult question to answer  and I want to hedge the answers to allow for possible flares or reaction to medications in the future even though I'm pretty much ok at the moment (post operative healing notwithstanding) - DDA will help with this I hope but I feel a bit of a fraud declaring a disability when I'm feeling so much better and am managing to paint my garden fence today!
 
stay well
 
Penny x
 
 

LSF
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 7/8/2010 2:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi
 
I found this thread by googling occupational health & crohns and am so glad I did!
 
I am being referred to OH as I had 9 (Crohns related) days off last year and it came up in my appraisal. I made the mistake of mentioning that I get flare ups around my period and they have latched on to this and are trying to make out it's "just" period pains.
 
I am not signing the forms for the referral until this misleading statement has been corrected - "one or two days a month at her monthly cycle" - for starters it was not always at that time anyway.
 
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
 
Thanks

ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 7/8/2010 3:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Gosh, that's not fair.

Are you in the UK, LSH? (Welcome!!!!!)

Ivy.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Medications for Crohn's ~~ Diet and Nutritional Therapy for Crohn's ~~ Dealing with Abscesses and Fistulae ~~


LSF
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 7/8/2010 3:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes in the UK

Thanks for the swift reply and welcome

ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 7/8/2010 4:02 AM (GMT -7)   
No worries :-).

I'm in Australia so can't offer much practical help: you might be noticed more quickly if you start a thread of your own so that you can ask advice specific to your case. You can do this by clicking on the "new topic" button: just make sure you give your thread a title, so people will want to read it :-).

This is a quiet time on the forum, but I hope more people will be online to answer your question soon, as people in your part of the world hop online. As for me, I'm going to bed.

'night,

Ivy.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Medications for Crohn's ~~ Diet and Nutritional Therapy for Crohn's ~~ Dealing with Abscesses and Fistulae ~~

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