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diability and sick leave

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dannyday5821 | 12:51 Mon 25th Feb 2008 | Jobs & Education
7 Answers
Is this fair? I work for the NHS, and theyve put me on sick leave monitoring. Fair enough, i have had times off from work sick with like D+V or a virus or generally unwell. However, i only have sight in one eye, and my one remaining eye can cause problems with sight, rendering me unable to attend work sometimes. This is a genuine disability.

So my question is it fair or right i should be put on sick leave when 50% or more of that time is actually due to my diability. In other words it cannot be helped. I feel like im being punished for something that cant be predicted or avoided. Now if i have any more eye problems, obvoiusly ill be reluctant to take the time off. This worries me ALOT, simply because i only have one eye left, literally, the other is a glass eye. When it starts hurting, i dont want to have to go to work and agrivate it, for all i know, i could wake up one day what? should i go to work for the sake of a sickness record, or stay home and enjoy the fact i can still see.

From a "law" point of view...CAN they do this? Is this discrimination...or whatever you call it?


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On the face of it, they must deal with what seems undue sickness but unless they are aware of it being a disability as such, then you will be lumped with all and sundry. An organisation this size must have some sort of employee welfare scheme so it would be an idea to contact them and ensure that all the facts are known.
You asked from a legal point of view - yes, an employer can do this.
Many employers and particualry public sector ones do seek to bend over backwards and accommodate a broad range of staff issues. You don't say what job you do and hence the impact of you being away from post at random times regularly. At the end of the day, the employer has to take a view of the employability of a staff member. You might perhaps suggest a meeting to review your medical conditions with a view to trying to find a role and a contract of employment where you can contribute within the constraints of your ailments.
Firstly, are you registered disabled?

Secondly, have you actually told them that you are registered disabled (if you are)? Have they offered to make adjustments to your work to cope with this? What response did you get?

Does only having one eye affect the work you do? Perhaps you should be discussing this with your employer, which you dont say that you have, before claiming discrimination?
Of course they can. if you are unreliable and fail to turn up at short notice, then they are entilteled to put you on sickness monitoring, or even decide that despite reasonable adjustments you cant carry out the work you are employed to do. How does going to work aggrivate your eye problem? If carrying out your normal duties makes you disability worse then you are possibly in the wrong job.
If you want to spend your life enjoying the fact you can still see rather than "wasting" your sight working then maybe you really are in the wrong job, or might consider going part time
If you look at it like this - last year i was working as a nurse, then i fell downstairs and broke my leg. On top of my other illness, it means that my mobility is poor. this meant that i couldn't always carry out my duties as a nurse. This was a genuine disability, not my fault etc, yet how can i still expect them to employ me as a nurse when i can't walk very far anymore?
In this situation, there was nothing they could do to make reasonable adjustments so that i could still do that job, and despite the fact the DDA applies to me, they were still within their rights to make me redundant, and its not discrimination ... i am patently unable to carry out the job i was employed to do. The same could be applied to you - if you are unpredictably and often unable to carry out your role, they would be within their rights to make you redundant
Have you actually seen your doctor/optician about your eye? Just because it is hurting doesn't necessarily mean that it is going to cause any long-term damage. And they may be able to offer you some medication to help with the eye strain. They may also be able to suggest some ways in which your employer can help. E.g. I have RSI and my employer got me a few inexpensive gadgets for when I am using a computer and it has made a huge improvement.

Have you approached your employer with some solutions of your own? I work with a disabled person and a hard-of-hearing person. In both cases they have problems doing some parts of the job so the whole office came to an agreement where the rest of us have taken over some parts of their job and they have taken on parts of our jobs that they can manage. Could you do something similar?

Getting yourself classified as having a disability is not necessarily going to solve all your problems. Even when you are disabled you still just can't take loads of days off sick without repercussions. You would still have to see occupational health and have return to work interviews etc.
bednobs.the same happen to me and i am a nurse aswel..danny everyone right....did you know what job entailed if so then you know your limits..they could and with justification argue why did you take it in the first place.if you reg disabled then go to a disability rep..find the address on the net...maybe you r entitled to disability working allowence.this would help in making adjustments in your working enviroment.....try the shaw trust they help

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