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unpaid leave for diabetes appointments.


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I have a friend who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. He is currently on various medications.

He works for Royal Mail who have told him if he is to go for appointments relating to his illness during work time he will need to take it as unpaid leave. I believe he is covered by the dda are his employers allowed to do this?

Any help will be appreciated.

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If the condition is covered by the DDA act then no this is not acceptable. It states that time off must be given by way of reasonable adjustment for medical appointments an treament. Also if your friend takes time of work due to an illness covered under the DDA then this is not to be counted in the companies ill health policy

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I have looked up diabetes and it is covered under the dda however royal mail are refusing to accept it is. He has been told any appointments will need to be taken outside of work hours or unpaid.

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He should have a word with his union rep they'll be able to give him the full SP. ;)

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If royal mail are disputing that his condition is covered under the DDA act and as you say it is then they are on sticky ground. You should speak to the unions as suggested by cerberus and they will take up the case. It clearly states under the DDA Act that by way of reasonable adjustment that time off for medical appointments should be given. Should they not pay your friend for these appointments in working hours then they are and will be leaving themselves wide open for not supporting an employee covered under the act. Hope this helps. You could also send off for a copy of the DDA act which will allow your friend to clearly show that they are covered

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thanks all i will pass on the details to him and see how things go. The only problem he has is the union at his place isnt all that and cannot get hold of a union rep when he needs to.

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If his rep isn't any good he could go straight to the convener or telephone the union office.

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Will move this thread to Employment issues.

Keep us updated.

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I have a friend who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. He is currently on various medications.

He works for Royal Mail who have told him if he is to go for appointments relating to his illness during work time he will need to take it as unpaid leave. I believe he is covered by the dda are his employers allowed to do this?

Any help will be appreciated.

 

I'll put my humble opinion forward. As a recently retired Civil Servant (THEY are obliged to follow the letter of the law!!!) ALL of my hospital visits, appointments and even travelling time were treated as 'special leave' due to the DDA. It did not count towards the 'sick' record or personal reviews. I have Chronic Pancreatitis & Type 1 Diabetes.

 

So on that basis I would tell your friend to push it all of the way!!! Does he have to account for his time when checking his blood/sugar levels and injections?

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he has to make up his time for everything. He had an appointment last week in the morning where he was out for an hour he then had to go back to work and finish his delivery which took him over his finish time. His union ar C**p excuse my language they have told him he is not covered by dda and he has to make up all hours lost for appointments and sugar testing. however i have checked the internet and do know he is covered by the dda.

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Diabetes most certainly is covered by the DDA, this has been tested and agreed and your friend cannot be subjected to any detriment in the workplace due to the condition. The issue of paid time off is a tricky one though as I don't think there is any requirement on the employer to pay for time off unless paid time off is part of the company's sickness policy. The DDA says that employees should not suffer a detriment over other employees, and employers should make a reasonable adjustment to accommodate specific needs of a disability. Therefore if non-disabled employees are permitted paid time off for a medical appointment then the disabled employee cannot be penalised for his condition requiring a greater number of such appointments. Similarly a reasonable adjustment should allow the employee paid time off for diagnosis or unavoidable work-time appointments, but the employee should also, as far as possible arrange routine appointments outside of working hours, or at the end of shifts so as to minimise the need to take time away. The key word in all this is 'reasonable'. Most large employers would separate 'disability leave' from 'sick leave' so that the employee is not disadvantaged. Is the fact that unpaid leave results in a financial detriment? Certainly, but is it also 'unreasonable' for the employer to have to pay the employee for all time off? The DDA does not, as far as I am aware, make provision for unlimited paid time off, merely for a 'reasonable adjustment' on the part of the employer.

 

It would certainly be unreasonable for your friend to be penalised for self-administered blood glucose tests, or to make him work outside of his normal shift after an essential medical appointment, but, it might also be 'reasonable' to expect a certain amount of time to be made up if the number of appointments were frequent and having a detrimental effect on the operation of the business. The answer, I guess may lie in the Royal Mail sickness policy and in making a reasonable adjustment to permit a disabled worker to enjoy the same treatment as is available to other staff.

 

It does though seem that your friend is being 'punished' in terms of the treatment he has received, which could also amount to harassment on the grounds of a disability. He needs to pursue the Union, ACAS may also be useful, and consider raising a grievance to get this on a formal platform. Please keep us up to date.

 

I have a personal interest in this, being a recently diagnosed diabetic myself, so I can appreciate how many appointments are required whilst things are stabilised. My employer however has never raised an eyebrow at my need to keep visiting the doctor, but then I am salaried so it is accepted that the time that I work more than makes up for the odd hour off anyway.

 

The Royal Mail's own guidance on the DDA (see particularly under 'reasonable adjustments' and allowing time off for appointments and assessments) HERE

 

Good case law regarding diabetes and the DDA HERE

 

Employment Guidance from Diabetes UK HERE

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Thankyou for the above it has been really useful. As far as appointments are concerned whatever he can he takes outside of his shift however as you are aware hospital appointments are a little hard to negotiate. i have printed off the document from the royal mail website hes going to take that in to his employer...I will keep you posted.

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I've just spoken this morning to my postman who's been a shop steward for 24 years, he said that your friend should fill in a 'Grievance Form' and hand it in personally to his manager along with a witness to verify it. What then happens is that another manager from a different area adjudicates, apparently this is a little known procedure & the PO don't like it because it costs them money and usually the complaint is remedied straight away.

 

He also said that the union has full time paid officials and you should get in touch with your area convener to escalate the complaint if it's not remedied.

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My mum had to take holiday for appointments relating to osteoporosis this was for 5 weeks therapy last year. Should her appointments fall within the DDA. And can she reclaim her holiday leave.

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Evening All

 

Ive Been Asked To Drop In

 

My Credentials Are I Am A Long Serving Member Of Staff And I Am The Area Health And Safety Rep

 

I Am Concearned You Are Not Getting The Help And Support From Your Local Ir Rep

 

Is This A Floor Manager Giving You Grief Or The Dom

 

May I Ask What Area Of The Country You Are In

 

HAS A GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE BEEN IMPLAMENTED

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DJ2010, I think your mum can claim back the holiday that she had to take for 5 weeks appointments relating to osteoporosis.

 

I am sure someone will be along soon to give you more advice on this.

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DJ that is terrible and could be an act of discrimination. How many employees do they have in the company ? was she asked to take this holiday by the employer ? Yes your mum is covered under the DDA Act

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The area he is in is Leicester.

It is the floor manager who has told him diabetes is not covered by the dda. He also went to his union rep who advised him he is not covered by the dda who also advised him any appointments he takes will need to be unpaid.

a grievance claim has not been done yet as he is going to take the details he has recieved from here to his manager on monday and see what he has to say then.

I am quite surprised though that he has not even been referred to the ohs.

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My mum had to take holiday for appointments relating to osteoporosis this was for 5 weeks therapy last year. Should her appointments fall within the DDA. And can she reclaim her holiday leave.

 

A disability defined by the DDA is a physical or medical impairment that has a substantial and long term impairment on the ability to carry out normal day to day activities. Osteoporosis would almost certainly be considered a disability for the purposes of the Act, as it is a condition likely to last more than 12 months and would have a restrictive effect on activity, particularly without timely and ongoing treatment.

 

Under the DDA the employer should make reasonable changes to the employee's working conditions, workstation or treatment to cater for the disability, and this would include being granted time off for medical appointments without punishment or unfavourable treatment. The employer would though have to have prior knowledge of the condition. Was the nature of the condition discussed with the employer prior to the appointments becoming necessary?

 

Your mum should not have been forced to take holiday, as this placed her under a disadvantage compared with others free to book holiday for enjoyment rather than neccessity. The DDA and the issue of 'reasonable adjustments' is unclear on the subject of paid time off, but it would have been reasonable to allow a certain amount of time as paid, and at least being given the option of unpaid time off for the other appointments. This also must not have been recorded as 'sickness'. Where it is normal to allow staff paid time off for medical appointments, it would be considered discriminatory to penalise your mum for having to have more appointments than 'the norm' for the workforce.

 

She should certainly raise a grievance on the grounds that she was forced to take holiday for medical appointments and that this would appear to be discriminatory as it denied her the opportunity to take a paid holiday for enjoyment - a right enjoyed by other staff.

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thank for replies. my mum firm is a reasonable large company. She was also called in to the office to do an assement for a pay rise and told that she would get one as she did well. I was under the impression that the statutory pay rises were given automatically to everyone regardless of there performance is this correct or do employees have to perform well to get a pay rise each year.

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Hi, I have a view on this. I'm both a Diabetic, and I am a PCS union rep. I can tell you that diabetes is indeed covered by the DDA, you may wish to check this site out, its the Diabetes support forum,

Diabetes and the Disability Discrimination Act

 

I think you should find your answers there.

 

Regards,

 

Dave

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