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Medical Report and Reasonable Adjustments


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I suffer a neurological condition for many years. I joined my current employer a little over a year ago, a change of job and on less hours, hoping that this would improve my condition (I previously did a 40 hour week). However, it has actually got worse and been diagnosed as a chronic condition. 6 months ago, I had to take 4 weeks off because of this. I had a phased return (but no other adjustments) but the condition quickly returned and I have been off for 3 months. In this time, I have been prescribed different medications which had severe (and known) side effects that also made me unfit for work. The condition is still not under control, but starting to improve having changed the tablets again. My GP told me that I have to be patient, as its trial and error to find something that works without intolerable side effects. My neurologist wants me to have tried the options for at least 3 months before the efficacy can be judged. I think that I would be covered by the DDA, but have not actually got anything in writing.

 

My employers requested a report from my GP in March but he has not done it yet and is now on holiday. I cannot get an appointment to see him for 2 weeks. I have no idea what reasonable adjustments can be put in place, but have arranged to see someone from "Fit for Work" to identify these– again this wont happen for 2 weeks. In the meantime my current Fit Note will run out. I have to see a locum doctor about this as my GP is away. I'm worried about the (probably inevitable) disciplinary process the longer I am away. Should I go back without any support in place, or do I have to wait until my GP has done his report and I have seen the Fit for Work people? Do Reasonable Adjustments have to be proposed by my GP? When I saw him last, he said that there were none that he could suggest, until I had adjusted to medication and got it under control. I fear going straight back to a very fast-paced environment and having a major relapse within days.

 

I have kept my employers informed at every stage, but have had no contact from them, other than an acknowledgement. Understandably they are becoming agitated at the lack of GP report, but this is out of my control. There is no union or other representation in my workplace. I am only in receipt of SSP – my company sick pay ran out several months back.

 

Any advice would be appreciated.

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Sorry to hear of your illness and I hope that you get the correct treatment as soon as possible.

 

You should definitely NOT return to work without the necessary medical clearance or at least until you feel confident enough to do so. The consequences of working whilst you may be a danger to yourself and others may be severe. At times like this your health HAS to come first. The downside of that argument are of course that your employer may seek to manage you out of the business on grounds of capability, but it sounds as though this process has not yet started, so you need to get your absence extended as appropriate and to pursue the medical report when your normal GP returns.

 

There is no actual process or hard and fast diagnosis of whether a particular condition brings you under the scope of the Equality Act (was the DDA but now incorporated into the EA) as having a 'disability' - merely that you have a condition which has a substantial and long term effect on your ability to carry out normal daily functions. From your description I would agree that you will almost certainly be covered and the medical report should enable your employer to discuss ways in which you might be able to gradually resume work subject to medical approval, and it may need to include reasonable adjustments which make it easier for you to do some meaningful function. A reasonable adjustment would also be for absences due to the condition to be assessed outside of any normal scoring criteria for sickness absence. This does not mean that you could be on indefinite sick leave, but it does mean that your employer should set reasonable targets for improvement and explore every possible avenue to enable you to work.

 

This may or may not be possible, and as stated it may ultimately mean that the employer lets you go on capability grounds, but as I have already said, the most important thing is to get on top of your condition. I hope that your employer is prepared to give you the time that you seem to need to find effective medication.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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I will move your thread into the main employment forum as this is more related to how your disability is affecting your employment at this stage.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

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If I have been helpful in any way - please feel free to click on the STAR to the left!

 

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Thank you Sidewinder.

 

There is a small fly in the ointment in that I am due to go on holiday in a few weeks time. This was booked with my employer well before my latest absence. This will fall right in the middle of the GP (hopefully) doing his report and may delay any subsequent discussions about Adjustments.

 

I presume that there is nothing to stop me going away? I'm sure my GP will agree that a break would be helpful (and cancellation would not be covered by insurance in any event). Would it be a good idea to have something to this effect on the Fit Note? I worry about “I see that she's fit enough to go gallivanting” syndrome.:|

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