To ask occupational health to support my requests at work?

(13 Posts)
TiredWheels Thu 24-Nov-16 09:02:34

Relevantly new job. Name change as don't want to be identified.

Basically I went for a job as a community nurse in march. Had the interview in the base 5 minutes drive from my house and was more or less led to believe that that is where I would be based (although they did say it was a city wide service and they could send you to any base). They offered me the job telling me I'd be based near where I live. I accepted the job, handed in my notice and signed the contract. THEN they decided I would be based at the other end of the city. Over 10 miles away. I expressed my concerns but was basically told I knew it was a city wide service when I took the job.

I've been there 5 months and am already been investigated for anxiety and depression. It takes me over an hour to get to and from work as the route is directly through the city centre. Traffic is horrendous. I can be sat in one spot for 20 minutes or so. Apart from anything else it's costing me over £60 a week in petrol which I really can't afford. I'm full time so having to do this trek 5 sometimes 6 times a week. I get around £7 back in expenses a week.

It's really getting me down. I don't know the area and I feel really isolated. Last weekend I was working and went into the office at lunch time. Nobody was there because apparently everyone goes home for their lunch on a weekend as they all live nearby. The same will happen at Christmas. Everyone will bugger off home for Christmas dinner and I'll be stuck in the office as it's too far for me to get home.

I've asked the manager if I can move bases and outlined all these reasons - she says she'll have to discuss it with the other manager who is on sick for months. I asked to be moved to part time in the mean time and was ignored.

I really can't go on like this. It's making me want to leave completely. When I wake up in a morning I feel absolute despair that I know I'll be stuck in traffic for an hour before I actually start my work which largely involves driving around from house to house.

AIBU to push for a transfer or part time hours? Perhaps by trying to get occupational health on board?

JennyOnAPlate Thu 24-Nov-16 09:08:15

I don't wish to be unsympathetic but most people I know have a commute like that to get to work.

If you genuinely feel it's affecting your health then yes I would escalate your request to move and speak to occ health.

EBearhug Thu 24-Nov-16 09:08:58

The distance and the time isn't a long commute compared with some - having said that, I totally understand not wanting to spend so much of your day sat in traffic jams.

Did you put in a formal request for flexible working, or was it just something mentioned in a meeting?

I would probably push for moving bases. If they know the other manager will be off for months, it's not acceptable to wait that long, IMO - there must be someone covering. Is that your manager?

TiredWheels Thu 24-Nov-16 09:11:32

It wouldn't be so bad if there wasn't a base 5 minutes from my house. Even the other base is only 15 minutes from my house but they have sent me as far away as possible.

The most annoying bit about it is they are still recruiting to the base near my house and two people who live at the other side of the city WANTED to be at the base I'm at but got sent to the base near my house!!!

See on a weekend they often ask if anyone will do overtime for a couple of hours. I would - if I didn't have to drive for an hour to get there. It wouldn't be worth the cost in petrol for what I'd actually get paid.

PeachBellini123 Thu 24-Nov-16 09:12:36

Agree your commute and the expense isn't out of the norm but I think you need to go down a more formal route for a change in hours.

By all means go to occupational health but work only has to make reasonable adjustments. They may have a reason they want/need you in the other office.

TiredWheels Thu 24-Nov-16 09:12:59

There is someone covering but she says she needs to discuss it with the other managers first. This was last week. I don't know whether to email her again or just go straight to occy health

Hellmouth Thu 24-Nov-16 09:14:19

No offence, but I think you need a more efficient car. My partner is driving 2 hours to and from work every day (London to Canterbury) and he's spending £280 on petrol.

YANBU, but bear in mind they might still say no, so you should think about what you would do then.

TiredWheels Thu 24-Nov-16 09:15:16

Well my second question is - I have a job interview for another job. If I get it, do I ask one more time if I can be moved bases or I will have to take the other job or will that seem like black mail? I know they are having a Very hard time recuruiting and keeping staff.

IndigoSister Thu 24-Nov-16 09:18:16

So they definitely have vacancies for your exact job at your home base but they've refused to let you relocate? Are they short staffed at your current location? Have you spoken to HR? Is there a specific internal transfer process that you can start?

If it's making you that you ill and they won't even look at your request then I'd be looking for a new job.

AyeAmarok Thu 24-Nov-16 09:31:23

If I get it, do I ask one more time if I can be moved bases or I will have to take the other job or will that seem like black mail?

It's no more Blackmail than people saying "I've been offered a job that pays X more, either match it or I'm off".

Their problems recruiting and retaining aren't your concern. Maybe this is why they have problems!

Do what is right for you.

DementedUnicorn Thu 24-Nov-16 11:02:24

As a nurse is it likely that they prefer if you're not working directly on your own doorstep?

BadKnee Thu 24-Nov-16 11:54:22

Ask again if you can move.

Attend the job interview - if you get it and it is a better job with better people and more convenient then that is a good thing.

Don't say "If I don't get what I want I will leave" as that tells them that your commitment is poor and they will be unlikely to accommodate you.

Continue to look for a more suitable position.

Annoying but not their fault if they were clear about it being a city-wide job (Also to be fair you don't know what criteria they use to place staff so a straight swap might not work for many reasons)

Happened to me to. Applied for a job 10 mins from home - kids were young. Interview ten minutes from home for positions in three bases. I asked if I could choose - they said NO. I got the job - in a base 1.5 hours across the city. I was so pissed off as the interview process was long and cost money but I couldn't accept it. So - I get how you feel.

confuugled1 Thu 24-Nov-16 12:03:56

Could you and one or both of the other people that want to transfer bases get together and present a joint case for swapping your jobs and bases, and show that there would be minimal effect to the bases (ie you're not swapping someone with a specialism in endocrinology with someone that specialises in orthopedics) as you both have the same skill sets. Also point out that as many others are based near where they live that this means they can't have an issue with people being based near where they live - or, if they do, are they going to change everybody else?

And point out other benefits for them - that if you live near your base you could be available sometimes to do overtime, whereas if you don't, then you know that you can't do the overtime just because it would cost you more in petrol to get there for a short while than you would earn so you would effectively be paying to do the overtime.

Given that the other manager is out on long term sick, putting you off until she returns is not acceptable - and conveniently for her would mean that you get to stay where you are for an indefinite amount of time. It would be different if she was on holiday for a couple of weeks but as she's not, there must be somebody there who is acting in her position while she is away.

I think if you go in with the others so that your manager isn't losing a person if you transfer to your closest base office it would help, particularly if there is a problem with recruitment, because your manager wouldn't be left with the problem of finding somebody else to fill your position.

The other thing to do is to apply for a job in your base office again - and see what they say when they get the application - if they question you about it before the interview, just say that you love the job but you were given to believe that you would be based out of that office, it's a lot more convenient for you and you really do want to be based out of that office. So if you were to go and get the job, then your boss would be left without anybody - so swapping with one or both of the others (maybe they could do half and half at each place, then at least they wouldn't have so much driving) so she wouldn't need to actively recruit could suddenly sound a much better idea.

is there an HR department that could help?

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