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Discrimination in the work place: health conditions and promotions.

(8 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Mon 25-May-15 19:09:18

I am a nurse (band 5) and I have been qualified for 9 years now. On the ward I currently work on there is a Sister (band 6) who had been in that post for many years - I'm guessing well over ten years. Due to a health condition that had just materialised she is medically exempt from doing night shifts and this decision has come through from Occupational Health.

As a result of her no longer being able to work nights she is having her Sister position taken off her and is being down-graded to a Band 5 nurse.

Surely this isn't right?

I myself am medically exempt from night shifts due to a chronic health condition I have and so now I'm questioning whether I'm going to face the same discrimination?

Surely it can't be right to say that due to a health condition (that has no bearing on clinical ability to do the job) a person cannot be allowed progress in their career?

The whole thing just seems so wrong.

chipsandpeas Tue 26-May-15 21:22:01

didnt your post last week give you peoples thoughts on it
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/2382530-To-think-this-isnt-right-or-fair-Nursing-illness-and-promotion

DPotter Tue 26-May-15 21:42:37

Not sure it is discrimination.

"Surely it can't be right to say that due to a health condition (that has no bearing on clinical ability to do the job) a person cannot be allowed progress in their career?"

I think your logic is a bit confusing here - if because of a health condition someone can't undertake night duty - the health condition is having a bearing on the ability to do the job and therefore it can be argued that yes career progression isn't possible.

From nursing view point - I have worked in hospitals where ward sisters didn't do nights and hospitals where they did. I found there was much more team cohesion where sisters did nights - much less 'them' and us' between night & day staff. So I can understand why hospital management would want ward sisters to do nights. Whether this is 'discriminatory' from a legal standpoint I don't know.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 26-May-15 21:55:04

chipsandpeas - I do remember posting in AIBU grin I just thought that someone here night actually know as opposed to giving their thoughts, if that makes sense?

DPotter - I meant that my health affects my ability to do shift work but it doesn't affect my ability to care for patients or do my job in a clinical sense.

I feel so bad for the sister on the ward, other sisters have offered to do the night shifts that she now can't do (only 2 a month) but management said no.

I think she is seeking advice from the Union.

I'm just going to be brave and speak to my Manager at the end of the week. It may be an awkward question but I would rather know where I stand.

DPotter Wed 27-May-15 12:02:44

I do see where you are coming from but if you can't care for them on night shifts and being able to do night shifts are deemed an integral part of the job, I can also see the managerial point of view. I would contact my union in your position as well as asking your manager.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 27-May-15 13:14:44

I suppose I just don't see how nights are essential for Band 6 but not for a Band 5, I don't understand why the attitude changes as you go up the pay scale. The nursing care that patients require is 100% the same whether it's the middle of the day or middle of the night - it isn't as though something magical happens when midnight hits which Band 6's have to be a part of in order to fulfil their role smile.

I'm just confused where their logic is and what it is about working nights that is an essential part of being a Band 6 but not a requirement for any other Bands.

I know nurses need to provide 24 hour care but if I can't do it as a Band 5 and it isn't an issue, I don't see why it would be an issue in a Band 6 role.

A nurse's knowledge, experience and ability is not dependent on whether they do night shifts or not so I don't see how they can say that not doing nights is a barrier to being a Sister.

Maybe it is though, I don't know. I'll know more when I speak to my Manager. I will be really sad if legally they can make this decision though as I will have to re-think staying on the ward and I really love my job sad

addictedtosugar Wed 27-May-15 13:23:44

Is it more to do with how many of each band is required on each shift?

So, for example, we run a 5 shift system, and each shift needs a supervisor. If the supervisor was to be unable to work shifts, he would be put on days, and someone recruited to take the shift role - because all shifts work nights sometimes, and all shifts need a supervisor. While occasional absences can be covered by overtime, permenant cover, plus illness etc would put too much stress and OT requirements on the other 4 shift supervisors.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 27-May-15 13:40:46

I don't know - I suppose I've never had to look at it from that angle.

During the day shift (7.30-20.30) they ideally like two Band 6's, but one is acceptable, and then one Band 6 on the night shift.

We have 8 Band 6's on the ward.

I just feel bad for the Sister who had been de-banded - it seems so unfair to her when she's been in that role for so long and it's only because of her health that she can no longer do her nights. I'd understand the de-banding more if she was requesting not to do nights, but she isn't, it's out of her control and now she's being punished for it sad

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