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NHS Occupational Health / HR help pls

(6 Posts)
fantasticfanjo Fri 12-Aug-11 21:00:18

Hi,
I work for the NHS as receptionist and love my job,unfortunately for the last couple of yrs I been the victim of my bosses bullying tactics.

The latest incident has occurred after I had 3 days sick for a bad back, caused by a general weakness and exasperated by picking up my 18 month DS.

I was given a DSE risk assessment and I mentioned to the assessor that I had some neck and shoulder pain probably caused by holding the phone between my head and neck and the recommendation were that I had a wireless headset and casters fitted to my chair.
I addition to this it was recommended that the desk was made deeper because it didn't conform to current trust policy.

The casters and head set should have been provided at the beginning of may and the desk should be changed by oct.

Despite repeated requests my boss still hasn't ordered the head set or casters and last week I was simply handed an unsuitable wired set and was told they "couldn't justify wireless ones". Fed up with getting nowhere I informed H&S that the recommendation hadn't yet been implemented despite being weeks overdue & to cut a long story short "things are now happening"

The problem now is that my boss has(threatened) told me (in revenge) that I have to change jobs until they get the desk sorted and if I refuse and then go of sick with a bad back "the consequences will be very serious & It will go higher" (for myself).

My point is that I've never claimed that My bad back was work related nor do I have a comfort issue with the desk depth so why do I need to change jobs (to one that I'll hate)

Can anyone help me with where I'll stand if I refuse ?

BarkisIsWilling Sat 13-Aug-11 09:07:17

Briefly, this could be an adjustment made for you to give you support till the changes are made. search for "reasonable adjustments" on the directgo
v website for more info.

MetisHR Mon 15-Aug-11 10:33:02

Any "reasonable adjustment" has to be just that, reasonable. An employer is entitled to reach a decision that the adjustment is not reasonable, generally in terms of cost. I would recommend that you ask to have a formal meeting with your manager to review the situation and then you can better understand their position. You can then review your position.

Glendaisgrumpy Mon 15-Aug-11 10:53:39

I don't see why you need a wireless set tbh. Obviously a wireless set is slightly less cluttered but even a wired set will be a huge benefit. Casters for the chair are a must (I am a DSE assessor)
It's reasonable for them to redeploy you till the desk is as it should be. You have a bad back and they should be ensuring that your work environment doesn't make things worse.
If you do go on long term sick they will have procedures for a) getting you back to work and then b) evetually dismissing you on the grounds of ill health if a) doesn't work. That isn't 'revenge' that's how it is in the NHS.
I would ask how long you will need to be in the other job - how long will the desk changes take? This is clearly urgent work so really it shouldn't be more than a month at max. Get that in writing and then move jobs. The only person you'll hurt if you refuse is yourself.

LoveBeingAtHomeOnMyOwn Fri 19-Aug-11 17:17:50

I used to undertake DSE assessments.

What was the reason for the wireless headset rather than a wired one? Why is that a bad choice in the meantime? I don't really understand how you can complain the action hasn't been taken (and quite rightly) and then complain that they are taking you out of an unsuitable working area. It's not about if work caused the problem, but if you have raised it and they do not take action they are in the wrong.

What is you actual concern about the other role? Have you been given creviced timescale?

flowery Fri 19-Aug-11 19:20:28

Agree with Glenda.

You have raised health and safety concerns about your working environment. They have been slow to address those, although have made progress (can't see any reason a wired headset would be a health and safety concern). If they have yet to make reasonable adjustments to your own job and you have made a fuss about that (which I am definitely not saying is not justified) then it's not a surprise they are redeploying you to a job where there are no H&S concerns until progress can be made with the adjustments you requested.

Otherwise they are vulnerable legally. If they were to continue to allow you to carry on working in that environment having raised H&S concerns several times, then found your back was exacerbated and went off sick, they would have a problem.

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