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I'm going to lose my job and I'm

(64 Posts)
storminabuttercup Thu 29-Aug-13 07:34:44


Over the last 12 months I've had recurring tonsillitis.

The company I work for use the Bradford factor, I've had 5 instances of 1/2 days do I'm
Over the 100 mark.

I am now on my final warning. Any more time off and I will be dismissed.

I appealed last time as it's the same illness, I'd asked to still come to work but do different work (I work in a call centre) but the appeal was rejected.

Low and behold I have tonsillitis again. Normally after two days of anti biotics I'm starting to pick up but I'm not and I'm due back in work tomorrow.

I can't sleep worrying. There really isn't a way round it is there? I honestly think that I'm struggling to get better as I'm in such a state worrying!

Does anyone have any advice?

Longdistance Thu 29-Aug-13 07:45:00

Will they not remove your tonsils as its affecting your job?

I'm not sure what they do in the Uk tonsil wise, but they have them taken out here in Oz.

I thought, that if its affecting your work, then the docs would have to do something, other than dose you up on antibiotics.

working9while5 Thu 29-Aug-13 07:50:20

What? You have medical certification right? They can't actually get rid of you for missing because of genuine illness. The Bradford Index is supposed to root out patternable illness. Have all of your absences been around the weekend? Do they want to get rid of you for other reasons?

storminabuttercup Thu 29-Aug-13 08:04:15

Yes I'm booked in for a tonsillectomy I've just been referred after months of begging.

I work 4 days a week three of them being Monday Friday and Saturday then one changeable day.

They know its genuine as on two of the occasions they have had to tell me to leave as I couldn't talk to anyone properly

I do have other skills they could use but they don't and gave excuses to why this wasn't possible.

Bear in mind it took 16 weeks to respond to my appeal I'm not sure they actually know what they are doing.

The union have accompanied me but it hasn't helped.

It's been over six months since I've last had time off with it I've been lucky in the sense that its started on my day off or when I've had pre booked leave. This time I just can't shift it!

Oh and this isn't a small company it's one of the biggies

glorious Thu 29-Aug-13 08:17:15

I'm not a professional but I do know that you can be dismissed for sickness even if it's genuine.

I suggest you go into work and insist on alternative duties. This should be something they offer where possible to avoid people needing to be off sick. If they refuse I would put the request in writing and ask for a written explanation of why alternative duties aren't available. This may either make them see sense of may help your case if you are dismissed.

But as I say I'm no expert. I'd get some proper advice, perhaps from higher up in your union? Or ACAS?

storminabuttercup Thu 29-Aug-13 08:29:49

Glorious you are absolutely right. Admittedly I've never known anyone dismissed for this reason at my company. I'm wondering if I'm being made an example of. It's discretionary, there are people with much worse records.

I'm going to call today I think and ask if they are willing to accommodate that for a few days. You can tell By my voice that im in No position to speak on the phone for 7 hours. I'm going to drop an email to the union too.

working9while5 Thu 29-Aug-13 09:00:40

Yes glorious but I thought that was for ongoing illness with long absences not ten days over a year! It especially doesn't make sense in a case where the illness is self-limiting and a tonsillectomy is booked.

storminabuttercup Thu 29-Aug-13 09:06:17

They were originally refusing to accept there was an underlying issue. However that may change now I have an op booked.

I'm going to call in shortly to give them time to put something in place.

adagio Thu 29-Aug-13 09:12:16

I would turn up and ask - then if they send you home/refuse alternate duties back up in writing and cc the union and HR - might put the wind up them a bit more. Are HR onsite or remote? Perhaps popping to see them on the way out (assuming alternate duties is refused) might also be worth it.

It is completely true that you can be dismissed from a capability perspective but if you have the tonsillectomy booked I think you have reasonable grounds to argue this won't happen longer term. I am assuming the rest of your performance is great.

Get well soon flowers

storminabuttercup Thu 29-Aug-13 09:47:48

Yes absolutely no issues with my performance or behaviours.

I won't be able to see hr as they are based elsewhere. I don't want to give too much away but with issues like this they basically offer advice but it's lifted straight from the rule book, there is no advice for leniency or using discretion. The company is huge, managers who actually understand the process will follow the guidance but also realise that they don't have to follow it to the letter. Others will just take what is said as gospel and parrot it back. I've been in the unfortunate position of spending time as a manager so understand all this stuff so do find it frustrating. All the decisions are basically made by the second line manager, but I have reason to believe that she isn't the one to compile evidence and stuff and that its delegated. Hence the parroting.
That make sense?

flowery Thu 29-Aug-13 10:15:47

Just because you are on a final warning doesn't mean it will be automatically fair to dismiss you next time you are off sick, and in circumstances where medical steps are being taken to address the problem.

Have they taken medical advice (either by writing to your own doctor or from occupational health or another doctor) about your condition and its long term impact on your work/whether there are any adjustments they could make? They should do that before dismissing you definitely.

storminabuttercup Thu 29-Aug-13 10:42:40

No flowery they haven't that's an interesting point.

noobieteacher Thu 29-Aug-13 10:50:44

It sounds to me as though they are trying to keep the upper hand. Try not to worry as this will be making you worse. Tonsillitis in a call centre is probably an occupational hazard - you are talking all day and your throat is more vulnerable as a result. It's a bit like someone working as a labour and back problems. They will be fearful that you might sue them if the work they give you makes you more ill.

I'm not an expert but you must have rights as others have suggested. I think when you have a good understanding of your rights you will feel more confident to get the support you deserve from the company that employs you.

TSSDNCOP Thu 29-Aug-13 10:56:21

I think you need to call HR and if necessary someone will need to come to you. This sounds like a classic case of management discretion being required to humanise a tick list system.

Given your clean record, positive attitude in wanting to accept alternative duties and seeking imminent medical intervention to avoid future illness would surely stand up well in any tribunal you would bring due to unfair dismissal.

TSSDNCOP Thu 29-Aug-13 10:57:34

And start keeping dated written records of conversations you have with managers.

mignonette Thu 29-Aug-13 11:00:39

I would turn up to be honest because at least then they can see that you are sick. That will also strengthen your case in any disciplinary actions that may arise in the near future. If you cannot do the job properly when you turn up sick then let it be their problem.

I hope you are keeping very detailed notes and I'd advise you to record all calls w/ them, telling them you are doing so.

storminabuttercup Thu 29-Aug-13 11:00:49

I'm feeling much calmer now.

You are both right of course. The whole process is a minefield mainly because of the number of people actually involved.

I've called now and asked for them to look into giving me a temp role. The thing is they have other people away from their own roles on the phones with less experience than me. So officially there is the scope there for me to do it, it makes business sense.

noobieteacher Thu 29-Aug-13 11:05:00

Did you ask for a temp job to replace your current contract or something to do while you are ill but without affecting your contract? If it's the latter, are they clear about that?

storminabuttercup Thu 29-Aug-13 11:16:32

Noobie, made it clear just some cover or something until my voice is back. I have to call back in an hour

blondieminx Thu 29-Aug-13 11:24:19

I think you need to be ensuring you put everything in writing.

I would also ask for a GP letter explaining that due to severe and recurring tonsillitis you have the op booked, and take a copy before asking HR to place it on your file with a cc to the manager involved.

It would also be worth letting it be known that you are taking professional advice about the situation.

Good luck.

storminabuttercup Thu 29-Aug-13 12:42:04

Thank you blondie

I'm wishing I'd have emailed my question now though. hmm

SageMist Thu 29-Aug-13 13:00:50

Email it now, say its a record of the phone conversation that you had.

TSSDNCOP Thu 29-Aug-13 13:08:18

Sage is right. It's perfectly ok to follow up a verbal conversation with an e mail confirmation.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 29-Aug-13 13:16:10

Yes, definitely send an email 'outlining' your conversation.

It is a disgraceful way they are behaving sad

storminabuttercup Thu 29-Aug-13 13:29:37

The problem is the person I phone in to is different to the decision maker so he was going to talk to her and come to an agreement, so emailing won't do much good, mainly as I don't want to rub anyone up the wrong way! (I know I know)

I'm thinking wait for a reply if the reply is come in and do your normal job or don't bother I will email then to detail the whole convo.

The thing is if I wasn't so honest I'd call in with childcare issues and be done with it!

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