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working from home

(7 Posts)
captainproton Sun 24-Aug-14 21:56:44

Hi, I am in the process of seeing a rheumatologist for a diagnosis on what autoimmune disorder I have. It's probably a kind of arthritis that also affects my lungs and gives me recurrent chest infections.

In last 3 months I've had time off for chest infections and pneumonia, with sick notes.

I've also got stiff joints in the morning.

Work sent me to see an occupational health advisor who recommended I be allowed to work from home when I felt like a flare-up coming on, in order to avoid the long commute into London. They also recommended that they treat me as legally (not necessarily medically) disabled.

We already have PC etc to enable remote working as I am on call 24/7. My DH also works for same employer and had a 6 month contract with them working from home.

My employer have seen the report but they've told me they don't have a working from home policy. That if I can't come to the office I'm too sick to work and they advise I get a GP sick note.

I'm really frustrated I want to work but taking time off is making me very stressed. I now feel like I am being hounded out of the company.

Please can someone let me know if my employer can do this? I am not part of a union so don't know where to get advice.

It annoys me because as tomorrow is a bank holiday we all have to work from home or come to the office if travel permits. Ok it's not mandatory but expected.

flowery Sun 24-Aug-14 22:51:52

Well, employers aren't obliged to follow recommendations from occupational health advisors, or doctors, but they are obliged to make reasonable adjustments to enable employees with disabilities to work.

Not having a policy on something doesn't mean you can't do it. First of all, you can write a policy and secondly obviously everything that ever happens in an organisation isn't governed by a policy anyway. Plus in the case of your employer it sounds like they don't have any kind of blanket ban on working from home anyway, which means they just don't want you to do it.

Depending on your role, it's likely that occasional working from home is a reasonable adjustment, so if you feel your condition is a disability, your next step really is to put in writing to your manager that you have a disability, and that occasional working from home is a reasonable adjustment which would enable you to work, and you would like them to agree that. What you're looking for is them to either agree it, or decline with a proper reason why, which might either be that they don't feel your condition is a disability, or that the requested adjustment is not reasonable.

You talk about your "employer" but what about your actual line manager? Is he/she supportive?

captainproton Mon 25-Aug-14 08:03:04

Gd morning Flowery, my line manager is not supportive and as he is quite a senior figure within my company I doubt this is going to be resolved amicably.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 25-Aug-14 08:09:42

So they had your husband working from home, and want you to work from home on a bank holiday, but don't have a working from home policy?

Can you suggest that they do get a working from home policy that satisfies their needs and then the problem of not having a policy can be resolved? Can you liaise with HR and not your boss on this one?

captainproton Mon 25-Aug-14 09:15:11

Hi, yes I am liaising with HR on this, but all I get is that they are discussing it with my line manager. Who is quite vocal to me about this. My DH worked from home because we suddenly lost a member of staff, and he was on paternity leave and it suited them to let him work from home for 6 months to get them out of a spot.

This is what annoys me, I work from home all the time out of hours when it is necessary, but I am just asking for some flexibility to enable me to keep working.

I feel like I am in a Kafka novel.

My sick record is not god at the moment and I am getting concerned that I will soon have to look for a new job when I'm still mid-diagnosis and therefore only on over-counter meds. I've been seeing consultants in different branches of medicine for over a year now and I still do not have a diagnosis or a treatment plan.

all my annual leave is used on medical appts and if they could let me work from home I could at least see my GP during practice hours and work a full day. At the moment my commute is too long, but I can't afford to move closer to London and the other GP practices wont take me on because I am not in their catchment. Every time I take leave to go to them I am putting pressure on my colleagues to cover me, and I am not a team player anymore. I hate it, as usually we have to plan to take leave on a first come / first serve basis.

Realistically I cannot look for another job until I have a diagnosis and I am not having endless appointments. I need to be settled and well.

I am very frustrated.

flowery Mon 25-Aug-14 10:29:01

Put your request in writing on the basis of a reasonable adjustment for a disability as I said, then you can deal with a proper response, which "we haven't got a policy" isn't. Address it to your manager and copy HR, then hopefully if HR have written request for a reasonable adjustment for a disability, that will prompt them into pushing the manager into actually dealing with it.

captainproton Mon 25-Aug-14 15:51:02

thank you flowery.

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