Appalling sick record(9 Posts)
I have a disability which has caused me to take a lot of time off sick just lately (3 months last summer and with the exception of 4 weeks recently I've been off pretty much since new year when I had two hospital stays). I'm off sick at the moment.
It's a small company so we don't have an HR department as such but I'm almost certain they're going to be questioning my capability to do my job. What would be the procedure for this? Would the fact that it's disability related make any difference? I know that they can't discriminate but if I'm never there to do my job surely whether it's disability related or not is irrelevant.
I guess every company operates differently but I think it would be difficult to question it. If you've been in hospital then that proves you were genuinely sick rather than someone that has a cold before every bank holiday for example.
Does your disability affect your ability to do your job? If it does I think they have to make reasonable adjustments to help you be able to do it where possible. Hopefully someone will be along that knows the legal side on that.
They need to make "reasonable adjustment" for your disability, which may mean late starts, or giving you longer breaks. If you're not there to do the job, they can start capability proceedings which may end up with you losing your job, unfortunately.
Disclaimer - not a HR bod: just my understanding.
They need to make reasonable adjustments to enable you to return to work and do your job, but if there are no reasonable adjustments possible that will achieve that, then yes they could dismiss you for capability.
Are there adjustments they could make to enable you to return? Is your sickness absence situation likely to improve? That's an awful lot of absence for a small business to have to sustain.
If you're prepared to share what effect your disability has on your work, we might be able to suggest some adjustments they could make to help you do your job. It might range from flexible working to specialist furniture/equipment or modified office layout. If they fire you without considering reasonable adjustments, it's discrimination. However, chances are, they really don't know how to support you: if you go with a few ideas up your sleeve, they'll probably be pleased to try what they can.
I have bipolar disorder. It's horrifically unstable at the moment hence all the time off.
It does effect my work in that I have trouble concentrating and sometimes tasks can take longer to do than they should.
Before I was off this time around I wasn't really well enough to be working and made some quite critical errors. I know that my performance has been poor and up to now my employer has been very patient but they can only be patient so long.
When I've managed situations such as yours, I usually involve occupational health to get a better understanding of what adjustments can be made and if possible, what the mid/long term prognosis is likely to be.
If we've made all reasonable adjustments we can and it's simply a case of their health is such that they cant maintain working then we would have no choice but to make moves to dismiss due to incapability - at the end of the day, you not being there and not performing the role will be having a negative impact on the business so would need to be resolved sooner rather than later.
Given your level of sickness, I would hazard a guess that your company doesn't know how to manage your situation. Have you been keeping them updated with your situation? It's always helpful to keep the lines of communication open.
Do you feel capable of carrying out your working duties? I think it's worth asking yourself honestly.
I've kept in regular contact with them so they're well aware of the situation. They tell me my job is safe and to take as much time off as I can but I know their patience will only last so long.
Do I feel capable of carrying out my duties? When completely well, yes. Currently, I think I'd struggle. I have been thinking, a lot, about whether or not I'm fit for work at all. I like working though and I love my job. That isn't helpful to my employer though.
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