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Giving notice and / or going off sick

(21 Posts)
FaithLoveandHope Thu 15-Sep-16 21:29:26

I have an undiagnosed back / joint condition that I've recently been referred to the musculoskeletal team for. I work in the chemical industry and increasingly find work causes me so much pain, to the extent I am in tears daily. My work involves lots of manual handling and being on my feet all day. I've tried speaking to management about this and I've basically been told to suck it up. I don't know what to do. My contract states if I were to give notice it'd be a 4 month notice period. I know that I can't keep going to way I am and it's either going to end up me signing off sick or handing in my notice (or both since there's no way I can do another 4 months of this!). What on earth is my best way forward? If I look for another job I don't even know what in as I suspect most chemistry lab jobs would be similar and that's all I have experience in. I feel pretty lost at the moment and like I don't really have anyone I can chat to about this irl.

RC1234 Thu 15-Sep-16 21:57:56

Does your company have an occupational health department? This sounds like you need occupational therapist advice.

What part of your job causes you pain e.g. standing all day, using a computer, handling glass ware or pipetting. What parts of your current job can you do without pain? Do you work in a big team or on your own?

Yes most chemistry lab jobs will involve being on your feet all day, however depending upon your industry specialisation there are completely or partially desk based jobs which still benefit from a good knowledge of chemistry. Are there any such roles in your current firm/ industry?

daisychain01 Fri 16-Sep-16 04:17:36

My contract states if I were to give notice it'd be a 4 month notice period

Really? You may want to recheck that, It doesn't sound a compatible notice period for a manual job to be honest.

Are you a member of a Union? I'd be inclined to consult with them about your management taking such an unsympathetic attitude and not doing anything to make reasonable adaptations, if you are in constant pain, and have medical evidence to show you are being diagnosed for a back problem.

FaithLoveandHope Fri 16-Sep-16 06:38:14

RC no occupational health. We have a HR department who I'm going to have to speak to and see if there is any possibility of getting an occupational health person. It's a combination of standing all day, lifting heavy bits of glassware, transferring products. It's a reasonably small team and it's not possible to get somebody else to do all the things that cause me pain. I think in all honesty I'm going to have to look for a primarily desk based job.

daisy I've double and triple checked and I've been told the reason for it is because of how long it would take to train someone new from a technical point of view. Unfortunately I can't join a union in the company that I currently work for.

confusedandemployed Fri 16-Sep-16 06:54:25

What do you mean, you "can't join a union"?

Also, if your GP or the MS clinic sign you off then you're not fit to work - simple. So hand your notice in then. Nothing wrong with that if it's a genuine reason.

FaithLoveandHope Fri 16-Sep-16 07:05:46

I thought you couldn't join one in the private sector? A few of us have spoken about it before and were told it wasn't possible.

OccasionalNachos Fri 16-Sep-16 07:07:28

Unions are available to everyone, OP - please join one!

CarpeJugulum Fri 16-Sep-16 07:08:36

Bollocks. You can join any Union - but it's best to find one that specialises. Try GMB which is a more general Union, but they can advise the best one for your sector.

confusedandemployed Fri 16-Sep-16 07:28:06

Moreover it's illegal to discriminate against someone for being in a union.

Ebbenmeowgi Fri 16-Sep-16 07:32:11

You can hand in your notice and get signed off sick by a doctor I think. I've done it previously many years ago, but it was a much shorter notice period. And yep, absolutely anyone can join a union x

ApocalypseSlough Fri 16-Sep-16 07:33:06

Faith flowers
I don't want to derail but wtf about private sector and unions! Who told you that?

FaithLoveandHope Fri 16-Sep-16 07:36:14

Thanks all. Apocalypse our manager told us that. I've never had a need to join a union previously so just took what he said as true.

NoahVale Fri 16-Sep-16 07:45:42

you might be better to go off sick and be medically retired? you could look into that. rather than just resign.

ApocalypseSlough Fri 16-Sep-16 07:59:25

There are a few industries where you can't join- Defence? But I think you'd find a call to GMB would be very useful.

FaithLoveandHope Fri 16-Sep-16 10:02:44

Not in defence apocalypse I'm in the pharmaceutical industry.

Noah what does it mean to be medically retired?

Also does anyone know how it works if I have holiday booked and I'm on the sick? I have a few days off coming up soon so thinking maybe I'm better off trying to get to that point before going off sick?

ApocalypseSlough Fri 16-Sep-16 10:05:51

Phone GMB- you've been sold a pup. The employment practices you've described are very dodgy.

Viviene Fri 16-Sep-16 10:18:20

You could retrain. If you have a degree in science look for patent engineer / patent searcher jobs. There is high demand and training available as scientists find those boring so there aren't many people willing to do those. No idea what they pay but it could be an option for you and would get you out of lifting stuff.

flowery Fri 16-Sep-16 12:44:52

"what does it mean to be medically retired?"

In some sectors/industries there is provision in the pension scheme for someone to take early retirement on medical grounds. No idea whether that is the case for you or whether you are anywhere near an appropriate age for that!

If you are not fit for work you need to get signed off. You should ask for occupational health assistance, but ultimately if you don't think it is going to be realistically possible to make adjustments to the job to enable you to carry on, you need to put your energies into finding something else, either with your current employer if that is possible or elsewhere.

In terms of holiday and sickness, it is possible to take holiday while you are off sick, and if your sick pay isn't good then obviously that might be better financially. But you don't have to do so and could consider cancelling the holiday if you wish and if you would prefer the absence to be sickness.

flowery Fri 16-Sep-16 12:47:16

And if you do find something else at a different employer and are signed off sick at the time, it's very likely your employer will be happy to release you earlier than the 4 months.

flowery Fri 16-Sep-16 12:47:29

And if you do find something else at a different employer and are signed off sick at the time, it's very likely your employer will be happy to release you earlier than the 4 months.

daisychain01 Sat 17-Sep-16 09:16:30

Could you find an employment lawyer to talk thru your situation? When I needed some employment law advice, I was given 45 mins free which was very decent of them. I had the questions I needed to ask and we went through it quickly and I came away with a clear understanding of where I stood.

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