Clinically Vulnerable with underlying health issues told to work HELP

(29 Posts)
kayla2304 Sat 23-May-20 15:17:32

i have asthma and other underlying health issues that my employer knows about.I got a phone call on Tuesday from the head saying that people who are clinically vulnerable can go to i said if this was the case I would go in two or once a day to which she was ok.
Today I found out im working for 5 weeks straight and which social distancing may not be possible.I told my employer to consider my health first which i have a gp letter staying that if i was to get covid 19 it would be life threatening .I am currently in a situation whether i should tell my employer i do not feel confident in working on the 1 st of June 2020(on prohbation) before the end of next week before possible reopening of schools in 2 weeks time.Should I email my employer with my concerns or should I wait until the government decision on 28th of May so they could find alternative placement as i technically start 2 weeks ' after the school opening'.

I am currently stressed out and feel like i've been trapped and threatened to work(the employer stated if I dont go in i would be dismissed.

OP’s posts: |
SunflowerSeedsForever Sat 23-May-20 18:25:57

Are you extremely clinically vulnerable? Have you had a letter telling you to shield?

Have you spoken to your GP to get their advice?

LIZS Sat 23-May-20 18:31:56

If you are clinically vulnerable are you in the shielding category with a letter? Some employers would accept you isolating even if not, others may not.

Covidpolice Sat 23-May-20 18:34:37

No clinically vulnerable is not the shielding group.

Covidpolice Sat 23-May-20 18:40:47

Your post is very difficult to follow.

Firstly - you seem to be implying you get to tell your employer what days you will work. This isnt the case.

Secondly- the main issue is social distancing. The question I would be asking of my employer is "what risk assessment have you done and how will you ensure my safety given I am clinically vulnerable".

I wout refuse flat out personally, you need to work with them.

kayla2304 Sat 23-May-20 19:43:15

To answer the questions:

a)we discussed that if I was to go in after June.I would be ok with coming in once or twice a week.

b) i am clinically vulunerable but not on the extreme
c) gp has written a letter stating that I would a high risk it I was to catch covid19.
d) After agreeing on the phone; I then recieved an email saying I would be in for 5 weeks Monday-Friday and social distancing may not be possible. I was reassured on the phone risk assesment would be put in place in terms of my health which has not been in my case.
e)I have spoken to my union and the said under government guidelines I should be at home as much as possible and to take extra precaution.( they are currently in support for clinically vulnerable and extremely high risk teachers and Teaching assistant to be at home and that employers should support this).

so with all the above; I currently feel I am in a Limbo between my life as I also currently have an elderly clinically vulnerable person at home to support.
I hope you understand my stance on this.

OP’s posts: |
Moondust001 Sun 24-May-20 07:28:53

I am not sure what you are expecting to happen here. Regardless of what your union say is their preferred option, that is not the employers preferred option. The employers preferred option is to get people back to work because that is what they have been told they need to do. If you feel that you cannot return to work, then of course you must tell the employer. But there are consequences to that. They need their staff in work - they may agree to continue to furlough you, but given that that will soon come at a cost to them, they may not be willing to do so. The best case scenario then would be SSP. But realistically, given that there is very little likelihood of your situation improving any time soon, and your still being in the probationary period, they may well have no alternative but to terminate your contract.

If you are vulnerable, then how can you be ok to work one or two days a week but not the full week?

crustycrab Sun 24-May-20 07:40:38

Well you've told them you're ok to work. How can you do 2 days but not 5?

Ilikefresias Sun 24-May-20 07:49:46

What’s your job? You sound like you maybe work in a school?

KillerofMen Sun 24-May-20 08:19:46

Your union rep needs to talk to your boss. If nothing else, it's not acceptable to allow teachers to stay off but force TAs to work. They should have the same policy for all their staff.

CrowdedHouseinQuarantine Sun 24-May-20 08:22:54

A risk assessment needs to be done at the very least

Bluntness100 Sun 24-May-20 08:23:50

I don’t understand op, why is it safe to work two days but not five?

Surely if you’re that vulnerable you can’t work at all? I also don’t understand how you get to tell your employer when you will work?

As your on probation I think I would play cautiously here because the desire to work two days a week indicates this is more about not wishing to work than risk,

Erictheavocado Sun 24-May-20 08:36:27

I am also clinically vulnerable and among the group that should work from home 'if possible'. The guidance for schools indicates that where not possible, you should be offered the 'safest' job in school 'where possible ' and otherwise, follow social distancing 'where possible '. I think that as long as school has considered your situation, they could still say it isn't possible and under the guidance, you an be asked to work.
I am concerned because I'm in that categoyfoe a couple or reasons - on their own I think I would be at higher risk but combined I suspect it puts me at very high risk, but I clearly don't meet the 'shielding' criteria for any one reason. I will be retuito work, but my head has worked hard to find a solution that we are both happy with and I will be doing a job which is slightly different from my normal day to day work but one I am qualified to do. I have been given assurances about my working conditions that mean I feel I will be as safe as is possible within my school. I suggest you speak to your head, calmly and see what their plans are for you. Then, you can request any reasonable adjustments from there.

Gingerkittykat Sun 24-May-20 10:53:26

I don't understand why you have not been told to shield if you are so clinically vulnerable your GP thinks your life would be at risk if you caught the virus.

Moondust001 Sun 24-May-20 16:38:47

I don't understand why you have not been told to shield if you are so clinically vulnerable your GP thinks your life would be at risk if you caught the virus

To be fair, the decisions to shield people do seem a bit arbitrary; but it is also possible that that is not exactly what the GP said. People tend to hear what they wish to hear, and for milder cases of asthma the risk is only marginally worsened. And not all underlying health conditions have any risk at all. I have an underlying health condition - osteoarthritis - which is very bad but my risk doesn't increase at all.

I think the reality is that the OP has shot herself in the foot, so to speak, since she's said that she's fit enough to work up to two days a week. The risk isn't lower on certain days of the week. It will look to the employer like she is trying to play both sides of the coin here - she's "willing" to work and fit enough to do so, bit doesn't want to work most of the week and is finding excuses to do what she wants.

And with the best will in the world, some GP's say whatever their patients want them to say to get the outcome they want. It's remarkable the number of people with months worth of stress the minute they receive an invitation to a disciplinary meeting, especially if it might well lead to dismissal.

Bluntness100 Sun 24-May-20 17:13:52

I also think the op has scored an own goal here,

There is no logical sense that you can only work two days a week but not more in this context.

Op, the fact you’re on probation here should be something concerning, because it really does look like you just don’t want to go back full time. This isn’t going to go down well with your employer.

ToothFairyNemesis Sun 24-May-20 17:16:56

have a gp letter staying that if i was to get covid 19 it would be life threatening
Then your GP surgery needs to send you a shielding letter.

CancH0l1day20 Mon 25-May-20 13:05:53

Have your workplace provided you with PPE, face mask, clothes, gloves, hand sanitizer ?

Have they put any changes in place for social distancing at all /risk assessment ?

I also cannot understand if you can work 2 days, why can't you work full time ?

ChablisandCrisps Mon 25-May-20 15:55:57

It's the same everywhere, not just for teachers. I work for the prison service and I am currently doing risk assessments so that the vulnerable can get back to work. The shielded are ok for now, but if they need to do it long-term I imagine difficult decisions will need to be made. If people cannot provide regular and effective service they can be dismissed under the grounds of medical inefficiency which comes with a compensation payment. If you can go in I would, as sadly you are not expendable OP and will be replaced.

Erictheavocado Mon 25-May-20 18:54:15


Interesting that you say about some form of compensation rfor those who leave due to medical inefficiency.
When I started my first job, I expected to be able to retire at 60 years old. Apart from about three years when my DCs were little, I have worked from the age of 17 and had things remained the same, I would have been looking to retire next year. If that were still the case, I would seriously be considering going now. I have already paid enough contributions to get full state pension and would be able to afford the small drop in my work pension by taking it a few months early. As it is, the goalposts have moved, significantly, so I have to keep going for another seven years and I can only now take my work pension once I reach state retirement age. I love my job, but if it were financially possible, even with a slight struggle, I would definitely be looking to take (slightly) early retirement rather than have the worry of work and whether my slt have thought of everything relating to my underlying health conditions in their risk assessment.

baffledmum Wed 27-May-20 22:28:17

Hi, If you are clinically vulnerable then if you cannot work from home, you should return. You are no more likely to catch Covid than someone not classed as CV, even though the consequences for you may be worse if you do. Asthma UK have updated their guidance on this & it’s worth you taking a look at their site.

If you live with someone who is shielding, the need to shield does not extend to you.

I feel for you as a fellow asthmatic. Perhaps ask for a period of unpaid leave while things settle down. As a fellow asthmatic I have been reading Asthma UK’s guidance and it is clear. You can also ask to see your employer’s risk assessment as a part of your return.

freddiethegreat Wed 27-May-20 22:40:43

@baffledmum ‘if you live with someone who is shielding, the need to shield does not extend to you’. That is only the case if you can shield within the household (separate bathrooms, 2m distance etc). The letter states that if you cannot shield within the household then the whole household should shield.

baffledmum Thu 28-May-20 06:55:00

If it’s the case that the whole household should shield, I apologise and stand corrected.

If the OP doesn’t have the space to do this, send a copy of the shielding letter (you can redact the reason that shielding is required) to the employer. They can then offer you a period of unpaid leave if you don’t want to return rather than losing their job or see if there is work they can do from home. Appreciate most can’t afford unpaid leave but it does leave things open for them to be able to return.

It’s an horrendous situation.

CrowdedHouseinQuarantine Thu 28-May-20 10:55:30

Even if you are shielded it doesnt give the right for the whole family to stay at home.

WyfOfBathe Fri 29-May-20 14:47:25

If the OP doesn’t have the space to do this, send a copy of the shielding letter (you can redact the reason that shielding is required) to the employer.

OP doesn't have a shielding letter. She's vulnerable but not extremely vulnerable aka shielded.

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