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Occupational Health/Meeting with boss

(22 Posts)
Romas Wed 12-Nov-14 20:41:24

I have a meeting with my boss tomorrow to discuss my OH report. I've been at work throughout my illness but the report is suggesting reasonable adjustments based on the Equality Act 2010.

I'm a bit concerned about what these might be. I'm a teacher with depression and PTSD. Any ideas?

HeyMacWey Wed 12-Nov-14 20:43:37

Have you seen a copy of the report?
What reasonable adjustments are they suggesting?

Romas Wed 12-Nov-14 20:53:37

I've seen the report today but it just says 'reasonable adjustments' but then says that it wouldn't be helpful for OH to be 'prescriptive' about these.

Kundry Wed 12-Nov-14 20:57:34

What sort of reasonable adjustments do you think you need?

Off the top of my head being able to attend regular counselling appointments, reduction in working hours or change in working pattern?

It helps if you can come ready with some ideas of what adjustments would help you.

Romas Wed 12-Nov-14 20:59:07

I don't really want any adjustments. I think I'm fine but no-one else seems to!

HeyMacWey Wed 12-Nov-14 21:00:44

Normally they offer ideas about what these could be.
Do you have any suggestions or ideas that could help make a difference?
What are the key issues that impact on your health and how could any adjustments help overcome then?
I guess this is a good opportunity to see if anything can be put into practice to help you maintain any reasonable work life balance.
For example if you perhaps having someone /buddy to go through any areas when there's been conflict in the classroom or whatever it is that triggers your ptsd so you can have a debrief or something to plan for next time - perhaps time for reflection and learning for yourself? It's hard to suggest without knowing how your mental health issues manifest themselves in the workplace.

What do you want to get out of it?

HeyMacWey Wed 12-Nov-14 21:01:48

What has triggered your oh referral then?

Romas Wed 12-Nov-14 21:04:35

My OH referral was because I had crisis team intervention in June/July/August.

I just want to be allowed to do my job but everyone seems to be tripping over themselves to tell me how ill I am.

MrsNuckyThompson Wed 12-Nov-14 21:04:43

To be fair your boss is in a really tough position here. The professionals are telling him to make adjustments but not telling him what to do! Go to the meeting with an open mind and some suggestions or at least be prepared to state that you don't need adjustments!

HeyMacWey Wed 12-Nov-14 21:11:00

I imagine they are worried that over the summer holidays you needed specialist support and they're mindful that the job may have been a factor in triggering this episode.

Is there any reason why you don't want any adjustments? It doesn't have to be permanent?

Kundry Wed 12-Nov-14 21:17:25

Unfortunately, if you suggest you don't need adjustments, it looks like you don't have insight into your illness. Although you may be entirely right that you are better, having needed the crisis team as recently as August you will find it v hard to convince people.

You need to come up with some adjustments that suit you, so everyone can feel they have met their legal requirements to support you and go home happy.

If you try to fight and say you don't need any, you will be stuck in Catch22 and getting a whole load of grief.

Romas Wed 12-Nov-14 21:20:07

The thing is there aren't any adjustments that can be made without them negatively affecting my students and I don't want that to happen. Nor do I want my department to think I get special treatment.

HeyMacWey Wed 12-Nov-14 21:34:15

It's not up to you to make that judgement. It is up to your employer to find the solution that means it doesn't impact on your students. It does sounds like you are putting up lots of barriers. I'd try and find a more solution focused approach if possible. I know you're being conscientious about your work but I think Kundry is right with the points she has raised.

What is the one thing that could make a difference?

Romas Wed 12-Nov-14 22:23:48

Thanks for your answers. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what he suggests tomorrow. It will be an intensely uncomfortable meeting as he cannot cope with anything to do with emotions and just goes bright red.

funchum8am Wed 12-Nov-14 22:31:08

Time off to attend medical (or counselling?) appts would be perfectly reasonable and would have to be given anyway most likely, so asking for that should be reasonable and only minimally disruptive.

Remember that you staying well and being in school is more important than anything else to your students, so avoiding any major triggers that might lead to more prolonged periods of time off is better for them in the long run than soldiering on then becoming ill again. (Head of faculty in a secondary school here, with experience of dealing with OH referrals for ongoing health issues for a member of my team.)

Kundry Wed 12-Nov-14 22:32:06

Help him out then. Give him a suggestion or two and he'll probably rip your arm off with gratitude.

It is not special treatment - it is a reasonable adjustment.

As I said, the more you insist you don't want special treatment or don't have problems, the more you look like a liability who is has their head in the sand and will be burnt out in 3 months.

Trust me, I've been there. Employers and Occ Health departments love you if you say 'yes I have a problem, I'm actively engaging in treatment, x and y would help'. To them it means you are not a risk and they then leave you alone. What they really hate is people who insist they are fixed.

Romas Wed 12-Nov-14 22:33:53

I haven't had a day off school in 4 years and didn't have a day off when I was seeing the crisis team, all my appointments were after school.

I'm not having any counselling as I'm on the waiting list. I will suggest time for this when the appointment comes as it will hopefully satisfy everyone.

Thanks.

HeyMacWey Wed 12-Nov-14 22:38:21

Good luck - hopefully he may have some suggestions too.
Make sure you take notes throughout the meeting and these are signed off both both your boss and yourself.

Romas Thu 13-Nov-14 20:29:21

Well it was a big waste of time. There are no adjustments that can be made, perhaps I should consider not working quite so hard but he can't offer any suggestions as to which bit of the work I shouldn't be doing.

HeyMacWey Thu 13-Nov-14 21:14:57

How frustrating. I'm imagine once hr receive his response they'll be wanting another meeting. It doesn't look good for them to have oh recommending adjustments and for no attempt to be made - even though you didn't want it - but still.

It's sounds incredibly unproductive and stressful for you to have to go thorough oh mtgs and more for there to be no action that can be taken.

What did they say about counselling appts?

I would think about being more mindful of any extra work that you're doing - not that I'm suggesting you do the bare minimum but make sure the job is just that - a job - and isn't impacting on your health.

Romas Tue 18-Nov-14 21:03:42

I had another OH meeting today and it was dreadful. The nurse told me to pull myself together, stop feeling sorry for myself and to be positive. She also said that if people are considering suicide they should just make a decision and get on with it. I left her room and cried for 10 minutes then had to go and teach.

massagegirl Wed 19-Nov-14 20:58:48

Oh my god that's awful, what a horrible unprofessional nurse. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that.

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