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Employer giving very hard time about Diabetes

Discussion in 'Jobs and Employment' started by AndyWV, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. AndyWV

    AndyWV · Newbie

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    Hi All,
    Hope everyone is well. Need a bit of advice / moral support. My employer is constantly giving me a very hard time about my condition - type 1 diabetes. The condition effects my attendance (I take about 10 days sick per year) and occasional unstable blood sugar levels effect my job performance. My employer is putting more and more pressure on me to improve my health and, despite numerous discussions, seems to believe that all my ill's can be remedied. My poor attendance record has already led to me being held back (in terms of being given additional responsibility) and being given reduced bonuses etc. Where do I stand and what can I do about this? Any advice would be gratefully received.
    Many Thanks,
    Andy :mrgreen:
     
  2. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    Hi,

    I am bumping your post up in the hope that a Type1 will reply.
     
  3. sugar2

    sugar2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Andy,

    what is it that causes you to take ave 10 days sick a year?

    I don't know what is normal for a T1, but myself, I have never been off sick sue to my T1 diabetes, although, perhaps, in the past 15 years, I have been late once or twice when I have had to get my BG up so I can drive.

    I am not sure your employer is doing anything wrong, I assume he does not stand in the way of you diabetes control...not letting you test, or treat hypos etc? if they do, then this is an entirely different matter!

    Obviously, some of this is dependent on what it is you do for a living. Could you explain what is wrong with you on your sick days? Are you hypo, or recovering from a hypo, is your BG too high, and you feel rubbish because of it? Or is it because of diabetes complications?

    I am afraid it is people like me who may be part of your problem. T1s, who are lucky enough not to need time off work because of their diabetes. Clearly, we are not all the same, but I wondered if you could explain what the specific issue is, so we can try and give you some advice.
     
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  4. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Likewise as sugar2 says a little more info would be great. That said if you feel you are being victimised or harassed at work then the Citizens Advice is a good place to start, but before you go please be sure that your employers pressure to improve your health isn't brought about by genuine concern for your well-being, after all they do have a duty of care to safeguard the health of their employees.

    Nigel
     
  5. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    Likewise till other disease, I never had a day off for t1 in 25 years.

    However, what might also help to do is to do a comparison to a non diabetic person in your workplace, and how much sick they take and their treatment.....

    I know that DDA does cover diabetes, but also from my own personal point of view, is that I previously would always consider sick records, absenteeism, warnings etc in all aspects of my being a manager, and I certainly wouldn't have given extra repsonsibility to a person who has 10days sick a year-whethe diabetic or not!!!!

    Performance related pay and bonus's are run to reward things such as 100% attendance, I know my old Company would give you another days holiday...as a reward, and you used to have to have 3months witout any sick or absence to get the 3 monthly PRP, and attend all week without being late at all to get the weekly attendance allowance......providing your Company is complying with time off without pay for hospital, injections, hypo's etc....then to be honest....I would take a more positive outlook to this problem.....and that is to get a more positive outlook to manage your diabetes better.....

    I had hypo's at work, I had occasions of high's, but they were rare in 25 years...I am certainly NOT saying that I was perfect by a long chalk....but I did as much as I could to always attend.
     
  6. blonagael

    blonagael · Active Member

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    Hi there

    Don't be put off by people asking why you had 10 days off. It's none of their business. Some workplaces have higher percentages of sick absence than others.

    If you're getting a hard time about having diabetes, that sounds unacceptable to me. You have no choice in the matter.

    I'd recommend keeping a diary of every incident. If you haven't already, do it now and write what you can remember.

    Sounds like your boss knows almost nothing about diabetes, probably having read a little and thinking that it's as simple as a car needing petrol to run. Low sugar - eat a mars bar. High sugar take insulin. There you go I've solved the whole issue of diabetes and no-one will ever need another day off work!

    I'm sure it's illegal to hold you back regarding responsibilities if you're covered by the DDA where the absences are related to the disability. This also applies to bonuses. You need to take advice from CAB or elsewhere.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Snodger

    Snodger · Well-Known Member

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    yay blonagael, you have said everything I couldn't quite manage to put in the right words. Quite right on all counts.
     
  8. sugar2

    sugar2 · Well-Known Member

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    blonagael /Snodger, Whilst I wholeheartedly agree you should no be held back because of your diabetes, I think you have missed the point of my "why are you taking 10 days off sick? question" I am not questioning this, merely asking what is the cause? Ceryainly didn't want to suggest that anyone was "skiving!"

    "Just" being diabetic does not mean you need to be off sick, but having complications, or lots of hypos, or hypers may lead to days of sick. I apologise if the question came across agressively, it wasn't supposed to, but as someone who has diabetes since childhood, and have fought to have the same opportunities as everyone else, it really, really annoys me when people use their diabetes as an excuse, I am sure this is not the case with Andy and also that he would rather not take the days off work.

    My question is aimed to try and help with the root of the problem. I can not help with victim supporrt, as I am lucky enough not to be a victim.
     
  9. bowell

    bowell · Well-Known Member

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    Not come back to visit from the 8th
    I wonder why :roll:

    We can all fall off our horse

    Stay safe stay well

    Bob

    Download the pack below lots of useful info
    http://uk.sitestat.com/diabetes/web...ts/Advocacy/Employment_Advocacy_Pack_2010.pdf
     
  10. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4664033.stm

    So if you work in the public sector then you are slightly better than average.
    If you are in the private sector then you are a bit above average but not that bad overall.

    Now this is where I get very heated as I air my personal opinions! :evil:

    Anyone who doesn't take a day off sick in a working year either has a superhuman immune system or is one of these idiots - yes I do mean idiots - who thinks it is a macho (or machoette) thing to come into work when very sick just to prove how dedicated they are.

    The result is that they do not perform as they should, they infect all their colleagues and the whole workplace suffers.

    The responsible thing is to stay away from work if you are sick to protect your workplace from the risk of disease.

    Ten days a year is no reason to be passed over for bonus, promotion, or anything else.
    If this reflects the ethos of your particular workplace then you are suffering from workplace bullying.

    Further, diabetes is known to compromise the immune system (which is why diabetics amongst other things are fast tracked for flu jabs) so only 10 days off a year is a pretty **** good performance.

    Are we perhaps talking of a workplace where women are bullied if they have to take a day of because of a particularly painful period?
    Where any sign of sickness is treated as weakness?
    Perhaps where it is more important to turn up than do a good job?

    The important measure is how you perform when you are at work and any business which loses sight of this simple fact is heading for serious trouble.

    Gah!
    :evil: :shock: :evil: :shock: :evil: :!:

    As suggested above, talk to the CAB.
    If there is a Union around, join it and use it!

    Possibly look for a less neandethal employer because you want a job where there is mutual respect between employer and employee, not fear, distrust and bullying.

    Cheers

    LGC
     
  11. borofergie

    borofergie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I've had one day off in 18 years (and then only because I was stuck 50 miles away with a broke collarbone).

    Obviously I'm a very, very, bad man.
     
  12. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    I must be a very bad woman too...no time off in 25 years because of diabetes...even after hysterectomy asked to be signed as fit to go back to work after a week!! (GP refused)!!!-so had work brought home for me to do....

    I must be seriously bad as well...

    I had many, many, many people abusing sick when I was a distribution manager- 'booking up' their sick days according to their paid allowances, and number of occasions and times before they would be put on to a warning (it was a heavily unionised workplace)....and it was all done blatantly because they could, and because it was paid...and boy, it was so abused......(not saying original OP is anything like this....). Just an example of how difficult it is for some Management in positions to think good of anybody being sick, because in some places sick is so abused...
    Even then, I didn't take sick for anything because, I felt I had to lead by example and also if I did take sick for my diabetes, my company would never employ another type 1 again
    I wasn't 'superhuman' in the workplace, just lucky enough for 25 years that I did not have any illnesses...except for the hyserectomy...

    I also remember when I was at school 30+ years ago and my dad worked in the dockyard, he too never took a day off, but even then he had so many people that took all their paid 6 weeks sick (a lot in those days) off-because they could....

    I finally had to change my type of job, cut hours, cut pressure, took cuts in pay etc...when I became ill with another disease...and now I do not work anymore.

    Just a small explanation as to why I appear to be 'down' on sick-but not really-just that I really do think that taking 10days off work due to diabetes or not performing at work so well because of diabetes......that the diabetes management should be looked at and addressed.....as there may be times in the future that further illnesses can come along and could warrant having to take more time off...
     
  13. Osidge

    Osidge Type 2 · Well-Known Member
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    Hi all

    I feel so sad that Andy has not replied. I don't think that I would have replied in his situation. I try to tell newbies that this is a great place for support and what have we achieved here?? How many times is it said that we are all different and yet because he has not come up to the "standards" of a few he has been chased away. It is ironic that the title of this thread is his employer giving him a hard time and he has come for support and been given another hard time here.

    Andy is covered by the provisions of the Equality Act (Ex DDA) and his employer is obliged by law to make reasonable adjustments. My employer did for me and I hope that Andy can get the support he needs to ensure that he is not being discriminated against on account of his diabetes.

    Thanks to those who tried to support Andy.

    Doug
     
  14. Margi

    Margi · Well-Known Member

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    I know nothing about being in a big, many peopled workplace because I don't do people very well and have always chosen to work in an environment where I can be on my own. But I'd like to offer some moral support.

    I can't see that ten days off in a year is a problem and certainly should not be for the management. After all, anyone can get a cold or flu, or break a leg, or any of a million other things. I admire and am a little jealous of you guys who have never had to have days off. I guess though, because of the nature of the various jobs I do, especially looking after horses, I tend to work when I really shouldn't too. After all, stabled horses can't let themselves out in the morning - at least, not if I shut them in properly the night before! :wink:

    Diabetes often goes along with mental health problems, especially depression and often bipolar, and that can make working life difficult too. But as has been said, diabetes is covered by the DDA and allowances should be made.

    I have no idea of the legalities of them not giving you more responsibilities and bonuses, but to say your job is at risk because of ten days off a year I imagine is certainly illegal.

    Are your days off to do with hospital appointments etc? If so, they are not sick days and the employer has to allow them without penalty.

    On a personal, rather grumbly note, I do envy people who work in a place that pays for the first three days off sick. Employers have no legal obligation to do that, and my husband used to work for a factory that didn't. He was paid so little that he couldn't afford to take a 'sickie' and no one did because they didn't get paid. There was no 'allowed' sick days. He had pneumonia one winter and had to go back to work much too early because he either had to claim SSP which was a twelve (or more) page form to do, and would have provided about enough money to pay the rent, if that, or the factory was going to 'very generously' they thought, use his holiday pay to cover the illness. I think a lot of factories are like that and no one seems to notice or shout about it. It is the other end of the extreme, but really gets to me. My husband now has COPD because of all those years in the sawdust of that factory; so do many of the retired people from there. I'd love to be able to prove it was their fault and go for them over it, but I don't know if I've got the energy and I certainly don't have the finances. My diabetes and mental health problems have made an enormous impact on my ability to earn money, so I'm broke.

    I hope my new Avon business will change that. :D I hope I'm allowed to say that, and ask if anyone wants to be an Avon Lady (or gent), because it's a great way to earn money and work your own hours so you can work round all your problems. Let me know. Please, mods, don't tell me off for advertising: it really is something that can benefit people in our position. :)
     
  15. Osidge

    Osidge Type 2 · Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for your supportive posting, Margi. I am sure that you are truly repentant of your use of the A word.

    Self-employment is often a lifesaver for those with chronic illnesses and disabilities. I hope that it will ease your finance problems as well as having a positive effect on your mental health issues.

    Regards

    Doug
     
  16. bowell

    bowell · Well-Known Member

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    Yes with that same attitude like a fool

    I spent three weeks in Hospital with Phenomenon 2 more weeks at home
    All because i carried on working when ill ,Out on a cold wet building site mid winter ,
    All to try and Finnish a contract on time ,because my firm would not place anymore labour on the Job
    Did i get any sick pay? NO just the standard gov sick pay £48 a week back then
    no way i wanted to be home on £48 a week :cry:

    I stopped with a workmate once to drag a girl from a burning car ,
    We were now late for a site meeting although phoned in told the office can not leave until police or fire crew arrive,
    We were both docked 2hrs pay and put on a warning ???
    I Left after I altered his nose :wink:

    I have worked on my holiday to help get a contract out on time and then told i lost my Holidays

    My last firm i worked for as production manager The Boss overruled me and forced one joiner with swine flue to come back into work to Finnish making a fancy staircase off ,
    He Passed it on to three others inc 18 year old apprentice ,Who later died from swine flu :evil:
    Nothing has come from it ,as he closed the firm down short time afterwards ,I wonder why
    closed on the Friday before Xmas laid everyone off .Did not pay that months wages ether ,We all had to claim from government redundancy agency, that paid out in May then only a %
    In the Feb started back up same building same name all but .uk Phoned me and asked if i wanted
    my old Job back , I told him to stuff it some place wet and smelly

    You may have worked for some Fine firms , I have worked for some right Sods in my time

    So this carry on and solder on does not cut any ice with me

    I have worked hard for 38years Paying my tax and NI

    And What do i get now I am perm disabled and need some help NOTHING!

    Wish now id taken every day I was ever due NOW and then some more

    Bob
     
  17. cavillas

    cavillas · Member

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    What annoys me is all these people deciding that if anyone takes time of work for being sick that they are malingerers and also why do some managers/bosses believe they have the same knowledge as a physician to decide whether someone is sick or not. Some people can abuse their bodies by going into work when they are ill and making their conditions worse over time, it also depends on what kind of work you are doing, an office job is not as physically demanding as driving a large lorry, working in a production environment or doing any sort of hard physical job.
     
  18. mrawfell

    mrawfell · Well-Known Member

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    Margi,
    I am sure the question of costs in COPD and cause and compensation will be related to bus fare, phone calls etc.
    Since there are so many people involved contact the HSE, or go to the CAB and ask about the HSE and the way to progress.
    There may already be case law on sawdust and COPD, but try before you give up.

    Alan T2
     
  19. borofergie

    borofergie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes. I fully agree that coming into work when you are sick is a stupid form of bravado.

    No-one ever thanks you for it, and no-one ever remembers. If you are genuinely sick, then of course you should have time off work, especially with diabetes complications (I'm sure it is very different for many T1 diabetics like the original poster).

    However, as others have noted, there are lots of people that exploit the whole "pulling a sickie" thing. It is these people that cause a problem for the legitimately ill, not those of us whose work ethic is bigger than our brains.

    10 days off sick is not a lot.
     
  20. islelassie

    islelassie Type 2 · Active Member

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    My son in law was diagnosed with diabetes 1, last Autumn. He is a Theatre Nurse- he has been on long term sick leave due to complications of diabetes since February. This is because he has had many hypos, some in theatre. They have given him very high levels of insulin as his sugar levels are so unstable. They have told him once he has had the condition for a year, they may consider him for an Insulin pump.

    He is very depressed because this condition came out of the blue after he had been prescribed anti smoking medication ( there is some evidence that this drug is causing diabetes in otherwise healthy people in that there are lawsuites in the USA. ( Chantex). He is 32 and feels his life is over if his diabetes is not responding to treatment in the normal way.

    Is there any one out there who has managed to get their diabetes 1 under control with these new pump things?
     
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