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Issues with my employer

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by fiwilson, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. fiwilson

    fiwilson · Newbie

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    I am Type 1 and work full time. My current job is only about a mile from home and I go home for lunch most days -and therefore inject at home when i have lunch.

    There is currently nowhere in my building to inject other than a toilet -which I only use on the odd occasion when my BG is too high. We are moving to another office in May and I may not be able to go home at lunch time due to a change of location. I have highlighted to my employer that I need somewhere in the new building to inject that is 'hygenic and private.' but so far they don't seem bothered!

    As we know it's not right that someone should be expected to inject in a toilet. I work for a housing association and am office based most of the time. Can anyone advise what, if anything (especially in light of the DDA) my employer needs to provide for me under the law.
    Thanks for any advice you can give.
     
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  2. GrantGam

    GrantGam Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello @fiwilson and welcome to the forum:)

    Firstly, and I'm trying to to be blunt, but basically, your employer doesn't have to provide you with anything.

    Furthermore, and most importantly, you don't need to be injecting in the toilet... There are many ways to make injecting "discreet" if you feel such a need, but I still can't fathom why you have been using the toilet for your entire time in your current role?

    Are your colleagues not aware that you are a diabetic? And if not - why not? Do you feel ashamed, scared or embarrassed about injecting in front of them? Because you really shouldn't!

    To be perfectly frank and honest, for all the time it takes, turning away into a corner is all that is needed. And that's only on the assumption that for some reason you want to keep your insulin dependency a secret?
     
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  3. fiwilson

    fiwilson · Newbie

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    Yes my employer knows about my diabetes.

    I wear 'smart' work dresses and therefore it's not possible to inject in the middle of the office - there isn't really a discreet corner I can use within my current office and by all means that will be even more so in the new building which is very much open plan but also has us sitting in closer proximity.

    I don't have any issues injecting when I'm out and about -in restaurants etc but my current work situation is making it difficult.
     
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  4. GrantGam

    GrantGam Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I can kind of understand your situation.

    In that case, have you considered using that back of your arms as injection sites? I'm going on the assumption that not all of your 'smart' work dresses are not long sleeved?
     
  5. SueNSW

    SueNSW Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Blokes are so lucky - when do you ever NOT wear separates. Dresses are such an issue!!

    Not sure I'd fancy injecting into arms unless they were pretty chubby - never tried the legs - and I realise as a type 2 that's only been injecting since the end of November, my situation is different - but they have been suggested to me as an alternative to midriff. But if you're in Britain, you possibly wear tights a lot of the year - can you inject through them??

    One advantage about living in Australia (migrated here in 1981 from Essex) is that I could probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I wore tights to work, but was lucky to have trousers included in our corporate uniform for when it got cool in winter!!
     
  6. GrantGam

    GrantGam Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It's been a good while since I've worn a dress @SueNSW - especially to work:)

    There's no prerequisite to be chubby for injecting into the back of your arms. I initially thought the same, but after some excellent advice from other members on this forum - realised that it's entirely possible. And I'm 72kg at 5' 8" (with non-chubby arms:))

    The secret is to hold the arm you wish to inject into, outright in front of you, like you're pointing at something upside down (that relaxes the fat around your triceps). Then simply take your insulin pen in the other hand from the underside of your tricep and inject. It's as easy as that.

    I don't suggest using the technique of the gentleman in the video below (personally because it doesn't work for me) however, you can see just how "un-chubby" his arms are - and he manages just fine:)

     
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  7. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi, it's no longer the DDA. It's now the Equality Act 2010. It applies to T1s at work and requires employers to make reasonable adjustments. Seeing as regular injections are a thing you need to do to stay alive, I'm certain that your employer would be required by the Act to provide a hygenic and private environment as a reasonable adjustment. I think they would be laughed out of court if they told a judge, nah, we're not going to do anything, she can just go to the toilet.

    If you can't get it sorted by talking to your HR department, there's an Equality and Human Rights Commission which was set up by the Equality Act 2006 to basically promote equality, and it has a related body, the Equality Advisory & Support Service, which has an advice line, 0808 800 0082. I'm sure they've probably had situations like this before.Links below:

    https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/equality-act/equality-act-2010

    https://www.equalityadvisoryservice.com/
     
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  8. GrantGam

    GrantGam Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    As much as I agree with what you have posted @Scott-C, and excellent advice at that, surely we're singing from the same hymn sheet when we "assume" that there is another room in the entire building that isn't simply the female toilets?
     
  9. Scouser58

    Scouser58 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello,,in the building where you work is there a first aid room??if so this is the room to use,,,and it is in your employer's best interest to have somewhere safe for you to use,,and as stated in previous posts there are certain rules and requirements all employers have to work within,,if you are in a trade union get them to intervene for you,,,,good luck with getting a safe clean place to take your insulin,,,p.s. I am T2 and inject the Victoza in thigh just above the knees,,alternating daily,,,?are the needles small could you inject through you tights while in the office?,,and tell your colleagues and the first aider just in case you ever need their help,,,,ttfn from karen.
     
  10. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Master
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    @fiwilson - I'm sure there are times when, for whatever reason, you don't or haven't gone home for lunch from your current office. What have you done then?

    I'm fortunate in that I don't inject, so can't give you any personal wisdom, but I have read of others injecting through their clothing.

    In terms of your corporate wear; is there only one uniform variant for ladies? If so, that's quite unusual these days, bearing in mind our multi-cultural environment and straightforward empathy with individual choices.
     
  11. Diakat

    Diakat Type 1 · Expert
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    I totally get the dress thing, colleagues do not need to see my bum as I pull up my dress to inject in my abdomen!
    I go into an empty office if one is available. Or wait until my team are at lunch and so am the one manging the phones, then inject as discreetly as I can by my desk.
     
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    #11 Diakat, Mar 22, 2017 at 7:17 AM
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
  12. pwzero

    pwzero Type 1 · Member

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    I use a pump and had to do a cannula change at my desk when one failed and my ketones shot up.
    There was no way I was doing it in the toilet.
    That particular one upset a girl I work with and I was extremely discreet.
    I've had a couple of people mention they didn't like seeing me inject in the past when I was using MDI and I was always discreet. I've always shrugged them off and said they just need to look the other way.
    I'm pretty sure I read about a case where some employees were complaining about being 'distressed' having to see someone inject for T1. The employee took the company the court and the employer was liable for not providing a safe environment away from the desk or something like that. I'll see if I can look it up.
    Imo most people are reasonable and you don't need a purpose built room, just somewhere private to go. Maybe a manager will let you borrow their office for a few minutes?
    I'd be interested to hear how you get on.
     
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  13. katmcd

    katmcd Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I totally inject through my tights. Found myself on a train in a dress and thought 'hmm, didn't think this one through' but it was fine.
    I'm recently diagnosed but I've taken the stance that my testing and injecting is not something I want to hide away. Yes I'll be discreet but I'm not going to a dirty loo where there are no surfaces to put stuff on either.
     
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  14. pwzero

    pwzero Type 1 · Member

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  15. catapillar

    catapillar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    As a type 1 diabetic you are disabled under the equality act. Your employer has an obligation to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate your disability. A reasonable adjustment would be letting you inject at your desk, or letting you use a spare room. Building a spare room especially for you probably goes a bit above and beyond reasonable.

    If there is no spare room, inject at your desk. It's perfectly possible to inject while wearing smart work wear without flashing your pants at anyone. If your wearing suits it's easy to get at your abdomen by pulling your top up. If your in a dress use the top of your thighs as the injection site. If your constantly wearing tailored dresses that you can't inject through or move around to enable an injection then you probably need to think about making adjustments to your wardrobe.
     
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  16. DavidGrahamJones

    DavidGrahamJones Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Apologies for me not knowing too much about injecting insulin, I only see from my father's view and he can take half an hour easy just because of his fear of needles and has made the whole scenario such a big thing. At the other end of the scale is a dear friend who is so discrete that nobody notices when he injects during a meal.

    I'm assuming that there are several managers with their own office, can I borrow it for a few minutes? Seems to me that employers make more provision for smokers than they do diabetics.

    How about one of these for an off the wall slightly tongue in cheek suggestion. Of course it's not very discrete but it might make a point. I feel angry, frustrated and shocked that anybody in 2017 should be made to feel the way some diabetics do, this is not the first time I've read a story like this, what is with management? Perhaps we should make sure that the PM herself is made aware of what's going on. I know how difficult it is to write a letter but it's the only way she will find out. Is there a way that we, as a group of forum members can help those facing this situation and making sure the PM gets to hear.

    A letter to PM and copy to local MP.
     

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  17. Shadow_83uk

    Shadow_83uk Type 1 · Member

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    Its not always as straight forward as you imply There can be some challenges in work i have always injected at my desk as put simply why shouldn't I but i have had complaints from others to the senior manager (I'm a manager myself) to which a conversation was had as to i should go elsewhere being who i am the response was not pleasant to my manager and resulted in an apology to me but you have to appreciate this can be a difficult situation for some and there is still a lot of ignorance out there.

    However i do agree you shouldn't feel the need to go and hide as a rule I've found being open has encouraged people to ask and understand the condition better

    If that's not very articulate i use the excuse of tiredness

    Hope it all works out for you though
     
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  18. Shadow_83uk

    Shadow_83uk Type 1 · Member

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    I'm sure the pm is more aware than most mps I'm prity sure she is a type 1 diabetic herself
     
  19. TorqPenderloin

    TorqPenderloin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I inject in the bottom of my arms (hold your arm out straight and about 3"-8" from your elbow towards your chest. I've probably done at least 500 injections between both arms in the last couple years. It's very discrete looking too and I'll often do it at the table without anyone noticing. Note: I have very little fat there and it's not an issue. I also change my needle tip every time as dull needles can be problematic.

    I wouldn't say "Blokes have it easy" as I have similar issues in my line of work. I'm often wearing a suit and white shirt. In those instances I usually inject into the inside of my leg through my trousers.

    The one thing I never do is inject in the toilet. It doesn't matter if I'm with 20 clients I've never met, I personally find it degrading and choose not to do it (if you don't mind then more power to you).

    In regards to the situation at hand: No one owes me a private room to inject and I'm not going to ask for one. I simply don't make a big deal about it and ask that neither do others.
     
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  20. DavidGrahamJones

    DavidGrahamJones Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    She is, you'd like to think she'd be aware of some of the issues except for having an employer who doesn't give just a little consideration for doing something that is vital to the person's well being.
     
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