1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2020 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Trouble getting time off work

Discussion in 'Jobs and Employment' started by [email protected], Jul 12, 2010.

  1. B@rnstormer

    [email protected] · Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Hi,

    I've been diagnosed with type 2 a few weeks back, as as a result I'm having to visit the specialist at my doctors' surgery regularly (once a week at first and most recently every 2 weeks). My employer is reluctant to allow me to take the time off during the day, and the specialist is only available at certain times of certain days so there's no evening or weekend slots available. They have booked my most recent slot at 8.30am one day this week, so as not to disrupt the day too much, and wanted to take it as an hour of holiday but they've put it down as "early lunch". So I'm taking my lunch between 8.30am and 9.30am, then working from 9.30am to 5.30pm with no breaks. I do not get tea/coffee/water breaks, I do not smoke, so I'll be sat at my desk looking at a screen for 8 hours without food. I can go to the toilet but that's it. As a recently diagnosed diabetic I'm obviously no expert, but I would have thought that going all day without lunch wouldn't be the best thing for me. :(

    A colleague recently diagnosed with a digestive problem of some kind is in and out of the office all the time for doctor/hospital appointments and nobody seems to bat an eyelid.

    Has anyone else had a problem like this with an employer that isn't understanding, and does anybody know where I stand with regards to breaks? Should they be allowing me to break for food during the day or is it ok for me to go without lunch?

    Thanks
     
  2. dorcas61

    dorcas61 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    Is there a trade union at your workplace? If so join up quick!!

    Your employer is completely out of order - have they never heard of the Disability Discriminationa Act? Or the Health & Safety in the Workplace Act??

    Or check direct.gov.uk
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. B@rnstormer

    [email protected] · Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21

    Sadly, as it's a small business, there's no union, no HR department, and they don't really seem to give a stuff about any other laws and regulations so I don't think they'll care about disability discrimination either. They've got CCTV cameras in the office trained on our desks and the manager sits upstairs watching us all day to make sure we're not speaking to eachother etc. As far as I was aware this is illegal too, they also read our ingoing and outgoing emails despite it never having been mentioned to us that this would happen, again this is illegal I believe. Sorry I'm getting off-topic but it shows the kind of company I'm working for. They just do as they like.
     
  4. dorcas61

    dorcas61 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    They do as they like because nobody challenges them... check out the laws on direct.gov.uk and contact CAB or similar...
     
  5. B@rnstormer

    [email protected] · Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Thanks dorcas61. I was thinking I might check out the CAB to see what they say. I'm wary of challenging them right now as if things come to the crunch, I've got no other job to go to. I've got a mortgage to pay and my current employer seems to pay me a fairly good wage, I can't get similar money elsewhere.

    At some point though I have to put my health first.
     
  6. jane22

    jane22 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    If that was me I would put my health first right now. I can see you don't want to alienate yourself but I don't think going all day without a food break is good for anyone. I think I would write a polite letter to the employer saying that you have done your best in getting doctors apppointments that cause the least disruption to your work and rather than taking it as sick leave you are have offered to take it as holiday leave. Then I would mention politely of course that as a diabetic going without food all day could compromise your health and you would not wish this to lead to needing even more sick leave. How about asking for a 15 minute food break in the middle of the day and working 15 minutes longer at the end. I don't think you should have to do that but it could be a compromise.
     
  7. viv1969

    viv1969 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Sadly there is no current legislation which entitles you to time of for medical visits.
    I'm lucky, my employer is very understanding, and I always either schedule for either end of the day or take a day of leave.
    Are you usually able to take leave on a 'by the hour' basis? If it's common practice where you work then I'd make a bit of an issue about it.
    If you work with a VDU all day, then you are advised to take regular breaks from looking at the screen, but again there is no current legal coverage for this.
     
  8. tigger

    tigger Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    386
    Trophy Points:
    103
    A couple of things - although an employer is not required to give you time off for medical appointments and can make you take it as unpaid leave, if you have a disability which qualifies under the DDA (I don't know if type 2 does or just type 1) then they have to treat it more carefully otherwise they are discriminating on the basis of your disability.

    Secondly under the European Working Time Directive which has been in force here for a number of years a worker is entitled to regular breaks including 30 mins at least for lunch. Google it and you'll get all the details but there is a requirement for certain hours of work to equal certain breaks.

    Good luck!
     
  9. bowell

    bowell · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I had Similar problem I am also type 2

    You can join any union you like does not matter if your firm has one or not
    think of it as insurance policy against a bad employer

    My union pulled out all the stops for me Union lawyers made the stand that I was covered under DDA ie
    my firm must make reasonable allowances for the disability
    Then on advice from own lawyers backed down within blink of an eye
    with a full apology with all the unpaid leave I needed for medical appointments and a extra weeks holiday on full pay

    Get in contact with
    A Union
    CAB
    The Disability Rights Commission 08457 622 633 (very helpfull)

    If the appointments are connected with a condition that could be called a a disability. In that case, an employer must make reasonable allowances for the disability, and allowing time off for medical appointments is considered to be a 'reasonable allowance'.
    If you are unsure about whether or not you fall under the definition of a disabled person in the terms of the Disability Discrimination Act, then you can seek advice from your local Citizen's Advice Bureau. The Disability Rights Commission 08457 622 633

    Why do some members think T2 are not covered under Employment part of DDA ? It states Diabetic
    Untreated the end is the same Hyperglycemic and Death

    I was Hyperglycaemic with BG30 left side paralysed 999 into hospital for a week on insulin to get me down then loads of hospital appointments
    I was told I was ether fit for work or not and if fit could not have the time off for medical appointments ? well i won that one :D
     
  10. cugila

    cugila · Master

    Messages:
    10,272
    Likes Received:
    98
    Trophy Points:
    118
    Type 2's MAY be covered in SOME or even ALL areas.........it is simply not as clear cut as some make out.

    It is because this legislation is a veritable minefield for those who read it and put their own interpretation on what they read. It is also a fact that each case would be treated on it's merits. Nothing is cut and dried. None of the members including myself are experts in Employment and Disability Discrimination Law. The people that are have spent years training to be experts and sometimes even they can get it wrong. Big time !!

    So, we offer our opinions.....based on our own experiences. We tell people to get proper legal advice from all the organisations that have been mentioned in your own and other previous posts. If you research the Law reports and stated cases from Tribunals and various appeals you will find that it isn't clear if a Type 2 is covered in certain aspects of this particular legislation.

    That is why people who come here asking for advice should know that there are no experts here, just members who want to help. Sometimes those members can be wrong, but think that they are right because that is how they have read something.......but unfortunately misinterpreted it. That's what Tribunals are for .....to decide if the case is valid or not. Sometimes even when someone thinks they have right on their side it turns out because of one little clause they misread, they are not going to win a case.....a technicality. It happens all the time.

    I spent a lifetime dealing with both Criminal and Civil Law, was involved in Tribunal's etc......I still wouldn't tell anybody that some things are fact and encourage them to go down a route challenging their Employer without proper expert legal advice..........something that frankly you will not get from a Diabetic Forum.......however knowledgeable some members think they are.

    We can all say we are right........doesn't mean to say we actually are........ :|

    Ken.
     
  11. bowell

    bowell · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Before I was employed by this firm I was Never a member of any Union for some 28 years+
    However other employes advised me to join as the management had some odd ideas :?
    Best advise I have ever been given

    It worked for me as a T2
    Owner did get his come up-ants not long after he also became diabetic and was asking me what he could eat? I told him As much Coke and Mars Bars you can fit in :D

    Like I said GET Professional HELP form your UNION ,CAB, Disability Rights Commission
    as soon as you mention DDA your firm will .

    My intention was to give you the encouragement to go forward as a T2
    get help and give it a try as all is not lost

    In this present climate some employers will push to the limit and beyond on normal employment
    law let alone DDA

    I believe anyone with a hospital appointment should be given the time off regardless of the illness diabetes DDA or Not
    its hard just to get a any hospital appointment let alone telling the consultant,MRI scan bods,I can only fit you in after 5 on a friday yerrr like thats going to happen

    I was a time served Plumber and never normally put up with anything like that "Up Yours Mate" and just walked into the next job the day after I was lucky I could , many can not
    However at that time not long with diabetes I felt like making a stand and very pleased i did

    Dont let them grind you down

    Keep us all tuned in how you get on
     
  12. B@rnstormer

    [email protected] · Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Hi all,

    Thanks so much for the advice here. I've been an internet forum user for many years now in one field or another and I'm very aware that you can't take anybody's answer for definite - I've even come across people who will deliberately ill-advise others just for the sake of it.

    Still no luck with getting them to break one of my days holiday into hours, they don't like the idea. It's not normal practice, they only like days or half days. Seems odd, it's hard enough for me to get a day or half day because they worry about there not being enough cover in the office, you'd think it was in there intrest for me to be out for just an hour rather than half a day? :?

    Thanks again

    Edit - By the way, I'm having trouble with the search function. I want to search for posts containing "Metformin not working", as I'm worried that my Metformin 500mg x2 a.m. and x2 p.m. aren't reducing my BG levels. When I run the search it says Metformin has been ignored because it's such a common word. I've tried all I can think of but it just won't let me search for what I need. Any ideas at all please???

    Cheers
     
  13. essmills

    essmills · Newbie

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    What kind of employer is that? That really sucks.

    I just hope your employer knows your real condition. He has to at least make some adjustments and consideration to your work. I suggest using some kind of monitoring tool for you to be able to still work but at your comfortable hours. You need some form of break too. That kind of work would not be good for your health.
     
  14. Anonymous

    Anonymous · Guest

    by law you are not allowed to take you breaks to early or late in you wroking day they have to be around the mid point of the day look onto the www.direct.gov.uk/ website this sould help you.
     
  15. DianaZ

    DianaZ · Newbie

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    I had a very stressful job and subsequent health issues that resulted from it. I was on sick leave for more than the allowed 14 days within a 12 months period. At the end of my sick leave my doctor wrote me a note, saying that I should get back to work on a part time basis which my employer frankly refused, saying that I should either come in or be sick. I joined the union but was not offered any help and way too stressed out to do anything but go back to work which was not good for me to do the long hours, I almost fainted in the car and often had to go to the toilet for an extended time just to rest.
    Things got more and more difficult and I subsequently lost the job due to redundancy.

    It is not easy to live without a job that I feel is low stress and that let me work from home when it is the cold season as I seem to catch every cold from my work makes that is going round at the time but I am rather without a job and stay reasonably healthy than to literally bargain my health again the same way. Sadly, the government seems to not agree to this.

    My advice is to look after yourself very well and not to work yourself to death. No job should be worth that. :***:
     
  16. tracyreynolds33

    tracyreynolds33 · Newbie

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    I know this post was a while ago but wanted to let people know about my experience. Diagnosed on 23rd December 2012, pit on metformin, changed my diet and started exercising, at first my boss was interested and complimented me on my weight loss, 2 stone. I had to rearrange a few appointments as it is a small firm and I was happy to do this but felt embarrassed always phoning hospital to reschedule appointments. In March my boss cut my hours by 10 hours a week, at the beginning of April she proceeded to take me into the office for a support and supervision, she didn't write anything down as she said it was off the record this time, she then got quite nasty about my time for appointments, my energy levels and my health and weight affecting my ability to do my job properly and said I had a month to make changes, I was totally stunned and hurt, I resigned that night and am at a loss, I worked there for 9years, my new boss took over in September, I feel I will never work again, I turned 50 in December, I was good at my job, I know I was but she has made me feel so low and on top of that I'll not get any money for 6 months, anybody else had experiences like this? :(
     
  17. Sarah69

    Sarah69 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,093
    Likes Received:
    224
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Hi, sorry to hear of your situation. I've never been in a situation diabetes related like that. I did work as an assistant catering manager in a nightclub, we had a new manager start and he made my life an utter misery demoted me and always picked on me and I walked out. I'm not working at the moment but it just reinforces my mind not to disclose I'm diabetic on any application form. It seems very unfair what your boss has done perhaps you should seek advice over this, it sounds like discrimination to me!
     
  18. Cathn61may

    Cathn61may Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    127
    Trophy Points:
    73
    Ask if you can make the time up. You need to eat. My bosses are as good as gold. I have very little time off work. Have 2 Diabetic reviews yearly. One in hospital with Consultant who has looked after me for 31 years and other with GP. I have the flu jab. Type 1 for 49 years.
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook