RE: Anyone dismiss on the ground of ill health? Can reasonable adjustment be permanent?

Hi ladies,

This is a bit boring but here goes e bit of background. I work part time for two different local authorities. I’ve been off sick since Sep last year due to PTSD. I had bc 6 years ago, (currently NED), my GP thought that the stubborn chest infection I had could be the signs of lung mets. I went through the whole process of investigation, hospital problems. Everything was fine, (thanks to good behaving cells) but my brain. I was left confused and feeling very vulnerable. In terms of PTSD I am in a much better place now, (which I hope it last), but just when I was considering returning to work, I got a prophylactic oophorectomy. My chronic fatigue has worsened and I will be starting Letrazole soon. Now I intend to return to work but it seems this is going to be far from a smooth situation. My managers don’t see very happy about the adjustments suggested by OH. To mention chronic fatigue seems to them like a foolish attempt to take the piss out of them. I honestly don’t think that, I can cope with sift, long standing hours and so on but, I also believe, this shouldn’t be such a big problem for them. I have already taken legal advice from different organizations and, meanly, I am left with the feeling/idea, they, (employers), can do whatever they want because the employment legislation is just very vague.

I am 43 so still young to consider an early retirement or any other similar option. I need to work because I am struggling with financial problems. I find the whole situation very unfair. First of all they are making difficult for me to return to work by delaying the process with meetings that take place later than sooner. They told me they are not bound to follow OH suggestions so, where is their duty of care? Also, I find truly irritating the fact of the lack of awareness about the long-term side effects of cancer, which led to huge misunderstanding and ill judgements, like calling laziness to chronic fatigue or sulkiness to PTSD

Sorry for the lenthy post. I appreciete your pattient


happy nipple, have you got copy of employment protection thing which this site produces which may help, also macmillan do a booklet which covers employment and what is reasonable for employers to do etc. also have you got a copy of the HR policy for long term sickness for your authority. the immediate manager may not be that familar with the details of the policy and what they should be doing/not doing to help. i know that sound daft like a manager should be, but you would be surprised, particularly in local authoritys. you might to contact hr direct maybe.
can i ask also, what made you have the oopherectomy, were you advised to or did you ask to have it. i am wondering if this is something i should consider at some point. i have just started tamoxifen in march and am premenapausal. i am also on zoladex to now since may which was my choice. what was your dx 6 years ago and treatment??
many thanks for any info and best wishes with work, its difficult for anyone to understand or appreciate what we go through unless you have been there i think.
TTM xxx

Hi Happynipple

I am posting a link to the ‘Breast cancer and employment’ web page, here you will find the ‘EMPLOY’ charters published by BCC where you will find information for yourself and your employers which I hope you will find helpful:

If you need further support please feel free to call our helpline on 0808 800 6000, lines are open 9-5 weekdays and 10-2 Saturdays

Best wishes


Hi happy nipple.

Adjustments can be permanent, they can include reduced working hours and changes to your job. If it is permanent reduction in hours you will receive less pay. If you are no longer able to do your job, good practise is that your employer has looked at alternative jobs. The alternative does not have to be at the same grade/pay.
Managers do not have to follow recommendations from OH however they will need to provide good reasons why they have not followed medical advice. You are covered by the equalities act and disability discrimation act this places a responsibility on your employer to make reasonable adjustments to help you make a successful return to work.
The whole process is underpinned by the notion of rights and responsibilities, your employment rights and the need for the organisation to meet its business needs. it is the employee’s responsibility to co-operate with the employers processes and procedures. It sounds like you have if you have been to OH. It is also your responsibility to do everything you can to assist in your recovery i.e. take medication as prescribed, engage in counsellling etc. It is your employers responsibility to comply with the law and their own policies and procedures. The employer will need to demonstrate that they have taken reasonable steps to assist your return to work. Your employer’s assessments of your fitness should be evidence based balanced and unbiased.

Hope this helps.

Alex D

Hi AlexD,

Thank you for your suggestions.
Regarding the oophorectomy, I had very different opinions from oncologist and surgeons. Ones said my risk was law and it wasn’t clear that I would benefit from it, others said that having a strong hormone positive cancer, lymph nodes involment and a young age, it could be a good option. I had since I was 28 a benign ovarian cyst, the gynaecologist advice me to remove it because it was growing and It could cause me problems so, I decided that if I had to remove the cyst I would also have an oophorectomy. If you like more information pls contact me. x

Sorry the information about the oophorectomy is for Tommy…

but thanks everyone for the information

hello. I had a similar situation, i took my advice from DDA ( equalities ) , and it was seen that i was being discriminated against and i eventually got my reduced hours, it took a good long year of meetings with HR , Manaager, and union but also i was kept up to date with each step by the DDA, i was very tired by the end and at many points felt like giving up, but having been part time now for 6 months i really do feel the benefit. good luck .


thanks for that happy nipple, i will message you if thats ok.

TTM xxx

Yes TTM,

looking foward to getting your message.

Dear all,

I belive my manager is trying to get rid of me, she is just making excuses to delay my retur to work. She en sending me for THE THIRD time to OH to “fully support my needs” when I return to work. She has contacted my key worker nurse and still, she believes she needs more advice. I have called this morning to the Equality and Human Right Commission, and the advisor told me to tell her that, I will start an agrievance procedure againts her and she is failing to make adjusments to facilitate my return to work and also, I will claim full pay as it’s her failure to deal with this issue what is causing my work absence.
Although that it’s somenthing I have in mind to do, I don’t see how at this stage, that approach can be of any benefict. I think she is just playing dirty appart from being completely ineficient. Charchie you said you took your advice from the DDA, is that the same as the Equality and Human Right commission?.


hi Happynipple. Yes thats the same place. they were really good with help, my line manager was trying the same things, after one meeting they said i was not eligible to retire cause i am still capable of working and in the next breath were saying they were going to try and "release me of my contract " i did have to go down the route of a greivence which did cause more stressful meetings with HR and union + manager, everytime i had one of these meetings i rang the Equality people and they advised me what to do next, i found them a brilliant support. it did take a year but in the end i have now reduced my hours by half, after HR took alot of advise ( dont know where they go ) but it was seen as discrimination as i am quite capeable of doing my job it was only the hours were too much . i am happy if you want to PM me at any time .

hi, should have also mentioned i was doing 12 shifts and that they had to make it a permenant reasonable ajustment, i still do 12 hour shifts but only 1/2 of the number ,have gone from equivelant of 37 hours to 18 1/2 hours . my problem too was stamina from taking hormone therapy and all we go thro just could not get back to that top rung of the ladder .


Thank you very much Charhie. Yes, I would like to PM you if that is o.k with you. The situation is getting worse by the time and, it’s really taking the best of all my stress management strategies to try to stay calm.