Unsupportive employer, don't know what to do

I am truly shocked at the experiences some of you have been having with employers. I am so sorry that you’re being treated like that. It’s disgusting.

I can’t offer much advice except to say about being explicit about your needs are in a very factual way and getting some legal advice. It’s hard doing all that when you probably feel more vulnerable than you’ve ever felt and could do with support not battles.

Elinda x

Hello Hymil,

You made me laugh about my boss,he was just an awful man who treated me badly.At the time my daughter who is 14 said that the only peron who had a disability was my boss as he did not have a brain.

I know i could have gone for constructive dismissal,but after the year of problems i had i wanted to move on.

My job was a cleaning supervisor,if i had of been a stripper i would still be doing that job.I might have had to stick some tassles over the scars !!
But what ever damage we get from breast cancer we are all still beautiful.

Davida, I am gobsmacked about your boss. Just astonished. Yup, you’d have had a hell of a claim against him for that comment. Average payout £30k for disability claims, top one £750,000.
Ann x

This is all horrible, but also interesting. I used to have lots to do with disability as a lecturer, and the way disability is viewed now is that disability is the result of society failing to make adaptations for people, or putting obstacles in the way of people. Rings a few bells here I think! What a disgrace though.

Most people with any sort of disability can work, if allowed to do so in ways that assist. But the level of negativity towards us is stunning. I’m autistic, for example (amongst other disabilities). So many people think people like me should logically be in an institution, but I own and run a business with others on the autism spectrum (and some who aren’t). The extra abilities we can have are a fantastic business asset, e.g. software company that hires purely people on the autism spectrum finds we make a tenth of the errors that others make, etc.

But only 15 out of 100 of us are employed, because employers tend to take one look at the word and stamp “FAIL” all over the application (whilst carefully making up false reasons for failing it). Distresses me when I see good people who want to work - whatever the illness or disability - being treated appallingly through prejudice, fear, apathy etc. The new Equality Act 2010 is very powerful indeed, thankfully.

Ann x

Dear Ninja

I hope you don’t mind me making a comment on this thread. I have no experience re unsupportive employers. I was so devastated when I was eventually diagnosed with breast cancer (four years after my first concerns) that I gave up my job voluntary but I can well imagine how some employers behave.

I didn’t get anywhere with the NHS complaints system with regards my delay and have now taken it to law. Here is where my experience lies. You have to be aware this is a very difficult and stressful route. I can only offer you my experience with regards to what has happened to me. Only what is written down in paper will be of any value - this is what the law considers evidence. Verbal words were of no value in my case. My GPs deny almost everything that I said at my appointment and as it is not written down in my clinical notes I have no evidence. I had legal expenses cover on my household insurance but they declined to support my claim - read the small print, they have lots of exceptions. I cannot say too much on this website but my advice to you would be to go to a CAB and ask if you could have some free talk time (think I was granted 30 mins) with a solicitor who has top experience as an employment lawyer. If you decide to go down this route, don’t waste time with a lawyer who doesn’t have employment experience. U need an expert.

Good luck.


hi, i am also in the thick of things with my employers, (Local Gov )all i am asking for is not to do any night shifts, you would think i have asked for the moon. i do not have any problems with any aspect of my role i just find the shift patten too tiring ( i am 4 years on )i have a greivence ongoing but i dont think they are trying to help me stay in my role just move me on into another dept… but what about the skill i would be leaving behind ? previously they allowed a colleague who came back from maternity to do days only, my line manager has the cheak to say " but it didnt really work " huh she did it for 7 years and moved on from her own choice.



“HR is one chap 200 miles away with a p/t assistant. No occy health, no medical manager, small company.”

I think this is the root of your problem. HR has been contracted out to someone who sees you as an administrative issue rather than a person. The company I once worked for got rid of the personnel maanger and replaced her with a person that visited the office one time only and from there on in could only be reached by telephone. It was supposed to be cost saving exercise but proved a nightmare for the line managers who found HR problems taking up more of their time.

I don’t know what your relationship is like with your line manager but have you tried speaking directly to them about your situation? At the end of the day, the HR person is employed to do a job for the company and if they are not doing it well, your employers should know. HR is not just about ensuring compliance with employment legislation, maintaining employee records, training and staff development, etc. They also have a role in maintaing employee motivation and loyalty. If you are being treated poorly, others may see this and the value of the company as a good employer will decline.


Sorry I misunderstood. I read it as HR had been contracted out but they might as well have if they have given it to an accountant to manage. (No disservice to them … I am an accountant and HR is not our speciality).
It seems as if you have a line manager who just wants to wash their hands of any HR responsibilty. Such a shame, as a bit empathy with his staff could reap rewards in terms of motivation and loyalty.

I am at a loss as to what further I can suggest. It may be worth while talking to Citizens Advice or a solicitor specialising in employment legislation to see if you have a case in the future, if they won’t play ball. I hope your letter to them regarding the amount of stress they are causing by not being clear re:the pay situation reaps some rewards. I would also log your problem and the resultant stress with your GP and your chemo team now, in case you have to take things further.


my friend has been having huge problems with maternity leave(ok not BC but its relevant) she was so upset that her normally supportive partners were being so cold and handling her targets and leave inappropriately untill she discovered that her case was being handling by a consultant–not an HR expert but an accountant brought in to keep costs down. Nothing wrong with accountatnts, someone has to keep the figures in check, but they should not be dealing with sensative health issues


Ninja, I’m so pleased. I call that a result. The responsibiity is now theirs and they’ve realised. Shouldbe a bit smoother for you from now on.

I hope it is, Ninja

Duplicate post (sticky broadband)


It may have been the word “stress” used about how they’ve been treating you that finally pulled the trigger. Well done for your persistence, ninja, I hope things continue to be just about bearable for you.