Work Sickness absence management policy

Hello Everyone,

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021 and went back to work part-time. I have required time off for cancer related issues since my return to work including fatigue, investigations under general anaesthetic and cellulitis. Work are now implementing the sickness management policy and this is causing me very high levels of distress. I understand from conversations with Macmillan and ACAS, that the action they are taking could be could be understood as disability discrimination as their sickness management policy does not deal with how they should manage disability-related issues. I would be really grateful to hear from any one who has had to manage a situation similar to this and any advice.

Many thanks


1 Like

Hi Rannie,
Sorry your having problems with work on top of everything else your dealing with.

Are you in a union, can you ask them for help?
If not try citizens advice.
They cannot do that yo you.

I was diagnosed in 2021 and like you had lots of other problems as side effects. Eventually i was diagnosed with lymphoedema. As i was 60 at the time i asked to take ill health retirement, which i eventually got.
Good luck and take care of yourself

Hi Jean,

Thanks for this- it is reassuring to know that other people have had to deal with this. I’m in my late 50s and I kind of would like to retire, if that is what it comes to, on my own terms. However, I am getting to the stage of thinking, do I really want to deal with this any more? I also have lymphoedema and one of the sickness absences this year was related to cellulitis. I think people really struggle to understand what it is like managing post cancer disability. I left the Union due to issues around industrial action but I could rejoin if necessary and may anyway alert them to what is going on with me ( as a warning to others). I do have legal protection in my home insurance so do have the possibility of pursuing a legal case for discrimination if it comes to that.

thanks again
R x

I get on really well with my manager, it was HR that kept pushing him.
Fortunately for me he did everything he could to support me. He was really shocked at the side effects and add on problems you get from cancer and its treatment.
He visited me once when i was really bad with cellulitis and saw my compression garments and the compression suit i had to wear.
He contacted OH on my behalf and ask for a doctors evaluation for full ill health retirement. I got it fully enhanced.
Best decision ever, it took a weight away and made such a difference. I seem to get cellulitis far too regular.
Get as much support as you can, whatever decision you make. Be sure there’s always someone to talk to and put yourself first. Good luck x

I would suggest you contact this organisation. They are great and I’m sure would be able to help you .


Hi Rannie

So sorry to hear what you are going through, it is the last thing you need.

I had a similar problem with my employers as when I was diagnosed we were undertaking a work event where I was needed and the response was just do the best you can, continuing to work through radiotherapy though ended up with me being diagnosed with cancer fatigue and despite being signed off for 10 days I then ended up doing overtime on my return to work to compensate for being off sick. In the end I resolved the problem by getting the Oncologist to write a report that I could show to my employers about how their response was unacceptable and fell short of expectations around the disability act and that they would be monitoring the situation. This did the trick as my employers became much more reasonable and allowed me to take time to fully recover and get back my energy levels. Hope you find a way of getting what you need.