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Request for flexible working: 5 years on


Re: Request for flexible working: 5 years on

Dear Naomi


I was only asked these things briefly / verbally and i advised  the actual disabilities related to chemo damage / ongoing hormone treament / effects of chemo / rads


I suffer fatigue / peripheral neuropathy / muscle waste from chemo and osteoporosis (joint pain)  from  2 years on Tamoxifen and now on letrazole.  The letrazole has an ageing effect.  Some cognitive impairment from chemo ( however that has now all but gone).  Google Chemotherapy Induced Cognitive impairment....


It affects my day to day abilities as i am slower and become more exhausted quickly which leads to a poor work life balance.  Working 5 days meant i was just going home to bed.


I also feel  (although this was never mentioned) that if i would have had to give up work this would have had a potentially negative impact on my mental state....


Not sure if you are able to include any of this in your case.   Take Care  Butterfly x  


Re: Request for flexible working: 5 years on

Hi, I thought I would just update the forum since my original post should anyone find it helpful later or have any comments to make...

I had a meeting with my line manager who was accompanied by a HR representative (I had a Union rep) and we went through each point in my application (how would it provide professional development opportunities for colleagues and myself etc). After the meeting I felt that I had said all that I could have said to support my application.

I was told at the meeting that they still needed to 'elicit more information from occupational health' and that they would like to speak to an other colleague for whom I work but that I would be kept informed....

I have to say I rather enjoyed the 2. -3 week period of waiting. I think this was because I knew that any decision was out of my hands.

In my usual catch up meeting however I was slightly disappointed that this other work colleague appeared not to be so supportive of my application (although I could reason their support or not variously) but knew that that I had to wait for the decision before jumping to conclusions.

Last week my line manager told me in person that I could expect an email and that they wanted to tell me personally because emails can be so formal (I did this before submitting my application too) but, having studied the email more carefully, I have just become more and more agitated. I have been asked the following:

What specific disabilitiy/ies my application relates to
The effect of each of above disabilities on normal day activities
How the flexible working request will assist with those disabilities such as to keep me in employment
How the request will assist with my caring responsibilities such as to keep me in employment

My understanding is that, having been diagnosed and treated for cancer, a person is automatically covered by the Equality Act (2029) and that, therefore, they are not required to substantiate their condition by explaining the effects it has on their day to day activities. I may be wrong of course.

I realise that my line manager has been liaising with HR for advice, and I do really empathise with her because she is having to manage some difficult circumstances at work, but I almost feel as if I am being asked to justify to my employers why they should employ me given my 'conditions'.

I am meeting with a union rep tomorrow, when I hope we will decide how to answer these questions, in particular the second question, but I am toying with the following actions

Answering question 2 openly, without any additional comment
Answering the question with the disclaimer that I shouldn't be asked to explain the effects
Simply state that the question is inappropriate

If anyone has any comments please do share; I will update later when I've been able to discuss with the union.

I really do feel that it would be in their interests to approve my request, for all sorts of reasons. It's just such hard work to have to demonstrate the reasons why I have put in the request when it is only now (5 years later) that I feel strong enough to try to move forward with my life again.

Sorry for the long post. Just needed to share.


Re: Request for flexible working: 5 years on

Dear Naomi


i think the equality act is wooly to say the least,  you could ask for some clarity fron ACAS or a Disabiltiy Advice Organisation.  Macmillan will definately be able to tell you what is Statute Law, and i think it is all open to Employer Interpretation.


I would say that you would get the most relevant information from your works policies, if it has them.  If you work for a large organisation you can usually request flexible arrangements based on Carers, Poor Health and Children.  I work in the NHS and we have policies for all of these...  It did however take more than twelve months to get a reduction in hours from me requesting.


I would start by looking at your work policies and i think the working at home is definately discretionary, there are no rules around this.


Hope you are able to work something out.  Take Care Butterfly x    




Re: Request for flexible working: 5 years on

Just to add, I was 38 when diagnosed initially with Grade 3 stage 2b IDC, treated with mastectomy and immediate reconstruction, chemotherapy, and tamoxifen. I had a recurrence in the same area in 2011, which was removed and was treated with 5 weeks of radiotherapy. I changed to letrozole and had zoladex injections for a year before having my ovaries removed. In 2014/5, I had my implant removed because it had been causing pain since I'd had it.

Just relating this to you now, makes me realise just how exhausted I am by all the treatment. I am now 45 years old.

Any advice/comment most welcome.



Request for flexible working: 5 years on


I've been treated for IDC twice (in 2008 and in 2011) and am currently taking letrozole and alendronic acid and calichew/vit D to help prevent a further recurrence/spread and because I am borderline osteoporotic. I am also talking citalopram for clinical depression.

I have just applied to reduce my hours at work by 20%, from 5 to 4 days, and to continue to work from home one day a week on one of those 4 days, to help me manage my side effects of alendronic acid in particular, and to support my boyfriend who was diagnosed with CVID, anc who self administers regular infusions of IgG.

My questions are,

1. am I covered under the 2010 Equality Act given that I was diagnosed again as long ago as 2011
2. are my caring responsibilities for my partner material?

I am asking because I have a particular view but am very conscious that I might be entirely wrong.

Is there anyone who has applied for flexible working so long after diagnosis (initial or otherwise) and are other caring responsibilities (e.g parenting or for elderly parents or for partners/husbands/wives) material?

I look forward to hearing from you.