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Employer refusing phased return to work

Holly1244 Community member Posts: 1 Listener
edited December 2023 in Work and employment
I have been diagnosed with breast cancer 2x. and had two lots of chemo, two surgerys, radiation treatment.   I have, i feel been treated unfairly at work.
I have previously had a reasonable adjustment put into place, but when i felt i know longer needed it - they have refused to remove it. It is to do with my job role - so it is very important. I have raised a grievance about this and some other things related to reasonable adjustments that were removed without review. 
Lastly since those incidents I got cancer 2nd time . I was off for a long time over a year because of the effects of my treatment and getting it again - very difficult. Anyhow, I wanted to return to work on a phased return, I had a letter from my doctor too. I let them know 1 week before my fit note was to end. They refused to accept this and told me I would have to do my full time hours and tasks. They said they will refer me to Occupational health, which is fine with me but that will take weeks.  I cannot manage my full time post without a phased return put into place  in the mean time whilst i wait - otherwise I will end up unwell, extremely fatigued and unhappy. Therefore because they have failed to support me back to work with adjustments I had to issue a fit note for another 15 days as i cannot do what they expect.   
I have now lost the chance of earning income for the first time in a long while. It is not my fault that I have needed time off because of my cancer and that I need time to adjust to working again so i can manage my fatigue and other long term side effects of my cancer treatments  


  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 3,251 Scope online community team
    edited December 2023
    Hi @Holly1244, welcome to our community. I hope you can find some support and the advice you need here. Your story resonates with me, my partner also severely struggled with reasonable adjustment at her workplace. I've seen how devastating it can be, especially when you want to work and are capable, as long as there are some small adjustments that would barely affect the employer. 

    I'm not an employment expert, but have you contacted ACAS yet? They're an independent public body who specialise in advice for employers and employees. They have a section about reasonable adjustments. If you've already tried ACAS I can try to find more information!

    Edit: ACAS also has a page on phased returns to work.

    I wish you luck, both with your health and with your workplace. 

    I'll also just move this discussion to our employment section, so it can be more visible to other members.
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