Struggling to maintain my current hours — Scope | Disability forum
Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

Struggling to maintain my current hours

Han Member Posts: 16 Courageous
Hi there

I think I'm posting this in the right section of the community. If not do let me know.

I currently work 28 hours a week as a library assistant, the job is becoming to physically demanding, I'm currently only managing about three weeks of work before I end up having a few days off to recharge my battery (which I'm consistently trying to do but never manage to do enough). 

I'm 26 and have mild CP.

My thought process right now is do I struggle on to February (when my contract ends) or do I hand in my notice now? Carrying on to February will look good on my CV though and make it easier to get another job.

I do want to work, I just need to find a part-time job that is less physically demanding and doesn't mean I'm exhausted every week.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Thank you


  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,384 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Han

    Have you spoken to your boss about this yet? They may offer options that you have not considered.

    Working until February would look better on your cv, but depending on how you are taking time off to recover could affect your reference from your employer. If you are using up holiday time this would not be an issue, if you are taking them as sick leave this could have a damaging effect.

    Another option is to start looking for another job now. It is easier to find work if you are already working, so I would not recommend leaving it until your contract has ended to start looking.

    I would also recommend you talk to a specialist employment advisor. They can look at your qualifications, skill sets etc as well as what you enjoy about your current job and what you are struggling with. They may be able to offer you ideas about work you might not have considered, and help you to come up with a plan to start looking for other jobs. Sorting out your CV, identifying the type of jobs you would like to do, identifying potential employers.

    Remploy have online advisors and offer a free chat or telephone service.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Member Posts: 603 Pioneering
    Talk to your boss. Have you had an assessment from occupational health to see if there's anything they can do to make your job easier?
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 740 Listener
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • ourvoices
    ourvoices Member Posts: 47 Connected

    Hi @Han,

    Your employer has a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments to help you in the workplace (otherwise they are contravening the Equalities Act).

    @Nystagmite is correct, you should also get in touch with Occupational Health, as they will be able to advise your employer about the adjustments that you need.  Your Human Resources Department or your Line Manager should sort this out for you.

    Also, get in contact with Access to Work to find out more about any help they might be able to provide:

  • Han
    Han Member Posts: 16 Courageous
    Hello @Nystagmite @Geoark  @DannyMoore @ourvoices

    Thank you for your replies. So this is what I've done so far

    - I was referred to Occupational Health at the end of last year, the recommendation was different hours. My hours and location of work changed in April, I am now working in a library nearer my home and my hours are mostly between 8:30 and 5 and I only work one Saturday a fortnight.  

    - The time I have off is unfortunately classed as sick, I did use holiday for a week off in June and I have holiday set aside to make sure I get a break at Christmas when I am always worn out.  I believe that this won't affect my reference because my manager is actually trying to work with me and wants me to be in work/working for her, I'm actually good at my job despite the fatigue!

    - My manager isn't sure what else she can do, I'm a problem case for her. I don't think she fully understands fatigue. She is trying to change my role, I'm getting put on the rota more in the areas where I can sit down rather than standing up and walking around the library with books/helping customers. 

    - I work for the country council so any changes to my role take forever. I have asked if my hours could be reduced but have yet to hear anything back. Because of how libraries work we need to have a certain number of people to be opened and fully accessible to our customers. And also because my contract is only till February, my manager isn't sure how this would work as other colleagues would be taken on these hours.

    - I am already looking for other work, as of yet nothing but I am trying. I will get in contact with Remploy. I haven't spoken to a careers adviser yet but I will. I don't want to go into any old job just to get out of this situation. 

    - I know about the reasonable adjustments but what is reasonable? At the moment my doctor has given me a partial sick note, basically my days have been halved and I'm only working mornings or afternoons. I know my body and this is probably what I need but in the long time.

    All the while, I feel bad for letting my manager down and putting pressure on her and my other colleagues.


  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,384 Disability Gamechanger
    @Han Sorry last week was particularly demanding at work and I was in a lot of pain when I responded to you. At least the sickness is not a major issue in that regard.

    While a lot is said about reasonable adjustment case law makes this a complicated area. Is there already a role in the library that would better suit you and you are capable of doing?

    Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police v. Jelic

    Swapping the Claimant's role with an existing role that was already filled by another police officer was capable of being a reasonable adjustment. Whilst the Tribunal recognised that the current post holder would have to be consulted before being transferred, it found that he could have been ordered to move whether he liked it or not, since the police force was a 'disciplined service'

    The last part may* not be relevant to your situation, however as you are on a fixed term contract until February the current person may be willing to swap roles with you, on the understanding that they will return to the role when you leave. With the person's agreement this could be a quick solution to getting you into a more suitable role. It could be worth speaking to  your manager about this.

    * If an employer has a contractual right to move staff a tribunal could ask why this was not considered as a reasonable adjustment.

    You are absolutely right in not wanting to find a job simply to get out of the current situation as this could put you in a worse position. I think Remploy would be good to talk to, even if it is just to clarify your options.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • ourvoices
    ourvoices Member Posts: 47 Connected
    edited August 2017

    Hi @Han,

    I understand how you feel about not wanting to let people down and putting pressure on your colleagues.

    Your employer has a duty of care towards you and your colleagues.  Your HR Manager needs to act more quickly regarding your request for reduced hours.  You can contact them directly and ask them for an update.

    Once your new hours are in place, it will allow your Line Manager to look at filling any spare capacity.  Staff at another library might be willing to take on some extra hours, or they could internally advertise a secondment opportunity.

    Speak to your Line Manager again and see if you can set up a meeting with HR.

    Hope this helps.   

  • RSISolutions
    RSISolutions Member Posts: 116 Courageous
    edited August 2017
    Hi @Han

    Have a listen to these excellent posdcasts by The Business Disability Forum.

    There is one called "Workplace adjustments: a whole organisation approach". 

    Also, time off due to your disability should not be booked to sick leave. This should be counted separate. 

    See this MS webiste about this

    Here it says :-

    Sick leave and disability leave

    If you have to take time off sick because of your MS, you may want to talk to your employer about how they record this time off. For example, as a reasonable adjustment you could ask for any time off you’ve had relating to your MS to be discounted when adding up how much sick leave you’ve taken.  

    If your employer has a disability leave policy and your absence is planned – for example, to attend a scheduled appointment – this may be recorded as disability leave.

    Your employer may be discriminating against you if they treat you unfairly because of any time off you’ve had relating to your MS.

  • RSISolutions
    RSISolutions Member Posts: 116 Courageous
    @Han. Have a look at this excellent video. Can you spot the reasonable adjustment envy ? Implementing reasonable adjustments (that you are entitled to under the 2010 Equailty Act) are also the responsibility of all your colleagues as well as your line manage.
  • Liam_Alumni
    Liam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,105 Pioneering
    Hi @Han,

    You may find the links to Remploy and Access to Work mentioned by other community members useful, and if you'd like further advice and support, you can speak to our Helpline team on 0808 800 3333 or via email: [email protected]
  • Han
    Han Member Posts: 16 Courageous
    Thank you all for your help and words of advice. 

    In the middle of October I took the brave decision and handed in my notice. It was amazing how I felt a weight had been lifted off my shoulder as soon as I'd said out-loud it was what I was going to do. I have now finished work. 

    Yes it's going to take time to adjust to having time but my body is well ready to rest and re-coup.

    I have a few options for work in the pipeline as well which is great and nice to know. 
  • Alex
    Alex Scope Posts: 1,305 Pioneering
    Thanks for the update Han. (I don't know if this is relevant at all - but we're currently recruiting in our team here at Scope!)


Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.

Do you need advice on your energy costs?

Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.