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Problems at work.

Pete_WardPete_Ward Member Posts: 5 Listener
edited December 2019 in Employment and careers

I need some advice with what to do about work.

I am a warehouse operative and I have Multiple Sclerosis (Was diagnosed in 2011). I have been working at Marks and Spencers (Castle Donington) for the last 6 years and got the job through Remploy.

Over the last few years, my health has been kinda varied, I have had a number of relapses including a couple this year which put me off work for about 4 months. 

There are some reasonable adjustments that have been put in place (an allocated chair to sit on as and when needed, now working 6 hours part time, don't have my KPI record checked each hour to see what I am doing, can have break sat near the area I work because they got rid of the little break area.) but some of what I actually wanted/ needed, in case things could worsen with my mobility, have kinda been mostly ignored. This is interms of having some training and knowledge of how to use the system, so I can have a job sat down and not have to worry about moving around or standing around too much.) I now find trying to learn something new kinda difficult, and over the last 3 weeks I am finding that I need to use at least one crutch to get around when I am outside of home.

I work in an area that requires me to go up some stairs to get to, and the nearest lift requires walking a distance to get to and then it only goes up a couple of floors, then has a flight of stairs then a walk similar to the distance between the clock in/out machine downstairs, on the upper floor that I work on. 

The nearest staff lift to the clock machine only goes up 1 floor and then has a load of stairs, and the goods lift that actually goes up to the floor I need is deemed not usable by staff, and is good only.

I am at the point now where I feel that M&S doesn't want to help those that actually need it, and also feel that my only option is to get a new job somewhere. But I have no clue where to turn, or what I should actually do in regards to what I can do with my health being as unpredictable as it has been.

Medication wise, I have Tysabri infusion every 4 weeks and take 300mg Gabapentin, and 10mg amitriptyline (one tablet at night of each).

If there is any other info needed please let me know. I would love to get something sorted, as I feel things are getting worse not better. 


  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Pete_Ward and a warm welcome to the community, I'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I'm sorry to hear this.

    Here is some other articles you might find helpful:
    Please do let us know if there is anything else we can do, you don't need to do this by yourself. :) 

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Pete_Ward, how are you getting on? :)

  • Pete_WardPete_Ward Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi @Pete_Ward, how are you getting on? :)
    I still don't really know what I'm gonna do with work. Currently I am signed off work till next thursday at least. Due to MS affecting my legs and making walking much more difficult.

    I've already had over 4 months off sick this year, because of how it's affected my co-ordination and walking. I probably need to reapply for PIP (I get the low end of mobility side currently).

    But I have no clue what to do work wise, aside from maybe leave. 

    (Sorry it's take me a few days to respond. I've been struggling to work out how to)
  • VOBVOB Member Posts: 45 Pioneering
    [email protected] ward.
    I too work at [email protected] and I totally agree with you. I had to reduce my hours due to sickness. My lifeline was my car because my nearest shop is 6 miles away. They knew if I dropped my working hours I would loose my car but they didn't help me. Gave me a stool which I have never used because you can't in my job. Didn't even try to get me a different post and I lost my car. 
    I'm really sorry for what's happened to you and the problems you are having with lack of support and a little bit of understanding
    I'm currently waiting at the bus stop for the bus to go to work it's always late and my anxiety levels are through the roof with it.
     It takes me 7 hours to do a 4 hour shift with traveling time.
    I had to take Diazipan today before I left to keep me calm.
    People think that you work for a reputable company and you get lots of help.
    My theory is I have mental health issues and feet problems so I am a liability.
    Hope you get sorted.
  • Pete_WardPete_Ward Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hello VOB.

    I don't get how M&S is a disability confident employer. The team managers kinda just pass off people with disbilities, and try to make it seem that they care. 

    When the warehouse decided to change from 8 hrs to 12, they asked people who have a problem with doing 12 to speak up and they will have a meeting to discuss what could be done for you to make things more suitable. The options they gave us was 12hrs, 6hrs or leave. 8hrs wasn't an option, so the staff who couldn't survive on 6hrs had no other option but to do 12. It took me 6 months of arguing and pushing to not do 3 days of 12 hours, due to my health not being able to cope with 3 days of 12hrs. 

    I have no clue where to turn with things like getting helped. I feel that they just want me to leave, and not cause any issues for them.. When I feel that being in that place, and being ignored/ brushed off in the 6/ 7 years I've been there, is the main reason why my health has gotten so bad over the last 3/ 4 years.

    I've only been messed around in that place. But the same goes for a number of other physically disabled staff in there. One elderly gent got questioned why he had a walking stick in the warehouse. He got told that he could sit down for 5 minutes an hour, at a location near where he worked, in a location where allowing him to sit down to do his job, was a far mor viable option but apparently wasn't health and safety checked for a seat... Team managers/ Operations support/ Team Co-ordinators could apparently sit by a place where the computer was... that was about 3 metres away from where he worked.
  • VOBVOB Member Posts: 45 Pioneering
    It's a tough one isn't it.
    I hope you get something sorted soon.

  • Pete_WardPete_Ward Member Posts: 5 Listener
    I hope so too. Might just possibly talk to citizens advice, and see if they could help me sort out a grievance letter or see if they have any suggestions.

    I'm a member of the Usdaw union, but my experience with them is just put in a grievance. So might just try that again, and threaten them with disbility discrimination again, because I think that is what it is.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Pete_Ward, it certainly sounds like things have not been easy for you!! Were you able to get in touch with Citizens Advice? If not, you could try contacting ACAS

    Please do let us know how you get on. :)

  • Pete_WardPete_Ward Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi Chloe. Sorry for the late reply.

    I'm leaving it till the new year. I'm signed off work till the 26th now. My legs have been causing me problems, but I have Physio on the 20th, so hopefully I can get back to a decent position soon. 

    Then hopefully after then, I can get something happening that improves things. I need to get in touch with CA or ACAS still.. Keep saying I'm gonna do it, but then my mind sort of wanders and decides that it's best if I don't because I can't work out what to say to them, or I feel like I won't get anywhere.

    This year has been bad for me. 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Pete_Ward, no problem at all!

    Your health comes first and I hope you are able to rest. Fingers crossed the physio can help. :)

    It is okay to focus on yourself now. If you need anymore support then please do let us know.

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