Stressing about returning to work — Scope | Disability forum
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Stressing about returning to work

Charlieniblett Member Posts: 54 Connected
edited March 14 in Work and employment
So I was furloughed beginning of the year as I work in retail. It was pretty good timing as my partner had been diagnosed with MS in November and had had several falls recently. I’ve spent the past few months sorting things like esa assessment, pip assessment, insurance claim, occupational therapist visits and various other hospital and phone appointments. My partners condition has got increasingly worse and I’m so worried that he won’t be safe/be able to cope when i return to work. I have a meeting with HR on Friday because they have already started to do the Rita’s for April. Do you think I’m being unreasonable asking to work 3 days a week instead of 5?


  • wilko
    wilko Member Posts: 2,413 Disability Gamechanger
    @Charlieniblett, hello and welcome, i am sorry to hear your partner has had a confirmation of the diagnosis of MS. It sounds as if your partner has an aggressive form if your partner has had several falls recently. Being an MS sufferer myself diagnosed in 2016 aged 61. I had to finish work as no work place adjustments could be made as I was working with livestock and heavy machinery. You can only ask and hope your employer is sympathetic towards your request to reduce your hours. Your partner will hopefully be able to claim PIP, or ESA if still able as most are forced to claim universal credit if successful should allow further benefits to be claimed rent, council tax reduction, a rebate on your electricity bill if your supplier supports this funding you have to be claiming certain benefits to apply. 
  • Charlieniblett
    Charlieniblett Member Posts: 54 Connected
    I was hopeful to stay in work at least a few days a week (just to keep my sanity!!) but if my employer isn’t flexible I will just pack it in and find a part time job closer to home (it’s a 45 min journey each way)
  • Nigel19
    Nigel19 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    edited March 14
    Hi, I hope your meeting went well, I found this on a web search, hope it is helpful. ACAS have helped me in the past but not relating to reduced hours.
  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,414

    Scope community team

    Hi @Charlieniblett

    How did the meeting go on Friday?  In addition to the above, Carers UK have a good information page about 'Your right to flexible working' and this states:
    You have the right to request flexible working if you are an employee with 26 weeks (six months) continuous employment at the time you make an application. 
    What can I do if my employer refuses my request?
    Your employer has a duty to deal with your request as soon as possible, within a reasonable time, in a reasonable manner, and must give careful consideration to your request. Your employer can only refuse your request if they have good business reasons for it and this should be explained in writing, including relevant and accurate facts.
    I hope you had a positive outcome and to reassure you,  you aren't being unreasonable at all.  When loved ones go through ill-health it's exceptionally difficult and needing to reduce your hours to care is absolutely a fair request.  

    I hope you and your partner are having a nice relaxing Sunday and please let us know how you get on.
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  • Charlieniblett
    Charlieniblett Member Posts: 54 Connected
    Hi everyone, my work meeting went ok, I was very anxious beforehand, but I’ve explained the situation and am now waiting for a decision from my employer (hopefully it doesn’t take too long). I’ll be honest, I’m not expecting them to agree, and I think it will be a relief, because my job is pretty stressful and the travelling time means I can’t get home quickly in an emergency (which I know will make me very anxious). I think I would be happy in a part time job stacking shelves in Tesco and being 10 minutes from home if the worst happens.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 12,239 Disability Gamechanger
    Fingers crossed you get the adjustment 

    You never know they may be wanting people to take reduced hours 

    You can always look for another part time role that might be more suitable 
    Here to help with my experience in hunan resources and employment rights 
  • Charlieniblett
    Charlieniblett Member Posts: 54 Connected
    I’m not sure they will go for it, last year they made redundancies and basically said if you didn’t agree to full time hours (I had negotiated a 4 day week a few months previously) you would be up for the chop!!
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 12,239 Disability Gamechanger
    Times have changed a lot in the last year though 

    How long have you worked for them ? 
    Here to help with my experience in hunan resources and employment rights 
  • Charlieniblett
    Charlieniblett Member Posts: 54 Connected
    Just under 4 years now. The redundancies happened in May, and all the remaining employees were made to go to full time hours. So I’m expecting some resistance, because if I get reduced hours, some other staff may ask for them, which will probably cause more problems!!


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