I'm sorry if this is in the wrong section, I don't know where else to put it. I also don't know where to begin to explain what's happening with me workwise.....
Well, I started work and then, after 2 weeks I had my back to work interview. I was sent straight home (on full pay) because I wasn't fit to work (my manager's words, not mine). 2 weeks ago my manager phoned and told me that I may have to self-certificate as being off sick cos they couldn't continue to pay my wages for more than a week. Everything was waiting on the Occy Health doctor's report.
Unfortunately OH doctor postponed my appointment last week and I met him yesterday.
On Monday this week the Senior Physiotherapist (that I had applied for through Access to Work scheme here in the UK) arrived at the school to conduct a workplace ergonomic assessment. It was his professional expertise that would help to determine what furniture/equipment, if any, would be deemed as necessary to help me to sit comfortably whilst I am at work (which I cannot do now as there is no suitable chair for me and the ones they have increase my leg/pain, which sadly I still endure).
Anyway, my manager was waiting for me at reception because she wanted a private word with me first. She basically slapped my hand for not arranging this appointment through her first as it wasn't really convenient. I explained that I didn't feel I had a choice because I was told this had to happen within 10 days according to their protocols and that I couldn't let her know last week because the school was on half term. I had to take the chance in the circumstances. I did email her about this appt, but I suppose she didn't get it until yesterday morning. She said that because the school was in session, we couldn't go into any of the classrooms.
She asked me how I was - ha! I got upset again (that's happening alot lately) and said that I was surprised she told me that I wasn't 'fit to work'. She then replied that what she actually meant to say at that time was that 'I wasn't fit to work in the environment', which is not the same at all. The physio man then joined us. He asked to speak to me in private and so my manager then left. After some time, my manager phoned through and told the physio that we should meet her in reception. When we arrived, she said to the physio that she had a meeting to attend and therefore we couldn't walk around the school on our own due to the 'risks' and that she would have to accompany us because that was the procedure. After all that, the assessment didn't take place which I was very disappointed about. The physio was asked to provide a couple of dates/times that she could pick to her convenience. He asked 'Why do you have to be present?' and she talked about the 'risks' again of letting us go around by ourselves. He said to me that the application is made by the WORKER, not by the managers and that he thought she was being obstructive.
What I'd like to know is: At no time since I started working there in January 2010 has a risk assessment ever been carried out in the locations I work in, but now, all of a sudden, this is so important.
Then, yesterday, I saw the Occy Health doctor. Evidentally my manager has written an extremely lengthy report about me, which I did not read. The doc read out the questions she was asking and tried his best to answer them in the report.
Basically, from my understanding, it seems that I am fit to work if any assessed reasonable adjustments are put in place - and for these to be accepted/agreed is a managerial decision, not his.
Also, he seems to think that they can put me on 'disability leave' which may or may not come with pay (probably not).
It seems my manager's report is full of reasons why I can't do my job and how my suggestions for reasonable adjustments would not be feasible. I said to the OH doc that the suggestions I put forward were from a personal point of view, not a professional standpoint. That was what I was waiting for when the physio turned up. Now, of course, this will be postponed.
My employers seem to be quite obstructive about the whole situation. If I don't get paid, then I cannot pay my mortgage and therefore I'll be homeless (thanks boss!).
I have done everything I possibly can to try and expedite this process, but keep coming up to a brick wall. Does anyone know what else I can possibly do to resolve this situation before it gets totally out of hand?
My Union has taken the case on and now they're talking about putting in a grievance under the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) because, in his opinion, my employers are being unreasonable. The physio man said he thought it would all end up in a Tribunal. All this hassle is just making me feel 100 times worse. I feel like piggy in the middle. For goodness sake, I don't want to be seen as a troublemaker - I just want to work and earn my money. It's not my fault that the environment I work in is not 'fit' for me (and as my manager replied: It's not their fault either!).
How can my manager put stumbling blocks in the way BEFORE I have even been assessed? Isn't this jumping the gun a bit? If it was THEM that sent me home on full pay, can they then reneg on this and put me on disability leave? To me, that would seem to be just another way of saying I am on sick leave, which I'm not. Can they make me do this?
If you've been in a similar situation, I'd really be interested to hear what happened to you in the end, or, if you can offer me any advice, I'd be very grateful. As you can imagine, I'm so stressed out about all this, I don't sleep very well at the best of times, and now it's even worse. This whole situation is affecting my family as well and it's bringing me down psychologically!
I'm so sorry for writing such a lengthy post - but I needed to get it all out (AGAIN!).
Thanks for reading (you all deserve a lovely cup of coffee/tea now with biscuits!)
2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!