Together we will beat cancer


Unsupportive employer

11 Jun 2019 14:03

I am waiting for a referral to the breast clinic for a lump, appointment is 2 weeks today.  Obviously I am fearing the worst and am naturally an anxious person and I'm probably jumping the gun panicking about the below, but I'm more of a planner and need to think ahead.

My employer last week put me on an absence management plan, where I have to reduce my absence levels over the next 3 months and it will be reviewed after those 3 months are up.

My only absences in the 12 month rolling peroid they are referring to were 19 days last August when I had my thyroid removed (all supported by medical certificates and a huge scar as evidence right across my neck) and 2 days last month when I caught a sickness bug off my children.  I've worked here for 19 years and my sickness record has been excellent, as have my appraisals and standard of work.

Obviously now I'm panicking that if I have cancer I'm going to be off work, fail the objective of reducing my absence levels and I will lose my job.  Our HR department staff rigidly follow rules and procedures and lack any compassion (or common sense, from my perspective).

Can they do this?  I'm not sure where I should turn for advice.

Unsupportive employer

11 Jun 2019 14:17 in response to pinkpixie

My Goodness - this is just bloody awful indeed. Your employer CANNOT sack you if you are providing medical proof that you are ill. 

I can understand the absence management if it was a bug here, a snivel there - somehow its more on a monday than any other day etc, but for you to be actually ill there is no way they can and if they did you could sue them. Speak to ACAS (google it) they will keep you in the right and its free. 

If i were you I would be speaking to your HR contact and say that your actually getting more stressed by the way you are being treated and its having an even more negative impact on your health and mental wellbeing. Not to mention you have almost two decades of knowledge and loyalty to your employer and being treated like this is inhumane. 

Please keep us posted and i really do wish you lots of luck with your health

Lesley xx


Unsupportive employer

11 Jun 2019 14:25 in response to jellyfish.

Thank you Lesley.  I am sick with worry, and honestly I could do without this on top of everything else. 

When my manager told me I burst into tears out of anger at the injustice of it.  They use the Bradford factor to catch people who do as you describe with days here and there, but my 2 absences mean my Bradford score is still quite low so I was absolutely stunned.

Naturally I'm panicking about what they'll do if I'm off again in the next 3 months that they are monitoring so I'll try ACAS and get armed with the facts.

Unsupportive employer

11 Jun 2019 14:38 in response to pinkpixie

Hi pinky it's a bit orquard this but if you do have"" cancer,""you are classed as disabled so you have a lot more rights than before, also if you want to you take boss to a tribunal, (but it might cause problems if you keep working there) if you can find another job, alot of bosses are very understanding in cases like yours, good luck whatever you decide.


Unsupportive employer

11 Jun 2019 14:39 in response to pinkpixie

yes - its very important to have the full facts not to mention the additional finance you may be entitled to should you need it (praying it doesnt come to that) 

I am stunned that a anyone could be treated like that - like just a number and no support or empathy to your situation really sadddens me and i hope you get it all sorted. This is the last thing you should have to deal with. But i am sure you cant be sacked for being ill. The Daily Mail would have a field day with this!

Take care 

L x

Unsupportive employer

11 Jun 2019 14:46 in response to jellyfish.

Thanks for your replies.  Oddly I feel better about being angry about it now someone else has confirmed it is outrageous!

Unsupportive employer

11 Jun 2019 14:53 in response to pinkpixie

its worse than outrageous... it looks like a form of bullying and whilst i agree with Billy a lot you shouldnt even feel the need to work elsewhere as being there for 19 years should be priased rather than punnished. they should be doing everything they can to keep your 2 decades of knowledge - that isnt easy to replace. 

gosh - im getting angrier as well here!! i feel like grabbing your managers and giving the right good kick up the arse. 


Unsupportive employer

11 Jun 2019 21:51 in response to pinkpixie

Have a look round in the site. Search DDA. Print it and show it to your employer. You are covered by the DDA as a cancer patient. 

Unsupportive employer

11 Jun 2019 23:02 in response to pinkpixie

Hi i i wouldnt worry to much about your job there just doing standerd practice wow and i say wow they would be more terified of it getting out if they dismissed you the trouble they would be in plus the publisity would be far worse for them so dont give em a second thought and your manager must be a very sad person .so you get yourself well again nothing else is important as that .there screwed if they did anything and beleive you me they know it .regards paul

Unsupportive employer

12 Jun 2019 00:31 in response to pinkpixie

Hi, I am in a similar situation. My mum's cancer returned, confirmed 2 weeks ago. I was unable to stop crying and incredibly anxious as we went through my mum and mother in laws cancers in 2014, mil passed away. Called by OH on first day off where I cried through the call. I went to the gp and started on medication which had horrible side effects, then I discovered a lump, abnormal blood test, uti. Still supporting mum. Got the call yesterday to attend go next day, if my blood remains elevated they will check for cancer. I have scans booked. In the mix, yesterday same day as result news, my father in law had a cardiac arrest and is in Icu, next 24 hours crucial. Today I got a recorded delivery letter formally inviting me to a meeting to discuss concerns with my absence as I have been off more than 8 days in the past 12 months. That is two calls and 2 letters in two weeks. I have contacted my manager regularly and handed in gp certificates. Not like I have a sore throat, being human huh. So if I do need support for cancer and have to be off again then I'm on the second stage of the warning. My life has basically fallen apart, I wonder how the people sending the letters would cope with my stress... 

Unsupportive employer

12 Jun 2019 00:38 in response to Anonymous

Hi have a read of the post its all smoke just keep on sending in sick notes i dont think there allowed to even contact you when your ill if its causing you more stress ring em and tell them if they dismissed you it would cost them thousands and who would want work for them if that got no threats thoe they will not do a thing .regards .paul

Unsupportive employer

12 Jun 2019 00:50 in response to Paulus

Thanks Paul, my anxiety was bad at the start of this horrific nightmare, getting calls and letters has increased my stress so much. I have given gp certificates, asked for support and kept my employer in the loop. This procedure is not helping me one bit and I'm sure I'm not the only one 

Unsupportive employer

12 Jun 2019 01:08 in response to Anonymous

Just try not to worry they will be ok plus anxiaty makes everything worse than it is your employer is realy treading on thin ice just by harrising you theres one thing ive learned after loosing my partner the one thing is your still here and we are all glad you are .paul

Unsupportive employer

12 Jun 2019 08:47 in response to Paulus

Sorry to hear that Beatrice.  It's so unjust isn't it, I'm fuming as well as stressed.

I can certainly sympathise on the anxiety / stress.  I lost my mum to brain cancer 4 years ago, and my dad was diagnosed with skin cancer half way through my mum's illness (thankfully he survived) and it was a plate spinning exercise for 18 months.  I went to work throughout it all although I cried most days, and now I look back on it and think I kept going and going through the worst thing imaginable, and now they treat me like this for having an operation and a sickness bug.

Paul, thanks for your replies.  I think I know deep down (through the anger) that they can't sack me, but thank you for your fighting talk!  I think I'm more hurt that they would treat me like this in the first place as it feels totally undeserved.

Unsupportive employer

12 Jun 2019 09:21 in response to pinkpixie

Yes ime afraid thats reality of the workplace today we seem to get young people jumping strait from uni and they haven't a clue how to treat people ime retired now ive seen lots of employers and horrible bosses its life dont give them a second thought regards .p