Fear about the post rotation

Hi, I am everk and I am new here. I was unfortunately diagnosed with first phase of lung cancer in April 2017 and therefore I was required to undergo a upper right lung lobe removal surgery. In October 2017, I returned to my workplace after taking a rest at home for nearly 6 months

My company, in response to my request, delopyed me to a post with relatively less workload, on medical ground. Nevertheless, I was assessed by my psychiatrist to have mental mood disorder in April 2018 as I kept worrying about the recurrence of lung cancer. I had to take several types of mental pills and see the psychiatrist every 6 weeks since then. 

Recently, I have been informed by my senior that like other colleagues, I should rotate to another post with more heavy workload shortly even though my lymphoma has just been found with suspected abnormalities in the latest medical check-up and my psychiatrist has reiterated that my mental illness is just partly treated and has recommended my company not to transfer me to another post since I am still vulnerable to stress.

Please advise me how to deal with the current situation as I extremely fear the imminent change of post will greatly cause me anxiety and worsen my mental illness and even prompt the recurence of lung cancer. Thank you for your advice.

  • Hello

    Thank you for contacting the Macmillan work support team with your question about work. I can appreciate how stressed you are now. Changing your role is recognised to be one of the most stressful things you can face in work particularly if you are dealing with health problems. I hope the following information helps you deal with this. My name is Polly and I am work support advisor on the Macmillan support line

     

    Rotating the workforce is a good way to upskill staff and to ensure that the business remains adaptable and resilient.

    It sounds like your employer has supported you through your illness and your continuing struggles with mental health by making a reasonable adjustment to redeploy you to a less stressful role. They are legally obligated to make reasonable adjustments for cancer patients under the Equality Act 2010 or the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (if you live in Northern Ireland). What is reasonable is not defined because it depends on the core activities of your job role, the resources of the business and the cost.

    If you have a disadvantage at work related to your cancer, then the employer needs to make changes to help you overcome this. What seems reasonable when you return to work, can change over time particularly if there are costs in terms of productivity. Do you think your employer is expecting more from you now?

    I suggest the following options:

    1. Make a reasonable adjustment request to continue in your current role because of your condition.
    2. If the employer cannot accept it because they believe this is unreasonable then ask for additional support in the new role. Think carefully about the aspects of the job you can do balanced against the support you need. For example, you may need further training, a change in your targets, or a trial period. All these changes can be reasonable because the Equality Act (or the DDA) allows the employer to change the way things are done for disabled people. It is also about providing aids and adaptations such as a workstation assessment or computer hard/ software that helps you do your job.  
    3. Ask for a referral to occupational health who can advise your manager about reasonable adjustments.
    4. You may wish to share some resources with your manager. Here is a link to our booklet “Managing cancer in the workplace” and to the ACAS website “Disability at Work”
    5. Keep your messages about work positive and friendly. Do not be afraid to ask for help and to confirm that medical advice points to your need for lighter duties. You can back this up with a “Fit note” from your GP.

     

    A useful service available to people at work who are struggling with mental health is provided by a government service called Access to Work. They provide a 9-month programme via two providers to support those struggling with mental illness who are working. This type of support may lead you to finding strategies to help you deal with your symptoms. If you are going to use this service tell the employer because it may encourage them to think that you are striving to deal if your symptoms and it will provide you with a breathing space.  

    I hope these suggestions are helpful please get back in touch if you need further support.

    Polly 

    Work Support Advisor
    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email
    • Polly, thank for your advices. I am now anxious to wait for the response from my seniors, whether or not they will consider my current health conditions and allow me to stay at the existing post. Honestly, the last meeting with my seniors about my post rotation several months ago was terrible and insulting as I was questioned by them my cancer and mental problem was as badly as the letter stated by my doctor. They even said the company wouldn't count any advices from the  psychiatrist of public hospital. I was shocked and extremely angry about their sayings and attitudes. Obviously, they didn't treat me as a cancer survivor and a mentally ill person and I was probably a deadwood of the company in their eyes. I am totally confused whether I have to quit the job if the company finally refuse to extend a favor to accommodate my illness. Indeed, it is particularly difficult for me to find a new job which enables me to strike a balance between maintaining my health and livelihood.
  • Hi

    I hope you don’t mind me responding to you. My name is Rachel and I work alongside Polly on the Work Support team.  I have read through your original message and Polly’s response to you.  

    I have noted that you are now awaiting an outcome following your most recent request to remain in your role but based on your previous experience, feel anxious about your employer’s decision.   I’m sorry to read that your previous experience when you last had a meeting about the post rotation, was not a positive one. An employee should not be made to feel insulted due to their health.  I would recommend reading the chapters in our publication Your Rights at Work around discrimination, particularly around harassment. Harassment could be when you feel uncomfortable, insulted, or intimidated due to your cancer. If your employer is still making you feel this way, you may wish to raise this with them.

    I do hope the outcome is positive for you but please do come back to us for further support if your request is refused.   Our advice would not be to resign from your post, as this simply ends your employment and with it, any in-work contractual benefits you may have, such as holiday and sick pay.  Resigning may also affect your ability to claim certain welfare benefits and may impact your pension if you have one.

    Please remember that under the Equality Act 2010 or the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (if you live in Northern Ireland), your employer has a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments to support you as a disabled employee.   If a reasonable adjustment is refused, the onus is on your employer to demonstrate why it is unreasonable for them to accommodate it.   Even if you were to move to a new role on rotation, your employer would still have the same legal responsibility to support you with reasonable adjustments. 

    I do hope this helps you.

    Kind regards

    Rachel, Work Support Advisor 

    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.

  • Hello! Rachel, thank you for your advices. My seniors have told me I are still required to rotate the post in the near future, but the effective date will be deferred by 2 months to September 2022 from July 2022 as the peak season for our business is fast approaching. My seniors have added that they have slightly downed the ratings on my latest appraisal report and I also have to sign a confirmation letter, stating that I voluntarily decide to give up the selection of being promoted this year. In addition, the new post for me is probably located close to my home, which appears to be better for my health conditions. In response to my seniors' decision, I have reiterated that I am still very vulnerable to stress, not good at handling great workloads, particularly man management while my recent lymphoma problem have piled more uncertainty on my rehabilitation of lung cancer. To be honest, I am very disappointed at my seniors' decisions and worried about the nature of the so-called new post near my home. I have no faiths in my seniors and their decision of first downgrading my appraisal and then depriving me of a promotion chance and finally forcing me to move to a new post totally insult me and I have no other alternatives, but to consider to quit the job or even to migrate to other countries like UK or Canada.

  • Hi

    Thank you for providing us with an update on your circumstances.   I’m so sorry to read that the outcome of the discussions with your employer was not what you were hoping to hear.

    The advice provided so far has been based upon the assumption that you are UK-based however in your message, you make reference to the fact that you may explore moving to the UK in the future.  As a UK-based charity, we are unable to provide advice on employment rights if you are not employed under a UK-based contract.  It would be worthwhile exploring whether it would be possible to access similar advice from organisations or charities within the jurisdiction in which you live. It will be important based on the response you have had from your employer, to understand what your next steps could be.

    If you are employed under a UK based contract, then our advice at this stage would be to explore any legal advice you are able to access.  You could check your insurance policies for any legal insurance cover for employment issues. This is usually known as legal expenses insurance.  

    If you are a member of a trade union, you could explore any free legal help such as finding or paying for a solicitor.

    The Citizens Advice (CAB) website provides comprehensive advice about the options for accessing free or affordable legal help and local offices can often help with employment rights and discrimination.  

    A solicitor can be found who advises on employment through the Law Society website. Sometimes an initial interview may be free or at a fixed cost. There may also be an option for a ‘no win no fee’ representation. Some solicitors may provide advice through ‘legal aid’.

    Some Law Centres offer free employment advice. Often an appointment needs to be made in advance.

    I do hope this helps.

    Kind regards

    Rachel, Work Support Advisor 

    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.

  • Hello

    If you are based in the United States. Please review the information on this website:

    JAN Job Accommodation Network -

    Polly 

    Work Support Advisor
    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email
  • Polly, thank you for your information. I am now pondering to sue my company if they finally decide to arrange a post to me, which is not less stressful as suggested by medical doctor or simply lay me off. I feel extremely unfair when I see some senior colleagues,  who appear to have similar illness to me, are receiving kindness and considerate treatment and even enjoying extraordinary fringe benefits. I definitely can't come to terms with leaving the company without getting any compensations that I truly deserve. The lung cancer caused by the company's gross management greatly ruin my health and trigger the recurrence of my depression and above all destruct my life.

  • Hi

    I’m sorry to read that there does not appear to have a been a firm decision made about your role and that you may consider taking legal action against your employer. 

    It sounds like your next step before making any firm decisions regarding your employer, will be to seek legal advice, both regarding the current situation and also if you feel that your diagnosis has been caused by your employer.  There may be laws which protect you from this.

    I would reiterate that as a UK-based charity, we are only able to provide advice on employment rights if you are employed under a UK-based contract.  If this is not the case, it may be possible to access similar support and guidance from organisations or charities within the jurisdiction in which you live.

    I do hope this helps.

    Kind regards

    Rachel, Work Support Advisor 

    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.