Last reply 10 months ago

Hi. I’m looking for a wee bit of advice. I was diagnosed with RRMS in September 2016. I’ve been working full time as a primary teacher and it’s been hard but not too bad. I have bad foot drop so I walk with a stick. I ha the usual fatigue and numb hands but apart from that I’m ok. My boss was initially supportive and this year gave me a role as non- contact cover teacher- means I don’t have a class but I take all the classes to give their class teachers non- contact time. It’s geen great- the fun of teaching without hassle from parents, homework etc.
I feel as if I’m being sidelined a wee bit -the only teacher not sent for training in a new literacy programme for example,but I’m just trying to see the benefits of not being given loads of extra work!😉
On Friday tho my boss took me out of class and asked me if I was going to drop my hours to work part time. This was completely out of the blue and gave me the impression that she wanted me to do this. I’m not ready to do this yet and I felt as if she wanted shot of me!
My question is- is she allowed to ask this? I thought that with UK disability laws, she wasn’t supposed to.
Any ideas?
Anna x

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10 months ago

@condansmum , you have protection under the Equalities Act 2010, which puts the onus of making “reasonable adjustments” on the Employer.

Perhaps your boss is making you a reasonable adjustment offer. And perhaps you can say, “thanks, but no thanks”……………………….

10 months ago


Anna – is your boss asking you to cut back hours for your benefit or for hers? From what you wrote, she has made adjustments for your benefit. What has changed on her end?

From what stumbler pointed out, you do have rights. And since it appears you want to continue working full time, you should keep detailed notes & have credible witnesses if needed… I for one am a big fan of emails – they are legal documentation acceptable in a court of law…

Good luck

10 months ago

Hello @condansmum, like you I am in education and understand what you’re talking about. First off, are you in a union? Their guidance would be really useful. If not, you should consider joining. I’m not sure your boss is allowed to ask what she asked. But, as a manager, she is probably well aware of the duty of care exercised for members of staff, especially those with special considerations. Perhaps she is anticipating your next move, or maybe, she has genuine concern for you. Either way, you absolutely have full protection of employment and disability law, so you’re OK. I was diagnosed around the same time as you. I’m doing OK and working full time, but am thinking of dropping back a bit. Not because I need to, but because I’ve come to realise the importance of quality and I want more of it. But you’re not ready to do that; make the choice when it is right for you. Good luck, the force is with you! X

10 months ago

I no nothing about your career rights but regarding your footdrop, Ihave a (fez) electrical foot stimulator. A little like a tens machine I wear round my calf two electrodes are placed on 2 nerves that when walking lifts your foot. I CANNOT BE WITHOUT IT. Odstock Salisbury or UCLH Queens square London. It can really help if you can take the strange feeling.

10 months ago

Thank you for your replies! I feel a wee bit better about the situation now! I have a fes- it’s away getting fixed right now. I agree it’s a wonderful thing!!!
Anna x

10 months ago

I too am a primary school teacher but was working PT when I got my diagnosis nearly 2 years ago (have been since I had my eldest 15 years ago!) I’ve actually slightly increased my hours and taken on more reponsibility but the extra time is not class based!
You do have rights as @stumbler pointed out and I would like to think that your boss is trying to think in advance about what the needs are for the next academic year…it would have been better for her to just ask how you are getting on with the role; any adjustments needed etc! I am also aware that budgets have been cut hugely and schools are looking at ways to cut back…if she was asking you with that in mind then that’s not good! I don’t know what sort of relationship you have with your head but you could go back to him/her and say…’Could you just clarify for me why you asked me the question?’ Your voice is important and in some ways you’re more protected than other members of staff! I have found over the years that it is always good to sleep on what has been said and then go and address it, calmly, don’t let it fester.
Good luck. 🍀

10 months ago

mine went to Salisbury for repair they told me the damage was due to being dropped ect cracked glass broken at pressure foot wire. I wish i’d taken pictures before It left me as I’d never dropped any further than from my knee to the floor in a seated position. having no balance. There certainly wasn’t any cracks. Until I paid 46 pound something they wouldn’t return it. I had to lend the money from my sister. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to work for many years so don’t be surprised if a fee is involved.

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