I have asked my work to reduce my contracted hours due to a long term chronic pain illness and they have refused stating the reason they are on a recruitment ban. I was previously put on amended duties due to my illness so was working 16 hours instead of 24. I have slowly worked back up to 24, but was told if I had any issues I would be able to go back to amended duties. Whilst on amended duties I have been receiving sick pay for my other hours. I put in a request to reduce my hours permanently to 16 hours to save me causing disruption to the business on a frequent basis as my illness is unpredictable. Also doing this would mean they no longer had to pay me the partial sick pay, thus saving them money. I don’t know where I stand as I am physically unable to do that many hours. I’ve explained I will be forced to hand in a full sick note until something can be sorted which will leave them short the whole 24 hours. What can I do? I don’t want to give up my job or be on full sick as I need to manage what will be a life-long illness and I want to stay in work.
I would check that your illness comes under the Disability Discrimination Act 2010, which I am sure it does. It needs to be a ‘long-term’ illness which means you will be unwell or have been unwell for 12 months or more. If this is the case I would make it clear to your employers that under this Act they need to support you when making reasonable adjustments.
Employers can’t reject a ‘reasonable adjustment’ if this is regarding disability. They can, however, reject a request for flexible working for general business reasons if your illness isn’t counted as a disability.