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Just told employer I have depression

K

katt261

Guest
I've worked for my employer for 9 months as a shop assistant and have taken 10 days off sick in this period. I didn't want to tell her that I had depression as I've had clinical depression for past 17 years and I've been sacked in the past due to time off sick.

My employer sat me down last night at work and said she had already found someone to replace my full time hours at work and was offering me 12 hours per week. This is going to leave me in financial hardship. I told her of my depression and the fact this was why I had the days off sick. In the last year I've had many knocks and I've tried my best to hold down my job which is 6 days a week with one day off.

Her comments were hurtful in that she said customers were complaining that I looked miserable when I've always maintained a 'mask' in that I always have a smile and a chat with each and every customer I serve.

I have had no verbal or written warnings and this deduction in work hours has left me in shock which meant a sleepless night last night.

I know I realise I sound like I'm just whingeing here but I have since found out that when she said 'I'm not reliable' she also said that to two former employees who she sacked without notice.

I feel the knives are out for me yet I have to maintain a happy smiley face at work and also terrified of phoning in sick again because that would mean instant dismissal.
 
K

Kat667

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2009
Messages
95
Location
Bath
Your employer can't do that, that is a terrible situation to be in!
I've worked in retail and found it hellish, I just can't put on a mask and so avoided those type of jobs from then on.

You have rights and just because some twit of a customer gets you on a bad day is no excuse for them to cut your hours or try to get rid of you. She sounds like a right bitch! It amounts to constructive dismissal. 10 days of sick in 9 months isn't that bad, I've known many people use up more sick days than that on hang overs.

I would think about talking to a solicitor or maybe seek advice from Mind or the likes to find out more about mental health and employment as I don't know enough to give advice myself.

By the way, she can't just sack people without notice unless they did something really bad like steal from the company or be violent or abusive. She's hoping you'll be a walk-over, call her bluff and tell her you'll be speaking to your solicitor, she'll soon back down.

Had a boss like that just before my son was born. I was 3 months pregnant and had to be signed off work for a preganancy related illness. next thing p45 arrived in post 2 days later. I sued them under sex discrimination act as pregnancy is a female only thing. I tried to make them aware of my rights long before it happened and the idiots ended up about £3000 worse off (I had worked there less than a year)!

Don't just accept it, she can't do this to you and is just hoping you'll go quietly. Best of luck, let us know how you get on.:)
 
P

philmriv

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
52
Location
Hawaii
This sounds like discrimination.

But proving it may not be worth it.

Did you tell her about depression before she started pulling all of this?

Also-- I personally have found that it's not a good idea to tell an employer about mental illness/mental health issues. The discrimination for these things can really be terrible.

Can you get transfered to a different department in order to get a fresh start? Sounds like you need to get away from her.

**Don't use the word 'discrimination' at work unless you can really back it up with lots of evidence-- or they will get rid of you to head off a potential lawsuit.

Hang in there!



I've worked for my employer for 9 months as a shop assistant and have taken 10 days off sick in this period. I didn't want to tell her that I had depression as I've had clinical depression for past 17 years and I've been sacked in the past due to time off sick.

My employer sat me down last night at work and said she had already found someone to replace my full time hours at work and was offering me 12 hours per week. This is going to leave me in financial hardship. I told her of my depression and the fact this was why I had the days off sick. In the last year I've had many knocks and I've tried my best to hold down my job which is 6 days a week with one day off.

Her comments were hurtful in that she said customers were complaining that I looked miserable when I've always maintained a 'mask' in that I always have a smile and a chat with each and every customer I serve.

I have had no verbal or written warnings and this deduction in work hours has left me in shock which meant a sleepless night last night.

I know I realise I sound like I'm just whingeing here but I have since found out that when she said 'I'm not reliable' she also said that to two former employees who she sacked without notice.

I feel the knives are out for me yet I have to maintain a happy smiley face at work and also terrified of phoning in sick again because that would mean instant dismissal.
 
J

JETBOY

Guest
cant do this to you

this employer cant treat you like this ,i know first hand ,,they must take resonable steps to make your job as easy as it can ,to acomodate your illness
its under the disibility discrimation act ,,read about it on the net ,,i told my employer about my illnes ,they were very understanding NOT ,,ID WORKED FOR THEM FOR 5 YEARS ,they fired me 6 mnths later using the excuse that i had taken time off ,,,,,,i took them to a disability hearing ,it took me a 4 mnths and did make me poorly ,but i wasnt gonna back down ,,lots of nasty letters from their solisiter ,,,,didnt back down ,,,they gave in /in the end
setteled out of court ,,,,,you dont have to work there for at least 2years either ,,,,ok ive rambeled long enough ,,,hope its a help .JETBOY (y)
 
R

riverofdragons

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
274
Hi Kat,

1) Check your contract. How many hours have you been given, does it give them the right to change it without notice?

2) Get in touch with the CAB

Many employers do not know or understand employment law and as a result are treating staff unfairly. Being sacked for time off is not fair, unless they have given you ample opportunity to improve your record. This is seperate from a discrimination case.

After learning of your Mental ill health she should be making 'reasonable' adjustments. If she doesn't (which is sound like) then there is a case for discrimination.

You won't always have to spend months fighting over this - she may come around with a simple letter from the CAB informing her of her duties.

PLEASE DONT TAKE THIS LYING DOWN I did, and I regret it everyday.
 
N

Nutter_09

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
136
Location
Middlesex
Hiya,
I had the same think. Started a new job - had quite a bit of time off so came clean and it was the worst thing i ever did.

People who have never had or dealt with depression rarely understand what its like and how hard it is sometimes to keep that "mask" on. Thats exaclty how i felt.
I ended up leaving that job and was off for months. It was a real struggle, but now I feel much better and can work. I am still suffering financially but am happy and mostly healthy.
I would def contact citizens advice - but in my oppinion, you are better off without the pressure of this boss.

Take care and look after yourself.
 
P

philmriv

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
52
Location
Hawaii
.
The workplace is often corrupted these days-- by a single-minded focus on money (or power).

It's worse here in the USA... but it's getting more like that everywhere...

So 'money' is becoming God. Not a person's private difficulties. Horrible.

I try to remember, we are not the only sick ones. Society is sick too.

Thats why they dump depressed people like they aren't human.

In the short run-- protect yourself.

But in the long run-- if you get a better position someday, do what you can to change your little piece of the world to help end this ridiculous discrimination...

.
 
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