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long term illness Rheumatoid arthritis


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Hello all, a staff who started 4 months ago just told me her doctor says she has Rheumatoid arthritis, she now says picking children will be a problem holds her back is on morphine tablets so she says, even a visitor noticed how she carries herself walking like she is 8 months pregnant. she is good would not say she is lazy takes instruction, but not sure about working in childcare and risks

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Susan is quite right about your staff member being covered by the disability discrimination act - however that does not mean that you have to keep the member of staff on. You might want to investigate the "capability" dismissal route if there is no other role that this individual can undertake within the business - awful as it sounds if you are a small business you can't afford to carry anyone especially if by doing so you end up running the business (any everyone else's jobs into the ground).

Try ringing ACAS or if your insurer offers it ring them for HR/legal advise.

Unfortunately I have had to take this route in the past and it is emotionally draining as you are torn between the needs of the individual and then the needs of the business and your remaining staff - it also meant asking staff to undertake a medical etc. so get good advice before you start this process.

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As Susan said, it isn't unmanageable, and you will need to take advice and look at 'reasonable adjustments'. As SueJ also says, take some good advice so that you are clear about what you should be doing. There may well be other jobs she can lead on that don't involve carrying children (eg can she work with the older age range who generally don't need to be carried).

It may be that she has recently been diagnosed and it getting used to what she can and cant do., Depending on the part of the body most affected, it may be that she isnt banned from lifting at all, but just needs to learn how to, and possibly may have a weight limit on what she can lift. (eg can carry a box of resources but not a table, if you are packaway).

I think they key things in this situation is to try and work through a solution with her, what role can she undertake, what further medical advice do you need, what about occupational health etc.

Good luck with working this one through, it isn't easy sometimes, but it can work.

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