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Taking time off work - new Scope research

MelWilkesMelWilkes Posts: 18Member Connected

Hello, 

At Scope, we want to understand more about what it's like taking sickness absence for disabled people and people who have long term conditions. 

We would like to hear from disabled people and people with long term conditions who:

  • are working and have taken sickness absence 

    or
  • have stopped working after taking sickness absence 
As part of this, we're planning some focus groups. The first two groups will be:

  • Leeds - Thursday 22 February 5-7pm
  • London - Monday 27 February 5-7pm 
We're going to plan more groups in March and April.


About the groups 

  • All participants will be offered a £25 voucher as a thank you for their time.
  • We can cover local travel expenses people who take part. 
  • Refreshments will be provided on the day.
If you'd like to take part...

Please email [email protected] or call 02076197278

If you'd like to share your views on sickness absence but aren't able to take part, please reply to this post or contact [email protected] 

Replies

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    Yes it's good to raise this issue but we also need to think about the fact that disabled people are not always off sick long term so employers might not take on a disabled person
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    We have to break down some of the myths that disabled people are always of sick and at hospital appointments
  • MelWilkesMelWilkes Posts: 18Member Connected
    Hi @tonyarthur322

    I agree with you, that myth is widely held and can be damaging. We know that many disabled people are no more likely to take time off work than non-disabled people.

    That said, we also know that people who may have to have time off  to manage their impairment or condition - either as a one-off or for regular appointments - can face barriers to getting the support they need. The Government has announced that it will be consulting on statutory sick pay later this year, which presents an opportunity for us to make sure the system is reformed and works better for disabled people. We'll be using the focus groups and other research to develop proposals for these reforms. 

    I do take your point, and will try to make sure that when we talk about this research and our findings, we emphasise that we are talking about a specific set of experiences rather than all disabled people. 

    Thanks for your message, 

    Mel 
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    How do you address the fact the long term sickness maybe caused by bullying
  • maychangwumingmaychangwuming Posts: 1Member Listener
    We have to break down some of the myths that disabled people are always of sick and at hospital appointments
    I couldn’t agree more and believe that employers should adopt the social model of disability and not the medical model. 
  • Scareyboo75Scareyboo75 Posts: 1Member Listener
    I think employers & employees need clearer advice on the difference between SSP & disability leave. I worked for 20 years with a large company with the last 8 years suffering with Fibromyalgia and was only ever paid SSP after using up all my company sick pay each year. It's only after being made redundant due to ill health that I have even heard about disability leave. Also my employers took away my rights for flexible working which is what forced me out. I was offered alternative work at a location I couldn't get to and my shifts changed to times that were unfeasible for me to work as part of my "reasonable adjustments" so I had no choice but to stay on sick leave. I never wanted to leave, I only wanted the support I was entitled to. When I was on sick leave for my condition it was because I was physically unable to get out of bed due to immense pain and/or fatigue. I did not enjoy being off at any time and would be constantly stressing about the extra work for my colleagues or losing my job when returning to work which made my condition worse. I did not ask for this as so many other people can relate to how Disability affects you. I thought I was in that job for life and I was not prepared for how some employers perceive you differently at work when you have a disability. All we want is a normal life within our means & abilities!
  • MelWilkesMelWilkes Posts: 18Member Connected
    Hi @Scareyboo75
    Thanks for sharing that, it's really helpful. We know that while some employers do offer disability leave, it seems that in many cases neither disabled workers or employers are aware that it's an option. 
    Mel 


  • MelWilkesMelWilkes Posts: 18Member Connected
    MelWilkes said:

    Hello, 

    At Scope, we want to understand more about what it's like taking sickness absence for disabled people and people who have long term conditions. 

    We would like to hear from disabled people and people with long term conditions who:

    • are working and have taken sickness absence 

      or
    • have stopped working after taking sickness absence 
    As part of this, we're planning some focus groups. The first two groups will be:

    • Leeds - Thursday 22 February 5-7pm
    • London - Monday 27 February 5-7pm 
    We're going to plan more groups in March and April.


    About the groups 

    • All participants will be offered a £25 voucher as a thank you for their time.
    • We can cover local travel expenses people who take part. 
    • Refreshments will be provided on the day.
    If you'd like to take part...

    Please email [email protected] or call 02076197278

    If you'd like to share your views on sickness absence but aren't able to take part, please reply to this post or contact [email protected] 
    **Update on focus groups and interviews***

    London focus group 

    I'm afraid I didn't realise that the date for the London focus group was not listed correctly - it is taking place next Tuesday 27 February, 5-7pm at Scope's offices.

    Please do get in touch with me if you're interested in attending. 

    Telephone Interviews 

    I'm also arranging one to one interviews by telephone or Skype for anyone who is interested in sharing their views and experiences about sickness absence. 

    Interviews can be arranged for a date and time that works best for you. Please get in touch with me if you'd like further information. 



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