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Interview while off sick for cancer treatment

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by chiarleg, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. chiarleg

    chiarleg New commenter

    I would like some advice on this please. I am currently on off sick and have been from February due to cancer treatment, which is now coming to an end. I'm currently employed on a full time post but after this illness feel I cannot return to a full time post, I have applied to another school which is advertising a 0.75 post which I feel would suit me better and now have a interview.

    My questions are whether I am contractually allow to attend interview whilst of sick and if not what are the implications and should I request a part time role at my current position in light of going for a reduced post.

    Many thanks
  2. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    Why don't you just ask your school?
  3. install

    install Star commenter

    Ask your Union :cool:
  4. cheesypop

    cheesypop Senior commenter

    Have you mentioned to your current school that you feel you could cope with 0.75 but not full time?

    I ask because they could feel that they have supported you well, and actually may be prepared to consider 0.75. Or if not, understand why you are applying elsewhere. But if you have been off since February and they have been ok with you I think they at least deserve to be part of the conversation.

    And most importantly. I’m glad that you feel well enough to consider a return to work at all.
  5. AnotherDayTowardsRetirement

    AnotherDayTowardsRetirement Occasional commenter

    Stay well. Best wishes with the return to work. Take it easy
  6. AnotherDayTowardsRetirement

    AnotherDayTowardsRetirement Occasional commenter

    Stay well. Best wishes with the return to work. Take it easy
  7. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Let's say this is fine by your current school, you go to interview and they take you on. So maths-wise, 0.75 is only three quarters of what you previously had to do? And this resounds with you because you need something a bit "less"?
    But changing schools is not less. It's more. You'll need quite an intense first year getting to know staff, work schemes, maybe a different exam board, taking on new uses of IT, software. Unfamiliar classroom set ups, intricacies of behaviour procedures. You'll need to know policies, kid's names, parental links, pastoral systems. They'll have a different ethos and alien pressures.
    And if you're going for interview now in the cycle, I assume a January start. That's gotta be isolating, all that new stuff on your own, no newbies any more supporting each other. No more group training "because you need to know this".
    And let's think two years down the line, when these things ought to no longer to be a problem-well, a 0.75 contract is not 0.75 of the work even at the best of times. It is four days, but it could spin into five. And I'm betting you'd have an identical assessment/data based workload to a FT teacher. Possibly just one class less, numbers wise.
    If you want a contract which engages you less intensively on paper and that's your main want, then I'd definitely ask where you work already. If they say "yes" then all the rest is just a shoo-in.
    Dunno, it just seems to me a more obvious way to be nice to yourself.
  8. peapicker

    peapicker Star commenter

    Cancer is a prescribed disability under Equality Act 2010. Your employer has a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to enable you to work and reducing your hours is relevant. Discuss a reduction of hours with your school first (plus any other adjustments that would help) before considering such drastic and unnecessary action as changing schools. You need reassurance and familiarity now, not new challenges.
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Presumably your current school know you have applied, since you would have asked the head to be a referee. At that point did you ask about staying there and dropping hours? There is every chance the person covering your timetable at the moment would be happy to continue to do a day or two a week and you job share with them by coming back for the other days. It will also mean you could do a phased return, which will be much easier to manage than straight back to 0.75.

    Best of luck whatever you do.
    CWadd and steely1 like this.
  10. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    Don’t just ask by having a chat. Write a formal letter requesting reduced hours as a flexible working request. With the addition of your medical condition as a disability, they would be stupid to try to refuse.
  11. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Very little to add, except that requesting fewer hours from your current school would be better than a new one.

    May I also add that I hope you stay well and look after yourself first.
  12. peapicker

    peapicker Star commenter

    It may seem like one and the same thing, but the OP's position is much stronger if she requests 'reasonable adjustments' as a disabled person, rather than making a statutory flexible working request. An employer may decline a flexible working request for justifiable business reasons. There is a statutory duty to make reasonable adjustments which would be very difficult indeed to refuse.
  13. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    My only quibble is that if you are off sick you are not in a position to seek work. If this was volunteering at local charity shop to give you some mental activity that is one thing, but this is quite another.

    I second what others have said, ask your current school, as part of occupational health about coming back 0.75. I would also consider this professional courtesy, so you may well have done so already.

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