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Question
Posted by: Mia | 2009-08-05

Chronic illness - employment equity

I have chronic kidney failure which requires dialysis treatment 4 times a day - this I do myself but require an hour of privacy in which to do it. I continue to work during that hour. I also have to regularly visit the clinic, doctors etc. I also experience the usual menagerie of health related obstacles - high blood pressure, low energy levels, high incidence of pain etc.

As my health has suffered the past few years because of work related stress, a demanding pace etc I recently requested more flexible work hours. My request was denied purely on the basis that my illness does not qualify as a disability. Only if it was legally considered a disability could they consider the request.

My work is of such a nature that I can do it perfectly well from a remote location as it deals with the digital and online environment. My performance evaluation was the highest in the group so my delivery can not be questioned.

I have spent the last 3 days getting varied reports from different sources. Medical professionals close to the illness seems to agree that people with kidney failure are considered ' disabled'  under the labour law, others disagree.

As the law is so relative it is wide open to interpretation. My employer has opted to interpret it as excluding my condition. This does not solve the fact that my health continues to suffer despite the fact that flexible work hours could solve my problem and ensure that they receive the sterling service they have received from me since the time of my employ.

Kindly advise me as to what steps I should be taking.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageLabour lawyer

CHRONIC ILLNESS - EMPLOYMENT EQUITY

Unfortunately Schedule 8 of the labour relations act does protect your employer. Your employer can take action to effect a fair dismissal.

If you fall under the auspicus of the pension fund or some other retirement fund you probably could at least try to get "boardered". You need to speak to your doctor about it.

It is suggested that you do set up a meeting with your doctor and your employer as soon as possible in order to discuss your ongoing prognosis and your ability to effect productive work.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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