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Can I reduce my hours at work? I have depression Watch

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    Hi!
    Well here's my situation. I work full time as a residential support worker for children with autism and learning difficulties, which is inherently a challenging/stressful job. I've been dealing with depression for a long time now, and have been on anti-depressants for a few months now. I've worked similar jobs for the past year or so and have left them. In retrospect, I would have felt being able to reduce my hours, say 40 down to 25 would have helped but I never had the opportunity to. In this job there are some part time employees, so it would be possible. I really love the team spirit here and I regularly socialise with my colleagues outside of work so I certainly wouldn't want to leave! Also, I want to go back to university to do a masters degree part time so I would either have to leave this job or reduce my hours.
    So a bit or a ramble there, but my question is would my employer let me reduce my hours? Which reason should I cite? My depression, my plans to study at university, or both? I did a night shift recently and enjoyed it, so going onto nights is a possibility.
    The job in of itself entails very unsociable hours (split shifts, evenings, regular weekends) so I have very poor work-life balance. Therefore reducing my hours will give me an opportunity to work on things that I enjoy doing that will help with my depression i.e. painting, my music, going the gym/exercising.

    Thanks
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Hi!
    Well here's my situation. I work full time as a residential support worker for children with autism and learning difficulties, which is inherently a challenging/stressful job. I've been dealing with depression for a long time now, and have been on anti-depressants for a few months now. I've worked similar jobs for the past year or so and have left them. In retrospect, I would have felt being able to reduce my hours, say 40 down to 25 would have helped but I never had the opportunity to. In this job there are some part time employees, so it would be possible. I really love the team spirit here and I regularly socialise with my colleagues outside of work so I certainly wouldn't want to leave! Also, I want to go back to university to do a masters degree part time so I would either have to leave this job or reduce my hours.
    So a bit or a ramble there, but my question is would my employer let me reduce my hours? Which reason should I cite? My depression, my plans to study at university, or both? I did a night shift recently and enjoyed it, so going onto nights is a possibility.
    The job in of itself entails very unsociable hours (split shifts, evenings, regular weekends) so I have very poor work-life balance. Therefore reducing my hours will give me an opportunity to work on things that I enjoy doing that will help with my depression i.e. painting, my music, going the gym/exercising.

    Thanks
    What a great job! It's definitely worth asking, I think. I can't say for sure whether it would be a yes or a no, because of course I don't employ you. I'd cite your issues with depression and your plans to study, and see what they say. It sounds like you're willing to be very cooperative, so it'll be easier for them to say yes. Good luck!
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    I think you should go see a doctor and get a diagnosis or get your doctor to write a letter to ask your employer.
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    Your doctor can give you a note/letter which will explain to your workplace that you have depression and that you may be unfit to work (for however long)

    I did this myself, you should definitely do it also
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    You can ask; but they don't have to.
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    I see. So they don't have to let me? I hope I can. It'll be beneficial for everyone as apparently were overstaffed
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    I had the exact same issue. Go to your doctor and ask for a "fit for work" form, tell them you want to reduce your hours. They will write it out and you give it to your employer, and they have to honour it.

    Also, if you've already seen your doctor about your depression, you may be able to get a note over the phone then you just pop in to pick it up. That's what they did at mine.


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    (Original post by MagnumPhoenix)
    I had the exact same issue. Go to your doctor and ask for a "fit for work" form, tell them you want to reduce your hours. They will write it out and you give it to your employer, and they have to honour it.

    Also, if you've already seen your doctor about your depression, you may be able to get a note over the phone then you just pop in to pick it up. That's what they did at mine.


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    I see. Is it that simple just to get a note then? Over the phone? Could be worthwhile.
    What happened with you then if you don't mind me asking? I really don't want to take lengthy periods of time off because then I'd be shut off and feel so much worse. I have a relly great group of friends at work and I really value that support it gives me. But I spoke to my team leader tonight and I said I might need to go down to a 25 hour pw contract. That'll give me more time to spend with myself and things I like doing whilst continuing to get that support
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    Nah like the doc asked me if I wanted reduced hours or just time off. I was in a really bad way so I just had time off and got statutory sick pay.

    But on the form he fills out there's little boxes, like "reduced hours" "time off" basically.

    But yeah like I said: if you're on meds and have seen your doctor previously, just call and ask for a note asking for reduced hours. They may insist you have to see the doc first, but... Yeah.


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    (Original post by MagnumPhoenix)
    Nah like the doc asked me if I wanted reduced hours or just time off. I was in a really bad way so I just had time off and got statutory sick pay.

    But on the form he fills out there's little boxes, like "reduced hours" "time off" basically.

    But yeah like I said: if you're on meds and have seen your doctor previously, just call and ask for a note asking for reduced hours. They may insist you have to see the doc first, but... Yeah.


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    That's brilliant, thank you for your input, I really appreciate it!
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    Of course! Depression can even be considered worse than a sickness and definitely shouldn't be treated lightly. See your doctor and see what they say. If you really are struggling you can try requesting time off from work.

    Good luck OP and stay positive.
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    Well I feel like its turned out really well for me. My manager and the rest of the team have been incredibly supportive. He's happy to let me go down to 25 hours a week and this is supported by a doctors note. He said theres nothing stopping me picking up extra shifts or even increasing my hours again if choose.
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    Of course you can.
 
 
 
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