Staying in work checklist

If you are finding it difficult to do your job because of changes in your sight or working conditions you may benefit from some help to stay in work. Talking your situation through with your employer is important, but it is also advisable to seek guidance from external specialists

The purpose of this checklist is to help you think through your circumstances and prepare to discuss them with your employer.

Expectations

What you would like to happen is the foundation on which everything else is based. What do you see as the full range of future options? These could include staying in your current job, moving part-time, starting a new job with a new employer, re-training or medical retirement.

It is worth remembering that your employer has a duty to try to retain staff if they know about your disability.

Gaining perspective

Although some aspects of your working life have become difficult, there are probably many other aspects that you can still carry out. To get a clear picture of what work-related activities you can and cannot do try thinking about the following:

  • Physical and sensory: seeing, hearing, lifting, talking, standing, walking, sitting, kneeling
  • Mental: memory, decision-making, problem-solving, concentration, planning, organising, prioritising
  • Tasks: repetitive work, working at speed, meeting deadlines, reading, writing, following instructions, using a computer or telephone, driving
  • Contact with others: working alone, working with others, working under supervision, supervising others, working with customers
  • Work conditions: fixed hours, variable hours, shift work, working indoors, working outdoors, bright or dim lighting

Your job - difficulties and solutions

Write down all the tasks and duties required in your job.

Write down everything you feel you are unable to do - take into consideration your duties, equipment, the work environment, contact with others (colleagues or customers), travel to work and work hours.

Is there anything not required in your present job that you feel you could offer? For example something you do at home or other tasks at work.

Finally go back over everything you have mentioned as being difficult and see if you can complete a sentence that begins "I could do this in my present circumstances provided that…."

Preparing to talk to your employer

You need to be clear what you want to get out of any meeting with your employer, and you also need to establish what your employer wants to get out of it.

During the process of the first meeting you may wish to cover:

  • aspects of your work that you are having difficulty with
  • any ideas you have about how these difficulties could be overcome
  • aspects of your work that you can do well, and any that you particularly enjoy
  • any changes that your would like to make, bearing in mind your expectations.

Changes could include where you work, when you work or how you work. They could also include doing a different type of work, drawing on your existing interests, skills and experience.

If, through this discussion, you reach an agreement that satisfies everybody, you will probably not need further support. However, it is likely that this meeting will be the beginning of a process involving Access to Work and an external employment adviser.

For more detailed information on retaining your job, we refer you to our 'Staying in work' factsheet:

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