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What can I do for myself to adjust to my disability?
If you are suffering from an injury caused, or made worse by, your job and you want to return to work, these are the essential questions you need to consider:
- Can you return to your old job, without any adjustments?
- Can you return to your old job with minor changes (e.g. to your working hours or duties), perhaps for a short time?
- Can you do your old job if significant changes are made to your workload, or where and how you work?
- Should you be thinking about applying for support from Access to Work?
- Do you need to transfer to suitable alternative employment?
Speak to your GP confidentially about your fitness to return and to help plan the best way back to work once you are ready to return. There is also a confidential government-funded hub called Fit for Work, with a dedicated section aimed at employees and a confidential advice line: 0800 032 6235, aimed at providing work-related health advice.
Many specific charities also offer work-related advice. For example, employment support service Remploy has a page of good advice on talking about your disability with our employer. Also, take a look at the website of not-for-profit disability support organisation and specialist employment agency Purple.
It is also a good idea to ask your union rep for support at this stage. They will be familiar with your workplace and, for example, they can help check that any promised adjustments, needed in order for you to return to work, are actually delivered by management. They can also help you make your case for any further changes that you might need once you are back at work.
If you are not a member of a union, use our Union Finder tool to find out how to join and to find the most suitable union for you. Unions are expert at negotiating to protect the working conditions of disabled workers.