Time off for medical appointments

I wonder if there’s anyone on here who might be able to give me some advice re something that’s happened at work.

We’ve always had time off for doctor/hospital etc, no questions asked. When we went on to flexitime, we were told that this wouldn’t change. I can’t find this in any policy, so I think it’s just by custom and practice.

I have a spinal problem that, when it gets bad, requires regular physio sessions for several weeks, sometimes 3 or 4 months. I cited it as a disability when I applied for the job, and explained its effects, and believe it to count as a disability for the purposes of the DDA.

At my supervision on Friday, my line manager was in a bit of a snit about a couple of (unconnected) things. She then told me that from now on, I would have to make up any time I took off for medical appointments. Afaik, no-one on our team has ever been told this before.

I can’t find anything that gives staff the right to paid time off for medical appointments (and didn’t expect to, tbh), and wondered how I stood with this. Apart from it being not on to single out one member of staff in this way, does this requirement comply with the DDA, where the appointments are in connection with the disability?

I’m pretty p!ssed off about it, tbh, as while I’ve been waiting for NHS physio, I’ve been paying for private sessions and have been able to have them in my lunch break. She knew about this, and knew they were private. I can’t afford to keep on paying £28 pw though, so am now at the mercy of the local hospital’s physio dept, where the last appointment is at 4pm and they’re really booked up, so there’s very little choice of times. I think it may have been seeing a physio appt for 10am in my calendar that has rattled her cage.

She also decided that in order to save less than £10 in mileage, I should cram all my visits into 4 days and spend one day a week in the office (atm, I spend a couple of hours in the office at the start or end of each day). I reminded her that I can’t spend a whole day sitting at a computer as it gives me a lot of pain after a couple of hours. Her response to this was that I might have to go back to being part-time then!

I suspect she’s having one of her bonkers fits, which she does from time to time, and rather doubt she’s cleared any of this with HR or even our area manager. I’d be interested to hear what anyone with HR experience thinks though!


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