Last reply 4 years ago
To ill health severance or not?

Hi guys, I was wondering if any of you could help me? I have been off work more or less for 2 years, one year was for a nervous breakdown and one was for when I was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting MS earlier this year. I did try to go back to work after one year but became unwell again. Then in august this year out of the blue I got a letter offering me I’ll health severance, very formal. To cut a long story short I managed to convince them to take me back on a phased return to work building a case with the help of my MS centre. When I agreed to the phased return I was well however shortly into the return I suffered a bad relapse and ended up having a further 2 weeks off. My employer wants me to work full time and currently I can’t do that. The maximum I’ve managed so far in a row without a day off is one full day and two half days. Bearing in mind the time I have had off so far, what are my rights in terms of keeping my job? Or getting a job after Ill health severance? Trouble is if I take ill health severance, I will gave no job and have mortgage and bills to pay. I feel very boxed in and worried about continuing work due to poor health so any advise would be welcome. Thanks.

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4 years ago

@meld38 , have a read through this publication :-

Your employers have a legal obligation to make reasonable changes to allow you to continue in their employment. Whether these changes are physical, e.g. a new chair, logistical, e.g. moving your desk to an easier location, or holistic, e.g. amending/reducing your hours is open to negotiation.

The least your employer should offer is a phased return to work, after a long period of sickness

I can understand that it’s a difficult time for you, so see if you have a Union rep to speak to. Or whether your employer has an occupational health rep.

It might seem that the odds are stacked against you, but things can change. At the moment, worry/stress are probably making your symptoms worse. These negative emotions have no positive benefit and should be banished from your life. I know that will be difficult, but does worrying/stressing achieve anything?

So, look after yourself primarily and then find out about what your employers will and will not do to help you.

Good luck.

4 years ago

Thanks for that, very useful information, although one of the problems I have is that under the equality act one of the reasonable adjustments is reduced hours. My line manager is unwilling to look at this as he has deemed my role in the business as a full time post. He will look at a part time post (which I would have to apply for and could be potentially anywhere nationwide) in the business or ill health severance. Your right I should not worry as it does not achieve anything but that is easier said than done when your whole life is potentially being turned upside down. Do you know anybody with a similar case? Also I don’t have a union rep. Would something like the Citizen advice bureau help? If worst came to worst, would I be able to find another job that would accept my condition? I know the law says that any employer must not discriminate against you for this but how realistic is that and where would I start? Sorry to bombard with questions etc I do appreciate your help already. Thank you.

4 years ago

@meld38 , yes, the Citizens Advice Bureau would be a good place to start.

Your Line Manager needs to know his, and your employer’s, obligations in this. I realise that some jobs/occupations don’t lend themselves well to reduced hours, flexible hours or working from home.

But, they do have a legal obligation to try and help you stay in your job.

You are quite right that any future potential employer should not discriminate against you for having MS. But, I feel that you’re in touch with the realities of life, so you can envisage that things don’t always work as they should. 😕

Dependant on the visible signs of your MS, it may be possible to obtain “another” job, prior to disclosing the condition……

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