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Advice about current employment situation

Gaille Member Posts: 3 Listener
edited December 2019 in Work and employment
Hi Guys,

I am looking for some advice re my current situation with my employment. I have been in this job for 9 years and due to various medical conditions been off work sick 8 months and still off sick. I have been diagnosed with Essential Hypertension, underactive thyroid, work related stress and two frozen shoulders. Following my first period of sickness I was contacted by my Manager and asked to attend a Welfare meeting. Having read some info I arranged to meet with my manager to "discuss my medical condition". At the end of this meeting I was advised that on my return to work I would face a disciplinary. It looks like whilst I was off sick my manager trawled through my emails to find anything they could discipline me for. I am now looking at 4 allegations of gross misconduct all taken from emails!!  Following this meeting in May 19 I attended my GP in a bit of a mess both physically and mentally and was prescribed additional meds i.e. sleeping pills and referred for counselling, tbh I was at that stage heading for a complete meltdown. Shortly after this I had two admissions to hospital after suffering from a TIA (mini stroke).  I now currently prescribed 14 tablets per day. This situation has been ongoing since then and after some support from my union I entered a stage of trying to negotiate a termination agreement with my employer. This has not been successful and I was offered the opportunity to resign from my post. I was reluctant to do this as I have worked all my life and have 1 year left before I can retire and didn't want to retire on this basis. Again after taking advice from my union I agreed to deal with the disciplinary allegations. My employer was asked under the circumstances to consider sending me for a health assessment to get an opinion on whether or not I was well enough to go through a disciplinary, they declined to do this. I had wrongly thought that I could deal with the disciplinary and attempt to answer the allegations.  Unfortunately a week  or so into this I am a mess. I am struggling to formulate any response cannot put two words together, and my mental health is now heading on a downward spiral. I do some home monitoring of my blood pressure and once again this is starting to peak once again. This weekend has been a nightmare, constantly in tears and struggling to maintain a positive relationship with my partner due to my low mood.  I feel totally lost and in the middle of this huge back tunnel with no light at the end. I have also been referred back to my local stroke clinic for further investigations into the level of the narrowing of two arteries in my neck (following the TIA which during the MRI scan identified these two narrowed arteries in my neck) with the potential of looking at surgery to open up these two arteries. I am aware of the impact that stress has on my blood pressure and the risk of stroke. I know I am putting my health a a huge risk in allowing this situation to continue so my question is - If I resign from my job, will I be able to claim any benefits or will I face some sort of sanction??
I have never claimed benefits in my life so this is all really new to me but I do have debts and financial commitments that I need to honour.
I know I need to make a decision really soon before my health suffer irreparable damage.
Sorry for being long winded but I thought some background might be helpful.

Thank you for any advice.


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,776 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome,

    I'm sorry to hear all that you're going through. I can't advise anything about your employers but the benefit situation question i can help with.

    I'm assuming you did claim SSP from your employer for 28 weeks, is that correct? If you did then because you've worked for the past 9 years you should be entitled to claim New style ESA, which is a contributions based benefit and to claim it you need to have paid enough NI contributions in the years April 2016-2017 and April 2017-2018. It's not means tested so savings/capital and other household income doesn't affect the amount you can claim. The only thing that affects it is private pensions that are more than £85 per week.

    You will also need you SSP1 form and a fit note from your GP to be able to claim it. It's highly unlikely you would be sanctioned for leaving your job because of all your health conditions which have stopped you from working for all those months and this should be good enough reason not to be sanctioned.

    New style ESA pays £73.10 per week assessment rate and is paid for 365 days unless you're placed into the Support Group and then it's paid for as long as you remain in that group. See link.

    Do you rent or own your own home? If you rent then to claim for help with this then you would need to claim Universal Credit but because you're living with a partner then you will need to claim as a couple. Whether you'll be entitled to anything will totally depend on your circumstances. It's also a means tested benefit so savings/capital and other household income will affect the amount you can claim. Also if you claim New style ESA as well as UC then your New style ESA will be deducted £1 for £1 from any UC you're entitled to.

    You maybe better off speaking to an advice agency for a full benefits check, this way you can tell them all your circumstances and they will be able to advise you correct.

    There's also PIP, which has replaced DLA. This isn't awarded based on a diagnosis, it's how those conditions affect your ability to carry out daily activity based on the PIP descriptors. See links.

    You will need evidence to support a claim and a face to face assessment is most likely because most people have them. It's not means tested so savings/capital and household income will not affect the amount you can claim.

    The only downside to this is that claims could take several months, sometimes longer.

    I hope this helps and i hope the issues with your employer are resolved soon.
  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Hello @Gaille

    Do you have a lawyer or not? Sorry this is happening to you. 
  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,376 Disability Gamechanger
    At @Gaille I am sorry to hear what you are going through.

    Most union members have access to legal advice, it might be worth making use of this facility if it is available to you. If not ACAS may be able to advise you.

    Bottom line, your health is not worth wrecking for this nor is your relationship with your partner. First of all have you spoken to your employer about your current mental health and asked for additional time to respond to them? Also  be aware if you are sacked for  misconduct you may not be able to claim benefits for 13 weeks or longer in some circumstances this is because you will  be viewed as losing your job by your own behaviour.

    You may have grounds to resign because of constructive dismissal. However I would strongly recommend getting advice before doing this. 

    You should also be aware if you put your notice in with a notice period your employer can carry on with the disciplinary process and if they find against you can still sack you for gross misconduct. Depending on  your position and the amount of damage your leaving immediately will have your employer could sue you, and in some circumstances could get a court injunction to stop you working for a competitor.

    My own advice would be to work with the union to resign on health grounds without a notice period agreed with the company, but I am by  no means an expert on this. Please do get proper advice as soon as possible.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,180

    Scope community team

    Hi @Gaille. What an awful situation. In addition to the advice given, I'd suggest speaking to EASS before you take any action.
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  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,565 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Gaille, sounds like things have been really tough. Just wanted to check in and see how things were going at the moment. :)

  • Gaille
    Gaille Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi Chloe,
    I am at the stage of having submitted a GP report and advised that I would be unable to attend a disciplinary hearing but I have written my response to these trumped up allegations. My Union have advised that I should wait and see if my employer dismisses me and then see if I have a case of unfair dismissal. Seems a bit vague but they have advised me not to resign. This has taken a huge toll on both my physical and mental health.
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,565 Disability Gamechanger
    I can imagine this has been a huge worry. I hope things are quickly resolved if possible @Gaille.


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