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Please help. My employer may dismiss me and I don’t know what to do

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bluefox
bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
Hello all,

I started having seizures in November 2020 and a series of investigations including ECG, CT, MRI, MRA and 24/72 hour tape revealed not much. But around the time I became scared as they thought I may have an aneurysm and it turned out it wasn’t. Anyway they eventually diagnosed my seizures as “non epileptic seizures” and classed as “non epileptic attack disorder”. 

Consequently my long term depression and anxiety had suddenly become much worse as a result. It’s been 15 months since I was in work and I just can’t seem to “pull myself together”. I developed agoraphobia and panic as a result of the seizures. I won’t leave the house now unless I am accompanied by my partner or someone I know. 

My old job involved working nights and it was generally a quite toxic environment. I have been offered the chance for a phased return but my depression has gotten really severe lately with suicidal thoughts and now the neighbourhood mental health team are involved. There may be other roles but I’m concerned that I’ve lost my independence and finding it really tough to do things by myself. 

I am still awaiting neuropsychiatry for the seizures. I currently claim ESA, UC and PIP as my SSP ran out. I am finding the thought of returning extremely daunting and I’m not even sure I’m going to be allowed to return now given the length of time I’ve been off. 

My doctor thinks I may have Aspergers and has sent me to psychiatry.

I don’t know what to do. I think they’re going to dismiss me tbh but will this be the end of work life for me? Should I focus on getting truly better first before I consider work. Only I know how I feel I guess. 

Help please

Comments

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi and welcome to the community 

    The important thing is to get yourself better and worrying about work won't help 

    You need to discuss your situation with your employer and what your options are as also they can't be expected to keep your job open forever 

    They have offered adjustment with phased return but if you can't do this then they need to look at other options and this could be medical dismissal 

    It doesn't mean you can't work again if they dismissal you and may be the best for you so you cab concentrate on your recovery 
  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
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    I feel like a total and utter failure. My depression, as a man, is making me think why can’t I pull myself together? I’m getting suicidal thoughts and getting help with this soon but I just can’t help but thinking I’m a failure!
  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
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    They are helping by sending me to the neighbourhood mental health team but I’m not sure what’s going to make me better. My body feels a mess physically from the Non-Epileptic stuff, depression and anxiety. I feel like with a mental health condition I should be able to work. I don’t know why I’m putting so much pressure on myself. 
  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
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    They are contacting me next Tuesday / Wednesday to see what help they can offer me in terms of either a psychologist etc 

    I keep saying to my friend it’s not just mental. The physical symptoms I experience are awful. 
  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,652 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hey @sierrafox

    Thank you so much for making this thread and speaking so honestly about how you feel and what you are going through, and I'm happy to see that you have received supportive responses from other community members already.

    I am about to send you an email from community@scope.org.uk to see if we can support you at all, please feel free to give it a read and get back to us :) 
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  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
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    Hello all,

    Will I ever be able to use them as a reference? If they dismiss on capability? 

    I need to know this but I don’t want to ring them and ask, I’m too ashamed. 
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @sierrafox I've had a look on Citizens Advice, which says:

    If you're worried about getting a bad reference, you can ask your old employer for a basic reference - this just gives your job title, salary and dates of employment. Many employers do this, so it won't look odd to a new employer.

    Read more about your right to a fair and accurate reference on GOV.UK.


    I hope this helps to answer your question, and do ask if anything else comes up.
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  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
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    I’m not sure if that is a yes or no from Citizens Advice
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
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    Sorry it's not clear @sierrafox

    You can ask for a basic reference from an employer, which doesn't go into detail about any of the reasons you might have left, like a dismissal.

    So the answer is yes, just ask them for a basic reference.

    Does that make sense now? :)
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  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
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    Oh that’s good. So I could call them and ask for a basic reference even if I was dismissed for capability. 
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
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    @sierrafox That's right yes, glad I could help :)
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  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi again 

    You can only be given a bad reference if it is factual and has evidence eg bad absence record can only state facts 

    Most companies now just give a basic  reference as Alex has suggested 

    However some companies that request a reference will ask soecific questions but it is whatever the company that you were employed at policy on reference as to what they include 

    Hope this makes sense 
  • Jo_2022
    Jo_2022 Community Volunteer Host Posts: 298 Pioneering
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    Hello @sierrafox :). A warm welcome to you on the community. I am very sorry to hear the issues you are having with your mental health and work. 

    Please don’t be so hard on yourself, it can be difficult to continue working with so many health issues. Perhaps it is better that you focus on recovering before going back to work. It sounds as though you were unhappy in your last job, and your employer was not very helpful. Although, I think you can still ask them for a Reference when you apply for another job in the future.

    You might like to have a look at these resources:
    https://www.scope.org.uk/advice-and-support/managing-stress-at-work/

    Best wishes 

    Community Volunteer Host with a passion for human rights.


    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.

  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @sierrafox how have things been going since last week?
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  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
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    Hi,

    I still feel really awful and down at the moment. Still getting the thoughts but accessing the right services. 

    Not convinced I’ll ever find a job ever again though. 
  • Jean Eveleigh
    Jean Eveleigh Scope Member Posts: 185 Pioneering
    edited May 2022
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    Hi @sierrafox

    If your company are thinking about dismissing you because of your health they have to give you a copy of their procedures for doing so.

    The next step is you will be given an assessment by an occupational health provider paid for by your company and they will look at your role and any adjustments that could possibly be made or any other roles in the company that you could possibly do.  If they agree you will not be able to  return to work in the foreseeable future (usually within the next 3-6 months)  they will recommend medical retirement - https://www.scope.org.uk/advice-and-support/stopping-work-ill-health-retirement/

    If your company agree (most do) you will receive a compensation package as set out in your employment contract and any reference you get in future will say you retired on medical advice not that you were sacked or dismissed.

    I have just been through this with my employer and this was my experience, hope this helps
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    @Jean Eveleigh that 8snt quire correct ill.health retirement is only an option if the person has a pension in place and pension provider all have different rules and criteria for taking early retirement 

    Also taking pension early will affect entitlement to future benefits and isn't always the best option for everyone 
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