Incapacity or ill health retirement

Hi guys, I work for a big chain of hardware retailers, and I’ve been off work with my ms for the last 8 weeks, it triggered the long term sickness process sometime back. Today I have had the penultimate meeting and the big question today was would you

a) consider retiring on ill health

b) dismissal due to incapacity

i didn’t give them an answer told them I needed time to think about it and would give them an answer at our final meeting. Now the twist is yesterday unknown to the two who did the interview today yesterday the hr lady phoned me and told me I would be entitled to 4 weeks lieu of notice and 38 hrs holiday now if I retire am I not voluntarily making myself unemployed and they get away with the small payment but with incapacity they get to pay me, any ideas guys

Hi Drummer boy,

I can’t give you any advice about this, sorry but I’m sure that some good, helpful advice will come from some other members of the forum.

The only thing I can say is work out the pros and cons for either scenario and go with what you feel is best for you and your situation.

Hope everything goes ok for you.

Twinkle Toes x

Hi Drummer boy,

I presume this is the first time you have been long-term sick; if you can call 8 weeks long-term. Your company seem to be jumping –the- gun quite a bit; have they tried any ‘reasonable adjustments’ with you before you were sick? See Search | Equality and Human Rights Commission there are many hoops they have to jump through before they can say what they have said to you.

Are you in a Union; get them on to it. Ring Access to Work to explain the company’s responsibilities towards you Get support in work if you have a disability or health condition (Access to Work) - GOV.UK.

Never go to any meeting with them without a Union rep.; friend or colleague with you.

Contact the Disability Law Service Multiple Sclerosis Legal Advice Line | Disability Law Service

Whose lawyers are paid a retainer by the MS Society to give you free advice and even represent you if need be.

They can’t and should not be allowed to get away with not being correct. Of course if they offer you an immediate pension might make things look different.

Good luck


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Please note you are automatically covered under the Equalities Act as soon as your diagnosed; Disability discrimination | Equality and Human Rights Commission


My gut reaction is do not retire ‘gracefully’ and they seem to be rather hasty in wanting you out!!

Push for reasonable adjustments to be made and get proper advice. You have the law on your side.

Solicitors cost money but you need legal advice here.

And remember employers are just that they are not your friends

I think it totally depends on what those terms mean to you in your context - specifically what they mean in terms of what you get and what, if any, impact one or the other might have on eligibility for State benefits. I do not know enough to advise you, I’m afraid.

If you are in any doubt about what the implications are for you of going for one over the other (assuming, this is, that you’re content to head for the exit and don’t want to dig your heels in), do at least stall until you are clear about your options.

Good luck, however it goes.


hi guys, thanks for the replies, we’ve done the reasonable adjustments. they gave me a stool… hows that for a multi million pound company and i had to put the bloody thing together. i will be the second person in this store to be finished due to ms in less than 12 months what does that remind you of eh. i believe long term is triggered at 8 weeks at which point they come to see you after that there are four meetings for them to comply with the legal requirements of it all i have one meeting left, there is no union as such that i know to, and so my wife has been coming in with me but she is not allowed to have any input just to assist me when i get tongue tied and cant get my words out. tbh i will be glad when its all over it was a 12 hr per week contract that unfortunately wont pay for our holiday now but its one less hassle for me. as for the retiring on ill health i have been advised by my employment retention officer not to go that route but let them dismiss on grounds of incapacity due to ill health

Assuming you are not in a Union? These meetings you describe as penulimate and final?Surely in advance it is not possible to refer to it as a final meeting as the outcome can not be known as it must depend on what goes on at meeting otherwise whats the point? Are they following their HR procedures correctly, have you asked for and seen the relevant documents, sickness management policy?etc. Where you given written notice(2 working days)of these meetings notifying you of your “right of accompianment” by a union rep or colleague(this the legal min,a companies procedure may allow relatives aswell for example).I would suggest if they have breached the procedures in anyway that they need to Start the process again? Are the company aware that you have MS? have “reasonable adjustments” been made for example longer breaks,adjustments to hours,Not counting MS sickness when breaching any “tolerated” sickness levels? As you have MS even if you show no disability you are automatically “disabled” under the Equality act.If you haven’t already i would email the Head of Hr and inform them that you have the “protected charateristic of disability under the equality act” i say email as this is accepted as evidence in an employment tribunal,never trust a manager or Hr type telling them verbally is no good.Under the equality act the company would only be expected to follow the act if they were aware that it applied to you. Please contact Acas,and better still the equality commission(equality act experts) for proper advise and help.Do not get mugged by your employer without atleast exporing where you stand. Good Luck Ollie

Edit: sorry i had internet probs and hadn’t seen you reply above!

As I said; Contact the Disability Law Service Multiple Sclerosis Legal Advice Line | Disability Law Service Whose lawyers are paid a retainer by the MS Society to give you free advice and even represent you if need be or as Ollie suggested ACAS. This 8 weeks long-term sick and 4 meetings is a local agreement; The Equalities Act is Law and overrides that. Don’t sleepwalk into retirement. George

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