Paid off through ill health - employer feels I am no longer able to fulfil my duties - can I claim on critical illness?


I’ve just been told that my employer wishes to pay me off on ill health grounds due to me having a number of absences over the last year. They have also noted a drop in the standard of my work (I suffer from concentration/memory/confusion issues).

They therefore feel I am no longer able to fulfil my contract. I’ve been with the company for 11 years and they have agreed to pay me off with 3 months salary.

However, this will not last long.

I’ve not been formally diagnosed with MS although my neurologist feels it will only be a matter of time before I fit the diagnostic criteria and I am therefore in limbo with a diagnosis of probable MS.

I therefore cannot claim on critical illness for MS but was wondering if I could claim under Total Permanent Disability given the fact that my employer is terminating my employment as I am no longer capable of carrying out my role. My critical illness policy states it will pay out under the category if I am no longer able to fulfil my ‘own occupation’.

I wasn’t sure if I would need a formal diagnosis of something if not MS before being able to claim.

What do you think?

I don’t know for sure but I would definitely say you would have to have a definite diagnosis of ms to claim on critical illness insurance. You know what insurance companies are like they will do whatever they can to get out of payment if they can. It is different from your workplace. It is their decision to pay you off as they probably think it is cheaper in the long run rather than the unpredictability of you being off work. It will enable them to empoly somebody else. Three months wages doesn’t seem much though have you had any advice? Good luck. Anne x.

3 month’s salary may not enough be enough!

Your employer is not obliged to give you anything if your contract is frustrated but this is not how it is usually done.

Most people take a long period off sick and then agree with the employer that they are not fit to return to work and the contract is terminated.

During that period of sickness you would be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay for 6 months and your employer would make up your wages for the period of time stated in your contract. My employer made my wages up to full pay for 6 months and half pay for 6 months, Yours may not be so good – it all depends what’s in the contract.

What your employer is trying to do is leap frog the process by offering you money up front to go now without bothering with sick pay. My point is – would you get that 3 month’s money anyway? Of course your employer could just sack you but they know that they would risk you taking them to tribunal for unfair dismissal.

I would strongly suggest getting advice from CAB, ACAS or an employment lawyer before you agree to anything,

With regard to critical illness I agree with Anne. They will wriggle out of it if they can. Press your neuro for a diagnosis.


If you have been with your company for 11 years, do you not have a pension? If they are saying that you are not fit for work, surely HR should be looking at an occi health assessment that could then refer you for medical retirement?

This doesn’t sound a very good deal for you. Three months salary isn’t much. I mean, why don’t you just go off sick as from now, you could be off on sick pay fromyour employer for quite a few months, I don’t know how long sick pay lasts. Then after that it would be up to your employer to ,for want of a better phrase “get rid of you”. This would involve more money. I know nothing about employment law but I’m not sure that this sounds like a good deal. Cheryl:-)