Hi, I’m new here … I was diagnosed with PPMS about 8 months ago… here’s my story… I have been in full time employment with a large company for nearly 10 years now, I’m in a management role so about 70% of it is office based. I work in the fuel/retail sector. I hit targets month after month, I run a successful profitable business for the company. I haven’t had 1 day off sick since I started there . Now here’s the part where I could do with some advice… the next ‘welfare’ meeting I have with HR , there will be a decision wether I will be sacked or not !, apparently on health and safety grounds. This is because I walk slowly with a stick , & should the unfortunate opportunity arise , I wouldn’t be able to sprint across the forecourt and fight a fire with one hand while performing CPR with the other ( slight exaggeration but you get where I’m coming from ), I’ve never been given any reasonable adjustments to make things better for me ( ie: a chair that doesn’t hurt my back ), they’ve talked about it but nothing has happened! My consultant, some risk assessment HR bloke , and an occupational nurse all say I’m fine to still be working with reasonable adjustments… yet I’m still threatened with the sack !, how can they do this ??.. I just don’t get this , it’s quite stressful to think I could be just tossed aside like that … and the irony of it is , I was awarded employee of the month 4 weeks ago by a mystery shopper company! … the mind boggles!.. can anyone give advice on this , or been in a similar situation?
Well, they can do what they want, but the law offers you a remedy if whatever they do is unlawful. The law trumps the relevant internal policies and procedures that form part of your contract of employment whatever those say, but your employers do also need to work within their own policies or they’ll fall apart at the first legal challenge you throw at them, and it sounds as if you’ll have plenty of ammunition. Apologies - you’re a line manager yourself, so you’ll know all that, although your own line manager seems not to, and it wouldn’t be surprising if you were starting to doubt yourself…
From your description, it sounds as if the right hand knows what it’s doing - HR risk assessments, occupation health assessments, all that - but the left hand (a useless layer or two of line management, perhaps?) either don’t understand that stuff At All or do not think it is important or that it applies to them. If extinguishing fires on oil rigs while swinging from a helicopter from a rope is key to your role, then they might have a point;
if using your hankie to mop up the occasional coffee spill is more your speed in terms of emergency response job requirements, then they haven’t a leg to stand on, obviously.
If you have an ally in HR, talk to him/her. If you don’t (and maybe even if you do) you need some proper, independent legal advice, and fast. Don’t have that meeting until you’ve spoken to someone who’s on your team. Say you’ll want to bring your legal representative to the planned meeting That’ll wake them up, and with luck the grown-ups will have brought some grown-upness to your employer’s position before things go any further. It is worth investing a bit of resource in nipping this nonsense in the bud before it turns into a crisis.
I’m sorry to hear you are threatened with dismissal.
I’m no expert but I’m sure there are safeguards to protect us, the disabled; the Disability Discrimination Act, Equalities Act, Fire Safety Order and Access to Work Guidelines?
Hope you are able to find support with this situation.
I am guessing that you are not in a Union, so this might be of interest.
“Sometimes you may need legal advice to help you know if you are being treated fairly, to understand your rights in a situation, or to challenge unfair practice. Our legal advice service can help.”
Thanks whammel, I’ll use that link.
Hi Jo, thanks for your reply… I will be getting in touch with ACAS on Monday and go from there … tingly & numb fingers crossed
I don’t have an allie in HR … I’m going to get in touch with ACAS on Monday… and you’re right when you say try and have legal representation when I have that meeting.( I can imagine their faces now when it’s not just little old me sat there ). I’ve generally just gone along with things , but this last meeting really shocked me . my staff have even said they would walk out if I was sacked… so thanks for the advice & watch this space
How did it go??
Hoping that they surprised you with some kindness.
Sorry for the late reply… I am now without a job ( they did get rid of me , based on health &safety)… I’m due to speak to an employee solicitor tomorrow, cos this sucks… their treatment of me has been appalling . I’ve been offered ‘compensation’, but it’s laughable. Where do I go from here?, I’ve been in retail management positions for 30 years , I won’t get another job doing this … I wouldn’t know where else to look for employment… maybe just office based or something? I refuse to be on the scrap heap
I am very sorry to read this. How terribly upsetting for you. Thank for the update, and good luck with your discussions with the solicitor.
I’m so sorry to hear that - very disappointing. Hopefully the solicitor can help with better compensation, and hopefully help to teach them a lesson.
I know the stress of the situation will not be helping your symptoms.
Never say never - there are a lot of places out there that would love someone with your experience, who wants to work. Alternatively, use it as an opportunity to do something totally different.
Will be here if you need to vent about anything or just want a chat.
Best of luck tomorrow.
Thanks angry toaster and Alison… I’ll keep you posted x
I am so sorry to hear about your experience. That’s a clear case of discrimination! Hopefully the solicitor can help. At the same time, maybe it’s for the best. These people didn’t treat you right. Now they have to pay for it, and you deserve better. Have you considered seeking a job via your connections on LinkedIn, or becoming self employed? I know you have a lot on your plate right now, but it is important to remember that your skills are going to be appreciated by a different company, or you can use them to establish your own company and be your own boss. Sending you positive energy.
Just wondering how you got on with the solicitor, know you cant say too much, but hoping they helped and gave you something positive?
Take care x
Hi, late reply again! Lol… well my solicitor sorted things out for me and they settled out of court . At the moment tho’, I’m now in a bit of a quandary . What on earth do I do now??, I’ve been in customer service/ management roles for the last 20 years , I’m in my late 50’s and I’m struggling to find a job that’s MS friendly. I have the primary progressive type so I’m under no illusions as to the problems I will probably face in the future. I also have trouble driving now as my right leg misbehaves sometimes, so I’m wondering about working from home , but what is there? I don’t want to give up working yet and I feel I have a lot of experience to offer .
I hope that you got a decent settlement. All very stressful for you, though, even if you secured a good outcome.