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reasonable adjustments at work ??...should I stay or should I go

I am on the cusp of signing a compromise agreement for 14k over 12 months and agreeing to forgo all outstanding holiday pay after working for 11 years as a Head Chef for a private business. I suffered a significant relapse in Feb this year and have had about 20 weeks off work. (In the previous 11 years I had had 2 days off sick in total !)  It has been offered to me that I accept and  continue to work through a very busy time ahead on a self employed basis. by January this work will dry up 

It is not the financial settlement I am seeking and I am far from happy with it but it has been offered as an ultimatum, "accept or come back full time".

My employer  has repeatedly told me that I am not fit enough to do the job and has suggested that, should I continue, I would have to give up my role on the grounds of health & safety and take a job in the office at a considerably reduced salary. Who legaly decides these matters ?

I have told him that i am in a difficult position and find myself in uncharted waters regarding my health moving forward. I do want to leave the job and start a new direction with less direct stress. I feel at present that if I worked 8 hours a day and had support in my role  then I would be happy to continue although my legs are considerably weaker than they were and feel constantly "heavy".

Are these reasonable adjustments ? who regulates and enforces adjustments when necessary and am I obliged to take a reduction in pay ?

I am considering  leaving because I find the individual I work for too difficult and unpleasant, not the Job itself. the work is undoubdtebly stressfull and it is the stress that has the most impact on my MS.

should I stay or should I go ?.........who is good to talk to in these situations ?

Any advice appreciated

 

 

There are people that you can talk to about these matters, but I'm not sure where you can look for them.  I would give the Citizen's Advice Bureau a go, and maybe give your local benefits/job centre a shout - if they can't help you, they should be able to point you in the right direction.

Good luck

Luisa x

I think you might find it helpful to talk to Access to Work, they can help with all sorts of adjustments to help you keep working.

 

Access to Work can be contacted through Job Centre Plus.

 

Another thought, the MSS helpline 0808 800 8000 is also worth a call.

 

I would also say don't do anything until you've explored all your options

 

Good Luck!

Hi Sop

I too am a chef, and I completely understand where you are coming from. I have probs with my hands and arms, my legs are fine.
I am self empoloyed, and was before I was diagnosed in July. I now feel that being employed by someone else will be a safer position for the future.
What I mean is, if I am sick, or relapse, I do not get paid. It takes ages to get any kind of sickness benefit so I inevitably carry on (last time I completely lost the use of my right hand and arm) which makes things a whole lot worse but I have no choice.
I would seek advice from the CAB asap. In the meantime, look for a less stressful and demanding job and a nicer more understanding boss!
I am now seriously considering going back on someone elses books. A nice liitle exec chef, or kitchen manager may be better.
Good luck and hope you get sorted soon x

Hello and thankyou so much for replying to my post

I will seek further advice befor making any moves.

keep well and “happy cooking”

kind regards

Mark

Don't sign anything yet. If you do it will negate your original contract of employment and could affect all sorts of things like if you have a pension with them or lieu payment if you have to finish.

The way you put it it sounds as though your boss is harising you.

If you have been DX with MS you are covered by the Disability laws.

You need some proffesional advice.

Don't be pressured into what they want.

You need to do what is right for you and yours.

Ronin

 

Listen to ronin; do not resign, do not sign anything; do not verbally agree to anything.  If you have a contributory or non-contributory pension it probably has a clause about an ill health retirement; this is probably worth more than 14k; a lot more.

 

If you are not in a Union contact the EHRC  http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/  who will help.

 

You do have the safeguards of the Equality Act

http://odi.dwp.gov.uk/disabled-people-and-legislation/equality-act-2010-and-dda-1995.php   You seem to have your head screwed on correctly and realise a change of career is the right choice; how you can cope with lifting about heavy pans containing hot liquids I do not know and that is the job no ‘reasonable adjustments’ can be made.

As Anne points out ATW may be able to help  http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/Employmentsupport/WorkSchemesAndProgrammes/DG_4000347

 

Good luck

 

George

Hi, I know exactly how you are feeling. I was a manager of a branded pub/restaurant until a year ago. The issue you have unfortunately is can you do the job and not be a danger to yourself and others ? your employer should do a full risk assessment with you to determine this.

What kind of adjustments would enable you to carry on working in your current posistion? For myself it was probably one ask too many as my legs and balance are poor but I found fatigue the hardest thing to manage and as a manager I couldn't fulfill the job description and although the company supported me as best as they could there is only so much they could do. For me to continue I would of basically needed another deputy manager and at a cost of around £16k a year that would of been in my own opinion far from reasonable

I spoke to ACAS during the last couple of months of my employment and sometimes if you cant do the job then unfortunately you have to bite the bullet.

As others have suggested dont agree to anything at all until you have sought advice from people who can help you and point you in the right direction.

You obviously have a wealth of experince, would teaching or training interest you? It is certainly something I'm considering, you are still involved in an industry that is hard to give up but at a less stressful and more managable level

I'm out of touch now, but when I was in HR, and we were negotiating a compromise agreement, the employee concerned ALWAYS had an independent legal advisor acting for him/her - I think this was a legal requirement.  Because the compromise agreement is a heavy-duty and powerful contract, and has a big impact on your future scope to take other action arising from your employement, I think the formal need for a named independent legal advisor was built into the legislation.  

I would strongly suggest that you do not sign anything until you have an employment law solicitor to act for you.  In my experience the employer generally pays the legal costs of the employee when negotiating a compromise agreement (althoug I don't think they are obliged to.)  

'Compromise Agreement' is a technical legal term.  If you do not have a solicitor acting for you, I wonder whether what you are being offered is a proper compromise agreement at all, or just some flimsier thing they've cobbled together and are choosing to call a compromise agreement, even though it isn't one? 

Please do get proper advice and please sign nothing until you do.

x

Hi

Many thanks to you and all those who have posted replies

I shall indeed be seeking the advice of a specialist solicitor befor agreeing to anything. It is a major step and one that I shall not take befor seeing clearly the way ahead and the options available to me.

kind regards to you all & best wishes

Mark

I agree with the other posts: get some serious advice before proceeding or making any decisions.

My own case is a little different - I'm a teacher - but my boss is bending over backwards to ensure I stay in work for as long as possible. Teaching requires a fair amount of movement but your problem with your hand/arm is your work. I'm able to get children/other adults to do some physical things for me. First thing neuro said to me when dx: work as long as possible - your entitled to help.

Best wishes to you & hope you get yourself sorted soon.

Lesley