retirement through ill health- advice please.

Hi, this is my first ever post so please be kind! I’ll try to be brief. Dx in 2006 with SPMS a month after starting my job as a teaching assistant. At this time I was on a temporary contract, got given a permanent contract of 8.5 hours in 2009. The last few months I have gone downhill dramatically, and have really struggled at work. At the moment my hours are spread over 2 days, I got my hours for September last week, and i have to go in every day, which is so hard for me (getting changed for work, there is a heavy gate to undo, etc) I have been struggling too with getting very down, and have been thinking of leaving as I feel unable to properly fulfill my role due to the ms. (Doesn’t help when you think you hear someone at work comment that they have got the short straw because they have got to work with me). Basically I went home sick on Monday, going to doctor’s next week. Talked to work about ill health retirement, as I couldn’t cope anymore, to which I was sent a text, ‘don’t think we can do that, but could we have your resignation in writing asap?’ I said I would talk to the union first. Work aren’t being nasty, they are just saying because I’ve muddled through and have had virtually no time off sick, they don’t think ill health retirement is an option. I don’t know whether to just resign, or fight. Any advice would be gratefully received. Thank you!

Hi DO NOT RESIGN. You need to speak with your union rep as soon as possible and get your GP in side. So make an appointment with them both as soon as you can. Xx

Sorry, that should have read, GP, onside.

No, no defintley no…they are wrong to ask for your resignation…they cannot do this!

You can retire on ill health, but it takes a while to complete.

I did this back in 2000. I worked for the local authority, like you.

This is how it goes, with perhaps a few little differences as we are in different areas.

You get your GP to do a sick note…done.

These notes last for longer and longer.

Your employer will send you to se a GP of their choosing. He/she decides if you are fit to carry on doing the job you are employed to do…no other jobs.

If he reports that you are not fit, then HR have to look to see if they have any suitable vacancies…they probably wont have.

Between you, you decide to take IHR and they work out out your leaving package.

Due to being ill, your work payouts are doubled. You can decide to take a larger lump sum, and smaller pension, or…

a smaller lump sum and a larger pension.

It sounds to me that you are probably ready to retire. I know its not how you saw your life panning out hun, but thats what happens to many of us.

Dont let HR get you to resign…okay?

luv Pollx

Do not resign!

Most people who are retired on ill-health have had significant periods off sick, but not everyone. Just because you have been soldiering on need not work against you. And if it isn’t ill health retirement, there are other sorts of financial settlements.

To put it bluntly, as matters stand they are going to have to throw money at you to make you go away. Unless you obligingly resign for them, which is what you must not do!

Good luck.


Thank you for the helpful replies, I think I had decided to go for IHR but needed a bit of advice, and no, it’s not how I saw my life panning out, the way I see it, if it wasn’t for this *****(insert your own word of choice!) illness I would be working full time at a job I loved!!

Thank you for helping me feel more positive than I’ve felt for a while.

Let battle commence!!

Lid x

Hi again.

Glad to see you`re feeling better hun.

Boudica will battle with you (in theory!)

luv Pollx


Sorry you are feeling so bad and not getting much support from your employers by the sounds of it.


I retired through ill health last year at the age of 52. It is quite a longwinded process.

I was a medical secretary and because of my legs giving way a lot and ON I was having a lot of difficulty typing medical documents and driving to work. I would very often get there and have to be driven home because of the symptoms elevating while at work.

I was off sick for about a year then had a meeting with my line manager and asked if I could be considered for ill health retirement. I stayed off sick while all the investigations went on ie asking for reports from Neuro and GP and they were both very supportive. The employer has to be seen to make reasonable adjustments to make it easier for you to work but there was nothing they could do to help me so I was asked to have 3 telephone consultations with Atos and they also agreed that ill health retirement should be offered and to be honest that was it.

It all sounds very longwinded but really it was quite straightforward. Just took a bit of time.

It may be a slightly different process where you work but from people I have spoke to about this you usually have to have quite of sickness to back up your inability to work.

Hope this makes sense and I hope you get all the help you deserve.

If you need any further advice then just PM me.

Take care.
Shazzie xx

You’ve already had such good advice so I have nothing to add except that they would love you to resign as it will save the LA loads of money. Don’t give them the satisfaction!

Best of luck

Tracey x

“ Don’t think we can do that”


Work is probably right that you couldn’t put in for ill health retirement right now. You need to have a substantially period off sick first. I was a teacher and had 12 months off sick before I put in for ill health retirement. Of course if you resign work won’t have to give you sick pay (probably 6 months full pay and 6 months ½ pay). Just go off sick and see how you feel in a few months – who knows you may be able to negotiate reasonable adjustments with your employer that mean you can carry on.

(TBH asking you to come in every day for 8.5 hours is taking the p*ss. I used to be in charge of 16 classroom assistants – they would have gone on strike if I had asked them to work so few hours each time – it would have suited me but not be at all fair on them!)


Hello. I’ve just retired from teaching on ill health. Speak to your union and tell them about the text-do not delete it! Your local authority should have an occupational health section who can advise you. Boudica gives great advice. Best of luck. Steve