What can my employers do and can't do please.


Could anyone please help with some general employment law?

I have recently told my employers with whom I have been with for 30 years that I have been diagnosed with MS. Have only had 2 days officially off sick since ms diagnosis. I know and company know that my working day is affected by my ms (can only walk so far and/or fatigue sets in.

it is a small company and my sales manager job involves me driving or catching a train to London to see customers. My employers are situated about 120 miles from home and I do not go to an office, maybe once every 3 months I go to company head office. The company has no trade union presence and I am not in a union.

I had the other day an informal meeting with my manager/company director at his request. He said that, only though when we met in london away from office, it was mainly for health and safety reasons. Also briefly touched on potential amendments to job. No occupational health health person was involved, the company does not have any employed

I was never advised in advance of the intended discussion agenda for this meeting, should I have been? Neither was I told that if I wanted I could have someone with me, should I have been given this option? What can and can’t they do or insist on please and what should I be looking out for and aware of?

Kind regards


You need to call the Citizen’s Advice. Their website also has a lot of info. to guide you.

The MS Society has information on this - search the website. Also, has printed publications, which you can download from the website or aks to be posted to you. Also see the Disability Law Service (charity) which has a dedicated MS service.

Good luck


Sounds like an attempt to be a human and be helpful to you. If you have worries it could be an idea to raise these with them. Bottom line I assume you do a fab job, so therefore they are not going to want to lose a great employee. Just help you continue to be great.

hope you find a way to sort this in away that puts your mind at ease. If they have been a good employer up to now, don’t panic and think they will become a bad employer due to you having ms.

good luck, hugs

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i would also suggest speaking to the equality commission / with regards to the equality act 2010.

I would guess this act may give you some protection. If you are classed as having a protected characteristic(disability) the company has to make “reasonable adjustments” so the fact he touched on the subject of " potential amendments to job" which sounds like the same thing worded slightly differently may mean he is aware of his responsibilities in this respect.

Get the proper advise from the professionals.He may be a responsible employer trying to do the right thing morally after your 30 years service or it could be he is a clever one seeking to demonstrate that he has made every effort to consider “reasonable adjustments” and it wasn’t possible.

On the subject of the meeting and any rights you have,i am not sure as this was not any kind of disciplinary meeting? that the rights to have a colleague or union rep present apply or any particular notice period needs be given.It is not unreasonable for a manager to have a informal meeting with an employee? in fact i would say it would be very wrong if they were aware of your diagnosis to just ignore it and never mention it again, they probably have some kind of “duty of care” to their employees and given the news you have given them a face to face meeting fairly quickly and coming to you to make sure things are ok and see what support you need would seem the decent and correct thing to do? and As you are not in a union Acas are the best people(that i know of) to speak to for the proper advise on such things.

Without knowing what your employer is like its hard to give advise but on the details you have given it sounds like they may be decent but you are correct to be guarded and seek as much info as possible to know your rights should they be needed

Good luck

Bouncy is so right; let the experts lead and represent you. The DLS Multiple Sclerosis Legal Advice Line | Disability Law Service


A big thank you to you all for the brilliant advice, I cannot put into words how grateful I am.

I will be looking at all the organisations mentioned to get myself informed but without doing myself in and thinking negative things about my employer.

As O173 suggested they are probably doing just want any decent employer would do. I’ve got to try and be positive.

thank you all again and will update

Hi Giova

Another thing to look into is Access to Work. It’s something the DWP provide, and is for helping people with disabilities to work. They can give advice about things that could help, and even provide funding for equipment of travel.


Hi there Giova,

Like you I’ve recently had to tell my employer that my MS is affecting me in work.

I actually told them about the MS about 6 months, but had kept it quiet for about 4 years in fear of losing my job (a stupid decision), however as I could feel things were getting more I difficult I “came clean” to them about 6 months ago.

They were very good and understanding.

Then about 3 weeks ago I had to tell them that things were becoming harder, (I did have a fairly physical job and it was shift work), so asked to reduce my shift hours by an hour or so as I felt that the 8 hours was getting too much, they (management) came straight back offering to take me off shifts and also find me a less physical role.

Unfortunately 3 weeks on I’m actually finding that the new role incudes a fair bit of walking around the site and standing, so once again I’ve had to admit defeat and explain that I’m struggling again, so now it looks as though I might be looking at a more of an admin type of role, which if I’m honest is nothing like what I’ve ever done, I’ve always been more of a hands on person, so it’s going to be a bit of a learning curve.

As you can see, my company are trying to help, and I really do appreciate what they are doing, however, I’m under no illusion at all it’s because they think I’m special type of guy or the best worker there, in fact they have already explained that as far as the law goes (Equality Act 2010) they have to try to accommodate me .

MS in particular is an illness where they (employer) have to act in your best interest.

I guess I’m lucky in a sense that I did not have to remind them of the law, but make no mistake if I had needed to I would of.

The best policy is to be open and truthful with your employer, DO NOT STRUGGLE IN SILENCE.

The size of the company does not matter, the same law applies to all employers, but obviously I would guess that options could be limited within a small company compared to a larger one, however they MUST still be seen to be accommodating you as best as they can.

There loads of sites that can offer advice.

Many mentioned in the above posts.