1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2017 »
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Fear my company are starting to build up case for eventual dismissal

Discussion in 'Jobs and Employment' started by Hibby65, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Hibby65

    Hibby65 Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    48
    52 m Type 2- 5ft8" 17 1/2 stone - poor control in past but now last 6 months been good - last 2 months - spot on re BS levels

    Had a recent bout of sciatica - really bad - was signed over for approx 5 weeks from work, during this time in the last week had to go to A&E with double vision headaches and pain in eye. Eventually diagnosed with 6th nerve palsy - which should clear up in 2 months

    My job is dependent on driving so to my relief after some tests and some prisms being fitted to my glasses consultant said OK to drive. Smallish team - 20 at work -but in the dept I work in only 4 of us do the specialised job - and its not the type of job where when short they can call up an agency for a replacement. Someones off - everyone just has to share the work load.

    Returned to work - expected a frosty reception but didn't expect the hard hitting and very distressing "return to work" interview I got. Normally its just my manager - go through the normal how are you - are you better - are you 100% back to work or light duties. what remedies / medicines did you / are you taking.

    This time our Managing director was there and after about 1 minute of the normal charades of pleasantness I was told in no uncertain terms that my level of sick days over the last 5 year and now this was unacceptable 50 days in 5 years. I said that two years of ago I was in hospital with Gallstones / which led to Sepsis then kidney failure - so that was approx 30-35 days of the 50. Also I have been with the company for just over 19 years so what was my record like overall. Was told this was not important that progressively my illnesses (all with doctors lines) had built up to a level where if I was sick again in the future for a lengthy period then my ability to do my job would be seriously reviewed and they company cant keep covering for me like this, Also if my eye problem did deteriorate then I would lose my job as driving was essential to my role. In their opinion these illnesses have arisen from my previous poor control and will not be tolerated, I said that I was aware of the driving issue but had even wondered that god forbid I lost the ability to drive I could move house / walk to work / do a desk job - was told not to bother as that wouldn't even be an option he would consider. What assurances / efforts will I take / make not to be long term ill again, So stunned I cant recall what I said then meeting ended

    Don't forget - 52 yrs old been with company over 19 years and constantly been told how valuable member of staff I am in appraisals - senior guy with tons of knowledge and usually the person they go to to train people in new things - but no extra pay.
    Live about 40 miles from work as they closed my local office down and relocated me to main office. Lastly the job I do requires quiet specialist knowledge of transport / logistics but sadly there are only 3 other companies all based in the same area that do the job I do - so if I cant drive cant see them wanting me. No union and other guys in me team unsympathetic saying my poor control of diabetes in the past is all to blame so self inflicted.

    If I didn't have a wife and kids to support and a mortgage I would have resigned there and then. Main reason I stay - pension and the life insurance that comes with it free of charge. Without that safety net couldn't afford or get life assurance cover I could afford, and mortgage provider said this would be a problem.

    Must admit worried sick - had a we bubble to myself and sleepless night. My wife is supporting me but I know she is worried out of her mind.

    Spoke to my manager today and said I was stunned and saddened about the meeting yesterday and asked are you actively planning to sack me soon / next time Im Ill. She said no as far as she was aware I had just placed them in a awkward position at being ill as they see it far more than the other guys doing my job, I broke down in tears - pulled myself together and said we need to talk again but I was too fragile at present. She asked if I wanted the MD there I said preferably not but how can I stop him

    I feel all alone - apart from my wife and immediate family - no one else to talk to about this - so thought you guys might have some advise. Sorry about the length of post just wanted to give you as much info and get things off my chest.
     
    • Hug Hug x 13
  2. Diabeticliberty

    Diabeticliberty · Guest

    I feel so desperately sorry for you in your situation. The thing now is to work out is what you are going to do for your next move. I personally would suggest going through your Employment Contract with a fine tooth comb. There is a popular misconception in some quarters that an employee is automatically entitled to sickness. This is not always the case in truth and you need to refer to your own Contract to establish what is stipulated. Perhaps then seek advice as to whether your eye condition is likely to worsen abd if not ask your consultant if you may have this in writing. Give this to your employer and rely on the goodwill that they suggest they feel toward you after your length of service and good performance. Perhaps suggest that the worry of a threat of unemployment hanging over your head is causing you emotional turmoil and ask for a written commitment that your job is safe if you do not take any more time of through sickness. If they come up with the written commitment then you have some peace of mind. More peace of mind than you do at the moment. If they refuse then at least you have a better understanding of where you are placed and you can consider preparing for the worst and speak to an employment solicitor. The difficult part is that if the worst does come to the worst recent changes to employment tribunal procedures mean that in a lot of cases the employee has to foot some of the bill. This normally amounts to about £1200.00 even if you win at a tribunal it does not guarantee you that you will get your job back. Just some compensation. I think I would seek an initial interview with an employment solicitor. The first interview usually isn't too expensive. They may confirm or otherwise some of the stuff that I have suggested. I do hope that everything comes good for you. Please take care of yourself
     
    • Like Like x 4
    #2 Diabeticliberty, Oct 10, 2017 at 9:02 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  3. Freema

    Freema Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    7,224
    Trophy Points:
    178
    just want to send you a big virtual hug.... I can´t give you any advice sadly... hope things will be solved the best way for you ..
     
    • Like Like x 5
  4. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,635
    Likes Received:
    758
    Trophy Points:
    153

    Hibby65 - If you don't already have it, you need a full copy of your employer's Absence Policy (They're often called "Managing Absence Policy", and read it thoroughly. That should explain in some way the process you may be embarking upon.

    Most policies outline what the trigger criteria for "a chat" would be, then you can compare where you actually are within the policy.

    Only when you have had a look at the policy can you really assess how serious is might actually be.

    Fingers crossed for you.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Hibby65

    Hibby65 Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Thanks folks at least having an ability to be heard is a great relief. Thanks
     
    • Hug Hug x 2
  6. Biggles2

    Biggles2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Oh, @Hibby65, my heart goes out to you! I cannot offer any advice, but the advice above from @DCUKMod and @Diabeticliberty seems very reasonable and prudent. Definitely gives you something to start with. I do hope that everything works out well for you!
     
  7. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,869
    Likes Received:
    1,994
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I suggest that you make a handy record of what time you have had off and the reason for it - so if anyone does start to give you grief about it you can give them the exact dates and reasons for absences. If it does come up, try to keep a cool head. I was once challenged about an unauthorised absence and was able to check in my diary and see that I was on the factory floor supervising a trial run of a new product on that date.
    In the mean time, though, try not to worry - maybe have a chat to the people who've been covering the work and tell them how much you appreciate their efforts whilst you've been away - anyone who tells you what a challenge it has been to cover for you, smile and say you didn't realise how essential your presence was, but that you'll do everything you can to keep fit and healthy, maybe drop in the idea that it isn't anything you have caused by poor control of your diabetes.
    There's a lot can be achieved with a spot of networking and a bit of propaganda
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
  8. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,495
    Likes Received:
    4,481
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I am really sorry to hear that you are being put in to such an awkward situation.

    Mr Chook (my husband) is the person in his employer company responsible for monitoring sickness and subsequent disciplinaries, etc. - he says you really must check your contract where your employer's sickness procedure is set out but (as far as he is aware) sickness must be calculated on a rolling year and therefore any days off through sickness more than a year ago aren't relevant for disciplinary procedures.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. tigger

    tigger Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    352
    Trophy Points:
    103
    I'd recommend giving ACAS a call. They are very helpful and will advise you as to your rights and what options you have. http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1461 Mentioning you have spoken to ACAS if you are cornered again may also make your employer think twice. Also check your home insurance and see if you have legal expenses cover on it. It's quite a standard add on and covers employment disputes.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  10. walnut_face

    walnut_face Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    4,891
    Trophy Points:
    178
    IIRC an empolyer has a duty to try and find suitable alternative employment in the first instance, if an employee can no longer undertake their usual duties. By by-passing this stage the MD opens the company up to a constructive dismissal claim
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  11. carty

    carty Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,732
    Likes Received:
    1,771
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Maybe Citizens as advice could help here I know that they can help you to have a free initial consultation with a solicitor in some cases
    CAROL
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Hibby65

    Hibby65 Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Hi everyone, thanks rest of the week has been gradually improving, no more chats with MD, but manager and l agreed to have a follow up chat in a week or two once l feel emotionally better. Just had the HR call me saying a private occupational health company will be in touch to talk with me, review work station and any medical issues that may contribute to my sciatica, hmmmm
     
  13. Hibby65

    Hibby65 Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    48

    Thanks
     
  14. OdinsBeard

    OdinsBeard Type 1 · Active Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    33
    I don't think they can dismiss you, if you check the government website it classes Diabetes as a disability, I am currently going through a similar situation although I have been off now since end of April. You may want to look into it on the government pages and go a bit deeper and possibly speak to a union rep about it also. Good luck and best wishes
    Andy
     
  15. jay hay-char

    jay hay-char Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,185
    Likes Received:
    13,335
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Some sensible advice on here, particularly about keeping records and trying to keep lines of communication open.

    One thing I would say - and I have said this on these forums before - is that just because somebody is judged to have a disability it doesn't give them automatic protection from dismissal, merely from being discriminated against because of the disability. So, for example, if an employer were to prove that any employee with a particular level of sickness absence would be treated in the same way, irrespective of the nature of their condition, then there would be no discrimination.

    It's a difficult situation for an employer, particularly one with a small workforce where a prolonged absence of a key member of staff means productivity problems. Subject to due process, they may - and I stress may - be able to dismiss fairly. Being diabetic isn't a "get-out-of-jail-free" card. I worked in Human Resources for many years and, although my knowledge is a bit rusty now, I'm pretty sure that the gist of what I'm saying is still correct.

    Good luck, I hope things go OK for you.
     
  16. Hibby65

    Hibby65 Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Hi everyone - just an update a couple of months on

    Works better - work colleagues OK - and my manager OK but I realise that everyone will just look after their own back and no one will put their head above the parapets if push came to shove. If you know what I mean.

    However the whole thing has been noted by myself with notes taken etc - and to be honest its the long term game I worried about still 12-15 years to retire and in that time - not to be long term ill (over 2 weeks in a single period) according to my MD

    The Occupational health medical assessment was a total joke and I noted it all down and told my manager to tell HR to get their facts right.

    The doctor said so you have been off for 6 months with a bad back - I said no 6 weeks - all with doctors lines
    Then asked when I was planning to return to work - I said I had been back at full duties for 3 weeks
    Didn't even physically examine me
    Then I think she gave up when she heard I had been on Diazipam and another strong druig and advised by my GP not to undertake long drives.
    Saw the final report and it was just a - yes he had sciatica - it is possible it can return and we have advised him of the warning signs and exercises to do - Total joke

    Lastly and the best bit - 4 weeks after I had returned I receiver a letter signed by the same MD - congratulating me on 25 years service - with exemplary work ethic and effort over the last 25 years.

    So feeling in a better place now

    Thanks to everyone for their kind words / advice and support it really helped me in a worrying time

    Cheers
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook