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Medical retirement

Discussion in 'Jobs and Employment' started by Vaper, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. Vaper

    Vaper Type 1 · Active Member

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    Hi,
    Locking for some advice please. Type1 basal bolus system
    I work for the railway and have done for 8yrs as a manager,normal shifts would be 4days 4 off 4 nights 4 off repeated and shared between 4 of us.
    As my occupational health advisor has stated no night shifts and backed up by my specialist due to the fact that it was very hard to stabilise my levels. Based on one of the team saying they are not prepared to accept doing less day shifts my employer is looking to medically retire me at 49yrs. I've explained I can work 18hrs of the day any day of the week but need to have a constant sleep patern in order to keep me stable and not off sick.
    I have not been off sick since stabilising and have been travelling 4hrs a day for work on top of a 8hr day 5 days a week so other than the need for a regular paternity I am fit and well.
    Does anyone know where I stand please.
     
  2. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod · Moderator
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    Hi Vaper - Is it fair to assume that either your control wasn't so good, or you were losing time from work, when you were also doing nights?

    Your employer is required to make reasonable adjustments to your working regime to accommodate your condition, but they also have to continue to run their business. If your requirement cannot be reasonably accommodated, then there are mechanisms by which you can be released from their employment.

    In many cases, they will attempt to redeploy the individual to another "suitable" job. Of course, that could be difficult to do, depending upon your skills and to a lesser extent experience. Where experience is short, training could be given, again within reason. Does your employer have any other roles that would suit your working routine criteria better?

    Your employer could offer you a package to resign/just leave; which could provide you with a modest (I'm thinking modest because of only 8 years service) financial buffer to give you time to find another job?

    I'm unclear whether your manager role involves some very niche activities, and thereby skills, or whether the skills you have are readily transferable to another industry/employer.

    I'm actually quite surprised you are being considered for medical retirement unless you are quite significantly impaired by your diabetes. The additional draw on the corporate pension scheme, by virtue of the additional years any pension would be drawn, can be really rather significant. I'm guessing your employer's pension scheme usual retirement age is going to be 65, therefore at 49 you would conceivably be drawing benefits for an additional 16 years. If your pension scheme is a final salary scheme, that's a massive draw. Potentially less of an issue to your employer if the scheme is defined contribution.

    I haven't been in your situation before, but I have managed large bodies of people, and early retirements have always been rather hot topics.

    If I were in your shoes, I might be considering the following:

    First and foremost, if you are a member of a union, please consult them asap. They are likely to know your employer, but also will certain be appraised of the current requirements for what should be offered to you and have a reasonable grasp of what reasonable actually means, in your context.

    Does the nights element of your current role pay a premium rate, or is it all just rolled up into a salary, because of the cyclical nature of it all? If the nights is paid at a premium rate, it could be worth trying to discuss whether you could negotiate any form of job sharing with one or more colleagues, to do the nights. If it meant the person doing more nights would earn more (and clearly you less), that could be attractive to someone, but I sort of feel this might already have been considered your your co-workers. Of course, quality of life comes into this for everyone.

    I'd be asking what redeployment opportunities there might be within the company.

    I'd be finding out exactly what "medical retirement" means; both in terms of how that release would be facilitated, and the financial impact.

    Finally, only in this post; not in terms of life priority, I would consider it extremely important that you actually sit down and work out what medical retirement would mean for you on a day to day basis;
    Can you afford it?
    Do you have any debts to be maintained/paid
    How would you address any income shortfall?
    Could you work again? If yes, then doing what, and is it credible, or bring in enough money, soon enough?

    Frankly Vaper, you're at a point where you need to do some really serious thinking, and take on all the resources available to you.

    I hope you achieve the result you would like.

    (Apologies for the somewhat disordered brain dump.)
     
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  3. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

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    Assuming your based in the UK, why don't you ask your specialist if a insulin pump would be a better option for you than MDI, with a pump you can increase/decrease your insulin depending on your day to day activities, I know you can do this on MDI but it's much easier to do using a pump.

    See if you meet the NICE guidelines or the ABCD recommendations:

    http://www.inputdiabetes.org.uk/alt-insulin-pumps/nhs-funding-pump/
     
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  4. SockFiddler

    SockFiddler Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Vaper

    I've got very little to add to @DCUKMod 's post except a couple of links:

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/w...-of-employment-and-disability-discrimination/

    https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Life-with-diabetes/Employment/ - lots of good stuff at the bottom there

    A diagnosis of diabetes (any kind) is recognised as a disability (for legal purposes). DCUKMod nailed it when they said "Reasonable adjustments" - this is the exact phrase in law that places the burden of accommodation on the employers and not on employees. Changing shift patterns (to no longer be working nights as required) is, indeed, a reasonable adjustment. This sentence:

    indicates that your employer is not prepared to make such an adjustment and is prioritising the needs of a non-disabled person over yours.

    That is discrimination.

    Good luck - let us know how it goes.

    Sock x
     
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  5. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod · Moderator
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    It's not quite that simple, @SockFiddler . The employer still has to be able to run their business, safely, and within the law.

    Much depends on the words in the contract, about working hours, and flexibility. Expecting others to just work more nights, potentially impacting their quality of life or health, may or may not be reasonable, depending upon many factors. Each case is viewed on it's own merits.
     
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  6. Art Of Flowers

    Art Of Flowers Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It looks like your employer can’t accommodate your desire for no night shifts. I was made redundant aged 46 and could have retired on a final salary pension of about £8,000 a year. I think you need about £15,000 a year to live. Fortunately I got another job and my retirement income ended has improved vastly.

    Being without a job aged 49 is not really an option.
     
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  7. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    As above, the first thing you need to establish is what is on offer.
    Medical Retirement can often give you more than ordinary retirement with the same amount of service, and you may be able to receive your pension early (perhaps even immediately).
    So your first point is to establish what is on offer because they may be deliberately doing you a very big favour.
    See how many years (if any) they add to your service.

    Second thing to consider is if you can find work more suited to your health requirements.
    You may take a cut in pay in your new job but you may also be able to counter that by using the pension payments (assuming that you can draw your pension early, which I understand would be part of Medical Retirement).

    Sample link https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/early-retirement-because-of-illness-or-disability where the main message is not to rush a decision.

    You need to look at two things; your rights, and which option is most financially beneficial.

    As a side note I was able to take early retirement and a pension at 50. I decided to take it and have no regrets because the terms and conditions for taking your pension changed subsequently and I would possibly had problems taking my pension at 60. I would certainly have had problems retiring at 60 is I had stayed in the job.

    So no regrets, and if you get an opportunity to take your pension immediately then you know what you will be getting which may be worth more than you think if they keep messing around with pensions.

    I did get another job afterwards as well.
    So earning and being paid a pension.
    Can't knock that.

    Bottom line; before you demand that they find you a more suitable job (which looks to be within your rights) work out if retiring on medical grounds and then finding a similar job may be a better option.
     
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  8. catapillar

    catapillar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Im not sure that's correct. The test for whether you have a disability under the equality act 2010 is whether you have a condition that has an adverse impact on your ability to carry out day to day activities without treatment. A type 1 diabetic without treatment will be dead (which would certainly have an adverse impact on ability to do day to day activities) so a type 1 is disabled under the equality act. For type 2 diabetics it is a bit more of a grey area, a type 2 diabetic not on any medication is already without treatment with no adverse impact on day to day activities and therefore not disabled:

    https://www.thorntons-law.co.uk/knowledge/blog/blog-overview/can-type-2-diabetes-be-a-disability
    https://www.dacbeachcroft.com/en/gb...ination-type-2-diabetes-was-not-a-disability/
     
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  9. ringi

    ringi Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Remember that it is the "day to day activities" of the job the person is doing (including night shifts etc) that effect the legal definition of a disability. So someone can be legally defined as disabled for their job, but not for the the next job they have (or benefits).....

    Personally I would take the money if it was a good deal, and then find a daytime job, maybe even with one of the companies that does "railway skills training". Also consider if you can move to a cheaper part of the UK and live on the pension along with the money freed up by living in a cheaper house.
     
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  10. chalup

    chalup Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I just did straight night shifts. My sleeping pattern was stable and other people are happier to do the days.
     
  11. slip

    slip Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @Garr might be able to give some advice although he hasn't been on the forum for over 6weeks as far as I can tell.
     
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  12. Vaper

    Vaper Type 1 · Active Member

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    Thank you for your reply, I have asked about relocation to another role but have been told this is not an option unless I find the role in the same way anyone else wants a new role. The issue is not based around sickness as that has not been an issue since retuning to work in March it is around 1 of the team of 4 not wanting to accommodate. This puts all the power in the hands of 1 could worker. I can't afford to retire yet and I can work 18hrs a day 7 days a week. If the 1 could worker agreed to do less days then this situation would not exist. I'm perfectly healthy and able which is why it seems so unless fair. Retirement age for pension is 62 but planned on leaving at 60 anyway. Yes I could transfer my skills but the railway is a neich market and the training and understanding takes many years to develop, it takes a year in basic management to become of any real benefit to the company. I do have a union and I'm holding off just at the moment as I don't want to make any career limiting moves until I know I'm against the wall. Management and unions is heavily frowned upon. Thank you for your help
     
  13. Vaper

    Vaper Type 1 · Active Member

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    Hi my insulin intake is not the issue, I opted for the libre as a pose the pump this is about not doing nights as this affects my levels. Even with a pump you have to adjust your insulin intake. It's about quality of life verses complications by adjusting doses constantly to be able to work it's not the type of environment that facilitates the time to constantly adjust because your on a different shift pattern. Thanks for your reply
     
  14. Vaper

    Vaper Type 1 · Active Member

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    Thank you for your reply, I stated that exact phrase to my employer and his senior that responded with what is a reasonable adjustments should not affect others. They seem to have answers for everything.
     
  15. Squire Fulwood

    Squire Fulwood Type 2 · Expert

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    Get advice about the medical retirement issue. Sometimes this is quite favourable to the person retiring since some scheme rules have a separate section for this. The Secretary of your scheme is supposed to work for the members and not the firm so if you can write to him and ask about your circumstances he is duty bound to reply.

    Does the railway still operate a final salary scheme?
     
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  16. Vaper

    Vaper Type 1 · Active Member

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    Terms of contract stated 38.5hrs per week mixture of days and nights but not proportioned to 50/50 so surely that gives flexibility to facilitate a reasonable adjustment
     
  17. Vaper

    Vaper Type 1 · Active Member

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    Yes I read the disability act/equality act the same way as you
     
  18. Vaper

    Vaper Type 1 · Active Member

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    Im glad that works for you hats off but I would be doing 4 days 4 off 4 nights 4 off repeated this messes with my bg something terrible so unfortunately it's not an option. I would definitely be out the door then as sickness would be through the roof even with double prompts
     
  19. Squire Fulwood

    Squire Fulwood Type 2 · Expert

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    Can I suggest (again) that you look into the benefits of medical retirement. Maybe it will help.
     
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  20. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod · Moderator
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    With respect, your co-workers could consider that you forcing a change in their shift pattern is exactly the same; one staff member holding all the power.

    Perhaps the co-worker who is unable to accommodate you has a very valid reason for his stance. He will have himself and his family to consider in decisions he makes.

    I have never worked shifts, and I know I would find it a horrible challenge, so I do feel for you in that regard.

    I think Noblehead is suggesting that whilst your bloods might always rise when working nights, by utilising a pump and giving yourself a a different insulin delivery mechanism, you could see an improvement in the management of your bloods.

    Would your clinic be able go give you a pump trial? Arranging and working with that would probably allow you more time to make your mind up and maybe even find another roles within the same company?
     
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