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 2022 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Has anyone had any experience with 'Fit For Work'?

Discussion in 'Jobs and Employment' started by Chook, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,095
    Likes Received:
    7,887
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I have been off work since last April. I am/was a carer for autistic adults that have additional physical or mental problems and one 25st service user had an epileptic seizure and fell on to me as we were both standing outside on a rainy night. I managed to grab hold of him to prevent him from smashing to the ground and, in the process, damaged my back. It turns out I have arthritis in my back which I hadn't known about before the incident.

    Anyway.... to cut a long story short.... my GP were issuing me with sick notes on a six weekly basis and when I became depressed they inceased it to once every four weeks. I have exceeded the period when I can be paid sick pay which was three months full pay then three months half pay - and now they have told me I need to claim sick pay from the government. But, even though I am no longer being paid I am having to attend Welfare Meetings every two months which I find a bit stressful but it does get me out of the house. This time they have asked that I agree to have a TELEPHONE assessment by something called 'Fit For Work' who will assess me and develop a return to work plan for me.

    They do have a website and I can't think that my employer would involve me in anything weird, but I've not heard of this before and neither have my husband or friends. I was hoping someone here might have some experience of it that they would be prepared to share with me?

    Thanks in advance.
     
    • Hug Hug x 1
  2. ellagy

    ellagy Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,448
    Likes Received:
    1,934
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Fit For Work is part of the Employment/Job Centre as far as I know Chook. Good luck with the call, I told them I wasn't considering work as I was due to retire in a couple of months.
     
  3. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,095
    Likes Received:
    7,887
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Thanks @ellagy Thats interesting - nobody has mentioned that to me at all!

    It just seems a bit odd that I've got to go through this stuff when my doctor (who has actually seen me) says I'm unfit for work and my employers aren't actually paying me. :banghead::banghead:
     
  4. ellagy

    ellagy Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,448
    Likes Received:
    1,934
    Trophy Points:
    178
    That is rotten Chook. I hope all goes well with it. Can you have a chat with someone from HR? Or are they the ones behind the call?
     
  5. ladybird64

    ladybird64 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,731
    Likes Received:
    1,905
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Have you actually started claiming benefits yet?
     
  6. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,095
    Likes Received:
    7,887
    Trophy Points:
    198
    @ladybird64 No, I've been getting the sick pay from my employer - thats all.
     
  7. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

    Messages:
    25,220
    Likes Received:
    30,676
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Did this invitation for a telephone "fit for work" assessment come from your employer? If so, and as you haven't yet claimed any benefits, I imagine it is your employer trying to establish if you are fit for work in some capacity or other, maybe a different job within the same company, or part time, or with extra help. If you are deemed unfit for work they may terminate your contract. If you are deemed fit for some work, they may offer you something part time or less stressful. It will be up to you to decide which avenue you wish to go down - never returning or returning part time/less stressful or whatever. You need to think about it carefully.
     
  8. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

    Messages:
    13,235
    Likes Received:
    12,481
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Fit for work is nothing to do with jobcentre or dss.
    It was given I believe as an option Employers too to sign up to.

    I expect you have seen the website below which does really explain everything.

    http://fitforwork.org/

    At end of day, Employers want somebody working for their business and not off sick. Its not a way to just get you out, they have to act legally... but they have to give you good opportunity to get back to work or for them to eventually, legally terminate your work.

    http://fitforwork.org/
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

    Messages:
    13,235
    Likes Received:
    12,481
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Its been around for quite a while and legal...
     
  10. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,095
    Likes Received:
    7,887
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Yes, it was my employer's idea. I think, for me, its a waste of time as there is absolutely no way I will ever be able to go back to my job again (which, incidentally, I loved :( ) I have talked to my employer's HR person and she knows my thoughts - she's also seen me with walking stick and knee brace and knows I can't walk up stairs or turn my head (arthritis in knees, hips, spine, neck and some fingers) - and she also knows I hate being stuck at home and would like (if possible) a job where I don't have to lift people or run around so much (or duck or dodge out of the way when pieces of furniture are thrown at me, etc) but she told me that none of those jobs exist within the company who employs me. It was after that discussion that she (HR) asked me if I would participate in this Fit For Work .... assessment thing.... which I've never heard of before. I'm really pleased other people have heard of it. A legal type friend says that whatever I do I must not give up my job voluntarily.

    I've never been in this position before and I'm also suffering with depression because of not being able to work and being stuck at home all the time (at least I think thats what the root cause of the depression is).
     
    • Hug Hug x 1
  11. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

    Messages:
    13,235
    Likes Received:
    12,481
    Trophy Points:
    298
    They need to do everything to cover their backs basically!
     
  12. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

    Messages:
    13,235
    Likes Received:
    12,481
    Trophy Points:
    298
    It maybe that they could make some adjystments to a job but if they cant would have to effectively take steps for dismissal. You need to do the fit for work assessment.. and as you been told - do not leave voluntary... it would impact upon claims for pension.. don't know your age!! Or benefits...
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,095
    Likes Received:
    7,887
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I'm 61 - I don't claim any benefits. I was basically just wondering what this telephone assessment might be like? What sort of questions they might ask? I can't find anyone that has been through it before and I like (if possible) to be prepared for anything new as, since being off sick, I get occasional panic attacks when I find myself in a situation that I haven't been able to prepare for (all part of this depression I think).
     
  14. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

    Messages:
    25,220
    Likes Received:
    30,676
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Maybe you would be better asking for a face to face interview rather than a telephone one. That way you can take someone with you - either a friend or someone from the Welfare Rights Service (these are free, the Citizens Advice Bureau might have their contact details) I know this is what I would prefer if it were me.
     
  15. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,095
    Likes Received:
    7,887
    Trophy Points:
    198
    @Bluetit1802 I wasn't given that choice. I was told it was a telephone assessment and that was all. I have just received an email confirming the appointment which has some links in it that I will explore - hopefully I'll get an idea then of what will be expected of me.
     
  16. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

    Messages:
    25,220
    Likes Received:
    30,676
    Trophy Points:
    298
    That is a real shame. Some stranger on the other end of the phone. No body language. I would hate it because I am useless on the phone. At least you have those links and hopefully some useful information.
     
  17. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,095
    Likes Received:
    7,887
    Trophy Points:
    198
    The links just go to their success stories and information for employers.

    My husband keeps saying to me 'what is the worst that can happen?' - we both know I'll never be able to do my job again and I know there aren't any administration vacancies so it won't be any great surprise if they do sack me.

    Sorry - feeling really down in the dumps this morning. :(
     
    • Hug Hug x 2
  18. maglil55

    maglil55 Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,603
    Likes Received:
    9,431
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Chook - if you earned more than £112 pw when you were working part of your sick pay from your employer would have been Statutory Sick Pay (it's around £86pw). This is paid for 28 weeks which ties in with your employer's sick pay period. There are more rules for SSP but assuming you did qualify your employer should have given you a Form SSP1 BEFORE the end of the 28 week period to change over to Employment & Support Allowance (ESA). It sounds like this is what they are doing now but it seems they are late doing so. You will need to get the form and claim. It's Jobcentre Plus that deals with ESA. Once you get a claim in for ESA it is likely you will be called for a face to face at the local Jobcentre. Please to not let this worry you as I found them really nice and helpful. It was their staff that told me I should also be claiming Industrial Injury Benefit as my injuries had resulted from an accident at work. They actually helped me with this as the first stage is to get the DWP to confirm it was an Industrial Accident then claim IIB. The face to face at Jobcentre plus is simply a way for them to decide whether you are put in the Work Group or the Support Group. They took one look at me and told me I wouldn't be required to attend again. You should also be looking to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) which replaced Disability Living Allowance. Both PIP and IIB are tax free. ESA is taxable. I was lucky as I had a neighbour who worked for the DWP who took me through all this as like you I wasn't claiming benefits but, bearing in mind also like me you won't get your State Pension for a few years yet they are worth claiming. For now get the ESA claim underway.
    Your employer is still box ticking to cover themselves. As I said previously be wary as they may be working up to dismissal on capability grounds. Is your retirement age at work 65 and are you a member of a company pension scheme?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

    Messages:
    25,220
    Likes Received:
    30,676
    Trophy Points:
    298
    If they dismiss you, have you any way of finding out what their pension and compensation rules are? This could be a pension at the rate you have earned to date frozen until retirement age plus a tax free lump sum paid now to cover the period between now and normal retirement age. It will be worth some investigation as companies differ in their arrangements. With a bit of money coming your way you could take your time and maybe find a part time admin job somewhere else. Just a thought. All is not lost yet.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,095
    Likes Received:
    7,887
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Thanks for the information - I've written it all down to raise with HR woman next time I speak or see her. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  • 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