Early Retirement


#1
Hi,

Has someone been through early retirement in the Civil Service, any advice please?

I do office work, but it gets very uncomfortable all day...sitting, standing, meetings...getting more difficult. Employer has offere support like work from home, flexible hours...but the difficulties remain.

Am one of the sad case where I put work first, has an excellent attendance record, only 2 weeks sick atfer 10 years and that was when i was diagnosed last year. i am told that to be considered for medical retirement, they will also look at my sick records, which in my case will go against me although in reality I am finding it hard at work everyday.

Any advice would be much appreciated please.

#2
.
Hi.

Your past medical record will be a GOOD thing for your cause. It shows you're not the type to "try it on."

I went through a similar process myself in the private sector, and was required by the pension trustees to go for a medical with an independent consultant neurologist.

As well as asking you the usual questions about symptoms, how long you've been having them and whether they're getting worse, he'll also be watching you. For example after getting me to unbutton my shirt (ostensibly for stethoscope access) he closely watched how difficult I found it to do the buttons up again. He also watched me walking around, listened carefully to my speech and inspected my handwriting.

It's all standard stuff, though, and although it seems to take ages there were no problems, and my retirement and full early pension were duly approved.

At the end of the day if you HAVE got PD everyone will know what this will mean to your career, and it'll be in everyone's interest to release you properly.

Good luck!

Ray.
.

#3
Dear Chad, I "retired" from a Home Office job when in my early 40's. They were exceptionally understanding ( although I had the distinct impression that it was as much of a relief to the Dept as it was to me!) My "medical" entailed a 2 hour journey for me to explain to a delightful 20 something year old just how she could gain sight of my medical records. It transpired that she was not a qualified Dr so could not do this.
I think that you will be treated sympathetically. but if you are concerned and feel able to do so, it may be worth asking your Union Rep for help?

#4
i was diagnosed with pd this year . i am a civil servant and to be honest my employers have been awful with me, they wont let me do the role i used to do and have restricted me to some awful tasks long hours and lots of standing for upto 12 hours some days, my employer told me to check what benefits im entitled to if as he says things don't turn out the way i want after a capability hearing, ive had enough and im off work with all the stress, i think he wants me medically retired just to get rid of me, i don't know what my finacial situation would be but im going to the cab this week for advice, ive already had 1 appt with atos who recommended jobs i can and cannot do for my employer which have been ignored. any advice please

#5
Hi Schnaffer,

Sorry you are having such a hard time at work. You don't say how old you are but you might like to look at a thread a couple of weeks ago 'Employer Medical Referral'. I had my ten p's worth but as you will see we have Mikey on board who I am sure will be able to advise you. Good luck
Janey

#6
Hi Schnaffer

I have been posting to Chad who is having similar problems to you. You must always keep in the back of your mind that as a PWP you are "disabled" under the Equal Rights Act and as such if your employer imposes conditions upon you that are in contravention of this they are liable and leave themselves open to being sued in a Tribunal. The conditions they are imposing seem also to be in contravention of the Health & Safety at Work Act as even able bodied people cannot be made to stand and work for 12 hours without reasonable breaks.

Please let me know what is happening with you as any form of discrimination really gets me mad. I posted to Chad under the heading of Employer Medical Referral and the advice I gave holds good for you.

What is with Government Departments? Why do they think they can break the laws they make? By the way, I don't recognise the initials ATOS what do they stand for?

Cheers

MikeB

#7
Hi Chad,

You wrote:
"Am one of the sad case where I put work first, has an excellent attendance record, only 2 weeks sick atfer 10 years and that was when i was diagnosed last year."

So you are saying that for the first nine years you didn't take time off and the two weeks off were when you were diagnosed last year? Sounds like a clear-cut case, PD has affected you. Don't worry, I am sure it will go all fine. If they don't believe your neuro or PD nurse then they will get their own neuro (like Ray said), who will confirm the dx.

Best wishes,
rico

#8
Dear mikeyb
thanks for your reply and janey. i am 44 years old and as i said in my fist post
im having probs with my employer who i stupidly thought would look after me after i was diagnosed, i must be the first person they have come across with this illness because they havent a clue, when i returned to work after being off during my diagnosis (2 weeks) they said somebody will do a risk assessment on me before i do any role in were i work, after 1 day of nobody coming to see me they gave me a particular role to do and said someone will come to see me, 6 days still nothing i cont my line manager who chases it up and says its been done last week i reply it cant have nobody came to see me. oh it was done in his office im told so i ask for a copy of it after days of mithering i finally get a copy i don't understand so i see my line manager who tells me they don't understand it either? ive been to my union who say oh don't worry wait for the capability hearing and if things don't go well then he will take them for discrimination.., ive been to the citizens advice who were helpful and told me to record every conversation etc in a diary.
atos are a healthcare organisation who provide health counselling and screening under contract for the Govt.. ive already been to them once they provided guidance offering advice on what i could and couldn't do most of which has been ignored, im now still off work and the stress is not helping one bit, i feel so badly let down
and im really worried things are not going to be resolved any time soon.

#9
Don't worry, as I told Chad, you are disabled within the meaning of the Act and are therefore protected by it. If your employer does not work within the Act they are liable to be sued for discrimination and the penalties for this are unlimited. The CAB advice was good, keep records of everything and keep all documents sent to you. Union legal representation is usually first class so keep them informed at every step along the way. Things may take time (Government departments usually do) but DO NOT WORRY this will only make things worse for you. The law is on your side. Keep in touch.

#10
Don't worry, as I told Chad, you are disabled within the meaning of the Act and are therefore protected by it. If your employer does not work within the Act they are liable to be sued for discrimination and the penalties for this are unlimited. The CAB advice was good, keep records of everything and keep all documents sent to you. Union legal representation is usually first class so keep them informed at every step along the way. Things may take time (Government departments usually do) but DO NOT WORRY this will only make things worse for you. The law is on your side. Keep in touch.

#11
Schnaffer one more thing. I am no expert in Risk Assessments but I cannot see how anyone can carry out such an assessment on you without talking to you. As you all know PD varies so much from person to person and even day to day, it cannot be done as a paper exercise. Tell your Union rep what has happened as they should be able to get it sorted.

#12
Mikey,
If you would like to contact me privately I have some documentation which may be of use
Janey

#13
DEAR ALL
HAD MY FINAL ATOS APPOINTMENT RECENTLY AND THE REPORT WAS NOT GOOD. THE PHYSICIAN I SAW WAS VERY NICE BUT SHE PULLED NO PUNCHES AND SAID I CLEARLY COULDNT GO BACK TO MY NORMAL ROLE AND WOULD BEST BE SUITED TO SEDENTARY WORK. MET WITH MY BOSS THIS WEEK AND HE SAID NOW THAT ALL REPORTS ARE DONE I SHOULD KNOW SOMETHING ONE WAY OR ANOTHER WITHIN TEN WEEKS? I THINK THEY ARE HELL BENT ON TRYING TO RETIRE ME IM ONLY 45 AND THE THOUGHT OF BEING THROWN ON THE SCRAP HEAP AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE HORRIFIES ME,IM TRYING NOT TO WORRY ABOUT IT BUT IM REALLY WORRIED ABOUT THE FUTURE. I WORK IN A VERY STRESSFUL ENVIROMENT BUT ENJOY THE WORK AND AND HAVE LOTS OF FRIENDS WHO I WOULD MISS DEARLY. I JUST HOPE THEY CAN FIND ME A SUITABLE POSITION AND I CAN CARRY ON WORKING. I WILL KEEP YOU ALL UPDATED MEST WISHES TO YOU ALL SCHNAFFER:smile:

#14
I was retired 6 years ago at the tender age of 38. I had an enjoyable but stressful job, travelled and met some fantastic people.

At least that's the way I saw it.

Once I left I phoned a few of them up, a few uncomfortable calls later, they seemed a lot less fantastic. I didn't miss them, the job or the travelling. It really isn't the end as it appears. You just paint yourself a new picture, fill it with even more fantastic people and travel without the stress of being somewhere on time all the time.

As for a job, my wife found me plenty of things to be doing, forcing me to find other fun filled activities that meant I couldn't carry out those jobs.

I'm currently learning law, medicine, still attempting french and finding new ways of stashing those pink wafer biscuits away from my wife.

p.s. isn't their nothing wrong with pink wafer biscuits for breakfast?

#15
Schnaffer, an employer must, if they feel you are not performing your job the way it should be, carry out all reasonable assessments, be they medical or otherwise. They must keep you informed at all stages of the results of their investigations. If in their judgement you cannot carry on in your role they must try to adjust the role to suit you by changing duties, the environment, your hours of work etc. Failing this they must try to offer you other work you can do. It is only after all this has been tried and they cannot accommodate you that they can contemplate medical discharge/early retirement. I hope you have kept your union informed and involved as they are, if you are a member of one, the best representatives around as they only have your interests at heart. Failing this the Citizens' Advice Bureau do sterling work. Don't worry about the future, concentrate on here and now. Please keep posting if you need more help/advice.

#16
hello all
just a quick update, after meeting with my boss last week he said next step would be to wait for capita reports (told will be 10 weeks ) they are pension people, well guess what i got a letter containing report from capita they want to grant me ill health retirement on lower tier :disappointed:but it didn't contain any figures very very quick considering i was told it will take 10 weeks, i met with my line manager and told him i don't want to retire yet and said will they force it on me , he would neither confirm or deny this , i have thought all along they wanted to get rid of me as soon as i was diagnosed , they are looling after me at work and have given me sedentary work, i think when push comes to shove they will say they have no vacancies for me ive just had this gut feeling all along, i am going to see my union hopefully tomorrow to get some answers. will keep you posted
best wishes to you all schnaffer...

#17
Dear All,

Just an update on my situation. I had the Atos assessment in October who saw sense of my condition and recommended that I be considered for ill health retirement. Last week had the Capita assessment....felt like it was an interview to repeat the same things. So am still waiting and waiting.......feels like for ever. Am still off sick and it looks like the boss at work has already made up his mind for me...at least that's the impression I get. Sounds like I will be doing them a favour if I am signed off for Medical Retirement, failing which they will press for dismissal on ground of medical inefficiency. But I must admit that I feel better in myself being off work , without the daily stress. May be every individual will say they feel better being off work. But the difference for us with PD being off work is that we still suffer the PD symptoms!

Will keep you posted.

#18
dear all
i had my final capability meeting 2 weeks ago, the meeting was all about retirement i told them i don't want to retire and want redeployment i argued that they were not treating me as an individual and were stereotyping my condition , i said they had not contacted my gp or parkinson consultant and were basing their facts on assumptions, they had hr reps there who didn't know what to say i blew them away, my boss said he would give me 6 weeks to prove i can do 90%of all duties and this would be a reasonable adjustment were as 50% would be unreasonable and if after 6 week trial is not met then they would enforce retirement on me. ive been told this is discrimination as non disabled people who want to redeploy don't have to do 6 week trial, i feel they have already made up their mind and the pension offer is pathetic really really low?
im going to fight them all the way and will go to a tribunal if things don't go my way. they have really ground me down and some days i think ive had enough and then i think NO im not going to make it easy for them ive still got alot to offer and wish to carry on working why should i be forced into retirement to make life easier for everyone else? how on earth would i get another job in today's economic climate especially with an illness like pd its an employers worst nightmare
. i will find out for sure end of January will keep you all posted happy new year to you all and good health and best wishes ... schnaffer

#19
Schnaffer, it is patently obvious that your manager (a)does not understand/care about your condition and (b)is bent on making you leave one way or the other. He has made a fatal error in not getting a medical report from your GP/Neurologist. His problem here is that if he wanted these reports he would have to go through the Medical Reports Act procedure to obtain one and that can be a pain for him. It is not up to you to prove that you can do 90% of the work as a reasonable adjustment. It is up to him to prove that it is the only reasonable adjustment that can be made. The employer has to investigate adjustments and to offer any reasonable adjustments as I mentioned before,e.g. hours of work, changes of duties, environment etc. If he goes ahead and medically retires you, I believe you would have a good case for disability discrimination. I seem to recall that you have a union. If so I hope you have kept them informed as they are excellent at representation in these cases. You have a good case keep going. PM me with a number if you wish to speak. No costs involved.

#20
Quick update
I had my latest capability today my employer gave me 6 weeks trial to see if I could 90% of all duties and increase my house to full time. I did as asked and did all what they asked I told them there was 1 duty I couldn’t do and he said there was another 2 that I cant do he reckons I only achieved 80% and I asked for a special adjustment by allowing me to work main shifts instead of varied shifts as I said it was important for me to take my meds at reguslar time of the day and come 1900PM Im exhausted and ready for bed, he said he will now review it again and dosent know if he can accomadate me or not and he said if he has to call a full capability then he says I will know its bad news, Im not asking for the world or making outrageous demands

I feel really let down and disappointed they are really being cruel and keeping me hanging on all I want to do is work and support my family the best I can.
This has been going on how for months I find it hard to go into work and motivate myself knowing my employer does not want me but Im not giving up and live to fight another day, will keep you all posted
Best wishes Schnaffer