I was devastated to learn this week that I am going to loose the job I love dearly as the post is being deleted! I am still on sick after a recent diagnosis and still have not been told by my employers! One thing that was keeping me focused was aiming to return to work and reclaiming my life again. I am absolutely at a loss and worried about the future.
Hi, Promise --
Reading your post, I felt such sympathy for you! It must be terribly hard to have the framework of your daily life suddenly snatched away. But I had so many questions (your age, the nature of the job, etc.) that I reread your post of Feb. 7 before responding here.
If there is no recourse to the closing of your position, you will find another way to structure your life and activities. Keeping active is important to most of us PWP; I know I feel best physically and emotionally when I am busy part of the day and also have time for reflection and quiet pursuits. You may find that pastimes can become more significant in your life; you may find volunteer work that interests you; or you may find different employment and continue working. I cannot presume to advise you, but I do wish you the best in dealing with this big change in your life.
I can see this is devastating for you, and I hope you get it resolved as soon as possible. Are you in the UK? Get an appointment with your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) asap. They will be able to help you.
Let us know how you get on.
Are you a union member? Go to them immediately if you are. Is this happening because of your diagnosis?
Thankyou for your support. I have been in touch with the union and have a meeting scheduled at work next week. I can honestly say I am not looking forward to it as the meeting is combined with a follow up to my occupational health check. Either way my job is on the line.
sorry to hear of your problems with work, it is quite worrying when something like this happens.
I work part-time and it means a lot to me not just financially. One thing I think is important is that you spend some time during the week in purposeful activity.... Work normally supplies that and it keeps you going in a way.
When I was first diagnosed I was worried that work would become impossible.... I spent some time looking into voluntary work and also into the possibility of doing an open University course...
I think it's important to find something that you can get into even if it doesn't earn you.
... Even though as a PD sufferer we are partially disabled.... Think it's important to spend some time working or in some sort of purposeful activity.
Having said that financial considerations are important too.
I hope the union can help you but in the meantime I would consider what else you can do
what else you would like to do possibly on a voluntary basis.
Well I had my meeting. I came away very distressed and confused. The main topic of conversation was the word 'dismissal' due to incapability! I am horrified! My job is being made redundant at the end of the school year (end of August), that is pretty much confirmed. However, the way they were talking yesterday was that dismissal could be seriously considered at my next review if return to work is not imminent. My doctor has said clearly I am not ready to go back to work yet but if I don't I will lose my job sooner than I anticipated! I'm at my wits end and feel as though I am being written off!
Hi Promise, your initial post indicates that you were still off work following your dx. If this is the case, how would your employer know that you were incapable of doing your job? If they have made this assumtion before your return to work they are way out of order and I do believe that you would have recourse to argue against any dismissal. It might be usefull if you told gave us some more information then we might me able to get an ideaa of the bigger picture.
I do hope that you seek some legal or union advice before you allow this to happen!!
Promise - please please go and see your local Citizens Advice Bureau asap. There are all sorts of issues here about disability discrimination, selection for redundancy and so on that needs a good employment adviser. CAB advice is free and confidential - see http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
Best of luck
I'm really sorry to hear about your situation. My advice is the same as others have given - get advice from your union and citizens advice bureau. There is also an adviser on the Parkinson's UK helpline who specialises in employment issues.
Please let us know how you get on
Thankyou for your reply.
The union rep attended the review meeting with me as I refused to attend without representation.
This was my second review following a mediscreen (occupational health) appointment. The first was in November which was just a month after diagnosis. At this time I was extremely unwell as the symptoms had not been recognised for some considerable time. They had initially put it down to stress etc.
It has been a very difficult few months since diagnosis as my medication has been changed frequently and I have had a few setbacks (all related to my parkinsons) which have prevented my return to work. My job is very demanding and my doctor is clear that a return to work is not on the cards at the moment.
The union are being supportive but have said until my next review takes place there is little they can do. In other words I have to wait and see what happens.
Thankyou to everyone for your support.
Just an update........
As of Thursday it was made official that my post is being made redundant!
So my options are...... If I don't return to work after my next review I will be dismissed and if I do return to work I will be made redundant! Great choice eh? ....
Really sorry to hear that you are being treated this way. I understand from personal experience just how stressful it is. Employment law is complex and you need to get advice from someone who understands the detail of your situation. In my limited understanding the law protects you from discrimination on grounds of disability (a long term health condition like Parkinson's is a disability for this purpose).
That doesn't stop you being made redundant but it should not be used as the grounds for selecting which post to cut.
Seperately, it sounds from what you have said that you are being threatened with dismissal on the grounds of sick absence. That sounds unusual to me though I'm not sure enough to suggest that it's illegal.
I hope your union or the CAB can advise you on the law as applied to your particular situation. It may be that they can negotiate better terms.
Like you I am in a job that I love and I am at risk of losing it. I am adamant that I don't want to go, and doubly adamant that I don't want to be forced out but I try to focus on the fact that life will go on.
Good Luck and please keep us informed
Promise - I agree with EF: your disability should not be used as the ground for selecting your post for redundancy. And it doesn’t sound to me from what you have written that your firm has gone through all the hoops necessary to sack you for your disability. Finally, I don’t see why your union can’t d anything until your next review: surely , this si the time they should be acting.
Again I say - talk to the Helpline here or go and see a CAB.
Let us know how you get on.
You mention a school year,so can I assume that you are employed by a local authority?
If so, when I was referred to an Occupational Therapist who was actually employed by the Local Authority I was told it was unlawful for a person to be dismissed because they diagnosed with Parkinson's as with other illness.
He said, it was up to my employer to find ways for me to carry out my job.
For a few years that is exactly what happened. Much to the annoyance of my particular head of department.
If you do feel at all able to return to work it would be one less reason for them to carry out your dismissal.
I did accept early retirement eventually but it was not forced on me.
Please do take all the advice available to you. Don't accept a judgment from just one source. They may not know what they are talking about.
I know we expect to get good advice when we ask officialdom, but there are times when they can be wrong for a variety of reasons.
I have had 2 meetings this week at work. I am drained.
The first was a group meeting with my others colleagues facing redundancy. We received our official letter and redeployment form to fill in. Whoopee! The second was a 1 to 1 to discuss my next steps regarding redeployment which I cried most of the way through as I was getting a distinct message not to bother! My union rep was with me and was fantastic.
I have taken on board lots of advice lately and I have made the difficult decision to go for medical retirement. I have been warned that its not an easy route but I have my GP and consultant 100% behind me. I just want to get this all out of the way and get on with my life.
Well here's a positive update for a change. I had another meeting at work today and I was dreading it, knowing that dismissal was hanging over me! Mediscreen sent a report saying I was not eligible for ill health retirement as I would probably improve!
However, my fantastic consultant was horrified at this and wrote direct to HR stating I was more than eligible. His letter over rides that of Mediscreen. Work have totally backtracked and said dismissal would not be of any benefit as it would be unfair on me considering my health! They weren't saying that in March! I have to have another Mediscreen appointment and there are no guarantees I will get retirement but at least if I don't I will be eligible for my redundancy. The relief is immense! I can start looking to the future and not have my days dominated with worry and stress.
That's good news Promise - best wishes for the future.
Thankyou Helen. My future is looking brighter x