Redundancy whilst off with suspected ME - any advice?

I work for a large global org. I have been off for 3.5 months with what a neurologist thinks is ME. I proactively (stupidly in hindsight) engaged with HR (beyond sending in my sick notes) to understand if they'd helped others with ME get back to work last week. They talked of occupational health etc "when you are ready".
I was then, a week later, asked to join a call with a senior person I have never met where I was offered a sum of a year's salary to go. I have been given a week to accept or decline this...
ME generally meets the 3 aspects of disability criteria. It is typically diagnosed from 6 months. I am wondering if they are trying to get rid of me before it is more difficult for them to. I understand from ACAS that in employment law it is a only the judge that decides what meets the disability criteria.
I have paid into a critical illness insurance which would kick in at a year for up to 5 years. Which gave me a false sense of security that I would be 'allowed' to recover and actually had security for 5 years.
I do have a partner but I am the bread winner and we couldn't survive on their wages, so we'd need to downsize to a cheaper property (obviously we are lucky to have a property to move from)
ME can be a life-time illness, but with rest I could hopefully recover but it could be years.
Any views from anyone that works in large orgs? I think if they have decided I should go, they will get rid of me anyway and maybe offering me less.
Am trying to see an employment lawyer tomorrow.

Comments

  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,817
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Forumite
    edited 13 February 2020 at 8:20PM
    I work for a large global org. I have been off for 3.5 months with what a neurologist thinks is ME. I proactively (stupidly in hindsight) engaged with HR (beyond sending in my sick notes) to understand if they'd helped others with ME get back to work last week. They talked of occupational health etc "when you are ready".
    I was then, a week later, asked to join a call with a senior person I have never met where I was offered a sum of a year's salary to go. I have been given a week to accept or decline this...
    ME generally meets the 3 aspects of disability criteria. It is typically diagnosed from 6 months. I am wondering if they are trying to get rid of me before it is more difficult for them to. I understand from ACAS that in employment law it is a only the judge that decides what meets the disability criteria.
    I have paid into a critical illness insurance which would kick in at a year for up to 5 years. Which gave me a false sense of security that I would be 'allowed' to recover and actually had security for 5 years.
    I do have a partner but I am the bread winner and we couldn't survive on their wages, so we'd need to downsize to a cheaper property (obviously we are lucky to have a property to move from)
    ME can be a life-time illness, but with rest I could hopefully recover but it could be years.
    Any views from anyone that works in large orgs? I think if they have decided I should go, they will get rid of me anyway and maybe offering me less.
    Am trying to see an employment lawyer tomorrow.
    What you are being offered is not redundancy but a settlement agreement. For it to be legally binding on both parties you have to receive legal advice before signing. It is customary (although not actually obligatory) for the employer to pay a fairly minimal sum towards this advice. For that all the solicitor will do is explain your rights. If you want the solicitor to negotiate on your behalf to try and increase the offer (or reject it and pursue any other options) you will have to pay the additional cost.

    ACAS are right up to a point! If you are disabled for employment law purposes, then the employer is legally obliged to make "reasonable adjustments" to help you to continue to work. If there is a dispute then yes, what is reasonable will have to be decided by an employment tribunal.

    Hopefully you will get to see a solicitor shortly, try to have a concise list of questions prepared before the meeting.
  • NormalforNorfolk
    NormalforNorfolk Posts: 20
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    Forumite
    edited 18 February 2020 at 7:56PM
    My understanding is that for a health condition to qualify as a protected characteristic under the Equality Act, it must be enduring and impacting your day to day life.  You haven’t been stupid in proactively engaging with HR - in fact I would say that this is helpful for you.  If I were you I would make a Subject Access Request asking for all information and communication  held about you to see If there is anything in an email or any other communication where a view is expressed which could potentially be construed as grounds for unfair or constructive dismissal.   An employment lawyer could easily advise how best to word the SAR so you get the info you need rather than your employer potentially burying anything controversial amongst lots of irrelevant info.
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 341.8K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.7K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.2K Spending & Discounts
  • 234K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 606.2K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.5K Life & Family
  • 246.8K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards