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I can't do my job anymore - how do I word it to them?

PollySidPollySid Posts: 343
I am 60 years old, have OA in my lumbar spine, thoracic spine, knees, feet, hands, and possibly a hip (not had an x-ray on that). I was first diagnosed about 7 years ago, but although it has been getting worse over the years it didn't stop me from working until this Summer.
I work in a large homewares store and am expected to be on my feet and 'chasing' customers all day long. This is just not possible for me now as I have bad pain all down my left leg from hip to foot ad have to take 2x30/500 Cocodamel to manage it when it is bad (my normal dose is 1x30/500). I cannot drive on the full dose and as I am 20 miles away from work (public transport is not available) that is a problem too.
I have been signed off by my Dr for 22 weeks now. I went back to work after 6 weeks, but couldn't do it so was signed off again.
Work has had a Drs letter (they asked for it) and I have had a meeting with my supervisor and the HR manager.
She will be ringing me to hear my decision in a couple of weeks. They could shorten my days, but they couldn't make any adjustments to the actual job. I have talked it over with my husband and family and they are all in agreement with me that I could not return even on shorter hours.
I am concerned that if I say I can't do the job on shortened hours that they will take it as a resignation and I would prefer them to take charge and finish me one way or another. I need to be able to claim JSA or some benefit and not wait 12 weeks or whatever it is now if you give up your job.
I only have 14 months to go to my state pension and if I can just reach that without having weeks with no money at all I will be ok.


  • valvalvalval Posts: 15,897
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    what does your doc say about it i would think you should have a talk to doc before making any decision, if you have to go back part time but get some one in to make sure reasonable changes have been made where possible ask help line they will tell you who to contact the have a something of care which they are not full filling if you can not do shorter hours go off sick again until work retieres you on sick do not just juve up work you will loose out if in dought get in touch with your house hold insurance most have legal help line these days free and they great for advice val
  • lulululululu Posts: 486
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi there Pollysid
    I just saw your post and had to log in just to advise as I have jut been in the exact position. DO NOT under any circumstances leave or give them any reason to think that is what you have said.
    You need to talk to Occupational Therapy and if neccesary and you think it will help ask the OT therapist to reccomend part -time or Ill health retirement do not ask your company untill OT reccomends.
    I have just been given Ill health retirement and that is what you need to be going for at you age if you have paid into a company pension, I have done very well money wise.
    Ring ACAS they will give you good acurate free advice. You can ask your GP to reccomend Ill Health retirement but till get advice from someone who knows keep sending in sick notes.
  • lulululululu Posts: 486
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am so sorry Pollysid I missed the most important point, I am surprised no-one else has mentioned it.
    You must see Occupational Health they have a lot of clout, and from what you say they will surely reccomend Ill Health reirement.
    You can ask your work to refer you or ask your GP or Physio or you can phone yourself. Try not to worry it will only make you worse and good luck.
    Whichever way you go I would mention to work what you are doing keep them informed it is good manners if notheing else.
  • PollySidPollySid Posts: 343
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Lulu and thanks for taking the time to answer me.
    Is OH and OT different? I was referred to someone (either OH or OT) a couple of years ago by my previous Dr. She was very helpful and at the time offered to speak to my work, but I didn't feel it was necessary then and didn't want to cause any problems at work. I am the type of person that likes to melt into the background and not cause any trouble. It would really upset me if this escalated into a dispute.
    I know a lot of your are really fighting for your jobs and I respect you for it, but I have had enough now and don't want to put myself through the pain and discomfort that my job causes me any more. I hold onto the shelving fitments when I think the boss isn't watching to take the pressure off my legs and back and try not to cry, that is how it makes me feel. I have worked since I was 16 (I am now 60) even doing part time work when my children were small. I have never had to sign on or had lots of sick time off until now (apart from 12 weeks with a disc prolapse a few years ago)
    I was planning to retire next Christmas (2012), but I don't think I can do the job for another year.
    I am not saying that I cannot work, but that I cannot do this job, although if I sign on to JSA I don't think there are many employers would take me on with my problems and just for a year until my state retirement.
  • lulululululu Posts: 486
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    As I understand it (or don't) there are many similarities and many differences in the two roles. You don't want to rock the boat at work therefore if it were me I would just let my GP know how much I was struggling at work and keep getting sick notes, then ring work and ask them to reffer you to OH, OH would more than likely reccomend Ill health retirement and they would do all the work ie, contact your GP for info. (they can only do that with your consent) OH would then contact your employers, then basically all you have to do is wait and send in the sick notes, as soon as work finish you you will be eligable for contribution based ESA and your works pension if they have one. You will not recieve government pension untill you reach government pension age.
  • lulululululu Posts: 486
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    How's your fettle Pollysid
  • PollySidPollySid Posts: 343
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello again,
    Delboy, it is only a small firm with two large shops (on the style of DFS but with homewares as well as furniture) so I don't think they have an OH dept, just a Personel/HR manager.
    Lulu, hi I'm ok, it just keeps going round and round in my head.
    I am thinking of ringing work before they ring me and asking for them to get OH involved with a view to finishing me.
    I really don't think they are going to want me with my mobility problems. There are too many of the parts of the job that I cannot do - walking the floor for hours a day, carrying goods out to the carpark for customers, carrying items up and down the stairs to the stockroom, pushing large cages of stock. Cleaning and merchandising shelves (middle ones are ok, but not top or bottom, same for stocking up).
    Wrapping large mirrors or pictures (on the floor), changing lightbulbs in the lighting dept - the list goes on.
    I could answer the phone and serve at the till, but there would not be enough work in that to pay someone to do it.
    Me and hubby went Christmas shopping a couple of days ago and I decided to time how long I could manage to be on my feet. I definately am not ready for dla as I went for half an hour without using my stick (had hubby to hang onto though). Then I was using my stick and relying more and more on it for another half an hour. By this time I was walking at snails pace and finding it difficult to lift and co-ordinate my legs.
    This proved to me that I was right in thinking that I couldn't carry on with the job. I think it may be JSA time for me for the first time in my life.
    I am reasonably sure they would not pass me for ESA as I can do things for myself, just slowly and with the little groaning noises that we with arthur tend to make.
    I am luckier than many of you as my hands and arms are not badly affected by the OA. If the job centre can find me a little job for a year that doesn't have a lot of walking or lifting in it I would be quite happy to try it.
  • moderatormoderator Posts: 4,095 mod
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
  • mariefabmariefab Posts: 21
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Don't resign.
    Your employer really shouldn't be making you feel that the onus is on you to decide what happens next. It's their responsibility to follow the proper process and make the decisions.

    Because of your disability your employer is required to consider any potential reasonable adjustments that could allow you to remain with them before dismissing you on capability grounds.
    So, as they only appear to have considered shorter/altered hours they may not have tried hard enough yet. Adjustments can include gadgets and mobility aids among other things.

    It's possible that Access to work may be able to assist (either in your current situation or, if your employment is terminated, in a future job).


    That said, you know best whether it's likely that you'll be able to return and it seems that after consideration you've concluded that it's not to be.
    In that event you need to make sure that you get everything that you are entitled to when they terminate your employment.
    With that in mind:
    How many complete years have you worked for your current employer?
    In your contract how many weeks notice does it say that your employer needs to give you?
  • topgirltopgirl Posts: 290
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    Sorry to hear you are struggling......
    If you really want to give up work, just continue to get sick notes and let work deal with everything at their end.....I know people who have been of sick for a number of years....At least you can get SSP and then switch to a different benefit.......xxx
  • PollySidPollySid Posts: 343
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for the help and tips so far.
    Personel manager from work rang back today and asked how I was and if I had spoken to my doctor. I said I hadn't as I was no different so couldn't see the sense in seeing him until my sick note runs out.
    She asked if I had talked it over with my husband and I said I had and we had decided that as I am at the moment I couldn't do the job even on reduced hours.
    I explained again that my diagnosis was of arthritis in the spine (and other joints) and that I (or the doctor) didn't know when or if it would improve enough for me to be able to do the job. I said I would have to stay on SSP in the meantime.
    Then I mentioned OH and she jumped at it. I said that she could contact them if she wanted or I could.
    So it has been left that she will contact NHS OH and sort an appointment out for me.
    Does anyone know if I have to see them (OH) at work or could they come to my home? Are they quick in giving appointments, and above all are they fair? I've been hearing all these horror stories about the DLA and ESA 'investigators' (don't know what else to call them) and the thought of being grilled scares me.
  • topgirltopgirl Posts: 290
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    During my ongoing battle with RA I have had 3 periods of long term sick( it takes ages for meds to work etc....)
    If The company want to access to your medical records they need to send you letters asking your consent ...so you should get a letter...I sign them and always ask for copies. Just to check the details are correct.
    OH will then contact your GP to ask for details of your condition. ( I actually see my GP and we do a letter together as most of my treatment is done with my consultant)....from those details OH will do a report. They will tell your company if you are covered under DDA and what support you need to do your job...or as in your case if you cant work.
    My reports have always been impartial. So dont worry!....xx
  • PollySidPollySid Posts: 343
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thought I would update this post as I saw the OH Doctor yesterday. I needn't have worried, he was very considerate and understanding.
    I didn't have to do any treadmill or exercises which I worried about, he just talked to me and asked me questions about my OA and how it affected me at home, at work and mentally.
    I answered all his questions honestly and he agreed that I could not do a job where I am on my feet all the time, so he will be writing to work to let them know.
    Also, he said my condition came under the discrimination rules so reasonable adjustments should be made at any place of work for me.
    I asked what sort of work he thought I may be able to do. He said I shouldn't be on my feet for longer than quarter-half an hour and if a sitting job I should be able to move about very regularly and not have to sit for long periods either. I suppose a part time receptionist type job would be ideal, but at my age? They would probably prefer a younger looking person.
    I asked how work would end my employment and he said that although he would normally recommend ill health retirement that was usually when someone had a company pension. I haven't so they may use the capability route.
  • amboriticamboritic Posts: 66
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You don't need to worry about the Capability route too much.

    In my experience with the NHS they go down the capability route as soon as you request the forms for ill health retirement.

    Though my trust was well known for treating staff badly. But then most of our senior management joined up when Ambulances where a council run service I think. So my trust may well be different to other NHS Trusts in this respects.

    I was worried about the capability hearing, but this was misplaced, you can take a representative to help.

    I would say that my capability hearing was the only time in my long NHS career that I was treated professionally.

    Which may or may not say something about the NHS these days.
  • gavinchallgavinchall Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi all i don't know much about ur jobs but i have different type of issues with mine put if you are worried about anything to do will finishing work or any other thing about work i don't know if it will help or if u have heard of them but type in a company called ACAS u maybe able to get advice as i've used them about a few work issues i have had.please let me know if this is or has helped anyone.
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