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Can a company force someone into Ill Health Retirement?


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Hello, i'm new to this site. So please be gentle with me!


I am interested in the opinions of those 'in the profession' or have experienced this 1st hand:


I'm a Bronchiectasis sufferer and along with other 'health' issues including Asthma as a result of the Bronchiectasis i suffer from regular lung infections, which are controlled at Gp level with antiobiotics and sterioids etc.

Having explained all this I maintain a active self dependant lifestyle and since I left achool at 16 have worked full time.


I am currently employed and have been with the same company for 10 years, Up untill January of this year they have 'accepted' my high levels of sick absence which can be anythng upto 70 to 80 days a year. All the sick leave i have had is a result of my lung conditon.

These absences aren't all together these are sporadic throughout the year. I don't actually know when i am going to be ill it just happens. And as a result i have to seek medical intervention and take time off in milder cases of lung infections it usually takes a week to treat and recoup and then back to work. In serverer cases it can take upto a month to recoup and go through a rehabilitation programme to help me back to work. The rehab programmes never usually last more than a month.


I work permanent full time nights and have done thoughout my employment with this company.


I have made enquiries in the past to try days but as a result of the seniororty system i have no choice but to opt for night shift.


In January of this year i found myself having gone through the sick absence stage levels found myself to be dismissed due to the lengthy time i have off. I appealed against this decision and won the dismissal appeal in June/ July. But as a result of winning this, the company had to do a 'scoping exercise' to find a job which better suited my needs. Failure to find a suitable job thet would have no option but to Ill Health Retire me.

Ill Health Retirement is not what i want at any cost!

I want to work for as long as physically possible. At present i am still attending work.


Now i don't actually need anything physical to help with my attendance at work it is really just to tolerate the higher levels of sick absence. Prior to the 'scoping ' exercise my trade unuion representative and I did ask for a day shift job, and a possbility to tolerate a higher level of sick absence.


The 'scoping' excerise was completed last week and the information back was simply 3 options which are the following:


1). part time weekend work


2). Stay on the night shift and take 'reduced hours ( we don't actually know at present what horus they could be looking at i may find out tonight)


3). Ill Health retirement with lump sum.


Now if i took either job option it is the formed opinion there is a what i call a catch. They could come to an agreement on a acceptable level of sick absence for me baring in mind all my sick leave is due to my lung condition it's very rare it is anything else. But i stil could be staged if I failed to meet their 'adjusted' standards.

It is the opinion that I will end up in this situation again in 6 months to a years time. If this is the case then they 'might' not offer Ill Health Retirement. They could well just sack me on as result tof poor attendance.


I ave been given a date to come to a decision on how i want to progress which is the 13 th September. If i fail to make a decision, one will be made for me, which will be their preferred optiion Ill Health Retirement.


Can they actually do this?


If anyone can shed any light on this matter i would be really grateful, as i am almost pulling my hair out with it.


Many Thanx

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Hi ...... How old are you, what kind of job is it that you do and is in a private company or PLC or Government type job.


My wife took ill health retirement earlier in the year from a NHS nursing job over a DDA issue. If you work in the NHS employers cannot give you ill health retirement, they can support your application nothing else. I suppose you need to look at the terms and conditions of the pension scheme you are in. Are there age restriction etc etc.

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  • 1 month later...

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I've been in a similar position in the past. I have bipolar disorder and ME and have averaged 45 days off sick over the past four years (currently only get 10 paid sick days).


This year I "bit the bullet" and chose to go part time, having worked full time since leaving school - and it's been the best thing I ever did. Over the first six months of doing part time, I had three sick days (one migraine, one stomach bug, one cold bug). And my home life is better, I am managing to have a (small) social life. Yes, I've had to get used to the lower wages, but for me it's been definitely worth it.


You say that you're still "attending work", but having 80 sick days a year means that you're not there for about a quarter of the time you should be (average of 260 work days a year). Surely it's better to reduce your hours slightly and be able to manage your health/work/life balance better?

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  • 1 month later...

You need specialist help here are you a member of a trade union? I think that as a disabled person [which it sounds like you might be] the Disability Discrimination Act doesn't recognise seniority as a just cause for denying you a reasonable adjustment?

it strikes me that you are being excluded from reasonable adjustment because they want to get rid of you?

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