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dajomel

Long term sick but trying to return, help/advice needed please

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Hi Everyone,

 

 

Apologies for jumping straight on here with a problem :) I am after some advice/guidance/help.

 

 

Back Story (quick)

I am an employee of COMPANY as a delivery driver (yes I do make sure someone is in before leaving a card). In January 2013 I fell and hurt my back whilst at home. I was in a lot of pain both in my back and sciatic pain in my leg. After several weeks off work I was referred to a specialist who arranged an MRI. The MRI took place in May 2013 and it was found that I had two disc bulges in my lower back, most probably caused by the nature of my work. I was then referred to the local Pain Clinic, who I eventually saw in August 2013 and I was booked in for caudal injections (pain relief), which I had in October.

 

 

My Issue(s)

In September, after seeing my GP, I was given a Fit for Work note stating that I could return on light sedentary duties as long as I didn't drive a commercial vehicle, lift heavy items and was able to move about when necessary. After so long off I was really hopeful of returning to work. However several problems arose:

 

 

1) COMPANY is part of SISTER COMPANY who use Atos Healthcare to judge employee's fitness to work. Due to this, my manager stated he would arrange an assessment with Atos to establish a return to work plan and would also attempt to find suitable work within the local area.

 

 

2) I chased this manager several times as no assessment was arranged and no suitable roles had been found (bear in mind a SISTER COMPANY sorting centre is nearby too). This manager then moved to another depot and I continued to chase other managers. Eventually I was contacted by Atos in November, 6 weeks after requesting to return to work.

 

 

3) The 'assessment' was a phone based assessment, hardly the best way to judge my capabilities, but I was later informed by a manager that the report from this assessment was not thorough enough to allow me back to work and another assessment would need to take place.

 

 

4) The follow up assessment was carried out in December, a further 4 weeks later, and within a few minutes the therapist doing the assessment stated the phone assessment was a waste of time and I would need a physical assessment. She then told me I would hear from someone within 10 days to arrange this.

 

 

5) Despite chasing, I heard nothing until the middle of January and finally had my assessment on the 20th January 2014 ... a full year from my injury occurring. I was informed by the Therapist that I could return to work with light duties, exactly as my GP stated in September and she suggested I would benefit from being put on a functional physiotherapy program.

 

 

6) Today I heard from the Physio company asking if they could get in touch to arrange a meeting yet I had heard nothing from Atos in the form of a report and nothing from my managers.

 

 

7) As of October my pay stopped though in my mind I should've been back to work by this point.

 

 

What I would like to know is if there are any grounds for me to take action against my employer due to their and Atos' poor and slow handling of my situation? How can a GP who physically assessed me and who had been dealing with me for months be overruled by a company who had never met me?

 

 

The past year has been horrendous but especially the past few months and I would really appreciated it if someone could either help me with advice or just let me know if I am wasting my time.

 

 

Sorry of this seems a rather long message but I wanted to make sure the details were there straight away.

 

 

Many thanks in advance for anyone who gives their time to help me.

 

 

Kind regards

Dave

Edited by citizenB
Removed company name

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1. Write to your manager cc HR and ask if you are on medical suspension - if so you should be paid as it is them not allowing you back to work

 

2. Do you meet the legal definition of disabled?

 

https://www.gov.uk/definition-of-disability-under-equality-act-2010

 

If so you can ask for reasonable adjustments. If not, nae chance.

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Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Hi Emmzzi

 

 

Many thanks for taking the time out to reply to my long message. I am not sure as to whether I am on medical suspension. The last 2 occasions my GP has signed me Fit to Work, on 3 month and 2 month certificates, on light duties and work have refused to accept me back until all assessments by Atos were carried out. The report from my Atos assessment, which ironically arrived shortly after I posted my initial message, does state that I would be considered disabled under the Equality Act.

 

 

Would it be a feasible argument to say that they are refusing my return and therefore I would have a right or a chance to argue my case for some recompense?

 

 

Kind regards

Dave

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Well, it's not as clear cut as if you were able to return to your own job.

 

Ask HR if you are medically suspended, and ask them in writing. I believe you have an employee helpline that you can call to get the address? Check your payslip/ company magazine.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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HI,

 

 

Apologies for the delay in replying. I had a meeting with my Manager on Friday to discuss the OH report. Despite the report giving guidelines, a phased return and declaration that I should be considered disabled under the EA he is refusing to accept me back in any role and refusing to make any adjustments in order that I can return to a role as structured under the phased return. Apparently I am unable to answer phones in the office, which he states is an option for my initial return, as I would be needing to stand up and stretch every 25-30 mins. This, he claims, stops me from doing the role.

 

 

Yet to hear confirmation as to whether I am medically suspended.

 

 

Kind regards

Dave

Edited by dajomel

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write to him recapping yiour meeting and asking him to confirm in writing that it is an accurate record, or give you a bell if you have misunderstood :)


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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