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Hello. My wife has been on long term sick leave for five years and several years ago her office was closed and everyone made redundant. In this time she has been on half pay through an insurance scheme which she paid for via deductions from salary. She is still technically employed.

As the insurance is coming to an end and she feels a little better she wants to go back to work, but of course, her job has gone. They have said she can apply for other roles in the organisation but if there are none, or she doesn't get one,c an they just dismiss her, or should she now be made redundant?


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It is the job that is redundant and not just the person. Obviously the company can make offers of other employment and should do so if suitable posts exist. She would need to ask about this and if they say there is nothing suitable then she is technically redundant and they should pay her severance on the same terms as thos who have already gone. It will be hard for the company to dismiss her now but it would be wise to make the right noises if this is what she wants rather then redeployment.

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I would agree with eric, however, the employer may if she turns down any offer of SAE due to her condition may well look to dismiss for sickness reasons meaning no payoff.


After 5 years (this is a record in my experience by a long long way) i doubt she would have any legal recourse if they did but i'm offering if's and but's here only.


She may also be viewed by them as suffering from (MRS) Miraculous Recovery Syndrome, a condition discussed behind closed doors by managers/hr and unions where people suddenly get better once their sick pay runs out. I'm not attempting to poke fun here, just offer advice as she should be mindful that she may not be received with a red carpet and empathy as many people do think this way.


Your next step is for her to ask what jobs are on offer and take it from there. She should also ask for job descriptions so she can consider them properly.


I've always been 100% cynical in my views on employers as this helps plan for what they may throw your way. Realistically many are decent and do care and support staff (e.g keeping her on the books for 5 years)


Hopefully she will simply be offered redundancy and she can move on with her life but expect rough seas not plain sailing. That way when the boat rocks a bit your not too bothered about it. :)

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Thank you both for your input.I agree, five years is a very long time but I suppose it was nothing to the employer since the insurance company has been paying out. As for "MRS", I really wish she had experienced a miraculous recovery! The problem she stopped work for is better but she has developed other problems instead.

As I am not working she feels that she has to try to get back into gainful employment but quite honestly, I don't know how realistic a proposition that is. However I think that if she could get working it would help her enormously with self regard issues and her physical condition.

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