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Having been of work for 2 months with depression (GP sick note states this) following a work OH assessment, I've been called in for a capability meeting.

 

The OH Dr believed due to "depression" I'd be better off back in work, therefore, he stated to my employer I'm fit for work.

 

I've spoken to my GP about this, my GP disagrees, currently, my GP advice, I'm still not fit for work.

 

Who takes precedence with my employer, the OH Dr who stated I'm fit for work, or my GP who states I'm not fit for work?

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Did you authorise OH to discuss with your GP?

 

Your GP's sign off takes precedence in the sense of entitlement to statutory sick pay, but being signed off doesn't stop your employer starting sickness capability proceedings in line with their sickness absence policy. And ultimately they could dismiss you although it sounds as if there's a way to go before it got to that point.

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No, I didn't sign a consent form for discussion with my GP

 

Maybe if you had they'd have come to the same conclusion!

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Technically your employer can ignore both as its advice. The test is when it gets to ET but action to avoid that is good. Have you been for a chat with your boss?


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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Thank you for all the replies, no, as yet, I've not been called in for a chat

 

 

you are allowed to suggest it yourself!


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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Has your GP referred you to any specialist? I might be inclined to ask the Employer for a list of the qualifications of the OH advisor to see how they stack up.

 

Also, is your depression caused by work or work related? Or completely independent? (not asking for specifics of course).

 

Then the question is how far do you wish to take it? You could remind your employer that if they cause you harm acting against the advice of your GP they will be liable....

Edited by JasJules

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Has your GP referred you to any specialist?

 

 

Yes, MH team

 

 

Also, is your depression caused by work or work related?

 

 

It's personal issues within the workforce based on assumption.

 

You could remind your employer that if they cause you harm acting against the advice of your GP they will be liable....?

 

 

Can I ask out of curiosity, what can they be liable for?

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If they caused you harm by failing to comply with medical advice - especially if your GP and/or specialist is significantly superior in qualifications regarding your condition.

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Following ET proceedings with my previous emoployer, I accepted an out of court settlemet, part of that my employer will provide a reference if requested

I'm unsure what reason to give on future applications, "reason for leaving"

Clearly, being honest and disclosing why I left, is not going to place me favourable.

Any advice please?

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Hi.

Is this connected with your previous thread please?

HB

 


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thank you. I've merged your threads, it helps the advisers to know the history.

Why don't you want to tell future employers about your health issues, or is it something else?

 

HB

 


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Provided you don't lie about anything when asked (like amounts off sick leave), a settlement agreement is a "mutually agreed termination". The terms of your agreement may state that you can't disclose anything else- that's a common term, but not always included. I wouldn't strongly advise saying anything else anyway. As you have stated, the more information you give, the more it may detract from your employment prospects. Unfortunately, even a mutually agreed termination is a give away - it means there was a dispute, but not what the dispute was. 

I presume you were not advised on this - the majority of negotiated settlements would include the actual wording of the agreed reference, and you don't seem to suggest this was the case. So the employer could very easily disclose anything true, including matters to your detriment. So you may need to be prepared for questions about your sick leave or reasons for leaving anyway. That does depend on the potential employer and how they take what would be, to many, red flags. 

Some people go through a period of agency working to cover the termination and build a new reference base. But that doesn't suit everyone. 

But the one thing is always say is never tell a lie or mislead. Inevitably they find out, and that is never a good thing to happen. 

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15 hours ago, honeybee13 said:

Why don't you want to tell future employers about your health issues, or is it something else?

The health issues I experienced was instigated due to the issues I was experiencing at work, as my employer failed to find in my favour following the grievance procedure, the end result being I took my employer to an ET, I'm concerned this may put off any potential employer

 

 

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14 hours ago, Sangie595 said:

I presume you were not advised on this - No I wasn't

I had an emploment solicitor paid for at my own expense, Ii didn't feel was best supported or advised.

But the one thing is always say is never tell a lie or mislead. Inevitably they find out, and that is never a good thing to happen - I wouldn't lie, I'd like the chance to explain why I left, however, I'm just not sure what to state as reson for leaving when applying for a position.

 

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Posted (edited)

You are not going to want to hear this, but I'm going to tell you anyway because it's important that you understand the position you are in. You should have been told this by your solicitor. 

The health issues you have had, officially, have nothing whatsoever to do with your former employment. That they do is your allegation. It is an unproven allegation. A settlement agreement is not an admission of guilt. It is a neutral (unless the agreement says otherwise) settlement on economic grounds ( it's cheaper to pay you off than go to a tribunal). If the agreement states that you cannot disclose circumstances (and I don't know whether it does or not) then you cannot explain anything other than that you left. If it does not, then you can say whatever you like, but there can be consequences. 

Firstly, your previous employer can find out what you are saying and accuse you of lying - there are two sides to this story and both are equally valid because there is no finding of evidence in the matter. That could result in just a slanging match. It might result in legal action against you, depending on what you say. It not uncommonly results in untraceable and unevidenced telephone conversations between former employers and potential or new employers; and nothing that will be said in those telephone calls that haven't happened will be complimentary about you.

Secondly, most employers don't relish hearing you criticise your last employer and painting yourself the victim. They especially don't want to hear that you put in a claim to a tribunal. Many will wonder if you are the employee from hell. Just as there are employers from hell, there are employees from hell. You don't want to be viewed as potentially being one of them. It doesn't matter what the truth is. They don't really wish to know. 

The bottom line is that unless you are exceptional, a much sought after skill set, and vastly experienced over and above everyone else in your line of work, there will be other candidates who come with no question marks and no baggage. A great many employers prefer those candidates. Not all. But a great many. 

So your options are that you say you resigned (I assume that you did), that there was a mutually agreed termination (which is the common term used to explain a settlement agreement), or you provide a long and convoluted self-justification for your circumstances. Assuming every word of the latter is true (and I'm assuming that you will tell the truth, at least from your perspective) the chances are high that you are shooting yourself in the foot with potential employers. I'd strongly recommend that the least said is the better option. You can simply add "for personal reasons" and leave it at that if you wish. 

Unfortunately, what you won't be able to do is to exert any control over what your former employers say. Provided what they (officially) say is true, then they have a wide degree of latitude to disclose your sickness record, the fact that you made a tribunal claim, or anything else that they wish. I would therefore suggest that the fewer question they might be asked by a potential employer, the better it is for you. It's too late to change the circumstances, but I'd never let someone enter into a settlement agreement without an agreed reference and binding agreement that that would be the only thing an employer says. It's not foolproof, but it usually works. 

Of course, I said, the other option is to find a (legitimate) way of having a new reference. The most common way of doing that is to do agency work, since agencies are often less pedantic about former employers saying nice things about you, and telling them the truth is less risky- they have less at risk when taking you on so they care less. 

There no advice anyone could give you that's foolproof. That's the problem. You could luckily trip over the greatest employer in the world who is fine with everything you tell them, doesn't hold it against you, and wants to give you a chance. They exist. Regrettably, they don't have badges, so you might kiss a lot of toads before you find one of them. So the best I can really come up with is don't mislead or lie, and I'd advise keeping it as short  and sweet as possible, disclosing as little as possible, and certainly not discussing how bad your former employers were or how you had to make a tribunal claim. Without an actual tribunal finding, all of that is nothing more than hearsay.

 

Edited by sangie5952

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Thank you for your honesty.

What took place with my former employer is personal to me, I'd rather not elaborate on the issues to any potential employer, I’ve recovered, departed with them and moved on.

I had over 10 years service with my previous employer, and had an explanatory record; issues only arose in the last 12 months due to my personal circumstances changing (not affecting my role or requirements)

I signed an agreement not to disclose the contents or details of the agreement, I believe this was binding on both sides.

As I mentioned earlier, the "employment solicitor" I hired, didn't fulfil me with confidence. 

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They don't have to disclose the details of the agreement. They can disclose your sickness record, your claim to tribunal, and anything that isn't part of the agreement.

I don't know what had happened here, and it's probably too late to make a difference. I think you should either go with agency working, and/ or you resigned for personal  reasons but are no longer in the same situation. That is true. But it leaves a door open for the employer to interpret it as needing to give up working for some other reason that is in the past. Assuming your reference is ok, they probably won't think much more of it. I can't guarantee that, obviously. But it's probably the best you  can get. 

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Hi,

Thank you, I think stating "I resigned for personal reasons but are no longer in the same situation" is a good reason for why I left.

I'm currently doing agency work, the role I'm currently doing is basic, and doesn't equate to the senior position I held with my previous employer,  I took agency work to get myself back into a work routine.

 

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Posted (edited)

Have a response prepared though if an employer asks you to expand on what you mean by "personal reasons". Interviewers know well that it's a phrase that can cover - and hide - a whole range of things and they will often what to know more. "Personal reasons" ultimately means little - everyone who has chosen to leave their job voluntarily has left for "personal reasons".

Edited by Ethel Street

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