Advice needed(18 Posts)
I'm a very long time lurker, occasional poster and this is my first thread. I'm after some advice for my DF. My Dad is disabled and has been a lifelong wheelchair user although when I was younger he could walk around the house with 1 stick and to the car on the drive. He has worked for a company for 28 years but been off sick since March 14. During this time his disability has got progressively worse to the point where following council assessment has been authorised a grant for level access shower, stairlift ramps etc. He has to use the wheelchair in the house and now crutches instead of 1 walking stick.
He wouldn't be able to return to work if he wanted to as he works on the 3rd and used to go up the stairs on his behind and another member of staff would carry his belongings etc. He can't be moved to another floor as the ground floor is lorry bays. The most recent sick note signs him off for another 6 months. He is in constant pain and now takes many tablets. Sleeps on the sofa every night as he can't manage the stairs. Washes at the sink in the kitchen as he can't get in and out of the bath. Spends a lot of time in a state of confusion and his balance is very bad.
My question is he has received a letter offering to lay him off and 10 weeks pay at SSP rate. I understand it isn't a redundancy as the job is still required but I was wondering as they knew of his disability are they right to do this and is the offer made right? Please don't think we are money grabbing but he literally has nothing he is awaiting DWP assesement to see if he is fit enough to return and is in a limbo of not knowing where he stands. Because he is classed as employed all his prescriptions still have to be paid for the last one being over £60 and anything applied for such as council tax relief is not accepted.
I would be grateful for any advice you can offer. Sorry for the epic story.
My Dad was in a very similar position. They tried to make him "redundant" on SSP also. He took them to court via CAB and got what he would have been entitled to in a genuine redundancy.
Is he getting full pay? If not he can claim for free prescriptions or pay £10 a month for pre payment card.
Hi Hunter thanks for answering. He is now on Esa as he has been off work since March 14. I will look into the prepayment card. Thanks for letting me know about it.
Sympathies for your dad.
Is he in a company pension scheme, if so, you need to look at what it says about ill-health retirement.
Sadly despite HHH's experience, this is not a redundancy - which is about roles and not individuals, so what he is entitled to is entirely dependent on his contract.
In some places, they would just decide that he would be dismissed on capability grounds and that would be with payment of any outstanding holiday pay and contractual notice.
If no reasonable adjustment can be made then I think they can indeed dismiss him on the grounds of capability. Sorry.
You can't dismiss on capability grounds because of a disability.
I would recommend getting some proper advice, obviously funds aren't easily available so try ACAS and CAB.
Your father needs to apply for PIP. Speaking to ACAS, CAB or his Union is vital, if his employers have looked into 'reasonable adjustments' and he still can't go back to work they can dismiss him.
Sorry to hear your father is in such pain, I hope the can find the right mix of meds to ease it for him soon.
I would try ACAS, they are usually very good with advice. It does sound as if the company have made as many adjustments as they can (and the going-up-stairs aspect does not sound safe, how would they evacuate him in a fire?) so I agree with Steve. You can dismiss on the grounds of capability even through illness or disability. Does the company have an occupational health service?
If he was in a pension scheme there would be a chance of ill-health retirement but if they have offered something different I assume he is not.
I hope it is sorted soon for him in the least stressful way.
Hunter, you can dismiss on capability grounds because of a disability as long as "reasonable adjustments" have been looked into.
Thanks everyone. I took some advice today and have been told that steps haven't been followed he hasn't had a meeting to discuss reduce hours etc and they believe the company may be seen as an unfair employer if they are not prepared to make reasonable adjustments they could in the future discriminate against other wheelchairs users by not offering them a position.
Unfortunately he doesn't have a pension and before becoming ill spent his savings clearing his mortgage and building an extension with down stairs toilet so the current front room can be used as his bedroom and the new room as a front room although he thought he had many years left before it would be needed and he would build his savings up again by the time he retires as he's only 57 and it's not a savers market.
I'm glad you've taken advice and I hope everything works out for your dad. 57 is no age. All the best to you both
Ah, good to hear that you've spoken to someone. Does your dad's company have a lift at all, seems odd that he's been going up the stairs.
Hi Fitrim they don't have a lift and they have an "emergency" procedure in place where to people hVe to get him down the stairs if the fire alarm goes off and 1 to carry his belongings. He has a wheelchair on the floor he works on and his personal one which goes everywhere with him.
He manages a team of 15 and they would be able to move the machines and people to a more accessible area.
That should say wouldn't be able to. Most of the time when they do fire drill they tell him to wait at his bench and not to worry. He told me recently how all the managers where supposed to go on a course and they said my dad wouldn't need to bother as he couldn't get to the 5th floor and the course leader gave the owner a piece of his mind for discrimination.
I think because he has worked there so long he's frightened to put his head above the parapet and make a fuss. Also he was worried he couldn't get another job. He last attended interviews in the 80s and would sometimes turn up for interview and be told the position is filled yet the job would be advertised in the paper the following week. It took 2 years of trying to get this job.
He told me recently how all the managers where supposed to go on a course and they said my dad wouldn't need to bother as he couldn't get to the 5th floor and the course leader gave the owner a piece of his mind for discrimination.
I think this is disgusting!
Please ask your dad to tell you all facts like this one. It will all be to his advantage when he takes them to the cleaners!
Agree with antimatter - he was treated disgracefully re the course on 5th floor. He should certainly contact ACAS for free advice, to cover his current situation and also any recent situations where the company have not supported him or offered reasonable adjustments. Hope he gets a satisfactory outcome, and soon.
Oh my goodness, your father is being treated like a third rate citizen. I have nothing in the way of advice given I have no idea of how things work over in the UK but do hope you are able to get something sorted.
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