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Possibly going to get sacked for sickness- help!!

(82 Posts)
stressedtothemax77 Mon 23-May-16 16:21:16

Had an operation on my knee at the end of February.
Was initially told (before the op) that recovery would be 6-8 weeks, after the op was told that the operation was more complicated than was first thought.
Been having weekly physio but ,although there had been a slight improvement, things have not gone as well as expected.
Saw the consultant yesterday who has said that I need more time to heal before he can scan and see what the problem is. Seeing him again in July??

I work in another town to where I live and cannot physically drive at the moment due to pain. But I could work if I could get there?
Been having monthly meetings at work for absence and all seemed well.
I have been today and been informed that they will be looking at re-deployment or dismissalsad

I don't know what to do? I didn't think that with a doctors note they could sack me? I know I have been off quite a while but I don't think it's an exessive amount of time after an operation.

I am in the union at work and they have said they will look into it.

But now I'm really worried. I can't afford to lose my job.

Any advice would be appreciated.

lilydaisyrose Mon 23-May-16 16:22:12

Can you work from home or get the bus/train to work?

Boleh Mon 23-May-16 16:23:16

I was just going to say, bus, train, taxi, lift from DP/DH?

ChicRock Mon 23-May-16 16:27:51

You've been off sick for 3 months, with no return to work date in sight, currently looking at July or beyond?

You've admitted that you are fit for work? Have you admitted that to your employer? How you get there is not their problem.

You need to work out a way of getting to work.

HeyMacWey Mon 23-May-16 16:28:30

Is there any possibility of working from home?

Agree that you need to explore other ways of getting to work. Any colleagues going the same way?

How long have you been employed and what does your capability and sickness policy say?

AnotherEmma Mon 23-May-16 16:31:21

Try not to panic, OP.

It's good that you're a member of a union, they will be a good source of advice and support.

How long have you been working for your employer? If it's more than 2 years, you are protected by law against unfair dismissal (including dismissal due to sickness). If it's less than 2 years, you have fewer rights but your union will be able to help you negotiate.

stressedtothemax77 Mon 23-May-16 16:32:52

I can't work from home. It's not a job you can do from home. Train station is too far away from the workplace and due to the shifts there are no trains at that time.
DH cannot give me a lift as again due to the shift pattern and his own work (sometimes leaves for work at 3.30am and not home till 6pm) it's impossible.

I have asked if there is anywhere in my home town that I could go to temporarily (it's a very large company) so that I could get there by public transport. But they are unsure if there would be anywhere I could be of use?

Have spoken to occy health and they have said there advice is not to drive until I can safely perform an emergency stop which is impossible at the moment.

I'm screwed aren't I sad

Tiggeryoubastard Mon 23-May-16 16:36:07

Your fit to work. You could get there, even if it costs you. What on earth do you expect them to do if you're not turning up? Your title is misleading. You're not possibly getting fired for sickness. You're possibly getting fired for not going to work.

stressedtothemax77 Mon 23-May-16 16:39:02

I've been there nearly 5 years.

There is no one else from my area that I could get a lift with. Most of the staff are from the local area. And the few that are further away are from the opposite side to me.

The consultant is signing me off stating that I should not be walking to far and definitely no driving.
I am on crutches and very strong painkillers.

When I say I'm fit for work I mean in the sense that I'm not ill as such. Just in a lot of pain and unable to walk properly. I am still capable of doing my job and when I am fully recovered will be able to go straight back in and start work. It's not (hopefully) going to be a permanent thing. I just need the time to heal and get full movement back without pain.

GeorgeTheThird Mon 23-May-16 16:41:10

Taxis? A regular booking might be cheaper. And definitely cheaper than losing your job!

Tiggeryoubastard Mon 23-May-16 16:41:40

So you're fit to work and not going in. There was a list of ways to get to work above but you seem to be ignoring it.

Helenluvsrob Mon 23-May-16 16:42:25

The problem is I guess that getting to work isn't " works problem" . can yo suggest a work around? could you work from home? Would they pay transport? Or are you in too much pain /too drugged up to function?

stressedtothemax77 Mon 23-May-16 16:42:27

But the consultant says not? I am not requesting to be signed off? They are telling me that I need to rest it to try and alleviate the swelling and scarring that is still ongoing.

I have been referred to a specialist physio as the original one could not get any improvement and the one I have now is stations that pain needs to be controlled before they can continue.

The consultant has told me that too much pressure in my joint at the moment could have long term consequences, so do I just ignore that and risk further damage?

Dozer Mon 23-May-16 16:43:54

Yes they can fire you for being genuinely unable to work, unfortunately for you.

stressedtothemax77 Mon 23-May-16 16:45:14

A taxi is not an option as my trip to work is a 70 Mile round trip. I know it sounds like I'm making excuses but I'm genuinely not.

Normally I work 4 shifts a week, so that would take up a large chunk of my wages that I simply cannot afford. Public transport does not run at the times I would finish work as it is usually a 3-4am finish.

NotCitrus Mon 23-May-16 16:47:40

Would work contribute to taxi cost? If you became disabled under the Equality Act definition after 9 months then they and Access to Work would be expected to contribute to travel - if it's a regular booking for a minicab it may well not cost that much and you might be able to share with someone? You and they need to look into all options and you can make clear that after this is better there shouldn't be a risk of more sickness. Try ACAS.

stressedtothemax77 Mon 23-May-16 16:48:10

Tigger I'm not sure why you fee the need to be so aggressive and rude? You seem to be under the impression that I am deliberately avoiding going to work which is not the case.
This was a planned operation that my employer knew about before hand and my sickness record up to now has been exemplary.

Bolograph Mon 23-May-16 16:48:57

"A taxi is not an option as my trip to work is a 70 Mile round trip."

Unfortunately for you, it is not your employer's problem that you choose to live 35 miles away. Would you be able to get to work if you lived a mile away? Yes, you could get a taxi. That's pretty much the end of it, I'm afraid.

stressedtothemax77 Mon 23-May-16 16:49:43

Thank you citrus. They have not made any offer to assist with taxi fares at the moment. Just said they would explore if there was somewhere closer to home I could temporarily work (this was my suggestion).

OurBlanche Mon 23-May-16 16:51:34

You have give some conflicting information here, which is why you are getting some, erm, robust responses.

You have said that you could work when you got there and that you have been told to stay off it.

If you could work, with modifications like an extra hair/stool to raise/support you leg then you should bite the bullet and arrange for a regular taxi. It doesn't matter how much it would cost you, your employer is entitled to have the benefit of the work they are paying for.

If you really cannot, even if you could get there safely, the the union will be able to support you but, ultimately, your employer is indeed entitled to offer redeployment or dismissal if a return to work is not imminent.

This explains it quite simply. Good luck with your recovery.

Tiggeryoubastard Mon 23-May-16 16:53:04

I'm being neither aggressive not rude. You're twisting the facts. Your journey to work is not your employers problem and you can't just decide not to go because it's not convenient then say they're possibly firing you due to sickness, which is untrue.

stressedtothemax77 Mon 23-May-16 16:53:33

I understand that where I live is not their problem.
I genuinely did not think that this would be anything other than a straight forward procedure and I would be back to work fairly quickly.

I just didn't think that 3 months sickness would escalate that quickly into talking about dismissal. Obviously I was mistaken.

AnotherEmma Mon 23-May-16 16:54:46

Tigger Why are you being so nasty? It's unnecessary.

IMO if the OP is unable to travel to work for medical reasons, and the work cannot be done from home or another convenient location, then yes she is unfit for work.

There is a process that the employer must follow in order not to be vulnerable to an unfair dismissal claim, this includes considering the OP's circumstances, such as the fact that she is expected to recover (just not as quickly as planned) and they could also consider suitable alternative work such as changing her shifts (so she can get public transport).

OP, I think your best bet is to talk to the union - do you know when they'll get back to you? If you want advice while you're waiting, you could call Citizens Advice.

Tiggeryoubastard Mon 23-May-16 16:56:45

I'm not being nasty. But the op is being disingenuous actually, I'd say dishonest.

stressedtothemax77 Mon 23-May-16 16:57:38

Tigger. I have not "just decided not to go to work" I have been told not to at the moment by the consultant who is signing me off.
I very much doubt that he would just write me a note to get me out of work because I didn't want to go.

They have offered to give me a leg rest for my desk when I returned. But the fact that I am very strong painkillers and sometimes a little "spaced out" while in them is also a problem as I have to be very alert and focused to do my job is also a problem for them.

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