To ask where my mum stands? Employment one

(35 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

NCforThisO1 Thu 09-May-19 12:16:55

Not a BU one but could do with some advice!
My mum went on the sick in November after complications with surgery.

She's still on the sick although her sick pay has ceased.

But now her employers have gained new management and trying to change it all up. They've said to her either she takes up the offer of employment (different job to what she is doing now) or she can take voluntary redundancy!
But 1) she absolutely cannot work right now
2) voluntary redundancy means she wouldn't get anything from UC right? As they'd see it as she left on her own accord
3) should they even have this ultimatum on her when she is still on the sick!??

She's very worried and stressed, her mum sadly passed away two weeks ago and this is just something that I fear will tip her over the edge. She already doesn't buy food as she can't afford it, barely has the heating on or watches any TV to try reduce the amount she's topping up her meters!

OP’s posts: |
NCforThisO1 Thu 09-May-19 14:33:18

Nobody able to help?

OP’s posts: |
CherryPavlova Thu 09-May-19 14:42:11

I’m afraid there comes a point at which employers have to decide ill health may mean someone is no longer able to do their job and they can start absence management procedures which end in dismissal.

It’s actually good that she’s been offered a more manageable alternative. Could she not try this? Depending on the size of the organisation she works for, has she spoken with occupational health to see if there is some way she can be supported into work with adaptations or a phased return?

I’m not sure how universal credit would be affected but my understanding is that voluntary redundancies are not seen as the same as just leaving. There would usually be a redundancy package, I believe. She might want to ask what that looks like.
If she is sacked then assuredly she could apply for benefits? Once she knows about a redundancy package she can decide whether to do that or get herself sacked because of ongoing absence.

ChessieFL Thu 09-May-19 14:57:09

OP you might be better reporting this and asking HQ to move it to the employment board as there’s lot so of helpful people there who know what they’re talking about (not saying Cherrypi doesn’t!).

It sounds from your post like this is a general restructure rather than something just for your mum - is that right? If that’s the case it seems that they’re giving your mum the same options she would have if she wasn’t off sick. I appreciate the timing for your mum is terrible but if I’ve understood correctly it does sound like they’re trying to be fair and give her the available options.

ChessieFL Thu 09-May-19 14:58:07

Cherrypavlova not cherrypi, sorry

IAmTheChosenOne Thu 09-May-19 14:58:52

Move this over to Employment Issues - they are legend over there.

Gth1234 Thu 09-May-19 15:03:03

I think @CherryPavlova does know what she's talking about.

A job isn't a sinecure, however generous the sickness benefits.

Bluntness100 Thu 09-May-19 15:03:24

The fact she is on sick leave does not give her special privaleges over other employees, she will be treated the same.

As such they are reorganising. Her current position no longer exists. So they have found her a new position. If she doesn't wish it, she can take redundancy. They do not have to keep her old position in a reorg simply because she's off sick.

She can take up the new position and still be off sick.

She's now been off for over six months, at some point they may look at capability termination, but right now are clearly happy to keep her employed and have also offered her an alternate role as hers is removed.

Her call if she accepts it.

Gth1234 Thu 09-May-19 15:04:13

I don't think the employer should have suggested voluntary redundancy though.

RosaWaiting Thu 09-May-19 15:05:55

the redundancy being offered - why is it seen as voluntary?

Bluntness100 Thu 09-May-19 15:07:27

Offering redundancy is normal. All employees impacted by the reorg will be offered it. It's accept this new role or redundancy if the employee goes for redundancy it's voluntary as the company has offered an alternate.

They have done nothing wrong here and are treating her very fairly.

NCforThisO1 Thu 09-May-19 15:07:29

No it doesn't give her a special privilege but she could try for unfair dismissal.
She is currently unable to work, giving her a new role (which is harder than the one she was doing, which is still available but they want staff to now alternate) even reducing the hours, does not help as no matter what, right now she cannot work.

The whole staff have been changed. She works in a care home and they only want 2 carers at any given time shock

Some people who work there do 40 hours, have been slashed to just 15. Its painful to watch knowing how much they will struggle for money sad

OP’s posts: |
NCforThisO1 Thu 09-May-19 15:09:08

Back in March she was told she could quit or they could pay her off but now the option is take this job or leave sad

OP’s posts: |
TheBossOfMe Thu 09-May-19 15:09:14

It's voluntary because there is an equivalent role available to her - so she's not being made redundant due to lack of role.

CherryPavlova Thu 09-May-19 15:14:02

I agree try and get expert advice but my experience would make me think unfair dismissal wasn’t really a starter. If someone doesn’t work, it is not unreasonable to dismiss them - regardless of the reason for not working. It’s hard for your mother. Does she have a timescale for when she might be able to work again?

If she can’t work then they won’t be able to afford to employ her. Care home budgets are so tight now. There is little room for generosity towards employees.

The good thing is that it’s rarely difficult to find care work. There’s a huge national shortage and when your mother is well again, she might not find it too difficult to find employment.

She could ask at CAB re advice.

RosaWaiting Thu 09-May-19 15:15:10

so legally what happens if she accepts the role and carries on being off sick?

also, does that status change in any way if she
a) accepts the job
b) goes back in for couple of shifts - is that possible
c) then after that starts a new sickness period

I'm just thinking in terms of getting the most money out of them frankly.

would they consider giving a payment but calling it redundancy so she can sign for UC immediately?

LilyMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 09-May-19 15:17:07

We're just moving this over to employment issues for the OP. flowers

NCforThisO1 Thu 09-May-19 15:17:33

She's not a carer but has a job within the care home. I was just saying what the new manager has proposed for others.

The dr has told her she may be fit to return to work any time between now and this time next year which I realise she can't be forever employed but not actually doing the work but after being there for nearly 10 years, gaining quite a high role (I mean she has a team of 4 that she manages) this just feels like a kick in the teeth to her!!

UC won't give her anything because they will just see it as she left. She had a job but still chose to leave. But she absolutely cannot work.
Right now she soils herself because she can't get up to the bathroom sad

OP’s posts: |
Bluntness100 Thu 09-May-19 15:17:54

No it doesn't give her a special privilege but she could try for unfair dismissal

Unless she's very deep pockets and doesn't care to loose the money she will waste doing it, I would not recommend this. They are not dismissing her, she has been offered an alternate role.

Companies are at liberty to reorganise as per business needs. If they only wish two carers they are at absolute liberty to do this.

Please be careful what you advise her here.

Gingernaut Thu 09-May-19 15:20:05

The sad fact of the matter is, if you're too sick to do the job and nothing else is suitable, they can terminate your employment on the grounds of ill health.

She could wait for that to happen, as it wasn't voluntary she's eligible for benefits straight away.

Bluntness100 Thu 09-May-19 15:25:31

She could indeed accept the new role and wait for them to eventually move to capability termination, but I doubt that's what she wants.

However dealing with the scenario now. Companies are at complete liberty to organise themselves as per the business needs.

If this means they no longer require a given position ie they only need three people doing something not four, or whatever, they can then remove this position.

They then have to find an alternate role for the employee in that position, if they cannot they should move to involuntary redundancy.

If they can, they should offer the employee the new role, or the option of voluntary redundancy if they do not wish to accept.

They really have followed all the rules. This is not about the individual. It's a restructure and all companies are permitted to do this. If they weren't a shit load more would go bust than already do.

flowery Thu 09-May-19 15:31:58

Changing her role along with everyone else's doesn't change the fact that she's off sick. She can accept the change in job rather than voluntary redundancy, and then she'll just be signed off from the new job rather than the old one, surely?

If they are restructuring they need to follow a procedure including consultation. Has there been any consultation?

It does sound like they are making genuine business changes though, and I'd say the question of how long your mum's employment can continue is separate really. Perhaps they are trying to bring it to a head by offering her voluntary redundancy, but if she doesn't want to take that and would prefer to wait to be terminated for capability, as will happen eventually, for the purposes of a benefits claim, then she can do that.

Gigglinghysterically Thu 09-May-19 15:34:00

My DB was off sick and was put in the support group for ESA when his SSP expired. However, the national company he worked for were undergoing some restructuring affecting the department he worked in which coincided with the time at which they would determine his capability to work in the future.

A date when he would be well enough to return couldn't be foreseen so he was given a choice of being sacked on the grounds of lack of capability to do the job or offered redundancy due to the restructuring. He didn't want the stigma of being sacked on his cv so took redundancy.

DWP were provided with full details of how the situation came about. His redundancy payment was not considered as part of his capitaI for one year so it didn't affect his ESA award. After one year there was a weekly deduction from his ESA of £1 for every £250 over £6,000 he had in capital. This was at the end if 2015. So, unless something has changed, I don't think that UC will be affected by a redundancy payment for 1 year.

I would suggest your DM gets help from Citizens' Advice Bureau and perhaps also some Bereavement Counselling especially as she is already physically unwell.

Bluntness100 Thu 09-May-19 15:37:49

She can accept the change in job rather than voluntary redundancy, and then she'll just be signed off from the new job rather than the old one, surely?

Yes, this is correct.

ChicCroissant Thu 09-May-19 15:39:52

Firstly, sick pay is often calculated on a rolling period of 12 months so going in 'for a few shifts' would not restart sick pay (and is not a good suggestion).

Going on what you've said here it is far from unfair dismissal, quite the opposite - they have offered her a new role or redundancy. They could simply terminate her employment if they wish, unfortunately.

I can see that is it terribly bad timing for her, but they did also make an offer in March. You could check with UC to see how they would view redundancy in her circumstances.

It's a difficult situation for you both OP, sorry for your recent loss and I hope your mother's health continues to improve.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in