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Settlement/just resign?
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Myusername2015 · 07/05/2021 20:30

This could be a very long one so I will condense it Any advice hugely welcome as union rep has been useless and school policy is very vague in favour of management discretion.
-off from second week sept with pneumonia covid (prob contracted at school but as union says no way to know) hospitalised and v poorly for a while.
-Now diagnosed with Long covid and have a blue badge for mobility; particularly struggle with stairs on bad days; walk with a stick now and sometimes have to come down on my bottom.
-seen OHP 3 times; each time decision not fit to work; when return very gradual return. I’ve had two now failed phased return as they had me in teaching classes and subjects I didn’t know.
—Final email now from school says when my fit note runs out week before h/t they expect me to pick up my full duties immediately (I’m also HOY). I have pointed out my issue with stairs (we have no lifts) They say they can only construct me a 0.2 timetable on ground floor so I can ever take that or go back to my normal timetable and just struggle with the stairs.
-I’m almost certain I will be handing notice in as I have been treated like a pariah and ignored by everyone but I just wondered what you would do in this position. Just tell the head you are going off and try the return? Get signed off until end of term and resign/look into settlements? (Although I know v little about these) I’ve been in post 9 years.
I’d happily take an employment solicitor on as the union have been useless but on half pay money is tight so if there is no point.
Thanks

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spanieleyes · 07/05/2021 20:45

You have to think- why would they offer you a settlement? Would you have a case at an industrial tribunal because that's the only possible reason they might offer a settlement and, if the do, it wouldn't be much more than you would get if you timed your resignation to maximum effect for you. Try Citizens advice or, even better, go higher in your union and get some proper advice, that's what you pay your dues for. Don't be fobbed off!

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Myusername2015 · 07/05/2021 20:57

I don’t know…it’s more they know I have v poor mobility with letters from specialists/doctors/physios yet my timetable involves me trying to get down metal stairs with a stick and books/equipment in the rush. I suppose you are right they aren’t going to offer it. It just saddens me in 2021 people with disabilities (temporary or not) are forced out of work. Union HO are useless they just sent my complaint to my case worker! Ah well I suppose I’m lucky compared to many covid sufferers who lost their life.

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SaltyAF · 07/05/2021 21:26

I don't have any advice I'm afraid OP, but I'm disgusted by what's happened to you. The prospect of losing your livelihood due to being forced into unsafe working conditions, while so many are still cocooned at home is nothing other than appalling.

I have no idea what I'm talking about, but perhaps you could go back and let them force you out due to your disabilities, then take a claim from there?

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SaltyAF · 07/05/2021 21:28

And don't accept that you are lucky.

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Myusername2015 · 07/05/2021 22:04

Thanks so much for the comment my union officer however my union case officer said: “I explained to you the law’s definition of disability. With a few exceptions, it is for a court or tribunal to determine whether someone has a disability. It is therefore a legal, not a medical determination. Parliament has not passed legislation to say that Long Covid is disability.”

So looks like I either give notice and pray I find employment somewhere despite the fact I have a blue badge and can barely walk; or suffer the humiliation (and the inevitable disciplinaries that will follow of shuffling down dirty metal stairs across a huge site. Life is proper rubbish (adding to the fact I’m a single parent with father abroad makes it even better ☹️

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Aboutatoy · 07/05/2021 23:01

I’m horrified by this. I’m sorry you’ve had such an awful time. I think you should definitely pay to see a good employment lawyer. I think the advice you’ve had sounds dubious. Not being able to walk upstairs is surely a disability, whatever the original cause of it? Even just one meeting might be enough to get an idea of what you should do. You might find your home insurance covers an initial appointment at least.

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watingroom2 · 08/05/2021 21:37

This is a bit off topic - but have you had your b12 and folate levels tested? Long covid overlaps with the symptoms of b12 deficiency (And IMO one could well lead to the other..)

Well worth looking into - could your 'gp sign you off with stress - that is an avenue i would look into -it sounds very stressful)

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FlemishHorse · 09/05/2021 10:02

I am so sorry you are in this situation. You need professional advice, I agree contact Citizens Advice re disability.
www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-courts/discrimination/protected-characteristics/what-counts-as-disability/

I presume you are now on half pay until August? They can also check additional benefits you are entitled to and help with claiming, it can be complicated with disability issues.

Very best wishes for your recovery from this.

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FlemishHorse · 09/05/2021 10:08

Sorry, forgot to say -

DO NOT RESIGN!

I expect school are trying to sort out staffing for September and can’t fit you into the picture neatly. Tough! Do not be pressurised into making life easy for them.

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FlemishHorse · 09/05/2021 10:38

And thirdly, surely your GP agrees you are not able to return to work full time as described? Get another fit note.

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Myusername2015 · 09/05/2021 16:48

Thanks so much for comments Flemishhorse; my doctor has signed me off since October with pneumonia covid and now long covid; he would happily sign me off with long covid again for another 6 weeks but that would place me at stage 3 of their dismissal process and I would be sacked without any summer pay :-(

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Aboutatoy · 09/05/2021 17:19

Being offered 0.2, ignored and treated like a pariah sounds like constructive dismissal. I would keep a thorough record of everything that is making it difficult for you to return and every way the school have been obstructive and I would see an employment lawyer if you can. I have a friend who developed a chronic health condition and whose MAT employer tried to force her onto a reduced hours contract. She took them to an employment tribunal and they settled. I’m afraid schools often have terrible HR and hope you’ll just give up and go quietly if they put enough pressure on you.

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Myusername2015 · 09/05/2021 17:48

And no I haven’t had b12 checked good advice thank you I will do. I have a blue badge and am awaiting a PIP assessment. I think the school will
Dismiss before the summer so sadly I don’t think I will get half pay June and July and August x

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Mistressinthetulips · 09/05/2021 21:13

CFS can count as a disability so I'm not sure why long Covid wouldn't - as yet we don't know if symptoms likely to last more than a year but seems very possibly. If you've been paying Union subs I would want them to help you. Are they saying you don't have a case? That what you're suffering from isn't a disability? I'm confused.

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toomuchicecream · 10/05/2021 06:58

You might want to look into partial I’ll health retirement- fit to work but not teach (which is what I got for my MS - can’t move round a classroom enough but can work at a desk). I can’t now teach, tutor or lecture on a paid or unpaid basis, but I couldn’t ever do another teaching job so that’s ok. Left me free to find another desk based job, with the security of a pension each month as back up.

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