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Lotte
10-11-14, 17:44
My husband was employed full time as an engineer before having his stroke in May 2014.

His contractual sick pay has now ended and he is currently receiving Employment and Support Allowance for the assessment period of 12 weeks or thereabouts. He has been in constant contact with work and we both attended a work meeting recently. His employers are saying that they cannot have him back to work at the moment because their insurance company feel he is too much of a risk in his role. Even though I dont want to really admit it, they do have a point as a factory environment is rather risky with machinery around and steel and metal etc, and my husbands mobility has been affected as he was initially paralysed down his left side.

Everywhere we read it says that the employers have to offer him a role within the workplace. It is only a small factory but he could perhaps do packing or orders on a computer rather than an actual engineering role. They havent offered him any role though and, to make matters worse, they have advertised his job on the company website.

Can employers do this, or what kind of steps do they have to go through.

Lighttouch
10-11-14, 22:41
Hi Lotte,

Employment Law is a minefield and no two cases are the same and we wouldn't know what has been said in the past.

I'm assuming that it's only a small business who cannot afford to keep passengers.

Did your husband take out a pension plan with this company? Did he take out health insurance?

You really need to know what the companies policy and procedure is for retaining staff. Your husband may not be able to physically do his job but perhaps it could be redesigned. Or perhaps he could become a supervisor and/or quality control inspector.

Perhaps he could be retrained to be a client liaison person.

One thing is for sure he might need some extra support to survive in the workplace. He would have needed to contact Access to Work who would identify what barriers he faced getting to and from and in work then come up with a support plan to get him back on his feet.
https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work

Relating to Employment Law you could always phone up ACAS and identify if the company has used the correct procedure if he has been dismissed unfairly. http://employeradvice.org.uk/managing-people/staff-sickness/

Your husband may have belonged to a union like UNISON, UNITE or GMB as a guess. http://www.gmb.org.uk/work-issues/
Ideally it would be better if you could contact the Trade Union rep at his place of works for advice and guidance.

beau
10-11-14, 23:04
ACAS http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1461
may be able to help.

Lotte
11-11-14, 15:12
Hi there, thank you for your advice.

It is only a small engineering company therefore there are not the opportunities and resources that a larger firm would have.

The company are being very fair about it all and they have been visiting him and he can telephone them when he wishes. They have also been quite upfront with him and me and have spoken about the risks of working in an engineering company. There are lots of machinery and the risks involved with that, the shop floor where he works isnt plush, it is uneven flooring surfaces. There are lots of uncut metal around, all these things are potentially quite dangerous for someone who has a weakness in his left leg and arm.

They have said they will keep his job open for him but they need to get staff in to cover the workload. They have said that the insurance company will not approve his return to work because of the dangers, even though the doctor has agreed he is fit for light duties at work.

We have contacted Employments Rights who have advised us to go in and have a meeting. They have said that once we start informing Acas etc, then it is likely to move from a nicey nicey approach to a very formal one.

There are jobs he could do within the workforce, he is a qualified inspector, he has also worked in a quality control role, he could certainly undertake roles like this, however there are people already doing this and it is whether the company can afford to employ him.

Work have agreed to pay his holiday pay up until the end of December and I think in the new year we will have to start the ball rolling in terms of getting a formal decision on his employment.

Lighttouch
11-11-14, 17:22
Hi Lotte,

So the options

- a phased return to work doing light duties e.g. typing, admin etc 3/4 days a week. If this was the case they would need to review his salary.
- can no longer do original job for practical and safety reasons. Dismissed on capability grounds.
- Make him redundant - one weeks pay for each whole year he worked there up to 12 years e.g. 3 months pay max.
- Retrain to be more efficient
- Train to be executive in Sales Department of same company
- Resign.
- Take medical early retirement but be careful as there are major reforms happening in April 2015 and he could access funds but it might effect his ESA