I have 9 years continuous service with my current employer, I have been on sick leave for just over 12 months now. I am terminally ill with cancer and my life expectancy is aprox 6-12 months. I am a member of my employees pension scheme which offers death in service benefit of 3 x my annual salary. Can my employer terminate my employment now? I would prefer to remain an (unpaid) employee to take advantage of the death in service payment, rather than retire under ill health grounds which has been offered. Thank you.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. Have you discussed your wishes with your employer or are you seeking advice before raising it with them?
I have a meeting with them this coming Monday, 10th November. I have not yet raised this issue with them.
I suggest you do as on a human level they may well be prepared to agree to what you want. On a legal level you cannot force them to allow you to remain employed though as, even though your illness is classed as a disability under the Equality Act, this places no obligation on an employer to leave a job open indefinitely. You can tell them that, in the circumstances you would consider it a reasonable adjustment for them to allow you to remain on unpaid leave to take advantage of the death in service benefit.
Hopefully they will then agree to it. If they do not and they make you take ill health retirement you could consider bringing a claim on the basis of the failure to make a reasonable adjustment.
If you have any further questions please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.
Could you please just clarify what reasonable adjustment is? What constitutes as "reasonable"? Thank you.
It depends on the cirucmstances, a reasonable adjustment normally covers things like changing shift patterns or making physical differences to the workplace. It can include changing policies where the policy would put a person at a disadvantage as compared to a non disabled person.
You have an argument that retiring you puts you at this disadvantage when the employer knows the prognosis. I'm not sure that this has been tested in tribunal yet so I cannnot guarantee that such an argument would succeed if tested.
Do let me know if you would like to know anything else?
It is a shame it hasn't been tested in tribunal! I shall ask anyway, and see what they say. Thanks for your help.