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taratill
taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6339
Experience:  15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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I have been on sick leave for just over 12 months. I am

Resolved Question:

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.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  taratill replied 2 years ago.
taratill :

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?

Customer:

I have a meeting with them this coming Monday, 10th November. I have not yet raised this issue with them.

taratill :

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.

taratill :

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.

taratill :

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.

Customer:

Could you please just clarify what reasonable adjustment is? What constitutes as "reasonable"? Thank you.

taratill :

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.

taratill :

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.

taratill :

Do let me know if you would like to know anything else?

Customer:

It is a shame it hasn't been tested in tribunal! I shall ask anyway, and see what they say. Thanks for your help.

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