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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I would like information about Medical Retirement due to Ovarian

Resolved Question:

I would like information about Medical Retirement due to Ovarian Cancer.
A little bit of back ground.
My Ovarian Cancer started in May 2011.It took a while to find the Primary and Chemo started 08.08.11. In November that year I had my ovaries and a tumour removed. By March 2012 I was in remission. After regaining some strength I went back to work on a phased return in June. October 2012 the cancer had returned and it had spread to my Liver, Lymph nodes, and 2 shadows on my left lung. Should have gone back to work 22.5 2013 but was told to take some Holiday because of Management being off sick. So I started a phased return again 3.6.13.I was only at work again for 3 weeks when I was told I needed an ear operation ,which meant another week off. The following week I was informed I needed some more treatment for the cancer but it was not life threatening and therefor I could continue with the holiday I had planed. I started my third lot of Chemo 23.8.13. I had four treatments and got told I was stable late November 2013 and have not had any more treatment since.
My last Oncologist appointment was yesterday. I have to have another Scan and Bloods done and go back in three weeks time.
Thank you for reading this and I would like any idea as to what to expect at this meeting.
Mrs Marion Taylor
Membership no: 20062025
The Company I worked for lost their Contract and we were transferred to another company on 01.10.11.Which was while I was off sick the first time.
I have a meeting tomorrow with Management and H.R.I have tried to contact my Union representative with out success.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Have they told you the purpose of the meeting tomorrow and what could happen?

Customer:

I have been lead to believe it is to talk about the fact that they started giving me half pay again as of

Customer:

October last year. And to speak to me about Medical Retiament

Ben Jones :

what time is the meeting?

Customer:

2pm

Ben Jones :

ok leave it with me please I will get my response ready and get back to you first thing in the morning

Customer:

Thank you

Ben Jones :

Good morning. As a starting point I will discuss your legal rights in terms of your condition and what protection the law affords you.


 


As someone who is diagnosed with cancer you are automatically considered to be disabled and will have protection under the Equality Act 2010. This means that you must not be treated unfavourably because of your disability. In addition, your employer would have a duty to make reasonable adjustments if you are likely to be placed at a substantial disadvantage when compared to non-disabled employees.


 


What amounts to ‘reasonable adjustments’ can have a wide interpretation and often depends on the individual circumstances. Below are some examples:



  • making adjustments to work premises;

  • allocating some of the employee’s duties to others;

  • transferring the employee to fill an existing suitable vacancy;

  • altering the employee’s hours of work;

  • allowing the employee to be absent during working hours for rehabilitation, assessment or treatment connected to their disability;

  • acquiring or modifying specialist equipment;

  • providing supervision or other support.


 


So before any dismissal or retirement is considered, the employer must investigate the nature of your illness, check whether there is anything they can do to assist you, such as by making any reasonable adjustments and try their best to help you back into work.


 


If it becomes obvious that nothing can reasonably be done to keep you into work and that you are no longer capable of performing your job or any other available job, then the employer can eventually consider dismissing you. A dismissal on grounds of capability is a potentially fair reason for dismissal as long as a fair procedure has been followed and the employer can justify it was a reasonable outcome in the circumstances.


 


In terms of retirement on health grounds the employer does not have to go down this route but there is case law to suggest that if they operate a benefits scheme providing cover for early retirement the employer is obliged to consider that option first before opting for a straight dismissal on capability grounds.


 


So at this meeting you should discuss the opportunity for any reasonable adjustments, whether anything can be done to keep you in the job and if that is not possible – whether any early retirement benefits scheme exist and if not, if retirement is actually the best option for you, considering your future prospects and if you will be able to work anywhere else.

Customer:

When I was tranfe

Customer:

When we were transferred to the new employer in November 2011 we were automatically included into their works pension. We could opt out but I never did. I later found out that I had to be in the pension for a minimum of 3 years to get any benefits from it. November this year will be 3 years. Does this apply to any benefits from being a Union member which may apply? Thank you

Customer:

A bit more background. I started my job in June 2001 and have worked my way up to be a supervisor. I work for a catering company within a Hospital which was taken in house in 2011

Ben Jones :

Hi, no this would not count, when I mentioned benefits I really meant an early retirement cover policy, for example something that may provide you with a source of income for some time if you were to be retired early.

Customer:

I have to have a meeting with the Health and Wellbeing Doctor after I have had my next scan and blood done. They have said my pension will be held until my government retirement age.

Ben Jones :

if you are not being officially retired early then your pension will still be subject to the usual rules of the pension scheme it is in, so you need to check these to see what your entitlements are to draw it early - every scheme has its own rules on that

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