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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12302
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Unfortunately I went off work earlier this year with a heart

Customer Question

Good morning.
Unfortunately I went off work earlier this year with a heart condition; I remained off work from the 11th January until the 1st of June. This is where I feel I have a grievance as I am soon to have open heart surgery to rectify my heart condition.
Between January and June following the college policy and procedure I received an informal and two formal meetings with my manager with the last meeting resulting in the college informing me if I didn’t return to work they would have no alternative than to proceed down the dismissal route due to incapability. This resulted in me approaching occupational health to recommend I return under duress on light duties only with no stress as I was awaiting my open heart surgery operation (date unknown at this time) resulting on my returned to work on a phased return on the 1st June.
When I returned to work I started the phased return, however I started straight away doing my normal work as a Lecturer, this is extremely stressful and at this time of year when all achievements’ need to be completed even more so.
I have been informed by the HR department that if take another day off during the next year following the company policy and procedure then the company will have no alternative than to continue with the procedure of dismissal due to incapability.
To add to this, I now know the date for my operation (5th August) with a recommendation from the surgeon that I should be able to return to work after three months. I have informed HR and the management. To keep me in employment, they have suggested I take a one year career break; this will start on the 1st August 2016 and continue until 1st July 2017 (on the college terms) the paperwork I have signed looks as though I have agreed. This has two implications for the college;
1. It will enable the college to keep me employed.
2. It will not have any adverse effects or interfere with or on the learner education during 2016-17.
However there are also implications to me;
1. During the career break I will not receive any pay.
2. Because I am employed I will also receive no sick pay.
My understanding of a career break is to undertake something outside your usual place of work, this does not include have major open heart surgery.
I feel as though I was forced back to work even though I was un-well awaiting open heart surgery otherwise I would lose my job through incapability. Also I feel I have been forced to take a year career break.
Can my employer treat me in this way or is there something I can do. I can forward you the college policies and procedure for sickness and leave.
J. W. Howe.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

How long have you worked there?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
8 years
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** my colleague has asked me to assist with your query as it is more my area of law. What are you ideally hoping to achieve in the circumstances?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, not sure if you saw my initial query above - What are you ideally hoping to achieve in the circumstances?