Author Topic: Fear of job loss  (Read 119 times)

Offline Gildo

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Fear of job loss
« on: Mar 18 2019, 01:23 PM »
Hello!
I have had MD for many years and following a lengthy period of remission it struck again causing total hearing loss in my left ear. As i needed perfect hearing for my job i was deemed unable to carry out my job role. I was temporarily demoted whilst my employer searched for an alternative job role for me. To cut a very long story short, after 18 months of demotion and no support from my employer, the formal redeployment route commenced. My employer found me a new post at my original salary scale. I tried the new job for 4 days as i knew I faced a termination of my contract if i didnt try it but the hostile environment caused my MD to flare. In addition to the hostile environment i couldnt socialise at tea/lunch breaks due to the noise levels in the canteen which led to social embarrassment and isolation. Plus the office was so small and had so many people working in it I was frequently walking into things. I immediately emailed HR to tell them the job wasnt suitable and they sent my manager to talk me out of my decision. I remained steadfast in my decision. HR tried to talk me out of my decision. The union tried to talk me out of my decision. I felt harassed and bullied. The stress was too much and now im off sick. I need help because the union want me to prove how the work environment affected my disability but my head is so foggy I can't think straight! Can someone help me. My job is at risk 😢

Offline harry

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Re: Fear of job loss
« Reply #1 on: Mar 19 2019, 03:38 PM »
Hi Gildo,

Tough situation for you and I have been there.

At the moment the company is following the correct process.

1/Did you have an independent workplace assessment carried out in your old role and have you had one done in your new role? This is an assessment of your disability (don't forget that MD and hearing loss are both registered disabilities) in association with the role you do. Ie is it reasonable?

2/ Do you wear a hearing aid? and do you have a hearing loss in both ears?

3/ Because MD comes and goes it difficult for people to understand and assess. So be clear about how and why it affects you.

4/ You yourself have to accept that an employer can only do so much and you must also look at and work out what role you can do within your company. Does that role exist? What can be changed to make the situation better.


5/ They cannot terminate your job based in your disability and they have to prove that they have done everything they can to accommodate your situation. I understand about a noisey environment.Can they change that? can you work in an office on your own? Can you work at a desk away from others? Can you work from home some days? But they are not obliged to magic or create a role that doesn't exist to accommodate you. Sometimes they are able to shift things around and take some work of other people and create a custom role BUT they don't have to.


6/ What age are you? can you go down the early retirement route. This is what I had to do in the end and I had to retire at 49yr.


We don't want MD, but we have it and we have to accept that it changes lives. It sounds like they want to work with you to make it work and they don't want you to leave. Have a good think about how you could make it work and make sure your requests are reasonable.


Feel free to PM me or ask more questions if you want


Regards

Harry

Offline Gildo

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Re: Fear of job loss
« Reply #2 on: Mar 19 2019, 08:02 PM »
Hi Harry thanks for your detailed reply. Very much appreciated!
I want to keep this short and sweet.
OH made recommendations upon my return to work 18 months ago (when i was demoted). The recommendations weren't adhered to. One of the recommendations was an assessor's view. Another was an assessment of work place triggers and the third was an ergonomic assessment of my work space.
These recommendations werent carried out in the new role either. In fact it appears they were tossed to the side once management got me back where they needed me to be!
Yes I have a hearing aid but its useless as my tinnitus overrides it and i also suffer with hyperacusis which is painful. Hearing loss in left ear only.
In my "demoted role" the only duty i couldnt perform was note taking. As this duty only constituted a third of my working week I was hopeful that someone else couldve undertaken this duty on my behalf whilst i carried out other duties that noone else wanted to do. I was advised this wasnt feasible. I will be asking why it wasnt feasible when i meet management next week. Note taking and minute taking are the only duties i cant do. I work for Belfast Trust so its a big organisation with plenty of available posts!
I am 51 years old so theres a possibility they could medically retire me.
Its a frightening and frustrating time especially when I have seen an 84 year old work colleague have a post created for her. She has chosen the days she works and the hours. Her issue was not medical btw. She just decided she couldn't grasp new technology even after 14 weeks training. Whilst they created her new post she had no duties but wasnt demoted.
I will fight my corner as best I can and if i spin in the middle of the battle maybe then they will appreciate and understand how difficult it is to cope every day with MD!
Gillian

Offline harry

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Re: Fear of job loss
« Reply #3 on: Mar 21 2019, 04:23 PM »
Hi Gillian,

Getting a clearer picture. I suffer from Hyperacusis and Tinnitus as well so I really understand your situation. I also wear a hearing aid.Only in one ear now as my other ear is too badly damaged and has no usable sound now.(due to distortion)

Without any form of workplace assessment (which must be independent ) they can't really do much and they shouldn't have really demoted you. Unless you asked to removed from your role as you couldn't cope. If a third of your job role specifies note taking etc and you can't do it now(which I can understand) then they would have to create a new role or find an alternative role you could do. Remember they don't HAVE to do this and you need to work with them to find a solution that would work. Including looking for alternative roles within the company.

Have you tried not wearing your hearing aid at work or turning it down to reduce the uncomfortable noise levels? it won't help the notetaking etc but will make the surrounding noise much better. You should not have to but it may help in the short term. Again I would stress about how important it is for you to try and come up with ideas that might work better for you. This is because they don't understand MD and therefore will not understand how it affects you. You may be able to come up with a compromise solution.

I worked in a very busy office and was a manager. I have bi lateral MD and also had hearing loss before MD struck so I understand your situation. I too had to accept a lower grade role for a while as could not do my job properly anymore. Then I went down the early retirement route.

It is very stressful and that won't help your MD.

If you have worked for the company for along time and can afford to do so. Then do consider the early retirement route as it would reduce your stress, help your MD and you could always get a part time job to make up the difference in salary. Because you are not yet 55 it would have to be on medical grounds but is possible.

It sounds like they would rather find a solution that suits everyone rather than take it any further but you have to work together and see what could work.

Remember that MD is a lifelong illness and may get worse. So think ahead. Plan for the future (financially) and look at ways you can make your life better and reduce your stress levels. Because having MD and working is very difficult to cope with some days and little changes can make big differences.


Regards

Harry


Offline Gildo

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Re: Fear of job loss
« Reply #4 on: Mar 21 2019, 05:38 PM »
Hi Harry and thanks again for replying
I was at OH this morning and have asked for a return to work asap. OH cant promise that management will offer me an alternative post and of course there could be further demotion and of course termination of my contract. I cant wear my hearing aid at all due to the noise levels, hyperacusis and pain. I gave up when i was constantly adjusting it. OH have recommended an assessors opinion so thats good. On tuesday i will find out what management have planned for me. Fingers crossed i keep my job. Any job tbh. Im not 84 so i wont have that magic wand waved in my direction any time soon lol. I will keep you updated about my progress.
Thanks again for your support
Gillian
Ps if my contract is terminated I will receive a small payout ie probably less than 5000 even though im with Belfast Trust over 25 years lol

Offline harry

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Re: Fear of job loss
« Reply #5 on: Mar 21 2019, 06:43 PM »
Hi,

What is OH? (occupational health?) not HR ?

I think they are a long way from being in a position to even consider termination of contract. As they have yet to prove that they have done everything possible to accommodate your disabilities. Because they have not even carried out a workplace assessment. Companies don't always do this as once a recommendation for adjustment is made the managers can't override it. For example A deaf person says they cannot use a telephone. A workplace assessment takes place and the recommendation is that the person should not be asked to make phone calls or answer the phone. The management can't then ask the person to answer the phone if it rings.

Termination of contract is very messy for a company ( unless it's for gross misconduct ).They have to follow lots of steps and prove they have done EVERYTHING possible to resolve the matter. Make it clear you want to work with company to find a suitable role or more importantly suitable reasonable adjustments to your existing role and workplace. Keep a note and ask for all conversations to be documented. Involve the union and explain you may take it to a tribunal if required.

Another example. Note taking at meetings. You can't follow meeting to take notes. Resonsonable adjustment could be record meeting and then you can play it back later and document it as required.

But again i would stress that finding another role within the organisation or maybe accepting that your workplace/role will be difficult. So you can keep up your pension payments until you can retire (probably 55) may be better.

A 5000 payoff doesn't feel right and i think you should fight that with the unions help off course.



Offline Gildo

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Re: Fear of job loss
« Reply #6 on: Mar 21 2019, 08:36 PM »
OH is indeed Occupational health though HR are involved also. Ive been threatened a few times now with termination of contract (by HR and management) so its definitely an option. Unfortunately we can't record meetings as its child protection so im snookered with that one lol. All I want is a job (dear lord im yosser hughes lol). I have a permanent contract and offering me temporary contracts is both insulting and stressful. Just let me work please!!! "lol