work / atrial fibulation / esa / back to work

try to be quick... was working full time.. boss was smoken in building left doors open after lock down( my bike got stolen in building ) reported him... 3 main managers tried to cover it up from head office... but I found out they covered it up... full investergation. 3 managers got final warnings.they then made my life hell high work load for over 6 months ..then I got ill doctors found out I had atrial fibulation... work load and illness had small heart sick 12 months then went back 1 day being called grass and still smoken in building...told if I grass them up they will make life hell for me....6 in total were smoken at night over every night !/2 work force.. my stress could not take it was finished under ill health to ill to argue.. went on esa for 12 months.. then got medical failed then appealed and failed.. then court appeal failed .. told them with tablets carnt work dizzy sick very tiered.. so had to claim jsa.. but told them I carnt work with tablets.... they stated carnt claim jsa if unfit... so to get jsa I stoped taken tablets not had tablets for over a year now I have VERY TIGHT CHEST PAST 6 WEEKS AND DIZZY.... now I am being put on a work program... head office from work said 8 months ago .. no proof they were smoken... just been told 4 of them staff were told to quit because they were found on camra smoken ..night manager and assistant manager and 2 normal staff.......

23 Replies

  • and I am only 50 year moral is low trust is 0% ...and nobody will take my case and help me ... so to be truefull is to punished!!!

  • Hi Treborrobert

    Firstly welcome to the forum, and we totally empathise about the AF everyone here is a sufferer, and whilst everyone is different, also everyone understands so you are in the right place.

    Now to your current story, if I am reading this right, you have left your employer, been on some form of medical sick leave but had some challenges, been through more than a bit of hell around your "whistle blowing" and also have some challenges currently in that they are they are challenging your disability.

    OK this is purely my advice and I am not an employment professional but have been an employer at various times.,

    From your story, you may well have a case for wrongful dismissal, under two fronts actually, firstly under the so called "whistle blower" rules. Under the new rules if you have brought something to the attention of management which is a health and safety risk, then either changing YOUR working conditions or any changes to your work practise could be seen as constructive dismissal.

    Secondly, and I am unclear in the time line here, being diagnosed with AF is almost certainly prescribed as a disability under the DDA rules, and the company would then need to have made appropriate changes to accomodate your disability, you don't say if this happened or what the circumstances were.

    May I suggest writing down a timeline, just a simple list with dates and facts, starting from the first thing that happened, and then coming forward to today, ensure you differentiate between a provable fact, and what you have been told and is yet to be proved, and then go and see either an employment lawyer (Usually can get one for £50 first hour) or the Citizens Advice (book an appointment) There are rules about how long you can leave a claim after leaving a company and they will advise you about this. Remember that even if you gave notice, this does not change your right to claim if the dismissal can be seen to be "constructive".

    Lastly really hard to give advice around medical claims for AF, it's a minefield, and with many doctors knowing bugger all about the condition, it's not suprising that Govt doctors, whose first job is to reduce costs, do not consider it a disability, they are wrong. I would try the AFA helpline (Click on the AFA logo at the top of the page) they may have been able to advice others going through the same process.

    In any event, we are here for you to vent, ask questions, or simply blow off steam, we KNOW what it's like

    Welcome to the forum


  • I lost my job oct 2010

  • Hi Treborrobert

    Then it may be too late, however there are special circumstances in which claims can be made outside of the time limit

    I suggest (as has someone else) a phone call to ACAS 08457 474 747

    Good luck


  • thanks beancounter for your kind words... I lost my job in 0ct 2010 so to late to get help with that... I am just very worried about jsa benefits and the law... clearly states if you are unfit for work you can not claim jsa...AF has been on going for 3 years now ( fast heart rate ) I was on tablets for 2 years but side affects were bad...weak bones, tiered all the time, falling sleep about 3 times a day for about hour. dizzy, but when I don't take my tablets I feel a bit better.. but still ill ..could work 16 hours week I my point is... I can not win...if I say I can not work with the side affects I loose jsa... so I have to stop the tablets TO LIVE.. or I will loose my benefits and loose my rented flat ... I have no choice... carnt claim esa because my illness has not changed.. I had to stop tablets against my will... as I need to be seen that I am looking for work.. my doctor spun me round in my chair looked right into my eyes and said... ( ROBERT IF YOU CARRY ON LIKE THIS.. YOU WILL DIE ) meaning not take tablets and going to hospital for more tests.... then I just broke down and left.. never been back to doctors for 6 months... I AM STUCK IN THE MIDDLE ...that's how I feel .. so I try to live a normal life... as you all now that's not easy... sorry for going on but when you live alone you tend to go on and on

  • Hi Treborrobert

    I can hear the pain in the way that you are living, and I am so sorry, I went through the diagnosis of AF alone, and without anyone to come home and talk to about it, I don't mind admitting that I cried my eyes out, literally thought my life was coming to an end, and did not know which direction to turn to.

    What changed that for me was this and other AF forums, to find out that AF was not the death sentence I imagined it to be, and that many others had a much worse time that me, and were just getting on with their lives.

    So may I tentatively suggest the following.

    Seperate the two, deal with the AF and all the challenges and the problems here, this wonderful place will answer any questions, give you support, tell you if you are being silly (and we all are at times) and generally make a real difference to the way you think about AF.

    Then you need to deal with the financial challenges, I am not an expert, but you should be able to claim PIP or similar but this is a minefield and you need guiding through it.

    Make an appointment to go and see Citizens Advice, hey will point you in thr right direction for your claims, and then only one piece of advice, never give up with the Govt, just keep bombarding them until eventually they get over their self important smug attitudes and give you what you are entitled to.

    Either way, and whatever happens, you are amongst friends


  • thanks Beancounter .. think I will go with the flow.. will try this back to work program. maybe it will be just what I need... I would love to be back in work.. and the thought of mixing with others again sounds great :) will take one step at a time...better than looking out of window watching the world pass me by... thanks for your advice helps a lot :)

  • Sounds like you had a really rough ride. I agree with Ian, sounds like constructive dismissal to me. I experienced excessive pressure at work with support being withdrawn and it brought on AF, I was left feeling very stressed, angry and lost confidence in myself and this from a well known mental health charity!

    It took me over 12 months to even start to recover. Work colleagues pressurising others to conform to their norms do not understand the impact of their actions, they are bullies.

    I do hope that you follow Ian's excellent advice and find support for your case.

    Indeed we all here do understand, when a disease is visible people are much more able to empathise, our hearts are not, only we know how disabling AF can be.

    Very best wishes CDreamer

  • CDreamer.. thank you for your kind words :)

  • Ahmen to all that. Sounds like you may have a case. Good luck and we are hear to listen.


  • thanks BobD :)

  • Hi and welcome to our forum. Great advice from other members above. It sounds to me like you have a good case for constructive dismissal too. The problem for you I guess will be proving other co workers/managers were smoking. Is there another non smoker where you worked that would back you up?

    Initially I'd have a chat with someone at Citizens Advice or call ACAS for free employment dispute advice on 0845 7474747 or go to their website - just search online for ACAS for employees.

    Please let us know how you get on.

  • head office put camera up and they were found on cam smoken they were told to quit or the police will be called and they would be sacked anyway and it will go on record why they were sacked... so they had no choice but to quit... 4 staff in one night.. so do I need someone to back me up? why will head office not help me? ... the company is .. carnt say there name but its a supermarket chain starting with (m ) that is used in a second name.. well known for words ( more reasons to shop at (m)

  • sent message to ACAS.. but think its to late I was finished oct 2010... and thanks for your kind words... to others we are just dole dossers / long term low lifes... they couldn't be more wrong!!

  • All of the above.

    I too think this is constructive dismissal there may be a time limit ( I think its 24 months ) get on to ACAS they will help they did me with a contract issue.

    If you are unfit for work and claiming JSA if you have a sick note from your doctor they cannot force you to see an advisor. Are you seeing a Disability Advisor? They are for people like us to find a job that is appropriate to your condition and capability. They can call in an independent assessor to confirm your inability to work or attend meetings.

    BTW if asked what you will work for £? put "The Going Rate For The Job"

    You have been issued tablets to help your condition it can take a little time to get it right but they are there to help. the worse case scenario is you carry on going to JSA and make sure you have a disability advisor who understands your problems. Make it their problem to fit a job you are able to do, not a job for a jobs sake that could worsen your condition.

    Be Well

  • I was sent to a disability adviser was with her for 8 weeks... then when we were going threw jobs and wage and what I will get with the fact I could only work 16 hours a week agreed by disability adviser... was shown I would be - £2.65 plus transport cost she went threw 20hours wk then 30 hours wk on 30 hours week I would be £4.55 better of but would still have to pay transport out of that... so she changed my 16 hours wk to 30 hours wk with no comment if I could work that many hours... then I was sent back to normal adviser

  • wrong advisor

  • wrong advisor or not offcut this is the wall we face.. this is the normal advice times have changed jsa have targets to meet... that target is to get you of benefits and into work ... no matter how ill you are :(

  • I am with you 100% I hope you find a way around all your problems

  • The Equality Act 2010 protects suffers with AF. In fact AF is mentioned in Equality Commission guidelines.

    Perhaps consider contacting the Disability Law Service a charity which provides free legal advise.

    Other sources of help include:

    Equality Advisory Support Service

    Disability Law Service.

    Free Representation Unit.

    Bar Pro Bono Unit.

    Disability Alliance.

    CAB Advice Guide.

    The Equality Commission.

    Resources from Central London Law Centre regarding employment

    I am aware of one law firm which specialises in disability cases; @AbilityThink: DSM legal solicitors no win no fee; Disability Discrimination specialism found on under topics / help.

    Good luck!

  • I'm not recommending this firm but they are advertising no win no fee for disability discrimination cases.

    Link is as

    Might be worth a shot if members can't get help elsewhere.

  • You all have been so kind. And to find a group like this that go threw the same problems, is a life saver.this AF group is a life saver as I was about to give up!. I reward you all in kindness and to tell you all...that when things get so bad and so hard. There is always a friendly advice and kind words from the AF group... You all should be proud off yourselfs.... :)

  • AF will be recognised as a disability under the DDA or Equality Act dependent on dates. You would need a report from a consultant to prove you fall into the categories. Caselaw has shown AF has been determined by the courts as a Disability. Get advice and help and you might feel better.

    Good luck

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