British Lung Foundation
34,331 members41,701 posts

Options what options ?Any advice appreciated

Last week my doctor told me I'm not really well enough to work, and should consider my options today my employer of 16 years offered to pay me a compromise package of three months wages as I am clearly struggling to continue and they will terminate my contract due to ill health. My wife has been ill for 14 years and is now disabled she is in the support group for ESA ,and receives high rate DLA both care and mobility, I have worked part time for the last three years so that I can look after her.

The BLF help line tells me that I may be entitled to DLA for myself but you probably all know what it's like trying to claim for copd,and that even if I loose my job due to ill health and my doctor says I am not fit to work the ESA can still find me fit for work, and unless I am placed in the support group will only pay me for one year.

It seems my only real option is to work at a job I am proud of for a decent company until they are forced to sack me for poor attendance,I don't want to stop work but the choice will not be given to me my employer cannot carry me forever, this government will eventually force me onto means tested benefits and I will end my days in poverty and misery.

My only hope is that I can carry on until this conservative government is voted out.

I am 54 with severe pure emphysema gas transfer 39% but with no obstruction, I also have sleep apnea and a cpap machine my main problem is fatigue and S.O.B.

If anyone knows of any other options please advise thanks.

11 Replies

I'd suggest starting the application for DLA as soon as possible, so you have time to gather your information and get help writing it. You can apply while you are still working and making your mind up.

You really do need some strong support though. My GP and consultant sent in responses that were OK, but could have been better. The ATOS doctor assessed me but his report was up and down in what he thought I could do. If your doctor has said you're not well enough for work then I'd ask for that in writing (please) to explain to the DWP why he had reached that decision. It would support your claim for ESA if nothing else.

Regardless of which government is in power, the DWP are not likely to go back on their reams of 'rules' and you'd have hassle starting a claim no matter what.


Talk to your union if possible about your job. I think you need good legal advice. Good luck.


Hi Gaffers are you in a union. If so talk to them. I don't think 3 months wages is much. Ask them if they can medically retire you. If they can then you should be entitled to much more. You should also be allowed to keep your pension rights and the company can guarantee payments into your pension until you are of pensionable age.

Have a word with ACAS. Number in phone book or look on-line. You can also get a free half hour with many solicitors. You need to find out your rights. Or ring BLF.

Bev x


gaffers, your employer appears to be in breach of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

A person with COPD who suffers shortness of breath is almost definitely covered by the Act. You DON'T have to be registered disabled to be covered. You DON'T have to tell your employer that you are disabled.

If your employer dismisses, or threatens to dismiss because you have had a lot of time off sick for treatment of your disability then they breach the "Disability related discrimination" section of the law.

The law is clear, concise and simple on this matter (and it makes my blood boil when employers try this sort of trick!).

I would suggest that you talk to you employer, make it clear why you are absent, tell him that you are disabled and ask him to show some tolerance - in a nice manner. Then, keep a record of everything (past, present & future) because, at some time in the future you might need those records. Nothing fancy, date/time/who what was said ... and when it was noted.

His offer of three months is derisory, after 16 years you are entitled to the maximum under legislation. So he's actually not offering you very much.

If in doubt, make an appointment with an employment solicitor (the first visit should be free), explain what's happening and ask advice. You won't need to spend any money on them unless you are dismissed - then they should act on a no-win-no-fee basis.

Finally, compromise agreements are dangerous agreements! To be legal you MUST be advised by a solicitor (companies usually want you to use their solicitor - you don't have to and they have to pay - £100 max as I remember). If you sign then YOU CANNOT MAKE A CLAIM FOR DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION - see why they want to go down this road!!!

gaffers, it won't feel like it, but you hold all the ace cards! If your employer does anything (except compromise agreement) they are breaking the law!

I work full time, from home, became disabled whilst working for my employer, they have been brilliant but I do ensure that I'm up-to-date with the legal bit ... our business employs 24,000 people so I have to!

If I can be of any help please message, reply or whatever - I hate it when they do this to people!


Thank you so much for your very useful information, I have COPD and work part time and when I have exacerbations with chest infection I cannot work and my company give me such a hard time and threaten disciplinaries because of my absent percentage even though they no my illness is a disability. The union say that my disabilty absentees should be treated seperately from other illnesses and not go against my percentage, what do you think?


obviously work for tesco then lol


Hahahahaha luv it lol


The correct legislation is the Equality Act 2010. It broadens the definition of disability and brought it into line with other discrimination.



Just read further down - compromise agreements will only come into play when the terms of any package has been agreed. The employer has to pay for you to take legal advice and it has to be signed by your solicitor. The usual amount these days is about £250.

Your employer has a duty to make reasonable adjustments. One of mine is that I'm supposed to work at home 2 days a week which often doesn't happen as I am in meetings or court. Employers don't like discrimination claims in the Employment tribunal as payments can be unlimited.

I would strongly recommend that you see an Employment solicitor - your local CAB should be able to give you names in your area. You will then receive advice that is specific to you.



Have a look at the ACAS website - they also have a helpline number, they should be able to give you good advise and tell you what the legalaties are involved with your employment. It sounds very unfair. Good Luck TAD x


Huge THANK YOU ! to everybody, now feel a bit more in control thanks to you all , I will get on the case, and talk to the union and maybe a solicitor, my doctor ,and get A DLA form , don't want to let it get me down again, Knowledge = peace of mind= having control = not getting stessed

thank you all


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