Fibromyalgia Action UK
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How do you deal with employer or DWP while still working?

How do you deal with employer or DWP while still working?

I'm only recently diagnosed but feel sure I've had fibro at least a year, possibly more. A lot suddenly became clear. The picture's been clouded by other health issues.

I've just had a conversation with an employer who would really like to get rid of me but phrased it as "cutting down". It worries me as I wonder about the reaction of DWP ESA/PIP/DLA or whatever it is now. Would they interpret it as me cutting my hours voluntarily and therefore not qualifying for help. Someone at work thinks I take Friday off to have a long weekend ie swinging the lead. Last week it wasn't illness but waiting in for council over flooding issues - and I said so. (council stuff was still happening on Sunday). The thing is these days I've run out of steam by Friday and struggle to get out of bed. Each day is a struggle anyway. I'm already on housing benefit to top up wages. Any ideas anyone? I didn't find anything on categories on the right, but maybe I missed what I was looking for. :( :(

I can see where this is all going but I'll be dragged there kicking and screaming, and boy can I scream.

The sign in the photo tickled me. It's near a closed leisure centre and school in Winchester.

7 Replies

Hi fenbadger

I sincerely hope that you are feeling as well as you can be? I am so sorry to read of your problems with your employer. I do not know anything about the size of your employer or the length of time that you have been there etc, but as a rule if an employer and employee 'agree a limited ability to work agreement' usually through their Human Resources Department then you can reduce your hours and pay without being penalised by the DWP as you can apply for PIP.

Please see the link below to the PIP how to claim page.

Their telephone number is: 0800 917 2222

Obviously you would have to apply and be assessed by whoever covers your area but with an employers agreement and a GPs backing you should stand a good chance of success. However, the procedure is not quick and it could take a few months.

Mind you, if your employer just forced you out I am afraid you don't really have much redress, unless you have been there more than two years and are willing to go to court? I sincerely hope that it will not come to that though.

If your employer is willing to be fair you can always negotiate a deal to try and appease them and satisfy yourself.

I honestly and genuinely wish you luck with this, I do not believe that you will find it easy but from what you have written it doesn't sound like you have much choice anyway.

All my hopes and dreams for you



Hi Paul,

Ken gives some very sensible advice. I would remove the worry about the impact on benefits straight away, as it doesn't sound as if you'd be doing anything voluntarily. If they are changing your contracted hours because there isn't enough work to be done, then you could try and negotiate with them to try and find a suitable alternative post within the company which would allow you to keep your hours up, otherwise you really ought to be compensated for the partial loss of employment.

However, looking at the overall picture, if you honestly feel the aim of the game is to eventually manage you out of the business, you might want to consider approaching your employer on a 'without prejudice' basis to discuss a compromise agreement where you would be entering into an agreement to leave for an amount of compensation and a decent reference, before they have chance to start the ball rolling. The attraction of this for them is that it is cheaper, and quicker that having to go through the process of getting rid of you and sticking to the disability employment laws, which are a minefield for employers. By entering into a compromise agreement (they've just changed their names to settlement agreements in law but your employer may not know this), you are agreeing to forfeit your right to take them to an Employment Tribunal for disability discrimination or constructive dismissal etc. in return you would get a lump sum, like a redundancy payment, and a good reference, the wording of which you'd get to have a say in.

It's a lot to think about, and you might not be anywhere near that stage, but since you are already worrying about the effect on benefits I thought it was worth mentioning. I went down this route with my employer as I had a good claim for disability discrimination, but couldn't have faced the tribunal - and they were trying to get rid of me for having had too much time off. This way, my horrible manager was gutted because he didn't get to put the boot in, and I got a little nest egg.

Good luck




Thanks both. That's quite hopeful. I've been with this one a year but was TUPE over from a previous so presumably effectively 5 years. I'd say small or small to medium.

Well done Alex 'cos u put the boot in :P


You've actually got a better chance with a smaller firm as they have a lot more to lose. I was taking on the Secretary of State, so they already have a team of lawyers employed to deal with grievances etc, and can afford to absorb the costs a bit more. I had to get a very expensive lawyer to do my negotiating and my payout wasn't great. With a small firm, you would be able to do it on your own, and fairly amicably I should think - and it would be in their interests not to drag it out. However, the problem with small firm means less likely to be able to find an alternative role for you to make up for hours in. Anyway, obviously, I'm not working now so can't give legal advice as I'd be struck off, but if it comes to it, and you need to bounce any questions off me I'm more than happy to help, as a not remotely legal person at all, honest...



Ta. I'll bear that in mind. It's early stages yet so I thought I'd try to stay 1 step ahead, or at least not fall behind. The boss is ok and fairly hopeful and made some reasonable comments so I think we can work it correctly. You're right. There's no alternative place in the company. He suggested I drop 1 "day" of 2hrs each week. It would help physically but I'm worried about coping with finances. Your answers give a bit of hope. :) :)


Hello Fenbadger,

As you've had many answers with advice, please may I add that we have a Work & Fibro page on the website which may be of interest;

Also if you'd like to email me, I can provide you with information by email about your rights and reasonable adjustments.

To help the understanding of employers & colleagues I would suggest either printing out factsheets to place on notice boards or give to employer or alternatively I can send you out an awareness pack as I think I have mentioned before with posters & flyers.

The post below contains a letter from the 'Land of chronic fatigue to the healthy world', I wonder if this explanation may help too;

Best Wishes

Emma :)

FibroAction Administrator


Ta Emma. I'll look into this over the weekend. There's a lot there. I'm still finding my way around so please forgive my stumblings. I've found some answers by browsing and I hope experience will make this easier. :) :)


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