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Fibromyalgia Action UK
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How do you safely end your job?

Hi guys! You've heard from me before moaning about this and that. Well we all understand what FM can be like!

I thought I'd pick your brains as some of you may have dealt with this and I can't get a hold of Citizens Advice. (I'm in South East UK)

Don't get me wrong, I love my job and really don't want to leave but think it's probably inevitable, but I don't know whether it would be better to jump rather than wait to be pushed? Can I explain?

My work have told me I have to go in every work day, even if sick. If I am I'll they can make a judgement call on whether it's me pulling a sicky or I'm really too ill to work (though they put it better than that). I've been off a lot over three years. FM has been taken into account and my union have done all they can. Sorry, rather bluntly put. Bit of a sensitive point.

Anyway, my back keeps causing me a lot of problems, I've dragged myself in only to be sent home and my family are pleading with me to stop doing this to myself. They don't understand how much I love working there. I've been trying, half heartedly to contact the CAB, (if you can call ringing solidly for hours) but haven't queued up for an appointment as I don't want the pain.

I pay a portion of the mortgage, paying off some loans, pet insurances, plus it cover the costs of birthdays/Christmas etc.

I get DLA at the moment, £56 a week (I think) for mobility which pays for my mobility scooter and the odd taxi or contribution towards petrol and my husband is earning a good wage, paying the mortgage, food, electricity etc, etc.

Should I wait until work 'let me go'? Should I ask for Medical Retirement? Or, next time I'm bad, not put up such a fight and let things happen?

What have you done? How did that turn out? How did you get hold of the CAB?

What benefits might I be entitled to? I don't think they're going to award the carers award.

15 Replies


You have a lot that you need to talk through, some of it with people who know the legal position and financial implications.

I suggest you speak to a solicitor who specialises in employment law. There is no reason for you to lose out because of your disability but at the same time your employers also need a reliable employee. Knowing what the legal position is will help you to make the decisions which will obviously have implications for you and your husband financially.


1 like

Your best bet sweetheart is cab they have helped me immensely and gotten me my ESA and pip they are also helping me with my debt's and loads of other stuff but I must say it is very hard to get either I was taken off it and put on JSA and made to do loads of different things including going to sign on every week eventually they stopped my money all together due to me not being able to get out of bed to sign on leaving me almost 6 mths with no money at all ifit wasn't for my son working part-time to put it blunt I would of died as I don't have much family around me it was my tenancy support worker and cab who got me my money sorted out I have just gone for a medical for pip they have told me I should defo get it because of all the different things I have wrong with me good luck and I hope you get sorted I know how you feel as I used to work and do my fitness DVDs everyday twice a day and now im confined to my home so frustrating xxxx


I think if you hand in your notice it may mean you cannot collect benefits although i am not 100% sure on this. My daughter worked for a company she had been honest with them when she started explaining her health she has had a bad flare up along with a tear in something around her hip joint she is 21 and has been complaining for her hip for years and recently saw a rheumatologist privately he was loathe to do anything as she had an MRI scan in 2013 but decided to do another one and the new one showed a significant deterioration and he was shocked about the tear and has referred her to see an orthpaedic surgeon. She is in the middle of sorting out her ESA but her work called her in and she was seen by the company DR who said she is unfit for work so she was basically given a choice either leave or they would sack her. she chose to leave and then contacted the DWP to claim ESA contributory based she has just filled in the forms and is now awaiting to hear about an assessment she applied for PIP 27 weeks ago she has really been hit hard with the hip problem and found she just couldn't sit at a desk. I understand what she is going through as i have osteoarthritis in my hips, knees and hands. If your company have a dr maybe you could get to see him/her and see if they will do a report for you which is what the company did for my daughter.

Yesterday she had to collect another unfit for work note or whatever they are called today she also asked for a copy of the first letter from the rheumatologist she had seen before she had her MRI and he had written he was loathe to do another MRI but he would do it anyway basically if she hadn't had that done she would have probably done a lot more damage she can't hardly walk and can't even bear the quilt touching her hip. Basically what i am saying is if you feel you cannot do your job properly and are feeling you are letting them down then you could see about being retired on medical grounds this happened to me twice but a long time ago so things may have changed.

Have you tried emailing CAB i did that over another matter a couple of years ago and they got back to me and helped as much as they could the only other option is to go to there offices but you have to be there very early to get seen or thats the case here in Bournemouth/Poole. At the end of the day you are the one who knows how much you can and can't do as your body will be telling you. Not sure how long you have worked for the company or what statutory sick pay you are entitled to. I do know previously if you handed in your notice you couldn't claim benefits for 13 weeks but i think this may be different if you get a sick note from your dr and get ESA forms you may be entitled to contributory based ESA but it is very complicated sorting it all out. Its something you definitely need proper advice on. I would dearly love to go to work as i am at home alone most of the time but i know my body wouldn't let me have just had surgery on my left hand for osteoarthritis and i can't sit for long on an ordinary chair that you would sit on at a table as after a short time i would be in so much pain.

I may have waffled a bit here but the whole system is very complicated I hope you manage to get some good advice.

Take care



Hi Sarah Jane

It sounds like you really enjoy your job and would be upset to leave.

Are there any other option s, such as reducing your hours or suggesting a job share to your employer?

Maybe you could cope better with fewer hours.

Whatever you decide, good luck xx


Hi, when I spoke to CAB about a year ago, I was told that it is better to get sacked/medical retirement/redundancy on medical grounds. They said that if I resigned then there would be a much longer wait to qualify for ESA (think they said 6months)

I think it depends how supportive your work are, i am lucky that mine have agreed to redundancy on medical grounds. although it is still a very scary prospect to stop working & put a financial strain on my family.

I would recommending persevering to get an appointment with CAB, in case things have changed. They may also be able to advise you with regards to which benefits you can claim and when

Good luck xxx


Hi. I know exactly how you feel. I love my job as well. Earlier this year I spoke to my boss. (she knows how ill I have been). I had to reduce my hours. It is different for me though I don't get paid for my job. You will have to reduce your hours if it making your health worse. If you have a good boss they will understand. As for the CAB mine have walk in appointments one morning a week. Good luck with what ever you decide to do!


Hi Sarah Jane

I left work 3 years ago now. I loved my job and still miss it (was an exams officer in a college). I was suffering from bad depression at the time (had just had another diagnosis to add to the list, CRPS). I was off sick for six weeks and decided that i needed to concentrate on my health. I handed in my notice, then applied for esa. I was worried I wouldn't get esa because I resigned, but I did because I had been off long term and really wasn't well enough to go back.

Definitely get some advice first, but have a look at esa on the gov.uk website (may help).

I know it's a horrible thing, leaving, but it is the best thing for you to do for yourself.

Good luck!




Don't leave ,go off sick if you have to ,if you leave you won't get any help have you got everything documented as this is constructive dismissal and it's illegal ,get in touch with CAB ,ATOS your Union should help with that , if you need to be off as your sick you take the time off , I went off sick the first time in 4 years in jan and was so ill my body stopped working so so I'll , much better know ,I lost my job in July ,speak to your gp and Rhummie try not to stressed ,the admins and are gins ,Ken ,sian ,and Emma will be about in a bit and they will be able to give you so much info on what to do or not as the case my be ,they have been brilliant with me ,take care don't panic and don't be bullied ,if you leave you won't get the financial help you need ,they have a process they have to follow by law if they don't they can be prosecuted etc take care xx


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Hi Sarah Jane,

I had to stop working in 2002, my job at the time was in redundancy/redeployment situation, I worked for my local authority & had worked for them over 20 years, I had been put into the same corner chose to leave or be dismissed, I hung on til the last possible moment & was offered dissmisal on medical/redundancy so got my works refundancy package they also filled in forms to be sent to DWP & I received Incapacity Benefit now named ESA which changed for me just in June passed, to ESA work related benefit - which I'm surprised at as not been able to work 12 years & when benefit name changed I had to fill out a 20 page form! There decision was at the moment I am declared unfit to work but put on ESA work related benefit!!!! I wrote in beginning of July to change from ESA work related benefit to go onto ESA support group I know they opened letter on 24th July as my work assesment adviser told me on the 25th July & I'm still waiting on an answer, benefit system is really hard & stressful to contend with, phlebo 123 gave really good advice seek employers medical & can only work in your favour! Best of luck, I hope from your answers you can gleam some helpful information xx


Hi Sarah Jane,

was that phone number I gave you any good. ( not the CAB one but the other?) Can they help?

I jumped before I was pushed but totally understand what you are saying about loving your job so much and also the financial implications. There is a site called "what Benefit" that might help you. It's anonymous so you can check out your personal situation.




Hi I have been off work now for 12 months during which time I have met with my manager monthly. Thursday gone I met again with my manager and a man from HR who I believe had told my manager that I had no chance of retirement through I'll health. In the first 10 minutes of meeting me the HR man said 'have you thought of early retirement ( I'm 55) he then said if he was deciding he feels I'm too Ill to return. I will be putting in for I'll health retirement but there are no guarantees that I will get it.

Maybe you should ask for such a meeting so they can see how sick you are but I really think you need to be off sick first as it would show that both you and your GP think you are too sick for normal duties. I should add that the HR man had asked my manager what other work I could do within the establishment but he now knows that the answer is none.

I have recently seen CAB on a different subject, they tend to only work certain days or just mornings, in the end O went to the office and made an appointment , they were very kind but not much help really. Dr's letters are the best ammunition after all the people in work are not doctors so how can they argue with such.

Wishing you all the best with you problems. Lorraine x


I'm from the USA and here if they

let you go, you can collect unemployment. I've lost three

jobs over the last 12yrs. Now I have

a good job driving for Special Ed.

I've missed quite a bit of time due

to fibro. Not sure about your laws

there but don't give up if you

like your job. Let them let you go

with a good reference. I hope

this helped good luck! X


I too am hanging on by my fingernails (in more ways than one). I am waiting for employer to make a decision with regards to my future employment as I believe if you make yourself out of work you cant claim benefits immediately and then how do you survive? Good luck. Joolz.x


Sorry but that is a tough one? My advice would be to seek legal advice! I want to wish you all the best of luck.

Good luck

Ken x



My name is Mike and I have Fibro with a lot of pain, but it is not constant, it varies from area to area and time to time. I guess that it is the same for all of us with Fibro.

I am at the same point as you, wondering if and whether to give up work and what to do about it and how to do it.

My G.P. has told me to force my employer to make me medical redundant as it forces Social Security to start paying nearly immediately, instead of if you give up work you will have to wait 6 months before being able to claim.

That having been said I went for an assessment 2 weeks ago for PIP, and I managed to score a grand total of ( now don't laugh) ZERO!!!!!!!!!

Oh how I laughed when that came in the post.

I just wish these people could live a day in our shoes.

I think they would reconsider the results very quickly.

Sorry for the whinge.

Mike Wright.


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