Fibromyalgia Action UK
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I got the sack today for being ill. Being disabled and now unemployed, what do I do? I've never been unemployed ever and for the last 28 years I've been a teacher in further education of maths.

Any help as to what steps I now have to go through as I just don't know.

My situation is

I live alone - no family

I have about 15 illnesses/disabilities

I have no friends around where I live - very transient community

Only got qualifications in teaching - further education only (can't reach in schools)

I don't know what to do now, or where to go, or who to talk to... no one!

So any help and advice would be welcome. ANY!

24 Replies

I'm so sorry you have lost your job. Are you in a union? If so, they should be able to give you some advice. Also, CAB are a good source of information and help.

I wish there was more I could say to help but you have done the right thing writing a post. If anybody has any good advice for you and messages of support it will be the people on here.

Please don't give up hope, and I hope you find some comfort soon.

Take care. Thinking of you xxx


step 1 citizen's advice bureau.

Step 2 jobcentre. You can phone them. You may be surprised at the support and you may need and be entitled to benefit.

You might wish to consider a claim of unfair dismissal as it's illegal to discriminate on grounds of illness. As I don't know your exact situation and history I cant comment much. It's no surprise a large organisation can behave like this. Try not to let it get to you as reactions under stress can be unproductive ("they" will win). Try to stay cool, calm and collected to the outside world. Scream indoors to release tension.

Good luck and lots of hugs.


I completely agree with the first two replies and can only add, have you had two verbal warnings and then a written one, if not then they are not abiding by the employment rulings (I say that, but it is only my understanding and I may be wrong)

Sending lots of positive strengthening vibes to you 😀😀

Foggy x


No warnings at all.


Oh dear, I have just been doing some more research into this for you and have found the following :-

"An employer doesn't have to give an employee 3 warnings, or even 1 warning but an employer should give the employee a chance to fix any performance issues. If an employer fires an employee who then makes an unfair dismissal claim, the Fair Work Commission will usually take this into consideration."

I'm so so sorry 😟😟😟

Foggy x


That's odd, I used to work in HR and you needed to give the warnings. Perhaps some companies do it to show that it's been a fair, recorded process?


Hi there, I just reading that back to myself, I, like you, thought there was a statutory 3 warnings etc., and as re-read it I see "the Fair Work Commission" and now I'm wondering if I got the excerpt from either an American or Australian website ? Hhmmm - thanks for pointing out, I must do some further research to make sure I'm not giving out wrong info 😳

Thanks 👍🏻😃 Foggy x


Well that would be easily done. I've done it myself sometimes, landed on a US or Canadian site and then gone to pay for something and the shipping has cost ten times more than the item! lol.


Good advice given already, they can't sack you for being ill, don't give up, all the best. To you

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Hi Hun, so sorry to hear you're going through this. I'm a TA. I'm hanging on by a thread, received a final warning last June. If I'm off sick once they can fire me. However, I can go in ill and be sent home though. My Union has been a big help. I've been fighting for three years. Have you been to Citizens Advice? Do you have a chance claiming unfair dismissal? Contact social services and ask for help. Surely they can do something?


I can only offer my support, nothing I can add to others replies. All best wishes to you. xx


Hi there, I am so sorry that you have lost your job. What were the actual grounds for your dismissal? If you were dismissed because of your illness/disability then you my have a claim against your former employer for unfair dismissal. Under the Equalities Act 2010, your employer is not allowed to discriminate against you on the grounds of your disability. There are so many questions I could ask you e.g. Did you employer make adequate reasonable adjustments? Do you have a Pension? Would early retirement have been a better option? If you are a member of a union then contact them for advice straight away. It may be worth visiting CAB and speak to your local Job Centre Plus about your situation. I was granted early retirement on ill-health grounds in January this year at the age of 36. My employer tried to get rid of me "through the back door" twice. The first time I ended up being re-deployed to another post, the second time they tried it but I ended up going off sick instead. I expressed my wishes r.e. Ill-Heath retirement so I went through with the process. Good luck with everything, all the best!


The grounds that I did not ring in everyday whilst I was I'll and in hospital.


I am so genuinely sorry to read this, and I want to genuinely wish you all the best of luck. I can see that you have been given some wonderful advice that I could not expand upon, so I just want to say please take care of yourself.

All my hopes and dreams for you

Ken x

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Hi, sorry to hear that you are in this situation. There is lots of great advice above and nothing more that I can add, so just want to wish you good luck. Take care, Mags x

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How hard and scary for you. Hang in there. We, on this forum, are behind you. Please do rant and explain as much as you need to. Really hope you can follow some of the advice above and get the help you need.


Poor you Tibby3A, it must be so awful to be isolated with no family or friends around you for support. Can you have a look in your local library to see if there are any groups you can join just for company if nothing else and to make new friends. Can you appeal about your dismissal on health grounds? Will you be able to claim sick pay, if not, how do they expect you to live! I hope you find something and life gets better for you soon, try and keep positive xxx


I think there is help available if you are dismissed on health issues. Will your doctor be prepared to back you up? Everyone else has given good advice, I just wanted to add how sorry I am to hear this. Sending good wishes and hope you can get help soon. MariLiz


im so sorry you lost your job.i lost mine thru sickness (years ago tho)and went on medical grounds .my works union helped/advised me and with the support of my then gp I applied for incapacity benefit as it was then.agree with what has been said -contact CAB who will advice you and job centre.thinking of you.


Well Tibby as you can see you have a lot of very supportive friends here on Fibroaction.

I think we need to know what happened and why in Further Ed you have warnings and all sort before the axe falls.

Your age is a factor to Tibby may I ask how old you are?

I do wish you well


I was a further educational Teacher for Years if I can help PM me.


I can't add much as this happened to me in February. I'm still waiting for another job to come along that doesn't have serious complications on my health. At the moment no job, no money! So unfair


Thanks to everyone.

I will throw some answers to questions here.

I am 49

I have been with a training company for the last 7 years

Prior to that 7 years with local authority FE

Before that 12 years with FE college

At the start 2 years special educational needs adults

I'm in Unite Union, my rep came with me to my meeting last Thursday. When we came out he said in all his years experience he knew I'd won and nothing would come of it. He is in shock.

I just don't know about benefits.

One thing that really worries me is that my landlord does not want remnants on benefits/out of work.

So now I have

Age against me

15 disabilities and illnesses in total

Facing homelessness

Unemployed and being pitted against people with no disabilities/difficulties

All this started in March, I was I'll and the Dr refused to give me a note for work to say I was not fit for work. Thanks to my Dr, I am now unemployed.


Hi Tibby, just wanted to give you another word of encouragement, you say that your landlord doesn't "want remnants on benefits/out of work" but you have been a tenant whilst in work and I am sure he will not change just because you now find yourself out of work. I doubt very much that you are the sort of person who is going to trash the place and be a nightmare tenant. I think a lot of landlords state "no DHSS" because the few who have been nightmares have given everyone else a bad name as I know from my own experience ! One agent told me not to mention being on Housing Benefit until I had met the landlord who would see me and realise I wasn't the "wrong" sort of tenant.

I hope this helps in some way 😀

Foggy x


Tibby, I cannot add any info to counsel you because I do not know of the UK's agencies and policies ...

But I DO sincerely hope that you can quickly find help and aid in your very difficult situation. Gentle hugs and comforting thoughts being sent your way ... Kathleen


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