Mutual Termination

Hi all,

I have just been offered this by my employers. I would get 9 weeks pay plus 2 weeks remaining holiday pay, minus tax.

My official sickness start date was Oct 27th, as I had taken 2 weeks off sick as holiday ( thinking it was just a short term, quick fix UTI/ sepsis case ) prior to this.

My relapse in itself lasted 2 months so I don't feel I have been given much time to recover - I have not even been off 3 months yet !

Had my OH appointment last Wed, who recommended I go back to GP and try again for a referral to neurologist so have made an apptment. Still having prob with right leg fatigue/generalised worse spasticity and going off to the right but better than it originally was. OH was lovely and the letter copy she sent to me outlines the problems at present but does say that I feel I have improved and hope to be stick free in a few weeks. I demonstrated my walking without the stick and she said I was 'nearly there' so I am rather shocked by this offer. The letter also states that she feels that my symptoms would likely qualify under UK disability legislation but ultimately the decision is one for a tribunal. I have to admit I don't understand half of this jargon !

I was off 6 months last time and received no hassle at all.

To add to the mix, my supervisor informs me that the building where I work is scheduled to be closed in March so I would be transferred to another busier/ faster paced site ( scary ! ) or possibly offered redundancy as a last resort. I have no idea what my best options are. S'nice to feel wanted, isn't it !

My head is in the shed !

I feel like as soon as I get rid of this pesky cold virus I should be down the job centre !

Surely there is something I can still do to support myself ?

Off for a sweaty dogwalk and thinking session !

Angela x

27 Replies

  • angelite heya its me annoying steve i think to be fair because youre feeling under the weather its difficult to put a plan together.

    i think your first stop should be citizens advice who will give it to you straight and where your options may lie .

    we are in the same old situation we re coming up against time and time again people who have no idea because theyve been fortunate not to be in our situation

  • Hey there, not as annoying as you think you are Steve : )

    Thanks for your advice - I was wondering if this was the route to go.

    Yes, I will definitely be waiting until I feel a bit less rough !

    I simply have no clue how things like this proceed as I was never put in this position 3 years ago - just telephone calls to OH during the 6 months and a final face to face before my return. Seems like things have really tightened up since then. Having a proper diagnosis would be a help, I feel but not holding my breath for that one ! x

  • angelite youve got a brain injury ? have you had any scans ?

  • Steve, make a brew and pull up a chair - it's a long story !

    3 years ago I became ill, stiff neck, movement disorder, muscle spasms,autonomic dysfunction, adrenal probs etc. I was scanned 2 days into illness and told clear - thrown out to psychology and told 'all in your head'. 5 months later neuro told me suspected Encephalitis. GP also asked me if MS had been ruled out as both illnesses don't always show on early scans. I couldn't say, as no one in the hospital would tell me anything. EEG at 10 months ( v. late as was supposed to have this alongside scan )- I was told all normal but notes say mildly abnormal with slowed waves. I have positive reflexes, am positive for Romberg test, had white cells elevated for 5 months, lymph nodes raised for 2 - signs of immune activity/ inflammation. At 1 year the same neuro totally blanked my questions, offered drugs for spasticity symptoms, which I declined, refused physio and put me down as FND, telling me they did not know the cause and to read this website :

    With my positive neuro signs, I do not feel I fit the 'functional' criteria for this , which is based on all tests/physical exams being normal. It appears to be used as a holding pen for some people.It is standard that no further help is available after being given this label.

    Fast forward to recent events : UTI that turned into sepsis, in spite of oral antibiotics, two stays in hospital on IV, recurrence of many neuro symptoms from 3 years ago plus some new ones, lasting 2 months. Still trying to regain my base level of function.

    GP told me I was being put under investigation for MS. Had bloods taken a while later. On returning for results GP said my bloods were fine, there was no medical reason for my symptoms, therefore she could not help me. No further treatment or tests were offered - goodbye. Not sure what happened to 'under investigation' !

    OH have advised me to try for referral again , like most thinking people they do not feel bloodtests alone are adequate for neurological investigation and are often normal in such cases anyway - I have an appointment tomorrow. We will see. OH also advised that I could put a complaint in if I got no further - I do not feel too comfortable doing this, I am not a boat rocker, so hope it does not come to that.

    In essence, I have not had a scan since the original 3 years ago.

    I appear to have long term symptoms typical of brain injury but no further scans or tests have been done to confirm or deny this. x

  • Angelite

    If you are a member of a union contact them as soon as possible.

    Definitely contact CAB as Steve says.

    Remember that your employer has responsibility to make reasonable adjustments.

    Sorry got to go now will try to get back later.

    Hope you find a good solution.


  • i agree with all of the above,plus you are a "vunberable" adult so work has a degree of responeabilty to you

  • thankyou razyheath43 forgot the vulnerable adult bit

  • Thanks, Random,

    Sadly I am not in the union. I have already asked if there would be another role where it wouldn't matter if I needed to use 'sticky' some of the time but not been given any alternatives. Given that they are closing buildings/ possibly making redundancies I am not surprised.

    They are in the position of knowing all the legal termination procedures, I am not, so CAB can hopefully fill me in x

  • Perhaps Join a union. Be willing to rock the boat. I have learned that you sometimes need to use complaints procedures in NHS to get help and correct treatment. Goes right against my inclination and up bringing but being nice and compliant can mean you suffer. Don't have to be rude just assertive.

  • Check out with the union cos my memory is not what it was....but I seem to recall bing told 'don't lt them fob you off with mutual termination', but whether that was sound legal advice or just someone being kindly stroppy on my bèhalf I on't know....

    how does the deal on the table compare with what you would get under redundancy ? If there is not much in it you may feel it is as well to leave and move on, especially si ce these things leave such a bitter taste.

    Sorry it has come to this, Angela, it does seem a bit premature on their part though.

  • Thanks Mal,

    I am not in the union - can I still check out with them ?

    I have been trying to access info on LCC websites on sickness/dismissal policies to help me but struggling to find exactly what I need.

    Yes, it seems rather premature to me too - like they have written me off before giving me a fair chance.

    Part of me just wants to go back, muddling through as best I can but I am afraid of my deficits showing and something being said. The pressure certainly makes you feel like trying x

  • I agree with what has already been said. When I was referred to OH, he put in his report both times, that in his opinion I would be covered by the equality act. I guess CAB or your union will be able to advise you what it means for you.

    I'm sure this is stress that you don't need. Take care of yourself.

    Sue x

  • Speak to the Equality Advice and Support Service, 0808 800 0082,

    They really helped me when a job offer was withdrawn when they heard I had an aneurysm and was requiring surgery in the near future. If your OH has stated that they believe you have a disability they may have shot themselves in the foot. They will advise if you have a case under the Equality Act 2010 and will advise you in which route to take to get the best advise going forward. I would call them before anybody else, in fact it was ACAS that told me to speak to them first.

    Good luck

  • So i'd like to propose that the employer is not always the devil in disguise !

    There are occasions where 'reasonable adjustments' are a cruel way of stretching out the inevitable, the employee tries their hardest but simply is bending over backwards to make it work (which it doesn't) is desperately unhappy and then starts underperforming ... then ends up going goes down the performance route ... which is soul destroying and can then impact your ability to claim benefits from the government.

    It may be that when you look unemotionally at the situation, your employer is trying to give you a way to secure a job which will be more sustainable to your ongoing situation. It allows you to claim benefits as you were not sacked, and gives you a payment to help tide you over.

    Sometimes we cling onto what we know, and do not give ourselves the chance to look at jobs which would be more suitable to our new reality. You could be very happy elsewhere, even if this requires a little retraining (which is available for job seekers)

    so heres my advise :

    1. Without knowing the nature of the company or your specific job, it is difficult to know whether your illness is making it impossible to do your job in the future even with reasonable adjustments

    suggestion : sit down with your boss and OH together and ask for the top responsibilities of your job, and list the adjustments which could be made. You need to take into account the new location when you do this.

    2. Examine what your redundancy policy is (it sounds like thats what they're proposing paying you anyway). Check that the timing of your payment does not fall just before you reach another anniversary year - hence entitling you to another weeks pay. You also need to see if theres any other things which would normally be in a redundancy package which they're not proposing for you. Redundancy also is not taxable upto a certain amount

    3. check if your short term sick pay has been exhausted (e.g. 6 months and now onto long term sickness)

    4. take all of this to the CAB or ACAS as this will enable them to advise you far more accuartely

    Of course there is the possibility that your company are been unethical or illegal and citizens advise will be able to tell you that. I did however want to propose that your company may actually be trying to spare you the harrowing experience of trying desperately to make it work when it won't work for you or the business

    Hope this is food for thought. Good Luck

  • Thanks NMgirl,

    Yes, I can see there may be 2 sides to this - after all, there are no guarantees that I will attain my former base level of function, or a level of function sufficient enough to do the job safely. I may be left with some right weakness/balance issues but my speed of recovery thus far leaves me hopeful.

    My job is cleaning and the company is Lancashire County Council. I already had to drop from 15 to 9 hours after my original illness 3 years ago and was transferred to another building to accommodate these reduced hours. I was off 6 months last time before I achieved fully stick free mobility. I understand that this is half the working year and another long absence this time will not be looked on favourably ( just short of 3 months, 1/4 of a year so far ). On the plus side, I have an excellent health record prior to my first time off 3 years ago and have completed 2 1/2 years without a day's sickness since then, using my holidays for time off when I 've had a particularly bad cold virus. Hopefully this illustrates to them that I do not take sick time unless absolutely necessary. I did take 2 weeks of holiday this time round before my supervisor insisted that I do not use up all my annual leave and put me on the sick instead - I would have been happy to use up my leave to delay the need for sickpay and subsequent

    pressure. I have looked at criteria for choosing redundancies and yes, absence is a factor so this will go against me.

    I have asked about alternative positions but have not been offered anything - with the current closing of buildings and possible redundancies to follow, in line with the need to cut costs I am not surprised.

    Oh, I have picked just a fine time for a relapse ! !

    As to clinging on to what we know - certainly true in my case : )

    Spent all my life cleaning/ general help to fit around the upbringing of my son so never qualified for anything else. It is a very competitive jobmarket these days and although employers are meant to practice equal opportunities etc. I am worried that me lurching in with a stick, sitting down with my leg going off in jerks, stuttering and losing words or train of thought, would possibly not make the greatest impresson !

    I can't help thinking that it is surely better from a government point of view for people who may have a relapsing condition to be able to remain in work where possible , even if some time off is neccessary at times, rather than be pushed onto benefits and not work at all. x

  • Morning, sorry to hear about this....and sorry haven't time to read all replies...but when faced with anything to do with work/hour/ pay since my abi oct 14 I contacted remploy. They were brilliant for me (tho haven't heard such positive stories from others)' for me they were fast ..visiting me withon 48 hours and subsequent queries dealt with by phone or email within hours. Have you tried them? I will try to think of more advice in the day....x

  • Oh....and do headway have advice line about this ??? X

  • Angelite

    Forgotbtonsay get copies of your OH reports. You are entitled to them and they are helpful at this stage.

    Further down the line copies of medical reports will be more useful.

    Love n hugs


  • Already have thanks, Random.

    They were so efficient the copy arrived in the post the following day after my interview : ) x

  • Speak to ACAS before you do anything! 0300 123 1100

    In a previous life I signed a compromise agreement out of an employment contract. Is there any form of insurance with your job?

    Don't underestimate the potential difficulty of getting a job once you're out of work.

    Dont let them rush you into a difficult position.

    Good luck X

  • hope it al works out either way,big hugs and hey you never know you could find a better job xx

  • Had another thought...have you asked about ill health retirement? You will only get Tier 3 ( that is 40% of your pension entitlement capped for 3 years/ until you start another job /are reassessed and bumped to Tier 2.

    It is more hoops but worth pushing for as it gives you some breathing space.

    I never expected to need a reassessment or to be bumped up to Tier 2 but hey that is me, ever hopeful....

    Union should talk to you if you give them a sob story...depends on whether your local branch is busy with the junior doctors....

    I will try dig out my old work letters where they described the process. I think it is pretty standard across all local govt. It might help. Xx

  • Haven't had chance to ask about any other options yet - Supervisor just told me she had been asked to offer me this mutual termination, outlined the terms and left me to digest it. Kind of came as a blow and I couldn't think of questions I needed to ask on the spot. Any info you might be able to dig up would be very much appreciated xx

  • Take time to get the right advice - think someeone has mentioned ACAS ( they may be helpful though I didn't find them at all useful ) and Disability Equality Officer ? Again local Remploy people ? I'm not part of any union and work for very small company so no chance of anything without getting specialist help in ....

    Just don't be rushed ..

  • Hi Angelite,

    You need to feel well before you can really tackle this (as others say). Just a couple of things, It does all sounds very complicated and you urgently need advice, but the title of your post is 'mutual termination'. It certainly does not sound like that, as they are not acting in a 'reasonable' manner - making you feel like this/or pushing you into a corner is NOT behaving appropriately. I suspect that your case does come under the disability and equality act as well, which does give you some legal protection/rights. Seek advice once you are well enough to do so and try not to get drawn into it all too much- focus on getting well. Can you get a family member to speak to them and update them on your progress on your behalf for a while? I did this and it took the pressure of me a bit until I could think straight. Last thing, if you belong to a union contact them get them to talk to them. Nothing can happen in any sense while you are unwell- the courts would see that as unreasonable behaviour by your employees.

    Hope this helps in some way- I know just how you are feeling as my employers were just as helpful!

    Take care

  • That's an utter disgrace! I have been off work since last October and my employer has contacted me to say that I should not rush back and wait until I feel strong enough for work. I estimate that will be in 2-3 months. I can sympathise with you though as my previous employer was hellish!!

  • I feel pretty certain that you are covered by the Disability Discrimination Act. I had a similar situation at work where I'd worked for 15 years since graduating from college at 20.

    I started dropping in disability discrimination until after 2 and a half years I was offered ill health retirement.

    I took it gratefully as it gives me a guaranteed income for life, even if was a third of what my salary was.

    Good luck, don't be rushed and seek advice from CAB and any other support groups you can locate

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