A bit about me first, I am a bilateral below knee amputee due to meningococcal septicaemia back in March 2006.

My question is

I have been with my current employer for nearly 22 years the last 13/14 as an office based catering manager, however due to economic circumstances my role no longer exists and my employer want me to accept a different role which would involve working in a staff restaurant preparing, cooking and serving food, I have grave reservations about accepting the position as I can see potential health and safety issues relating to my disability. slips, trips, falls and any number of other problems.

Standing for any length of time is very uncomfortable on my lower spine, I am not sure about changing shoes as and when required as this causes discomfort until I become accustomed to the change in posture that is needed, medications, and also I have short term memory issues.

Anyone who has any experience of these issues any advice would be greatly appreciated.

4 Replies

  • Hi legless

    Well done for achieving a work history of 22 yrs with your employer including being able to return to work post meningococcal septicaemia with consequence of bi lateral below knee amputations. I can understand your reservation about accepting the job offered because yours no longer exists. Your right to be acknowledging that physically it would be probably more demanding than you could manage plus the concerns re safety. I have no experience in this kind of work situation but am wondering if it would be helpful to ring citizens advice as they would probably know who you should speak to to find out your employment rights with regards being offered only an unsuitable job to move too. Maybe your company by law, in view of your long service, have to offer something suitable or make the new job manageable for you. I just think that there is a 'disability rights' issue here that needs to be considered by your employer. Surely they cannot just offer you an unsuitable position so that you have to turn it down and they get away with you leaving rather than them sacking you?? I really think you need professional advice on this situation. If Citizens Advice can't point you in the right direction then there are other disability organisations that you could contact and ask - is there actually one called 'Disability Rights'???

  • I have just looked at Disability Rights on gov.uk and maybe worth a look as some possibly helpful bits:

    An employer has to make 'reasonable adjustments' to avoid you being put at a disadvantage compared to non disabled people in the workplace.

    You cannot be chosen for redundency just because you are disabled.

    Your employer might offer you 'suitable employment' within your organisation but how suitable depends on e.g how similar the work is to your current job.

    If you think the the job offered isn't suitable you can make a claim to an employment tribunal.

    You have the right to a 4 week trial period for any alternative employment your offered but you lose the right to statutory redundency pay if you don't give notice in that 4 week period.

    You can make a claim to an employment tribunal if you think the job you've been offered isn't suitable.

    My suggestion is the same - that you need to seek professional advice re the situation your posed with.

  • Thanks for the reply StrawberryCream,

    I am not in a redundancy position as yet, but I cannot refuse to accept the position unless I can give acceptable reasons as this could jeopardise and future redundancy settlement.

    My employer has already mentioned reasonable adjustments but I do not think that what they are proposing is a suitable reasonable adjustment, they are proposing the use of agency staff who would need to go through an induction process and then familiarise themselves with the position so it will be 3 days before I could get any proper work from them and for me this is not acceptable.

  • If I've understood it correctly you can say you will trial the newly offered job for 4 weeks but if it proves to be unsuitable as you predict then within those 4 weeks you have to inform your employer otherwise you will lose the right to redundancy pay?? Your post made me curious about what happens in these situations! I realised there had to be some kind of disability rights protecting people from their employer moving them to an unsuitable job so they could just put their employee into an impossible job so that they were forced to resign or told they are sacked because they weren't doing what was expected for the job. Have you sought advice from an organisation that can advise you on your legal rights with this situation?

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