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Need advice on best way to finish work

Hi everyone, i would like some advice on how to finish at work. I have suffered with RA for nearly 20 years and this last 2 years it has gotten worse, i have pain most days now.

I work in admin for the NHS and i am finding it really difficult to carry on.

I have started a little business that developed from a hobby that i can do at home and it suits me great as i can work the hours when i feel good and rest when not, i have been thinking for a while about finishing at work but not sure the best course of action. I am a single mum with a mortgage so need to make sure i do this the right way. I have a work pension but not sure if i can apply for that as i will be working from home.

Please help, any advice welcome.

4 Replies


Not knowing your age and whether the NHS has made reasonable adjustments to retain you it's difficult to advise so my comments are general. An option would be to pursue early retirement on the grounds of ill health, it's worth checking your pension rules to establish the criteria. I would imgine you'd get a lump sum as well as an annual pension and if you're lucky the lump sum might be enough to pay off your mortgage? It doesn't necessarily matter that you're starting a form of self employment through home working as the nature of that work may be very different to your admin role, does your employer know about this?

Another option might be to volunteer for redundancy if there are any restructures on the horizon but that would depend on whether financially you're better off pursuing ill health retirement (depends on your age and pension rules as above). You have a decent length of service and those who volunteer typically get enhanced rather than just statutory redundancy pay

Are you sure you want to leave, are there any options around reduced hours, flexible working, adaptations to your working environment/role etc?

My advice would be to do all your research before coming to a conclusion and perhaps have a dicussion with someone in HR and your manager in the first instance so they can help you develop options

Hope this helps

All the best

Ronnie x


Thank you so much Ronnie, this was really good advice. My work have been really good and have changed my hours, adaptions etc, all that is great but i struggle getting ready and getting to work and then while at work i am typing so my fingers are killing (as they are now) and i get so tired and then another flare up so means time off work then another meeting with HR and OH which stresses me out, i just feel that working from home would really benefit my health as i will have less stress and can rest when need to. I have now been diagnosed with Hydradenitis (disease of the sweat glands) apparently linked to RA so now i have that to deal with, it's just endless. I have been tempted to just hand in my notice but worried if i do that i will struggle financially. I will really be upset leaving work and my colleagues but my health is really deteriorating so need to do something. Thanks again for the advice and will look into everything before i make a decision. X


Yes, do investigate carefully first. Some of the public sector still has the age related rules, so things change a lot if you are over 50 or 55. And if you are, and they do have the same system, there might also be the option to take your pension early, ie now. But it won't be an enhanced pension, so it will be whatever you have earnt in pension years to date. So well worth asking about medical retirement as then they can enhance your pension so it will be as if you had carried on until full retirement age.

It's hard when you are struggling, as you just want to stop, Which is what I ended up doing as just took straight redundancy a few years ago. And didn't get any extras, as the cuts had knocked any generosity on the head. And although sometimes I wish I had held out for medical retirement, my health has been so much better since I stopped full time work thatI don't really care (except when I look at the bills on the mantelpiece!). So take your time. Polly


Thank you Polly for your reply, i am aged 46, i rang Acas today for some advice also and they have said what both of you have said, i should speak to HR and OH and the pension service first before i actually go ahead and do anything but most importantly i need to make sure that my medical professionals are willing to back me up and provide medical evidence on my condition. They also said it was ok for me to apply for ill health retirement even if i have started a little business at home as that is down to me being responsible for my own health. So i am going to speak to rheumy soon and then to work. Thank you again for replying it means a lot knowing there are other people out there on your side and understand this awful illness. XX


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