I have been told by my employers today, that due to my tiredness I am not capable of doing my job. Is this acceptable?

I am an engineer currently, formerly I have spent much of my career in Sales and Marketing. I fully disclosed my health issues when I joined the company. They wish me to work shifts but the specialists have thankfully advised that would be detrimental to my health.

Today they have advised me that I am in a process which I need to find redeployment within a month or else they will give me one month notice. The reason is that my tiredness is a potentially unacceptable health and safety risk. Papworth have advised me that I should not drive and should not operate machinery. At nearly 50 years old, this will virtually kill any chance of finding meaningful employment. (My previous career either required a driving licence or the ability to operate machinery).

I seriously am at a loss what to do.. no income support, no job, my house in jeopardy .. i can see the future is not rosy. Indeed will my wife be prepared to support me? Does anyone else have any similar experiences? I really could use some inspiration as I really don't want RLS to cripple my life entirely!

7 Replies

  • This is a good case of stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    If you take narcotics the night before to sleep, then can you drive

    or operate machinery? For many people only narcotics will work.

    Not working shift work sounds like a good plan but what if your entire

    life has been vested in that company? Can they really force you to

    resign or fire you even though you have a doctor's note?

    I'm upset after reading your post.

  • This sounds like garbage to me. Yes, okay falling asleep whilst at work does pose a health & safety risk but in the UK you are covered by disability discrimination legislation. If your employer considers you to be a risk to yourself or others then, legally, the onus is on THEM to assess your entire working set up and make whatever changes necessary to that environment to SUPPORT you in your work. They can't just sack you.Get support from an Occupational Health Dept if your employer has one. Look up discrimination act up online. I've been through similar to this and I think you're being illegally discriminated against. Best of luck, Tpebop, Kent, Britain.

  • Occupational health are involved .. I have recently stopped seeing them as they requested me to see my boss every day for the last six months, to log how tired I was .. Purely an exercise to load the gun!

  • If you have a note that says you cannot work all different shifts because it would be detrimental to health, the you ARE being discriminated against. I am in the US, but that would not "fly" over here. I would have, and DID , get a lawyer when I ran into the same kind of situation. They HAD to do what the Dept of Employment said, because of the doctor's recommendations. Of course, my employer treated me like crap after that, but I kept my job til I quit and went on disability. I would consult a lawyer over there on your side of the pond. I do help people get disability here in the US, but have no idea how it all works in the UK, although I am learning.

  • Well now, they have changed all the rules over here, its going to cost LOADS to get to a tribunal now, and thats just the start, cost occuring all they way along the case facebook.com/photo.php?fbid...


  • wow....thats harsh!!!

  • Some good advice, thank you. The confusion lies with definition of disability.

    It i easy for employers to demonstrate they have made "reasonable adjustments" .. Reasonable is a catch all that is biased towards a business.

    My employer like many don't want people who require different treatment, especially if it in the Employees favour, in a market where they believe getting replacements is easy, they want compliant individuals who are willing to sacrifice everything in "the cause".

    Work is all encompassing.. You will do as you are told.. Because you fear the consequences.

    If that is not your profile and you dare to challenge .. Then you are marked for termination.

    It is the same as redeployment .. We have a corporate website which lists all the jobs nationally .. As long as they print it out they can demonstrate that they have done their best to find alternative employment.

    I am afraid it is all getting very right wing.. Encouraging dictatorial styles of management.. I find this very scary, especially after recently visiting Auchwitz.. That is where we are heading.. You will comply or else, if you can't comply the consequences are not worth thinking about.

    But yes Cab, and Unite will be helping me.. I can't do anything until my period of sickness is over. apart from ask advice and get my strategy sorted to make the best for my future ..

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