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Smudge
16th June 2012, 18:30
Hi
My partner is undergoing tests for MND & his Neuro Surgeon has said that he is 95% certain that this will be confirmed following some electro tests he is having next month.
John is a coach driver & a couple of weeks ago was called into see his manager & suspended on full pay pending a medical with the company GP. She read the letter that the Neuro had sent John which basically set out his MRC results for his hands at 4/5, that he is mildly dysphonic (this has got worse in the last few weeks) & that his right wrist does not move independantly, although his fingers & arm do & his lower body strength is normal. The Neuro is aware of John's occupation & said that he is ok to drive, but the comapny GP has disagreed.
John has now been called in to see the managers on Thursday to discuss his future.

I know that there are lots of uncertainties, & the MND diagnosis is not fully confirmed, but is there anyone that can give me advice on whether they can sack him. As he doesn't have a confirmed diagnosis I am not sure whether he would be covered by the DDA or not.

I'm kind of at the end of my tether because he is refusing to accept the possibility of MND & is adament that there is nothing wrong with him & I am trying to make sure that he is treated fairly & in line with employment legislation.

I just need some help from someone, somewhere please.

pete
16th June 2012, 18:50
Hi smudge,

well been there so , the answer is yes they can ,but then they can face you taking them to a tribunal for unfair dismissal, I would think having been in your husbands position, when safety is concerned with passengers ,they are considering this when the company GP says he isnt fit to drive a PSV but well able to handle a car , I know for sure you need to keep on to them and if the worst happens suggest you get in touch with the union if he is in one ,I was lucky as they wanted redundancies and if you can call it luck, i managed to get it on grounds of failing health , As for your case i would think they would try to make reasonable changes ie offer him an office job maybe for the short term to see how it works out , most firms try not to make your problems worse , I wish you well and hope it all goes well for you ,The laws is on your side thankfully with disablement issues , but all the hassle isnt something you need or want on top of everything esle your having to deal with.

regards
pete

Smudge
16th June 2012, 19:03
Thanks Pete, that's really helpful.

He is in the union & the company are currently trying to offer full time drivers compensation to reduce their hours as they have mainly school contracts so are paying drivers to do nothing during the day & school holidays, & by a spooky coincidence John is a full time driver...

I can see a fight coming on, but whilst I'm waging war against them, I have something to vent my anger at so I guess there is a positive!

pete
16th June 2012, 19:09
hi smudge ,

well its always the way , never one thing ,to contend with , Wish you all the best

pete

steve67
16th June 2012, 19:26
Thanks Pete, that's really helpful.

He is in the union & the company are currently trying to offer full time drivers compensation to reduce their hours as they have mainly school contracts so are paying drivers to do nothing during the day & school holidays, & by a spooky coincidence John is a full time driver...

I can see a fight coming on, but whilst I'm waging war against them, I have something to vent my anger at so I guess there is a positive!

Ok,here goes
In the short term the company should put him on restricted duties ie none driving untill diagnosis is confirmed.If its bad news then he can either carry on on restricted duties if the company have a position available or failing that he would have to go sick leave terms and conditions of employment will dictate for how long he will be paid.You may want to look into Disability living allowance and any other benefit he may be entitaled to.

Smudge
16th June 2012, 19:45
Ok,here goes
In the short term the company should put him on restricted duties ie none driving untill diagnosis is confirmed.If its bad news then he can either carry on on restricted duties if the company have a position available or failing that he would have to go sick leave terms and conditions of employment will dictate for how long he will be paid.You may want to look into Disability living allowance and any other benefit he may be entitaled to.

Thanks, his company do not pay sick pay at all so it would be SSP only. We know already that they will say that there are no alternative duties available, despite the fact that every route has to have a detailed risk assessment in place & John has been responsible for doing these for some time & there are still loads to do. There are also loads of new part time drivers who need to be taught routes, and again, this is something that John could do, but all the company are interested in is losing drivers, by whichever method they can get away with.

Smudge
21st June 2012, 23:18
So, a quick update.

John had his meeting today & finally saw a copy of the letter from the company GP, which confirms that she considers him unfit for PCV driving, but has not written to the DVLA as she is waiting for the diagnosis of MND to be confirmed.

His company have said that they will email other parts of the business to see if he can be used there, but this is only the lip service they have to pay to their DDA obligations & nothing will actually come of it. Although, interestingly, the company's own website is currently recruiting for and H&S assistant, which is exactly what John was doing for them for a few months last summer, so in my view, he should be considered for that. He has also been told that his medical suspension has now been withdrawn & he has to provide a med cert from our GP. Again, I'm unconvinced that this is correct as I thought he should stay on medical suspension whilst they look for alternatives.
If no alternatives are available, then they will start proceedings to medically retire him. This is the best option from our point of view as it helps with the next step which will be with DWP. The union rep who represented him suggested that he goes to stack shelves in Tesco once he has been pensioned off - which would be great, if John could actually take any weight in his right arm/hand. My sister works for DWP, & has offered to help us with that part when we need it.

Thanks again for the advice & experiences you shared, it helped me drum some important stuff into him before he went this morning, which he really needed.

Wendy

pete
22nd June 2012, 15:12
So, a quick update.

John had his meeting today & finally saw a copy of the letter from the company GP, which confirms that she considers him unfit for PCV driving, but has not written to the DVLA as she is waiting for the diagnosis of MND to be confirmed.

His company have said that they will email other parts of the business to see if he can be used there, but this is only the lip service they have to pay to their DDA obligations & nothing will actually come of it. Although, interestingly, the company's own website is currently recruiting for and H&S assistant, which is exactly what John was doing for them for a few months last summer, so in my view, he should be considered for that. He has also been told that his medical suspension has now been withdrawn & he has to provide a med cert from our GP. Again, I'm unconvinced that this is correct as I thought he should stay on medical suspension whilst they look for alternatives.
If no alternatives are available, then they will start proceedings to medically retire him. This is the best option from our point of view as it helps with the next step which will be with DWP. The union rep who represented him suggested that he goes to stack shelves in Tesco once he has been pensioned off - which would be great, if John could actually take any weight in his right arm/hand. My sister works for DWP, & has offered to help us with that part when we need it.

Thanks again for the advice & experiences you shared, it helped me drum some important stuff into him before he went this morning, which he really needed.

Wendy

Hi Wendy,

Well so much for being in a Union, if thats there input, mind you it helps to know you have them to help out if needed even if the reps a bit of a div? . As for the DVLA side When i contacted them to say i had MND , they where pretty good and despite taking my motorcycle licence away for good reason i think , issued me with a 3yr licence after contacting my GP, so if your hubby is ok to drive the car , thats one less worry for you both. Hope you get sorted with the DWP and having someone who knows there way around is going to be a big help. Wish you luck and try to keep smiling its not always easy but ,its better than the other option.

Regards
Pete

roy
22nd June 2012, 17:56
Hi Pete,
Snap the same for me, i sent my licence back to dvla together with yet another form and after 2 months recieved notification to apply for a 3 year licence and yes lost my motorcycle licence, no problem couldnt ride anymore-but I had send my passport, get a photo passport type
and will recieve the new card type in 3 weeks.I know Im not on my own, but I get really cheesed off with all these bloody forms.

thats better.

Roy.

pete
22nd June 2012, 20:25
Hi Roy,

Yes me too , but they keep comin, everything you do involves more forms , Its much the same for giving bloods , they must have , enough by now. And yes the bike license oh well saved me from falling off it ,Dont think i could hold a bike up know let alone hang on for dear life .?

pete

luce
23rd June 2012, 19:49
just wondering have you explicitly asked them to consider him for the H&S post as a reasonable adjustment under the Equality Act?

best wishes
luce

Smudge
23rd June 2012, 21:11
He has asked the Union Rep to raise it. The problem is that John works for one company & the H&S vacancy is part of another company, both of which are under the same parent company umbrella. This is a bus company who buy up individual bus/coach operators around the country & maintain their individual identities & terms & condidtions, unless it suits THEM to dip in & out of the arrangement.

To be honest, I think the Union Rep is totally useless & he's the regional rep! He's also a close friend of John's which makes pulling him up on his poor representation a bit difficult. I want to get specific legal advice, but John is content at what is happening. He is still in denial with the potential MND diagnosis, although he is slowly accepting things & I don't want to push him too hard. I am happy to fight tooth & nail on his behalf, but I don't want to do that at the expense of his self confidence & mental wellbeing. He needs to maintain as much independance as possible for as long as possible & if that means he makes a few dodgy decisions then I will have to live with that.

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