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A new start - LTS but wanting to return to school

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by derwood, Nov 24, 2016.

  1. derwood

    derwood New commenter

    My daughter has been teaching for a number of years and has always loved her job. She was registered disabled from childhood and until this Summer had only time off for appointments as her disability which is physically hadn't impacted on her daily life. In the summer this changed, her disability put her in hospital. She knows hand on heart that returning to the classroom is not going to happen for some time. Of course the school have followed their absence procedure. and although unspoken at present, it seems that the school will try to end her contract with an Settlement Agreement very soon.

    She is getting help from her union representative but she has asked me to find out whether others in the same situation have returned to school in a different role? She feels, and her doctors agree, that a less 'taxing' role would be the best way forward.

    Also when her half pay runs out is she still employed by the school and can she claim sickness benefit? (we have been trying to work this out on the government website but are still unsure of what she should be doing).

    If anyone could shed some light of what has happened to them I would be so grateful. (I do hope there are positive stories out there. There seems to be so doom and gloom in our profession).

    Many thanks,
  2. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Sorry to hear about the difficulties your daughter is having.

    As a disabled person, your daughter is protected from less-favourable treatment because of her disability.

    I trust the union representative advising her is not the school rep but the regional officer. Disability discrimination law is complex and school reps are unlikely to have sufficient knowledge to be able to advise. Ring the regional office.

    The change to your daughter's condition has only happened very recently, before which she was working effectively. Whilst an employer does not have to continue to employ someone with a disability indefinitely, this seems indecently hasty to me and suggests that the school may not be fulfilling its duties under Equality Act 2010.

    The school MAY NOT apply their usual absence procedure to your daughter's disability-related sickness absence. To do so would be a discriminatory act.

    Before moving to terminate a contract with a settlement agreement, the employer MUST first consider whether there is alternative work that they could offer her. Please encourage her to ensure that the advice she is receiving is accurate. If she accepts a Settlement Agreement, she will compromise any rights she may have to take action against the school.

    In terms of salary, if her entitlement to contractual sick pay were to expire, she would then be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. If entitlement to this ran out, she could claim Employment Support Allowance. She continues to be an employee of the school until her contract is terminated.

    See here for the details.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
  3. derwood

    derwood New commenter

    Thank you GLsghost.

    The rep is not the school one and has been on point with all advice to date,

    The school has a reputation like most these days and my daughter feels that she will not be treated differently to those that have gone before her,even with the DA.

    I know my daughter is hoping that the school will offer a different role. My thought is, would it be sensible to lay this hope on the table at her next meeting or wait for the school to suggest it? (Her rep may have already spoken about this with her).

    Thank you also for the link.
  4. derwood

    derwood New commenter

    Daughter in a real state this morning having been to a meeting with with HR and member of SMT. Both very off but daughter thought that honesty was the way forward. She told them she hoped to return asap but did not think this would be in term 3 and wondered what would happened if she could not return to the classroom. Her rep reminded them she came under the Equality Act and amendments should be made. However HR proceeded to inform daughter the school would be taking steps to dismiss her now on capability and implied no Settlement Agreement would not be entered in to.

    Daughter was also informed when asked about contact with her colleagues (she has had none not even a get well card) and was told that the school had felt it best that she was not spoken to by colleagues as it would put them in a compromising position.

    I am sure her rep will guide her but again if anyone can make suggestions I would be grateful.
  5. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Hopefully those who have expert knowledge will post advice - but I'd just like to say how disgraceful. Makes one very angry reading stories like this.
    RedBedHead94 and bevdex like this.
  6. install

    install Star commenter

    I think she should try and do a 'phased return' in the first instance and negotiate hrs and any changes that need to be made due to her disability and recent events. Your employer has a duty of care. I think it also wortwhile getting a Doc tor's note detailing what the school can do in light of her new problems.

    Of course- check all this with Union.
  7. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter

    If they are looking to dismiss her, they are messing up big time. Hopefully her rep will put her in touch with the Union's legal support people as she is likely to be able to claim discrimination or unfair dismissal. Please suggest it as something to ask. Is she working in an Academy?

    I had something similar and my heart goes out to your daughter. Was put on sick leave indefinitely over mental health issues. HT told me to come back or be dismissed, but hinted that a resignation would be taken peacefully. The NUT were powerless to assist me with constructive dismissal as I was an NQT in an Academy that would not recognise the union as a legal representative.

    If possible, try to help her seek legal advice outside of the Union, especially if they are unwilling to help. This treatment of a person with a protected status is completely not ok.
  8. bigbev

    bigbev New commenter

    As with RedBedHead I suggest you seek legal advice outside the union. Many lawyers will not charge for an initial contact and/or check your house insurance and see if you can get legal assistance through that.
    My heart goes out to you and your daughter as I know how stressful this will be.
    Good Luck

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