Unable to carry out my current job

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Hi I have recently had a successful removal of my left kidney due to a cancerous tumour 6.5 cm, my job entails a physical element to it and J feel I will not be able to carry out these tasks which are 80% of my role I started the job less than 6 months ago of which 3 months have been on sick, I am certain J will not have any other way to return to this role and there will be no other role with in the company ?

where do I stand legally can I withdraw from the contract as I have only been with them for 5 months and unable to carry out the role ? What can you advise ? 


  • Hi Milli1864,

    It's Megan here from Macmillan's Online Community team. Thank you for posting a question to our Work Support Advisers. I am just responding to your message to let you know that our Work Support team has seen your question, and is working to respond to your question as soon as they can. We hope you will find it helpful to hear from our Work Support team and are able to access the information and support you are looking for.

    In the meantime, we hope you'll find lots of support from reading other posts in the Ask an Expert section and by posting in our Community groups. If you need any help using the Online Community, please don't hesitate to email community@macmillan.org.uk

    Best wishes, 

    Macmillan's Online Community team

  • Dear Milli1964

    Thank you for contacting us at Macmillan Cancer Support. My name is Linda and I am one of the Work Support Advisers. I am sorry to hear about your kidney cancer diagnosis and the potential impact it may have on the ability to do your job.

    You do have the right to request reasonable adjustments at work if needed. If you have a disadvantage related to your cancer that impacts on your work, then the employer is under a legal obligation to help you. This is because cancer is a recognised disability under the Equality Act 2010 or the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (if you live in Northern Ireland). These acts require the employer to make reasonable adjustments to help you manage your health, for example they could provide you with an alternative job role as a temporary measure or lighter duties minimising the physical element of your job. To support your request your GP may write you a fit note that confirms you can do some work and can advise the employer that you need lighter duties or a phased return to work initially. Please see the ACAS Website and our booklet “Your rights at work when you are affected by cancer” for more information. 

    I would not advise that you resign from your post if you feel that you are able to complete your normal job role with some support in place from the Employer. It may be helpful to have an open conversation with your Manager to agree what duties you feel you are capable of and which parts of your job you may struggle with.


    Occupational Health

    It is normal practice for an employer to request an occupational health report when an employee has been on long term sick, particularly if they are about to return to work or if they are on  ‘phased return’. Advice from occupational health should help an employer understand whether they are likely to return to work. It should also tell them whether any reasonable adjustments should be made to support someone in their return to work.

    Here is a link to the NHS website that explains their work:



     I do hope this information has been useful but please do not hesitate to contact us again if you require further support.

    Kind Regards


    Work Support Adviser

    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email

  • Hi Linda /McMillans 

    unfortunately the position I hold currently is physical HGV / PSV bus  inspections and is 80% to 85% of the position there is no light duties to speak of there is only 9 people in the business! 

    I feel that with no other positions available in the business that would be considered as light work available to me .

    Many thanks 


  • Dear Milli1964


    Thank you for coming back to us with further clarity on your circumstances. My name is Alissa and I work alongside Linda in the Work Support Team on the Macmillan Support Line.  I acknowledge much of your work is physical and can see how this could be a challenge and a potential barrier in returning to work.


    As Linda mentioned, we would not advise resigning from your job because of the benefits attached to your employment contract, such as sick pay, accrued annual leave whilst you are off work sick, other benefits may also include pensions, private health cover, death in service to name a few but also your circumstances do not require you to do so. Resigning can in some instances also affect any benefits you may be entitled to.


    I am wondering if your employer is putting pressure on you to return to work. If you are not well enough to return to work just yet, then it is that you are signed off work sick by your healthcare team and that you are following their medical advice.


    Milli, only you and your medical team can decide if you are fit to return to work. Could it be that you require more time for your recovery to then begin to consider a return to work plan? With a referral and guidance from an Occupation Health Therapist there may be suggestions to reasonable adjustments that could be suggested to your employer, such as, a phased return, lighter duties, extra breaks which may help you when you feel you are ready to return to work. As Linda mentioned, your GP could also make suggestions to reasonable adjustments in a fit note.  Because of the Equality Act 2010 / Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Northern Ireland), an employer has a duty to consider reasonable adjustments.


    If you felt that your health was not going to improve to a level that would enable a return to work and if no reasonable adjustments could be made to help you, an employer may be able to consider instigating capability procedures. If they are looking at this, they should follow a fair procedure including a reasonable return to work date, and any reasonable adjustments that can be put in place to support your return and even consider an alternative role if one is available. For further information about fair and unfair dismissals this link will take you to the ACAS website.


    I hope this information has been helpful for you and please do not hesitate to come back to us or any of our teams if you require. You can either reply to this message, email us, or contact us on the Macmillan Support Line directly. We are available on webchat or via phone from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday. To call us, our number is 0808 808 0000 option 1, then 2, then 3.


    Best wishes 



    Work Support Advisor