You would think going into remission was good enough but I have struggled terribly for about 10 years since going into remission and am only now just getting counselling etc. My current employer is currently doing their best with me but I had to give up my civil service career after 29 years service. Would I be able to draw my work pensions before I am 55? I will be 50 this year and honestly don't know what I am going to do. Part of my problem is I am in a vicious circle of depression etc, etc and only really returned to work as my Family thought it would do me good.
Very much obliged for any advice and guidance you can offer me.
Hi annus horriblis,
Thank you so much for taking the time to get in touch with us about your work situation. I am sorry to hear that you have struggled so much over the 10 years since going into remission, I am pleased to hear that you are now managing to get some counselling support.
I am pleased to hear that your current employer is doing what they can to support you. From what you have written it suggests that this current employer is not your 29 years’ service with the Civil Service. If this is the case, then I am assuming that your pension fund is connected with your previous Civil Service role.
We have a team who specialise in this area caller the Financial Guidance Team, who can help in providing you financial support with your options and helping you to make an informed decision as to the best outcome for you. The Financial Guidance Team is available Monday to Friday on 0808 808 0000 from 8am till 6pm or by email.
If your contract of employment is terminated i.e. on the grounds of capability you would be entitled to a statutory minimum of 1 weeks’ notice for every full year you have worked for the company (this is capped at a maximum of 12 weeks). You would also be entitled to any accrued holiday entitlement that has not been used up till the end of your employment. It is worth checking your contract of employment as some employers offer enhanced notice pay. We hope that this will not occur, and you said your current employer is supportive, however if you need further advice please do come back to us.
It is important to remember that any contractual benefits, such as medical insurance, income protection insurance or death in service would end with the end of your contract of employment.
It is fantastic to hear that your current employer is doing their best to support you however remember that as you have a cancer diagnosis you are considered to have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 or Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Northern Ireland). This means your employer should not discriminate against you because of your cancer. Your employer is also under a duty to make reasonable adjustments to help you at work. This protection is lifelong and doesn’t depend on an active cancer diagnosis.
I have attached a link our booklet ‘Your Rights at Work’, which explains more about the Equality Act and how you are protected in the workplace.
If you do feel there are areas where you may need support I suggest you make a request in writing for reasonable adjustments to help you cope with your job. If you have a union rep you could discuss this with them. I have attached a link to Equality Advisory and Support Service template letters resource that you can use to request reasonable adjustments (titled “Request to make Reasonable Adjustments”). You can include suggestions about the adjustments you need. It may help to support your request with medical evidence from your doctor, such as a fit note that lists the adjustments you need. Your company may arrange for you to have an Occupational Health assessment to identify reasonable adjustments you may need, this can often help with formalising a back to work plan. If you are still unable to resolve things, then you may need to raise a grievance and it would be advisable to seek further advice at this stage.
I hope you find this information helpful to your situation if you need further support please do not hesitate to contact us back.
Work Support Advisor
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.
Thank you so very much indeed Su.
I am so very grateful beyond words.
Whatever cancer throws your way, we’re right there with you.
We’re here to provide physical, financial and emotional support.
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