When I was suspended from work on medical grounds without any legal/employment procedures being followed by the company, I was advised by the Citizens Advice Bureau to make a decision on whether I wanted to put a claim in against Dunlop Tyres for disability discrimination.
Either that, or just walk away from my job knowing that approximately 80% of brain injury victims are made unemployed by their employers and approximately 85% remain unemployed for the rest of their lives. Because of this statement published in a Rehab UK (brain injury vocational centre) magazine, I decided that I would not just walk away from my place of employment.
Another reason why I refused to walk away from my place of employment was because if I did, I was told by the benefits section that it would have been classed as my choice to leave work and I would not be entitled to claim Incapacity Benefits, Council Tax Benefits, Housing Benefits, Council Tax Benefits, free prescriptions, etc. I would have to be able to live on basic income support until I found a new job (85% chance of remaining unemployed for the rest of my life).
Because of these reasons, I decided that I would put in a claim of disability discrimination against my employer.
Whilst the claim was ongoing, I was asked by my employers, GMB Union and ACAS to consider negotiating a settlement which included the termination of my employment contract. I refused to take part in those negotiations.
It is in ACAS’s own records that I made it clear to them that the only negotiations that I would take part in were negotiations that made the company allow me to return to work and treat me fairly by adhering (DDA 1995) disability employment laws.
I do not believe that there would have been much difference financially; whether I took part in negotiations to be finished from work in this way, or being finished from work after losing my claim of disability discrimination against Dunlop Tyres, by being forced out legally, but against my wishes on medical grounds!
It must be remembered that it was 2003 when this occurred.
So this is what needs to be considered:-
A - If I won my claim of disability discrimination against Dunlop Tyres Ltd, I would have retained my place of employment, been paid a small amount in compensation for being a victim of discrimination, carried on being paid my full wages by my employers and waited until they found me a fair amount of work to carry out on a daily basis that would not affect my health (column A).
This means that I would have stayed in employment.
B - If I accepted to take part in those negotiations, where I accepted that I was finished from work on medical grounds, I would have been given a pay out by the company. I believe it would have been a lot more than £10,000 and be entitled to claim the following benefits (column B).
Or if I went ahead with my claim of discrimination, but lost the claim, then Dunlop Tyres would have started the correct legal procedures, which would have resulted in them paying me a financial pay out (redundancy package) with the termination of my employment contract on medical grounds where I would be entitled to claim the following benefits (column B).
Either way, I would have been finished from work legally and entitled to benefits.
C - After refusing to take part in negotiations with Dunlop Tyres Ltd, GMB Union and ACAS. The courts judged in favour of Gateshead Citizens Advice Bureau who claimed that I entered into negotiations with my representative over the phone and I agreed to leave work on voluntary grounds over the phone, which meant I accepted that I could only claim the following benefits (column C) with an 85% chance of remaining unemployed for the rest of my life.
This means that I agreed to leave work without being entitled to adaquate benefits that I am entitled too.
Compensation - £5,000
Wages - £300 gross/£225 net
£225 take home pay + compensation + fair job/retain working rights
Compensation/redundancy package - Well over £10,000
Incapacity Benefits - £90/week
Disability Living Allowance - £60/week
Mortgage Relief - £55/week
Council Tax Benefits - £10/week
Prescription - £5/week
£220/week + compensation + pension
Compensation/redundancy package -
Basic Income Support - £35
£35/week + Compensation/redundancy package