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Question
Posted by: worried!!! | 2011/03/19

how does one go about being boarded??

my employers have told me i am no longer the employee i was since being diagnosed bipolar/depression. They asked if i want to settle or go the long route. Obviously i chose the long route. First step was seeing a GP but what happens next? I was shocked to hear they were not satisfied with my work performance as i was never told anything until now. Can you explain the " boarding process,"  please? I have bipolar but am not lazy or incapacitated. Can you offer me advice?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

This is a technicality I haven't dealt with in ages, and I think the procedures probably differ somewhat in different companies and industries. AMong our excellent usual readers there are some I think who would know this issue well, and maybe after the long weekend they'll find this message and reply really usefully.
BUT I do think you need advice from a labour lawyer and the Dept of Labour, as it should be illegal and is certainly improper and an unfair labour practice for any amployer to effectively sack an employee for being diagnosed with any illness, including this one.
And they cannot now try to cover up for their dirty motivations by suddenly pretending to be dissatisfied with your performance, especially if there have been no written and formal complaints before now.
Do get formal advice from a lawyer, even a trade union if there is one applicable to you. This sounds like highly shabby behaviour on the part of this employer

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Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2011/03/22

Also check with your company HR department to get the disability policy details. Sometimes the requirement is that you are unable to do the job you''re qualified and employed to do (i.e. You might still be able to work in a different job but it could be at lower pay, so they still pay out a certain percentage). Other times the requirement is that you be unable to do any job. You have to check the policy documentation to see how they would pay out.

It rather sounds like they''re only using your illness as an excuse though. If there is something wrong with your work performance, they should at least have given you first verbal and then written warnings - otherwise they don''t have a legal leg to stand on when trying to claim that your work performance isn''t up to standard.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: PUrple | 2011/03/22

The term boarding refers to whether your companies pension fund are willing to pay you disability pay basically - ill health retirement.

So, if you meet their requirements for not being able to work, you can then earn about 75% of your salary and be " boarded"  or retired for ill health reasons. The usual requirement is that you not be able to do any kind of work at all ever again.
See your HR representative about this and they can give you the application forms which will tell you which types of specialists assessments etc you need. If your company has a doctor or nurse (not primary health but occupational health) then they will assist wtih some of the assessments and explaining things to you too.

INcapacity is considered a no fault dismissal - in other words, it means that through no fault of your own, your are unable to do the work. It can come about because of a disabling injury, illness or because someone was hired to do a job that they can''t actually do (this one fault can be found though as sometimes its from lying about qualifications), often though this is from a person thinking they have done certain tasks at a previous job but actually only having done them very superficially under guidance by another and not actually able to do them themselves.

If you feel that your performance is not below the required standard, start gathering evidence of this. The fact that they have never said anything and this came out of the blue is something you can use as well.
I''d also contact a lawyer if I were you.

Reply to PUrple
Posted by: worried!!! | 2011/03/21

Thank you both for your advice. I have never been in any kind of trouble before and having this happen, is the most scariest as well as humiliating experience ever. It feels as if I am fighting to save my life. I know they are hoping I have some kind of relapse which would make it so much easier to get rid of me. The sad thing is I still have a sense of loyalty to this company and don''t want to lose my job.

Reply to worried!!!
Posted by: Eric | 2011/03/21

I agree with CS - first step for you is a good labour lawyer. His analysis is correct they are trying to use your illness against you and that is not on. They cannot dismiss you for being ill. And there are two parts to a valid dismissal  namely the procedure and the reason for dismissal. As it stands this looks like your employer is wrong on both counts and could be severely penalised if a CCMA complaint is brought by you. Until you are fully aware of where you stand legally do not verbally agree to anything or sign anything before consulting an expert. Also play your cards very close to your chest and be careful that you do not knee jerk or do or say something stupid that they can use against you. Things will likely get nasty when they realise you are taking legal advice so best get prepared asap and all the best...

Reply to Eric
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/03/20

This is a technicality I haven't dealt with in ages, and I think the procedures probably differ somewhat in different companies and industries. AMong our excellent usual readers there are some I think who would know this issue well, and maybe after the long weekend they'll find this message and reply really usefully.
BUT I do think you need advice from a labour lawyer and the Dept of Labour, as it should be illegal and is certainly improper and an unfair labour practice for any amployer to effectively sack an employee for being diagnosed with any illness, including this one.
And they cannot now try to cover up for their dirty motivations by suddenly pretending to be dissatisfied with your performance, especially if there have been no written and formal complaints before now.
Do get formal advice from a lawyer, even a trade union if there is one applicable to you. This sounds like highly shabby behaviour on the part of this employer

Reply to cybershrink

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