HomeBlogSacked by the DWP after 34 years’ service for depression – and then found ‘fit for work’ by DWP/AtoS
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  • bridget price April 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    We are barely out of the dark ages with regard to mental illness! There should be no more stigma than there is for having cancer. The brain is just another organ and when its biochem goes wrong it is just as physical as when the biochem of another organ goes wrong.

    A person can no more ‘get a grip’ of their neurotransmitters than they can of their insulin levels when the pancreas fucks up. Her ex employers have acted from bigotry and prejudice stemming from grotesque ignorance. I hope she can win her case and sue them.

    I don’t know if you can pass on support to her to say ‘I am a loony and proud’. Part of the awfulness of depression is feelings of isolation. She is not alone but one of millions. What is more, the pit of total despair she is in will pass.

    Whilst ATOS have no comprehension of mental health issues, the court appeal system does. She may have a long wait to prove it but she is entitled to ESA.

    Best wishes from Eyore.

    • Cns April 24, 2014 at 3:14 am

      DWP-government establishment are actually. Just dismissed in the same way from April 17 2014-completely understand her story. Totally true.

  • Celia April 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    In 2008 I had a severe bout of depression brought on by varous stressors including multiple berievements and my physical disability and then lost my incapacity benefit after an DWP medical which completely ignored my precarious mental state. I had a total meltdown and wanted to kill myself, but fortunately having suffered from suicidal bouts of depression before I rang my doctors in a panic, told them I was suicidal and needed help. Thankfully I recovered after treatment and have been without chemical assistance since 2010.

    As an ex-health care professional the general ignorance surrounding mental health issues astounds me especially amongst employers and I too would never own up to having suffered due to the prejudice that still abounds in the workplace.

    • L.Berry July 10, 2014 at 11:18 pm

      My last job with DWP was working on the Incapacity Benefit/Income Support to Employment and Support Allowance. I was moving IB/IS claims onto ESA, that was if ATOS decided the customer was ill enough. The things I read and the work I had to do just wore me down. A fine job to give someone with a history of depression! More than once I was told I wasn’t there to care, I was only there to do a job. We had 2 hours ‘training’ on what to do if a customer said they were going to hurt themselves or commit suicide. We were told not to get involved and ask if they had anyone they could contact. I had a breakdown in work, in floods of tears. My manager came in and said what are we going to do to fix this? Not that I’d been telling them I wasn’t feeling good for several months at that point.

      ATOS and DWP are just uncaring servants delivering the governments welfare reforms without a caring bone in their cold, dead body.

  • Christos Palmer April 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Totally insane, sacked for being depressed and then found fit for work, you can’t be both. ATOS/DWP keep changing the rules all the time. You don’t know where you stand with them.

  • Adam April 22, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I hate that those of us with mental problems are never taken seriously! I have suffered for many years with depression and anxiety due to childhood trauma as well as having OCD.A friend of mine has depressive episodes that go hand in hand with her personality disorder, but was found fit for work. I have personally not been on benefits for my mental health, but understand those that are! Does it take for people to kill themselves before they will listen?

  • Karen April 24, 2012 at 1:52 am

    I’m puzzled why she says she had a court case, the day before she was sacked, if she accepted a police caution. She would have had same oppurtunity as anyone else to put her case across.

  • Karen April 24, 2012 at 1:57 am

    Sorry, that should say ‘investigated for gross misconduct’ and not ‘sacked’. Until an outcome had been achieved then you are innocent until proven guilty and that isn’t bringing the dept. into disrepute.

  • danielhillary July 22, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Same position January 2011 formerly DWP then IR then HMRC, Failed to give compassionate transfer/move as reasonable adjustment. A decade of Atos like occ health reports – nowhere near as bad though! Dismissed, accepted 75% culpability UNTIL challenged decision. Found fit to work Atos. Now asking about work DWP DO NOT WANT to know. Tribunal October 2012! Removed Mobility – perhaps after 1999 to 2011 now going decide BMI Capita and eventually Atos git it wrong, GP, specialists, etc!! Integration – treated like fool not capable of much, Remploy only real pathway to work I know of – and determined shut it in name of integration. I call it a choice!

  • Sophia Lee September 23, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Hi Jane
    I’m in exactly the same situation, same employer, same area, same illness, same caution-how they found out as police said I can keep it as confidential- god only knows. being persecuted & witchunted…fear as disciplinary Friday
    Love to talk if u get to read this
    Xxx

  • daniel hillary October 13, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    The Guide 16.3 if waiting reasonable adjustments (move) that employer accepts needed absence should not count as dismissal. I even consider could have not dismissed and kept job open as technically absence not sickness. Occ health referrals tend by leading – to suit employer and bad faith but need be sufficient specialist as per MHRN judgement may 2013 and Atos ce 3883 2013 judgement June or July 2013. Problem is court tribunal service seem for me at least make difficult / less easy than could.

  • Lee Berry July 10, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    I went through a terrible time when working for the DWP and their whole attitude towards mental health. I always said that if I had a broken leg, I’d be OK to have time off until the bone heals then back to work with no problems, yet because there is no magic button or miracle tablets I could take I received a totally different treatment. I’ve had a Jobcentre manager even say complaints had been made about me from customers and staff, that I looked miserable all the time, and that I should smile more!

    Ultimately I was dismissed because my absence could no longer be supported. I’d been back in work full time for 10 weeks before I was dismissed! I appealed the decision with the help of the union, but management all stick together and the decision was upheld!

    The whole thing was a living nightmare and I can’t find another job because as soon as I tell an employer why I not working they stop listening at dismissed and don’t want to know any more.

  • danielhillary@hotmail.co.uk July 25, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Your illness or disability could not be supported because as an equal opportunities employer we now have the chartermarks and registrations that look good on paper. Management requires skills, reduction of staff numbers by underhand methods reduces costs of redundancies. Of course when employer continued lies and half truths of gps etc via sham nil value occ health reports which accompanied by ‘created’ paperwork that trys to suggest no breach duty of care by local authority/health trust (by occ health provider with contracts for these organisations) you have NIL chance. I spent from 1999 to 2011 telling them what I needed but was met with legal abuse syndrome that resulted in post traumatic stress and serious mental health symptoms being inflicted. I was then met by local authority (different organisations) and DWP trying to play legal games to avoid either ill health retirement or liability for discriminatory dismissal and harm caused. Even tried ‘customer knows rules’ ‘drip feeding me names computer systems’ and use of ambush catch 22 tactics and ‘reports’ written containing false statements to try cause complaints, to miss appeals and lose entitlement. Next IDS will be allowing employers to run dla/pip/pensions/iidb etc for their own ex employers – see the problem? DWP isn’t going decide DWP and TCO Benefits and Credits was wrong/caused injury or admit 12 years ‘supported’ understatements re disability impact. Sit at desk approach nonsense re mental stimulation and breathing restriction and need low intensity work with frequent posture change options.
    I am still unsure on what basis dismissed. Know NOT redunadancy. Surprsiingly HMCTS and DWP and Local Authority coordinated malfeasance and obstruction I believe.

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