UK

Department For Work And Pensions Sacks Woman 'For Taking Too Much Time Off For Treatment For Terminal Cancer'

15/01/2016 13:17 GMT | Updated 15/01/2016 14:59 GMT

A cancer patient claims that she was fired by the Department of Work and Pensions because she took too much time off work for her treatment.

Pauline Fisher, who has terminal cancer, appealed against the dismissal from her job of 10 years but found out just before Christmas that it had been rejected, ITV reported.

cancer

Pauline Fisher suffers from terminal cancer

Fisher, who had been signed off sick since June, said that she insisted that she would return to work after her course of chemotherapy.

But two months before her sick note expired, she was told that she was being sacked because she had “failed to maintain an acceptable level of attendance.”

A letter from the DWP said that it had taken into account occupational health advice and Fisher’s desire to return to work as soon as she could.

However, it said: "After considering all the relevant factor, I have decided that your employment with DWP must be terminated because you have failed to maintain an acceptable level of attendance and are unable to return to work within a timescale that I consider reasonable.”

pauline fisher

The letter received by Fisher just before Christmas

The 65-year-old, who suffers from dizzy spells and at times has to use a wheelchair, told ITV News: “I’ve not made myself ill. I don’t want to have cancer. I don’t want to be terminal. I want my life back.

“I loved my job. I mean everybody moans about their job sometimes, don’t they? But the people that I worked with were lovely.

“This sounds a bit dramatic but it’s a bit like the end of a relationship. It’s just stopped.

She added: “I’m just a bit sad really. They shouldn’t treat people like this.”

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ITV said that Fisher, who is now being cared for by her daughter, is not entitled to compensation because she is of pensionable age.

A DWP spokesman said:“We do all we can to support an employee’s return to work, including offering part-time, flexible hours or a different role.

“If someone tells us they won’t be able to return to work for the foreseeable future, we do need to make plans to ensure we can continue to deliver government services.”