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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46793
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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When I was made redundant I was on light duties due to a heart

Resolved Question:

When I was made redundant I was on light duties due to a heart condition. The company doctor was the person who said I had to go on to light duties after collapsing at work. Due to this situation I was unable to retrain for a different position within the company. At the time I was given redundancy notice I was also informed that I would be going into hospital for a heart by-pass operation so my state of mind wasn't great. This was in May 2011.
I have been told that I should not have been made redundant due to my health issues at the time. Can you offer advise please
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long did you work there for?

Customer:

Hi Ben. Approximately 4years

Ben Jones :

When did you recover?

Customer:

My by-pass operation took place in September 2011 and the initial recovery period was 12 weeks. I still have issues with my short term memory.

Ben Jones :

Were you told why exactly you should not have been made redundant?

Customer:

Because my health prevented retraining which the other engineers in our department were able to complete, if they wished, I was in an unfair position regarding the choice of people given their redundancy notice. This was not taken into consideration when the criteria for redundancy was assesed.

Ben Jones :

The main issue here, at least at this point in time, is not whether the redundancy was fair or not, but what you can actually do about it. The problem you will face is that there are strict time limits for bringing in a claim for unfair dismissal and/or disability discrimination and they are very short at just 3 months from the date of dismissal or discrimination. So if you were made redundant 3 years ago, you can see that you are way out of time to be able to make the claim. You are basically legally prevented from pursuing the matter any longer.


 


The tribunal does have the power to consider granting an extension to these time limits but it is quite rarely done and only in circumstances where it was clear you were incapacitated in some way, which prevented you from making the claim. However, if you had recovered in 2012, then they could quite easily argue that this was the first opportunity you would have had to make the claim following your illness so leaving it for another 2 years after that would almost certainly be too long a period for them to consider the extension.

Customer:

All that said, question still remains, should I have been made redundant?

Ben Jones :

It depends on whether the employer could have made reasonable adjustments to assist you at the time. For example, were there other job opportunities that did not require the training. But it does not automatically mean that if you were ill and could not do the training that you should not have been made redundant - it is mainly concerned around the employer's duty to make reasonable adjustments to make sure you were not placed in a detrimental position when compared to non-disabled employees but only as far as it is reasonable

Customer:

The problem they had with me was I was a field based engineer and it was expensive for me to be offered an office based job as the office was 110 miles from my home with a travel time of approximately 3hours. I had started to retrain but the type of job exacabated my heart condition which the company knew about when they employed me.

Ben Jones :

Costs alone would not make adjustments unreasonable, but the issue would also be whether it was reasonable to wait for you to recover - something that perhaps had no definitive recovery date or would have taken unreasonably long could work in their favour. Also legally it is possible to dismiss someone on long term sick leave or someone who is no longer capable of performing their job, even if there was no redundancy - the key is what, if any, other opportunities there were at the time and would it have been reasonable to allow you to retrain, even with your condition. Sadly, all of this is now irrelevant in terms of pursuing the matter further due to the time limits mentioned above

Customer:

Ok Ben. Thank you for your help.

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, all the best

Customer:

Hi Ben, you need to close so I can rate you. Once again thank you.

Ben Jones :

Sorry it's an intermittent bug we get that prevents this, you can just type your rating here instead and we will process it manually later, thanks

Customer:

OK. A big smiley face from me. Excellent service.

Ben Jones :

Many thanks, ***** ***** the best

Customer:

I know this is probably daft but would it help to put a full stop at the end of you answer.

Ben Jones :

:) Do you mean to enable the rating? Or just for grammatical purposes?

Customer:

Sorry. To enable the rating.

Ben Jones :

I see, no it has nothing to do with that, it goes much deeper in the code of the website, the engineers are working on it but it just has the annoying habit of appearing now and then

Customer:

OK. To technical for me. Bye.

Ben Jones :

And for me too! Bye for now

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46793
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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