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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46792
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been on medical suspension by my employer since the

Resolved Question:

I have been on medical suspension by my employer since the 31st March this year. I suffer with depression and although I was signed back to work by my GP my employer stated that I had to see their Occupational Health before I returned to work. They have continued to pay me and they are the ones who have caused the delay in seeing OH and despite chasing, I have not yet received an appointment. I have now received a letter from them saying that they are reducing my wage but I have only been on medical suspension for just over 12 weeks. Can they do this?
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. Does your contract say anything about this, for example that they can reduce your pay on suspension?

Customer:

There is nothing in there that I can see.

Ben Jones :

what are they reducing your wages to?

Customer:

I'm sure it's (another) massive blunder by them as they are talking about SSP but of course I haven't been on "sick leave" since the end of March when they decided that I had to see their OH providers before I was allowed back to work. Basically they are saying that my wage is being reduced to half.

Ben Jones :

The employer cannot reduce your pay if there is no specific contractual right to do so. Had you been on sick leave then you would have been bound by the employer’s sickness policy and you would be entitled to any sick pay due to employees in your circumstances, however you are not on sick leave – you are suspended by the employer and it is their delay that is causing you to remain off work at present.


 


As they do not appear to have the contractual right to reduce your pay this could amount to breach of contract and/or unlawful deduction of wages.


 


In order to try and resolve this, the employer should be contacted in writing, advised that this is being treated as unlawful deduction of wages and ask them to pay back the money within 7 days. You can also raise a formal grievance if necessary. Advise them that if they fail to pay the money that is owed, legal proceedings could follow.


 


If the employer does not return the money as requested, the following options are available:



  1. Employment Tribunal - the time limit to claim is only 3 months from the date the deductions were made. To make the claim, form ET1 needs to be completed and submitted - you can find it here: https://www.employmenttribunals.service.gov.uk/employment-tribunals

  2. County Court – this is an alternative way to claim and the advantage is that the time limit is a much longer 6 years and is usually used if you are out of time to claim in the Tribunal. The claim can be made online by going to: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk.


 


Hopefully by warning the employer you are aware of your rights and are not going to hesitate taking further action they will be prompted to reconsider their position and work towards resolving this.


 

Customer:

Now that's just the answer I was hoping for - many, many thanks. I will be writing the letter tonight.

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, hope you get to resolve this

Customer:

Just as a further piece of information, I have suffered with severe depression for a number of years and my employer's own OH provider have reminded them on several occasions that I am covered by the DDA. Although I am never keen to bandy this around, nevertheless, I do feel very strongly that my employers are doing nothing to aid me in returning to work.

Ben Jones :

The DDA has been replaced by the Equality Act but the protection remains very much the same. It is possible to raise this as part of any grievance you may raise about the wages or just separately. As to legal options then disability discrimination is what you would usually rely on to take the matter further - if you were to claim for the unpaid wages then you can claim the discrimination at the same time

Customer:

Many thanks for all the work you've done on my behalf - it's very much appreciated.

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46792
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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