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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47418
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I'm signed off sick, since July 4th, with ME, I work for

Customer Question

I'm signed off sick, since July 4th, with ME, I work for USAF as a local national. I have been asking for a phased return to work. I had one line response 18th July saying "cannot accommodate that". After three weeks they put me on SSP so I am financially struggling. I've written twice since requesting help to get back to work and both have been ignored. Nothing. What should I do?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

How long have you worked there?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Since December 18th 2014
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

No problem at all

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. I can only advise on UK law so I assume that you are employed under UK contract.

You will likely have protection under disability discrimination legislation. In the legal sense of the word, disability can have a broad meaning and there is no single list of medical conditions that qualify. Instead, to establish whether a person is disabled, they need to show that they meet the legal definition of a ‘disability’.

The Equality Act 2010 defines a disability as a “physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.

I will break this definition down:

  • Physical or mental impairment – this can include nearly any medical condition;
  • Substantial effect – the effect must be more than minor or trivial;
  • Long-term - the effect of the impairment must either have lasted or be likely to last for at least 12 months;
  • Normal day-to-day activities – these could include anything considered ‘normal’ in a person's normal daily routine (e.g. walking, driving, speaking, eating, washing, etc.)

If a person satisfies the above criteria, they will be classified as being disabled and will have automatic protection against discrimination, which means that they must not be treated unfavourably because of their disability. In addition, their employer would have a duty to make reasonable adjustments if they are likely to be placed at a substantial disadvantage when compared to non-disabled employees.

What amounts to ‘reasonable adjustments’ can have a wide interpretation and often depends on the individual circumstances. Below are some examples:

  • making adjustments to work premises;
  • allocating some of the employee’s duties to others;
  • transferring the employee to fill an existing suitable vacancy;
  • altering the employee’s hours of work;
  • allowing the employee to be absent during working hours for rehabilitation, assessment or treatment connected to their disability;
  • acquiring or modifying specialist equipment;
  • providing supervision or other support.

If someone who is disabled is being treated unfavourably because of their disability or their employer has failed to make reasonable adjustments it would potentially amount to disability discrimination. The first step would be to raise a formal grievance. The next step would be to consider whether a claim for disability discrimination should be made in an employment tribunal (the time limit for claiming is only 3 months from the date of the alleged discriminatory act taking place).

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow to take this further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I've started writing a letter of grievance to my supervisors Supervisor. what makes it a 'formal' complaint?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

A grievance is a formal complaint

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