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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47878
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I'm having trouble at my workplace due to sickness and

Resolved Question:

I'm having trouble at my workplace due to sickness and absences
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. Can you please explain your situation in some more detail?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Hi Ben
I've been at my work for 8 years now and had a lot of personal life problems due to depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, post natal depression and sleep depreivation.
I have had lots of counselling, group counselling etc I've been on medication for the last 6 and half years.
My work place is now making things difficult and the management is so inconsistent and I just wondered where i stood legally?
Thanks
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.

When you say they are making things difficult, in what way exactly? Is your job at risk?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Each episode I have off I'm now at risk of disciplinary and even if my doctor signs me off they said they can still get rid of me by getting occupation health involved and they could say I'm unfit for work???
When I in work I'm very good at my job and have been for the last 8 years.
I feel very discriminated at the moment.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.

Ho there, it would appear that you are being discriminated because of a disability. 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 12 months ago.
Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you with more information and will leave a rating.Kind regards
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 12 months ago.

Hi there, in the first instance you will need to raise a formal grievance with the employer. If the grievance does not help, your only realistic options are resignation and a claim for constructive dismissal and disability discrimination, or just a claim for disability discrimination which can be made without resigning.

If you were going to claim, then a new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal.

If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement.

The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here:

https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage