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Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Are you still on secondment?
Is the current reason for your absence from work still stress?
yes I just need to get my response ready
just to check - are they taking action because you are on sick leave or because you are unable to perform your job?
in other words - is it a disciplinary or performance issue in their eyes?
Dismissing an employee due to their sickness record is a potentially fair reason for dismissal under the Employment Rights Act 1996. However, to justify it as being fair the employer needs to follow a fair procedure.
First and foremost the employer needs to comply with any workplace sickness or absence procedures and policies.
They need to conduct an investigation, which would involve:
The employer then needs to review the alternatives:
Dismissal should always be the last resort, considering the courts may have sympathy with employees who have been ill, especially if the reason for their absences is a condition that amounts to a disability under law.
In the legal sense of the word, disability can have a broad meaning and there is no single list of conditions that qualify. Instead, to establish whether a person is disabled for legal purposes, they need to establish whether they meet the legal definition of ‘disability’.
The Equality Act 2010 (“EA”) 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:
If it appears that the employer has taken a particularly heavy-handed approach and failed to satisfy at least some of the requirements that make such a dismissal fair, the option exists of appealing to them first before submitting a claim for unfair dismissal, subject to having at least 2 years' continuous service (and possible disability discrimination if the condition in question amounts to a disability) in an employment tribunal.
I see you are trying to exit chat - has your original query been answered or do you need me to clarify anything before I close this at my end?