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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47340
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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If Ive previously disclosed to my employer that I have the

Resolved Question:

If I've previously disclosed to my employer that I have the condition of bipolar then subsequently become unwell due to stress. Becoming hypo manic where my behaviour altered and caused me to be rude and aggressive with speech. Knowing that the illness causes a loss of insight when going high. Can I be dismissed without the illness being taken in consideration whatsoever?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

How long have you worked there for please?

Customer:

18 months, initially with an agency

Customer:

6 month's agency then a year on a permanent contract.

Ben Jones :

Are you facing dismissal at this stage?

Customer:

Was suspended for 6 months when I was hypo manic, then depressed and suffering from an anxiety. During this time a investigation was carried out. I did work for the NHS and are a member of Unison. Ultimately I quit due to the pressure and advice from the union rep that I'll moist likely be dismissed and therefore it would be better to hand in my notice. Which I did a few days before.

Customer:

The formal hearing continued even though I had my resignation accepted. The hearing found me to have acted in gross misconduct therefore would be dismissed. I could appeal which I have.

Customer:

I need to know that if I had already disclosed a known medical condition which can affect behaviour. Can I be subsequently dismissed due to the resulting actions of an illness that the employer did not acknowledge during the proceedings.

Ben Jones :

ok let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

Whilst the presence of a medical condition will not provide a bulletproof defence to an act of misconduct, it is something that must be taken into consideration by the employer, otherwise they could be guilty of unfair dismissal and potential disability discrimination.


 


There is one example in the courts, in the case of The City of Edinburgh Council v Dickson, where a diabetic employee was dismissed because he had a hypoglycaemic episode, which resulted in an act of misconduct.


 


This case went to the Employment Appeals Tribunal, which decided that he was unfairly dismissed, but rejected the claim that he was subject to disability discrimination. The employer failed to conduct a fair dismissal procedure because they had failed to carry out an adequate investigation, choosing to take into account an uninformed opinion from a third party, instead of properly investigating the possible consequences of his condition with qualified doctors. They said that a fair investigation would probably have shown that he was not responsible for his actions.


 


The issue with your case is that you are not protected against unfair dismissal because you need at least 2 years’ continuous service, which you do not have. If you can show you were discriminated then you may have a case but as you can see from previous similar cases the tribunal has decided that such dismissals will not amount to discrimination and will just be procedurally unfair. However, as you cannot challenge a procedurally unfair dismissal due to your length of service, all you can try and claim for is for discrimination, which as mentioned could be difficult due to past case law.

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks

Customer:

In your professional opinion do you think it's worth pursuing for unfair dismissal. Considering that bipolar is a recognised condition which results in abnormal behaviour. This was mentioned to the union rep with gp letter yet when depressed and not thinking correctly I was advised to resign before being dismissed. I believe I have been wronged.

Ben Jones :

you cannot claim for unfair dismissal because of your length of service, the only option is to pursue this by arguing that you were dismissed because of the condition, in a sense that the employer actually treated you detrimentally and selected you for dismissal because of the condition, not because of the act that you did as a result of it

Ben Jones :

Has this clarified things for you?

Customer:

Thank you.

Ben Jones :

You are welcome, all the best

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