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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44942
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am currently a under going tests at the county hospital due

Customer Question

I am currently a under going tests at the county hospital due to respiratory problems, my last visit was on Monday (my day off from work). The problem has prevented me from paint spraying - I am employed in a garage workshop preparing cars ready for sale. The workshop does not have a designated painting booth. My employer has asked me to ring the hospital and ask them for a letter explaining why I am unable to do the painting and he wants to be with me when I do this. I have no problem with asking the hospital for written confirmation of my problem for my employer but I object to him standing over me. Also, I am still having tests and have not been given a firm diagnoses but it has been suggested that I am suffering from occupational asthma.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

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

Ben Jones :

How long have you worked there for?

JACUSTOMER-u3u20fdm- :

five years

Ben Jones :

Why does he want to be with you when you do this?

JACUSTOMER-u3u20fdm- :

he hasn,t said, other than he wants

JACUSTOMER-u3u20fdm- :

he hasn't said, other than he wants to hear me ask for the letter

Ben Jones :

You certainly do not have to allow him to accompany you to the hospital for what is obviously a very personal matter. No employer has the right to demand that and it is an unreasonable request. He should simply accept any formal correspondence from the hospital as proof of your medical situation. If he has well founded grounds to dispute that then he may arrange for an independent occupational health specialist to meet with you and provide a second opinion but still you can expect a degree of privacy and dignity and not have the employer be present at any of the meetings or examinations.

JACUSTOMER-u3u20fdm- :

Can he dismiss me on the grounds of ill health as I am unable to do all of my duties, ie the painting. I have only had one week off work due to the problem and that was right at the start of my illness. All of my medical appointments have been in my own time. As I mentioned earlier we do not have a paint spraying booth with proper ventilation, we started building one over a year ago and it is still not finished.

Ben Jones :

a dismissal on grounds of ill health or inability to perform one's job can potentially lead to dismissal but it is unlikely to be fair if it is done straight away and without following a fair procedure. You could be considered disabled in law which means the employer would have to make reasonable adjustments to help you before they take any action and this could mean getting the booth done. When looking at the reasonableness of such a dismissal, a tribunal will usually look at the following elements:

  • What was the nature of the illness
  • Was the employee consulted over their position and did the employer try to ascertain the true medical position
  • What was the likelihood of the employee returning to work or the illness reoccurring in the future
  • The effect a prolonged absence would have on the business and the workforce
  • The availability of other suitable employment that the employee could do instead

Dismissal must always be viewed as a last resort by the employer. Only when it is obvious that the employee cannot continue in their job and that there was nothing else available for them to do would dismissal become a fair option.

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

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, please let me know if I have answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thank you

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