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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45343
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hello Just wondering if you can help me.My daughter has been

Resolved Question:

Hello Just wondering if you can help me.My daughter has been signed off sick due to severe post natal depression after giving birth to our grand child who is now one year and two months,she is receiving counselling through her doctor and is making some progress.My wife has been providing support for her but has booked a trip to dubai on thursday to visit some friends for seven days,she asked the doctor if the doctor thinks it might benefit her in her recovery to join her for a break with my grandchild.The doctor agreed and said that it would help her and has written a letter confirming this. I also work with my daughters company and have read their attendance policy but it does not say any thing about going abroad whilst being on certificated sick leave.My daughter has sent an email to human resources stating her intentions now they want a meeting with her tomorrow before she flys off to dubai on Thursday .My question is do you think they have any grounds to try and terminate her contract .Thanks Nigel
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What is the meeting for exactly?

Customer:

They havent stated yet but I have worked for the company for 25 years and I dont trust them one bit . I intent to go to the meeting with her tomorrow to see what they say .Is my daugther protected buy any act of law such as the mental health act .They seem to terminate people contracts only to be taken to a tribunal losing.Shorely if her doctor has deemed her unfit for work does it matter where she goes as long as she gets well and back to work .

Ben Jones :

How long has she worked there for?

Customer:

About two years now

Ben Jones :

Do you know her approximate start date as it would be relevant?

Customer:

September 2011 Ive just spoken to her

Ben Jones :

ok let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

She has enough service to be protected against unfair dismissal so this means that to fairly dismiss her the employer has to show that there was a potentially fair reason for dismissal and that a fair dismissal procedure was followed.


 


According to the Employment Rights Act 1996 there are five separate reasons that an employer could use to show that a dismissal was fair: conduct, capability, redundancy, illegality or some other substantial reason (SOSR). The employer will not only need to show that the dismissal was for one of those reasons, but also justify that it was appropriate and reasonable to use in the circumstances. In addition, they need to ensure that a fair dismissal procedure was followed and this would depend on which of the above reasons they used to dismiss.


 


Now just because someone is signed off sick does not mean they have to be housebound and not go anywhere or even take a trip abroad. A lot will depend on the reasons for the absence, so for example if someone signed off with back pain goes on a skiing holiday the employer would have valid reasons to be suspicious and even consider investigating and disciplining the employee. But if they are signed off for depression, then it may even do them good to ‘get away from it all’ and take a trip abroad and there is certainly nothing in law that stops the employee from doing so, as long as they do not lie to the employer.


 


Legally, they cannot terminate her contract at the upcoming meeting as they need to advise her in advance this is a disciplinary where they may dismiss her so it is just going to be a discussion about the situation in my opinion.

Customer:

Thanks Ben thats what I needed to know . May be im just panicking needlessly I hope she gets away has a great time and I get to have my old daughter back to the way she should be its been a tough tIme for all of us.Thanks so much for the advice Nigel

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the advice I have provided as that is an important part of our process. Thank you and feel free to bookmark my profile for future help:



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Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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