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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47351
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I resigned from my job as I was absent on long-term sick leave

Resolved Question:

I resigned from my job as I was absent on long-term sick leave for a condition covered by the Equality Act. My employer refused to accede to my request to be deployed to a site that better suited my health condition, despite being asked to do so by my GP. My employer insisted on getting a report from my consultant, who was initially supportive but changed his mind when receiving the request from my employer. The report he provided had many inaccuracies in it and as a result my employer's position remained the same, as it effectively validated their position. I am due to a have a meeting with the hospital soon where I believe some litigation assistants will be present along with a medical director. I would like an apology and the record to be corrected re: these errors. What is the next step of they do not do this?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today firstly can you tell me how long you have been with your employer please.

Customer:

The job concerned was 8 years - I resigned from that in October. I still have a small part-time role there

Ben Jones :

Ok thank you leave it with me I need to look up a few things and then get my advice ready.I will post back on here when done there is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded.

Customer:

ok thanks

Ben Jones :

Thanks for your patience. The problem here is that you cannot force the employer to issue an apology and neither can a court or tribunal. There is nothing stopping you from requesting that but the employer cannot be forced to issue it. In these circumstances all you can realistically expect is compensation if you can successfully show that you have been discriminated on grounds of your disability. However, such a claim must be submitted within 3 months of the alleged discriminatory act so you need to be sure that you are still within that time to be able to challenge that.

In terms of the inaccuracies in the report, this is something which you could try and challenge under the Data Protection Act 1998. It requires data controllers (those who process personal data) to ensure that such data is kept accurate and up to date:

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/principle-4-accuracy/

You can make a formal request to the data controller that created the data in question to correct it and ensure it is accurate. If they fail to comply then you can make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office, which deals with data protection breaches.

I hope this clarifies your position? If you could please quickly let me know that would be great, as it is important for us to keep track of customer satisfaction. Thank you

Customer:

Hi Ben, thanks for this. It's more the hospital who provided the information I want the apology from rather than my employer as it was the hospital who got the information in the report they supplied wrong.

Customer:

Just as a final point - regarding the Data Protection issue - if I wanted the hospital to correct this incorrect information in the form of a written acknowledgement, would they be obliged to provide that so I can show that to my employer, or can they merely say they have made a mistake and resolve not to make it again ie. not provide any written acknowledgement of this and make a verbal assurance? thanks

Customer:

I should add - I have obtained my hospital medical records in the meantime and they show the hospital made some factual errors in its report

Ben Jones :

Hi there, whether it is the hospital or the employer the position is the same – an apology cannot be forced and can only be issued voluntarily by the organisation you request it from.

In terms of amending the information, once they have confirmed that this has been done, whether in writing or verbally, you can make a subject access request under the Data Protection Act to get copies of the data they hold about you and that should then show whether this has been done. So whilst they do not have to confirm it in writing, once the changes have been made you can see what has been amended to ensure that they have done as required.

Hope this clarifies things for you a bit more?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. 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? I just need to know whether you need further help or if I can close the question? Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Ben, sorry I probably haven't been clear - having recently obtained my medical records from the hospital, they do have the correct information regarding my health condition - but the consultant who wrote the report for my employer made mistakes in it - he didn't consult my medical records (it seems) when he wrote this report. For example, he wrote that I had never been admitted to hospital for my condition when actually I have several times. The letters written by his colleagues to my GP on previous occasions also confirms this is the case, so he could still have seen this had he consulted those letters. He also sent it to my employer before I'd had chance to approve it, even though I'd asked this on the consent form.

The work OH doctor who received the report wrote several times in her report for my employer that I had never been admitted to hospital - this undermines what I had told my employer and obviously reflects badly on me as I used this as an example of how severe my health condition can get if aggravated. So really I want to know what my options are if the hospital doesn't apologise for this in the meeting we have scheduled, as his report was the main reason why my employer wouldn't agree to me refusing my deployment to a different site.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, as mentioned an apology cannot be forced so if that fails your options are really as follows:
• Conduct a complaint directly with the hospital for the consultant’s conduct, although the outcome is essentially down to them
• You can still ask that the report is amended and obtain the updated report to show to your employer and set the record straight
• You cannot take any formal legal action if you have not suffered losses as a result of this, so if this was just something which resulted in you being inconvenienced, your reputation at work being affected etc, but without having suffered any financial losses, then no formal legal action is possible.
Hope this clarifies things a bit more for you? If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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