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Ben Jones
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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I am currently on sick leave and have been past

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Hi
I am currently on sick leave and have been for the past 6 months, employed by BT. I suffer from me/cfs and fibromyalgia. On 2 occasions in the past 5 years two different managers have made my condition worse by harassment and bullying. The first about 4 years ago tried to make me a redeployee even though this was not allowed as I was protected by DDA and BT's own disability processes. The stress of all this made my condition worse and I had to increase my medication. I submitted a grievance via my union and was consequently put back into my post . Could this be seen as a breech of DDA by my employer? The manager has since been paid off under a compromise deal because of his bullying. I logged this incident with my GP.
More recently, last year my manager kept threatening me with losing my job if I didn't volunteer for 24/7 call out duties. He was aware of my condition and knew this was impossible. He then fabricated that my name was on a list to be redeployed due to the fact that I wouldn't volunteer for 24/7 call out.He told me I would have to train somebody to do my job then I would be redeployed or have to take a 9 months money leaver package. He also told me that if I didn't train someone up to his satisfaction I would be asked to leave. Again I was protected by DDA and BT,s own disability process. It was later discovered by my union rep that I didn't appear on any such list and he had fabricated everything. The stress of all this caused me a suspected heart attack which after hospital tests proved to be panic attacks. This is all documented by my employer and my GP. This manager has since been moved to a post with no staff because of his bullying. He has treated one of my colleagues in a similar manner who has now left.
I have now been told by my manager's manager that because of my lengthy sick leave he can terminate my contract.
My question is can I take any legal proceedings against my employee for the above?
I have applied for medical retirement but all concerned seem to think that this will be refused. I am 55. Can you advise please?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. This would likely amount to constructive dismissal and disability discrimination. The constructive dismissal aspect occurs when the following two elements are present:· Serious breach of contract by the employer; and· An acceptance of that breach by the employee, who in turn treats the contract of employment as at an end. The employee must act in response to the breach and must not delay any action too long. A common breach by the employer occurs when it, or its employees, have broken the implied contractual term of trust and confidence. The conduct relied on could be a single act, or a series of less serious acts over a period of time, which together could be treated as serious enough (usually culminating in the 'last straw' scenario). If resignation appears to be the only option, it must be done without unreasonable delay so as not to give an impression that the employer's breach had been accepted. Any resignation would normally be with immediate effect and without providing any notice period. It is advisable to resign in writing, stating the reasons for the resignation and that this is being treated as constructive dismissal. Following the resignation, the option of pursuing a claim for constructive dismissal exists. This is only available to employees who have at least 2 years' continuous service. There is a time limit of 3 months from the date of resignation to submit a claim in the employment tribunal. The disability discrimination part could be pursued at the same time and a joint claim made for the two. An alternative way out is to approach the employer on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. Under a settlement agreement, the employee gets compensated for leaving the company and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, although the employer does not have to agree to it so it will be subject to negotiation. In any event, there is nothing to lose by raising this possibility with them because you cannot be treated detrimentally for suggesting it and it would not be used against you. I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben,
Thanks for your reply. Just to clarify, I have no intention of resigning so constructive dismissal is irrelevant. So do you think that the problems I have outlined in my question will have any impact in negotiations in a settlement deal. Could I tell my employer that any settlement deal would have to include compensation for"........................", and could I say that I would take legal action for disability discrimination if any settlement is not reasonable and up to my expectation.
Thanks
regards
John.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hi just to check when did the last discriminatory act in relation to disability actually occur?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, It was July 2014 when the latest incident occurred.
John.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
The issue with this is that any claim for disability discrimination must be made within 3 months of the alleged incident occurring. So if this happened in July 2014 you are way out of time to claim. Therefore, your negotiating position in terms of the discrimination is rather weak. So if the employer knows what the legal position is and that you cannot make a claim for discrimination, then they would know that you can't hold them to ransom by threatening to make a claim for this as you are now out of time. As such you should be careful about using this as your main negotiating tactic - you could of course mention it but don't rely on it too much as you don't really have a legal leg to stand on to use it to negotiate anything. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - 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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