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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48162
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have worked well known company 15 years.

Resolved Question:

Hi.
I have worked for a well known company for nearly 15 years. Once a year, from February to February, the Management hold Performance Management Programmes (PMP Review) to assess how well we have performed during the previous 12 months, to see if we qualify for a pay rise and bonuses. The bonuses are paid £2000 per year, and are paid £500 every quarter during the year. Anyway, I last received a bonus of £500 in November 2014. My Manager told me that he wanted to award me an adequate rating of 3, which would have qualified me for the bonuses, but because I had received a rating of 3 the previous year, he claimed that HR had told him that he could not award me the same rating for Feb 2015 - Feb 2016 because apparently, an employee cannot be given the same rating 2 years running, so he had to downgrade me to a 2 - Needs Improvement rating, and apparently, this meant that I would not receive any of the quarterly bonuses until my latest PMP review would be due sometime during March. During the time period that apparently my performance slipped a little in work, I was having stress, anxiety and panic attacks, and I was having to attend a 6 week therapy course once a week after work, which I made my employer aware of. I also suffer from an Underactive Thyroid problem, which my employer knows about, and I take daily medication for, but I sometimes still have low days with this. My role at the time was receiving stock, putting it in the correct locations and recording it under my log in on my PC. I was told by the Stock Controller that my accuracy levels was one of the highest. However, by November of 2014, my company employed seasonal staff, and my Supervisor asked them to help put the stock away, and he let them use my PC and another colleagues PC to record the stock. To cut a long story short, the seasonal staff made many mistakes and after Christmas, it looked like myself and my colleague had made mistakes because the stock had been received under our logins. My colleague was also told that he would not receive any bonuses for the same period, and he quit the company. However, during the time period, I was never once taken to the office and warned to improve, and have never received any warnings. I feel that I have been made the fall guy. I am still with the company, but doing a different role now, which is working well. Basically, I just want to find out if I am being treated unfairly or suffering Discrimination in the work place. I suspect my employer is operating a cost cutting exercise when it comes to pay rises and bonuses. He has let it slip during staff meetings that senior management allocate a set amount of money, and they have to see who gets the best pay rises and bonuses. Any help you can offer will be greatly appreciated. I am 48 years old.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Do you have a specific question? I will respond in the morning now if that is OK.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, first of all if you are going to consider discrimination, you must be able to show that you are being treated detrimentally due to a protected characteristic. These are limited to gender, age, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marriage. In this case the only relevant one would be disability and it would only apply if you can show that you are disabled in law and that you have been treated detrimentally as a result of that. An example would be if you had a condition, which affected your work and productivity rate and meant that you perform slower than others and the employer used that to say you had not performed to targets and not award a bonus. They should have taken into account your disability and adjusted your targets or their expectations to reflect that you may not be able to work to the same level as everyone else. This would be likely discrimination. In your case you were suffering with some health issues and you would need to establish if they amount to a disability first. You then need to consider if the reason you were marked down was as a result of these. The employer could try and argue that there were other reasons such as your stock taking which was affected by erroneous figures by other users and that it had nothing to do with your medical conditions. If it was due to the seasonal workers you could try and see if they can distinguish which results belonged to whom and remove those which were not yours but that may not be possible in which case the employer could try and stick with their decision. Unfair it may indeed be bit that is their policy and it would not be discriminatory to rely on that. So your best bet would be to try and show that you do have a disability and that the decision to mark you down was linked to that.This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law pn disability and how to determine if you are disabled, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
My full response should be visible on this page. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question or whether you need me to clarify anything else in relation to this? If your query has been answered 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. Thank you
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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. In the legal sense of the word, disability can have a broad meaning and there is no single list of medical conditions that qualify. Instead, to establish whether a person is disabled, they need to show that they meet the legal definition of a ‘disability’. The Equality Act 2010 defines a disability as a “physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”. I will break this definition down:Physical or mental impairment – this can include nearly any medical condition;Substantial effect – the effect must be more than minor or trivial;Long-term - the effect of the impairment must either have lasted or be likely to last for at least 12 months;Normal day-to-day activities – these could include anything considered ‘normal’ in a person's normal daily routine (e.g. walking, driving, speaking, eating, washing, etc.) If a person satisfies the above criteria, they will be classified as being disabled and will have automatic protection against discrimination, which means that they must not be treated unfavourably because of their disability. In addition, their employer would have a duty to make reasonable adjustments if they are likely to be placed at a substantial disadvantage when compared to non-disabled employees. What amounts to ‘reasonable adjustments’ can have a wide interpretation and often depends on the individual circumstances. Below are some examples:making adjustments to work premises;allocating some of the employee’s duties to others;transferring the employee to fill an existing suitable vacancy;altering the employee’s hours of work;allowing the employee to be absent during working hours for rehabilitation, assessment or treatment connected to their disability;acquiring or modifying specialist equipment;providing supervision or other support. If someone who is disabled is being treated unfavourably because of their disability or their employer has failed to make reasonable adjustments it would potentially amount to disability discrimination. The first step would be to raise a formal grievance. The next step would be to consider whether a claim for disability discrimination should be made in an employment tribunal (the time limit for claiming is only 3 months from the date of the alleged discriminatory act taking place).