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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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Could I ask should a voluntary redundancy scheme open to

Customer Question

Hi, could I ask should a voluntary redundancy scheme open to all staff consider an application from someone with cancer in a favourable way? Aaron
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Is there a permanent health insurance scheme operating in the workplace?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I honestly don't know but the employer is one of the UK's largest councils. Basically they've refused voluntary redundancy and instead because the length of sickness is so long are looking to dismissal instead.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Why have they refused it? Is it just so they can avoid paying redundancy and go down the dismissal route instead?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Their explanation is business need in that they would have to replace my wife - she's a teacher.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi just to let you know that I'll be off line now for an hour or so but I look forward to your response. Thanks very much.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
There would be no explicit obligation on the employer to treat employees with a disability, such as cancer, more favourably when deciding on whether to grant VR. They could still be rejected if the circumstances do not justify it. However, at the same time they should not treat them less favourably because of their disability, so for example refuse their application simply because they are disabled or because they can dismiss them on grounds of capability anyway. What you have to ask yourself is whether a person in the same position as her, but who is not disabled, would be treated in the same way. You said that the reason they have rejected the VR is because they will have to replace her but at the same time they are looking at dismissal anyway which will also mean they will have to replace her so it does not sit quite right with me. You should consider raising this issue and challenging them on how it is on how it is acceptable to dismiss her and replace her anyway, rather than allow her to go down VR and still replace her. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps she can follow to take the matter further if needed, 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, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45310
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Thank you. Initially she can pursue this internally through a formal grievance. If that gets her nowhere, then she may consider a claim for disability discrimination, which must be submitted within 3 months of the date of alleged discriminatory act. If she is dismissed she can also make a claim for unfair dismissal too at the same time, again within 3 months of the date of dismissal. A new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal. If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement. The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here: https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage In terms of the time limits within which a claim must be presented, the early conciliation process places a ‘stop’ on that and the time between notifying ACAS and them issuing permission to proceed with the claim would not count for the purposes of these time limits.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you Ben, I've been through the process you describe above and we're now heading to an employment tribunal scheduled for June. Unfortunetaly, the case failed a merit assessment with both our home insurance and the teaching union so I've been handling it myself to save costs. I've now had disclosure of all documents from the council and my view is that there are numerous procedural breaches. For example, they made no adjustments during the process to allow any representation and they rejected her application two weeks before the voluntary exit scheme even opened. My plan now is to send the tribunal and respondents further particulars that set out our case in more precise detail than I have previously done. Do you have any thoughts on how I might be able to get some legal help with that. Kind regards, Rob
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Hello, if you need legal help then your options are as follows:· Engage a solicitor privately, although some may do a no win no fee type of assistance so you need to ask around· You can use the Citizens Advice Bureau for some help· The Free Representation Unit ay help but it’s not easy to get them on board· If she is a member of a union they can help too

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