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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46784
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Can my employer dismiss me on being investigated by dvla for

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Can my employer dismiss me on being investigated by dvla for medical reasons as I am a vocational driver with mild sleep apnea. They have offered alternative work but, have made it difficult for me to attend due to requirements of doctors approval in writing on driving myself to work which will take approximately another couple of weeks if all goes well. They are continually asking for updates on progress which is out of my control.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months ago.

How long have you been working there for?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
11 months
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I am 60 with 40 years experience.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Would rather continue on text
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months ago.

No problem at all. I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. The starting point is that if you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, etc.). In the event that the reason for dismissal fell within these categories, then the dismissal will either be automatically unfair, or there will be a potential discrimination claim.

The most likely discriminatory reason here would be disability, if you can show that your condition amounts to a disability. If it does then you will have extra rights and dismissal cannot be done easily. However, if it is not a disability then your rights are only as described above and a dismissal can quite easily be the outcome if they wanted to because you simply cannot challenge it if you are dismissed.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law on disability and how to establish 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, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I have not had my license revoked as yet, I am waiting for a date to attend a medical which the dvla requires unfortunately, I have been informed this could take time, does my employer have to wait for the results or can I be dismissed beforehand. I know from previous results that my sleep apnea is only classed as mild. Can they dismiss me prior to the outcome of the test.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months ago.

remember they can dismiss for more or less any reason and without having to justify it is fair, so yes they can dismiss before the results come out, subject to the condition not being a disability. Also a disability in law is not the same as a disability in the general sense of the word - there are certain criteria that must be met for it to amount to a disability and as mentioned I can cover these with you if needed

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46784
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months 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 and if they are dismissed, to an unfair dismissal. The first step would be to raise a formal grievance. The next step would be to consider whether a claim for disability discrimination or unfair dismissal 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).

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