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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47907
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I was diagnosed with depression and mentally unfit for work

Customer Question

i was diagnosed with depression and mentally unfit for work 12 months ago, the company did very little to help and then nothing weeks later (I remained at work apart from 1 days leave), I recently started sleeping tablets and antidepressants due to another breakdown and under the influence sent a flirty txt to a client and now being disciplined for those messages, over the year I accidently sent one to her and added a "XX" at the end as a mistype, I've never spoke to her or contacted her outside work or seen her personally, the latest message was an honest mistake I immediate apologies for and she accepted then passed it around her office and they made the complaint, I've been off work with depression for 5 weeks now and the company has had occupational health contact me to ask if they can hold my disciplinary prior to coming back to work and when the company is trying contacting me using my emergency contact person instead of contacting me directly, my depressionis a direct cause of the lack of support and over work I have for the company and I cant even get a line manager to attend so I'm going in alone at the moment and need to know where I stand
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

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

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Based on what you have described, what would be the ideal outcome for you so that I can advise you of your options?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Not loose my job, company to actuall offer assistance and get my health back on track
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will 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. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Thanks for your patience. The employer has the right to consider investigating and disciplining you over your conduct if they believe that it amounts to misconduct. How seriously they treat this will depend n the overall seriousness – for example the nature of the text, if it was an ongoing issue, how seriously the client took it, how it may affect their business with the employer and so on – there are many factors to consider. However, based on the circumstances surrounding this and why and when you sent the message there should be some leniency on their part and I would hope a warning advising you to watch your future conduct would be appropriate.

In terms of what the employer should to in general to help you with your condition, you are likely to be disabled under employment law. They would therefore have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to help you. What amounts to ‘reasonable adjustments’ can have a wide interpretation and often depends on the individual circumstances of the employer, their business, the potential impact on other employees, the available resources, etc. Whilst legislation does not currently provide specific examples of what adjustments can be made, the following are examples that have been considered reasonable in case law over time:

  • 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 they fail to do this they can be guilty of discrimination.

Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss your rights should the employer be discriminating against you. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Mr Jones,I attended work to have my meeting and as none of my invited line managers turned up they have posponed it for another week to try and get them there, and was told that if they dont turn up again they will proceed without them, there policy states im entitled to have someone accompany me and its not my fault that both recent attempts they havent turned up, where do i stand with them forcing me to go through with the meeting without representation/support that i have requested.Part of my complaint about my depression is a lack of management support, which is clearly obvious as none ever remember to turn up
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

You do have the right to be accompanied at a disciplinary hearing by a colleague or trade union rep. Where an employee's chosen companion is unavailable, the employee has the right to suggest an alternative time which is not more than five working days later. In practice it would be advisable for an employee (or their companion) to give a range of available times, or for the parties to seek to agree a time. However strictly speaking, from a legal perspective, you can only rearrange the meeting for no more than 5 days after the initial date in order to allow you to get your companion of choice. After that the employer could potentially proceed even if your companions are not available.

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

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Does that count when the company are making those invitees so busy that they either forget or just dont have time to attend with me
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

The employer is not obliged to give them time off to attend, they have to use any free time they have

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.