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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50212
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My sister is on long term sick leave and in consultation for

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My sister is on long term sick leave and in consultation for redundancy. Her boss keeps in touch by weekly phone calls and she wais advised that to qualify for redundancy she must apply for an alternative role in the same organisation which she has done. The interviews have been arranged but my sisters health is not good at all at the moment and she does not feel she can attend an interview at the moment and advised her boss of this today. Her boss has phoned her this afternoon to say the process will continue and they would like to interview her by assessing her last PDR or telephone interview or maybe she could prepare a presentation, she is still very unwell and does not think she can cope with any of these options at the moment. we are unsure as to why they are so insistent on the answer to this question today as the interviews are not until next week and this is causing her great anxiety. What happens if she is not well enough for the interview process?

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long has she worked there for?


10 years

Ben Jones :

What is the reason for her absence?


stress related to family issues but nothing to do with work

Ben Jones :

It is not a strict legal requirement to have to apply for these other jobs to be entitled to redundancy but the usual requirement is that if an employee at risk of redundancy is offered suitable alternative employment they must accept it, otherwise if they are found to have unreasonably refused it then they could lose their right to receive redundancy pay.


However, if the position on offer is not suitable the employee does not have to accept it or even apply for it and can reject it, retaining their right to receive redundancy pay.


Now if she is off on long term sick leave and her condition amounts to a disability, the employer would have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to assist them. 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 she satisfies the above definition, then she can argue she is disabled and the employer needs to make reasonable adjustments. These could include dispensing with the interview process or at least delaying it until a time when she is feeling better.


thank you very helpful

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the advice I have provided as that is an important part of our process. Thank you and all the best

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