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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50160
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My partner is on long term sick for breast cancer and has

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My partner is on long term sick for breast cancer and has just been told that she is at risk of being made redundant along with some of her colleagues in equal positions. She has been told that there are jobs they can apply for but they need the applications in the next 2 weeks. She is not well enough to apply and go for interviews making this unfair for her in her position. If she wants to stay in employment with the company then they are forcing her to return to work before she is ready. I'd also like to ad tat she is receiving medical insurance through the company for her cancer treatment, what happens to this if she is made redundant? She works for a major player in the health insurance industry! Does she have a case? Can she apply for legal aid because she is on long term sick? What can she do, does she have any rights?
Ben Jones :

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

Customer: 3 years
Ben Jones :

The employer can be asked to consider delaying the redundancy process in relation to your partner but often redundancies have to be done on short notice due to the needs of the business and in the circumstances the employer has to try and deal as best as possible with employees on sick leave. They would be expected to consult with all affected employees and if she is off ick and unable to attend consultation meetings then the employer should explore other ways of consulting, for example through the post, via email, etc. Just because she is on sick leave does not automatically make her immune from redundancy I’m afraid, although the employer should try to ensure any disadvantage she is placed under is minimised as much as possible.

In any event she cannot be forced to return early from sick leave, whether to the existing or new job.

In terms of the insurance she receives, whether that continues after termination of employment would depend on the terms of the specific policy she is insured under. Some may terminate oat the end of her employment, others may continue for a specific period afterwards – she needs to check that with the employer or insurance provider as it will vary from case to case.

Finally, legal aid – this is not available to employment cases. She may get some remissions on tribunal fees based on her earnings, but she will not get legal advice help – she needs to get this privately, through the Citizens Advice Bureau for free, or through any motor or home insurance policy she may have that could cover her for such disputes.

Customer: Thank you for your time however most of these things I already knew, in short I wanted to know if you thought that this was her being treated unfairly as she will be at a disadvantage and will not be able to apply for these jobs being that she is still going through treatment.
Customer: Does she have any rights at all?
Ben Jones :

she can ask for the employer to make 'reasonable adjustments' which they must do in the case of disabled employees. These could include delaying the process in her case, or assigning her to a job without the need to apply. If she feels completely unsupported and the employer refuses to make any adjustments then she can consider going down the grievance route first and if she is made redundant, she can the make an unfair dismissal claim and /or a disability discrimination claim in the employment tribunal

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you. Happy to clarify anything further if needed too

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